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Discussion Starter #1
By in law sent me his MTD 8/24.
model 31as6fee729
Wheels are locked and I have not opened the pan yet, too cold. Is this a problem that requires a drive shaft kit replacement?
 

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Silvan
Welcome to the forum. With the pan off, focus on the gears on your right....they are possibly locked up from lack of lubrication. A light oil directed to their bearing points may be a quick fix for now. Sometimes the gears need to be removed and properly lubricated for a long time fix. MH
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Silvan
Welcome to the forum. With the pan off, focus on the gears on your right....they are possibly locked up from lack of lubrication. A light oil directed to their bearing points may be a quick fix for now. Sometimes the gears need to be removed and properly lubricated for a long time fix. MH
Thank you for the advise. It is very cold in NJ right now. I plan to tackle this in a couple of days.
 

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Critters might have dragged stuff into the chassis, gumming up the works.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hello, thanks for the advice.
I opened the pan and the gears are locked. The shift works and moves smoothly.
I had a hard time taking the left tire off, the plastic spacer is seized on the shaft. I could not take the right tire off, oil wd40, no go. I put some heat on the tire with a small butane torch, it's not enough heat.
Thats where I stand. inside the pan was pretty clean, other than a little rubber on the friction wheel.

I want to pull the other tire off and pull out the drive shafts.
 

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This videos is rather lengthy, but at the 10:00 mark it shows the most likely suspect.
Typically the needle bearings on the hex shaft under this gear get corroded and everything locks up.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks, I have a can of that oil and it is clogged I guess. The vedio is good. My wheels will not spin at all. Got get the other tire and spacers off.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
what is a good grease to use on needle bearings to avoid this problem for a while? Does lucas red n tacky grease work for this application?
 

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That is the biggest issue with this design, the fact that the factory doesn't lube the needle bearings or the planetaries properly.

Pull it all apart, clean it up with brake cleaner (make sure all teh old goop is out of the needles), dry with compressed air, then use Synclon Super-Lube ($10 a tube @ amazon), pack it all properly with your hands (don't try to use a needle lubricator, they don't work too well, just use your fingers and keep packing it in until it won't take anymore), make sure the planetaries have enough, roll it by hand for a while to make sure the lube gets in everywhere, cleanup the exterior (don't want excess grease getting on the friction disc or rubber wheel) and put it back in.

I just got done doing a full roller needle bearing conversion on an older design that originally had bushings. I even had to do needle bearings in the cap since those are specialized bushings you cannot buy, you have to a standard size bushing to fit, so why not just put in a needle bearing.

Needle bearings are great for this application, it is the lack of proper lubrication done at the factory that gives them a low life in practice. Then again, that is the case for just about everything on MTD blowers, as EVERYTHING needs to be lubricated so that it not only works properly, but will last.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That is the biggest issue with this design, the fact that the factory doesn't lube the needle bearings or the planetaries properly.

Pull it all apart, clean it up with brake cleaner (make sure all teh old goop is out of the needles), dry with compressed air, then use Synclon Super-Lube ($10 a tube @ amazon), pack it all properly with your hands (don't try to use a needle lubricator, they don't work too well, just use your fingers and keep packing it in until it won't take anymore), make sure the planetaries have enough, roll it by hand for a while to make sure the lube gets in everywhere, cleanup the exterior (don't want excess grease getting on the friction disc or rubber wheel) and put it back in.

I just got done doing a full roller needle bearing conversion on an older design that originally had bushings. I even had to do needle bearings in the cap since those are specialized bushings you cannot buy, you have to a standard size bushing to fit, so why not just put in a needle bearing.

Needle bearings are great for this application, it is the lack of proper lubrication done at the factory that gives them a low life in practice. Then again, that is the case for just about everything on MTD blowers, as EVERYTHING needs to be lubricated so that it not only works properly, but will last.
Everything you said is spot on. The design of the system is made to fail. I have a 1980 Toro with no such problem. This is my first time looking at an MTD. This came in bad shape. Housing rust and bent at the bottom. My Toro does not have any rust at all.

I have the needle bearings spinning like a top. I did exactly what you said. You have to get your fingers inside with grease after cleaning.
 

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Sounds like a good fix. I repaired two of these types this season, one required the kit, as the bearing surface on the hex shaft was destroyed. The kit includes needle bearings with seals, in an attempt to keep the grease in, and of course water out. This is MTD's fourth attempt at a fix.

The second one I simply replaced the needle bearings, Amazon has them.
 

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Sounds like a good fix. I repaired two of these types this season, one required the kit, as the bearing surface on the hex shaft was destroyed. The kit includes needle bearings with seals, in an attempt to keep the grease in, and of course water out. This is MTD's fourth attempt at a fix.

The second one I simply replaced the needle bearings, Amazon has them.
Yeah, that is why when my 1999 driveshaft failed with the bushings wearing out I went ahead and had a machinist friend open my assemblies up for needle bearings and then I proceeded to pick the proper bearings myself. I used Koyo double-sealed needles on the inner planatary gears, Koyo Torrington bearings on the planatary cup (no seal and it shouldn't matter since the planatary gets packed with grease) and that was because that gear is actually an offset from where the pressure on the cup is with the shoes on the outside, so a Torrington makes sense, not from a speed perspective, but a load perspective with full rollers.

The only other needle conversion I did was the outside bushings that are on the frame brackets. In retrospect I could have just ordered new frame brackets and used the larger roller bearings the newer designs use. For now I will use the converted bushings (I used double-sealed needle bearings there as well) as I believe I have a way to cap the outside to keep water/dirt from getting at them. Plus the driveshaft on my vintage machine is an intermediate driveshaft that couples with chains to not only the friction wheel, but also the axle shafts themselves. If I have any problems I have a listing of all the parts needed to convert the ends to the larger roller bearings, so I will just keep an eye on it. The total cost for that conversion is like $45 or so, so it isn't really that bad.
 
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