Chronicling the cleanup and restoration of our house and property in northern Michigan

Chronicling the cleanup and restoration of our house and property in northern Michigan

Sunday, May 2, 2010


One of the many projects at Shangri La has been rehabbing the 25 year old Homelite Jacobsen Garden Tractor.

After the original rehab work it's running well, and we made it through the first cutting season with no major issues.  I was even able to rehab the snow thrower attachment, and used it when we went up in December.

One thing that came up during the mowing season that needed to be repaired was the mowing deck.  The 1/2" shaft that supports the rear rollers wore through and snapped, and needed to be replaced.  At the end of the season we brought it down to Ohio so that I could work on it during the winter.  Best laid plans, and all...I didn't end up working on it until this weekend.  :)

I found the replacement for the broken part online, but it came with a price tag of $100 after tax and shipping.  Even after this I would still need to replace other missing parts.  I decided to make my own parts, and the final product appears that it will work well.

The picture below shows the old, broken shaft below the newly completed repair.  The original shaft was welded to the right height adjustment bracket.  I cut this off and drilled out the bracket, which then had it matching the other three brackets.  I purchased a 48 inch length of 1/2 inch rod stock, and a 36 inch length of 1/2 inch galvanized pipe to cut into sections to use as spacers between the rollers.  I was short one large roller, so I bought 4 hard rubber casters.  I removed the wheels from the caster brackets, and drilled out the wheel hubs so that the new 1/2" axle shaft would fit through the hubs.  I combined these 4 new caster wheels with a short roller to make "one" large roller.

Below is an underside view of the deck.  One of the front roller shafts also broke, so I used a length of the 1/2" rod stock here, too.  At each end of the new roller shafts I drilled holes and inserted beefy cotter pins.  To finish the job I scraped off all of the old grass and sharpened the blades.

The total bill for all of the parts ended up being around $65.  The casters and other miscellaneous hardware was $35 of that.  If I had gone ahead and purchased the factory original replacement part I would still have had to buy these items as well.  So, I saved a grand total of  $70 and I didn't have to wait a week for the part to arrive via shipping. Looking forward to trying it out.

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