Need ideas for removing shaft key on 54D mower deck
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Thread: Need ideas for removing shaft key on 54D mower deck

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    Question Need ideas for removing shaft key on 54D mower deck

    I need help figuring out how to remove a broken woodruff key from the shaft of the gearbox on my 54D mower deck. When the key broke, it somehow sheared off cleanly to match the surface of the shaft, so there are no upraised edges I can leverage on at all. I have attempted using a hammer and punch to try and get it to move out of the well, but it hasn't budged and I am cautious about using too much force and messing up the gearbox bearings. I am considering trying to drill a hole in the key and using a screw to get something I can actually apply force to, but I don't know if I have the equipment (relatively new home owner as well so the work shop is pretty limited).

    If anyone has a suggestion I would appreciate it.
    Last edited by jhamilton1096; 06-08-2017 at 09:40 AM.

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    Firemark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhamilton1096 View Post
    I need help figuring out how to remove a broken woodruff key from the shaft of the gearbox on my 54D mower deck. When the key broke, it somehow sheared off cleanly to match the surface of the shaft, so there are no upraised edges I can leverage on at all. I have attempted using a hammer and punch to try and get it to move out of the well, but it hasn't budged and I am cautious about using too much force and messing up the gearbox bearings. I am considering trying to drill a hole in the key and using a screw to get something I can actually apply force to, but I don't know if I have the equipment (relatively new home owner as well so the work shop is pretty limited).

    If anyone has a suggestion I would appreciate it.
    Post a few pics of it. If it sheared off cleanly to match the shaft, than it shouldn't be holding anything in place? If you have the shaft exposed, with the remnants of the key accessible, there are a few ways you can tamp it out of the shaft. It's hard for me to visualize based on your text. If it's wide open access, there are a number of ways. Prick it with a machinist punch, take a small good quality ,drill Bit and drill it it perpendicular to the shaft a bit at a very slow speed with some cutting oil. Now you will have a means of drilling it with a bigger bit on an angle and not have, "drift". Put a tapered punch in the key at that angle and drive it out. It shouldn't require enough force to damage things. You could also take a Dremel with a metal cutting wheel and slot it very carefully without going deep enough to touch the shaft, then could prick, drill the sides and punch it inward, maybe with a brass punch in case you hit the shaft. There are a lot of ways to do this. There are a lot of guys with machining backgrounds on the forum, I'm sure you will get some more ideas. Again, without pics, it's harder for me to give you more accurate advice.
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    I agree with Firemark which is the first thought I had prior to reading his post. Carefully drill a hole after center punching it so you can use a tapered punch to use a hammer to tap it out of the shaft. Maybe spray something like WD-40 or PB Blaster on it first. Good luck and let us know how you make out.
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    Two things to try.

    Drill a hole completely through the center of the key, just till you get to the actual shaft. Take a rubber tipped blow gun for the compressor, hold against it and blow air into the hole. If you get all the way through the key, chances are it will pop right out.

    Two... A Drexel and cutoff wheel. Cut a slot in the center of the key, the length of it. There is a good possibility that when the key cools, it will shrink enough to loosen up.
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