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Discussion Starter #1
While tilling this evening the front axle support on my G-12 decided it no longer needed to be an attached part of the rest of the tractor. All four mounting bolts have broken off or fell out. They were all there a few days ago but seem to have deserted en-mass.

Question: Are these held by nuts somewhere in the hidden regions or do they screw into threaded holes in the casting?

I didn't have a light to be able to really see what was what and the parts manual is not really clear. The tractor is going to have to be hauled back to the shop. Be a couple of days before that happens.

Thanks for any info.

Mike
 

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I can't say positively on the G12 but on all of the earlier ones that I've seen with the cast iron front axle,they thread into the axle.One tractor that I picked up a while back had the bolt holes broken out,it looked like it had been run with he bolts loose and it broke the casting,hope yours didn't do that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info. I kind of thought they must thread into that cast block the axle pivots on. From what little I could see I don't think there is any other damage than the bolts. If there is I have another tube frame for parts but don't really want to go that route if I can avoid it. Time for the drill and easy-out routine.

Mike
 

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That bites. Do yourself a favor. When you can think about it, make this as common as checking the oil. Tighten those 4 bolts as tight as you can without snapping them off. Especially if you run a blade, blower, etc. off the front of your tuber. I have a couple front castings that are unusable from this problem. Drilling the bolt is a bit of a bear, if its not dead center, the casting drills easier and the bit will tend to take off thru your mount, making it near impossible to rethread the holes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Depending on what I find it may turn into a drill it oversize and put in a bigger bolt with the original size drilled and tapped into it. Kind of like some of the quick thread things but stronger. Been more than once I've saved an expensive casting on farm machinery by doing this. These bolts probably broke off, I went back with a flashlight last night and it appears the ends of the bolts are still in the casting from what little I could see. When I get it apart I'll set it up in the drill press and see what happens. Thanks for the comment.

Mike
 

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Cool, it sounds like you have some experience. It's not impossible, and a press definitely adds alot toward a successful result. Some stuff you probably know; grind the top of whats left flat and center punch it. Step drill it to keep it centered, start small work your way up, use a left handed 5/16 bit for your final drilling, of course you'll need to reverse the direction on your press; this will usually bring it out without needing an easy out. I've never had much luck with easyouts, they tend to do more damage then good.
 

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Do yourself a very big favor when you got good threads restored, use some blue lock tight on the new bolts. Much better than all the lock washers in the world.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My drill press is old but it's tight and reversible. I put a permanent magnet DC motor on it a few years ago with variable speed drive. Makes reasonably precision drilling a lot easier. Bought a set of left hand bits a long time ago. More than once someone has grabbed one and had a battle trying to drill a hole without realizing the bit was running backwards. Kind of fun to watch.

Mike
 

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if you have any of the old screw drivers that were made of steel.not the crome vanadian junk.you can sharpen eash side at and angle contrary to each other.works ten times better than any easy out.you tap it in the hole that you drill. lightly.put a cresent whench on the flat of the screw driver press down on the screw driver.realy works great.Ive got one I ,ve used for 30 years.don,t drive the screw driver in to far.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Deerlope I'll probably opt for hardened studs rather than bolts for this job. Loc-tite will for sure be part of the project.

Gray Wolf that's a good idea. Seems to me I have some really good smaller size steel bars around the shop somewhere. May have to give that a try if these bolts prove troublesome. I'm pretty cautious of how much pressure I apply to regular easy outs. I don't like having to remove broken ones.

Mike
 

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Gary wolf has a good idea. I prefer to use the tang on a flat file. Lets face it there is some really good steel in a file.
 

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You might get as lucky as I was 5 years ago. I had 2 of the bolts on my 1257 break off. I jacked up the tractor and took the other 2 out. When I tried to drill the broken ones out they just turned in more. I had a hard steel rod that I ground an angle on it to make a point and just turned the broken pieces out without any problems. When I replaced the bolts, I used grade 5 bolts and have not broken any since.
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I should be so lucky Dave. Might try welding a nut to the broken bolts if they are at the surface of the casting or above. I've got a selection of grade 8 studs around from years ago when military surplus stores had that kind of stuff. Hopefully some of them will fit the job at hand. Putting nuts on the top of the frame just seems like a good idea with this project.

Mike
 

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My G14 had one broken too. I'm guessing thats the result of smacking things with the plow or snowblower which mount to that same casting.

I ended up drilling mine with my portable drill (no drill press) and it was a bear. I did mess it up a bit, but I put in a helicoil repair kit with loctite and replaced all the bolts with grade 8.

No problem so far after one complete winter of snowblowing.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I bought this tractor about a year and a half ago. The previous owner was the second owner and he said he had only used it to mow and till. The front mounts don't look like they've been used but it's hard to tell. Wish he would have sold me the mower deck but that did not happen. Been unable to find a good one but would sure like too. Between this tractor and the brush beater it would cut a good swath thru the weeds.

Mike
 

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Tencubed, how do the end of your tubes look? Are they showing signs of wear or abuse? ie; cracks, distortion, flat spots? Are the pieces of flat bar missing that keep your tube from collapsing missing? There should be 4 of them.

I had this problem early on when I first used a blade in snow on my 1225 (sidewalks are a killer). The flat bars were missing (unknown at the time) and the tubes were cracked. I replaced the straight tube with 1/4" wall pipe (half the problem solved) and then replaced the flatbar on the other tube (hydros have one curved tube, had to reuse it). I would highly recommend considering pipe swap out on your gear drive if you plan on keeping it and you have signs of wear. It makes a tough tractor virtually indestructable.

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just from looking at the machine it's not been abused or damaged in that manner. I've not inspected the tubes to see if the flats bars are missing but will sure check that when I get it in the shop today. That's a good point and I appreciate the comment.

This machine, as near as I can tell, has not had any front mount equipment on it. Apparently it spent the majority of it's life as a mower tractor and some use as a tiller. I've used it strictly for tilling. This winter I'll be building a dedicated tiller tractor from a 1050 and this machine will be used for pulling a powered land plane and trailers. It's going to have a rather gentle semi-retirement.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well, I got lucky. No damage to the axle mount, just four broken bolts.

I was even able to chain and strap the thing together enough to back it onto a trailer for transport to the shop. Only had to drop the PTO off which would have had to been done anyway.

Now have to wait till I have a spot under the hoist as I plan to just lift the front of the tractor and take things apart right on the trailer. No crawling around on the floor that way. Should have an area open this afternoon.

I checked the tubes Ratboy, they have no apparent damage and the flat bars are in place. Thanks again for reminding me to look for them.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well, the saga progresses. I've managed to get two of the broken bolts out without having to drill the threads out of the casting. I suspect with more soaking and heat the other two will loosen sometime this year.

I've looked at the parts lists and see no indication of a washer or anything between the round tube of the frame and the basically flat surface where it meets the casting. Is this correct? Seems there should be something to mate the mismatched surfaces. Can someone with experience on this let me know? Appreciate the help as always.

Mike
 

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Well, the saga progresses. I've managed to get two of the broken bolts out without having to drill the threads out of the casting. I suspect with more soaking and heat the other two will loosen sometime this year.

I've looked at the parts lists and see no indication of a washer or anything between the round tube of the frame and the basically flat surface where it meets the casting. Is this correct? Seems there should be something to mate the mismatched surfaces. Can someone with experience on this let me know? Appreciate the help as always.

Mike
Nothing between tubes and frame. The bolts will 'squash' the tubes flat a little when fully tightened. This is why the flat bars are so important. The top should be covered by a flat plate of steel with 4 holes in it. On later models, the exhaust support bolted into two of these bolts.
 
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