Question about Craftsman 17.5 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor - CA Model

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How to replace mandrel spindle

Hi I need to replace the spindle and cant get the top nut off. How to I remove it.

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  • Anonymous Mar 22, 2014

    the star is gone worn out need to get pulley nut off **** have no way to stop shaft from moving what to do without destroying the pulley

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  • Master
  • 376 Answers

If you have the deck off, you can use a 7/8 socket on an impact gun or if it's still on the tractor, Leave the blade on, wedge something there to keep blade from turning and use a breaker bar on the top nut. Be sure when you put the pully back on that the washer is underneath the pully, NOT on top. Dwain

Posted on May 23, 2009

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It's much easier to do on the tractor.
1. Leave deck installed.
2. Jack tractor up and lower deck.
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Shaft problems


un hook l/h and r/h lift pins from both lift arms , remove front draft arm from front of deck ( it attaches under the muffler on the chassis )
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you could just spin each spindle without the blade on ( but leave the top pulleys on ) if spindles bent you should see a wobble , if hard seeing it refit both blades and re-spin each spindle and check for quite a noticable variation in blade tracking when each blade is turned through a rev or two

remove deck , remove both mandrell pulleys from the top of thier shafts
remove both blades and use block of wood and knock the blade spindles out of their mandrells from the pulley side


here is website for parts
http://www.outdoordistributors.com/AYP/AYP_Main.html

just click on 917 the select 288280 from the list
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cheers hope it helps

any problems let me know

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You need a blade spindle or some call it a mandrel. Some remove the base to replace the spindle, but It's much easier if you drop the base to the lowest setting, loosen the nut for the pulley that is attached to the spindle. I didn't mention taken the belt off because it can be done without removing the belt. once the pulley is removed there are 3-4 bolts holding the spindle from the top of the base, take these bolts out and the spindle will come out. Not sure where you are from, but the cheapest i have found is EBAY. These are new, but a local ACE or somewhere like this may have it in stock.

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1 Answer

Have 54 inch Craftsman mower deck that I am rebuilding - how do I remove the spindle from the Mandrel housing? Appears to be stuck but will spin.


Depends on how old the deck is. Some of the older spindles and mandrels were not made to came apart. The newer ones you can put the nut on the top threade to protect the threads and a couple of taps it should come out. If you have a model number you can got to sears web site aa they will have an exploded view. http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdirect/index.action

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first take the blade off the spindle, then take the belt off the top, now there should be a nut on the top of the spindle you will have to remove that nut once you get that one off the pully will come off the spindle, now you will have to remove the bolts holding the spindle housing to the deck, put the spindle housing in a vise, put the nut back on the top of the spindle so that if you mass the threads with the hammer you are going to hit it with them you can fix them with the nut by taking it off again... now you have the nut on the top of the spindle and its in the vise, now hit the spindle to knock the bearing out of the bottum once you push the bearing out, you can remove the spindle out the bottum, now flip the housing over and take a punch and push the other bearing out if you are going to replace the bearings when replacing the spindle, i would reconend it... if you need anything else just xomment and ill repost...
good luck

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You dont have to drop the deck. Remove the belt first then hold the blade in place so you can loosen the nut on top of the pulley. after you remove the pully then remove the blade. There are 3 bolts holding the mandrel in place remove the bolts. Then pull the mandrel out from underneath the mower deck. There is a shroud that will come loose with it or it may stick from accumilated grass regardless it needs to go back during reassembly. When putting it back together the 3 bolts are usually self tapping into the new aluminum mandrel. Its much easier to put these in and take them out before you install the new mandrel as the bolts cut the threads.

Hope this helps

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