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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my 16G almost 3 years now and I'm slowly fixing and trying to bring everything back to A or A+.
One thing has come back to me 2X now after I originally fixed it.
When I got it the front axle pivot bolt was extremely worn. The pivot grease fitting would not take any grease. I pulled the axle and rebuilt everything while I had it off. This includes the axle bolt and pivot tube. It was great for over a year when it stopped taking grease again. Took it apart and aligned the tube and it worked great.
Now this spring it won't take grease again!
Has anyone else experienced this problem and know of a longer term solution?

(Anyone else love trying to grease the front axle pivot as much as I do?)
 

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Did you jack it up to grease it?

Was it rusty when you took it apart the second time?

Are you sure the bushing is being held still when it is tightened up?

What do you mean by "aligned"? The bushing goes in the hole bolt is supposed to compress the tabs on the tractor frame until they are tight on the bushing and hold it still. It is self aligning.

The design does have some weak points, I started working on some improvements years ago but never completed them, including a plan to cross drill the bushing and grease it from the inside to improve grease distribution, which is the primary problem.

Sheldon
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yep. I jack it up to do the front axle. I've done as you say. The bolt and tube were not rusty, but were getting dry in my opinion. I like grease!
There is a hole in the pivot tube (I assume that's what you are calling the bushing) that allows the grease through to the bolt. That has gotten misaligned again. Possibly I'm just not tightening the bolt enough. The last time I made it TIGHT! I guess I'll make it more tight so it pinches it more. It was 1\4-1\3 of a turn off. No grease would go in at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The grease zerk is fine. I pulled it and it's like new. I broke it last year after I put it together and then couldn't get my gun fitting off! Haha Not funny then.
I got a new gun fitting too. I do like the looks of the one you show. A thumb release would be great.
 

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Yep. I jack it up to do the front axle. I've done as you say. The bolt and tube were not rusty, but were getting dry in my opinion. I like grease!
There is a hole in the pivot tube (I assume that's what you are calling the bushing) that allows the grease through to the bolt. That has gotten misaligned again. Possibly I'm just not tightening the bolt enough. The last time I made it TIGHT! I guess I'll make it more tight so it pinches it more. It was 1\4-1\3 of a turn off. No grease would go in at all.
So this is a new pivot tube/bushing that you installed? Did you buy it from GRAVELY? I have never seen a factory part from GRAVELY that is drilled? Is it just drilled in one place into the center hole where the bolt goes? Does that hole line up with the grease fitting? That is a problem, that does no good. Or is it cross drilled to let grease get to the other side?

The original idea is that the tube does not move, and the grease only flows around the outside of it when you grease it. Even my idea of greasing it from an axle bolt in the center with multiple cross drillings to spread out the grease runs the risk that grease around the bolt will encourage the tube to spin.

That is the classic failure, the tube starts moving with the axle, wearing the frame bolt holes and the frame tabs themselves.

The other common failure is that the bushing simply wears unevenly because of lack of lubrication and allows the axle to wobble.

I have also considered the idea of drilling a small hole in the front plate and into the tube/bushing (it is a bushing by definition of how the axle is supposed to move on it), and tapping that hole for a small machine screw to hold the bushing still.

Ideally on assembly the ends of the bushing are grease free so it can be fully tightened.

Do you have any pictures?

Sheldon
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think I got it on eBay. I didn’t take pics when apart. I’ve got to think about how the bolt gets grease otherwise. Isn’t the pivot between the tube and the bolt? How would that get lubricated? I’ve got to look at it again. Possibly I’m not thinking correctly about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I forgot to say- when I got the tractor the axle was very wobbly. When I took it apart the bolt was very worn. I was surprised actually how little wear the tube had. Still decided to replace both. I don’t believe that that tube had a grease hole in it. I just assumed that since the new one did that the previous owner changed the tube and it wasn’t right- resulting in the worn bolt and problem.
 

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THe bolt should never wear. It should be as tight as you can make it with long tools. The bushing is held stationary and the axle turns on the bushing. If the mounting is worn or the bushing too short the axle will not move when the bolt is tight. I have needed to add a shim (made them) to take up the wear. If it did not get grease when installed it may be seized in the axle. Try loosening the bolt and see if it passes grease. Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It all makes sense when I think about it now.
I found that I have another tube or bushing that I apparently got from Richards that I didn’t use. I think I found the one on eBay right after I ordered from Richards. The one from Richards does not have a hole drilled in it like the one off eBay. That should have probably raised more of a red flag about the eBay one.
I think if the pivot tube appears to be moving I’ll shim it to make up for any wear and make it tighter.
The darned thing has caused a lot more fiddling around than it should have!
 

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I vaguely remember some years ago going through this same exercise. Getting the bushing to be held tightly so the axle moves around it is key. McMaster-Carr was my friend. That's of course why there is no hole in the bushing. The grease should be on the outside.
 

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I'd never be able to find the pic now but someone experimented with grinding little grease pathways into the surface of the bushing so that it evenly distributed the grease when shot in from just that one spot on the side. I'll try to find it anyway but it's been a while.
 

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Well that was easier than I thought it would be:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So apart it comes again today. I couldn’t get it tight enough to keep the pivot tube (bushing) from turning without stopping the axle from pivoting.
It appears both the bushings I have are too short. They’re both almost exactly 3” long. Basically the same dimension as the width of the axle.
I was looking back thru the responses here as I thought someone said how long they are supposed to be. The IPL doesn’t give a length.
Does anyone know what length the pivot bushings are supposed to be? I likely will have to make a shim as others have said because I’m assuming there is wear on the inside where the bushing rubbed against the front and back tabs.
I’ve included a pic of the axle pivot bushing i have that has a grease journal drilled thru it to the inside where the bolt is. Mentioned earlier.
I
Bicycle part Gas Auto part Fashion accessory Nickel
 
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