I've got a John Deere L110 lawn tractor that I want to replace the mower
blades on. Today I drove it up onto a set of car ramps and reached up
under it to try to remove the two blades. All I managed to accomplish
today was refill the tires with air and remove some twine that had
wrapped itself tenaciously around the hub of the blade. As for
loosening the two end caps that actually hold the blades on: forget it.
I couldn't budge any of them.
Looking in the owner's manual says they're supposed to be torqued to 42
ft-lbs. Well, even using a piece of pipe as a cheat, I got nowhere.
Are these things reversed threaded? Is there a trick I don't know? I
was using a 1/2" socket wrench with a 15mm socket. Maybe I need to move
up to a bigger wrench?
I hate to pay for something I should be able to do myself.
Mortimer Schnerd, RN
mschnerd at carolina.rr.com
Very true, PLUS, loosening overtightened nuts is often eased by trying
to tighten and then loosen. So try it both ways. Something that tight,
it's not going to hurt.
Liquid Wrench is often a good idea for such a setup. Follow
instructions on cans.
As for which way it's threaded, check the rotation direction of the
blades. Tightening direction of the nut will be opposite to the
direction of the blade rotation. e.g. if you hit a rock, the blade
tries to tighten the nut, not loosen it.
You may have to remove the deck so you can adequately hold the jack
shaft and blade while you torque the bolts. Try a air wrench if you have
one. They should be standard counterclockwise to unscrew. Careful you
don't round off the corners of the hex bolts, then you will be in deep
poo poo. Put some grease on the threads when before you replace them so
you don't go through that again.
Sometimes if you torch heat, and then spray the oil on the
bolt, you can shrink the bolt away from the nut. Helps
separate them and loosen. I've used impact wrench on a hot
nut, that helps. Heat it up, then slam on the impact gun,
and pull the trigger. Removed a trailer hitch off a truck
that way, one time. Heat-n-beat.
Years ago, I decided to try an electric, plug in impact
wrench. Bought a Wel Bilt, from Northern. About $70. Used
it, and had a lot of fun. Until it broke, two lugs into a
brake job. I was about three hours from home, helping a
friend. Finished the job with hand wrenches. Caught one at
Harbor Freight, on sale. It has served well. Problem with
the electrics, they are too big to get into some spaces. So,
this year I'm going to clear enough space to buy a little
compressor, and a length of air hose, and a smaller impact
Remember hitting anything?
It's possible you've stretched the bolts which has the effect of locking
them in there like the blazes. Managed that w/ the outside blade on the
72" deck last year; took about a 4-ft cheater and initially bent a 1/2"
small pry bar had used as the lock through the drive sprocket to hold
it. Had to get a stouter stop... :)
Heat/cool can help on this; heat alone only makes this problem worse
because it's a mechanical distortion problem and swelling the bolt by
heating it only tightens it even further. When it cools after a heat
cycle it may help some.
If it is this problem, the only real solution is bigger wrench. As
somebody else said, go to a six-point socket to minimize the likelihood
of rounding them over 'cause if you do, you're toast.
_IF_ (the proverbial big if) you have a good-size knick in the knives,
that'd be a clue--I didn't recall hitting anything I thought was
significant enough to have caused the problem but w/ that larger mower,
sometimes you don't realize what you've gone over in heavy brush. In
that case, you might consider taking it to the JD dealer simply to put
the onus on them if twist one off. They're hardened, but I was really
beginning to wonder before this one came out finally. It was amazing it
could have stretched and distorted the threads so much while in
place--never seen it to such a degree before in 60-something years.
I didn't need a breaker bar or a cheat. I moved up from a 3/8" ratchet
to a 1/2" drive, heated the bolts for a bit with a LP torch and just put
some oomph on them.
I polished the threads with a scotchbrite pad and put some machine oil
on the threads before I put them back in.
I don't believe I fried anything. The bolts screw into a substantial
block of metal. That metal block would act as a heat shield before the
heat would travel up the shaft to the bearings. When I say I heated
them, I don't mean to say they were red hot. I was able to handle them
bare handed after removing them from the block.
No screeching metal so far....
Mortimer Schnerd, RN
mschnerd at carolina.rr.com
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