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Gravely tractor axle repair ideas needed.

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  • Dan Dubeau
    replied
    Don't you just hate it when the insides come out to play?. I bet that repower wasn't cheap.....But it's probably a real workhorse now.

    I understand the desire for the old iron. I bought a ford lgt145 a few years ago with plans to bring back to glory as a semi restored user. It still runs good, but after checking it out a lot more when I got home, and getting to use it the past couple years, it appears as though the previous owner squeezed all the good juice out of it, and just left me the peel and pith. I'm not into for much, it still works great to till the garden (and keeps the mosquito's away while I'm doing it) but It's not worth doing any thing more to it aside from palliative care. My uses are just a bit much for a small tractor like that anyway.

    Leave a comment:


  • nickel-city-fab
    replied
    She probably doesn't want to admit to being jealous of inanimate objects

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  • nc5a
    replied
    Originally posted by Glug View Post

    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.
    You bring up another good point. Stress on the axle and hub during forward/reverse operation is probably the cause. I'm not sure heat would be an issue but could be I guess. This tractor was an auction item so I have no idea how it was used. It's actually my second Gravely. The first one I bought about 10 years ago for $100. My wife says it's probably the worst $100 see's ever seen me spend. She has a point because just about everything was wrong with the tractor.

    For starters, the engine was totaled but I didn't know it before I agreed to buy it. The guy at the small engine repair shop said it had over heated and now it wouldn't run. In my defense the tractor was sitting in a snow bank at the time. Anyway, I bought it and $4200 later I'm mowing my lawn with it. My wife says "couldn't you have just gone to Home Depot or Lowes and bought a riding lawn mower for $1600". Again she had a point but it wouldn't be a Gravely. The point to this is I did a engine conversion to A 23 HP Vanguard from B&S. The conversion went well and the adapter plate fit perfect. I now have a Gravely power vac system on it with a 3 bag hopper and it will pickup almost anything in it's path.




    Hole in the engine block of the M18 Kohler

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  • JoeCB
    replied
    I like the copper key and weld idea best, however a "no weld" option is to clean up the wagged out key way ( chisel / Dremel) and make a special step key to fit.

    Joe B

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  • Glug
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Doozer
    replied
    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


    Leave a comment:


  • JoeLee
    replied
    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.................

    Leave a comment:


  • true temper
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • nc5a
    replied
    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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  • nc5a
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • nc5a
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • nc5a
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • lynnl
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • JoeLee
    replied
    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.....



    Leave a comment:


  • mikegt4
    replied
    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/

    Leave a comment:

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