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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, my dad and I could use some help with a Dearborn 14-59 sickle mower project. We got this mower cheap and are resurrecting it / modifying it to work on his Kubota. The previous owner had rescued it from behind a barn and tried to mount it to a CUT, but didn't understand all of the hookups. He left a lot of functional parts off, and thus couldn't get it to work, and sold it dirt cheap out of frustration. We picked it up from there and are working out the bugs, and putting it on a mid-size Kubota tractor. It has been an adventure to get to work (especially the breakaway), but we are making great headway.

The problem we are having is with the drive shaft. The previous owner shortened it to fit his CUT, but we need a longer shaft. His shortening of it included cutting down the end attached to the mower and making a short tractor connection shaft. He also managed to break the U-joint at the tractor end of the shaft when he tried to run it. My dad and I are trying to extend the shaft and are running into some trouble. It seemed that the best way to repair the shaft would be to remove the cross from the mower U-joint and replace the entire shaft, because I'm not sure how much I trust the last owner's shaft welds. Because the mower end of the U-joint is fixed to the shaft, we can't remove that half of the joint.

The U-joint has the typical external snap rings, so I removed them and tried to press out the cross using a large c-clamp and a couple of sockets, but broke the clamp without shifting the caps at all. We tried a bar clamp, again without success. We also tried tapping on the caps with a large drift pin, tapping on the opposing yoke (to drive the caps out from the middle). Nothing budged. We don't want to damage the mower's main pulley bearings or the main shaft, but are running out of ideas to fix this. Does anybody have any experience with cracking a U-joint like this? The cap diameter is about .870", and the cross is about 2.5" cap to cap. I'm attaching a couple of photos for your reference. Thanks.



 

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Do you happen to have a torch? if so, use it to heat the outside of where the u-joint fits in. once heated it will expand and the u-joint should come right out. Now, if it does not come out and you are worried about the bearings you may have to just take the belt pulley off and take the entire assembly out and put it in a press. That's worse case scenario.
 

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Ditto what JMW said re the heat. You shouldn't have to get it red, just warm enough to expand. If you've got a heavy equipment shop close by see if they'll loan you a u joint press, they're stiffer than a c clamp.....Mike
 

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Ya, you definitely do not want to get it too hot as it would possibly compromise the integrity of the steel. Just warm it up and try it. If that don't work do like Mike said and use a u-joint press. Should come right out. Another thing you could do which not sure you would want to but you could actually torch off the u-joint itself from the middle. Remove the largest piece and the bearings out of the caps should fall out. Then take a punch to the caps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all of the replies. We'll probably either take it off and get it to a full size press, or try the suggested ball joint tool. Since the main bearings for the mower drive are right behind the yoke, I'd rather avoid heating if possible. I was unsure if the answer would be that we weren't using enough force, or that the Dearborn joints are some old, obsolete type that you have to use a special dis-assembly technique on. This old machine has been fighting every step of the way, but we will get it together. At least dad and I aren't in a hurry on this project.

I was out taking more measurements and photos on this unit today to try to get the correct U-joint size for a replacement. I'm not seeing any standard U-joints that match the measurements I'm getting. All of the joints that are this small are now set up with internal clip rings, not external. I'll have to take all of them into one of the machinery shops nearby and see if I can find the right parts. Does anybody know the size designation for these old Dearborn drive shafts off hand?
 
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