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Gravely tractor axle repair ideas needed.

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  • #31
    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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    • #32
      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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      • #33
        She probably doesn't want to admit to being jealous of inanimate objects
        25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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        • #34
          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.

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          • #35
            A buddy of mine has a 3 year old John Deere riding mower. Hydrostatic drive. I mowed his lawn with it, and one day we used it to pull a bunch of cedars out of the woods, with long rope and straps (at first he wanted to carry them out - lumberjackin with the tractor was way more fun). The ride while mowing was very jarring on my back compared to the Gravely. The hydrostatic drive also surprised me - I couldn't really coast like I do on the G. That made modulating the speed a bit jarring. That might get better with practice, but I missed being able to smoothly go to neutral and then ease back into the drive.

            It really made me appreciate what a sweet ride the old Gravely is, despite the H pattern gearbox and clutches.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Dan Dubeau View Post
              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.
              Gravely tractors are work horses but spendy to repair. The 23 HP Vanguard was $1795 + shipping so basically a 2000 dollar bill to my door in Alaska. Then add a total rebuild of the 50" mower deck, new used gas tank, seat, battery, clutches, new tires front and rear, new wheels in the front, New ignition switch, new hour meter and a power vac shipped from New Jersey. My wife was ready to kill me as the cost kept climbing.

              So one might ask why in the world I bought another one. Well at $250 I couldn't pass on it. Yes, I'm a sick individual, just like most of you guys.

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              • #37
                I'm trying to get all my "fun stuff" out of the way before I get married, hell I'm only 53 and I got projects yet....

                Thats what I call "planning ahead". I can say about the old iron disease, it can be expensive. My 1950 Lincoln welder? Yeah. That $100 welder turned into almost $2k and it still doesn't run right, I'll probably be money ahead to just swap a new engine like you did. The electricals are fine, it makes the most beautiful DC you ever saw this side of a truck battery... 200 amps all day long and the generator doesn't even get warm.

                For yard and lawn tools, I been really wanting one of those old David Bradley 2-wheel tractors with the plow/disc/harrow......
                25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post
                  I'm trying to get all my "fun stuff" out of the way before I get married, hell I'm only 53 and I got projects yet....

                  ......
                  Dang kids.......
                  CNC machines only go through the motions.

                  Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
                  Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
                  Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
                  I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
                  Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post
                    I'm trying to get all my "fun stuff" out of the way before I get married, hell I'm only 53 and I got projects yet....

                    .....
                    Whores are a cheaper long term investment.
                    Just saying.

                    -Doozer
                    DZER

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Doozer View Post

                      Whores are a cheaper long term investment.
                      Just saying.

                      -Doozer
                      Nah, I'm too square for that... problem is that I'm just not into Tantric Machining.
                      25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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                      • #41
                        Well, I did have sex with a nurse in the bucket loader of my New Holland tractor.
                        In my mind it helped justify the purchase price of buying the tractor.
                        (trying to bring this thread back with some tractor content).

                        -Doozer
                        DZER

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                          Well, I did have sex with a nurse in the bucket loader of my New Holland tractor.
                          In my mind it helped justify the purchase price of buying the tractor.
                          (trying to bring this thread back with some tractor content).

                          -Doozer
                          So you did something sexy to a tractor? (say it aloud...)
                          25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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                          • #43
                            🤣

                            ----------------Doozer
                            DZER

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                              Well, I did have sex with a nurse in the bucket loader of my New Holland tractor.
                              Yeahbut, did the nurse fix the woodruff?

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                              • #45
                                Indeed, I'm wondering how the fix went. I've used copper blocks to build up weld edges before, but I never tried a keyway of any kind. I always just filled them in and had them re-machined.
                                25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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