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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have 4 different tractors that have 1 or more idler pulleys on the mower decks. In the last 3 years ive had at least 5 idlers that have gotten noisey and needed replacement. I started buying the individual bearings from stens and I cut the old bearing out using my small wheel grinder, then a small chisel to lift the cut sections up, I then drive out the bearing and replace it with a new one. At that point I tap the edge back down and reinstall the idlers. I have always put the cut side facing down and I have not had a replacement bearing go bad and the pulleys work great.
Idlers can cost $20 - 35+ a piece. However the individual bearings are less then $4 each. May even find them for less on ebay.
I'll post pics of the steps I take and I hope this may save you some money.
Lastly this take s about 10 minutes total to do.
Rod

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And on the METRIC sized Idlers they can cost $45 - 60 a piece.

I've totally rebuilt a JD261 3PT finish mower. The country ACE Hardware actually had a MTD-Murray mower repair center. What does this mean? Murray made many of the low end John Deere mowers. So, I paid less than half the price of JD in the plastic wrap for all new pulleys.
And the MTD-Murray pulleys are EZ-PZ to change out the bearings. The pulleys are not 2 weld halves. Great value, only 1 time cost for all the pulleys, then replace the bearings from that time forward.

Nice write up. good pixs too!
 

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Good idea.
And on the METRIC sized Idlers they can cost $45 - 60 a piece.

I've totally rebuilt a JD261 3PT finish mower. The country ACE Hardware actually had a MTD-Murray mower repair center. What does this mean? Murray made many of the low end John Deere mowers. So, I paid less than half the price of JD in the plastic wrap for all new pulleys.
And the MTD-Murray pulleys are EZ-PZ to change out the bearings. The pulleys are not 2 weld halves. Great value, only 1 time cost for all the pulleys, then replace the bearings from that time forward.

Nice write up. good pixs too!
MTD has never manufactured a machine for John Deere. Deere has a plant in Greenville, TN where they build their residential mowers. That’s not to say MTD and Deere do not source their components like idlers from the same source.
 

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Most of the time, the bearings are common. Of the 10 or so I've done, all but one used standard bearings (you do need to measure the bearing, some use the "version" of the bearing with a metric i.d., some use the version with an SAE i.d.). The one non-standard one (I think I could have sourced it, just not quickly, it was a standard bearing, but with a wider than normal inner race), I used a standard bearing that was readily available, and made a new spacer bushing so it had the original offset when bolted down.
 

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Interesting approach, curious why you took this approach over drilling out the rivets?
 
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Good idea.

MTD has never manufactured a machine for John Deere. Deere has a plant in Greenville, TN where they build their residential mowers. That’s not to say MTD and Deere do not source their components like idlers from the same source.
Murray built some models for John Deere. They built the low cost homeowner models.
Murray was owned by Briggs & Stratton at one time. Murray manufactured machines for many different manufacturers besides their own named line.
Murray built the walk behind snow blowers for John Deere as did Ariens for John Deere also.
Murray corp. was started out in Ohio in their beginning.
 

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I've drilled the rivets or spot welds out on several metal idlers to replace the bearings. Most of the tractors I have now use plastic idlers that can't be repaired. If the bearing ever goes bad the belt burns a flat place on it.
Cannon
 

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Murray built some models for John Deere. They built the low cost homeowner models.
Murray was owned by Briggs & Stratton at one time. Murray manufactured machines for many different manufacturers besides their own named line.
Murray built the walk behind snow blowers for John Deere as did Ariens for John Deere also.
Murray corp. was started out in Ohio in their beginning.
The Greenville, TN plant opened in 1988 and has produced over 5 million of the mowers. It also produces the residential Z300 and Z500 series of zero turns. You are correct that Deere outsourced many things, like it’s handheld line of equipment (trimmers, blowers, edgers etc) to Echo, snow blowers to Ariens, Lawn Boy for some of the early push mowers. However, Deere has built all their ride on mowers (Sabre, Scott’s, D, L, S, E series) in Greenville, TN and their lawn and garden tractors in Horicon, WI. Deere did build a few machines for Honda. In all my years of dealing with Deere, I have never seen anything close to an MTD model with a Deere name plate. I have no evidence to suggest anyone but Deere has ever built their mowers. All the marketing literature of the Sabre, Scott’s, and the L series that I have talks up production of the machines in Greenville. If you have some information showing the contrary I would certainly like to see it. Also as I said in the previous post, all this is not to say that MTD and Deere don’t buy the same components.
 

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I've heard the Murray tale before. I think it has to do with Murray producing Scotts tractors just before John Deere got the contract. Prior to 1998 I think. However, John Deere never had a Murray manufactured product. But yes does have other products made for them. Older Deere skid steers were New Holland for example
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Denverguy, heres the reason I cut the bearing out versus drilling. This was my first pulley i did. Like most im lazy and wanted a quicker way. lol That would be a lot of drilling and once I did it by cutting I found it to be quicker and you could do it a 2nd time if ever needed.
Rod
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The Greenville, TN plant opened in 1988 and has produced over 5 million of the mowers. It also produces the residential Z300 and Z500 series of zero turns. You are correct that Deere outsourced many things, like it’s handheld line of equipment (trimmers, blowers, edgers etc) to Echo, snow blowers to Ariens, Lawn Boy for some of the early push mowers. However, Deere has built all their ride on mowers (Sabre, Scott’s, D, L, S, E series) in Greenville, TN and their lawn and garden tractors in Horicon, WI. Deere did build a few machines for Honda. In all my years of dealing with Deere, I have never seen anything close to an MTD model with a Deere name plate. I have no evidence to suggest anyone but Deere has ever built their mowers. All the marketing literature of the Sabre, Scott’s, and the L series that I have talks up production of the machines in Greenville. If you have some information showing the contrary I would certainly like to see it. Also as I said in the previous post, all this is not to say that MTD and Deere don’t buy the same components.
Years ago Murray made MTD. MTD made the low end (Non Commercial) John Deere's, that would have been before 1988. Murray went through different ownerships over the years and was last owned by Briggs&Stratton.
John Deere made the Honda 2013 model riding mower for a few years then Honda stopped selling it because they had a lot of problems with it.
That was done when Honda stopped manufacturing their riding mowers and did away with their commercial series tractors and their larger garden tractors. They brought back a riding lawn tractor that was made by John Deere for a couple of years to try it and see how the sales went but had troubles with the machine and found it wasn't up to Honda's quality standards so they discontinued it and stepped away from the riding mowers again.
Honda no longer sells or produces riding mowers.
John Deere had the Murray made snowblower for a bunch of years, then they contracted with Ariens for a few more years until they decided to get out of the walk-behind snowblower line.
We had a lot of information on the dealership computers about the John Deere tractors made by Murray in the sales and parts programs that were not available to the public along with the other manufacturers who made products for John Deere. Deere didn't want that info released to the public due to proprietary reasons and that was also our parts supplier for many of the parts that were made specifically for John Deere.
Deere didn't want their customers going to another (Competition) dealership for parts and supplies or a complete new tractor under a different name brand.
Murray and Ariens made the snowblowers for Deere between 1991 to 2001. Simplicity even made snowblowers for John Deere, those parts were different than standard Simplicity's made specifically for Deere to their specs and wouldn't interchange between Simplicity and Deere.
Snapper and Brute owned by Briggs&Stratton also made some snowblowers for John Deere at one time. Simplicity was another company who was owned by Briggs&Stratton.
 

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I recently bought an older John Deere 110. After I started going through it and found the idler for the hydraulic lift has a bad bearing. Looking it up it looks like it is no longer available. Changing just the bearing crossed my mind, but after reading this I see no reason why not to. Thanks
 

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I do that as well, but drill/grind the rivets out, pop the halves apart, replace the bearing, and then use small bolts in place of the rivets. Works well, and makes doing the job again that much easier (have had to replace one of the bearings a second time)...
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Th.
This is what I did for years, don't understand cutting, seems to me that makes more of a job of it.
Walt Conner
 

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What a great idea. In reality I don't see this weakening the metal enough to be a concern. If it were to be bent back and forth several times it would indeed compromise the metal's integrity, but since it was only a one time deal and it is only a retaining lip it'll be fine. Plus the lip doesn't actually hold the bearing with the same tension as the bore into which the bearing is a pressed.
I vote "yes" this is a suitable repair, and I also vote yes on the drill and replace the rivets repair since it can be done over and over again..... I will be doing one or the other on my Round Fender very soon
 
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