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Ok , been asked a lot of questions about how I rebuild front axles - unless they are physically broken no axle is really past the wear point of being rebuildable .

 

I'm starting with an early D series front axle and upgrading to a later model D series 1" spindle type with the heavier casting . Since I could never find any pics of a comparison - here we go....

 

casting shape differences.jpg

 

 

If you look closely - there is an obvious difference in the castings at the spindle end - the later model axles were thicker and larger diameter to accept the heavy duty 1" spindles. Later model (post '75 , I believe).

 

early vs late model castings.jpg

 

 

This photo really shows the obvious difference in diameter - early models were much smaller and a thinner casting for the early 3/4" only spindles . Need to find someone with a tape measure and one of the oddball early D-200 1" spindle equipped tractors to find out if those were a thin casting or the thicker type .

The machined relief is for the roller thrust bearings that were originally used - if you ever buy a D or I believe the 520's , this is the first thing to check as many were never properly greased and destroyed that bearing . This can really wreck an expensive spindle and make it more difficult to rebuild the axle casting itself . I will be re-machining these reliefs to mimic the factory design to keep dirt out and retain the grease inside the bearing .

early vs late model castings 2.jpg

 

 

Early castings , at least on this 18 Auto or D-180 that I have (missing the stupid id tag completely) measures roughly 1-1/2" outside ...

early vs late model dimensions.jpg

 

Later model upgraded casting is a whole different animal - there are major differences in how they were cast and not just at the spindle ends . Later models were 1-3/4" on the outside .

early vs late model dimensions 2.jpg

 

 

Since I've never seen a new old stock replacement I'm not certain as to the original finish quality of the machining on these things - it is obvious that over time dirt has entered and a lack of proper grease results in the bores being worn badly - some are literally egg-shaped , especially tractors from the late 60's with high hours and heavy use . Snowblowers and other heavy front implements of course accelerate this wear issue - I'm out to cure that and make the unit more serviceable .

 

The biggest , #1 problem with these is how they are greased . I've bought and sold tractors for years and had some that had huge grease balls around the spindles , inside the wheels and all over the front end . At least they were trying but the wear is almost no different than one that was seriously neglected . With the weight on the spindle , the grease is forced upward and exits at the E-clip at the top , never lubricating the bottom where it rides on the spindle base for the steering arm .

 

The correct way to grease these things is to lift the tractor BY THE FRAME , NOT THE AXLE ITSELF . Also , do not lift it by the front mule quick attach - you will bend the cross rod for the latch and destroy it . Best way is to use a block on the frame itself or make a spreader to fit the jack , maybe I can take the time to get pics to show better ways to pick these things up since they aren't exactly lightweight ...lol .

 

No make or brand was exempt from this issue , they all did it . The problem becomes parts availability - there are only so many parts left and finding good spindles and axles is becoming a serious problem . Some brands aren't too bad (such as the green ones) since they still support most of their older models . Unfortunately for us - Toro has chosen to drop these parts and stock is quite limited . I got really lucky and a parts dealer friend had a pair of NOS 1" D series spindles , one of the last pair to exist to my knowledge . Those are getting blueprinted and angles mapped for later - I may tackle making new ones in both the 3/4" and 1" versions . I believe with a little engineering the earlier models made in the 60's could use a sort of generic spindle since there little difference in the many models - it was mostly down to the axle's angles and width .

 

My D will be upgraded to heim joints for the steering . Many of the tie rod and drag link ends are NLA and finding steering arms that don't have the tapered holes wallowed out is getting pretty tough . The low angle taper on those automotive style ends allows them to work loose despite having fine thread castle nuts and cotters - the force required to turn the wheels due to the above mentioned lubrication issues , combined with a gear reduction Ross type steering box makes the holes in the arms wear - I've seen 4 of these spindles on different D's all worn the same way with the tapered factory holes oval in shape and the shanks on the rod ends could be easily turned with a wrench, which should not be possible .Converting to heims is not too hard and less expensive in the long run - the only issue being the left hand threaded rod ends at the steering bell crank (or idler arm) . Since it sits so close to the underside of the frame and being tight quarters we may have to resort to using a reduced size heim joint which are easily obtained if you know the part number systems . I have a NOS pair of factory rod ends (ball joints in the parts manual) so this one won't be getting this upgrade for now .

 

The factory bell crank is subject to wear like everything else . It's buried up under the engine and I suspect most were neglected being so hidden . Inside is a steel bushing riding on the cast iron bore of the bell crank . The retaining bolt , bushing and iron casting all get worn - which results in sloppy steering . On a D that's a real problem since their turning radius is huge to begin with . I've modified mine slightly by moving the turning arc point of the drag link inward by 3/8" - when it's done I'll test and measure the turning radius to see how much it helped and if there is any interference or other issues . Models with working turning brakes in either the stock D-200 or kit-equipped smaller models of course helped when in dirt or grass - just never use those on pavement or hard surfaces since it can really bind things up and possibly cause rear axle damage . It's all mentioned in the manual and instructions for the kits to add turning brakes .

 

Not sure yet if I'll just make a separate thread on the steering parts or include them here - plenty of info to make a long thread on the cast iron axle alone . Depending upon how well it works out I may offer this as another service to the long list of other parts I build or rebuild currently . Guy with a lathe , far too many tools and a TIG welder must stay busy during the long winters....lol .

So far, it hasn't been a cheap venture - tooling bits and parts totals are well over $400 and climbing - haven't really started any machine work on the axle as of yet since I'm still waiting on one tooling bit . I will try to document what is used in the rebuild and a parts list as well as sources . All bushings and bearings used will be off the shelf parts so it's nothing that isn't easily available . Lathe work my be required to avoid using custom ordered parts and their associated extra costs .

 

Anyhow , more to follow....

 

Sarge

 

Going forward

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What type and size of lathe tooling do you use? I have a couple of boxes of mill and lathe tooling in garage I will never use up. Would love to get rid of the majority of it. I'm just not into dealing with the BS of selling stuff on CL so it will just set there till I die. But if I have some items you could use their all yours if we can figure out easy way to get them to you. Depending on weight of items i'd give ya we may have to use Fastenal to ship them.

Edited by Walt
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Mine is a 10" wide bed Enco , can handle most tooling up to 12" rating.  i use a 200 series quick change and MT3 tailstock head...think it's got a 3hp motor...

Also have a collet head for it with a 2" through hole...

Sarge

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53 minutes ago, Sarge said:

Mine is a 10" wide bed Enco , can handle most tooling up to 12" rating.  i use a 200 series quick change and MT3 tailstock head...think it's got a 3hp motor...

Also have a collet head for it with a 2" through hole...

Sarge

I'll see what I can do tomorrow about freeing up some time to pull car out of garage so I can get at the boxes I have them stored in and take a few pictures of the lathe tooling I have there is both tool steel and carbide.  

Edited by Walt

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Well I had planed on helping out a couple of friends this morning but one pulled a double shift and the other has never been a morning person so I had time to get pictures. The first 2 pictures show the carbide tipped tools I have sizes of 1/4, 5/16, 38, 1/2, 5/8 and 3/4 inch in both left & right hand and center (even though not shown) in straight shank and 1/2, 3/4 offset shank in left & right hand. The third picture show tool steel bits in sizes 3/16, 1/4, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 5/8 (not shown) and 3/4 inch. The 4th, 5th and 6th pictures show the quantity of lathe tooling i have available. I have these in un-worked (never used to cut or ground for specific use) edges. And in used for work in both original edge and custom ground for various cuts from acme, buttress and v threads to assorted radius cuts. I also have tool steel I ground for previous mentioned cuts along with grooves for snap rings, cutoff tools for brass or bronze bushings / bearings along with bits ground with reliefs for use in a slotter for cutting ID key ways that could be reground for other uses. The 7th picture is of mill tooling I would like to clear out there are an assortment of end mills a couple of reams and a counter sink. The last picture shows the assortment of taps and dies to clear out. The 8th, 9th and 10th pictures show where I store all this stuff and what I would need to go through to get to it. For now I have left it out in case there is any interest. Once we start to get accumulating snow I will be boxing it all up putting back on shelf and re-stacking buckets in corner in front of it. Anyone interested in any of this tooling is welcome to it.  But like I stated in my offer of rubber for rear discharge mower decks thread I'm not big on dealing with shipping so would prefer to only send out a few boxes and to be reimbursed shipping costs.  Anyone interested should send me a PM to keep from hijacking this thread since I'm interested in it (I may need to do it for myself one day). Sarge gets first claim as I offered it to him first.

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Edited by Walt

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On 11/19/2016 at 1:13 PM, Walt said:

What type and size of lathe tooling do you use? I have a couple of boxes of mill and lathe tooling in garage I will never use up. Would love to get rid of the majority of it. I'm just not into dealing with the BS of selling stuff on CL so it will just set there till I die. But if I have some items you could use their all yours if we can figure out easy way to get them to you. Depending on weight of items i'd give ya we may have to use Fastenal to ship them.

 

USPS flat rate boxes would probably be the cheapest and easiest.  If it fits it ships.

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6 hours ago, Walt said:

Well I had planed on helping out a couple of friends this morning but one pulled a double shift and the other has never been a morning person so I had time to get pictures. The first 2 pictures show the carbide tipped tools I have sizes of 1/4, 5/16, 38, 1/2, 5/8 and 3/4 inch in both left & right hand and center (even though not shown) in straight shank and 1/2, 3/4 offset shank in left & right hand. The third picture show tool steel bits in sizes 3/16, 1/4, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 5/8 (not shown) and 3/4 inch. The 4th, 5th and 6th pictures show the quantity of lathe tooling i have available. I have these in un-worked (never used to cut or ground for specific use) edges. And in used for work in both original edge and custom ground for various cuts from acme, buttress and v threads to assorted radius cuts. I also have tool steel I ground for previous mentioned cuts along with grooves for snap rings, cutoff tools for brass or bronze bushings / bearings along with bits ground with reliefs for use in a slotter for cutting ID key ways that could be reground for other uses. The 7th picture is of mill tooling I would like to clear out there are an assortment of end mills a couple of reams and a counter sink. The last picture shows the assortment of taps and dies to clear out. The 8th, 9th and 10th pictures show where I store all this stuff and what I would need to go through to get to it. For now I have left it out in case there is any interest. Once we start to get accumulating snow I will be boxing it all up putting back on shelf and re-stacking buckets in corner in front of it. Anyone interested in any of this tooling is welcome to it.  But like I stated in my offer of rubber for rear discharge mower decks thread I'm not big on dealing with shipping so would prefer to only send out a few boxes and to be reimbursed shipping costs.  Anyone interested should send me a PM to keep from hijacking this thread since I'm interested in it (I may need to do it for myself one day). Sarge gets first claim as I offered it to him first.

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No where else would one see taps & dies displayed on a Wheel Horse!

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Made some reasonable progress yesterday , at least got the bushings fitted and the axle's holes bored out - that really was a battle since this type of cast iron can have some truly hard deposits in it , which this one did . One side is dead-on to original angle , other one ended up 2.3* down , which is going to show...aarrgghhh.

Finishing up a tool today for making the counterbore cut in the bottom side for the bearings to sit 90* to the bore - I want them a bit deeper than stock to protect those bearings and retain grease better .No mill here and my buddy that has a nice one hasn't got squat for tooling so it's all hand work , which takes a lot more time and effort . I've shopped around for local machinist shops willing to do what I need for these axles , most are just too busy to tackle a job that will require a lot of setup time or making a jig to properly set the king pin angles (21* x 1.2*) and deal with cutting the cast iron - hence the use of bridge reamers .

Wrestling with a 36v Bosch industrial drill and a 1.125" reamer that is 11" long is like mechanized bullfighting , but I got it done . Can't believe I can still type ...

 

20161121_165653[1].jpg

 

 

 

Sarge

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The bushings are 1/16" wall thickness , anything over that and you really risk weakening the axle casting too much . I try to keep it at a minimum to prevent any possibility of breakage . Basically , what I'm doing is the same procedure for rebuilding HD truck front axles that use heavy brass alloy bushings and hardened king pins with a press slip fit tolerance .By using the full length bushing it spreads the load along the entire shaft length instead of so much side thrust on the bottom/top 1" or so depending upon which axle casting design , which is what wears them out so badly . I try to keep the fit tolerance down to around .005" for grease clearance - at .020" the bushings will have to be replaced which is pretty easy as they are a light press fit into the axle casting and can be sourced easily from places like McMaster or any decent bearing supplier . I grooved both spindles slightly for the D to allow a channel for grease to be forced down to the bottom roller thrust bearings - we'll see if it helps over time . Originally , as a yearly task those should be cleaned and re-packed with grease or replaced if worn . McMaster carries INA brand US made roller thrust bearings in stock for both the 3/4" and 1" size spindles with the same dimensions as the OEM WH parts .

 

It is worth noting that the yearly re-pack and inspect procedure for the bottom roller thrust bearings is the same with this setup .

 

I did note that the new OEM spindles arm plate for the bottom bearings is not dead square to the shaft - which allows the bearing to ride on just 2/3 of the contact patch - glad I ordered a pair of the heavier 1/8" thick bottom bearing spacers . Never use standard thrust washers for these roller thrust type bearings - the washers that go along with them are bearing grade steel and have the proper surface finish that is designed to work with the rollers to prevent premature wear . For anyone doing a rebuild , it's worth your time to inspect the bearing/washer stack's fitment against the bottom plate - if there is any gap on one side a thicker bottom washer must be used . I'll try to get a detailed pic of this gap and suspect it is quite a common problem given these parts were welded on an evidently simple assembly line . I suppose with a mill one could fly cut that plate square , although it would take a fair amount of setup time and work to do so .

 

Here's the counter bore tool I made - need to make some tweaks to it for a better surface finish or set up another similar tool with a hard surfacing stone .

 

20161123_200903[1].jpg

 

20161123_203712[1].jpg

 

Before installing those scallop/chatter marks were removed with a facing stone , which was a pain . Wish I could find a decent used mill and had the room for it - takes a lot of time to do it by hand . Part of the problem with doing the counter bore is running into hard deposits of nickle and carbon - almost as bad as Chinese castings with ball bearings hidden inside which will ruin cutting tools in a hurry .

 

I'll try to fit the new trailer hubs/bearings/seals sometime today between gorging on Holiday food and spending time with family . Will try to detail parts used and any issues that arise for those that want to tackle this job . It will be nice to get away from wearing out NOS parts that are rare and no longer available , not to mention getting away from the weak OEM design of those junk front wheel bearings . I plan to upgrade all the Horses to this type of front end since it sees so much wear and loading from working these machines even with light duty - I use mine to and beyond their potential and design ...lol .

 

Sarge

 

 

 

 

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So, is just the 1" thrust bearings available from McMaster Carr, or the 1" thrust washers as well?  Would you have the part# for these?  Thanks, Mark.

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McMaster -

https://www.mcmaster.com/#standard-rolling-element-thrust-bearings/=156hxbb

 

Bearing - https://www.mcmaster.com/#5909K36

Washer - .032" thick - https://www.mcmaster.com/#5909K49

Washer - .126" thick - https://www.mcmaster.com/#5909K63

 

Just make note to look at the base of the spindle at the steering arm plate - if it's not dead square you need to use the .126" thick washer to support the bearing , or correct the misalignment in the plate . A good welder could build that up and have it machined square if needed too . Most front axle/spindle sets are not set up long enough to use the thicker .126" washer but the top surface of the axle casting can be ground off to get clearance for the E-clip or side mount retaining ring , E-style / McMaster - https://www.mcmaster.com/#98407a156/=156i0rv 

 

 

Sarge

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Test fitted the the E-Trailer hubs last night - these are for the common BT8 1" spindle and use L44643 1" bore bearings , 1-1/4" bore grease seal . This eliminates using a special wheel/bearings to fit the 1" spindles and gets rid of those expensive wheel bearings wearing out so easily - not to mention this setup can handle a lot more weight . You can also upgrade to the even heavier 5 on 4-1/2" bolt pattern hubs , there are short ones like what I used to fit the length of the 1" spindles and with a sleeve on a 3/4" spindle it can be adapted to work on nearly all the other axle types and stock spindles .

http://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Hubs-and-Drums/etrailer/AKIHUB-440-2-1K.html

 

This hub will of course require new front wheels - there are many types and most are a centered spacing although there are offset spacing wheels available if you have an issue with clearance to the axle casting/steering parts . Almost all WH front ends use centered wheel designs , so it makes it pretty easy to figure this stuff out .

4 on 4-1/2" bolt pattern , 8" wheel x 7" wide to fit 18x8.50-8 tires and other sizes -

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200330324_200330324?cm_mmc=Housefile-_-SHIPPED-_-1206-_-CONF

 

The hubs and two wheels ended up far cheaper than trying to source two good 1" axle type WH wheels and those special bearings . This upgrade removes the easily wearing parts and gives more flexibility later down the road to make repairs - instead of ending up with NLA parts that cannot be found .

 

Here are the hubs installed -

 

trailer hub installed.jpg

 

trailer hub installed 2.jpg

 

The D series used a 3/8" coarse bolt to hold the wheels/bearings on originally . I used 1" x 1-1/4" x 3/4" long Olite bushings (bronze/alum) to space the hub out and give the grease seal a surface to ride upon and retain grease in the bearings/hub . One could also just use common steel spacers with a 1" bore x 1-1/4" outside diameter cut to 3/4" long or whatever is needed to properly space the hub away from the axle casting and clear any steering arms . This makes the front axle fully serviceable and should last just shy of forever if not severely abused . For those with front end loaders - this is the way to go...

 

For now , they are installed with bolts/spacers on the end to preload the bearings by about .005" which should be plenty . On a 520 front spindle , those have a male threaded end that could be used with jam nuts to pre-load these bearings in the same way . I plan to pick up a pair of common Chevy exhaust manifold adapter studs which use 3/8"-24 fine thread at the manifold and 3/8"-16 thread at the pipe flange . Those studs can use a common fine thread castle nut and be drilled for a cotter key to set it up like a common car/truck spindle to pre-load the bearings .

They washers I used in the picture were made on the lathe - it's just heavy steel with a 1.5" outside diameter and 3/8" bolt hole - common trailer washers can be used or even two heavy 3/8" fender washers , just make sure you can use spacers or shims to pre-load those tapered roller bearings or they won't last like they should .

 

I'll try to remember to get more detailed pictures loaded of the spacers/grease seal parts and show how the wheels look installed and the clearance to the axle casting/steering parts later today or tomorrow . Running out of decent weather fast and I don't have a garage , only a couple small sheds to keep my Horses out of the weather - far too small to work inside and not heated .

 

This is my humble shop -

shop and front axle build.jpg

 

It's definitely a 1-man work space and this doesn't include the huge 80gal 2-stage compressor , 30 ton press and my Miller Dynasty 200DX tig/stick welder setup .

 

2013-08-20-369.jpg

 

tig welder cart.jpg

 

I really need a different place , we're looking for a house with the room to add a steel building/shop . Most folks bought a house and built a shop first - I bought equipment and tools , lol...sort of backwards but thankful for a very understanding landlord .

 

Anyhow , gotta get back to work on this thing and get it done .....

 

Sarge

That cart is designed to be picked by heavy equipment , tied down to a trailer and will fit through a 28" doorway . All aluminum , including the axle .

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I'm gettin' into this!  Some nice posters!  Oh, and the article is pretty good too...B)

 

Man that D axle with your hub mods looks BOSS!  That is one heavy duty axle!

 

Thanks for the pictures and the links!

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More details about parts used and how they fit -

 

Here are the spacers - Oilite bushings , 1" id x 1-1/4" od x 3/4" long .

 

inside hub spacer.jpg

 

inside hub spacer 2.jpg

 

I couldn't find the studs I wanted but McMaster has them , of course....

https://www.mcmaster.com/#94358a330/=157i1xw

So , using a piece of hot rolled steel I just broke out the tap and die set - just made my own .

Long end is 3/8"-16 x 1" , short end is 3/8"0=-24 x 5/8" . Slotted the ends to install them and added red locktite - you do not want these to be able to back out on their own .

 

bearing adjustment studs.jpg

 

Once the studs are installed one additional spacer had to be cut to 3/16" wide for one side - there are always differences in the fabricated parts like this - those spindles are not always the same length due to how they were welded . The spacer was cut from an adapter bushing for Cat1~2 hitch parts from TSC - I always keep some of these around for making spacers and such . Another option is to get a variety of 14 & 18ga machine bushings with a 1" bore and stack them to be able to pre-load the tapered trailer hub bearings . One side accepted 1 - 14ga bushing & 1 - 18ga bushing .

The outside washer was made from heavy steel stock on the lathe - 3/16" to prevent deflection and faced parallel . You could also use the standard heavy gauge spindle washers but finding the smaller bore to fit the 3/8" stud isn't easy . Fender washers are too light but (you guessed it) McMaster has special oversize/over thick washers in stock ...(see a pattern?)

https://www.mcmaster.com/#92140A118

 

 

Just an fyi - the trailer hub kits I chose have around .750 (3/4") clearance inside the dust cap - this is why everything is kept fairly short . That 3/4" depth is measure from the inside of the dust cap to the seating face on the hub - just keep this in mind if you do an upgrade of this type . If you used the somewhat common "shorty" hubs the length of the spindle would become a problem and require a lot more spacing on the inside . This is not ideal for two reasons -

The original steering geometry is set for the rim center to fit the spindle in the middle , moving it outward or inward changes that geometry and will affect steering a lot . Further out and the wheels have to swing in a larger arc which would interfere with attachments such as a deck and put a much higher load on the spindle's pivot point in the axle .

Moving inward would help lessen axle stress but that would also require a much shorter backspaced wheel to clear the axle's casting at the spindle , not to mention steering arms .

Just things to keep in mind when shopping for parts , sometimes you can find better deals but need to know what exactly will work - and what won't ....

 

 

 

 

Here is what I intended to build , simple stud with a 3/8"-24 castle nut , drilled to accept a cotter pin - just like a standard old-school front wheel bearing/spindle setup . 3/8"-24 thread is used to allow for bearing pre-load adjustment in small increments - coarse thread doesn't work unless you change spacer/shim thicknesses .

 

 

 

Just keep in mind that whatever you use for shims it must push the outside bearing just slightly past the end of the spindle . This gives you a way to pre-load the tapered roller bearings and obtain a reasonable distance between the wheel and the end of the axle casting/steering parts .

 

bearing distance end of spindle.jpg

 

Here is the finished setup using a stud and castle nut to adjust the bearing pre-load . This hub setup now makes the wheel bearings easier to service , last far longer than the junk ball bearings in the wheels and can carry a lot more weight and handle side loading stress far better than the original design ....

 

packing bearings 2.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next , we'll detail rim spacing and hopefully soon this thing can get under the tractor where it belongs...

 

Sarge

 

 

Edited by Sarge
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Ok....

Spent some quality time yesterday between commitments with a measuring stick and the wheels . In playing around with the bearing spacing on the hub I figured out the rim was just about too close for comfort unless it was run reversed with the valve stem inside . Being a trailer wheel , they are dimpled at the lug nut seat to keep a pre-load on the nut so they don't come loose . Personally , I'm not that concerned with the location of the valve stem - inside vs outside . I've seen both inside and outside locations get ripped off from sticks and such so it really doesn't matter . What does matter is running wheel weights - that is when they need to be located to the inside and using trailer wheels will require the holes to be drilled into the rim . Need to finish that today and I'll post up details on spacing and such ...

 

If you look very closely you'll see the raised dimple seats for the lug nuts -

dust cover installed 2.jpg

 

Reverse side of rim is not really designed for the nuts to seat but a 60* countersink can fix that although the raised dimple seat design will stand the rim off the hub by 1/16" or so ...shouldn't be a problem and will help with clearance to the axle casting -

 

dust cover installed.jpg

 

 

Now , onto the bearing spacing ..

If I remember correctly , with the bearings installed dry into these trailer hubs the distance from outside of the bearings total is about 3-1/2" . Spindle is roughly 4-7/16" long so that leaves the outside bearing hanging off the spindle by 1/16" inch - perfect distance to pre-load the bearings when using a stud with cotter to hold a pre-load setting .So... either a 1" x 1-1/4" x 3/4" long spacer and using shims can get the distance corrected for length or a 1" x 1-1/4" x 1" long spacer can be used . The 1" is the spindle diameter , the 1-1/4" is for the grease seal to seat upon and the length sets the distance according to the length of the spindle versus the length of the bearings installed into the hub .

That measurement is usually never included in trailer hub details - good sellers/retailers like E-Trailer will go measure one for you if you ask . This distance is important to figure out which hub you need to fit whatever length spindle you have to work with . Since most of these hubs are made in places like China or Taiwan they can vary a bit due to how they are cast and machined to accept the bearing races - so using shims or different size spacers is necessary .

 

spindle length 1 inch.jpg

 

This is how to properly space your bearings - I've decided it's best to put the spacers needed to acquire this distance on the inside so the end washer/stud/cotter can take care of the bearing pre-load setting .

 

bearing distance end of spindle.jpg

 

Here are the location of the bearing spacers - note the narrow one against the steering arm/brace . Other side of axle only has 14ga machine bushings with a 1" diameter to make the spacing correct , this one took a bit more length so a spacer was cut in the lathe .

 

bearing distance spacers.jpg

 

 

Once you are satisfied with dry fitting these parts the bearings and hub can be packed with grease , inside grease seal installed and the whole thing assembled . I use the old standby red wheel bearing grease , nothing fancy since this thing will never see any real speed or heat .

 

A bit of old school wheel bearing 101 , for those that haven't spent 40+yrs of turning wrenches -

 

I just use the simple method of rolling the bearing in the palm of your hand to force grease into the cavity between the rollers . All air pockets need to be filled to keep grease in constant contact with those rollers if you want them to last . Yes , it's a bit messy but if nothing else just use a pair of rubber gloves , auto parts stores have cheap boxes of them and with a bit of practice it's not that hard nor that bad . I'm not a fan of bearing packers , if you spend enough time inspecting failed bearings it's generally down to air pockets left in the bearing cage and I've yet to see a bearing packer that can do the job better than the old hand method . You must watch the side of the cage and rollers for solid grease coming out and you'll even hear the air pockets being popped . Forcing the grease into the rollers from the race's face side pushes the grease into the cavity and out the side . Bearing packers force the grease from the inside of the cage to the outside and can leave air pockets - it's up to you but I've found a general consensus from old mechanics I've worked with that agree with this approach .

 

Also , never skip the step of filling the inside of the hub with grease , leaving only a space for the spindle . Yes, they can be overfilled on bearings that see highway use and a simple thick dam is all that is needed - otherwise overfilling can result in blowing out the grease seal due to pressure buildup from heat . On low speed , non-highway stuff I pack mine pretty good since they won't generate enough heat to flow the grease where it's needed . Another big one is the grease seal itself - they are notorious for popping the tension spring out of the rubber seal when being installed on the spindle - I always pack those seals tight with bearing grease as well as the lubrication channel in the rubber part . Drive it home gently and square with a bearing installer or a simple ball peen and some light taps , a wood block or whatever you want - just remember that keeping dirt and particles out makes bearings last - dirt kills parts here ....

 

packing bearings.jpg

 

Here is the installed hub , packed with grease , bearing washer to seat and set the pre-load and cotter pin installed to prevent the bearing unloading or coming loose -

 

packing bearings 2.jpg

 

Finally , install the dust cover ....

It's worth noting that these dust covers are simply stamped pieces of sheet metal formed into a cup - cheap ones are never deburred on the inside lip where it starts into the hub facing - a quick pass with a belt sander or flap wheel on a grinder to put a taper on the lip will help a lot to install the dust cover without damaging it or driving it in crooked . It's also good practice to find a piece of tubing to fit snug against the seating ring to aid installing the dust cover since most fit quite tightly . Local welding/fabrication shops are a real good source for odd pieces of tubing - most times a short piece from their scrap pile fits the bill perfectly , a lot of shops just give them away - I have my own pile and people come over all the time for that magic-sized piece of tubing or whatever ....lol . I've got a whole wall of home built tools like this to install dust caps , seat bearings in the press and such things - you'd be surprised how few diameter ranges are needed to work on most anything . Good seamless tubing is priceless and I hunt scrap dropoffs from the local scrap yards like a man on a mission - it's one of my favorite tool-building materials since there is no rough weld seam on the inside and the stuff new is amazingly expensive to buy .

 

installing dust cover.jpg

 

 

If anyone has any questions about details , just ask . I keep a record of business receipts with part numbers and file them according to project type - helps to later identify parts if doing it again or making repairs .

I may start offering upgraded front axle sets on here or Ebay soon , need to figure out how viable the process will be and tooling /parts costs as well as sourcing the used axles . Spindles are getting to be another big issue since there are a lot of them discontinued by Toro (grr) - prices for new old stock are soaring as a result . I need to figure out either a set of hydraulic press dies to make the bends , jigs for holding the steering arms square and properly clocked to make new ones , or figure out a process to weld up worn out spindles and re-turn the finished diameter in the lathe . None of those options are easy and honestly not worth someone's time/effort/cost as far as a fabricator . I suppose when good used spindles hit the market at $100+ each it makes it worthwhile but the finished cost will be just as high for a new one . I wanted to address the cast iron axle first since it's design is the major source of wear and lack of good maintenance practices like taking the weight off the spindles/center pin to grease it are rarely done properly .

 

I'll say it again - when greasing the front axle the weight must be removed from the spindles and axle center pin - just can't stress this enough . It's also beneficial to cycle the steering fully while grease it to help coat the entire spindle where it rides in the cast iron bore . This is why these parts wear out , steering becomes difficult and tie rod ends get destroyed far too early as well as the steering gear system , dash bushings, ect...

 

A better design in a fabricated spindle could be done a lot easier , be much stronger and have higher quality steel parts that can be replaced . But , due to so many different spindle designs and multiple angles it would require a pretty extensive stock of parts and a lot of machining work . I'd prefer a heavy truck design king pin style with a u-shaped machined heavy steel spindle head and a drilled/fitted wheel spindle with end threads to accept these type of hubs . It's just not a viable option for semi-mass production unless the cost of used parts hits the proverbial roof . I fear though , that day is nearly already here .

 

Next , mount the tires , decide if I have time to bore/bush the center pin (weather time is running out here quickly , no garage and arthritis sucks) and get this thing back into service . Need to finish the linkage work and cross pins for the 56" blade I rebuilt and be ready to take on Mother Nature....

 

Sarge

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hi sarge, WOW!!!  what a great thread.  really enjoy reading it. very professional approach to a looming problem. i like how organized your shop is.  can't beat the "wall art" either. you rock!!!  best regards    mike in mass.

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Yesterday was busy - got the heim joints and steering done , mounted the BKT tires , checked all the clearances and installed the front axle . I did not have time to ream the center pin hole and fit the bushing - will have to wait until spring since our weather here is turning fast . Finished it up in the rain but did manage to get it into the shed ...

 

Here's a tire mounting trick for 4+-ply tires , the heavier the ply , the harder they are to get into the rims . Napa and others carry a spray called Sil-Glyde , both in aerosol and in paste/tube form - the stuff is a big staple in my shop . Keeps rubber parts from sticking, rotting and protects them as well . It's great to mount tires with , keep rubber from sticking or rotting - like weatherstripping on vehicles (and how they like to freeze) , and the paste is always used to install rubber hoses on engines - ever have a heater hose weld itself to a core ..?

 

Sil-Glyde spray.jpg

 

Using a welding clamp , woodworking clamp , ect - collapse one third of the tread section to help the tire stay down into the recess in the rim , makes it a lot easier to mount a tire by hand with very stiff small tires .

 

tire mounting trick.jpg

 

For now , I won't go into a lot of detail about the steering system but I used Steinjager rod end boots to keep dirt out and prevent wear . I did have to trim them down a bit since they are designed to be used with high mis-alignment bushings and I'm only using the necessary rod end tapered clearance spacers . I did not modify the inner tie rod ends for now since I got really lucky (again , like the spindles) and found a NOS pair . It is possible to use rod ends in 1/2"-20LH x 3/8" bolt at the bell crank end . To make it work due to the design of the bell crank with one tie rod end on top , one on the bottom and the fact that it uses automotive tapered ends it will have to be drilled out to accept a straight shank bolt . I already did this at the steering arm ends , just drilling them out to 7/16" and used 1/2"x7/16" reducers in the 1/2" standard heim /rod end joints . You cannot use 3/8" bolts at the bell crank , the holes are already larger than that and tapered as well , minimum is 7/16" and 1/2" would fill the hole the best . Since the two rod ends are so close together it will require using special rod ends to fit the stock tie rod tubes - inners are 1/2"-20LH thread and there are reduced sized rod ends available that have a 3/8" bolt hole . This saves clearance to fit the bolt/nut and a reducer sleeve pressed into the bell crank going from 7/16" down to 3/8" would work and not wear out the hole oval over time . This was the reasoning for using the 7/16" bolt size at the steering arms ends and the clearance spacers - if those bolts don't fit the hole tightly over time they will start wearing it oval - it's a common issue when converting from tapered automotive rod end holes to using heim/rod ends joints and straight shank bolts . The spacers also allow some extra angle movement at the ball end as well so it prevents binding as the axle/steering arms cycle through their range . Using rod ends or heim joints is a much stronger setup , but that also moves all the stress to the steering box or fan gear on our tractors - keep that in mind and don't push the steering too hard or risk excessive wear or breakage .

 

heim joint rubber boot.jpg

 

heim joint with boot.jpg

 

 

 

Another thing I did was to weld the bell crank hole shut with cast filler rod for tig and moved it inward by 3/8" to increase the range in which the drag link from the steering box moves the tie rods . It does help to make the big D a lot easier to maneuver and tightens up the turning radius . It's so far not showing any ill signs but I haven't had a chance to test this further , steering is light with nearly no play other than the box needs to be adjusted or maybe some preventative rebuilding . Most of the reason it steers so easily is the new bottom flat roller type thrust bearings and full length steering spindle sleeves in the axle . The heim joints also help to reduce drag and force , it's almost like it has power steering now but the original components were badly worn and junk .

 

D center link stock.jpg

 

You can see here how far the hole was moved - this shortens the turning radius by increasing how far the bell crank moves the tie rod ends ...

D center link.jpg

 

 

 

I will try to get more pictures up of the steering arms' clearance and how it looks overall - this thing is looking more like a Mad Max beast with the front ag treads ....

 

D180 with new front end.jpg

 

Barely got it done last night and moved into the shed before the monsoon hit us , looks like today is shot as well with this weather system . At least it's not snow since I have to finish up the blade and get it mounted , hopefully tomorrow ...

 

Sarge

 

 

 

 

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The "wall art" , and hoping it doesn't offend any youngsters is from all the years I built and modified Weber carbs for offroad high angle use - mostly the DGV series as well as some DCNF's and DCNVA models . Most applications were for Toyota , Suzuki and other brands' 4-cyl engines although I did at times have to rebuild/restore sidedrafts and downdraft twin throats . Was always hunting for the elusive and missing 50 DCO Ferrari 250 racing carb , it has to be on this planet somewhere and there are rewards for it to finish restoring one of their factory early race cars . As time went by , I frankly got sick of dealing with chasing parts across the pond , fluctuations in the exchange markets and fighting with US based businesses polluting the market with junk Chinese knockoffs . Not to mention it cost me a lot of my time both in the shop and on the 'net doing research , hunting rare parts and dealing with all the forums / questions and tons of emails . I wore out myself and 5 different computers but if want any info about using a Weber DGV series carb on anything and don't know how to tune or work on it just use the search engines - I've nearly written books on the stuff for folks to use . It was fun and had it's high points - my own Samurai was a test bed , running a 40DCNF-12 (center-back carb , 308 Ferrari) on a highly modified 1.6L engine - to the tune of 150hp on the ground and a 9k rpm limit . It did well for an engine that weighed under 200lbs and a truck , fully built that weighed 3,100lbs - the thing was pretty capable ...

 

05222011552.jpg

 

That thing was my daily driver for 12yrs and over 300,000 miles . Wheel it on the weekend , repairs on Sunday evenings and work on Monday....lol .

 

Meanwhile , back to my other passion - Wheel Horse...

 

Sarge

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I did forget to include some details about the 8" x 7" front wheels to fit the 4 on 4" bolt pattern . The original cast iron WH front weights use a 4-7/8" bolt pattern , so I spent the time to drill the two holes necessary to mount them . The D probably won't need the additional weight but I figured it's best to be prepared . What I hadn't done was check how the wheels fit against the 4-bolt hubs - you'd have to notch the cast hubs to fit the weights or drill them to match once the wheel is bolted in place - the hub covers up the holes :bitch:....

 

Anyway , made a quick template and got the wheels drilled for the standard 3/8" carriage bolts to mount the weights -

 

front wheel weight bolt pattern.jpg

 

A quick template for the bolt pattern using the wheel's center hole as a guide -

 

front wheel weight template.jpg

 

I suppose , since the design of the front weight is in the way of the new hub/lug nuts it wouldn't be an issue to go ahead and drill or notch out the hub . As long as the notch is rounded towards the inside it won't create a cracking issue with the hub and they are plenty strong for the weight of the tractor and any side loads it could generate or weight it can carry . Going to run it for now without the weights and see how well the front end tracks when using the blade at an angle or turning while plowing - I use my tractors for dirt/gravel work quite a lot so front traction is a must .

 

Also , since the wheels were mounted and set up to run reverse with the valve stem toward the inside it's necessary to countersink the lug nut seats to be able to properly center the rim and keep it tight to the hub . Standard lug nuts are 60* angle and I happened to have a nice zero flute countersink -

 

60_degree_zero_flute_countersink.jpg

 

Those wheel seats need to be drilled just enough to let the lug nut center the wheel - no further so the nut doesn't contact the hub which will not properly tighten the wheel against the hub's face . A zero flute countersink won't leave chatter marks and cuts cleanly and can be re-sharpened easily . The best part about them is they leave a nice smooth finish and do not burr the inside or outside tapers of the holes . I keep an eye out for brand names like Keo and such for the various sizes I need in the shop .

 

All for now , finished making the cross pins last night for the blade's springs and mounting point out of SS rod - I hate when they get stuck and I need to change the blade angle .

 

Sarge

 

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Some installed pics for those wanting to do an upgrade like this -

 

installed 7.jpg

 

installed 6.jpg

 

installed.jpg

 

installed 10.jpg

 

installed 11.jpg

 

Even with the heavy blade mounted and the ag treaded tires it steers excellent on pavement , at least far better than expected . I'll need to adjust the steering box and maybe rebuild it this next spring .

For now , need to finish up the hoop for a set of flood lights , change to winter weight oil and get ready for the white stuff...

 

Sarge

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Not a problem . It seemed , that after all the research for information from those who have done mods like this that all the details were left out . Folks either never follow up or aren't willing to share how they did it - I like to educate for future generations and keep things alive in the hobby since I prefer "old stuff" to our modern disposable world . I just can't see throwing something away that can be repaired and put back to life since parts like this are almost non-existent . I'll keep working on a solution for spindles since they are the source of a real shortage and hope that maybe folks will stop scrapping front axles and spindles for now until a solution can be found . If you can't steer it - you can't restore it .

Sarge

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10 hours ago, Sarge said:

Not a problem . It seemed , that after all the research for information from those who have done mods like this that all the details were left out . Folks either never follow up or aren't willing to share how they did it - I like to educate for future generations and keep things alive in the hobby since I prefer "old stuff" to our modern disposable world . I just can't see throwing something away that can be repaired and put back to life since parts like this are almost non-existent . I'll keep working on a solution for spindles since they are the source of a real shortage and hope that maybe folks will stop scrapping front axles and spindles for now until a solution can be found . If you can't steer it - you can't restore it .

Sarge

I'm with you!  Actually, you are well ahead of me, but you know what I meant!


Now I'm going to say something, well type something, that is significant!  

 

50 years from now, 100 years from now and even who knows how long after that, this thread will be an absolutely marvelous collection of knowledge for someone trying to restore a great tractor from the 1970s!  

 

If you don't perhaps no one will!  Keep it up!  


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I'm not too far from the end of my ability to do stuff like this due to health issues , so I try to document the stuff for others - not everyone grew up the same way and my whole childhood was around shops/welding and racing . I need to finish up a thread for the D's 6-1142 blade that someone had totally trashed it's frame and get it posted as well . It's irritating that it takes me 4 times as long to do things , but I'll get it done one way or another . I did pick up a nice used axle from another member here , will probably do a full overhaul on it and offer it up to someone that needs it for a HD application . Still need to set up a full jig to bore those spindle holes and keep them aligned properly since they are set at a weird angle , there is even a degree or two of castor built into them to help keep it from death wobble at travel speed .

 

Need to finish installing it's tail lights and work on a way to mount some led floods to it for night work since most snow plowing here seems to be at night anyway .

 

Sarge

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Tail lights done , need to install the yellow clearance lamps on the front of the rear fenders yet -

 

D tail lights led.jpg

 

Went inside to get warmed up and eat some supper , spending the day in the winter cold working on the ground to do those tail lamps really took it's toll - bean and bacon soup helps but I really paid for that project the rest of the evening . I did manage to clear everything out of the way for the incoming storm they predicted and got the D backed into the shed , ready for work - it barely fits with the crippled 1277 sitting in there -

 

D 180 stuffed into shed.jpg

 

So...the storm prediction was 3-4" at most , we got 10"+ due to some heavy bands and the trough taking it's sweet time moving through our area - just west and north of us they got around a foot . Tough to measure it since it was 34* in temperature and the wet snow compacted quickly as it fell . From what was on the pickup and my old Cruiser , the deck and other spots I had at minimum of 10" of very wet snow . To add to the misery the ground wasn't frozen yet at all and I haven't had time to make it's new skids , although I doubt they would help when the ground is this soft and soggy .

 

snow day 12-04-16.jpg

 

The blade works perfectly and the new 1055 cutting edge happily cuts into whatever it hits , including tree roots and concrete that is sticking up enough to catch it . Due to the weight of the angling handle , shafts and linkage on the right side of the blade it wants to cut in on that side first - made for some interesting work to keep it from digging into the gravel parking lot or the lawn where I pushed the piles . Spring will tell the tale of how badly I gouged the ground in places , I'm sure there will be some serious cleanup in the spring but a buddy has a Grasshopper and a broom attachment ...lol . I will say this - with the weight of the big D , the weight of the blade and that hardened cutting edge it doesn't care what it hits - the thing is like operating a bull dozer .

 

D snow duty 12-04-16 2.jpg

 

Most of that asphalt driveway had been packed down tight from vehicles coming in/out before I plowed . In the past , those wheel tracks were a pain to try to clear and even with hard down pressure on the 1277 or the old C series I could rarely ever cut the pavement clean . Not to mention this asphalt isn't exactly smooth and has a lot of dips/wear in it but the D doesn't care and scrapped it hard enough to remove some loose chunks at the edge along the parking lot . Hope I find those pieces in the spring before the mowing deck hits them...

 

The new tires , chains and steer axle rebuild works perfectly - as well as the mod to the steering bell crank to tighten the tractor's turning radius . Much better for turning it around and cleaning around objects . Not quite as sharp as the C series but for it's size the D maneuvers very well and steers pretty easily - it's just a lot more turns on the Ross steering box . Helped the neighbor lady diagonally across the street by removing all the north half of her drive and the huge piles the city plow left to block her in , this thing is a monster .

 

D snow duty 12-04-16.jpg

 

After a quick break it was back out to finish the parking lot and move the huge yard trailer out behind the shed for the winter as no one was really prepared for the size of this storm . I cleared the old little concrete pad where the trailer sits and caught the edge a bit , breaking off a corner of the concrete like it was nothing and no damage to the blade .

 

But , the tractor starting making a strange noise and I lost hydraulic pressure - it had stripped the pump shaft or broke the coupler at the splines . Heading out shortly to repair/move it and assess the damage . For those that have fixed this known issue in the past (hoping for some ideas here) I'll put a thread in the transmission or tractors section...really wrecked my whole day .

 

My wife really hates that saying - " I just broke my favorite toy " , it usually means the UPS guy will be coming with more parts...

 

Sarge

 

 

 

 

 

 

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