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Last fall I bent the caster wheel "arm" on my 72" 7-Iron MMM deck (non auto-connect) so it obviously won't track correctly. This afternoon I unsuccessfully attempted to beat it into submission with my 4lb hammer after heating it up with the little Bernzomatic MAPP torch. After several attempts, I gave up. I'm not sure what the next step might be-- auto body shop with a hydraulic press? Since a replacement is about $150, any suggestions would be appreciated.

Note: The yoke, wheel and axle are good (despite the photo), it's just the support arm that's bent.
 

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My 12# sledge,,, and a couple blocks of wood, could straighten that,,,:good2:

This is not an electrical problem,,, GET A BIGGER HAMMER!! :laugh:
 

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My 12# sledge,,, and a couple blocks of wood, could straighten that,,,:good2:

This is not an electrical problem,,, GET A BIGGER HAMMER!! :laugh:
Ha Ha....that's going to require a bigger hammer, a couple blocks of wood AND my 33 year old son :laugh:
I wrenched my back a couple of days ago and felt pretty brave this afternoon with that 4lb hammer!
 

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Oxy/acet. rosebud !!! Get it hot , should bend easily . :bigthumb:
 

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Oxy/acet. rosebud !!! Get it hot , should bend easily . :bigthumb:
Yep, more heat. If you don't have a torch set-up, just build a little charcoal fire in the hibachi, lay the caster in there (after removing the wheel!) and use a blow dryer for draft. Or if playing blacksmith doesn't appeal and you have an electric welder, cut the shaft off and weld it back straight.
 

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Actually, when I bend something like this,,,
I always try to straighten it without heat.

Applying heat will anneal the steel, reducing the strength.

Did you ever notice, if you bend a piece of steel, it is almost impossible to straighten?
That is because the steel work hardens in the bent area.

That yoke holding the wheel is stronger in the bends, than the raw steel it was made from.

If you heat the part enough to easily bend it,
the weldment will be much easier to bend, the next time you hit something.
 

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You might try taking the wheel off, securing the shaft in a vise and slipping a large crescent wrench on the end of the yoke legs and bending the legs to align with the shaft. This might not take as much effort as trying to bend the shaft where it joins the yoke. Disclaimer: I don't have any idea how big or thick that yoke is, so I may be way off base. :dunno:

How wide is the yoke? Could you replace the wheel with a length of 2x4 bolted in its place and use the resulting lever to straighten things up? Again, I'm just throwing out ideas here. My only reference is the guide wheels on my LT, the yokes of which can be bent by the wind it seems.
 

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when i bent one on my 62d deck. i went over to my neighbors shop. we took the piece off and laid it in his press. it bent fairly easily, but IIRC my shaft was aluminum. he still had to cut the hanger off the deck, and reweld it back square. i can't remember just what the price was for mine, but it was quite high, back then. this was on my jd 2520:greentractorride:
 

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Lock the forks in a vice and then slip a long steel pipe(5'+) over the shaft and put your weight on it. If that doesn't do it then heat it up and try again. Also make sure you have the wheels adjusted correctly. The deck should "hang" off the bottom of the tractor and the wheels should be slightly off the ground. The deck doesn't actually ride on the casters. They are just to prevent scalping.
 

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I would not put any heat on the shaft to bend it back in place. It will temper the steel and soften it , which will make it bend easier again.
Bending back straight in a press would be my choice.
John Deere may have created a weak point to save bending the deck.
 
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