I'm getting my Gravely Promaster 100 ZTR ready to sell (since I have a new ZTrak) and I'm getting pretty anal about getting it in tip-top condition. I guess because it's fun and the old girl can have a long productive life with a new owner.
Anyway the front anti-scalp roller has had a bunch of slop in it for years and since I have the mower in the air on my 2 post vehicle lift I thought I might as well try to restore the roller as much as possible. I pulled the shaft and the contact point on the shaft and the bracket is very worn, you can see the groove worn in the shaft in the picture.
I measured the diameter of the old shaft and amazingly I found some round rod laying on my lathe the right diameter (~0.62") and even a little longer than I needed. The odds of that happening again are about zero, I was expecting to rummage around my steel stock for half an hour looking for a rod.
I really didn't need to chuck the rod in my lathe but it was a good excuse to play with it. I faced one end, cut to size, faced it then added a chamfer on both ends. A Scotchbrite abrasive pad made it nice and shiny. Then off the vertical mill to drill the holes on each end for the cotter key keepers. Using the mill's vise was much easier than trying to use a drill press for this small diameter rod. I used a centering drill and then drilled to size.
Now I have to figure out how to deal with the elongated holes on the bracket that holds the roller - it's easy to see how worn the holes are from the picture. I'm currently leaning toward adding fill with my TIG and then drilling to finished size. I thought about cutting those ears off and making new ones but that's a bunch of work. Another idea was to tack weld washers but they would eat into the shaft rather quickly.