Mechanical repairs to Lowes riding mower Winter 2011/2012

The commercial Lowes riding mower is nearing 20 years old, yet remains extremely useful at the new place. I'm just not comfortable with the zero-turn mowers on the steep banks here, especially around the pond, so it was decided to just refurbish what we already have.

The transaxle had never been worked on and was making a terrible racket in reverse. Sounded like a bad bearing so lets repair it before something is torn up!


The transaxle was completely disassembled and all parts cleaned thoroughly in the parts washer. There certainly are a LOT of parts in this thing!


Another view of the same. All the parts are laying out to dry. It turns out the input needle bearing at the top of the input shaft was dry and this was causing the squeal. I could have replaced just that, but thought it was time to change the grease and all the seals in the unit. Hopefully it will go another 20 years.


It's all been reassembled and awaits the addition of 00 flowable grease, which proved a challenge to locate.


All back together and ready to install in the mower.



After the differential/transaxle was reinstalled, some attention was given to the front axle assembly. A new front beam was installed and all new king pin bushings. Also all the pivot pins and bushings in the rest of the steering system were replaced. Trying to make the steering effort as light as possible, as this causes me great shoulder and neck pain after hours of mowing.


Same on the other side. All new parts have been fitted.


Lastly this winter the mower deck was given some attention. I read somewhere that you are supposed to replace blades every 3 year. Truth is, the original blades were still on the deck! I knew there was some wear on the lift portion of the blade, but goodness, I had no idea this much had worn away!


A close up of the significant wear to the lift portion of the blade. It's a wonder it picked up and moved grass out from under the mower deck!


This blade tip was getting ready to start flying apart. Ouch.


I won't wait 20 years again!


All back together and ready to be placed under the mower.