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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My older Craftsman is starting to show its age. This weekend while mowing with my Mow N Vac, the front right tire fell off.

The e-clip and washer were still in the plastic cover, but the tire came off. After looking at the spindle assembly, it had deteriorated to the point that it ruined my rim on that side.

Strange thing about it is that the machine was running great. To replace the rim, bushings, bearings and spindle assembly back to new, I ordered $150 in parts from Sears. Not too bad considering this is really the only big repair since I got it new in 1995-96.

Needless to say, timing of this couldn't have been worse. I was able to continue as the tire was able to go back on and the e clip snapped into place, but if you go too fast, the e clip snaps off and the tire move away. I have temporarily fixed it today by welding a washer the diameter of the spindle onto the rim. I also drilled a hole in the spindle to accomodate a cotter pin vs the e clips.

For those of you wondering how the rim got ruined, the plastic bushing had deteriorated to the point where it was no longer even the slightest hint that it was ever in there. I did notice after last winter, that the front right tire was more noisy than it had been in the past. I was pumping a ton of grease into that zerk on the rim, but it would just make metal on metal noise. Regardless, I took the other tire off and the bushing while it was intact, was wearing rapidly. I have ordered all new bearings and bushings for that side as well. The rim was wrecked on the id of the hole as it had wobbled enough to wear away the metal (although most was probably from me pushing my luck yesterday to get the leaves picked up).

On a seperate note, I broke my previous record for most leaves picked up in a day. I picked up 31 loads of leaves into the Mow N Vac. I did my yard (17 loads alone), my fathers yard (10 loads) and my neighbors yard (almost 4 loads, mostly really thick (13-14" hay/grass and pine needles)

My neighbors yard was a real bear as I had to mow her area that she doesn't maintain (the hay field as I call it) twice, once all the way up, and once at the finish height. Both really beat up the tractor, but I was able to take it really slow and it did the job.

I had done her other area similar with by GT5000 last weekend and that thing didn't even break a sweat.

Sorry for the longwinded diatribe.
 

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Thats not too bad all considering. I wonder if a wheel barrel type rim would work. I was told once by a fellow that sold ATV & AG tires that many front rims for L&G tractors are the same as after market utility rims sold at places like TSC. May save you a couple of bucks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I looked everywhere and they all run around the same pricewise. It is the bearings and bushings that run up the bill. Also Sears Parts shipping prices are high anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I got the parts in to do the repair very quickly from Sears. I did buy some temporary bushings to help fix the problem, but it still had alot of wobble in the wheel and it wasn't a permanent fix .

I got the OE parts in and the job shouldn't take more than a 1/2 hour to fix.

Very straightforward. At the same time, I am going to replace the bushings on the other wheel as well. Better safe than sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I will take some pics this weekend of the old parts. The rim was pretty much wrecked as the inside side bushing was deteriorated to the point that it was simply just non-existing. That is why the rim got wrecked. It bent the crap out of the rim hole on both sides, blew a hole through the place where the zerk used to be.

I also replaced the bushing on the other side. Its kinda funny that these items are all of a sudden failing. I got my GT5000 and I have been ignoring my older C-man. Probably just neglected some routine greasing. Shame on me if thats the case.

The bushings are not bronze. I believe they are a high carbon alloy steel.
 

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Surely the bushings are'nt "carbon steel", since you never want to run steel on steel!. The reason for using bronze bushings is so that when they wear out, you can just press them out and go to any bearing supply house and buy new ones and press them in. The reason we use bushings in our machine shop is to protect the more expensive shafts from ever rubbing against the steel housings, as you always want the least expensive parts to wear out first, i.e. the bushings before the axles or the wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
They sure don't look like bronze to me and they do spark if struck by another piece of metal. Also, my magnet picks them up.

They may not be steel, but they are not non-ferrous metal to be sure.
 
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