Advice on mower I may buy in a day or so..

fletchb(South East)November 25, 2012

Not sure if this is considered a mower or a tractor so sorry in advance if in wrong area.

Sorry for the long post but tried to be at detailed ss I could.

A long time friend (30+ years) called me last night asking if I knew anyone needing a riding mower.

Well I live on a big steep hill so i was interested. His aunt bought this this and it is a 2007 model. All was fine till late this spring/early summer when a part called a spindle was damaged. They didn't know how to fix it and my friend, who is a long term mechanic was in the hospital for a long time, so they went out and bought a new one (actually 2). He fixed the spindle today and did a few other things. Stll wants to do a few more things like grease it ,change oil, add a battery tender, touch up the cutting deck. I test drove it for about 1 hour at my house an it ran fine. It WILL take some getting used to dealing with my hills but I think I can do it with time and practice. Unit did not look show room new but also looked like it had been kept inside and was in good shape.

Now what I need advice on;

This mower is called a John Deer LA 150 with 52 in cutting deck. The engine is a brigs straton V twin 26hp.

Don't know anything about John Deer and just a little about brigs. I know they are supposed to be decent but not maybe in the same league as Honda (what I have for my self propelled mower). Would synthetic oil help with engine life?

Financially I am going out a limb (Christmas bonus) to buy this thing if do.

They asked 700 and and I offered 500. It looks like we both can agree on 600. Wil know for sure tomorrow, but friend says aunt called back and it's a 99% deal at this point.

But is this a good unit and is it worth this much?

Friend is good about helping me keep it maintained so I have that going for me as well.

Thoughts? Let me know as I need to decide soon.'

Thank you in advance,

Fletch

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tomplum

Pricing may be OK if it is ready to go. The LA 150s that I have worked on were bought to mow large, rough lawns and showed it. Meaning that sometimes people buy the largest lawn tractor that is in the budget, really needing a garden tractor. Things to look for is the deck's overall condition- is it beat or sounds/ feels rough? (there are 3 spindles BTW), pop the air filter cover and look for signs of dirt ingestion (problem w/ some of these earlier Intek twins), peak at both the traction belt and deck belts, look at the steering gear, front axle and whether the cooling fins on the top of the transmission were kept clean / not packed w/ grass (all of which can be seen w/o much problem) etc. Also inquire if they greased the new spindles or not as they come empty and require ~15 pumps each. Much of the rest is like buying a used car. Tire wear even? Starts and runs up easily w/o excessive emissions? Transmission drives well and quietly in forward and reverse- both cold and hot? Steers well, wheel position/ tow in looks normal? One other thought is they are built with a lighter duty transmission and lots of hill climbing may shorten the tractor's life. It may serve you for many years if you keep the cooling fins clean and aren't overusing the tractor.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 5:20AM
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fletchb(South East)

Well my uneducated guess is is all looked fine to me..did not check underside thought. Machine started fine,,,no smoke trans seemed good.

Over the next couple of days he is going to service it and did mention needing to grease some areas.

Unless I back out..it is a done deal...
Crossing my fingers..and thanks for the info...

Fletch

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 8:20PM
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fletchb(South East)

One more ? if you don't mind. This may be just internet hype but I have a question about the transmission.

I have read complaints about the 140 model and I understand it uses the same unit as the 150 (Tuff Torq K46AC)
One complaint claimed there is a manufacturing defect in these units and that "Turff Torq" forgot (or maybe intentionally) to include a drain plug so there is no way to change the oil so the unit eventually self destructs. Hype or any truth to this?
I did see an online youtube video where the 150 owner said they had weak transmission but it was unclear if he meant weak as in pulling attachments or weak as in what I mentioned above. I don't plan on pulling anything but i wlll be going up hill...no way around that. So are these transmissions time bombs or is this just internet hype?

I got till tues or Wednesday till purchase.

Thanks, Fletch

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 2:22AM
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rcbe(6)

The machine should have an hourmeter on it. If it is a 2007 model year unit, that says it has 5-6 seasons of use. That could mean around 300 hours on the meter. The machine is a lawn tractor and is not intended for ground engagement attachments - which means the hydro tranny is meant for light duty.
As tom notes, with proper maintenance that tranny may do the job. Much will depend on how you treat it and work it plus how it has been worked in the past. To me, it would be something of a gamble.
No, I don't think those trannnys have a drain plug... but a "brave" shadetree mechanic can remove the tranny, turn it upside down, drain it and then refill with fresh fluid - which often can resuscitate a otherwise dead hydro tranny.

question: why does friend want to sell this machine?

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 6:17AM
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mownie(7)

The "deletion" of a drain plug on the "light duty" line of hydrostatic drive transmission was certainly intentional.
This action sort of underscores the concept of "consumerism" in the market.
Because the manufacturers have to take aim at a "price point" (demanded by the consumer) target instead of a "quality point" (largely ignored by the consumer) target......things which can be eliminated without completely alienating the consumer, WILL BE ELIMINATED.
No matter if it is called an amenity or a necessity item, if the consumer public does not vote on things with their wallet in the marketplace, the manufacturers will continue to covertly get rid of items or features in the quest for reducing production costs.
In the case of the "missing drain plug", consider this.
Most consumers shopping for outdoor power equipment actually BELIEVE that these hydrostats are not ever going to need an oil change simply because the OEM blurbs call them "non-seviceable". To the average consumer this might imply that the hydro is built so well that it will outlast the rest of the machine.
The OEMs know that the hydrostats have a great likelihood of outliving the warranty period, and from a corporate liability viewpoint, that is exactly how long a transmission should last.
Can you imagine what would happen if consumers suddenly began to demand that even the light duty hydros feature a drain plug, and made this known by refusing to buy without a drain plug?
The OEMs would reinstate the drain plug and THEN start touting it as a "very important" feature to enhance longevity of their product.

This post was edited by mownie on Tue, Mar 19, 13 at 11:14

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 10:22AM
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rustyj14(W/PA)

From your questions, and from my view-point, i think you should just forget about buying used machinery, and invest the money in a new machine. From the problems you have told, and with the cost of new parts, you'd be better off getting a brand new machine!
If you were adept a fixing those machines, and parts, and if you could get it really cheap, take a chance, but, it you really want advice--run the other way! Hydros are risky! Standard tranny's are less risky, and tend to last longer than hydros, with proper care. Long-lived hydros are hard to find! Buy new, and get long term use. Buy used--and get somebody elses troubles! JMHO: Rusty Jones, The Mower Man.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 11:04AM
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fletchb(South East)

Here is what I know at this point:
This unit was his aunt's mower. She lives out in the country and it was serviced by a local dealer when new. This spring or early summer one of the spindles broke. Not sure why they did not go back to dealer (maybe $$$)but instead wanted friend to fix as he is mechanic. He was in the hospital and is still on disability, but is much better now. So aunt went out bought Huskyvana mower. Then they gave him mower on Thanksgiving to fix. There is discount lawnmower parts dealer at the local flea market that several people I know buy parts from. He picked up the spindle for like $38 bucks I think and fixed it. I have known my friend for 30+ years (since early teens) and I know he would not knowingly sell me junk. And I also know he will help me with maintenance (while I know jack about this kinda of stuff..he knows jack about computers so I help him with that& set him up with free phone service this weekend).

I guess it is good to know there is a round about way to change the oil if it ever comes to that. Car companies are doing the same thing. I had a tundra truck and a year or so after mine they made it so you could never change the transmission oil. ...really stupid idea....same with timing belts...glad those are going away.

A mutual friend who repaired my push mower (when the local shop could not and in fact made things worse) just went and checked out the mower. He thinks it is in great shape and is a good deal and I won't go wrong buying it. His girlfriend has the lower model (130) and has never had any issue with it. He said the spindles are problematic if you hit things....and there is no way around that. He also said you must have throttle around 1/3 before you engage blades or you will destroy the clutch. But other than that he thinks it should be reliable.

I wish I could buy a new one but just don't have the $$$. Only way I can buy this is because of a Christmas bonus we are getting next month.

Now one more silly question: How in the heck do I get underneath the thing to service it? My friend is servicing now using chain lift but i don't have that. Car ramps or something like that? Or can you turn it on the side?

Thanks...
Fletch

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 1:10PM
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mownie(7)

No, you can't turn on its side (practically speaking).
There are too many things with fluid in them to allow you to do that.
In so far as "servicing", there is not really much of a requirement to get under the machine to do routine stuff.
The mower deck is generally removed from the tractor when in need of service.
Ramps can be a pita because most of them take up as much space as the tractor.
For times I have needed to get under one of mine I use either my portable hydraulic engine hoist, or I will use a roll around floor jack to raise it, and then I lower it onto jack stands at the front axle, or onto 8" concrete blocks under the steer tires.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 1:34PM
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fletchb(South East)

Well he delivered the mower/tractor this pm and overall looks good for 200 hours. He did say in a year or 2 I should replace the other 2 spindles because they were dry and noisy. He said it appeared the dealer kept the thing well greased *except for the spindles. IN addition to the one he replaced, he also made sure the other 2 were greased and said they felt tight so while noisy, still have some life left. I can hear it at lower rpm but at 3/4 throttle or higher they quiet down noticeably . How long should I wait to replace them and will there be larger problems if I wait too long. He will do them for me, but doesn't see the need to do it so soon.

Also maybe a silly question but I like my machines to look at new as possible. On the very bottom edge of the plat form where you feet sit- e I can see where some of the green paint is wanting to peel a bit. It's not a big deal but again, just want it as new as I can get. Got the paint tonight and thinking best way would be just to cut off that area with knife, do some sanding in case of any rust..mask it off then hit it with a coating of John deer rustloeum.
Anyone try this and did it look ok? Again just want it to look new and I don't want it to start rusting. I am a decent painter and can even do a bit of feather to blend the old with then new...

Thanks,
Fletch

P.S. thoughts about the oil change tube? My friend changed mine out because the stock unit uses a plastic cap but now has a metal cap along with a valve. He does this to his own mowers as he doesn't like the plastic caps. Also added a a fuel shut off valve.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 4:43AM
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mownie(7)

Fletch, you need to re-align your priorities here.
The first and foremost issue you should address is those spindles. If they are ALREADY "dry and noisy", they need to be replaced RIGHT NOW, or at least before you place the machine into regular duty. If the person who said "in a year or 2" is that accurate as a seer or fortune teller I have a truck load of questions I would like him to answer for myself :^)
Now as to the paint......yes, do what you proposed to do. If sanding is needed, be sure to prime the bare metal spots with a good grade primer before applying the color. DO NOT expect an undetectable color match or texture match. Be satisfied that there are no rust spots showing and let it go at that.
The oil drain......I don't know what type of metal valve he installed but basically he did a good thing IF...the valve does not leak during operation and is easy to open and close when you need to change the oil.
The fuel shutoff valve is a very good thing to have....PROVIDED YOU KEEP IT TURNED OFF except when the engine is running. The fact that he installed it indicates that he either already had a problem of fuel overflowing from the carb during storage periods previously.........or that he is aware of what many of us at this forum already know and so installed it to preclude any problems in that area. I suggest you get the habit of always remembering to close that fuel valve as soon as you shut the engine off. You will not have too much trouble remembering to turn it back on when you use the machine because if you forget to.......it has a way to jog your memory.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 10:28AM
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tomplum

A couple of notes. True, these spindles do run a long time w/ rough sounding bearings. I too give folks an option. It's their $$ after all. The bearings themselves are replaceable. 2 out of 3 times, the lower bearing stays in the housing and can get driven out. It's more challenging to remove the bearing that is stuck on the shaft w/ basic tools in the 1 in three. If you/ he try this, leave the spindle on the deck to do the work. Winter gives you the extra time to catch up on things like this. The OE oil drains are really trouble free on these, but you can grab a foot of tubing from the hardware store to attach to what you've got for easier draining. The fuel valve plays a real role on tractors that have a tank up higher than the carb, so NBD on yours if it gets shut off or not.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 11:38AM
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fletchb(South East)

I think I will make a video with sound so you guys can hear what it sounds like and tell if me they need this asap. I say this as I have heard others on youtube that sound the same if not worse. The noise I hear was only at low to mid throttle settings.

I think the spindel issue was miscommunication..he would have kept the mower longer and done it if he knew I really wanted it done, but really thinks I have time. But for $80, I would have done it just for piece of mind. He had to borrow a trailer to deliver, but I can borrow one from another friend no problem if it really needs it NOW.

I started on the paint peel simply because it is something I have learned and know how to do. Match came out better than expected..but there is more paint peel than there should be as there is not much rust, just peel. Should not have happened. Chips and like spots on deck, but no peel ...you'd think that is where the peel should be.

I saw the current model of my machine at Lowes Sat when picking up the paint. It looks 99% the same and I think I can live with some repairs and fixes considering what they are asking for these machines.

The fuel cut off is due to ethenal gas so carb can be run dry, though I have read some conflicting advice on that too as some say it can damage the fuel pump depending on it's location, so I will probably just shut it off during the winter- I do have stable .

Thanks for all the advice and I will try to do a video but it will probably be next weekend before I can do it...
Have a nice week,
Fletch

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 1:01PM
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ewalk

Fletch: As for piece of mind , I would concurr with Tom as to the expected life expectancy of your Bearings. Although not optimal since they have been properly greased and now appear tight in Class of fit Tolerance normally a little chatter can be tolerated within this bearing application.It may even quiet down if oxidation not partial siezure(out of round) was the cause of this noise. Style of Bearing dicates the overall load capacity and rpm Life Expectancy . Ball Bearings VS Roller Bearing or Tapered Roller Bearing is the norm for Superior Life.I suspect not the latter styles. Secondary , but not least is the proper form of Grease for lubrication in this application. In short if it was my unit "I" would replace the bearings , however I agree that Tom's advice in your situation you can forgo this changeout and not have anything more than a bearing changeout worst case scenerio further mths down the road. As Mownie has indicated a noisy bearing may well have the life of a ticking clock , nothing is guaranteed , but I really doubt anything further would be damaged should a bearing fail . Common sense if the noise or a heavy vibration increases or ocurrs during higher rpm usage then perhaps recaluate your position and replace the affected bgr's until then enjoy your unit . Just my 2 cents .

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 12:18PM
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fletchb(South East)

Thanks for the advice. I will see if he will go ahead and do it after the Holidays. Although he won't charge me for it, since he has limited income at the moment, I wonder what would be a fair labor charge for replacing the 2 other spindles?

Meanwhile, I continue to fix the paint peel wherever I find bubbles. To be on safe side using primer made for lightly rusted areas before topcoat as I don't want to have to deal with this again anytime soon. Machine is already starting to look better at least.

Used it for about 30-1hour on Sat to mulch some leaves and it ran fine, pulled up my hill fine. After I put it up and started getting ready to paint again, I remembered that I was going to record a few min with my camera so I could let you hear how the spindles sound,,,,will try to do next weekend..

Thanks ....

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 12:04AM
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tomplum

The length of time it would take to replace 2 spindles would be 1/2 an hour to an hour -depending on tools and experience.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 11:04AM
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fletchb(South East)

You guys were on the money. I talked my friend into going ahead and replacing all the spindles and pulleys.- it was not that much $$- about $100 for everything. He told me only 1 spindle was about to go, but I told him to replace them all as I did not want any problems during the summer. I heard it last night..it is much quieter..only noise now is some rattle in the muffler at certain rpm's. I guess I can replace that down the road if I can find a good deal on one.

Only other issue is lighting. The plastic lens is slightly yellow. Anyway to clear that up besides replacing it? Also any LED replacement bulbs that will get me some more light as I prefer to mow at dusk.

Over the winter I repainted the pan and most of the deck. The funny thing is *underneath* the deck looked brand new....no rust at all so I did not hit it with rustoleum. Funny how the pan and to a lessor degree the deck had peeling but bottom of deck looked brand new.

Another friend with truck and trailer is going to pick it up early tomorrow pm so I can do a test mow. So ready for summer now..thanks for all the help!!!

Fletch

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 10:05PM
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bill_kapaun

I'm not sure what charging system that machine has.
Some mowers will have a 3 amp DC circuit for battery charging and a 5 amp AC circuit for lights.
LED means light emitting DIODE.
A diode BLOCKS 1/2 of the AC sine wave and thus would be OFF 1/2 the time. IOW, it's not going to put out the light it should.

IF the engine is equipped with a Voltage Regulator- likely 2 Yellow wires from under the shroud and 1 Red wire output, then no problem.
LED lights don't seem to get that favorable of reviews it seems. Apparently the light isn't "focused" well. No experience myself, however.

This post was edited by bill_kapaun on Sat, Mar 16, 13 at 22:18

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 10:17PM
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rcbe(6)

Fletch - one other friendly caution on taking care of your new mower...
If you don't have, invest in an air compressor or a hi-speed leaf blower. Use either to blow dust/dirt/clippings/etc. off machine after each use and make sure you get that air up under the seat pan to blow off the top of the tranny. If you must wash/wash, use water sparingly. AVOID garden hose drenching and POWER WASHERS. Either will give you electrical problems and grief down the road as L & G powered eqpt is not designed/built to withstand mother nature's worst as compared to a car.
Good luck and enjoy.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 10:47AM
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fletchb(South East)

Thanks I will check on circuit before I change over to led's . Lens is dirty or a bit yelllow..heard I can clean it with hydro peroxide.

As far as cleaning goes..yes my friend told me to only wash it when there is direct sun= also to never cut when wet. I used leaf blower this pm to clean it. I think it took longer to clean it than to mow it...mowing time went down from 30 min to about 5 with those three blades. With spindles replaced...it is much quieter now. Only noise is some kind of rattle at times inisde muffler...otherwise running good. We found there is a recommended front wheel bearing replacement ...we may do that soon as well..since it doesn't cost much money and we can do that here at my house. Thanks for all the help!,
Fletch

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 10:35PM
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mownie(7)

There are now some rather inexpensive "restore" kits available to clean up/clear up transparent plastic headlight lensing systems.
Find the kits online or at a local auto parts store.
Usually requires an electric drill to spin an included buffing/polishing pad.
These do a great job on plastic auto and truck headlights. Results should be similar on OPE lenses.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 11:40AM
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fletchb(South East)

mownie,

Any kits that you know work in particular? I have a drill so that is no problem. Yes I am doing this for looks, but I really do need as much light as I can get as I like to mow at dusk during the summer, Not confirmed yet, but I believe alternator is 16amps . Not sure if headamps are 1156 or 1157 but should be able to find led equlents that are brighter, but won't kill my charging system. Thanks...

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 2:59PM
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mownie(7)

Where I work, we have used 3M kit 39008 (if I recall correctly).
We have used some others but I can't remember who they were from.
A friend has used Meguier's 2 step kit on some motorcycle headlights and fairing windshields and it does a good job too.
Your headlights should be 1156 (or some other SINGLE contact bulb) and there are LED replacements for those.
Easy way to check the headlight circuit to determine if your headlights are DC powered is to turn on the headlights while the engine is NOT RUNNING. If the lights work with the engine OFF, the circuit is DC powered.
IF, however, the engine must be running for the lights to work, the circuit is AC powered and LED lamps will not perform well (as mentioned by Bill Kapaun).
LED lamps powered by AC will behave exactly like disco strobe lights (which your neighbors might find amusing).

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 11:33AM
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bill_kapaun

The LED lights on AC won't act like strobes, because the frequency is very high. They simply won't produce much light.
Current bulbs are likely an 1156, since an 1157 is a dual filament bulb. (stop/tail light etc.)
They do have some high output 1156 size bulbs.
IF you have a 16 AMP system, you have a "few" extra WATTs to play with.
Present bulbs probably draw about 6 AMPS. Allowing 4 AMPS for electric clutch & carb solenoid still leaves about 6.

Another possible option is to mount ONE higher powered spot light and leave the other lights off. Or unplug one of the headlight bulbs & use w/spot.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 12:58PM
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fletchb(South East)

Mowie,

Lights work with engine off so they are DC. I did not see your reply in time so bought some thing like it, but not the same. Parts counter guy told me that despite instructions say use cloth by hand, it works much much better with drill/buffer.

So I pick this stuff on the way home from work. Take hood off and begin to disassemble. Wait, it may not be sun fade at all, but rather just loads of dirt that someone never cleaned. Head light reflectors were dull, took a hose to it and now look brand new. Right headlight bulb was covered in dirt . Lens dirty too but that point I was running out of daylight so not 100% sure that it doesn't have any sun fade. Have to get home sooner to be sure.

Bill,
What are the name of these high powered 1156's? Autozone and the like have them?

Also side ? Have any of you done the optional front bearing conversion? My freind that did all the work says we might want to do that. It doesn't look too hard, just wondering if it is worth it?

Thanks,
Fletch

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 11:22AM
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bill_kapaun

Apparently, a 7056 is about 465 lumens vs 402 for an 1156.

You might just use Google for high power 1056 bulb

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 11:44AM
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rcbe(6)

seems like when I wus comparing machine back then the la deeres used bushings instead of bearings on their front wheels - if so, would be a definite upgrade plus.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 11:45AM
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fletchb(South East)

Well I have the front completely disassembled and now that all the dirt is gone, i am going to try and see how the stock bulbs perform- If still unhappy I will upgrade..thanks for the suggestions. Going to do some additional cleaning..maybe painting. Front grill does not look faded like rear fenders , but since I have it all apart and already have the plastic paint may go ahead and freshen it up.

I went ahead and ordered the bearing upgrade kit tonight.
I can probably do this myself but my friend could probably do it much faster and thinks it's a good idea. Sharp turns + light front end makes tractor plow which can't be good for bushings.

Thanks again for all the advice,
Fletch

P.S. with rebuilt deck it is much quieter now. There used to be a huge difference in noise between pto on vs off. Now not much difference.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 11:34PM
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tomplum

Wow- you will have spiffed your tractor up nicely by the time you are all done. It sounds as though you will be installing ball bearings in place of the front wheel bushings? If you do make the effort, it is best to clean the wheel spindles and hubs up nice and clean before lubing. Wear could have been created on the shaft that could be problematic as well. May as well put the new caps over the bearings too if they are not in the kit. ARe there alignment issues?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 12:02AM
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fletchb(South East)

Yes it is for the front wheels. I don't think there is a problem yet as ...previous owner had flat ground. i have much smaller area to cut 1/3 acre but it is hilly. So hoping this is cheap insurance.

What are caps exactly?

When I ordered the bearings it had 2 items that were suggested:

John Deere Snap Ring - M40514

and

John Deere E-Clip Ring - R27434

I was not sure if these were needed or not so I left a note with my order telling them I had an LA150 and to add those parts to the order if needed.

Front grill looked fine once clean, but shot a fresh coat on it anyway as I was headed out the door for work.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 6:17PM
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tomplum

M143338 is the part number for the caps. If your caps are nice and pliable, seal well etc- you are fine. I read into what you had written about maybe faded paint. Sun makes these vinyl caps hard. Much of the time they are ok. If they seem ok, but are hard to put on- soak them in hot water, dry them and install.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 8:59PM
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fletchb(South East)

Thanks now I know what you mean ....and will check.

For some reason the only real fade was rear fenders and to a lessor degree the steering wheel

Previous owner was a girl who took care of it and always kept it in a garage. But when she went off to college, she basically loaned or gave it to her mom who only kept it under a lean-to and I am guessing that is how the sun only got the rear..

In a way it's kinda funny that a kid would take better care of a mower than her mom.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 5:43PM
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tomplum

Your thread would be a great place to put a few pics, some before and afters if it isn't too late. Comparative lighting pics too.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 11:02AM
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fletchb(South East)

Unfortunately I did not take any this time. I may have pics of when I was painting the pan.

I spend half of today just cleaning the engine, hitting the frame with a little touch up paint- there is a metal plate on top of the muffler that was starting to rust..probably heat..so I hit it with barbecue paint . I used to use high temp engine paint but it never would hold...and a freind who restores vintage motorcycles taught me that trick. As I was putting the hood back together, i cracked the left corner of the reflector. It would have been fine as is and you would not even notice it unless I pointed it , but I would know . So I used some thick CA glue (for radio controlled helicopters) that fixed it up in about 15 min .

It is not even dark yet, but just cleaning the lens, reflector and bulbs seems to make a very noticeable improvement. Before they looked dim yellow even at night. Now they look bright white. I would not think dust could make this much difference, much less fool me into thinking the lens had sun fade, but it did. And while the front grill did not really need painting, I am glad I did as it does make it look much newer.

Got to get some bearing grease for the kit that will be here next week. I will try to take pics of that...I say try because it depends on if i do it or give it to my friend to do. I think I want to try it myself as it doesn't appear too hard to do.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 6:36PM
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fletchb(South East)

Well I got parts and grease now. I am going to attempt to covert 1 wheel only today in case I run into trouble as the instructions are rather lacking. I have the yellow dust cover off and not trying to get the clip off. Any suggestions? I know there is a tool to do this but don't have it.. Thanks...

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 4:02PM
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fletchb(South East)

Well I got the clip off easy enough with screw driver. Ran into trouble removing the old bushings. Tried screw driver and hammer but still no luck. Took it to freind that did orignal work and he took a VERY large screwdriver and got them free.

All going well but then grease gone did not work, so went out and bought a full sized one alone with mobile 1 syntetic grease. My be overkill but don't want to keep having to do this.

So caps have been off for about 2 hours now and now they won't fit. Then I remembered what Tom said"Sun makes these vinyl caps hard. Much of the time they are ok. If they seem ok, but are hard to put on- soak them in hot water, dry them and install." So hot water here they come. Just glad I only did 1 wheel today...but hopefully second one will not be such a pain. Ok let me try the hot water trick and see what happens..

Oh I did take some pics..will post em when all done.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 7:06PM
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fletchb(South East)

Hot water trick made them worse. Not sure how/why as I always thought heat makes things expand. Before cap would almost fit now way too small. I had to put mower up for the night..about to take hammer to it :)

I wonder what freezing the caps would do?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 7:37PM
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fletchb(South East)

picked up new hubs this am and new one fit perfectly if not a bit loose. Now trying right wheel. Got one bushing out myself, may need friend to get second one out.

Even thought this upgrade turned out to be harder than expected , I do think it will be worth it as I found groves on inner part of axle (what I think JD calls a spindle). Right side is still pefect. Before I removed the right wheel I compared the 2 and new left side has less play than right .

If you are on flat land this may or may not be worth it to you. But going up and down a steep hill I figured it was cheap insurance. Updgrade parts from greenpartstore and they have been helpful with advise as well.

Pics when/if ever finish :)

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 1:43PM
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fletchb(South East)

Well I broke a screwdriver getting second bearing out but it's now done and back together! Cleaning up now and have an appointment with friends but do have some pics I will post later tonight!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 3:29PM
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fletchb(South East)

Here is a few pics.Because I ran into trouble I did not take as many as I should have. Ok here is pic 1 just getting started.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 9:35PM
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fletchb(South East)

Ok you first pull off the cap. It comes off easy. If it's been on there awhile get new ones because they shrink and may be impossible to get back on. Several people told me to heat them up, which you would think would make them expand, only it made them shrink even smaller and were then unusable. So I ran down the the JD just in time before they closed and got new ones.

Next you take off the little clip shown in the pic. It is very easy..a screwdriver will pop it right off. Reinstall is just as easy- just use pliers on the non open end and it just pops right back on.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 9:47PM
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justalurker

fletchb,

Do you know that there's a right way and a wrong way to install those E clips?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 10:15PM
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fletchb(South East)

There is a tool for most of these kind of clips (ie for motorcycles) but these don't have the holes for them. Don't worry they come on and off pretty easy.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 10:59PM
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fletchb(South East)

Next is the hard part, which unfortunately, do to the difficulty, I forgot to take any pictures. The instructions simply say" remove bushings" but they fail to mention how to exactly. You need a large screwdriver and some time. The left wheel I could never get them out, but a friend with a larger screw driver got them out by hammering on inside lip (I had tried this but no luck). He finally got both of them out. I had not yet removed the right wheel so he could not do that one. I did that one today and for some reason one side came out pretty easy but the other did not. I finally got it out, but not without breaking a tip of one the screw drivers I used. Put screwdriver on lip and hammer away...then go to the opposite side and hammer. Repeat and cross fingers.

Oh and to see why these tractors need bearings and should have come with them in the first place, look at the left axial (spindle in JD terms) in the photo- see the groves- this should never have happened. After reinstalling the left wheel I compared to the right stock wheel. Left was noticeably tighter and had less play.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 11:14PM
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fletchb(South East)

Next clean the inside of the hub then insert the bearings. They will only install one way. You may need a cloth on top and lightly hammer them so they are flush with the surface of the hub.

On the LA150 there is an inside and outside washer. Don't forget those before you reinstall the wheel. Here is what new bearing looks like once installed in the hub

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 11:26PM
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fletchb(South East)

Now at this point you are almost done. Make sure inside washer is installed, put on wheel and then the outside washer. Install clip using plyers on the non open end of the clip . Other end of pliers goes on axle. It should pop back into place with no problems.
Now use your grease gun and apply grease till you see it start to come out on both sides of the wheel. Then install yellow caps and apply more grease till you see it start to come out of the caps. You are now done.

Hope this helps someone as the instructions are NOT very detailed.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 11:31PM
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justalurker

No, you don't understand. I an not talking about how to remove and install the clip. There are special pliers for circlips but there is no special tool required for E clips.

What I am talking about is that there is a right and wrong direction which the E clip faces. Do you understand?

The next time you want to move bearings or bushings try a little heat from a propane torch.

This post was edited by justalurker on Sat, Apr 13, 13 at 23:49

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 11:44PM
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fletchb(South East)

No I do not understand. Take a look at my old ones. There is no difference between sides. Here is first pick..followed by the second one.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 9:47AM
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fletchb(South East)

Here is the other side:

You can tell which side was facing out due wear of the paint but otherwise they are identical.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 9:50AM
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mownie(7)

***"There is no difference between sides."***
Not true. There is a difference, but it is NOT a difference that matters IN SOME APPLICATIONS.
The difference is that on one face of the clip, the edges are smooth and rounded.
The opposite face edges are sharp and square cut.
The purpose of a rounded edge on one face is to provide a smooth, non gouging surface for the retained parts to rest/ride against as the hard material the clips are made from is quite capable of "cutting/shaving" soft metals.
The opposite face edges are left square to lessen the tendency for the clip to "cam out" of the holding groove of the pin or shaft (as the case may be).
The rounded edge is created during the "die cutting" or stamping of the E-clips from dimensional steel sheet using dies that impart the rounded edge as the clips are being cut.
Interestingly enough, the first photo above (post time stamped 9:47 CDT) shows the square cut face of the E-clip, and it had been installed facing the backing washer next to the wheel bushing............that orientation was a "technical error".
The second photo (time 9:50 CD) shows the rounded face of the clip had been installed facing away from the backing washer, and that too is a technical error.
Does it matter? Probably not much (except for a purist like me) in this application........obviously if it did there would already have been some consequences to deal with by now.
But when you know the "right and wrong" way to do things, best to always just do it right instead of trying to determine if it really matters in a specific case.
Oh, by the way.......there actually are special tools to push E-clips on and off, but their use has more to do with keeping the clip from flying off and getting lost than being a necessity for their removal/installation.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 12:50PM
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fletchb(South East)

Mownie

both of those pics are from the stock one that came off the wheel, not the new one I replaced. So if it was backwards, it came that way from JD. But considering they didn't paint it right ether, that doesn't surprise me :)

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 2:40PM
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mownie(7)

Yes fletch, I understood that the clips as shown had been in their previous positions for some time.
I was just trying to elaborate in Mownie fashion on why there actually is a difference in the clip profile and how/why it MIGHT make a difference in SOME applications.
The exact same "technology" is also used in other types of retainer clips as well.
Smooth, rounded edge faces whatever is being "retained" by the respective clip.
Sharp, square cut edge faces away from whatever is being retained.
No matter if it is a snap ring, circlip, or an E-clip.
The term snap ring and circlip often get used incorrectly and in place of one another.
And that does not matter either so long as you have an example or know what you want if you don't.
Some folks may want to argue that circlips are a type of snap ring and that snap rings are a type of circlip.
Does not matter either.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 3:02PM
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mownie(7)

OK, 52.......I mean 53.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 3:04PM
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fletchb(South East)

Ok here is are 2 ? for you. See the groves in my axle. Do you think that is ok to go with it like that. I can replace it for less than $40 but don't want to if unnessary.

Also after restore, my JD sounds brand new EXCEPT when you first start up at ldile . Best me and a friend can tell, it is something inside the muffler. It goes away pretty quickly , but just wondering if this is a big deal or not?
Thanks, Fletch (yes the one's with the circles are the ones used on motorcycles..had that tool years ago as a kid.)

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 3:11PM
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mownie(7)

Those small grooves in the spindle are not serious enough to warrant replacement spindles. Those grooves were caused grit becoming imbedded into the bushings and acting like small "fly cutter" blades.
The grooves are too small to have weakened the spindle load bar enough to worry about.
The best policy on how to minimize that kind of wear/damage would be to pump in some grease PRIOR TO EACH USE of the tractor, and even that would not be an absolute guarantee against some grit getting into the works.
And I don't know anybody personally that does that.
But it has been said many times that grease is the cheapest thing you can put on a machine.
As to the "rattle noise" (my words, not yours).
If it is in fact coming from the muffler, there is not much you can do about it except to make sure it is not a loose external heat shield, if which you could possibly/maybe tighten any screws that hold it in place.
Another trick I have used in the past to mute loose heat shields where the screws were frozen or broken off is to fit 1 or 2 large automotive worm drive hose clamps around the entire muffler and heat shield to draw it down tight.
The hose clamps are stainless steel (except for the worm gear, which is usually just plain steel).
The hose clamps can be opened up by backing the worm gear completely off of the band and thereby permit the clamp to be put around the muffler assembly without taking the muffler off the tractor.
If the rattle is due to a section of the muffler internal baffling having come loose, probably nothing short of a new muffler will fix that.
Still, even if it was due to something loose inside the muffler, I might still be tempted to wrap a couple of those hose clamps around it to see if it would respond to a "good squeeze".

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 4:15PM
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justalurker

mownie,

The sharp edge of the E clip should face away from the application of the load or in this case towards the end of the axle.

I've seen front axle clips cam or walk right off the stub axle on LT/GT pushed hard in a corner so there is a difference in every application whether the person with the clip in their hand knows the difference or not.

Since some people come here to learn let's teach them the right way and they can decide for themselves what to ignore...

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 6:59PM
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mownie(7)

***"The sharp edge of the E clip should face away from the application of the load or in this case towards the end of the axle."***
I don't know what you are trying to correct here because that is exactly what I said, sir.
Insofar as someone deciding to ignore after being taught the right way, seems like Deere should have been able to apply the same philosophy, and if they did.............well I guess they thought it did not matter.
You do believe Deere gave it some thought, don't you?
:^)

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 7:20PM
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justalurker

I guess I took the long way to agree with you... Sir.

As far as did Deere know... In over 20 years as a pro and some with large manufacturers I've seen more clips installed wrong than I could believe. When I posed the question to QC techs they looked at me like I was crazy. I escalated the question to engineering and so did they. Their answer was there's no specification so there's no right way or wrong way.

When I contacted ASTM they were in the know and so was the SAE. They were both definitive on the right way and that there was a wrong way.

I was so confused... but all my clips were installed correctly especially the circlips in gearboxes.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 7:46PM
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fletchb(South East)

Mownie,
Thanks for the axle advice- I will leave it alone. I will check the muffler things you mentioned but I think you are right as 2 friends both think it is inside the muffler- one tried to find it and was pretty sure it was inside. It only happens on startup , just annoying as I have restored this thing pretty good. Rebuilt deck is very quiet now. And I did a lot of cosmetic work myself.

? for hopefully years down the road. Some people say that my JD comes with a poor quality brand transmission. I have had zero problems as of yet, but thinking of the future.
For about $1500 you can get a kit with a better transmission that is supposed to be much more reliable. But I have also read for about $1500 you can get a used tractor that doesn't have this issue in the first place. Is this true and if the day ever comes, would you put in the better transmission or find one of these older but goodie JD's?

Thanks,Fletch

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 8:53PM
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fletchb(South East)

Just a follow up on my mower:

I have continued to do small improvements like painting the deck and more recently, adding more lighting for night mows. The existing lighting is working fine, but still needed a bit more.

My friend that has helped me with the mower was working on a another friend's boat and was installing some Led lighting and that gave me the idea. I added the optional front bumper and installed 2 leds. These fit recessed behind and inbetween the 2 bumpers so no worries if you hit something.

I am sure many will work but I saw these on the boat so I went the same : Optronics TLL52FBP. Each light has 3 led's inside and at 12v draw .64 amps so no worries about overloading electrical system. Lights are black so they already matched bumper. But I painted everything else flat black to match. By that I mean the bracket, SS hose clamps, nuts and bolts.

For the switch I wanted it to look factory and not homemade. I removed and disabled the reverse cut out switch. Looked up real manufacturer of that switch and got specs. Took specs and switch to RS and matched it up. They have a flat black rocker that matches perfectly both in appearance and size so it fits the existing hole perfectly. Already had trailer light wiring loom so it matches existing loom perfectly

If it gets really hot where you live and you do night mows, this will def help out.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 3:55PM
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larso1(So. CO Zone 5)

Thanks for the update Fletch. Nice job! At the beginning post you definitely sounded like a newbee, but by your last post you "almost" sound like a knowledgeable mechanic after applying the advice of all these pros (Mownie, JL, tomplum, rcbe, bill_k, ewalk, and rusty). Well done! You must feel proud of your mower restore project on a budget, and ready for the next mechanical project! Very satisfying, aye?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 12:22AM
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fletchb(South East)

Hey thanks!,

This board has been a great help- that is for sure! Couldn't have done it without you guys. I am still much a newb when it comes to the mechanical stuff, but I have a bit more experience with the electrical side. Here is a recent pic with the lights installed. The pic was taken during day so you can't see how bright they are but they do make a difference. Thanks again for all the help!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 2:33PM
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kbowley

HI,
A fantastic replacement for the 1156 bulb is the halogen #796. It is the BA15s base and draws 35 watts vs. the 27 watts for the 1156. The 1156 has 30 candlepower while the 796 has 60 candlepower, 2 times the light for a mere 8 additional watts. I use them in all my tractors and depending on the reflector, it makes a fantastic upgrade.
You can find them at your local Napa store or online at
http://www.bulbtown.com/796_HALOGEN_MINIATURE_BULB_BA15S_BASE_p/796.htm

Kevin,
Kevins Small Engine service,
South Berwick ME. 03908

Here is a link that might be useful: 796 halogen miniature bulb replacment for 1156 bulb

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 10:58PM
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mownie(7)

I am confused about how it "draws" 35 watts.
I can see it drawing 2.91 amps, but the watts thing has me puzzled.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 11:30PM
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rcbe(6)

mownie - volts x amps = watts. Am I missing something here? wattage is a common descriptive in light bulbs... or was. and his link detail notes bulb rated at 12.8vdc, 35w....

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 9:52AM
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mownie(7)

rcbe, c'mon. Surely you did not miss my point?
***" draws 35 watts"***
It PRODUCES 35 watts output energy, DRAWING roughly 2.9 amps when used with a 12 volt power source.

The statement was similar to the one below (recently posted here).
***"It was the voltage regulator putting out too many ohms at the clutch."***

My point is : We members who have various amounts of professional experience in the field, try to convey accurate information to people who might happen across this forum.

I'm not ridiculing anyone for posting misinformation or off center remarks.
I just feel that it is not a good thing to perpetuate misconceptions or misinformation stated on a board that people refer to when wanting to learn something.
I hope to spur people to try and understand the (sometimes confusing and obscure) details of how all the technology and principles really work by noting errors, much like how a teacher would call out a student's mistake if a wrong answer was given aloud in the class room.
And to be sure, I too have been called out by other members of this forum for making inaccurate (read bonehead) statements.
I applaud those who keep me re-thinking my remarks and cause me to research a little deeper.
I encourage folks to debate topics where there seems to be a misunderstanding of the facts, terminology, or concepts pertaining to machines targeted by the forum.
I ignore spelling and typos as those don't really diminish content. Besides, with all the new texting language coming into widespread use.................how would you know it was spld wrng?

This post was edited by mownie on Sun, Jun 16, 13 at 11:33

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 11:26AM
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fletchb(South East)

Kevin,

Thanks for the info. With my LED's I am doing fine now. However I may still give them a try, nothing wrong with a little more light. Now what would be great is if they had super brite led's that fit in the 1156 base.

But regardless, I iive in the south and it is already very hot here so those knight mows sure makes things less miserable!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 12:44PM
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rcbe(6)

Well, Mownie... at the risk of freezing my radiator again I will agree to the usage of "produce" related to wattage, but balk at "draw" relative to amperage. To me "allow" might be more appropriate?. :)

But I do understand and applaud the thrust of your comments. Such will be a never-ending process, methinks.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 10:33PM
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mownie(7)

It draws 2.91 amps (current) out of the 12 volt power source and produces 35 watts of energy in the process.
Or, it "pulls" 2.9 amps out the the power source, (the current is pushed along by the 12 volts potential of the battery/alternator).
Amp draw and current draw are essentially different words to describe the same thing.
The term "current draw" or "amp draw" are most commonly used in automotive venues when dealing with cranking motors (starters), especially if a defective condition exists which increases the amp draw of the starter.
But rest assured, if it is electrical, there is some amp draw factor in every closed circuit. And if that closed circuit consists of a short to ground, the draw can be enormous (depending on the size of conductors).

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 12:15AM
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fletchb(South East)

Hi again from the guy who bought the used LA150 around last Christmas.

Tractor has been great giving zero problems. Bumper and Extra lights I added big help during night mows.

I live on the Gulf Coast which means extra long season but by the end of this month / early Nov it should be over.

Most of the maintenance schedule says 50 hours for many items and I only put about 12 on it since Christmas, but I am suspecting I should do it anyway at end of season, like greasing the new spindles and wheel bearings.

What about air filters? Should I wait a bit longer on those or go ahead and replace? When my friend was dong the initial maintenance before i bought it, he was told to use a single weight (30 wt) because of the hot conditions down here. Should I stay with singe weight or go with something with some range like a synthetic?

Thanks and thanks again for all the help earlier this year.
Mower has already paid for its self and well worth the labor and $$ I have put in it.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 3:57PM
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fletchb(South East)

Oh one more think . If I asked this before ..sorry, but friend original used marvel mystery oil and says good idea to use it from time to time. While it was in fuel engine smoked on start up but no longer does that.

Ok to use from time to time or waste of money?

Thanks,

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 5:41PM
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mownie(7)

I use Marvel Mystery Oil in my fuel, but only 1/2 ounce to the gallon of gas (1 ounce in my 2 gallon jug). I feel that the little bit of oil will offer some protection to the metal surfaces of the fuel system components. I also add Stabil to all my fuel for OPE.
As far as the MMO, I think you can probably get the same protection I believe to be getting by simply adding the same amount of synthetic 2 cycle fuel mix oil to the gas.
I also believe that the small amount of oil in the fuel helps to prevent the intake valves from "sticking" to the valve guides, which can be a problem when the engine started.
As far as the engine lube oil is concerned, you can use 10W30 or 30, so long as your engine does not tend to consume too much oil in hot weather.
As to dino vs. synthetic.....it is said the synthetic oils do a much better job of lubing and cooling the engine, especially in air cooled engines.
But unless you are doing some extremely hard work, I doubt you could justify synthetic just on that.........a good dino oil is satisfactory for most folks duties.
Air filter......change it as needed, or about every three years, whichever occurs first.
Always lube everything before you place it in storage.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 12:36AM
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fletchb(South East)

Well I bought an extension for my grease gun, Could never get the middle spindle zerk to attache to the gun. Got the left handed side thought. But then I could not get it to come off and ended up pulling the zerk out of the spindle.

? Do they make longer/ more angled zerks that are easier to get to? If so who makes them? I am going to see if my friend will teach me how to lower the deck for easy maintenance and replace the other zerks while I am at it.

BTW this mower has been well worth the time and $$ I put into it. Save me loads of time and aggravation this summer..that's why I want to make sure it is well maintained.

Thanks...

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 12:38PM
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mownie(7)

I will guess that the zerk which pulled out is one of the "threadless" push in kind. These are quite useless (IMO) once they pull out.
Arrg! I typically replace these with threaded versions, but that requires enlarging the small hole to accept either a metric threaded zerk, or a 1/8" NPT threaded "American" zerk.
You can choose angled zerks in either the metric or NPT versions.
If you don't have the tap to retrofit either type of threaded zerk, you will have to buy one and the correct size drill bit......or farm the job out to a pro.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 1:04PM
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fletchb(South East)

Pretty sure the removed zerk has a tread. Friend says this is pretty common problem as they are cheap. Any good sources for these things? Long angled preferred so I can get to it.

Lowes or JD company?

Thanks.
Fletch
.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 2:44PM
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ewalk

Fletch: Since your in the greasing mode , use a Moly Grease it may be a little more expensive but has a much better life cycle and resistance to galling from thermal cycles and better water dispersant qualities.

Rcbe Black Ice did you say , Say it aint so Roflmbo !

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 5:53PM
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mownie(7)

You can source grease fittings from any well stocked auto parts house. If the one that popped out is threaded, take it with you and match the threads to a replacement fitting configured how you like.
The reason I brought up about the ultra cheepo "threadless" press in zerks is because they are actually in fairly wide spread use........and they ain't worth a spit. Even though they have "ribs" around the part that presses in, supposed to hold them in......I find that they pop out real easy, especially if you are putting a lot of pressure into them with the grease gun, or as you found out....the gun does not want to turn loose the zerk.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 12:14AM
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mownie(7)

Don't know why I came out with a double post, so I erased the duplicate.

This post was edited by mownie on Tue, Oct 8, 13 at 0:16

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 12:15AM
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fletchb(South East)

UPDATE:

All fixed up. Here is what I did in case this helps someone else in the future. I bought 2 extensions for my grease gun as lowes. Sorry I threw away the bag, but just ask as they know where they are . In my store they are in the tool section. You will also need couplers for the extensions. My is called Watts LFA-706 1/8 in FIP (3mm). For the spindles themselves the zerk fitting is 1/4-28. Not sure if all spindles are the same size but they did have a fitting chart if you have your old zerk. The reason I was having issues is that the fittings that come with the extensions are rather cheap and one actually broke. I ended up using the one off my grease gun and had no more issues.So now it's fixed and all greased up. I am mowing one last time for winter (down in the south, we are going back and forth between hot and cold right now , but grass is not really growing). Mower has not been used in about a month and batt was low and almost didn't start so defiantly going on the tender tonight when all done. I was advised to wait till near spring to change oil filters/etc but think I will go ahead and buy them so I am ready. As you may remember, I got this mower from a friends Aunt last Dec. He changed the oil to 30w as that is what a dealer told him to use. But is that really the best? I normally used Rottella synthetic in my air cooled engines.

Well mower has paid for itself already since it made it one season without issues. When I was sick and had to have a lawn service, it cost me about the same as what I paid for the mower plus my fixes and add ons. So happy about that!

Thanks again for all the help!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 4:09PM
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ewalk

Thanks for your follow up post Fletch , you must feel a lot of Pride within a Job Well Done , Good on You Bro !

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 5:50PM
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mownie(7)

Someone advised you to leave the old oil in and change it in the spring?
Not the best advice.
Better to change your oil as one of the things to do in prep for winter layover.
That way you have the nice, clean, new oil to coat all the surfaces and cling in place, without the acids and contaminants that form during normal operation.
Clean oil in the Fall, start and go in the Spring.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 6:54PM
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fletchb(South East)

Thanks Ewalk. There are things I will still need help with but getting better. The 4 headlights was my creation and sure helps with night mows.

Mowie,

Ok I can do it now, but what about the oil recommention? 30WT conventional or Synthetic? I don't think Syn is magic but do think it helps air engines run a bit cooler.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 1:03PM
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mownie(7)

I say 30 if you can find it in synthetic. 10W30 is OK unless your engine develops an appetite for it.
Some say to use an oil that is rated for diesel engine service in order to get the anti-wear additive package (including Zinc) that is no longer used in the formula for "on road gasoline fueled engines".
What you want to look for (if you go that route) is an API Classification of CJ. There may be some dashed suffix numeral too, such as CJ-4 or the like, but CJ will be the latest API Class for diesel engines. There are syn based oils for the diesel market just like for other fuels.
I believe the -4 in CJ-4 just means it is formulated for the latest diesel exhaust emission standards where ultra low sulphur fuel is used and where an exhaust particulate filter might also be present.
For use in OP air cooled applications the presence, or absence of any suffix numerals will not matter, either way.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 2:49PM
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fletchb(South East)

Thanks Mowie,

I think that Rottella was made for Trucks. It was recommend by bike people as it did not have the energy saving stuff added that is supposed to be bad for bikes. You have to buy it in gallon jugs at truck stops or Walmart, but the difference is (or at least supposed to be) that you have to pay more for the mobile 1 equivalent. I don't know if about the CJ-4 rating, but I am off tomorrow (for BD!) so will go looking and see what I can find.

I may just keep mower in service as it is good for mulching leaves :)

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 10:51PM
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fletchb(South East)

Hey guys,

I ended up waiting to change the oil and picked up the filters yesterday. I am draining the oil now and just noticed lowes sold me a smaller filter than what is on there now. The box says it is for the 150 but it is noticeably smaller.

Anything to worry about?

thanks.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 4:42PM
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fletchb(South East)

I think I figured out what was wrong. The old filter was an after market filter. Strange but it actually looks like a better filter than the JD.

Oil was changed right before I bought mower (DEC '12) and it looked really clean. Much cleaner than my Honda push mower typically looks...

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 5:03PM
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