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Wheels locked on my reel mower

After notifying friends/family that I was interested in switching to a reel mower, I was recently given an ancient, yellow, Eclipse 18". There are 5 blades on the reel. Problem is, the wheels are locked. The reel turns freely, and all the parts appear well-greased, well-maintained. I know it worked previously, but the previous user has moved to Thailand; I was able to contact him over FB, but he doesn't know what could be causing the problem. I can't really tell the model or anything, as the only markings anywhere on it are "ECLIPSE" and below that "PROPHETSTOWN ILL". On the inside of the wheels is stamped 905-c and 906-c, one on the left, one on the right. I've tried to get the wheels off to see if I can get a look at the inside, but I can't figure out how. I've removed the bolt in the center of the wheel, and the little square-headed one that appears to attach them to the fixed axle, but no luck. Any suggestions? Any idea where I might find some kind of owners/repair manual?

Posted by Anonymous on


5 Suggested Answers

  • 2 Answers

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

  • 284 Answers

SOURCE: Need to remove rear wheels to replace tires on MTD riding mower.

most likely rust has taken over
find some liquid wrench or pb blaster and spray the axles liberally and let it penetrate the axles and wheel hubs where the axle goes through.
use a 2x4 and a hammer to tap against the wheel hub to try to move it down the axle then tap in back on to try to free it up as the penetrating oil works in, spin the wheel and tap in different areas of it
the worst case cenario would be to use a torch and heat the axle and hub up and drive it off, but it sounds as though you are moving it some and with some patience they eventually should come off
when you put them back be sure to coat the axle with some grease and do not forget to reinstall the key stock in each wheel, if they have it
the bolt in the center of the axle is all you need to remove and note where the washers came from and where they go back.

hope this helps you some

Posted on Jun 14, 2009

  • 3 Answers

SOURCE: Transaxle appears not to engage

rider will not go forward or back

Posted on May 18, 2010

  • 1606 Answers

SOURCE: Snapper riding mower....Series 23, Model

There are a couple of reasons for using these types of bolts. And ordinary bolts wouldn't work as well.

The two bolts left and right means they have cut the threads in different directions. This is done so that they won't loosen up on their own.If nothing else and you replaced these with ordinary thread bolts one side would stay tight but the other side would loosen up from vibration or stress etc. This is a mechanical and fool proof way of thread locking. It is the way it should be done but sometimes isn't because a bit of thread locker adhesive seems to be cheaper to the manufacturer but tends ot be a bigger pain to the end user.

The reason for the taper is also a good thing. This spreads the loads out over a larger area, This means it is stronger and much more resistant to damage etc.

If I were buying one of these and saw one like yours and one with ordinary bolts I would buy yours. It is properly built/designed and much stronger. This is a subtle thing but makes a huge difference. The problem is that you might be wondering why they want $5 a bolt instead of 20 cents.If you were to go and change bolts to plai ones you would have to bore out the holes to remove the taper and then tap them and you would spend the money to get that done and in the end wouldn;t be as strong.

Posted on Feb 07, 2011

  • 5651 Answers

SOURCE: Snapper riding mower....Series 23, Model

I can tell you a few of the reasons, but I agree with how things may look. The tapered shape allows for a thicker bolt because you do not loose metal in cutting threads off the bolt. The left and right thread cuts go back to the 1930's and 40's for some Pontiac or Plymouth vehicles. In the old days the wheel bolts ran left threads on one side of a car and right threads on the other so the wheel bolts would tighten as the car drove forward.

It may soundlike BS but if you look at the wheels going forward on the Drivers' side, they go counter clockwise and on the passengers' side the wheels go clockwise when driving forward. Therefore the wheel bolts were threaded differently for each side.

The cut of the thread can be different in specialized bolts. The thread in a coarse thread may have 8 turns per inch. A fine thread may have 20 turns per inch. The angle of the cut determines how many threads run per inch. You can put 10,11.12 or however amount of turns per inch the machinist wants if his lathe allows him to do it.

But if you put a 9 thread per inch bolt into an 8 thread nut, eventually it will bind or strip once sufficient length has been traveled.

As for using the common nut and bolt, I imagine the axle is threaded and the bolt is suppose to form a shaft for the wheel to ride on. If you just put any nut and bolt through the fixture, only compression would hold the nut and bolt steady instead if the threads within the axle.

I hope this helps you.

Posted on Feb 08, 2011

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