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Discussion Starter #1
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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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.

 

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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.
 

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jgaymaniscorrect.Alsocheckbushings(#6)forthespindles(#13#19)Thesearewearpointstoo.Ifthereisstillplayafterchecking/replacingwornparts,youcouldfindwashersthatfitthepivotbolt,machineitthinnerforshimduty.Isthereaplacewithalargehexnut?neartheframesbythefrontaxletoadjustforthatproblem.Mosttractorshaveakitavailable(plateofsteel)toaddforthewear.
Rather than machine washers, you can buy shim kits in various diameters at TSC.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
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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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.


 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks again jgayman, that gives me a clearer idea of what to expect. I'm ordering bushings (at least) today.

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.]
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
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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If my experience holds true, be prepared to buy a new pin...

I rebuilt my GX345 axle this spring when I had the engine off. The PTO needs to come off on the GX series to pull the pin.

Both the pin and the bushings were out of spec at 550 hours. I was quite surprised at the amount of wear on the bottom of the pin. The frame itself had minimal wear and didn't need shimming. I'm not sure if the PO owned or knew how to use a grease gun.

The GX axle assembly is the same as the first diagrams posed by jgayman. I replaced the spindle bushings as well as the bearings. The spindles themselves were in spec.
 

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I rebuilt my GX345 axle this spring when I had the engine off. The PTO needs to come off on the GX series to pull the pin.

Both the pin and the bushings were out of spec at 550 hours. I was quite surprised at the amount of wear on the bottom of the pin. The frame itself had minimal wear and didn't need shimming. I'm not sure if the PO owned or knew how to use a grease gun.

The GX axle assembly is the same as the first diagrams posed by jgayman. I replaced the spindle bushings as well as the bearings. The spindles themselves were in spec.
At least your GX345 had a grease zerk on the front axle pivot. The OP is claiming the 265 does not have a grease zerk. There isn't one pictured in the parts list either. very strange as those bushings definitely need grease. I know if it were mine and I was tearing it apart to replace the bushings I would be installing a grease zerk upon reassembly.
 

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I'm with Jgayman again, when you rebuild the front pivot, drill the front axle pivot for a grease zerk. I have done my 318, 420 and 430. I also installed wear pads (steel plates) on them too.
 

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At least your GX345 had a grease zerk on the front axle pivot. The OP is claiming the 265 does not have a grease zerk. There isn't one pictured in the parts list either. very strange as those bushings definitely need grease. I know if it were mine and I was tearing it apart to replace the bushings I would be installing a grease zerk upon reassembly.
+1 on drilling and adding the zerk fitting.

And to your point, the wear on mine could have been reduced if the PO greased it. Without grease, it was worn and the OP will likely see the same wear if not worse.
 

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At least your GX345 had a grease zerk on the front axle pivot. The OP is claiming the 265 does not have a grease zerk. There isn't one pictured in the parts list either. very strange as those bushings definitely need grease. I know if it were mine and I was tearing it apart to replace the bushings I would be installing a grease zerk upon reassembly.
+1 on drilling and adding the zerk fitting.

And to your point, the wear on mine could have been reduced if the PO greased it. Without grease, it was worn and the OP will likely see the same wear if not worse.
My thought too (+2) :good2:, If you have it that far apart, add a grease fitting.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I see. And what kind and size drill bit will go through the axle? And what length zerk fitting?
 

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I see. And what kind and size drill bit will go through the axle? And what length zerk fitting?
That can be a tricky question to answer. I have a pack of assorted grease zerks and a tap set so I usually just pick something close and go with it. But if you've never drilled and taped a hole for a zerk the choices can be a bit confusing.

There are three basic types of zerks shown below. The first comes in SAE or Metric and you drill and tap the hole and thread it in like a bolt. The middle one is thread forming. For those you drill a hole and the zerk will create its own threads as you screw it in. The one on the right is a press fit. You drill a hole and using a special zerk driver rod you hammer the zerk into the hole and it is a press fit.



All three work the same and they all will require that you drill a hole of a very specific size. You don't need a very big zerk. You can use the other zerks on your tractor as a guide. If you are unfamiliar with what you might need you should be able to go to some place like NAPA or AutoZone and they can fix you up with a zerk, drill bit and the proper sized tap. It's a shame to have to buy a drill and tap just for one zerk. Do you know anyone who might be able to do it for you?
 

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The first zerk, "Common Threaded Fitting," is a 1/16 NPT, but you can get by using a 1/4-28 tap...1/16 NPT is 27 threads per inch vs 28 on the 1/4" tap. Seeing how your only going in about 3/8", you'll never notice the 1 thread difference.

The second, "Thread Forming Fitting," I have seen in 1/8 & 1/4 NPT.

The third, "Drive-type Fitting," I'ved required a 3/16" drilled hole.

A hint for all holes is to drill one size smaller, then follow thru with the correct size. This will give you a more correct hole diameter. Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks again guys.

... The PTO needs to come off on the GX series to pull the pin. ...
Same here. I'm off to go get a zerk fitting and such. And start looking for front tires!

I could never have removed the PTO without the impact gun. Man, was that awesome how well that worked. I even already had the correct 16mm impact socket. I went "full speed" when removing but am unsure about how fast to go when reinstalling. The impact has a 1, 2, and 3 settings for both Reverse and Forward (older Ingersoll Rand, unknown model). << I don't know how many ft-lbs the gun is rated for.


... I also installed wear pads (steel plates) on them too.
Is that some kind of add-on kit, or did you just find a way to bolt thin plates onto the two contact areas already formed on the axle?


Random pic of my crowded (by dry! and flat!) workspace.
 

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I could never have removed the PTO without the impact gun. Man, was that awesome how well that worked. I even already had the correct 16mm impact socket. I went "full speed" when removing but am unsure about how fast to go when reinstalling. The impact has a 1, 2, and 3 settings for both Reverse and Forward (older Ingersoll Rand, unknown model). << I don't know how many ft-lbs the gun is rated for.
Perhaps some others will chime in but if you don't have a service manual that gives specific torque values for the PTO clutch here is what I would do.

Apply a little Anti-Seize on the area where the clutch slides onto the crank and apply a little bit to the bolt. Screw it in and tighten it up with a ratchet. When it gets tight the engine will probably turn over as you put more force on the ratchet. At that point set your impact wrench on the MIDDLE setting and give the bolt two SHORT bursts of about 1 second each. You should be good to go then.
 
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