Greasing Mower Deck Spindles

My lawn tractor has plastic shields that cover the mower deck spindles.  Those shields have small openings that are supposed to be used to access and grease the spindles.  They always clog up with grass and sand.  This makes accessing the grease fittings inside difficult.  Here’s how I fixed that.

D125 Lawn Tractor SmallI have a John Deere D125 with a 42″ mower deck.  Lots of other lawn tractors have — essentially — the same mower deck.  The spindles have plastic shields/shrouds over them which are supposed to protect the spindles and belts inside.  In reality, they simply trap crap inside which then gets in the way when you are trying to grease the spindles.

The tiny opening provided is not large enough to let you easily clean the area out, and clean the head of the grease fitting (aka “zerk”), so you can connect up your grease gun and inject some fresh grease without also forcing in sand and other fine debris.

So you end up either unbolting the covers in situ, or dropping the deck completely and then removing the covers.  Both are time-consuming options that make what should be a quick and easy process a drawn-out and painful one.

When I recently performed my 100-hour service on the lawn tractor — having gone through the greasing process three or four times before — I decided to make some permanent changes to make greasing those spindles easier.

SpindleGreaseExtension1

I completely removed the cover, belt and pulley to give me easy access to the grease fitting.  I then removed it, took it to a local store that sells grease/hydraulic/air fittings, and got a replacement fitting that could be adapted to a pressure line.

SpindleGreaseExtension2

I bent some scrap steel I had lying around, drilled a few holes in it, and terminated/mounted the other end of the pressure line onto that.  Since I replaced the side-eject chute with a mulching kit a while back, I had two bolts free on the top of the deck.  I simply bolted the mounting plate there — no need to drill extra holes into the deck itself, or weld anything.  Perfect!

SpindleGreaseExtension3

The mounting plate is very sturdy, and there is plenty of room around the extended grease fitting for my grease gun to fit in.  (Although they might look like they are in the way from the picture, those mounting nuts aren’t in the way at all.)

I then removed the grease fitting from the other spindle, and repeated the process.

SpindleGreaseExtension4

I chose to route the second line through those holes because that would ensure that — no matter what — the extension line would never get tangled up in any other moving piece on the mower deck.

I terminated/mounted the second line onto the same mounting plate, and replaced the pulleys and belt.

SpindleGreaseExtension5

With the spindle covers back on, you can see that the second line actually passes over the right-side cover.  I did this because that way it a) avoided tight bends in the line, and b) would be under the right side of the platform (where your right foot usually rests) — making it impossible to snag with a foot when getting on/off on the tractor on that side.

SpindleGreaseExtension6

I pumped in some fresh grease using the new spindle grease extensions to verify that there were no leaks and everything was working as it should, then reattached the mower deck and cut some grass.

SpindleGreaseExtension7

Both spindles can now be greased from the same side, at the same time, using the easy-to-reach extensions.

Total time to extend the grease fittings:  2 hours (3 if you count the trip to the store).
Total cost of the extra fittings and line:  AU$33.

So, if you are looking for an easier way to grease the spindles on your mower deck, I strongly recommend extending the lines to somewhere convenient.  It’s cheap, quick and easy.

Happy greasing!

 

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