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John Deere Model 68 advice needed.

18432 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  oldyellr
[I posted this in the wrong sub-forum a week agowith no response.]

Yes, I have an old John Deere Model 68 riding mower that just won't die. It's a real shame nobody makes mowers this size (34") anymore, because it's ideal for getting the grass on a half-acre lot cut in an hour. Not much out there between push and self-propelled mowers and 42" tractors that are too big to mow in and out of ditches or fit the average garden shed.

Anyway, I was cutting the grass yesterday when I lost drive. The belt was still there, but the right rear wheel flopped around, so I figured I'd broke the axle, which isn't available anymore. Fortunately, my neighbour loaned me his Honda H3011H to finish the job. He's replacing it with a small zero-turn mower and I offered to buy it.

Anyway, today I tore into the JD 68 to see what actually happened and saw that the weld where tubular axle joins the wheel mounting flange had broken. I hope there's someone around here familiar with this model that can offer advice.

(The first picture doesn't show the break very well, but shows what the end of the axle looks like, which doesn't resemble what is in the parts book, below.

Now I welded up the cracked weld (I won't show you what my "handiwork" looks like), but I'm trying to figure out why my axle differs from what's in the parts book. The inner shaft (#11) comes right through the mounting flange on mine and has a big washer welded on the end (which you can see in the first picture), while the book shows a collar and cotter pin (#9 & #10) on the end of the shaft. Would mine be a cobbled-up repair job, or how the factory made them? I also notice that where the inner shaft turns inside the outer shaft when the differential is working there is no lubrication, so I squirted oil in the 2 holes before mounting the wheel. Should there be enough oil or grease in the diff or chaincase so it runs out along the shaft? I also read elsewhere that Item #12 is a roll pin (it says groove pin) that gets deformed and difficult to remove when disassembling the axle. It looks like I have a bent nail in there that rattles around loose. Should I replace it with a nut and bolt?
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Sorry, I have a JD 56 RER, but my axle looks completely different then yours. I've rebuilt the rear axle twice on mine, and parts were obsoleted. I had to basically replace with updated version, even though my serial number was different....

There is an ebay seller that has many JD 68 parts up on Ebay. Maybe you can ask him?
His auction for the axle is: 120612940654

Yes, that does look like my axle. However, I have it welded now and it's holding up okay. I was just curious if the washer welded onto the end of the inner shaft in place of the sleeve and cotter pin that I have was original, or a hack job by a previous owner.
not sure... I might buy one tomorrow.
Well, my weld job lasted 3 years. Let's see if I can do a better job this time. I bought a used Honda RER when it broke the first time, so the grass still got cut.
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