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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.

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I've been down this road before and I'd suggest if you really need them out, use a press. I do believe they are pressed in and trying to beat them out without damaging something isn't going to be easy.
I didn't have access to a press and couldn't get mine free. The mandrels on mine were all good except it sounded like they needed grease and considering it had been sitting outside for a few years when I revived the old mower I'm sure it would have been a matter of time before I burnt a bearing. So, and I'm not saying this is the best way, but I drilled a 1/16" hole throw the bearing housing once I got the blades off the bottom of the shaft and the pulleys off the top. I discovered the top bearings have a removable shield that protects the bearings and I was able to pack grease here and put the cover back on. I drilled through the bottom of the mandrel shaft and it took about 1/4" to reach the bearings. I then took a basketball needle and cut the needle off to about a 1/4" deep to insert into the hole I just drilled. It worked, I was about to pump grease in until it came out around the bearing rails and then gave it a spin and added more. I cleaned up around the hole then added silicone to seal the hole. I think it will get me another few years this way and I know the bearings are covered in fresh grease now. We'll see.

Posted on Aug 24, 2010

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I have a 15.5 hp Craftsman Riding Mower with a 42" deck, the mower now leaves a 3inch strip between the blades and I blade cuts the grass lower on one side (scalping)


As for the stripe, you will need to change the blades, they are worn out, if not damaged outright. As for the cutting the grass lower on one side, since you are changing the blades, remove the deck and inspect the spindle/mandrel on the troublesome side paying close attention to the ears that the bolts that mount it go into, you may well find that one of them is cracked. If so, replace it. The spindle/mandrel cost a little over $60.

I hope this helps you out.

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When I engage the deck to start cutting a loud noise begins and the tractor does not work. I previously hit a tree root with it's blades engaged. Can you please help? Thanks Danny


Sounds to me like you bent a spindle. Turn the mower off and get under it and see if you can spin the blades. The blades whould spin and not be wobbly. If either one of the blades are wobbly then you'll need to replace the spindle.

Also check to make the blade belt hasn't come off or is not destroyed.

Good luck!

Aug 01, 2011 | Craftsman 42 in. Deck 19.5hp Lawn Tractor

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Right mandrel assembly for craftsman model 917.273020 does the stripper, mower round attach on top of or under housing of mandrel?


The part called the stripper goes between the mandrel housing and the mower deck.

Hope this helps, if so please vote yes! Thanks!!

May 27, 2011 | Craftsman 20 hp 42 in. Deck Yard Tractor

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One blade on my Craftsman riding mower does not cut as good as the other one. It is a 42" deck. 05 model mower. I have sharpened the blades and balanced the deck. Could it be the spindle (mandrel)...


This may sound silly but, is your deck level? They often have adjustors 0n each side or possibly one of the deck hangers is not secured and one side of the deck is higher. Spindles vibrate like crazy if the bearings are worn. also spindle shafts will shake back and forth when you push the blade up or down..Disconnect the drive belt from the engine and spin the blades, they should spin easily and fairly quiet, if they squell loudly with a rubbing metal on metal sound replace them, it is fairly simple and not too expensive.

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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

Mar 21, 2010 | Craftsman Garden

1 Answer

Deck is leveled, blades are fine,spindle not bent it still cuts


there was a problem with the lighter gauge decks [thinner steel], and the deck would actually bend inward on the left side. this would tilt the mandrel inward making the blade cut at a slight angle to the right blade - there is tool to straighten the deck [the left mandrel housing usually breaks, though] - some shops have this tool, others have never heard of such a thing - most sears l&g field techs have this tool in their trucks - i have the tool in my shop, but i have had luck with turning the deck over and whapping it a couple of times on the inside edge of the left mandrel until the blades line up

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1 Answer

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i'm guessing that you're referring to the aluminum mandrel housing: yes you can get the housing separately, better get some new bolts too, because the old ones will likely break off - use some anti-seize compound on them and it'll go alot easier

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Are you sure the spindle is not bent and also are you balancing the blades when sharpening. Other then that make sure bolts are tight on the mandrel. With the deck off and standing up spin the blades and watch center of balde to see if something is bent. Also watch pulley on the other side to see if its bent.

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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

Brent

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