Loose front axle on 265
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    Loose front axle on 265

    There's a healthy 1/8" or so gap between the front axle and the frame. So yes the steering has lots of play and the wheels move fore/aft before turning L or R.

    I should have no problem tightening the castle nut one or two more "positions" (so that the cotter pin will go back in). But how tight is tight, here? This doesn't appear to be like an automotive wheel bearing situation.


    The castle nut is hard to get to: I've removed the heat shield/guard for the muffler but that's as far as I made it today with other commitments. (I did get the cotter pin out of the castle nut that secures the axle.) The castle nut does spin a little by hand, but not easily enough to tighten without a wrench or socket. Maybe if I squeezed the axle to the frame with some clamps ...

    With the muffler present, there isn't enough room to get a socket (nor the closed-end of a wrench ...) onto the castle nut. Not sure if I have to remove the muffler (and what's involved with doing so?) or if the open-end of a wrench could get at the castle nut sufficiently.

    Seems to be just under a 1.5", so maybe a 36mm? I'll have to see if a pipe wrench will go on there. I don't see buying a huge wrench for this, but I do have access to larger (SAE) sockets and don't mind buying a large metric socket.

    QUESTION 1:
    Should I remove the castle nut and remove the axle and smear some grease between it and the frame, where they meet, since the axle has to move "up/down" in normal operation?

    CONCERN 1:
    One front wheel spindle has a bit of vertical play, or a small gap between it and the axle. But there's no adjustment or bearing I can see available.

    CONCERN 2:
    Both front wheels have a little slop on their respective spindles, but again, I don't see them as having castle nuts/replaceable wheel bearings, so ...

    All advice is welcome.

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    jgayman's Avatar
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    Assuming the pivot hole in the front axle isn't worn, you should be able to replace the two bushings and/or the pivot bolt (highlighted components shown below).



    As for play in the wheel spindles, you can replace the top/bottom bushings (#6 in illustration). If the spindles themselves aren't too worn this should tighten things up a bit.

    Also, both front wheels have replaceable ball bearings. On on the inside and one on the outside. They are ~$12 each and very easy to replace.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 265_axle.jpg   265_bearings.jpg  
    Last edited by jgayman; 08-26-2018 at 10:00 PM.
    2012 2720 -- 200CX Loader -- 54" Quick Attach Snow Blower -- Frontier LR5060 Rake -- Land Pride RB1660 Blade (Hydraulic Angle) -- Artillian 42" Forks -- Ken's Bolt on Grab Hooks -- Fit Rite Hydraulic top-link -- 2013 X500 for mowing duties

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    deckeda (08-27-2018)

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    bloodrunsgreen's Avatar
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    jgayman is correct. Also check bushings(#6) for the spindles(#13 #19) These are wear points too. If there is still play after checking/replacing worn parts, you could find washers that fit the pivot bolt, machine it thinner for shim duty. Is there a place with a large hex nut? near the frames by the front axle to adjust for that problem. Most tractors have a kit available (plate of steel) to add for the wear.
    Last edited by bloodrunsgreen; 08-26-2018 at 10:43 PM.
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    Awesome, thanks!

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    Zebrafive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloodrunsgreen View Post
    jgaymaniscorrect.Alsocheckbushings(#6)forthespindl es(#13#19)Thesearewearpointstoo.Ifthereisstillplay afterchecking/replacingwornparts,youcouldfindwashersthatfitthepi votbolt,machineitthinnerforshimduty.Isthereaplacew ithalargehexnut?neartheframesbythefrontaxletoadjus tforthatproblem.Mosttractorshaveakitavailable(plat eofsteel)toaddforthewear.
    Rather than machine washers, you can buy shim kits in various diameters at TSC.
    J
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    If I'm understanding what you two are saying, the castle nut may not tighten sufficiently due to wear, where the axle and frame meet (irrespective of the two bushings and / or the pivot bolt.)

    Seems to me that I'd only shim it if new bushings and (possibly) new pivot bolt don't help.

    On the other hand, if the only two choices are castle nut too loose (wobbles, like now) or castle nut too tight (axle doesn't move up/down freely) then perhaps a middle ground can be reached with a shim.


    And so that's also a "no" regarding my question about adding grease between axle and frame, where they meet?

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    jgayman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deckeda View Post
    If I'm understanding what you two are saying, the castle nut may not tighten sufficiently due to wear, where the axle and frame meet (irrespective of the two bushings and / or the pivot bolt.)
    The tightness of the castle nut only effects how much the axle assembly slides forward and backwards on the pivot pin (free play). Normally the technical manual will instruct to use a feeler gauge to tighten the castle nut to set a specific clearance between a checkpoint on the frame and axle. My X500 has a similar front axle but does not have a castle nut. It uses a nylon lock nut which must be tightened to a specific torque.

    Seems to me that I'd only shim it if new bushings and (possibly) new pivot bolt don't help.
    Axle pivot wear is usually a combination of the bushings (#4) and the pivot bolt (#9). The bushings are usually bronze and normally wear out first. Wear is accelerated when the front pivot is not kept greased. Shims are sometimes required to establish the correct clearance.

    On the other hand, if the only two choices are castle nut too loose (wobbles, like now) or castle nut too tight (axle doesn't move up/down freely) then perhaps a middle ground can be reached with a shim.
    Even with the castle nut loose the axle should not wobble unless the bushings are worn.

    You really should have the technical manual for the 265 to make the proper adjustments.

    And so that's also a "no" regarding my question about adding grease between axle and frame, where they meet?
    Doesn't your tractor have a grease zerk on the axle right at the pivot point? That area definitely needs to be greased regularly. Below is the axle on my X500. As you can see it uses similar bushings and a pivot bolt. I have highlighted the grease zerk.


    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails X500_axle.jpg  
    2012 2720 -- 200CX Loader -- 54" Quick Attach Snow Blower -- Frontier LR5060 Rake -- Land Pride RB1660 Blade (Hydraulic Angle) -- Artillian 42" Forks -- Ken's Bolt on Grab Hooks -- Fit Rite Hydraulic top-link -- 2013 X500 for mowing duties

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    Thanks again jgayman, that gives me a clearer idea of what to expect. I'm ordering bushings (at least) today.

    Quote Originally Posted by jgayman View Post

    Doesn't your tractor have a grease zerk on the axle right at the pivot point? That area definitely needs to be greased regularly. ...

    I don't see a zerk fitting on the underside of my axle. [Edit: If you look at the two axle "bosses" where they meet the frame, you'll notice the gap on one side (upper left of picture) when the other side is touching the frame.]
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails underside axle.jpg  
    Last edited by deckeda; 08-27-2018 at 02:40 PM.

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    jgayman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deckeda View Post
    I don't see a zerk fitting on the underside of my axle. [Edit: If you look at the two axle "bosses" where they meet the frame, you'll notice the gap on one side (upper left of picture) when the other side is touching the frame.]
    That's odd that it doesn't have a grease fitting. Perhaps once you take it apart you can drill and tap a hole for a zerk. Hopefully just the bushing is worn and it hasn't yet worn and hogged out the axle.
    2012 2720 -- 200CX Loader -- 54" Quick Attach Snow Blower -- Frontier LR5060 Rake -- Land Pride RB1660 Blade (Hydraulic Angle) -- Artillian 42" Forks -- Ken's Bolt on Grab Hooks -- Fit Rite Hydraulic top-link -- 2013 X500 for mowing duties

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    Notice there's no zerk fitting shown in the JD diagram.

    I don't see myself drilling into an axle. I should know next week what the pivot bolt looks like (I know it looks like $60 if it's bad.)

    In the meantime I'll need to remove the hood and then muffler without breaking anything, to reach the castle nut. I read that somebody with a 320 additionally had to remove the PTO in order for the pivot bolt to be removed. At this point nothing would surprise me.


    The good news is that I finally got my LX176 lemon back running (and mowing) very well, while both of my 265s are down. The '176 had some curious "farmer fixes" done to the drivetrain that failed, and a mower deck idler lever that was about to bust. I've now corrected that with a mix of both new and used parts. That mower will be sold as soon as one of the 265s is solid again.
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