wheels in front angled out
the wheels in front are angled out what is a solution since the manual tells you nothing on this problem
For those who have a toe-out problem with their Sears lawn tractor, I feel your pain. I had the same problem, with the additional problem of the front wheels coming off while cutting . My lawn tractor is a 54 inch cut machine. I has two linkages on each side, a long link from the steering gear to the front axle, and a short linkage running from a plate connected to the front axle to the front wheel. Replacing the linkage might solve the toe-out problem for a while, but it will return as the linkage ages. The solution requires some fabrication, but it isn't too bad. The linkage rods are made of normal steel (not hardened), so they can be modified. My solution was to put rod ends (Amazon, Summit Racing) on each end of the linkages to allow for adjustability, but eliminate most, if not all, of the play in the linkage. Rod ends are usually made with National Fine threads. I found the long linkage has too many minor bends in it to support putting a threads on either end, so I have to bend new linkage rods (5/8 inch rods, but I think one could use 1/2 inch rods). For the short linkage rods, I went to a 3/8 stainless steel threaded rod, but I had to increase the length in order to get the adjustability I needed. Adding a piece to the pivot plate connected to the axle took care of that. I maintained all of the current linkage connection point holes at the factory size (3/8 machine bolt fits just right). Just replacing the short linkage with the rod ends and the threaded rod fixed most of the toe-out problem, and I still have room to make finer adjustments. The pivot shafts for the rod ends are 3/8 inch by 2 machine bolts with the unthreaded part ' hosting' the rod end. One nut threaded all the way down to the unthreaded part, and a second nut to connect the linkage to the existing connection point. I just got the bender to make the longer linkage bars, but I haven't actually make those yet. Some bushings are going to be needed to allow the 5/8 inch rod ends to work with the 3/8 bolt shaft. I still have to extend the steering stops a bit to limit the sharpness of the turn the lawn tractor can make. As far as the wheels falling off, the E-clips that hold the wheel on the axle don't make it. After a few tow-ins, followed by repairs, I drilled a 1/8 inch hole through the axle (they're case hardened, you'll need a carbide bit) and put a spring pin (TSC) through it. I haven't lost a wheel since, and the toe-out fix has taken most of the side play/force out of the wheel.
I can give your more details if you're interested. Use: edrews1, Subject: Lawn tractor steering, domain: yahoo.com. BTW, my neighbor has a Sears lawn tractor, but the linkage on his is different. You may need to adjust the fix above to accommodate differences in your steering linkage. Not including the tools, I probably have $25 - $50 in parts and materials.
One other hint: don't modify the existing connection points or other hardware in making your fix. If your fix doesn't work you can always go back to the old linkage. Also, those adjustable linkages didn't fit my lawn tractor. They also have the same type of connection hardware as the non-adjustable linkages, so you'll be adjusting the length as the connections loosen up. I also had one of those connection points come apart on me.
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To put th e best possible face on it, your “friend” the retired Master mechanic evidently forgot what compression unions are and are NOT designed for. Or are safe to use as….
These are BRASS parts, which are are designed to seal BRASS or NYLON TUBING only, and they are only to be used to provide a separable joint and a seal against internal leakage, and certainly NOT to join steel parts together to keep them together against pulling forces.
Brass is MUCH weaker than steel-and much less resistant to abrasion/wear.
Heck, brass compression unions not even rated to EVER be used on BRAKE lines, which should tell you something about their safety factors and reliability -according to the SAE powers that be.
Brass is MUCH weaker than steel to begin with EVEN WHEN USED AT THE AT THE SAME THICKNESS-which, being HOLLOW parts they are not, and are therefore porportionately weaker still.
Brass compression unions are not designed with much strength against torsional or tensile or horizontal compression forces (twisting or pulling or compressing parallel to their length) AFTER assembly. In essense you are providing a “designed in”, failure point with such a connection as this part of your steering will undoubtedly fail FIRST, being the weakest point in a system composed using all other steel parts.
Just hope you’re not coming around a sharp turn, driving fast or down a slope or doing anything across a slope when that joint comes apart……
A Brass compression union also has little ability to take a bend and retain strength, so if you do see any bending in that joint DO NOT straighten it out (which would only make it weaker) replace it-a better way.
A FAR better "fix" would be to cut the tie rod, align the cut ends next to each other, mark whatever the new length requires, and then either remove the excess steel and weld the ends together or add what even length of NEW steel is required, then weld the 3 parts together. Or just start with a fresh length of steel rod an add Heim joints if required to achieve the desired length and provide adjustability.
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I had that with my Craftsman 21hp lawn tractor. I drove one wheel into a hole and bent the tie rod. You can see a video on how to fix this and where to order through repairclinic.com or on youtube. I only replaced the one side, but will do the other to make sure. If you leave this problem too long, your wheel might fall off because there are metal tubes (flange bearings in mine) in each wheel and they will really wear out quickly when the wheels are toes out (facing out a bit). Your wheel/s will then be really loose because of the excess rubbing and actually wear the bearings right down which makes the wheel loose and washers and clamps fall off. That all worked so no need to replace the axle, which seemed not to be bent.
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I bought a Snapper riding mower yesterday and it's towed out about an inch or more. A friend who is a retired auto master tech told me an EASY WAY to make the tie rods adjustable.
My tie rods are 3/8, I went to Auto Zone and bought 2 -- NEEDA #551035 compression unions. He said I can cut the tie rod somewhere and use the union to reconnect the two pieces. But the union will allow me to adjust the tie rods up to maybe 1/2" longer apiece which should be WAY more than I need.
For some reason, the part number did not come up on the Auto Zone website, but I found them on one of those spinning hardware displays that also display bolts and door panel clips.
To see a pic, go to Yahoo images and type in "551035 compression union". Again, this part number is for a 3/8 tie rod, you need to measure yours and buy accordingly . Hope this helps !!!
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“These are BRASS parts, which are are designed to seal BRASS or NYLON TUBING only, and they are only to be used to provide a separable joint and a seal against internal leakage, and certainly NOT to join steel parts together to keep them together against pulling forces.
Brass is MUCH weaker than steel-and much less resistant to abrasion/wear.”
Ummmm……they make STEEL compression unions that would work as he describes above. For a low demand home tractor it would probably work and last for years.
I’m going with adjustable drag links though….then I can easily make adjustments to keep the toe in check. Also, although I said the compression unions might work fine, I’d only consider that a stopgap or short term repair until it could be done right. I don’t believe in cutting one long piece that’s been engineered with the bends, etc. in mind into 2 shorter pieces that might eventually twist or turn separately out of line with the way they were supposed to be and just create frequent repositioning issues or other steering issues.
Another thing is the majority of time these require replacing the connecting ends (so called “ball joints”) are mostly worn out and need to be changed anyway and they’re all part of the one unit.
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