How to Replace the Front Axle on a John Deere GT275
- 1). Raise the front of the mower with a jack. Place jack stands underneath the front chassis, just rearward of the axle housing assembly. Lower the mower onto the jack stands. Remove the drag link nut from the left front -- as viewed when sitting on the mower -- spindle assembly. Push the link downward and out of the front spindle.
- 2). Remove the center spindle cap from one of the front wheels. Remove the snap ring from the end of the spindle with snap ring pliers. Pull the front wheel off the mower. Insert a flat-head screwdriver through the center hole in the wheel to push out the wheel bearings. Remove both wheel bearings. Repeat this step to remove the wheel and wheel bearings from the second side of the mower. Discard the snap rings and wheel bearings.
- 3). Remove the bolt and nut from the center of the axle assembly, using a ratchet and socket along with an open-end wrench. Gently tap on the bolt with the wrench end to push it out of the axle housing. Remove the front axle housing assembly. Remove the two tie rod end nuts from the front spindles. Pull the tie rod completely off the the front axle assembly. Insert a flat-head screwdriver between the spindle bushings and the axle assembly.
- 4). Remove the snap rings from the top of both wheel spindles with snap ring pliers. Pull the spindles down and out of the old axle housing, using a pry bar, if necessary. Remove the four axle bushing mounting bolts from the front and rear of the axle housing, using a ratchet and socket.
- 5). Insert the grease fittings or lubrication fittings into both ends of the axle housing. Tighten the fittings snug with an open-end wench. Install new bottom spindle bushings onto the new axle housing assembly. Fill the spindle mounting holes with bearing grease. Install the upper bushings once the cylindrical spindle mounts are filled. Install the left and right spindles onto the axle housing by pushing them upward into the housing. Insert new snap rings at the top of both spindles. Wipe away excess grease with a rag.
- 6). Install the tie rod onto the new axle housing, attaching both ends to their mounting holes in the spindles. Insert the lock nuts onto the end of the tie-rod assembly. Tighten both tie rods snug, then turn the ratchet 1/2-inch farther to apply the necessary 20 foot-pounds of torque needed.
- 7). Install both front axle-mounting bushings in the center of the axle housing. Tighten all four mounting bolts to 35 foot-pounds, using a 1/2-inch drive torque wrench and socket. Install the front axle housing onto the mower, lifting it with the jack, if needed. Line up the axle housing with the front frame-mounting hole. Insert the axle housing-mounting bolt through the center of the housing. Tighten the bolt and nut with an open-end wrench and a torque wrench. Set the torque wrench to 55 foot-pounds of torque.
- 8). Install new rear wheel bearings onto the inboard side of both front wheels. Place the wheels temporarily onto the front spindles. Pack the center holes of both wheels full of bearing grease. Install new outboard wheel bearings onto both front wheels, followed by the snap rings. Fill both front wheel center spindle caps with grease, then install them into the center of both wheels.
- 9). Make sure the steering wheel and the front wheels of the mower are pointing straight forward. Align the drag link with the left front spindle. Adjust the drag link to guide it into the spindle, rather than turning the front wheels. Rotate the drag link clockwise or counterclockwise to line it up with the spindle-mounting hole. Push the drag link up into the spindle and attach the lock nut. Tighten the drag link nut snug with your ratchet, then turn the ratchet 1/2-turn farther.
Raise the front of the mower off the jack stands, then remove the jack stands from beneath the mower. Lower the mower to the ground gently.