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Camaniac
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Discussion Starter #1
A friend came by and I showed him my new LA175. He asked me if I use the hose attachment for cleaning the deck after mowing. I said "yeah, once". He told me a dealer he knows advises against using it, ESPECIALLY right after mowing since the cold water is hard on the spindle bearings if they are hot or warm. Any thoughts on this?
 

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Super Moderator
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29,532 Posts
there have been tons of threads on this subject.

i don't use teh hose attachment as i find the nozzle is usually clogged anyway. by the time i clean it off i may as well go ahead and give the rest of teh deck a quick scrape.

also, if the spindle bearings are hot you have other problems! even after cutting 4 acres my spindles are cool enough to hold you hand on them comfortably. therefore the cold water should not shock them.
 

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Camaniac
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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, I found too that that port is usually full of grass when I am done. Thanks for responding.
 

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AKA Moses Lawnagan
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4,642 Posts
I've thought some about this. Using the fitting on the deck really sprays the water around, and is pretty useless unless you have the blades spinning, in which case it's still pretty useless.

This leaves just using a regular hose and spray tip. So, you've finished mowing, want to clean the deck. Option "A", leave the deck in place, engine off, reach under with a stick or some such and pry the bulk of the junk off, then hose out the remainder. By the time you get to the water part, the deck has cooled somewhat, and the bearings, if they have any grease in them at all, shouldn't be but just barely too hot to touch while running, and have had time by now to transfer a good bit of their heat to the housing and to the air. So hitting them with 50-60 degree water shouldn't hurt anything.

Option "B", removing the deck, takes a bit longer, the bearings have had even more time to cool, so even less likelihood of hurting them.

The danger of spraying at the bearings directly comes in water pressure pushing water past the seals into the bearings themselves. If they are full of grease, there's not much room for water, and frequent use will heat them up and drive out whatever was there. This is if you're using a regular sray from a garden hose. If you use a pressure washer, you can really drive water into the bearing and even displace the grease to some extent, and if you don't use the deck for a while, the bearings can begin to rust. Even microscopic amounts of corrosion (rust) will ruin the balls or rollers and pit the races, speeding up the demise of the bearing.

You have to really aim hard at the seal to do this, and the sheave on one side, and the little cap on the blade side can usually prevent water from getting past the seal because they deflect the spray.

Worst case scenario is poorly greased bearings that are already overheated, getting sprayed immediately with very cold water. But it's more the overheating of the bearing that has damaged it.

This is my opinion, others may vary. I routinely spray my decks fairly soon after mowing, but avoid a direct shot on the bearing housing. I also keep the bearings well greased (a good shot after washing will help push out any water that may find its way in). I am still on original bearings on the 48C deck on my GT235 with over 435 hrs, and expect them to go waaaaaay past 1000 before anything undue occurs.
 

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Camaniac
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Discussion Starter #5
I've decided on manually scraping, preferably with a stiff plastic spatula of some sort. A friend recommended spraying PAM as an anti stick fix...dunno about that.
 

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Here's the deal on using water on the deck when the bearings are warm. The warm bearings will actually pull water in, the warmer (or hotter) the bearings are, the more likely they are to pull water into them. Water pressure can be a contributing factor, but even standing water will pull in. It's called capillary action. If you wash your tractor or the deck, do so only when cool to ambient temperature.
 

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I've decided on manually scraping, preferably with a stiff plastic spatula of some sort. A friend recommended spraying PAM as an anti stick fix...dunno about that.
Use Fluid Film. It is great for this.
1. Mow
2. Pull deck
3. Clean
4. Spray it on
5. DO NOT wipe it off
6. Reinstall deck.
7. Repeat

www.fluid-film.com
All John Deere dealers should have it.
 

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Camaniac
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3,751 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Excellent!:thanku:
 

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Here's the deal on using water on the deck when the bearings are warm. The warm bearings will actually pull water in, the warmer (or hotter) the bearings are, the more likely they are to pull water into them. Water pressure can be a contributing factor, but even standing water will pull in. It's called capillary action. If you wash your tractor or the deck, do so only when cool to ambient temperature.
Capillary action may be part of it but the main culprit is when the existing grease, air cools it is going to reduce in volume creating a small amount of vacuum and suck water, dirt etc. into the bearing. Once in the bearing, it will destroy any lubricating properties of the grease unless it is a marine type of grease that will not mix with water. Best thing you can do is add a couple of pumps of grease to push the crud back out.
 
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