Idler pulley problems

strelnikov(NE IL)March 20, 2011

I have an old Roto-Hoe 990 tiller that has an idler pulley with a brass bushing to tension the main drive belt. A couple years ago it was overheating so I replaced the brass bushing. Now it is overheating again. It starts to smoke after using it a while so I shut it off and let it cool down before I continue tilling. Anybody know what I can do to prevent this overheating issue?

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Please post a Pic or link to a Pic. I hate to think there is no zerk fitting to grease the bushing or one c/n be added. OR! Should you be adding a lighter wt oil from an oil pump can?? loger

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 9:44PM
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strelnikov(NE IL)

Sorry no pics. There is no zerk fitting, I suppose I could add one, may have to somehow.

If I can't make the bushing idler pulley work I may have to make some kind of fitting that can mount an idler pulley with a bearing instead of a bushing. Not exactly easy for me but necessity is the mother of invention...

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 11:32PM
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W/o seeing your set-up and need, I'm guessing adding a zerk s/n be a big challenge if you have a shoulder to add it on-to. I would angle it toward the center (if angling is needed).

I could see you possibly adding an automotive pulley with a bearing easier than adding a bearing. Try taking the pulley to an auto store and ask if they can match it with a pulley with a bearing. Good Luck! loger

PS. I probably have what you need in my "Years Of Stuff". LOL!!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 9:57AM
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strelnikov(NE IL)

Thanks loger I will measure the shaft size and pulley diameter. I remember when I replaced the bushing that I found an idler pulley with a bearing with the same pulley diameter but not with the same shaft size.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 11:35PM
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1. I feel adding a zerk (if possible) and greasing as needed might be you best 1st reasonable option.

2. Maybe roller bearings could be added to your present pulley with minor machining if needed.

3. W/O sealed bearings grease will be needed which makes me feel a source is there on quality equipment.

4. Pic Are Worth A Thousand Words. Hopefully! Someone will provide pics and a source of grease or not. Cross Your Fingers! loger

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 4:21PM
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Stre: As loger has advised roller bearing would be the best form of resolve but a zerk fitting also would provide an easy solution to your lubrication needs should there be sufficient metal for this modification. Other wise periodic greasing with moly grease should be adequate for most babbitt bearing applications . This was the norm until auto oilers (stuffing boxs) became the norm and then needle and roller bearing . Let us know how you make out . Loger has given sound advice .

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 5:38AM
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There may have been some metal transfer when the first
bushing overheated. If you didn't clean up the shaft,
then the new bushing is now ruined.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 1:43PM
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strelnikov(NE IL)

Thanks lbpod I didn't realize that. That is probably what happened because the new bushing started overheating not long after I installed it. Bummer. I remember my dad using this tiller when I was a kid and I never remember him having problems with the idler pulley overheating.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 9:37PM
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In which direction would the metal transfer. Brass to steel or steel to brass? Either way will a good polishing remove the metal or is wear an issue already? What type of grease or oil did you use? loger

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 10:43PM
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