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Porkskin

Repairing Pulleys on Idler Box

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Porkskin

I'm working on the new to me tractor: 1986 Wheel Horse 312-A, Model 21-12KE02, 42" Deck Model 05-42MR04

 

Good Sunday morning all, 

 

I'm trying to get a look ahead on what it will take to replace some bearings In focus today is the Idler Box. I hop that is correct terminology, but it's the assembly that holds the pulley, idler, tensioner and provides the loop around for power to the deck pulleys. The pulley is on the outside and the idler is on the inside. Pulley spins nice but the idler spins really clunky. Seems like there may be a sealed bearing pressed into it, or my eyes deceive me. Anybody ever disassemble one of these to get the idler refurbished? Lookin ahead to see what parts I need to search for to carry out the job if possble.

 

As always, all your comments are the best. Snagged an image of the assembly off eBay for convenience:

idlerbox.png

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squonk
Posted (edited)

The older pulleys the bearings are held in with snap rings. It looks like you have the newer style and those bearings are not replaceable with out a machine shop and welder. You can get new pulleys from a vender here: https://www.wheelhorseforum.com/forum/141-wheelhorse-parts-and-more/

 

https://wheelhorsepartsandmore.com/product-category/pulley-idlers/

Edited by squonk
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Maxwell-8

Mule drive is the right term. the pulleys on yours don't look bad. Could try open that rubber seal and re-grease it

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squonk
17 minutes ago, Maxwell-8 said:

Mule drive is the right term. the pulleys on yours don't look bad. Could try open that rubber seal and re-grease it

I tried to do that with a pulley I had that failed last month. Mine had hard plastic shields that were like rock. 

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pacer

I've tried a couple times to pop the seal and grease - and typically they are DRY .... but, they failed again relatively quickly.  Since @Porkskin is a newbie and even tho there are a couple other home shop fixes, he is much better off to go ahead and replace it/them (replacing both while youre in there would be wise!) Those 2 mule drive ;) pulleys carry quite a load.....

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Maxwell-8
4 minutes ago, pacer said:

I've tried a couple times to pop the seal and grease - and typically they are DRY .... but, they failed again relatively quickly.  Since @Porkskin is a newbie and even tho there are a couple other home shop fixes, he is much better off to go ahead and replace it/them (replacing both while youre in there would be wise!) Those 2 mule drive ;) pulleys carry quite a load.....

You are for sure right, but a tip is to grease them from time to time. Something that gets forgetton often.

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peter lena

@Porkskin,  those 6203  (  3/4  ) bearings are noted for failure , because they are partially filled with a generic grease. you can lightly repack those bearings , after gently removing the rubber side shields with a 3 " pocket screwdriver . CAREFULLY WIPE OUT EXISTING OLD GREASE , use LUCAS EXTRA HEAVY DUTY GREASE , POLYUREA BASED . its hi temp 560 flash point ensures no failures. done that on all my pto drive and mower deck related bearings , no noise or failures. walmart has the grease for $ 5  bucks. buy the way I also do this on new bearings , the heat and stress , is just too much for a generic grease . if this is too much for you, and you have someone else do it , they can easily do the grease swap while rebuilding , pete  

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squonk

As long as the seals come out without destroying them. If the bearings are shot it's too late anyway.

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pacer
1 minute ago, squonk said:

If the bearings are shot it's too late anyway.

 

And theres the kicker right there!! Usually thats the case - water getting in (somehow?) and they are toast.

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peter lena

@pacer not too long ago I  replaced, the mule drive pulleys with new, was very glad to see the pictures of them on line , fully showed the wide side seals. a simple easy clean out and re grease has them operating silently . also sanded bearing shaft , and set with never seize, lubricate all related movement points , no issues , pete  

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pacer

Well, dont think you will be having any 'mule' problems any time soon. Starting with new bearings using your method will no doubt make for a much longer life  --- probably last longer than you..........

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oliver2-44

@Porkskin When you disassembly your mule drive to get the pulleys off there are 2 spacers on that shaft.  One is slightly longer than the other.  Mark them before you disassemble as there position makes a difference in belt alignment. 

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Porkskin

The re-pack went fine, I used synthetic wheel bearing grease I had on hand. It's temporary since even after the lube the one where the "V" part of the belt rides is still clunky. After getting seals off it was obviously bone dry.

 

As far as replacing the bearing goes, is it a case of separating the halves to release the bearing? I've got oxy/acetylene in the garage and there's a stick welder and large press close by.

 

Thanks everyone for the great comments and advice!

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Lee1977
2 hours ago, Porkskin said:

 

As far as replacing the bearing goes, is it a case of separating the halves to release the bearing? I've got oxy/acetylene in the garage and there's a stick welder and large press close by.

 

The flat idlers are fairly easy just drill the spot welds out.. The v-idlers are welded down in the groove and harder to get apart. I have used a hack saw and chisel to get them apart.

First drill a small reversent hole between two of the spot welds so it's easy to [ot back together. The bearings for the mule drive are 6203 2RS 3/4.   40mm OD  3/4 inch ID and 12 mm thick.

I just bolt mine back to gether with bolts, lock washers and nuts.

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Jeff-C175
2 hours ago, Porkskin said:

synthetic wheel bearing grease

 

OK in a pinch I suppose, but the 'real deal' is the Lucas "Red N Tacky" .  Get yourself some of that...  and at some point wipe that gray slop out, clean them all up and put the red stuff in, and don't look back.

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Jeff-C175
17 minutes ago, Lee1977 said:

The bearings for the mule drive are 6203 2RS 3/4

 

aka  6203 - 12 - 2RS  which you need to be careful that you specifically get the 3/4" ID ( the 12 in the part number means 12/16"... a little math tells us that's 3/4" )

 

The same bearing, but you sometimes will see that 12 in the part number.

 

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squonk

For $20 you can buy a new pulley from Lowell. Not worth cutting open a pulley to install a bearing and trying to re-weld a pulley with out wrecking the new bearing and having an unbalanced pulley

https://wheelhorsepartsandmore.com/product/92-7103-104974-101763-toro-wheel-horse-pulley/

 

104974-101763-92-7103-Pulley-Gallery-scaled.jpg

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