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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Y'all,

I have a Sear Craftsman Garden Tractor purchased new in 2001. 20 horse Kohler.

My question is: right front wheel is beginning to wobble. What might that be? Bearings? Or what?

Please help.


Jerry
 

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Without more information we would be just guessing.

Good things to look at would be bearings, maybe bent wheel, or could be a worn spindle. Don't be afraid to investigate it closer, jack it up and pull the tire/wheel off and check it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Without more information we would be just guessing.

Good things to look at would be bearings, maybe bent wheel, or could be a worn spindle. Don't be afraid to investigate it closer, jack it up and pull the tire/wheel off and check it out.
Thank you. I will do just that.

Jerry
 

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Cranky Motorsports
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First guess would be any of the above. I think the newer Craftsmans used plastic bushings in the wheels. Sometimes a tire that went flat and was re-inflated may not be 100% seated on the rim as well, making it look like its wobbling, when in fact it is just the tire. All things considered, even if it was so bad that the wheel was bent and wobbling a couple inches, it wouldn't matter. You're never going fast enough to have it matter. But it would bug me if it was bad :)
 

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90% sure your plastic wheel bushing is shot. My neighbor has to replace his every few years. There was a thread awhile back (within last few months) with instructions on how to replace them with ball bearings. Neighbor’s machine was an LT1000, I think. Bushings would get so bad the wheels would tip in/out like 5 degrees or more. It looked ridiculous.
 

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If it is a simple axle where the hub rides on the axle with no bearings and no bushing, it might be worn out and in need of a repair sleeve, but this is pure speculation. Some pictures or a detailed description would likely get you more useful info.
 

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Why on God's earth do these firms use plastic bushing? Even my JD 48 inch blade kit came with some plastic bushings for one of the shafts where it enters the frame. Although I am sure the engineers have tested these, I detest them.

But plastic bushings on an axle? What do you get, 2 maybe 3 years?
 

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Why on God's earth do these firms use plastic bushing? Even my JD 48 inch blade kit came with some plastic bushings for one of the shafts where it enters the frame. Although I am sure the engineers have tested these, I detest them.

But plastic bushings on an axle? What do you get, 2 maybe 3 years?
They build them to wear out.:tango_face_wink:
 

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I'll go out on a limb here... manufacturers have to spend so much time and money engineering and implementing "safety" features that they can no longer afford wheel bearings. :hide:
 

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Maybe because cheaper plastic will wear for sure and not other more costly metal. Rather change a plastic bushing than a spindle or wheel hub.
 

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Most of the time plastic wheel bushing cause the spindles to wear down,people don't grease them,probably the manufacturer doesn't suggest too either..

It is a case of putting a cheap part that will ruin an expensive part when it wears out rapidly,to increase sales & profits more than anything..

I am no fan of nylon or plastic bushing for wheels ,or steering components especially..bad enough the open gears skip,strip and get their teeth busted off as soon as the plastic bushings wear out in one or two mowing seasons..

I have tried replacing them with brass bushing on the steering gears,they will last longer,but still end up letting the gears get too sloppy ...why they cant use a real "steering box" like a car that is a sealed unit baffles me..making stuff so cheesy does nothing for customer satisfaction..
 

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I've seen where some guys install flange bearing in place of the plastic front wheel bushing with good results. Amazon and flea bay has 4 flange bearings once you determine the size for usually around $15.

AND yes, steering sectors, wheel bushings, front axle area on lawn tractors that use plastic bushing sucks big air. (and the price of plastic replacements also suck big air)

and some manu recommend not greasing the plastic bushings because dirt will get in and it's then it's sanding itself, but the same type of another machine may have grease serts in the rim for greasing the plastic bushings)

But again we are not suppose to operate these machine at hi-way speeds.:tango_face_wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks to all you kind people who responded. It was a bearing that turned in it's notice. I just took the wheel in and the guys at the shop, pressed in a new bearing. It's good to go. God bless y'all.


Note to self: lube every 100,000 miles.
 

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Yea, glad you found it. I'm still running a Silver Series Law Boy (from the late 90's). Plastic wheels, no bushings, just plastic on steel bolt. Got to pull them every year and slap some chassis grease on the bolt (eh axle). Forgot last year and they're a little more wobbly this fall.

Replaced all four already, they seem to be good for 10-12 years. Keeping them greased helps but I pulled them tonight and noticed the bolt (axles) are deeply grooved. Didnt measure the dia but probably worn some.

Lawn Boy is a real RIP off. They charge $42.14 each for the rear ($33.58 for Stens) and $20.99 for each front ($19.99 Stens). PLASTIC. No bearing, no bushing.
Four plastic wheels will cost over a hundred to replace (using aftermarket.) You think I'll ever buy another Lawn Boy, ever again? Can you count how many fingers I'm holding up?
 

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I'd think you could re-bush those yourself, why not? Find a piece of pipe or tubing that fits the bolt, modify wheels if necessary to accept.

With a metal bushing in there they'd probably last just about forever with a little grease every now and then.
 
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