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Gravely tractor axle repair ideas needed.

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  • #16
    Make a key form out of carbon and braze it in with aluminum-bronze filler rod.
    Done this before and it worked wonderful. Funny, I did not think carbon would
    glow red like the steel, but for sure it does. This would be a pretty non-invasive
    way to repair. Then file to size.

    --Doozer
    DZER

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    • #17
      Originally posted by old mart View Post
      You might be able to get a new axel at a reasonable price and save some bother.
      Axels are for figure skaters.

      -D
      DZER

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Doozer View Post
        Make a key form out of carbon and braze it in with aluminum-bronze filler rod.
        Done this before and it worked wonderful. Funny, I did not think carbon would
        glow red like the steel, but for sure it does. This would be a pretty non-invasive
        way to repair. Then file to size.

        --Doozer
        Carbon in the form of graphite has some pretty neat properties. It boils while still solid IIRC at around 6500F. Makes an excellent mold or crucible. I have a few big blocks of it around here that I sawed out of old crucible bottoms -- the resistance is less than 1 ohm in an inch thick slab. Very handy for TIG on small parts -- just hook your ground up to the carbon block. Also it has insane thermal conductivity, like silver --
        25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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        • #19
          Another way is to grind out the axle so it will take the next size wider key.
          Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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          • #20
            nc5a, you probably know this but just in case that you don't, Gravely forums:
            https://www.facebook.com/groups/557287524284106/
            https://www.mytractorforum.com/forums/gravely.24/

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            • #21
              Originally posted by nc5a View Post
              Okay guys, copper woodruff key it is. Many thanks for what appears to be reasonable repair solution. I'll post photos of the process for your enjoyment.

              Ron
              How do you expect this soft copper key to hold?

              JL.....



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              • #22
                Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
                How do you expect this soft copper key to hold?

                JL.....


                That was my first thought too, but I think the copper is just there to save the space or void within the weld for a new steel key. i.e. the weld doesn't stick to the copper.
                Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
                  How do you expect this soft copper key to hold?

                  JL.....


                  The copper key is used to keep the woodruff key slot in the axle free from weld. After welding and dressing the keyway a new proper woodruff key will be installed.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by mikegt4 View Post
                    nc5a, you probably know this but just in case that you don't, Gravely forums:
                    https://www.facebook.com/groups/557287524284106/
                    https://www.mytractorforum.com/forums/gravely.24/
                    Mike thanks for the links. I did not know about them. At one time I was a member of the yahoo gravely group but there wasn't much action there in my opinion so I left.

                    Ron

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by true temper View Post
                      If it were mine I would rough it up and glue it together with Devcon plastic steel. I have fixed many things like this. If you need to take it apart heat it up and it will be free.
                      I've used Devcon before and would do so again in the right application but not in this case. It just seems like wrong type of fix.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Glug View Post
                        I have that same tractor and use it for mowing, fairly heavy snow blowing and leaf collection.

                        I wonder if you should figure out the engine issues before you spend much time finding alternate ways to repair the axles in situ? Engine might be coming out anyway... Also, the status of the PTO is another critical decision point that could have you opening it up.

                        How are your clutches and the pressure plates? Those plates cannot be removed without opening the trans. They can be smoothed in place, as I had to do last year.
                        You've got a valid point with regarding the engine. However, it has good compression decent spark, turns freely with the plugs out and in general looks and feels like a serviceable engine. The PTO clutch may be a different story, time will tell. Truth is there are several issues that could require me to split the case. I suspect ignition timing as the failure to start culprit.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by nc5a View Post

                          I've used Devcon before and would do so again in the right application but not in this case. It just seems like wrong type of fix.
                          Just curious why don’t you think it would be a good repair?

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by nc5a View Post

                            The copper key is used to keep the woodruff key slot in the axle free from weld. After welding and dressing the keyway a new proper woodruff key will be installed.
                            OK, I must have missed that somewhere in all these posts.

                            JL.................

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by true temper View Post

                              Just curious why don’t you think it would be a good repair?

                              Originally posted by nc5a View Post

                              I've used Devcon before and would do so again in the right application but not in this case. It just seems like wrong type of fix.



                              The compressive strength of epoxy is 1/10th that of steel.
                              What makes you think if the original steel failed that "better living through chemistry" is going to work.

                              -Doozer


                              DZER

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                                The compressive strength of epoxy is 1/10th that of steel.
                                What makes you think if the original steel failed that "better living through chemistry" is going to work.
                                The other gotcha - that area gets quite warm. The engine shroud pushes the hot air forward, at the axles and behind the wheels. On the right side, the exhaust pipes are fairly close. There is also an external clutch on each side, contributing to the heat. This isn't enough to melt the epoxy, but getting to 120-130F is probably enough to soften it up and compromise the life. If there is any flex at all, the epoxy will make its own heat. It does help that the OP is in Alaska, so 90+F mowing days are unlikely. I'll check the temps on mine but it'll be a while before I do a mow.

                                Mowing is a less critical application than snow blowing, and OP does not appear to be snow blowing, which is good. The snow blowing often has more reversing. If you get blizzard conditions, then your primary blower needs to be reliable. Neighbors can bail you out, but if you needed to split the case in winter, etc, that could really drag on.

                                I wonder if the previous owner was using the tractor to pull stumps or something? It'd be nice if there was a FAQ for this tractor, things to watch out for and not let get too far gone. It's a great tractor. Rides nice. I've read a bit about folks doing a motor conversion to Honda power. Kinda wonder about that.

                                This thread has me wondering how the axles are in my tractor.

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