Timecutter 4235 mower deck idler pulley rebuild

packardv8

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Ten years in, the mower deck idler pulleys began a death rattle.

I checked with the local small engine repair shop and two genuine Toro parts were $65. On line Chicom parts were $45.

Most of you know the idler pulley has a bearing held between two halves of the pulley which are riveted together. Just for shitz-n-giggles, I drilled out the rivets and found a common 6203RS bearing. A search found two Chicom bearings would have been $7, but I never want to see these again, so stepped up to Timken for $14.

Those of you without a Room of Requirements would have to pay the Home Depot robber barons probably another $14 for twelve 1/2" lon 10-32 machine screws and nylon lock nuts. Fifty years in the same garage and I had them on the shelf. I pressed out the spacers, pressed them into the new bearings, bolted everything back together and good to go.

Was it worth the hassle just to save $50? Not really; but I just like fixing things.

jack vines
 
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StarTech

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And for us that willing to use eBay you can the same pulley today prices for $14 including shipping. And you both of the idlers it is $13 ea.

This provided they are the 132-9420 which lists for $32.99 not $65
 

packardv8

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For true; depending upon how one writes the search, using that Toro part number, I found prices from one only for $15 to $29.95 each.

And to be clear, the $65 for two pulleys was from the local small engine shop. Time and place utility has a cost.

Interestingly, the photos used in most of the listings currently do not show the rivets. Are today's pulleys spot-welded together?

jack vines
 

Bertrrr

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I've gotten some off amazon for decent prices,,,,,,the bearings are really cheap, like 6 for 15 bux or thereabouts , just pull them off and get a number , easy
 

packardv8

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Yes, there are cheap Chinese bearings on Amazon, but a friend tried using them to rebuild the spindles. They lasted about three months and began failing.

For an additional seven dollars, I went with Timken.

jack vines
 

StarTech

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For true; depending upon how one writes the search, using that Toro part number, I found prices from one only for $15 to $29.95 each.

And to be clear, the $65 for two pulleys was from the local small engine shop. Time and place utility has a cost.

Interestingly, the photos used in most of the listings currently do not show the rivets. Are today's pulleys spot-welded together?

jack vines
Then the price is inline as we do have overhead to consider. Even the riveted version from Stens costs me $20.39 plus shipping so I have to combine orders so I try to a large enough order to the free ship level. This means I have order extra parts for stock to get to this level. Getting hit with a $14.50 SHC charge on one pulley eats deeply into the profit. At they are still have one lowest free ship level. I got one vendor that is now $16.86 per order unless I order $250. This might explain why I have nearly $2000 in idler pulleys in stock and this includes three of the 280-740 pulleys. These have been sitting in the bin since 2022. Even if I have to order them they are only one shipping normally for me. But having them in stock is good two fold. One is they are available when the customer needs them, and second I don't have to special order them. Now it does tie up my operating funds but if I don't have when need the customer just goes somewhere else. Now it does means that they can sit on the shelf for a year but that is just how things can works out here.

I wish I could run a just in time inventory but I can't; therefore, I only got $97,000+ in parts in storage here.

And most customers don't really even know what part they need PN wise so I got to look up the equipment which means I got to have the true model number and sometimes even the serial number.

Most idlers are spot welded. a few are riveted. Now for a shop time is important so we can't be spending 1 to 2 hours grinding out rivets and we also got consider overall quality as I personally usually buy from a known good source that has a replacement warranty in case of defective item is received.
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And if cost is really an issue then
1720522976102.png
which is around $8 each but what is quality of these.
 
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bertsmobile1

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I occasionally drill out the spot welds or grind back the rivets for pulleys I can not get for a reasonable price
I got quoted $ 142 for a Dixon deck idler so the hour I spent grinding out the rivets then welding it back together was worth it .
I always find is urking that in all of the catalogues they show a double row bearing yet all of them use a standard one .
As for cheap imported bearing from a vendor that is not a regular bearing shop that is a fools errand .
I used to work in the metals industry and there is no way a factory can make a precision ground deep grove ball bearing for the prices I see all over the web.
Fo giggles I pulled a cheap bearing supplied by world lawn and had a good look at it
1) rivets in the cage were smaller
2) one less ball than there should have been
3) inner & outer races were ground on the outside , but machined on the inside so they would have worn slack in a very short time.
I only use Japanese or German bearings because I know jus how expensive making one is .
Like Star I fit either Stens or Rotary idlers and being in Australia I get 12 months warranty on everything . It is consumer law down here .
Bought of ebay there is no warranty because it is officially an auction house
Bought off Amazon then it is up to the individual vendor to warrant the item, but there is no way to find out who they really are
 

StarTech

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Exactly Bert quality does matter to us that are in the business of repairs as we like seeing repeat customers for other problems; not for failure of a recently installed part.

About the only I see in my shop that uses double row bearings are ATVs and UTVs. Otherwise the closest I have seen are machines with a double stacked bearings.

Also those cheap Chinese bearings usually have lousy grease installed. Even the bearing my bearing supplies needs the grease cleaned out and fresh hi temp wheel bearing installed. I tried a few bearings off Amazon and they didn't even make pass a month. Now there are name brand bearings on Amazon that are very good. Buying cheap up front you usually pay in the end anyway; one way or the other.
 
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