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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Chipper/Mulcher Repairs

Made a start on the repairs this afternoon. The original plan was to replace one of the main flail bearings. This particular bearing is located on the engine side and can only be reached by removing the engine first. Fortunately despite the initial concern about the size of the task it turned out very simple. There were only six mounting bolts all of which came off easily. Usually with a piece of machinery of this age rust causes all sorts of grief. But not today.

One Engine off

First up the Pulley was removed. Again good fortune struck and it slid off easily with the pulley remover. Just a note here. This pulley remover which belonged to my father has proven to be a most useful tool. It goes for months if not years without being taken off the shelf and then in the space of two weeks receives a regular outing.

Pulley and bearing remover

With the pulley off, then came the locking washer and the nut which holds the bearing in place. In actual fact although the nut is there to hold the bearing but the bearing is firmly on the shaft and is not in any risk of coming easily but when in operation I'm sure there is a lot of pressure.

The tricky thing about the bearing is that there is no room to insert the claws of the pulley remover. Yes, another use for this tool. The only way I found to remove the bearing was to grind away a section of bearing and use a cold chisel and hammer to shatter the casing.  This is one of those "no return" actions which must be chosen carefully. After a long examination I concluded that the bearing had not failed but was still in good condition. The real issue was the bearing retainer wobbly because the supporting bolts had loosened.

Pulley assembled

No need to perform any major surgery. Just a basic maintenance task after all. Retighten the bolts with some added split washers.

The next task was to sharpen the chipper blade.

Chipper chute
Chipper blade
Chipper blade sharpening jig
Sharpening the chipper blade was always a drama It was difficult to keep an even angled edge and the blade would get hot. It finally dawned on me that a simple jig would be easy to make. The jig made it easy to keep a constant angle and the wooden jig insulated my fingers from the heat.

While the machine is dismantled the followed will be done:
  • Grind a new edge on the flails
  • Clean the engine air filter
  • Clean and rust  proof any bare metal components on the body
  • Check all the other supporting bolts.

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