Should I replace my mower spindle bearings?

As soon as you buy that new lawn mower, it begins to wear itself apart. Different parts of the mower will fail at different times. The more knowledge you have on how to diagnose and repair these issues, the more money you can save and the faster you can move ahead. Here is a great discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum on how to decide if your mower spindle bearings are bad and how to replace them should you decide to do that.

One lawn care business owner wrote “A buddy of mine used my lawn mower while we were working together one day and he said the blades should be spinning faster. He suggested the belt was loose or worn.

Well, Friday I stopped at my mower dealer and asked for one of the mechanics to come out and look it over. He listened to me engage the blades. I cut it off and he lifted it up and played with the blades to see if there was any play. He told me to do it too. Lift the blade up and down vertically to see if it has any play in it. He initially said only one needed new bearing was needed, but after he pushed the tensioner back and checked the other blade he said both needed new bearings.

We then went in and he gave me a quote on parts and labor to fix it. The total was close to $400. I can’t afford that! The parts come to about $130-$150. I can afford ‘em, but I don’t wanna screw anything up, I need this machine.

I checked and the dealer only had 2 bearings in stock, I need 4. There are 2 bearings for each spindle.

My question is how hard is it to do the repairs myself, realistically?

I just don’t know if it’s worth the risk of doing something wrong and causing more damage to my primary machine at this point in the season. It may cost me more in days if I have to go without while trying to fix it than it would if I save a little and have the dealer do it.

So, that’s what I’m thinking I am gonna do. If I pay for the 4 bearings, they only have 2 in stock and will have to order the other 2. They should be there by the end of the week or so. Then I’ll just drop off my mower and have them do the work and hopefully they will have it ready for next week.

Until then, I need to hump it out there and catch up on as much as possible on my yards with my smaller push mower. It rained everyday last week, and it put me behind.”

A second lawn care business owner said “I think it would be a great project to learn how to do yourself. You will need a bearing puller to get them out of there and then you will either need a press or a hammer and a piece of wood to get the new ones in.

If you aren’t mechanical at all, maybe pass on this job and start with smaller jobs like oil changes, greasing fittings, and changing filters. Later you can scale it up to changing spark plugs, bearings or what ever else goes wrong on your machine. A little mechanical knowledge can really help you go a long way. Not only with your mower, trimmer, and leaf blower but also with your truck and trailer.”

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