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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a new to me 1997 John Deere GX85.

The machine looks pretty nice for the year...though I've yet to fire it up. It had a leak in the fuel tank...so I've got one off ebay on the way as well as a new carb. I'll be firing it up next week I hope when those parts show up.

I went to replace the tires...and after a gear puller, a bottle of wd-40 and some cursing (oh and a hammer) I was able to get the rear wheels off their rusted shaft.

I noticed when removing the rear wheels that the axle carrier (with grease nipples below) has a good amount of play. Things sound fine when I roll it backwards and forwards...but after removing the wheel I can see what is causing the play.

What appears to be a bearing carrier right off the transmission/axle carrier is an oval shape. I'm 'hoping' that this is factory designed so that there is some twisting/suspension'ish designed into it...but I'm thinking it's sadly probably worn into both sides of the axle carrier.

Photo below...do you think this oval shape is factory or user negligence and worn into the housing?

If it's worn in..what choice do I have to fix it? The microfiche for this part shows a billion gears and I'm scared to open it up!

Let me know :)

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Looks like a poor design by John Deere's part. All for a $2 bearing per side. Buggers...

What do the grease nipples on #60 do then? Just grease up the shaft riding on metal?

The 2 area's circled in red that bolt together could have easily accommodated a bearing inside. I'm so confused as to why this design did not include one.

I'm going to have to try and do something to try and repair this. If there is no bearing inside...then there is no point in me splitting the case.

Perhaps I should try and rig a pillow bearing either side of the shaft from the outside?!?

Any advice would be appreciated!

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Looks like a poor design by John Deere's part. All for a $2 bearing per side. Buggers...

What do the grease nipples on #60 do then? Just grease up the shaft riding on metal?

The 2 area's circled in red that bolt together could have easily accommodated a bearing inside. I'm so confused as to why this design did not include one.

I'm going to have to try and do something to try and repair this. If there is no bearing inside...then there is no point in me splitting the case.

Perhaps I should try and rig a pillow bearing either side of the shaft from the outside?!?

Any advice would be appreciated!

View attachment 2552733
Probably, the nipple is to load that area with grease. Maybe if it had been kept full then it wouldn't have egged out like that.
 

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Are both sides worn that bad?

You could probably remove the axle mounting bolts and make a plate that sticks outside the frame far enough to support a pillow block bearing. Then get the bearing over the axle and shim the pillow block down to the correct height to support the axle where it should ride. The bottom of the housing looks like it is not damaged and the axle should ride where it is in the picture.

If I were going to try that kind of repair, I would clean the top of the hole and get all oil off the housing.
Then I would grease the axle shaft with a good coat of grease.
Then I would squeeze some silicone caulk in the hole to close it up, keep oil in and dirt out.
The grease on the axle should keep the silicone from sticking to the axle.
 

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Looks like a poor design by John Deere's part. All for a $2 bearing per side. Buggers...

What do the grease nipples on #60 do then? Just grease up the shaft riding on metal?

The 2 area's circled in red that bolt together could have easily accommodated a bearing inside. I'm so confused as to why this design did not include one.

I'm going to have to try and do something to try and repair this. If there is no bearing inside...then there is no point in me splitting the case.

Perhaps I should try and rig a pillow bearing either side of the shaft from the outside?!?

Any advice would be appreciated!

View attachment 2552733
Keep in mind Deere didn't build the Transmission They bought it from a Transmission Manufacturer(y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey guys.

Thanks for the replies. Muchly appreciated!

To answer your questions, the side shown (right side) is more worn than the left side thankfully.

I had a buddy come over tonight and we also agreed a pillow bearing would do the trick. We're just going to mount it externally, basically overtop and right up to the existing transmission flange.
Then, I'll weld a plate that tucks under the frame and voila.

I suppose I'm being hard on this machine for a poor design. Had it been greased up it would most probably have been ok...but also had it been a bearing originally...or a steel transmission housing...it would not have worn either. It does seem like a cheaper design probably to save a few dollars unfourtunately.

I'll post pictures of the fix if anyone ever needs to do the same thing! I'm sure I'm not the first one ;-)
 

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Maybe one of those will be close enough to adapt.
 

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Please post pictures when you finish installing the pillow blocks, I'm not able to picture how you are going to fit those in.
 

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In my opinion there is not enough case thickness to install a bearing.
If you wanted to fix it the best option would be split the case, heliarc build up the upper case where it is worn, then machine it out for the axle shaft. You could probably even machine it out to install a bushing and that would probably be fine, if you greased it every time you use it. But that would be an expensive fix.

After thinking about it last night I think a piece of say 1/4" or 5/16" thick angle probably about 2 or 2.5" wide bolted both down under the axle mounting bolts and through the side of the frame would be best for the pillow block bearing support. Then use flat stock to shim the pillow block down to the elevation needed for the axle to be where it is supposed to be.

My only concern about that repair is that will leave a rather big hole for dirt and moisture to get in the axle housing and oil to get out of the axle housing.

That looks like a rather inexpensive mower. If it lasted 30 years, they would not make much money. However if it wears out in 10 years and you buy another, repeat in 10 years again, they just tripled their profit.
 

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Looks like the GX85 was about $1800 in 1995. This was not the bottom of the line, but was in the lowest line when it was new. It is not a GT. It is not even an LT. It is a rider. The fact it lasted this long, means it outlived its designed lifetime by a LOT. Deere has gotten a LOT better at designing things to fail much sooner, but after the warranty is over 😉.

I think you are wasting your time and money on that transaxle. It would be much better to upgrade it. You could then get some more decades out of it (at least the transaxle).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks guys!

I'll keep you posted on my progress.

To bad I couldn't just get a new old stock transaxle and dump it in. I'm assuming this Peerless 915-030 is long discontinued?
 

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These clamshell transmissions are easy to work on because you can split them and all the shafts and gears sit in their respective grooves.

It might be possible to retrofit a bronze bushing if you have the means to bore or ream the end round. Some times there are hollow areas along the axle for grease retention that could potentially hold a bushing. Then I'd fill it with AM102562 Corn head grease.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Did you take a look at the link to Surplus Center? They have a few that look like they might fit.
I did take a peek...prices are nice...but it scares me on compatibility. I can only imagine the work these would require to adapt for fitting
Though I do appreciate the link! Cool place.

I've got a few things to tinker with first...but will get back to this in a week or so I hope.

Thanks for all the advice folks!
 

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A lot of the TT transaxles have the same mounting holes. I suspect the Peerless ones are similar.


This link has a lot of the information you would need to decide if you want to go down this path:

It is not a bolt on replacement, though the bolt holes are in the right place.
 
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