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  1. #1
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    Default OT mower deck bearing issues

    John Deere mower 54" deck. This thing is a bit of a pos but I do run the hell out of it so it has a right to fly apart once in a while. Most common failure is the bearings the blade shafts run on. They are 62032RSJ bearings. When the bearing fails it wipes out the housing as well about half the time. I just replaced the bearings for the second time this summer and had to sleeve one housing as it was toast. I was thinking about turning new housings to fit bigger bearings. This would require some sort of bushing or adaptor to fit the blade shaft. If I just made the same sort of housing with 4 bearings instead of 2 it would take all the same blade shaft bits. Any reason not to run 2 bearings side by side? With 4 bearings per blade shaft housing it should last more than twice as long. Any bearing engineers here want to comment?

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    Just thinking out loud here.. Not being a lawn mower engineer and all...

    Are your blades balanced? What RPM are they running?

    How far apart are the current bearings? The further apart they are, the
    less load they should see from a sideways force, like the blade hitting grass,
    or a rock.

    More thoughts... Spindles (that I've seen) using multiple bearings will
    have more bearings near the load, and less bearings up away from the load.
    Like 2 at the bottom, and one at the top, or 4 at the bottom and 2 at the top.

    Going to a larger bearing could possibly make your problem worse. Big lathes
    spin slow because they need huge bearings. Increasing bearing diameter will
    increase the surface speed of the bearing, possibly making your situation
    even worse.

    I'd start with balancing the blades, a blade balancer is dirt cheap down at the
    hardware store. Should be less than $10.

    Just my thoughts and I may be wrong.

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    as you say the bearing number is only one and as i don't know the bearing numbers off my head i think your talking about a ball bearing as tapered roller have two numbers one for the bearing one for the cup.

    What about Making the housing greasable or oil filled with labyrinth and a lip seal in place and use tapered rollers they will have higher side load rating.
    It will be different as you will have to set the preload on them so i think will require a different shaft as well with say a nut and locknut and even a locking tab system.
    Maybe something to think about if your consuming the other bearings at regular intervals.
    Balancing the blades can be done on knife edges provided it has some weight at the other end of the shaft and helps keep out of balance loads down.

    This is a complete redesign really.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobw View Post
    Just thinking out loud here.. Not being a lawn mower engineer and all...

    Are your blades balanced? What RPM are they running?

    How far apart are the current bearings? The further apart they are, the
    less load they should see from a sideways force, like the blade hitting grass,
    or a rock.

    More thoughts... Spindles (that I've seen) using multiple bearings will
    have more bearings near the load, and less bearings up away from the load.
    Like 2 at the bottom, and one at the top, or 4 at the bottom and 2 at the top.

    Going to a larger bearing could possibly make your problem worse. Big lathes
    spin slow because they need huge bearings. Increasing bearing diameter will
    increase the surface speed of the bearing, possibly making your situation
    even worse.

    I'd start with balancing the blades, a blade balancer is dirt cheap down at the
    hardware store. Should be less than $10.

    Just my thoughts and I may be wrong.
    I balance the blades every time I sharpen them.

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    Nope. that # is just a plain deep groove ball race,.....and IMHO a bit skinny gutted for the job, and + another for checking the balance.

    https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/BRG62032RSJ

    A thought - can you make the existing bearings greaseable? ……….especially with agricultural disc mowers regular greasing like at least once a day !! makes a hell of a difference to bearing life

    FWIW you can get a roller bearing in that size which has a higher load rating NJ203-E-TVP2-C3 FAG Cylindrical Roller Bearing - BearingBoys.co.uk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limy Sami View Post
    Nope. that # is just a plain deep groove ball race,.....and IMHO a bit skinny gutted for the job, and + another for checking the balance.

    https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/BRG62032RSJ

    A thought - can you make the existing bearings greaseable? ……….especially with agricultural disc mowers regular greasing like at least once a day !! makes a hell of a difference to bearing life

    FWIW you can get a roller bearing in that size which has a higher load rating NJ203-E-TVP2-C3 FAG Cylindrical Roller Bearing - BearingBoys.co.uk
    No doubt the bearings are a bit wimpy, doubling them up is the easy way out if it works. I'm trying to improve it without re inventing the whole thing. I put grease fittings on it already and with regular greasing the bearings don't seem to last much longer than with the pre lubed rubber sealed bearings I am using.

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    You can change one digit for the bearing: 63032RSJ instead of 62032RSJ. That is a heavier series bearing with the same bore. It has a 47mm od vs 40mm and is 2mm wider.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonlight machine View Post
    No doubt the bearings are a bit wimpy, doubling them up is the easy way out if it works. I'm trying to improve it without re inventing the whole thing. I put grease fittings on it already and with regular greasing the bearings don't seem to last much longer than with the pre lubed rubber sealed bearings I am using.
    Uh-huh, okay, the major thing that comes to mind, is doubling up - so to speak- requires all the bearing bores to be in the EXACT same line, call it all machined at the same setting for clarity, cos if they're a RCH out of alignment they will break up quicker than Tigger pausing to fart.

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    Ive fixed up a few cutter decks....the homeowner type have bearing housings made of pressed light gauge sheetmetal......but the bearings are dirt cheap.......My old mower(1976 vintage) has housings of machined steel,and has never done a bearing in all those years....the catch is the whole machine has roller bearings made by the manufacturer running on hardened shafts,and not replacable without major surgery.......so what is better.?

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    Quote Originally Posted by john.k View Post
    Ive fixed up a few cutter decks....the homeowner type have bearing housings made of pressed light gauge sheetmetal......but the bearings are dirt cheap.......My old mower(1976 vintage) has housings of machined steel,and has never done a bearing in all those years....the catch is the whole machine has roller bearings made by the manufacturer running on hardened shafts,and not replacable without major surgery.......so what is better.?
    These bearing housings are cast aluminum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limy Sami View Post
    Uh-huh, okay, the major thing that comes to mind, is doubling up - so to speak- requires all the bearing bores to be in the EXACT same line, call it all machined at the same setting for clarity, cos if they're a RCH out of alignment they will break up quicker than Tigger pausing to fart.
    As I said I was going to turn new bearing housings and as such should be easy to do as I would just bore through on size separate the bearings with snap rings

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    Do you by chance hose your deck off after mowing, or leave the grass clippings setting in it, or cut grass early in the morning when it’s wet? If you do either of those stop. Only cut dry grass and only blow your deck off with air or your leaf blower. I’ve never changed a spindle bearing or assembly in 12 years on two different mowers. My neighbors on the other hand do it every few years. They cut early in the morning and hose off.
    Btw until you get into the heavy duty commercial mowers, all the bearing assemblies are mDe by the same company looks like. Some have grease fittings some don’t but all have the same 6203 sealed bearings too.

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    Those bearings were carefully selected by deere to last most all owners just past the warranty period. Sounds like they got it right.

    If you really want to know what is happening, you will have to disassemble a few bearings as close as possible to their end of life and examine the bearings. Doubling the bottom bearing will help if the bearings are overloaded, but won't help a bit if the failure mode is seal failure and dirt intrusion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbent View Post
    Those bearings were carefully selected by deere to last most all owners just past the warranty period. Sounds like they got it right.

    If you really want to know what is happening, you will have to disassemble a few bearings as close as possible to their end of life and examine the bearings. Doubling the bottom bearing will help if the bearings are overloaded, but won't help a bit if the failure mode is seal failure and dirt intrusion.
    I mostly see cage failure. This thing has hardened discs that run within a few thou. of the housing, the seals are toast from the inner race flopping around as the cage disintegrates. I wonder how you can spec a plastic cage? Or,$$$$$ ceramic bearings! Now that would be putting lip stick on a pig!

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    Quote Originally Posted by akajun View Post
    Do you by chance hose your deck off after mowing, or leave the grass clippings setting in it, or cut grass early in the morning when it’s wet? If you do either of those stop. Only cut dry grass and only blow your deck off with air or your leaf blower. I’ve never changed a spindle bearing or assembly in 12 years on two different mowers. My neighbors on the other hand do it every few years. They cut early in the morning and hose off.
    Btw until you get into the heavy duty commercial mowers, all the bearing assemblies are mDe by the same company looks like. Some have grease fittings some don’t but all have the same 6203 sealed bearings too.
    I use compressed air to clean it.

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    I have a Skag 61 inch deck mower that is about 10 years old. The mower has the original spindles which are still in service. I looked at a cut away Skag spindle on the parts counter of a Skag dealer, and remember the assembly as being cast iron with tapered roller bearings. If you tried to adapt these spindles to your mower, you would probably have to do some hole drilling and pulley boring, but they would probably last well and be worth some effort. I have purchased Skag parts on Amazon at attractive prices. You could go by a Skag dealer and get measurements and photos of the spindles they have.

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    I have the 62c deck, probably similar design spindles, but uses 6204 bearings. I replaced mine about 5 years ago, have about 150 hours on them, with no problems. I do use Redline wheel bearing grease, and have a gun dedicated for that, which I also use on u-joints etc, and grease them a couple times a season.

    Hopefully you are using a major name brand bearing.

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    I tore a housing apart to replace the bearings and found even though it had a grease zerk there were seals on both sides of the bearings. so grease wasn't really getting to the balls.
    Nock out the inside seals.

    Dave

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    Our Massey has 2 timken bearings ,greasable & a couple of shots of grease every 25 Hrs. Have 600 Hrs. on it and never replaced a bearing. Our yard is 5 acres & it gets a workout.

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    Quote Originally Posted by winger View Post
    I tore a housing apart to replace the bearings and found even though it had a grease zerk there were seals on both sides of the bearings. so grease wasn't really getting to the balls.
    Nock out the inside seals.

    Dave
    Been there done that


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