Repair on John Deere LA125

How can I replace the spur gear on the bottom of the steering shaft of my lawn tractor. I've got the shaft apart except for the two bushings that carry the shaft through the horizontal plate that supports the steering mechanism. To get the shaft out requires getting the bushings out, but how? Do I squeeze them? Is there a groove in the shaft such that I must expand the bushings? John Deere told me to talk to the local dealer but he wants to sell me an $80 transport, service at $100/hour and the expensive parts. I can't afford any more than the parts! Please advise.
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When I need help with any repairs to my JD, I talk to the dealer parts department. They are great and can supply diagrams and such from their catalogues.
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But the Service guy clearly didn't know how to remove the gear/ bushings. The guys at the parts counter said the would sell me parts but Service guy is the one to tell me how.
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Go here and post for good advice:
www.weekendfreedommachines.com
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That site is a good source of parts and manuals (at a price).
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I've used it for 10 years, and put a lot of posts on it. No pricing of any kind I know of. It's been a completely free way of having JD knowledge.
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