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I have a 2003 JD L120. I've got bearings going out in two different spindles. Since they're sealed I can't replace the bearings and therefore went to my local JD dealer and purchased two new spindles. Part # GY20785 (that's what they gave me). My old spindles had 4 threaded mounting holes with bolts that attached the spindle to the mower deck (they didn't need nuts, the bolts just threaded in). The new spindles have the same 4 mounting holes but they ARE NOT threaded. The 4 holes are smooth and the spindles didn't come with mounting bolts and nuts so I'm wondering how you attach them. I'd either have to tap new threads into the holes or buy bolts and nuts...or they gave me the wrong parts. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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:wgtt:

The bolts holding your existing spindles in are probably heavy duty self tapping bolts, which means they will cut their own threads as you tighten them. If you take one of the existing bolts, it should be tapered slightly on the end and feel a little too big to drop straight through the hole in your new spindle.
 

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56 Ford Guy,

Thanks for the reply. You are correct in that my "old" bolts are too big to slide easily through the holes. I can get them started and then they tighten up...similar to when you cross-thread a bolt. This supports your explanation of them being self tapping. Are you 100% sure this is correct as I don't want to ruin the spindle in case I need to return them? Or can someone confirm 56 Ford Guys explanation? I hope that's the case as it's an easy fix. Thank you!!!
 

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You can usually ID a self-tapping screw by the little "V" shaped cut in the end of the screw, this V or flute (like a tap) is what helps cut the thread.
 

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The bolts are self tapping. No threads in new spindles. might be a lil late but for future reference... use new bolts when installing new spindles. The old ones are stressed and are prone to break off. They are very hard and almost impossible to drill and extract.
 

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The bolts are self tapping. No threads in new spindles. might be a lil late but for future reference... use new bolts when installing new spindles. The old ones are stressed and are prone to break off. They are very hard and almost impossible to drill and extract.
Xcopterdoc - probably a dumb question but can I buy new self-tapping bolts at a local hardware store or do I need to get them from a JD dealer or specialty store? I haven't installed the new spindles yet so I still have time to yield your advice. Thank you.
 

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I think self-tapping bolts are slightly triangular in shape too. As for getting them at a hardware store, that all depends on the quality and selection of the store. Personally I'd just drill and tap for commonly available hardware. Self tapping bolts are used to make Deere's life convenient and profitable as it saves at least one or two manufacturing steps.
 
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