has anyone ever did this?

Thu Nov 04, 2004 3:26 pm

Well I have wobbled out front steering spindles the keyways look great but when you put a woodruff key in them they are very loose. Well one side is really bad the other hardley notice but getting worse. the bad side caused the wheel to ack like it has a bad bearing. At first I was going to buy a new/used drop spindle but since both sides are bad I decided I could not afford that. I brought the really bad side into work and the shop guy took and broached a 5/16 key slot in the steering arm and will cut a 5/16 slot in my drop spindle it will cut right where the woodruff key was.
I do not see a problem that this will not work so I hope you guys agree with me because if not it is to late now lol. I will bring the other drop spindle in to work on friday and I hope to have it all fixed up becasue money is tight and I can not afford to buy anything thanks to the guys for fixing it for me.

Thu Nov 04, 2004 3:37 pm


Since you will be doing both of them, why not change sides so you can make standard keyways in new places? Your machinist shouldn't have trouble properly indexing them. This also works for the older setscrew style.

Thu Nov 04, 2004 3:45 pm

The fix sounded great and then George came up with an even better one that is what i like about this forum. Everyone works together.

Thu Nov 04, 2004 4:13 pm

I had a simular problem with the set screw type. The PO had welded them in place.

Here's the thread that shows the fix:http://farmallcub.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3423&highlight=steering+fix

The best part is it's still working :lol: :lol: 8)

Thu Nov 04, 2004 4:36 pm

I am slow sometimes. If I understand the spindle was made so that it would work with set screw or key. The nuckle was set screw so it was used that way and wore out. Your fix is to cut a matching key way in the nuckle. Is that correct?
Was it for a square key or woodruff?

Thu Nov 04, 2004 5:07 pm

On 49-1 the PO had welded pinch bolt type knuckles onto set screw type spindles because (I assume) the set screw type knuckles were toast. The spindle was wallered out to the point a set screw wouldn't work any longer.
All I did was to cut a square key-way into the spindles as the pinch bolt type knuckles all ready had a key way.

Hope this helps 8)

Thu Nov 04, 2004 5:10 pm

Donny M wrote:All I did was to cut a square key-way into the spindles

So you put a square peg in a round hole?

Thu Nov 04, 2004 5:11 pm

Beacon, the earlier spindles were the set screw type, but they are bad to loosen, break, etc. The key type were the improved version. CJ has the key type that apparently have worn to the point of needing a replacement. Donny had the setscrew type, but someone had replaced the setscrew type knuckles with key type. since there was no place for the keys, they just welded them on rather than taking them to a machine shop to get keyways cut.

Thu Nov 04, 2004 5:23 pm

Thanks Got it.

Thu Nov 04, 2004 5:45 pm

Jim Becker wrote:
So you put a square peg in a round hole?

Only if the peg is small enough :lol: :lol: 8)

Thu Nov 04, 2004 11:57 pm


This is a CHEAP and EXCELLENT way to fix this type of problem for a permanent fix. I have done this many times over the years. There are however a few customers that will want to put it it back to the original size, this requires heating up the shaft to a set temp, welding the key then place it in a "hot box" (this is just a place that the hot, welded shaft can cool down slow) then after "cool down" remachine, but naturally this cost the customer a lot more money.

Cold roll shafting you can usually just weld up and not worry about the preheating, BUT with alloy materials, like stressproof and other heat treated and anealed materials, NOT preheating and a slow "cool-down" you can cause the shaft to become brittle and crystalize and this can cause fractures and thus, a broken shaft. When we repair a shaft, that we are not 100% certian of what it is made from, our rule is we treat it as an alloy type material.

The other alternative is if the broached keyways in the arms is still good, one can machine the spindles out to the next size larger and then make or buy a "bastard" woodruff key. In your case the crescent part of the key would be 5/16" wide in the spindle and 1/4 inch for the arm. In most cases there is plenty room to broach out for the same size in the arm as with the spindle.

I can only think of just a few times, where there wasn't enough room, for broaching for the same size on the shaft, for what-ever the reasons it may have been.

I have a chart from my Machinists handbook, for recommended key sizes for the size of shaft.

FYI: Just keep in mind, that in SOME cases thoses keys are designed to be able to shear off, for example: the little aluminum key in a Briggs and Stratton flywheel and other small engines. Usually most of these keys are square or offset and are made from aluminum or brass. So just rememeber if there is ever a case where the key is meant to be a shear point. Going to a bigger key may not be the best plan.

HOWEVER, this is NOT the case in your situation. You don't want any keys shearing off on your steering assembly or at least I wouldn't.

Good plan and it will work for many years to come.


Fri Nov 05, 2004 7:10 am

Thanks Guys I will have it done today and hopefully back on the tractor and then I will mount the snow blade.
I have 600' of driveway to try this year if not I will get the old H out or the WD-45 but I need to try this with my cub with out running to dads to get one of his bigger tractors!

George I had thought about what you suggested but only after I found out that the shop guy had already started and had the steering arms broached out. I will try to take some picutres and post.
George I should have asked the question first then did the project not ask after the fact!

Thanks guys I am glad to hear someone else had done this!