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Discussion Starter #21
Agree with Sheldon on straight 30wt unless you are storing it and starting it in an unheated space; I would not want to startup a Magnum filled with 30wt in sub-freezing temps. Otherwise stay away from the multi-weight oils in these engines if you can. I use Rotella SAE30 year-round in the motor and transaxle (yes you should drain and refill the transaxle oil too). My tractor spends the winter in an unheated but attached garage so it's never being started much below 40*.
It will reside in an unheated attached garage that rarely gets down to even 40 degrees so I think I'll stick with straight 30wt.

I will grease everything according to the manual today and should be able to get to the clutch splines tomorrow afternoon. Do you guys have a preferred grease? My dad gave me a few tubes of Redline CV-2 synthetic grease. It's got "Red Moly" in it... whatever the heck that is? See attached pics. I think he said they used it to pack cv joints in some of their high performance race cars. I'd like to use it just because I have it but it may not be a good application for the Gravely? If there does seem to be a preferred grease i can run out and buy a few tubes this afternoon.

Also... a bit off topic but the guy I bought it from had three cans of original Gravely paint in the big pile of stuff that came along with it. I thought maybe someone might find the part numbers useful? I'd guess that the newer of the three cans was purchased for the 16G. The two older cans are probably way older... I think the guy owned an 816 before the 16G so they were probably meant for that. The fact that they still have lead in them must date them back a ways...
 

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That grease will work fine, no worries.

The older paint appears to be from the 70's or early 80's, yes industrial spray paint would have still contained a little lead.

Sheldon
 

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Discussion Starter #23
That grease will work fine, no worries.

Sheldon
Roger that :thThumbsU

I'm starting to find a few of her secrets.... what's up with that funky bolt through the left deck spindle? Looks like a bodge job. Shouldn't there be a grease nipple on top on that bolt?

I've also found a few non-original crimp terminals with cut leads married to existing leads. I need to get out the multimeter and start taking notes I think...
 

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The original GRAVELY spindles in the G era have automotive type wheel bearings and top grease fittings.

Near the end of production for those decks, also used on Walk Behind tractors with an A frame attachment, the spindle was changed to a "permanently lubed" design.

It is very possible that one of the originals failed and was replaced with a sealed spindle.

Do the other two have grease fittings?

Deep in the improvement thread you will learn a lot about the deck spindles........

Sheldon
 

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Discussion Starter #25
After looking.... there's also a grade 8 bolt through the middle spindle but the right spindle does have a grease nipple (see attached).
 

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Discussion Starter #26
The deck has been patched in three areas (very good patches in my opinion) but, I do have a 50" deck from another machine that is in spectacular condition with all original parts, no patches, an almost new belt, and fresh bearings on all spindles and pulleys. I'm thinking of just moving the good condition deck to the newly acquired machine.

I'm still curious why there's two grade 8 bolts through two of three spindles and a grease nipple on the third? I guess I'm thinking the two non nipple bolts were a bodge but maybe this is "normal" or "acceptable"?
 

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The deck has been patched in three areas (very good patches in my opinion) but, I do have a 50" deck from another machine that is in spectacular condition with all original parts, no patches, an almost new belt, and fresh bearings on all spindles and pulleys. I'm thinking of just moving the good condition deck to the newly acquired machine.

I'm still curious why there's two grade 8 bolts through two of three spindles and a grease nipple on the third? I guess I'm thinking the two non nipple bolts were a bodge but maybe this is "normal" or "acceptable"?
The maintenance-free spindles have a coarse-threaded hole at the top, and lock the sheave (pulley) down with a bolt and washer. The regular spindles have a fine-threaded hole for the zerk, and are threaded on the outside for a nut and washer to tighten against the sheave. I think you have a maintenance-free spindle in that position.



Note that the image above is from my 60" deck, left side, which differs from yours on account of it having a taller, keyed shaft for a double-sheave. But it illustrates what I'm trying to describe. I don't like mixing the spindle types because they use different (or no) blade cradles, which causes the blades to sit at slightly different heights relative to each other.

In your case I would cannibalize the deck for spindles and other hard-to-acquire parts, and use the nicer one.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
The original GRAVELY spindles in the G era have automotive type wheel bearings and top grease fittings.

Near the end of production for those decks, also used on Walk Behind tractors with an A frame attachment, the spindle was changed to a "permanently lubed" design.

It is very possible that one of the originals failed and was replaced with a sealed spindle.
Sheldon
I failed to look at your post closely, Sheldon. All apologies. Thanks for the pics Yamoto. I may have a bit of a frankenstein mower deck on my hands here. I'll drop the deck tomorrow and have a look.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Well, work got in the way and I still haven't had a chance to drop the mower deck. I will have to mow one more time this season so I think I'll wait until I get that accomplished then investigate further.

I was fiddling with the 16G last night and noticed a good amount of slop in the steering. The inner and outer ball joint (part #30 on the attached IPL) are worn on both sides. I also noticed there is a good amount of play between the tie rod axle arm (part #43) and the king pin weldment (part #47) on the right hand side. Annnddd.... the axle pivot tube seems to be worn.

In regards to the steering rods and ends.... Sheldon, you posted this on page 20 of your 16G Improvements page:

QUOTE:

For those of you who might want to do this:

Rod end with grease fitting - 1/2"-20 female - RH - 4444T231
Rod end with grease fitting - 1/2"-20 female - LH - 4444T232
Seal for rod ends - pr - 1/2" - 4737T6

at McMaster-Carr

Sheldon

END QUOTE

I just want to make sure I'm not making mistakes in ordering parts. The threads on the inside and outside of my current steering rods appear to all be right hand thread. If this is the case why are there two different part numbers for the ends? I'm guessing it's for orientation of the grease nipples? If so, I assume that means I need to order two of part number: RH - 4444T231 and two of part number: LH - 4444T232? Also, I believe at some point you upgraded your steering rods. I assume that means I'll need to do the same to make these new ends fit. Do you have a part number for those?

Does anyone know of a good source to get an axle steering arm and king pin weldment? I see a few floating around on ebay but I'm afraid they may be just as worn as mine (none of them show crisp pictures of the mating surface between the two).

I replaced the axle pivot tube and bolt on my 816 and it helped tremendously. I think I'll do the same on the 16G. I bought the parts for the 816 a few years ago and can't remember where I got them. Any ideas for a source?

As always, I hope everyone is well and thanks for reading/helping.

Pete
 

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Pete,

Those tie rod ends require a different tie rod than what you have. They require the 1/2" tie rod from an 18G/20G, GRAVELY part #08655900.

The tie rod you have are 3/8" and have all right handed threads. The 1/2" tie rods have left and right handed threads.

As for the loose steering arm, in many cases the splines in the steering arm are worn, but the splines on the spindle are ok. The spindle is harder steel than the arm, often causing the arm to fail and not the spindle.

If you up grade to the 1/2" tie rods and ends, you should also upgrade to the 18G/20G arms, which are better. Part # 08763600. They clamp onto the spindle.

Compare these pictures to your tractor, hopefully you can see what I mean:









Notice how on this heavy duty tie rod setup there is no stop nut on the left hand thread. This is how GRAVELY did it and it is important to do it this way.

Yes, changing the axle pivot tube is likely a good idea. People never grease them (they do have a grease fitting up inside the frame slot) and the wear out.

Your first source for most stuff is always GRAVELY, Richards lawn and garden, Jack's Small Engines, etc. GRAVELY still has most of this stuff.

Sheldon
 

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Now, there is a 3/8" version of the tie rod ends with the grease fittings, but you will have to shorten your tie rods and still fix your loose steering arm.

I have to go out now, but later I can post more details about the 3/8" version. Years ago I sold both 1/2" and 3/8" tie rod end conversion kits.

Sheldon
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Fantastic info Sheldon. Thank you.

I've made a note to order the 1/2" upgraded steering rods (Gravely) and ends with seals (McMaster Carr) as well as a pivot tube and bolt. I'm going to head out to the garage shortly to pull that steering arm off the top of the spindle to check condition of both. I've done three over the years and two of them the arms were chewed up but the spindle was as new. The third had both parts worn/damaged. I'll cross my fingers that it's the arm only.... I'm betting that spindle might be pricey...

The locknut on one end of the linkage is a great tip. That's something I easily/likely would have overlooked during assembly.

Also, I mounted the 22F battery last night. Fits like a glove :thThumbsU

As noted prior... I'm going to leave the seat safety switch bypassed as it currently is. But I did confirm that the forward/reverse switch has been bypassed as well.... that I'm going to want to repair. I'm just wondering if it was bypassed as a quick fix (broken switch?) or as a convenience by the prior owner? I can't see a convenience benefit myself and if it was a failed switch that will be easy enough to test with a multimeter. Will also check the pto safety switch.

Will report back shortly.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #34
My finding so far....

I went to remove the top nut that holds the steering arm on the spindle weldment. It was finger tight... and with no exaggeration... I used my thumb and index finger to spin it off. I pulled the arm and found what look like nice sharp splines on both the arm and the spindle. So I though this is weird... let's have a look at the good side. The nut was on tight. I mean like gorilla tight. I took it off (with my gorilla like strength, lol) to have a look. Same nice sharp splines. So when I lay both arms and top of the spindles and run on the nut they both wiggle a little when i tighten the nut with my fingers. I little bit of torque with the wrench makes the wiggle mostly disappear and I'm sure if I put back the crazy amount of torque that seemed like was on the good side they'd be fine.

I guess my question is this, how much torque should the nuts need (couldn't find it spec'd in any of my manuals). And, is it okay to have a little wiggle when they're just finger tight?

Pete
 

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Pete, that is good news, but I would strongly suggest you spring for the longer, heavier 18G/20G arms. BECAUSE they have a thru bolt that clamps them to the splines - check out my pictures - and they are longer, making your steering effort lower. The longer arm may even be necessary to really get the proper geometry with the larger tie rods and ends?

I would say the stock 16G arms need to be tight enough not to move......

Sheldon
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Sheldon..... Done. I will purchase the upgraded steering arms tomorrow :thThumbsU:thThumbsU
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Okay,

I ordered the ends and seals from McMaster Carr.

I'm currently in the process of ordering the; upgraded steering arms, rods, and pivot tube from Jacks Small Engines. Question, Should i order the 18G spec bolts that will mount the upgraded steering rod ends (McMaster Carr) to the steering arms? Not sure if they're the same diameter and length as the factory spec bolts?

Pete
 

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You will need:

Two 1/2”-20 jam nuts
Four 1/2”- 13 x 2-1/4” GR5 or GR8 bolts w/lock washers and nyloc locking nuts

You can get these anywhere.

The lock washers will go between the tie rod ends and the steering arms as spacers.

These are exactly what GRAVELY spec'd for the 18G/20G and are standard hardware items.

They will work fine with the McMaster Carr parts.

Sheldon
 

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Discussion Starter #39
Thanks very much, Sheldon for the detailed info. All the parts are ordered.

My next big request will be to show me how to set the governor to full power. I know it's in your improvements thread but I may need a bit of hand holding....

Pete
 

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Thanks very much, Sheldon for the detailed info. All the parts are ordered.

My next big request will be to show me how to set the governor to full power. I know it's in your improvements thread but I may need a bit of hand holding....

Pete
No worries. Do you have a photo tachometer?

Sheldon
 
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