Having a well-kept lawn comes with a lot of work. With the advent of lawnmowers, the chore has become somewhat easier.
However, mowers are often subject to a lot of wear and tear, and as such require the replacement of some parts. Most often it is either a pulley, blades, engine belts, or the spindle.
This is a guide on how and when to replace your pulley from a lawnmower spindle.
When To Replace the Pulley
There are several signs to show that your lawnmower’s pulley needs replacement. The easiest sign to detect is when engine belts make a high-pitched screeching sound.
If you are careless with your mower and left the pulley in a damaged state, you might find out it needs replacing when it breaks – this usually results in the mower’s engine overheating due to a fallen engine belt.
If you can visibly see that a pulley is damaged, it surely needs to be replaced.
How to Remove the Pulley from a Lawn Mower Spindle
The pulley is a disc-shaped part that rotates about an axis (in this case the mower spindle). It can be found in the lawn mower’s deck, usually under a spindle guard.
To remove the pulley and replace it, you must first access the deck – this differs between lawnmower models and manufacturers.
Take precautions to ensure that the blades are supported during the entire process to avoid any injuries.
After accessing the deck, you will find that the pulley is secured to a shaft (the spindle) by a nut.
Using an appropriately sized socket wrench, you can remove the nut. An electric socket wrench will make this process easier. To stop the pulley from rotating while you unfasten the bolt, wrap the engine belt tightly around the pulley before you start your electric pocket wrench. The pulley might be rusted, or cracked – so do not attempt to remove it from the spindle just yet.
A puller is a special tool made to remove a difficult to remove the part.
A 3 jaw gear puller is widely used. It is an inexpensive tool that latches onto different parts such as pulleys and gears to ‘pull’ them by unthreading a central threaded bolt.
What to Do If the Pulley is Heavily Rusted
A very rusty pulley is prone to breaking during the removal process and might need a different tool for easier removal.
If the pulley breaks on the spindle, it may be very difficult to remove the broken parts – necessitating the removal of the spindle.
Soaking the parts for several hours in the penetrating oil is helpful if the pulley is tightly seized. A 3 jaw gear puller is likely to break a rusty pulley, so a pulley puller is a better tool for the job.
This tool attaches to the pulley flange to loosen it, without the risk of breaking it. Simply, two clamp shells are affixed onto the flange with a threaded bolt in the middle.
Then, while securing the clamps shells with a wrench, you can use a socket wrench to unthread the bolt.
Without an electric socket wrench, the task is not impossible but requires a great deal of strength. As the bolt comes loose, so does the pulley.