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#4478355 - 08/03/17 04:13 PM John Deere spindle
Eddie Offline


Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 9558
Loc: Florida, Cape Coral
Does anyone have experience with the typical life of John Deere blade spindles? If I grab each of the blades on on 42" I can get about 3/8 inch movement at the tip. I think this may be normal but, I have no experience. Mower has 135 hours on it. Ed
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#4478358 - 08/03/17 04:17 PM Re: John Deere spindle [Re: Eddie]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 12638
Loc: NE,Ohio
what deck?

a 261 grooming mower will be different than a stx38
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#4478363 - 08/03/17 04:21 PM Re: John Deere spindle [Re: Eddie]
oldoak2000 Offline


Registered: 07/23/14
Posts: 119
Loc: North TEXAS
sandy soil will eat the bearings inside like cotton candy.
IF you're lucky spindles can be dissembled and bearings replaced cheap (few bucks ea ordered on ebay).
Full spindle assemblies cost $$$$$

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#4478366 - 08/03/17 04:28 PM Re: John Deere spindle [Re: Eddie]
dlundblad Offline


Registered: 09/30/13
Posts: 9998
Loc: Indiana
Does the mower use anything between the bolt and the blade?

I had a similar issue with a Kubota G1800. The blade retainers were shot. They are bowl shaped and when the blade hits something, they give as opposed to the blade or in some situations, the entire spindle. The more things the blade hits and the more time they spend being compressed, the less tension they have.

http://www.messicks.com/part/76550-34350/retainer
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#4478375 - 08/03/17 04:39 PM Re: John Deere spindle [Re: Eddie]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: Waco, TX
If this is the cheapest 42" mower JD sells, I think the entire spindle with bearings is about $22-$25
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#4478422 - 08/03/17 05:55 PM Re: John Deere spindle [Re: Eddie]
bioburner Offline


Registered: 09/19/16
Posts: 1418
Loc: Minnesota
Something isn't right. As oldoak stated I would bet the bearings are not good. Pull the blade and see if you can move the spindle. Not that hard to drop the deck and take the whole spindle assembly off. The bearings should only be about $4 each. Some deck designs don't put a bearing guard on to protect the bearings above the blade and string, wire sand and gravel can rapidly erode the bearing seal. Main reason I went with a Husqvarna as they put on a good guard on as it seems I will always find the remains of the horse fence and string from the feed bales.
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#4478541 - 08/03/17 08:13 PM Re: John Deere spindle [Re: Eddie]
Eddie Offline


Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 9558
Loc: Florida, Cape Coral
Mower is a JD L111 42" deck. Has covers on each top belt pulleys and the bottom of the spindle is covered with the blade attachment adapter. So back to my original question-typically how long should one expect JD spindles to last in normal homeowner use? Ed
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#4478680 - 08/04/17 12:42 AM Re: John Deere spindle [Re: Eddie]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: Eddie
So back to my original question-typically how long should one expect JD spindles to last in normal homeowner use? Ed


Sorry, Ed.

There no "one" answer.

Every lawn is different.

Dry & rocky ground is far harder on mowers than mowing lush green grass.

The bearing that come with are typically pretty cheap, and it's Russian roulette. Some last 2 years, some last ten years. $4 bearings last 2-3 years, and $10 bearings last 10 years.
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#4478801 - 08/04/17 07:40 AM Re: John Deere spindle [Re: Eddie]
The_Eric Offline


Registered: 03/31/10
Posts: 5354
Loc: Iowa
No, that's not normal. For them to have that much slop, they should be making quite the racket.

Replacement spindles- also called quill or mandrels will run somewhere around $100 or a bit more.
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#4478812 - 08/04/17 07:51 AM Re: John Deere spindle [Re: Eddie]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 10559
Loc: Buffalo, NY
3/8" play in any direction is a crazy amount. I would say typical lifespan for a cheapo unit would be ~5yrs/200hrs, but like said, there's a ton of variable at play. Problem with them is, most decks are typically so loud during normal operation that you don't notice a noisy spindle. I'd pop the belt off and give them a spin by hand to see how they roll.


Edited by JTK (08/04/17 07:52 AM)
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#4478852 - 08/04/17 08:49 AM Re: John Deere spindle [Re: The_Eric]
SHOZ Offline


Registered: 06/28/03
Posts: 5742
Loc: Illinois
Originally Posted By: The_Eric
No, that's not normal. For them to have that much slop, they should be making quite the racket.

Replacement spindles- also called quill or mandrels will run somewhere around $100 or a bit more.
Yes if they are bad they will roar like crazy.

My JD F510 with 38" deck and dual blades I bought in 1999. The first time I greased the spindles I blew out the seals on one. Fast forward to 15 years later and the noise drove me to rebuild them. A couple bearings each and one fan for each cost $50 total. When I tore down the bad one it was obviously the bearings, but I can't say it had any slop. I never have rebuilt the other one, so it's going on 18 years at about 50 hours a year of use with no problem.
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#4478950 - 08/04/17 11:18 AM Re: John Deere spindle [Re: Eddie]
Win Offline


Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 4446
Loc: Arkansas
Originally Posted By: Eddie
Mower is a JD L111 42" deck. .... So back to my original question-typically how long should one expect JD spindles to last in normal homeowner use? Ed


Sounds about right. I had to pretty much rebuild the entire deck on my 42" JD at around 175 - 180 hours.

I use mine to mow some of my commercial property, but it's not like I'm brush hogging with it. The decks just don't last. Complete replacement decks are available, but you already know ... or will know .... this.

If you don't replace the spindles now, you will be replacing the deck sooner rather than later.
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