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For my own education Jebbear, what are the measurements you post in the picture referring too. Are you talking differences in shaft diameter? As if the shafts are egg-shaped or are you comparing the shaft at where it contacts your sleeves versus down lower on the shaft.

Forgive me, not complaining, just want to be able to understand what you're referencing.  I  notice your printing (the numbers) looks like one would see in architectural plans or from an engineer... Thanks in advance for the education.

 

I went back and re-read your description a couple of times, I think I have it figured now. You took diameters at different points and at different degrees off the shafts where they were wearing against the sleeves (Bushings) you put on your first rebuild....

 

Edited by cpete1
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That's correct, cpete. The measurements are the min/max diameters within each 1" bearing area. I used both a micrometer and a dial gauge and found that the dial gauge worked the best. I basically slid the gauge up and down the bearing area and also rotated 360° in the same area. There was a variance while rotating, indicating that they are somewhat egg-shaped. I just recorded the min and max readings that I got while moving the gauge within this entire area. I didn't necessarily capture which side of the shaft that the wear was on. I hope that clarifies this a little, sometimes I tend to not explain things too well.

10 hours ago, cpete1 said:

I  notice your printing (the numbers) looks like one would see in architectural plans or from an engineer...

No, not an architect or engineer. I guess its just the old surveyor in me from my younger years. B)

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You explained things fine. I just had to read a little slower. Given that your tractor has the hours on it that it probably has, I would say your original repair was more than adequate. Putting new bushings in would be the direction I'd be going. You have to leave a little room for the grease ya know.. 

Thanks for the detailed explanations on all this, its sure not making me any dumber....

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What you used the first time is more than adequate . Last one I did in 3/4" spindles used the high load 863 bronze/iron type which are silver - often called "Super Oilite" bearings. You can use (2) 3/4"x7/8"ODx1-1/2"L on each side, trimming the axle casting as needed (both top and bottom) to fit them correctly to the total length of the spindle. I try to leave about .035" up/down play in the spindle length overall for grease. You can use a single length bearing without flanges and add whatever thrust washers you want - but the longer those bushings are the higher the cost - 3/4"x7/8"x3" is almost $50 each. A single length sleeve bearing will wear less overall with time, but the added cost difference really doesn't justify it. Keep in mind, bridge reamers aren't exactly cheap either, nor is machine shop work if you have to farm it out. If you do go to source a reamer, get a US made or very high quality import that can be resharpened without losing it's mean diameter - and get a twist type versus straight flute, much lower load to run them and they cut nicer overall. You could just drill it close and a use a hand reamer - but those can be tricky in their own right to get them to cut evenly and not egg the hole out, just as with twist drill bits.

https://www.mcmaster.com/#oil-impregnated-sleeve-bearings/=1b8le2z

https://www.mcmaster.com/#2868T173

 

For the axle center pin - I went with a full length 3" bushing and a pair of thrust washers in the harder grade 863 bronze/iron. I wanted as much support as possible for that center pin and distribute the load across the pin better than just at the ends. Every pin I've dealt with for the center has had to be replaced with the exception of the D - for some reason someone actually kept that one greased somehow. I make all the pins out of 18-8 SS rod stock - it's not cheap but won't corrode and is much harder than most grades of stainless. Tool steel or CroMol would be even better, but that axle doesn't move enough to warrant using an expensive piece of steel alloy.

 

All of this is a lot of work getting things fitted together and leaving just enough clearance for grease, but not too much to create slop and induce excessive steering play - there is sort of a magic balance. I do drill mine for grease and cut some light grooves in them with a Dremel or die grinder and a small ball shaped carbide burr. Don't introduce a lot of heat with a cutter - the bronze will ooze it's oil out and contaminate the bearing with the material you're cutting off - take light passes and keep rinsing it out with a light penetrating oil. Try to polish the spindles as much as you can without losing much off the diameter. The more they are out of round, the more effort it takes to turn them and the faster they will wear themselves as well as the bushings - that's what you're seeing with yours although it's at the lowest end of the wear range and plenty good enough as-is. Any spindles or pins that have a torn surface have to go - no bushing will cure that wear nor last and some models can be converted to later model, easier to source spindle designs - you'll just have to compensate with the steering parts. If you need to ream the bushings after installing (common) I use a simple 1/4" rod that is slotted at the end and wrap some fine 320 grade cloth shop roll lengths - spinning it about 20k and using that to ream/polish the internal bore. Rinse often, of course and be prepared for an oil-flinging mess...lol. Very small diameter ball hones or brake cylinder type hones won't really work - they just get plugged up from the bronze quickly .

 

If I had more cash than brains I'd contract a local machine house to wire EDM cut new fan gears, steering shaft gears and pillow blocks out of a lot better grade of hardened steel - with room to install wear bushings. It can be done if a NOS part can be located - they can digitally map anything and the machine can cut to crazy tolerances through nearly any conductive material. That shop cut the coupling project for the D - that thing will never fail now with a keyed main shaft and a steel insert inside the cast coupling. I wanted to re-make the entire coupling but the cost was well north of $600 - a little too rich for my blood but it would be the way to go to stop a bad failure point on such a great tractor. Given the rear axle weakness - it just wasn't worth it anyway. I guess if you're going to push something like a D to that point you'd be better off owning a Struck mini or something, lol...I'd love to have one around here.

 

Rebuilding these front end parts to this level is making it capable of easily handling a front end loader implement or similar. With some work and the right parts - the dumb thing can easily outlive it's engine and drive train parts. My whole desire is a much smoother steering system and stopping the wear issue with NLA parts. To me, there is no such thing as something that is worn out and must be thrown away...lol. Some day, 50+ years after I'm dead someone is going to wonder what kind of nut took the time to do all this work....

 

Sarge

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Wow Sarge, that is a lot of information to digest! I sincerely thank-you for all of the great ideas and recommendations. I've been diligently studying everything you said and comparing it to my application. For the spindles, I've considered and like your recommendation of (2) 1-1/2" long Super Oilite bearings which would require trimming the length of both bearings. Or possibly, since I have approx. 2-7/8" of existing axle casting length, what is your opinion about using (2) 1-1/4" long, then trimming and squaring the bottom of the axle to accept one of the 1-3/8" OD x 1/8" thick high load oil embedded 863 bronze thrust bearings? If I go this route, I will probably need to shave about 1/16" from the bottom to accept the thrust washer which would leave about a 5/16" gap between the bearings as a pocket at the grease fitting. I considered the roller thrust bearings, but due to the added thickness of the bearing and washer(s) I'm a little afraid of the work and accuracy involved with trimming down the axle that much. Can't really afford any professional machine shop work right now, so I'm kind of limited to my own abilities :unsure:. I also thought about the flange bearings, but McMaster's flange diameter is only 1-1/4" for my bored size, therefore, thought the 1-3/8" Oilite thrust bearing would give a little more bearing surface and if it ever did wear out I could just change the washer and not need to punch out the whole flange bearing.

 

As far as the axle center pin, this is a picture of what I have now. Notice the wear points on the two extreme ends which correlates to where the pin goes through the axle support in the frame of the tractor. There is very minimal wear on the bearing points of the pin itself. Note, I also re-bushed this on my prior rebuild in 1986, again using (2) 3/4" ID x 1" long bronze bushings. Then I got to wondering, why did this wear the way it did at the frame and not on the bearing area. Then I remembered that when I dismantled the thing, the little bolt that holds it in was missing and has probably been gone unnoticed for a long time. I assume that this let the pin rotate in the frame and not the axle on the pin. Does this make sense or is this the way these things always wear out? Anyway, looking for a solution as far as do I need to replace/fabricate a new pin or any ideas on how to make this one work since the pin itself is in excellent shape with minimal wear except for the frame areas?

 

Sorry guys, bear with me. I do tend to ask a lot of questions 'cause I'm never to old to learn something!

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There is a limit as to how large a flange bearing can be used against the spindle's bottom seating area against the axle casting - the bend in them for the steering arm can get in the way on some models so you're limited on overall diameter of the flange bearing unless you notch part of the flange off - you'll need to measure it. If you use the thicker flange bearing on the bottom or the thrust bearing washer (either is a good idea) you'll have to remove that thickness from the axle casting surface - and keep it squared to the spindle bore. A small precision square works great here or you can use the spindle and feeler gauges to check if it's correct and flat. The more true you can get that surface, the better as it can equally support the weight of the tractor and any possible implements - you'd be surprised how much front axle weight these things have with just a simple front blade and there's a reason the stock front WH tires were rated at 60psi. Even with a small block 8hp Kohler you wouldn't want to pick it up by hand - unless you like hernia's...

 

The axle pin locating bolt missing is really common - it's why nearly all of them need a new pin made. You can just use standard 1018 round stock - it's plenty for the application and especially if you're going to use bushings. As to the wallowed axle pin mounting holes - I always weld mine up and re-cut them to the correct size, as well as use red locktite on that infernal bolt on the new pin. Another option if there is enough material room around the pin/mount is to enlarge the hole to fit another flange bearing and use a longer bolt . The bearing will have to be cut down in length a lot to clear the axle, or use a longer one and allow the bearing to extend into the axle casting bore, spanning both parts at once. A thin, hardened bronze thrust washer with a matching internal diameter to the bushing would be best on both ends of the axle casting and can shim up the excess clearance in the front/rear distance to the frame mount - most mounts are almost 1/4" wider than the axle casting due to variances in the axles. Cutting that excessive clearance down to around .035" will further reduce steering slop - those little amounts add up quickly by the time you get to the steering wheel and the operator. I'm pretty sure I did my brother in law's Charger with the longer 1-1/2" flange bearings and shimmed the extra clearance out as described above - that one still steers beautifully despite quite a few hours and abuse.

 

Without a lathe, cutting the axle pin's groove to accept the large e-clip is really tough. I had done some early ones before I got the Enco with a Dremel and a few of the reinforced cutoff wheels and some careful scribe marks - you could just make it a little longer and use a roll pin or hair pin clip. It's just an added safety measure to help keep the axle mounts on the frame from spreading from side loads when steering - there's a lot of thrust front to rear on that axle due to how these machines are designed and their steering angles so a retainer of some sort is necessary - don't skip it . I remember one frame I repaired that the rear axle mount was split vertically due to a missing e-clip - had to make a whole new one and weld it into the frame. Every tractor I've owned or flipped when I didn't want a particular model had a lot of excessive wear by the hands of previous owners - most were abused very badly and had a lot of hours on them with a lot of neglect on top of it, this is how I've come to learn how to repair this stuff to make it basically idiot-proof...lol.

 

Sarge

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Hello,

     excellent point on the greasing of the axle & spindles, I just greased the front of the 312-8 and noticed exactly what you mentioned, grease outta the top only. The whole front end of this machine could be reworked as it sits "bow-legged"! I changed out the 6" wheels to 8" and the squat is really noticeable now! I have an old raider 10 I thought that I might switch out the front axle assembly, if it fits that is? I agree finding parts and sinking money into things can become excessive. I believe I have an addiction.........

 

Oldman
 

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Here's a few pix just to keep you all updated of where I'm at. Since I kind of got a late start with this thread and tore into it before I brought you guys along for the ride, here's a couple more "before" pictures. I think I mentioned in an earlier thread a couple of months ago, that initially the starter gave out on me, which was kind of the catalyst to get me into restoring her to her full glory. This first one is when I rolled her into the corner of the garage and parked her after that happened.

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A couple "befores" of the engine that was crying for me to work on...

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So I began...

DSC_1008r.JPG.6df835f449b0fede621f24ae60af2e27.JPGHere is the block after the machine shop work and a fresh coat of paint.

 

I included this picture as a subject for discussion. I might hear a lot of negative feedback about this and I would have probably been right there with you before I started, but here's the issue. The engine rebuild kit that I got was one of the Stens aftermarket kits from ebay which I hesitantly bought, but they all seem to get good reviews so I thought I would try it. The engine required a .020 oversize piston and a .010 undersize rod. The kit came and I was well pleased with the apparent quality of the parts. What I didn't like was the head gasket that they gave me which was more of a flexible gasket and didn't have the metal 'fire ring' along the inner perimeter. I checked at all of my local sources and no one had a genuine Kohler and even the NAPA store told me they would have to order one which would probably also be an aftermarket. After a little research, I read on Brian Miller's site that there is no problem re-using an old head gasket if there was no damage as they did this with aircraft engines all the time in WWII. Mine seemed to be in great condition so I followed his instruction, cleaned up the old, gave it a shot of the Permatex Copper spray and this is what it looks like. My Dad also told me that he thought it was changed once not too many years ago so it is not the original. So go ahead and blast me guys, I'll be the guinea pig and give it a try. Hopefully worse case is it blows out and if that happens, then I'll go looking again for the real thing. We'll see how it goes, if it goes south I'll sure let you all know.

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Here is the completed engine. I don't have the tins or air cleaner shell on yet as I may decide to paint them with the same paint that I use on the tractor and install at that time. Still need to find and install a new spark plug wire as the boot is cracked on this one. If anyone is interested, I used Duplicolor Universal Red Engine Paint rattle cans for the engine and will be using Dupont 7410 (International Harvester IH-50) Nason Single stage urethane for the tractor. Paint seems to be a controversial subject here but I did a few paint comparisons of my own earlier which I will post my findings/opinions at a later date. :deadhorse:

 

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Which brings me pretty much up to date with where I am at now. Here are a couple of the frame during tear down. Oh, by the way, pay no attention to that "green bucket" you see in the background of the last pic. I just got here and don't want you guys throwing me out before I get started!:ychain:

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These last ones are more of what I have been discussing recently. First one shows the wear in the paint (which I didn't notice on initial teardown) where the axle pivot pin had been rotating due to the lost bolt. The other ones are the front axle and a close-up of the old bronze bearings that I installed 31+ years ago. I think Sarge :thanks: has me on the right track for the rebuild this time around, so I'll have to get an order ready for McMaster-Carr and begin the long task of fixing things.

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Edited by jebbear
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Engine looks really good Jeb, (if I may). As for head gasket reuse, I suppose there might be some issue with initial crush down on a used one versus a new one but I've pulled heads on some engines for one reason or another and don't remember it being an issue. I'm certain you'll follow up and let us know if you have a problem down the "lawn" a ways. Very informing thread to follow. Man, the poor puppy never saw much degreaser in her previous life.... Betcha she' enjoying the bath.:D

 

And thanks for the close-up on the bushing install, was hoping to get a glimpse of that. Very nice work..

 

Put the sheet of plywood in front of the "green bucket".... some guys break out in hives here if they see that sort of stuff...:unsure:

Edited by cpete1
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Nice looking engine and axle rebushing. 

Back in my tractor shop flunky days an ol farmer chewed me out for charging him for a head gasket on an old ford.  He said just clean the gasket, soak it in water and put it in the freezer overnight to "swell it a little". Then thaw it out and reuse it. I've done this on several small engines over the years and never had a problem. I don't know if the freezing really helps but I usually have time to do it and it doesn't cost anything.  But on a full rebuild I now use a new one

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Thanks guys. Believe me, this is the absolute first time I ever re-used a head gasket and would never have even considered it had a new OEM been readily available. I guess I could have tried ordering one somewhere, but had fears of receiving the same thing that I have now with the aftermarket kit, especially after what my NAPA guy told me. If you would have seen the one they sent me in the kit vs. my old one, there is no comparison in quality. Like I said, live and learn. If it doesn't pan out, its not that difficult to correct.

2 hours ago, cpete1 said:

.... Betcha she' enjoying the bath.

You're right cpete, like I mentioned she has always been a "work horse" but I probably should have given her a "bath" once in awhile. I guess I was more focused on maintaining the juices inside vs. the gunk on the outside. Hopefully after all of this work, the new one gets a little better care.:lol:

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                                                                             :woohoo: :text-yeahthat: :text-goodpost::thanks:

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LOL - looks like once again I started something, sorry folks....:ph34r:

 

That's exactly how I fixed so many front axles and the pins eating out the holes oval - those bushings will stop the wear dead in it's tracks and keep that axle serviceable for a very long time to come. I prefer to fix something once and never have to touch it again, used to hate getting repeat work on vehicles when I was still turning wrenches from customers not wanting to spend the time/money on fixing something right the first time.

 

As to re-using a Kohler or even Briggs head gasket - I do that all the time and keep a large can of copper gasket sealer in the shop, it's been a quick solution for engine repairs here for years. Just have to keep the torque specs in mind - you'd be surprised how many small engine manuals list two different torque specs , one for used, the other for new gaskets. I've had to work on a lot of very old engines that do not have current parts available - that's the reason for learning how to re-use gaskets when necessary. I still prefer new versus using old any day - but in a pinch even on a rebuild I've yet to have one fail as long as the gasket is in good condition, so I wouldn't sweat it.

 

That's some great pics of rebuilding these steering systems - thanks for that. Most times I'm in the shop I'm focused on the work - rarely ever taking pics as I just don't have the time to waste and prefer to just get it done. @WHX14 - nice way to vise that block and bore it - first one I did was by hand it ruined the block since I couldn't control the angle. That whole deal is why I bought the Clausing - it's 750lbs of cast iron and won't move since I don't have the funds/room/3ph power for a milling machine. Last block I cut/bushed was with the stupid Crapsman - that thing has more wander in it's quill and flexes worse than hand cutting. A buddy has a mill now so I need to properly calculate the offset distance and angle of a NOS block - or if someone has those capabilities it would be some awesome info for the forum. With those two calculations it would be much cheaper to get a machine shop to cut one out for a bushing - and keep a lot of worn parts out of the scrap pile. New ones are not available for most of these tractors so I feel it's a pretty important move to save these old parts - and rebuild versus tossing them for "better used" parts - there are only so many left. We've built such a following around here and elsewhere with the brand and restoring these machines but there are some parts that are not really within reach of anyone here to have manufactured - what we do have is pretty astounding if you think about it . That steering block is one of those that I highly doubt anyone would ever be able to tackle - unless someone wins the Lotto and can have new billet ones machined or similar for replacement new parts....lol. Fan gears are another one - I weld the teeth up with the tig and re-grind them to shape. It's amazing how well they steer when restored versus 40+yrs of wear and neglect. I can only imagine how good these things were when they were new back in the day - wish I'd had the opportunity or foresight to own one back then. ..

 

Sarge

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Great pix WHX14, and great ideas! Funny you should post this right now, because I just now came up from the shop cleaning up a lot of the other little linkages/shafts and things that I plan on adding bushings so I can get an order ready. That "fun with bushings" thread sounds like a great idea! That goes right along with what the Sarge has been saying about fixing up all of these old parts and keeping them running. Agree whole-heartedly that there are only so many left and most of the used parts are as bad or worse than some of us are working with. BTW, that is a neat vise/clamping system for the steering block. That is one of the locations that I plan on adding a bushing this time around which I did not do on the prior rebuild. I only bushed the hole where the fan gear shaft went through, which wallowed out again & will need redone. Wish I could fix my fan gear like you did Sarge, cause my teeth also have a fair amount of wear, but I don't have a tig and probably couldn't use it if I did! I only have an old stick welder and acetylene torches but I never considered myself a welder, I only stick metal together and sometimes it actually holds! :lol:

 

WHX14, did you have to cut down some of the axle casting thickness where the center pivot pin went through to allow for the extra flange thicknesses between the frame supports? I want to do something very similar, but the existing would need trimmed to accept the flanges on the inside.

 

My old fan gear, block, and wallowed out bushing...

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Just looking at the fan gear teeth and  :techie-idea:  a light came on.      

If the height of the  teeth were shortened so they engaged deeper would this tighten the clearance?

Of course it may be necessary to face the shafts to allow the gears to fully engage properly.

 

                             Thoughts?

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1 hour ago, jebbear said:

cut down some of the axle casting thickness

 Now come to think of it I eventually did not go with that idea because of just that. I did bore & bush the axle pivot and had just enough space behind the axle to get a thin bronze washer in and didn't worry about a shim in the front figuring the tractor would be driven more forward than reverse anyway.

 

26 minutes ago, Ed Kennell said:

height of the  teeth were shortened

Thought of that too Ed and  filing down  the space or teeth in the fan gear for a better fit and no quarter wheel turn to steer. It was a lot of work and I doubt if I would do it again. What I really wanted to do was put a spring in the area shown instead of factory shims for self adjusting fan to pinion. Holds the fan tight against the pinion. Not enough room on the rear of it tho. Next refresh on another project I am going to drill and tap the end for an extension bolt and washer/spring setup. Would not use the cotter key hole then follow me?

 

BTW Jeb that plate/pin assembly. is available from Toro yet but they are quite proud of them. PN 6216. Dan @Achto makes them but can't speak for him if he is willing to sell any. If your pinion looks as good as your fan gear you should have no problem in tightening that area up.

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Edited by WHX14
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I think Sarge mentioned the fan gears above, I have two fan gears here that are unmachined, no hole put in them. An old friend was amforeman at the foundry where these 

were poured and he brought me a couple a long time ago. Have just held on to them. Also have a front axle that is unmachined.  I do not have a mill so I cut down the end of 

my steering shaft to fit in a bigger diameter piece bored and cut to fit on the end of it. Welded it on and turned it to fit snug in the plate. Wish I had the equipment to do bore 

and put in the bushing but did get it tightened up.

 

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Boring the fan gear block really requires a milling machine or you'll never get the shaft bore back on center - it always wears in the direction of away from the fan gear due to the thrust of the teeth against each other. The last one I dealt with I ended up using the high torque die grinder and went through 4 different solid carbide burrs to cut the hole back out larger towards the gear, then made it round enough to drive a bushing into it. I did use a flange bearing made from the oil embedded bronze and gave it a final reaming cut on the drill press to fit the shaft with a decent clearance and drilled the hole in it for the grease zerk to feed into it . It's really time consuming to do it this way and is far from perfect , but it works. I hate being covered in those shards of cast metal - they work their way into your skin over time, will go right through any glove and if you try to remove them with tweezers - they break off due to being so brittle. Have several in my face and hands still from doing this stuff over the years - over time they will go away or get infected and crop up now and then - they itch like crazy coming back out, very similar to hot welding slag intrusion burns but tougher to remove. Whole left side of my face shows up some dots in x-rays from years of welding pipe casing at high power with 6010 rods. Front exhaust , high torque, low rpm die grinders work the best so they don't blow the debris right at you - a shield helps but stuff always ricochets off things and get you anyway - any debris in your eyes isn't funny and getting that stuff drilled out is high on the list of things I hate...lol.

 

If you wanted a spring to hold constant pressure against that fan gear the welds could be removed at each end and a longer shaft could be used. It would take an incredibly heavy spring to hold that kind of pressure to keep the teeth from walking over each other - there's more thrust there than you'd think due to the gear's tooth angles. It seems most of the wear comes on the steering wheel gear end first, then the fan gears start to wear - I suspect the fan gears are just a harder cast material - I know re-grinding them is a pain and it eats up a lot of grinder wheels trying to re-cut the profile once they are welded due to the carbon rising to the top . If you do weld a fan gear up, it needs to be held in a pre-heat of around 350*F, which is a pain and it has to cool very slowly or you risk cracking it. They do seem to be cast steel , so it welds up decent enough and with the tig I generally use ER80SD2 tool steel rod - when it mixes with the cast material it seems to give it a good wear property but I'm no metallurgist by any means - I just go by how difficult it is to grind it back to shape. Not sure I'd want to lower the height of the teeth any further - the more material they have to engage the other gear the better they distribute the force - take any away and you risk weakening it too much and it may break the teeth off.

 

One thing I never liked about this gear design is the only thing that retains the steering wheel side gear against the fan gear is the collar setup in the dash - that whole thing moves around too much when these frames flex and it's common to see them come loose. That further damages the parts quickly. I always remove the set screw in the collar after getting the wheel off , add a second one as well as a bronze thrust washer so the dash section has a replaceable wear point and drill a divot into the shaft where the set screws hit to allow them to bite better and not slip up or down. On the older models there is room in the cast aluminum dash to enlarge the hole and add a flange bearing if you'd like - just be careful boring that hole out as that material cuts quickly/easily. I have yet to find a pre-'73 that doesn't have at least some cracking in the dash tower sheet metal, they all seem to do it over time and I'll usually add some spot welded plates on the inside where I can after repairing the cracks to reinforce those areas of stress. I've considered adding an additional piece of angle iron into the frames to box it into a square and help stiffen them up more - it would go a long way to prevent a lot of problems in the long run and done correctly wouldn't show up that bad. I may explore that option on the 1277 - it's seen far more stress than any tractor should and shows it from all the damage, rear frame plate is shattered badly, again. I had liquid filled the front Carlisle ag tires and added the cast WH weights for using the blade - those have added a lot more steering parts wear with all the hours on it and it has nearly 1/2 turn of play in the steering due to all the wear and parts flexing. Going to be a large project to restore that one - it's been used so hard for a staggering number of hours, I'd hate to total up how much rock it's graded out over the years after being delivered - she's built at least 6 long drive ways and 3 of them used heavy angular rock which is the toughest stuff to move around.

 

Too bad those fan gears aren't bored , that job isn't fun to hold a bit on center in cast steel unless it's done with a mill. @Howie , it's so crazy you knew someone that worked at the foundry that made this stuff - I wonder if they also cast the drive couplings for the D series hydro pumps ? If we could find one NOS coupling - those could be made new from a much better and tougher material - it would remove a bad weak point in the D series.

 

Sarge

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Not much new to report today, still just cleaning and inspecting old parts. However, I did kind of come across another interesting point that I just stumbled into by chance and thought I would kick this out there for discussion. Since I know little to nothing about any of the various metals properties and differences in all of the aforementioned bearings and materials that we have been discussing, I decided to try and educate myself a little on some of the differences and properties between an SAE 841, an SAE 863, or SAE 660 bronze and so on. So I went to the old reliable "google machine" and just started doing some searching (I know, if its on the internet it has to be true, right?:P) Anyway, long story short, I don't know how much I learned, but I kept running into some of the same statements from other sites specifically concerning "Oilite" bearings. Most seemed to say that for these to work right, they should be used in applications that generate heat through a lot of motion (high RPM for example) in order to release the oil from within the bearing to function properly. The use of grease for a lubricant, such as the case that we are discussing in axles, spindles, etc., is usually not recommended as it actually blocks the pores within the bearing, therefore no longer serves as an "Oilite" bearing. So now that I am totally confused on what I should be using, I decided to go straight to the "horses mouth" and I called the Oilite Corporation themselves to try and find the answer (I know, sometimes I'm just too inquisitive:wacko:). I spoke with a very nice gentleman concerning what I was doing, what I was considering, and the applications that I would be using them in and in a nutshell this is what he told me. He basically said that what I was reading was basically correct concerning applications for oilite bearings. He concurred that for these bearings to perform as designed they should be used with the above motion/heat scenario such as a spinning shaft at higher RPM. He did say that it wouldn't hurt to use oilite bearings, but it would basically just perform similar to and acquire basically the same properties as a cast bronze 660 bearing (see I did learn something:)) due to the pores being blocked with grease and could also retain any dirt that finds its way into the bearing. So I asked if he recommended using just a standard all purpose 660 bronze bearing in lieu of the oilite and would there be any advantages/disadvantages of one vs the other. His answer was that since an oilite bearing is composed of 20-25% of its volume being the impregnated oil itself, that a sintered bearing being more porous than cast, would probably not be as durable longevity wise as a cast bronze bearing and MAY wear out sooner, but other than that they would PROBABLY work just fine. He did kind of recommend a grooved bearing which would distribute the lubricant better. So all of that being said and before I begin ordering parts I figured that I would throw this out there one more time and beat this dead horse again:deadhorse: to see what you guys think. You all have rebuilt far more of these machines than me and I'm sure know a lot more than I do about what works, what doesn't, or what makes no difference. I'm sure I'm probably over analyzing this but if nothing else its another interesting topic of discussion.

 

Sarge, from what I read in your various postings you seem to have a number of years and extensive experience working with metals and your knowledge of this would be second to none on these axle & steering rebuilds, therefore, I value your opinion on this and would carry a lot of weight. And by all means, everyone else, please chime in with your opinions and thoughts.:think: Which type would you all recommend in the steering/axle applications? I'm sure that oilite or any bearing will work just fine in a lot of the other various linkages etc. where the point is merely to take out a lot of the slop in the steel on steel holes.

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Good info there Jeb and we appreciate you sharing your research. :text-thankyoublue: I forgot to mention that most of my bushings are off the rack ones from Ace so I have no idea of the quality or material. If I know I am going to need a bunch for a project then I may order from McMaster-Carr. The only thing I know about bearings & bushings is they are designed to wear out which is fine with me. Would rather have them wear than my 50+  year old metal!  

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1 hour ago, WHX14 said:

...bearings & bushings is they are designed to wear out

I hear you there and agree totally, they are easy enough to replace as opposed to all of this old metal! Just trying to prolong it as much as I can and pass it off to the next guy after I'm gone if that's possible!:lol:

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I was a little suprised they did not put a core in those fan gears so at least there would be a starter hole. Thats how the front axle is. That foundry made a lot

of the Wheel Horse cast parts and was 18 to 20 miles from South Bend. I do not know if he would remember what the type of material was.

I think he is getting close to 90.

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That problem crops up a lot @Howie - we have an engineer locally that worked for Sundstrand back when they built the pump/motor systems for WH, he's just gotten too old to recall much for details, wish I'd found out about him when I first got into these things nearly 20yrs ago...

 

The bushings subject is really a matter of opinion and personal preference - read the properties on them and go with what you feel should work the best. Honestly, even lighter brass beats wearing steel/cast parts - as I said, there's a lot of this stuff that cannot be reproduced and my general drive is to save those parts for the future. I've considered getting spindles made, but they are tougher to do than one would think - they are hardened steel and getting that bend correct is not easy, nor is all the variations and that's important to avoid steering geometry problems. Not to mention, due to the weight of these things and especially some attachments - you don't want one to fail or break.

 

As far as the OIlite brand versus others - if you just look at the difference in quality, they just use a more pure grade of materials versus a lot of the others. I do use some from the local Ace hardware store - they work fine but are quite coarse and almost always require cutting some sort of groove to hold grease. Without that, they can actually cut into some of the steel parts and that's pretty counterproductive. I understand the Tech guys comments on applications - oil impregnated bearings need some heat to work from friction, it's what they are designed for. Part of the reason I use them versus bare bronze or bronze/iron types is that oil used also prevents corrosion in the parts - on some of the shafts in our tractors that rust can be an issue and make things worse. The Oilite bearings seem to help stop that , as well as any other oil-impregnated type of bearing/bushing. Many times on some shafts that don't see a lot of weight load I don't use grease on them - instead, I use Sil-Glide since it's non-hardening, can handle up to 600*F and lubricates very well when used with bronze of any type. Non oiled bearings will allow that silicon-based lube to penetrate the porous material nicely and it does help a lot - you have to keep the two materials from wearing into each other. It's fine and expected for the bronze to wear first, but as it does it can also wear even a fairly hard steel part from it's own debris as well as any contamination that gets inside the moving parts - it must have some lubrication. Install bare bronze bushings into a part and not lube it - it will eat itself over time. Drilling it is fairly easy, using a machinist's carbide scraper to clean up the internal hole is a good idea - I also use a Shaviv chamfering blade to internally bevel the hole to help distribute the grease. Smaller bushings I just use the scraper and knock off any high spots, similar to facing off cam bearings after they are reamed to size and driven into an engine block. The scraper is a common triangle blade - they will fit into the standard machinist's tool handles or the Shaviv/Varga blade systems as well since they make specific shank/shafts for them - very handy tools to have around.

http://www.vargus.com/shaviv

http://www.vargus.com/Vargus/userdata/SendFile.asp?DBID=1&LNGID=1&GID=520

I prefer the B and E series blades, B's being for lighter/smaller work and E's are for the heavier stuff in fabrication/welding/mechanical repairs. If I'm drilling a hole - I also have one of these tools to finish the job. No reason to jack the drill around - deburr it the right way instead, lol. Best way I've found to get set up with these is start with the aluminum handle (the Mango series are plastic, don't hold up too well around here either) and just add what shanks/blades you want. For most hole/edge deburring they offer some E100,200,300 series blades that are cobalt - it will cut nearly anything and last a lot longer, worth the extra cost. None of their stuff is cheap - but it does the job as intended and will last a long time, not sure how I'd live without them. My oldest set is this one - had it now for about 25yrs - they are just about finally worn out despite a lot of use.

https://www.amazon.com/SHAVIV-29079-Tool-Makers-Pieces/dp/B003JY7L5G

 

Think I paid around $25 for mine years ago - wow inflation sucks...

 

Sarge

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