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Discussion Starter #1
I have a Snapper SR1433. It is about 10 years old. I was mowing this past Saturday when, suddenly, the blade stopped turning, the engine sounded like it was under a heavy load and smoke started pouring from underneath my seat. I got it back to the shed and stood it on end to check it out. There was nothing binding the blade as I suspected but I could barely turn the blade by hand. What is causing this and what do I need to do fix it? Thanks for your help.
 

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Sounds like a spindle bearing. Remove the deck belt and try to turn the blades by hand. Whichever blade won't turn is the culprit.


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Yes, it is a 33 inch single blade deck. I made sure the belt was loose and tried to turn the blade by hand and it would barely turn. I suspected it was a rope or something binding keeping it from turning but there was nothing substantial that would cause it not to turn, just a small amount of string, which I removed, but it did not help. So its the spindle bearing I need to replace? Thanks
 

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The linkage that tightens the deck belt also releases the blade brake. If that linkage doesn't work, the brake can make it very difficult to turn the blade. Most times when a bearing goes, it will squeal a bit in protest, but not always.
You can remove the blade, blade adapter, belt pulley, and spindle from the housing to replace the bearing if that is the problem. You'll likely find some parts don't want to come apart even after the fasteners are removed. The blade adapter being the likeliest.
tom
 

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Snapper's have a grease fitting for the spindle bearing, but it's under the deck and not easy to see. I have never seen a spindle bearing fail on a machine as long as it received the barest minimum of maintenance.
 

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Here's an illustration from a parts list showing the parts,of a later series.Yours is probably similar,before dis-assembling your spindle,make sure to check the possibilities,suggested by the other members,especially the "blade brake"The brake is "automatic",and if anything in the mechanism,is detached or broken,the spindle is automatically locked. There is a spring to actuate the brake,and it's dis-engaged,when the deck handle engages the deck,and actuated when the handle is released.You can check this,by removing the cover,and having someone else,move the "deck handle. removing the belt from the "spindle pulley" would make it easier to tell which was bad.If you decide that the spindle is bad,there's a very good chapter on "spindle overhaul" in the "series 4,5 & 6 & later service manual" which you can download,from the "RER manuals" 'sticky" on the Snapper forum index page.Since you saw smoke,you may have "flat spotted" the belt, if it vibrates,after re-assembly,that is probably the problem.Most of the parts,are available,aftermarket,especially the bearings,the housing is "Snapper only",as well as the "shim washers,and the blade washer"
 

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Probably not the spindle bearing. When they do go out they will give you plenty of warning by squalling, squealing, rumbling etc. While you have the blade exposed give the spindle bearings a few shots of a #5 wheel bearing grease thru the grease zerk that rscurtis mentioned. I have been around the Snapper RERs since the late 1960s and in all that time I have not yet seen a spindle bearing failure on any machine I have inherited or purchased. I have seen a bent blade holder & a busted bearing housing however but no bearing failure. I am with the other posters in saying it is a blade brake issue. Has to be since it happened so fast. One other thing to check is the idler pulley. If it's bearings are bad it can put a drag on the blade as well. But the idler pulley will generally squeal & squall just like the spindle bearing would giving one some warning of impending doom.

MY $0.02 ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Great, the diagram helps tremendously. I will most definitely check the blade brake first before tearing into the spindle assembly. I just got this recently so I really don't know how well it has been maintained. It runs great but I know I have some issues with the rear end/transmission and the deck so I'll just work through them as I go. Thanks so much.
 
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