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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I hit a piece of wood the other day and appear to have knocked one of the blades loose in my 60D deck. Killed the engine, waited for everything to stop and took a look underneath - sure enough, the rightmost blade sort of spins freely on the spindle.

I got the deck off and managed to work the bolt loose. Both the bolt and the washer look fine, and I couldn't see anything untoward on the spindle, pulleys or anything else. So I figure all I need to do is re-attach everything and tighten it all down appropriately.

The problem is that I can't seem to make it tight enough to secure the blade in place. Everything else wants to turn, of course.

I've tried blocking another one of the blades with wood and also tried setting a pair of vise-grips to brace the pulley bolt (on top of that particular spindle) against some protruding steel, but they can't get a good enough purchase there and always seem to work loose right as I'm applying pressure underneath. :thumbsdown:

So I guess I'm asking: is there some secret to tightening these things down? The dealer is 1-1.5 weeks out on new work right now and I really don't want to have to drag it in there just for someone else to turn a bolt.

(My follow-up question is: could there be something I'm missing in approaching this? One bolt, one washer, & one blade seem pretty straightforward to troubleshoot, but I figured I'd ask because who knows.)

I don't have an impact wrench, so I'm doing this by hand with an 18mm socket wrench and a cheater bar. I know that's not optimal, but it's all I've got at the moment.:nunu:
 

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I think an impact would solve the problem ASSUMING all is normal and perfect. Have you tried hitting the breaker bar with a hammer?
 

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If I read this correctly, the bolt is somewhat tight and the blade is still free to spin?
Not sure what it looks like but could the spindle shaft have dropped a touch and the bolt and washer are bottoming out.
 

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invest in an impact wrench, this will help a lot. There is a small detaunt that the blade sets in so it is centered to the shaft and the bolt. Tightening the bolt with a wrench will not get it tight enough. Make sure the bolt threads are ok and not stripped. While it should not be I have seen stranger things.
 

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If your washer is domed the top of the dome should face the bottom of the bolt head. As long as you get the blade reasonably snug it should be fine as the spindles should spin in a way that would force the bolt tighter. If you want to get ahold of a round object a strap wrench would work well. I big enough one should be able to wrap around the pulley.

Post some pictures if you can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Epilogue

Well...as a lesson to others who may find this thread in the future, I can safely say that it is possible to apply enough torque by hand. Too much, in fact, as I ended up breaking the head of the bolt off. So it's off to the dealer now for sure.

I'm assuming that something happened to the spindle and that the bolt was somehow bottoming out. I found a good spot to immobilize the pulley wheel and was finally able to apply some real pressure.

I moved the wrench a fraction at a go, checking to see how freely the blade was moving, and then move the lever a little more. It never seemed snug up enough to the shaft. I could consistently move it around. Then it popped and that was that.:banghead:

At least the front yard and part of the back got done. I'll mow a path with the push mower to the chicken coop, then around the swingset, and wait to write a check.

:flag_of_truce:

The washer doesn't look domed and the manual doesn't mention a top or bottom when replacing the blade. The threads on the bolt showed no signs of stripping. It has no head now, but, you know, aside from that little detail it otherwise looks fine.
 

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Just a final thought. If the bolt was indeed bottoming out in in the spindle, you should have had a fairly hard time getting the rest of the bolt out when the head broke off. Something like vise grips or pipe wrench would have been needed. If the remnants just backed out fairly easy, then the head was probably partially sheared when you hit that object. I have seen partially broken bolts just torque up to a point then turn and turn until the head or shaft spins off ... usually flush with the bottom flange/mounting :laugh:.

The feeling is similar to those "one use" / "stretch" bolts that you torque to a certain value then "add a quarter or half turn" extra. That final turn often feels like the head is going to spin off, but doesn't. But then if you ever use them 2 or 3 times, they just never seem to tighten until they just snap. Never liked those one-use stretch bolts, not even sure why anyone designed or used them other than the manufacturer selling more bolts. I'm fairly certain no one uses those stretch bolts for mower blade bolts, just random information I am sharing.

Just my 2 cents. Good Luck.
 

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First thing I would have done when it didn't tighten was take off another blade and compare bolts and see if they were the same size. Just say'n.
 

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Well...as a lesson to others who may find this thread in the future, I can safely say that it is possible to apply enough torque by hand. Too much, in fact, as I ended up breaking the head of the bolt off. So it's off to the dealer now for sure.
Before you take it in and pay them big $$$, get some of these (or similar): Neiko 13-Piece Left Handed Drill Bit Set, HSS Titanium Coated, SAE - Jobber Drill Bits - Amazon.com

And these, although 75% of the time for me the bolts come out with the LH drill bits alone: http://www.amazon.com/K-D-Tools-720...F8&qid=1406760190&sr=8-1&keywords=kd+tool+720
 
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As far as securing the blade so the bolts can be loosened or tightened safely... I use a short piece of 2X4 cut to fit between the blades and the handiest point of the deck or deck baffle. It will fit between blades and deck and/or baffles depending on which blade and which way the bolt is going. I labeled mind with a Sharpie marker and keep it with my JD "stuff" so it doesn't find it's way into the wood stove.

It is also educational to buy/borrow a torque wrench and see exactly how much torque your particular bolt specification requires. This will give you an idea of the safe range with a plain breaker bar when/if the torque wrench is not available. 70ft.lbs. isn't really as honkin' tight as one would think, and this may save some stripping of bolt threads/heads in the future.

I also like a dab of "NeverSieze" on the threads of my spindle bolts. I don't use much, just a small bead spread down the length of the thread contact area... maybe just the tip of a popsicle stick worth. It will last through many cycles. ABSOLUTELY keep it off the bolt/washer/blade/spindle area!
 

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So I hit a piece of wood the other day and appear to have knocked one of the blades loose in my 60D deck. Killed the engine, waited for everything to stop and took a look underneath - sure enough, the rightmost blade sort of spins freely on the spindle.

I got the deck off and managed to work the bolt loose. Both the bolt and the washer look fine, and I couldn't see anything untoward on the spindle, pulleys or anything else. So I figure all I need to do is re-attach everything and tighten it all down appropriately.

The problem is that I can't seem to make it tight enough to secure the blade in place. Everything else wants to turn, of course.

I've tried blocking another one of the blades with wood and also tried setting a pair of vise-grips to brace the pulley bolt (on top of that particular spindle) against some protruding steel, but they can't get a good enough purchase there and always seem to work loose right as I'm applying pressure underneath. 👎

So I guess I'm asking: is there some secret to tightening these things down? The dealer is 1-1.5 weeks out on new work right now and I really don't want to have to drag it in there just for someone else to turn a bolt.

(My follow-up question is: could there be something I'm missing in approaching this? One bolt, one washer, & one blade seem pretty straightforward to troubleshoot, but I figured I'd ask because who knows.)

I don't have an impact wrench, so I'm doing this by hand with an 18mm socket wrench and a cheater bar. I know that's not optimal, but it's all I've got at the moment.:nunu:
 

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Old post but this same issue happened to me today on 1023e with 60D deck. Hit a bunch of rocks and center blade was loose and could not be tightened. Read this post and checked the bolt, all good. Then checked the blade and that was bent which caused it not to sit right and could not be tightened. Swapped over another blade and no issue...

Appreciate all of the posts on all the issues, have learned a lot here..
 

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This was mentioned earlier but just a reminder. The washer holding the blade in place is a cupped washer. To a quick glance it may appear flat like a standard washer, but if you put a true straight edge across the two faces, one face is slightly cupped in the center, and the other face will be slightly domed in the center. The cupped face is supposed to be installed facing the mower blade. If inadvertently installed the opposite direction, only the inner rim of the hole contacts the blade, and the blade is more likely to loosen. Installed correctly, cupped side towards the blade, the washer essentially functions as a spring, clamping the blade securely.
 
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