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Have any of you rebuilt the Woods 59 spindle? I would much rather replace the bearings, races, and seals as opposed to buying a complete new spindle assembly. However, the Woods people tell me it is really difficult to get the bearing preload right. Please let me know what your rebuild experience has been.
"The probability of life originating from accident is comparable to the probability of the unabridged dictionary resulting from an explosion in a printing shop." Edwin Conklin, biologist
Yes, they want to sell you $135 spindles.
Preload is an 'issue' but not as much as they might lead you to believe. My Cub mechanic pressed them apart for me, but I reassembled them.
Since this was about his 1000'th time doing it, he did some things that make lots of sense.
- Center punch each spindle, with 1, 2, 3 center punches on the end of the spindle to one side
- Center punch each sleeve on the side of the first center punches 1, 2, 3.
- Press them apart gets the spindle out and then you have to deal with the lower bearing.
I ended up cutting the lower cones and races.
2 of the cups had no cutouts for a punch to get on the race, so I dremeled eyebrows for those.
I used National A3's but the bearings are very common trailer axle bearings. They run from $4.00 each for no-name to about $12.00 for Timken.
I got the seals at the IH dealer, but any cheap nitrile seal will work just as well.
Freeze the cups and oven the housings at 300F or so - they fell right in.
Freeze the shafts and oven the cones at 350F or even 400F and you'll still need a press (or a hammer and appropriate sleeves) to get them down. Lower first, then insert into housing, and then upper cone. Press it all the way down until you have zero end play.
Seals should go in next.
Then...heat the sleeve, hold it in alignment with a center punch and press it to the bottom - align it with the thru hole and drive in the roll pin.
I made a rig from a cut off blade bolt to polish all of the shaft surfaces and the sleeve OD before I started back together. The shafts can get pretty buggered up when the bearings come off.
When all put together, every hole lined back up perfectly and the spindles were TIGHT - almost so tight you couldn't turn them by hand - perfect if you ask me.
All in - I've got about $20 a spindle in them and about 4 hours of my time. Far better than $400 at the dealer, but it is not a job for everybody.
Bill, I also have done them and I agree with
If you follow the manual instructions to a "T", they have you getting the new preload and re-crossdrilling for the pin. That's kind of hard to do(holding the desired preload) if everything is cleaned up nice and things slide together free, plus the new hole comes in contact with part of the old and my opinion is that make things the spindle shaft weaker. I also found that once everything was installed new, the existing holes were right on target. Most people know that after some run time, new bearings will wear in and have some slop, same with axle bearings on cars and trailers. My only warning is to not over pump grease into the zerks. That's the biggest issue is overgreasing and blowing out the bottom seal. Just a couple quick pumps every now and that is enough. I actually take a zip tie and insert the end between the seal and shaft and fill with grease till it comes out, then you know the entire cavity is mostly full. Then just remove the zip tie. Then do your couple pumps with your routine maintenance.
When I told my dad I've been misplacing things and doing stupid stuff----His reply---"It only gets better"
I replaced the seals and bearing in 4 or 5 spindles. I removed the cups with a welder bead, pressed the new cups into place so they will not shift over time. I was lucky on one spindle, just used the old holes and it was tight. The rest needed some adjustment, if tight then you can file a small amount off the spacer. Mine were too loose so I had some 0.003 spacer washers left over from something else and just put one under the spacer. Then reused the original hole.
This is an older post I came acrossed looking for insight on these 59" Woods deck spindles. I knew it was going to be a tough go when a 2 lb. hammer and a torch did nothing, I mean didn't even budge anything loose, my sleeves were not welded.
I highly recommend using a press to take them apart, it's very handy to reassemble with a press as well. I broke down and bought a 20 ton floor press at Harbor Freight (got a really good deal), it's something I've needed in my shop anyway. One word of caution however, do NOT use the hub flange to press against, I broke one into three pieces doing that! ...but I welded it back together with some Normacast and it's as good as new (well almost). I got the A3 bearings easily enough, the races were no problem taking out or re-installing. Still waiting on the seals, no one locally had them in stock. I cleaned up the spindle shaft really well with emery cloth and put it in the freezer. I cleaned up the sleeve and opened it up somewhat with an die grinder, mic'ing(sp) it as I went, to allow it to go back on without tremendous difficulty, I got it within .003" of the shaft. After pushing the cones and shaft into the hub (went together really well) I aligned the sleeve with the hole for the roll pin and pushed it on (still snug) and got it just right. I used the original holes in the sleeve and shaft and the roll went in with no troubles at all.
Mine were a bit snug as well, but not as tight as ntrenn's.
They're over $150 now from what I could tell, plus freight if you order them online. I used BCA/Bower A3 bearings($9.60 each) at O'Reilley's and the seals from Carquest ($5.80 each).
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