Lawn tractor blade removal. How to Replace the Blades on a Simplicity Broadmoor Lawn Mower

How to Replace the Blades on a Simplicity Broadmoor Lawn Mower

The following picture guide walks through the steps of replacing the blades on a Simplicity Broadmoor Lawn Tractor.

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Procedure for Replacing Mower Blades on a Lawn Tractor

The lawn tractor shown in this guide is a Simplicity Broadmoor 16hp (package 2690008).

The first step is to turn the key to the ‘off’ position. Disconnect the negative battery terminal.

I like to jack up the mower and secure it with some jackstands. Otherwise use ramps. Set the parking brake on the mower.

Peer under the mower deck at the blades.

We will need to remove the cap screw. This requires a 5/8″ wrench or socket.

Use a block of wood to secure the blade against the side of the mower deck. Turn the capscrew counter-clockwise to loosen it (as shown in the manual).

Once the bolt is loose, remove it along with the washers.

These are the parts you have removed.

Sharpen the blades or replace them. These are the blades I recommend:

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To re-install the blades, put a block of wood again against the deck to prevent the blade from turning. Install the spring washer, hex washer, and blade bolt.

Note: blades should be installed with the tabs (airlifts) turned up, toward the mower deck.

Use a torque wrench to tighten the blade bolt to 45-55 ft. lbs.

Lawn Mower Blade Bolt Stuck – Mechanics secret tips

I know the feeling, FRUSTRATION. but we’ll get it figured out. The blade bolt can be stuck for a few different reasons. Usually, it’s a combination of rust and over-tightening.

The easiest way to remove a stuck blade bolt is with an impact tool; they make the whole job look easy. Other options include:

You may not have an impact, so I’ll show you a few different options. Some of these options may not suit you; it’ll depend on what tools you have available. Best to don a pair of work gloves. Stuck bolts usually mean slipping tools.

Removing A Rounded Bolt

Over-tightening is common. Mower blades are designed to be tightened to a specific torque, which isn’t as tight as you might expect. That’s because they’re designed to slip if they hit a solid object. The slipping protects the engine from serious damage associated with a curbstone strike.

Also common is turning the bolt the wrong way; hey, it could happen to a bishop. All single-blade walk-behind mowers will have what’s known as a right-hand thread. That means, to loosen the bolt, you turn it to the left. (counter-clockwise)

Simplicity Riding Lawn Mower Tractor | Deck Removal Replacement DIY

I cover all you need to know pretty well in this post, but if you need more help, check out the following videos:

Blade Bolt Torque

Mower blade bolts should be torqued to spec. These bolts are usually over-tightened, and when you add corrosion, removing them can be a headache.

Only some large twin blades walk-behind mowers and some lawn tractor mowers are likely to have one only left-hand threaded blade bolt; the other bolt will be a regular right-hand thread.

How do you know which is which?

Simple, if the blade is designed to cut turning right (viewed from above), then it will be a right-hand thread; this is the most common type. To loosen a right-hand thread, you turn it to the left.

The same idea applies to twin-blade tractor mowers. However, a left-hand thread is common on some lawn tractor mowers.

So, if the blade cuts grass turning to the right, as before, it’s likely a regular right-hand thread (left to loosen). But it’s not uncommon for a tractor mower to have one of the blades turn to the left when cutting, and that usually means it’s a left-hand thread (check your owner manual) to loosen a left-hand thread, turn it to the right.

L/H – R/H Thread

A r/h thread loosens to the left. This is the most common type of thread. (counterclockwise)

A l/h threaded bolt loosens to the right. (clockwise)

A Common Mistake Made When Installing Lawnmower Blades!

Typical torque specs for blade bolts are anywhere from 35 ft. lbs. to 90 ft. lbs., you’ll need to check the spec of your mower, it’s important to get it right.

Most of the time blade bolts just get buttoned uptight and aren’t torqued to spec, and that’s OK, but you run the risk of bending the crankshaft if you hit a solid object. I advise using a torque wrench, it’s a lot cheaper than a new mower engine.

Torque wrenches are easy to use, they come in inch-pounds for smaller torque specs, but for mowers, you’ll need foot-pounds. A torque wrench from 30 to 100 foot-pounds is about right.

If you don’t have or can’t borrow one, check out this post on my 1/2 drive Teng Torque, it won’t break the bank, it covers 30 to 150 ft. lbs., it’s simple to use, calibrated from the factory, and has a flexible working range.

I get my torque wrenches calibrated every year but it gets a lot of use. If you set your torque wrench to zero after you use it and don’t throw it around, it should stay calibrated for years.

Damage – The bolt on the right has a rounded head, this kind of damage happens when a tool slips on a bolt head, or corrosion deforms it. Getting the bolt out presents a challenge.

A rounded bolt head is a real pain in jacksie. It usually happens when the bolt is old and corrosion has deformed it. Worn or damaged tools will give you the same result.

It can also happen if the wrong size tool is used. An American mower may use imperial size nuts and bolts, I know the more modern kit is metric and some mowers are a mix of both. If your mower is European or Asian it will be metric sizes.

The trouble is you can get an imperial wrench to almost fit a metric bolt, but it’s loose and will slip, which rounds the bolt head. Typical bolt sizes for mower blade bolts are Imperial 1/2″, 5/8″, 3/4″ and Metric sizes 13mm, 14mm, 15mm, 16mm, and 17mm.

Imperial or Metric, be sure your tools are a good fit.

Tools You’ll Need

Impact power tools are designed for this exact job. They cause a hammering action which helps reduce the bolt thread friction and breaks any corrosion loose. So if you have an air or battery impact tool, you going to feel like a superhero when that bolt just walks out.

Basic tools needed assuming you don’t have an impact tool: wire brush, wd40, ratchet sockets, selection of wrenches.

Other tools you’ll need if things don’t go exactly to plan: breaker bar, hammer chisel, butane torch, and if everything goes to crap, a Mig welder. In my workshop, I use an air impact tool, if you haven’t got one or can’t borrow I have other solutions for you.

But the tool I am least likely to be without is an impact tool, it just makes life really easy and saves so much time. The coolest thing about the latest generation impact tools is their mobility, cordless now packs the power of an air tool. Great for around the home and for flat wheel emergency, use it to run the jack-up and take the nuts off.

Although I still use air in the workshop, I bought a 20v Ingersoll Rand cordless for mobile repairs, I know they ain’t cheap but you won’t ever need to buy another.

If you do buy an impact tool, you’ll need to buy impact sockets too. Sure you can use regular sockets, but you run the risk of them shattering. Anyway, you’ll find all these tools on the “Small engine repair tools page”.

Tool Up – Most stuck bolts won’t need all these tools, but some do.

Removing The Bolt

Removing a stuck bolt involves trying different solutions until you ring the bell. In the first attempts, we’ll try the simple stuff and if that doesn’t move it, I have lots more ideas.

Before we start any work on our mower we need to make it safe. Pull the plug wire off and set it away from the plug. Turn your gas off if you have a gas tap, if you don’t know where your gas tap is check out “Gas tap location”.

WD40 is my favorite tool, it solves lots of problems, I also like a product called nut buster, it’s formulated for dissolving rust. Try spraying the bolt liberally above and below the blade, and allow it time to work into the threads.

Disable Mower – For safety, let’s remove the plug wire and turn off the gas.

Turn the mower over with the carburetor side facing up, stops gas leaking on the floor. (see tilting mower over)

Wire Brush to remove any rust. Wd40 Spray front and rear of the bolt and give it some time to soak in.

Impact Tool – By far the preferred way to remove a bolt. An Impact gun hammers the bolt as well as twists it, this loosens the corrosion between the threads.

An impact tool will remove the bolt in seconds and you won’t need to lock the blade. But if the bolt head is rounded, the impact tool is of no use. You’ll need a different solution.

Check out the Amazon link, some of these impact wrench surprised me.

Lock Blade – If you are not using an impact tool we’ll need to use a piece of timber to lock the blade against the body. Longer timber is better than shorter. Cut a length to suit.

Good Fit – Select a socket (6 points preferably) and check the fit. Turn the ratchet left to loosen. Using a breaker bar, or if you don’t have to improvise with your ratchet and some pipe.

Pushing down on the pipe will give you the extra power you need to break it loose. Just be sure the socket is a good fit, and it stays on the bolt head when you’re applying force.

Wrench Leverage – Turn the Wrench left to loosen. If you don’t have a ratchet and breaker bar, try 2 interlocked wrench’s for extra leverage, or use a hammer to shock the bolt.

If it still won’t budge, try tightening it slightly, this often helps, odd I know!

Striking – Try striking two hammers sharply (wear eye protection) while one is placed against the bolt head, this can help break loose any corrosion on the threads. If the head of the bolt is rounded, move on to the next solution.

Rounded Bolt – If your bolt head is rounded, try a vice grip. Get it as tight as you can, and try hitting it to the left sharply with a hammer.

Not all vice grips are the same, for this application you’ll need a flat jawed set. Check out this post on Vice-grips tools.

Chisel – This method is pretty effective, but you’ll need a new bolt, sharp metal working chisel, and a heavy hammer. With the chisel and hammer, take a sideways and downward aim at the bolt, we’re attempting to loosen it by turning it left. This will require good aim, so now’s a good time for those gloves.

Heat – Ordinarily I’ll tell you to get some heat on the bolt, the reason I haven’t introduced it earlier is that it comes with the risk of damaging the crankshaft nylon seal, which would cause the engine to leak oil.

The risk of this is fairly small, once you direct the flame and only use a small amount. We’re not going to redden the bolt, just going to heat it up.

Maybe 2 minutes with a butane torch directed at the bolt. You can now try heat with any combination of the above methods. Heat is very successful at helping move stuck bolts.

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Welding – This method will obviously require a welder, when I get a really stubborn bolt with a rounded head, I take a new bolt and weld it to it. This gives me a not-so-pretty but clean bolt head to work with.

This solution has never failed me yet. You’ll need to replace the bolt. Blade bolts have a fine thread, they are a specialized bolt, getting one in the hardware store isn’t advisable.

Torque – Finally, you’ll have to move your timber to lock the blade in the other direction and torque your new bolt to spec.

Check out this post to see why it’s important to torque your blade bolt.

Related Questions

The spindle turns when removing the blades? The easiest way to prevent the blade from turning while loosening the blade bolt is to use a large block of wood to lock the blade against the mowing deck.

Lawnmower blade bolt direction? Turn the mower on its side, carburetor side up, turn the blade bolt to the left (anticlockwise) to loosen.

Hey, I’m John, and I’m a Red Seal Qualified Service Technician with over twenty-five years experience.

I’ve worked on all types of mechanical equipment, from cars to grass machinery, and this site is where I share fluff-free hacks, tips, and insider know-how.

And the best part. it’s free!

Spindle Turns When Removing Blades – How to Stop It

You’ve noticed that the blades on your riding mower aren’t cutting all that well and decide it’s time to remove them to sharpen them up. You’ve been through this process dozens of times before. You block the blade with a piece of 2×4 and a clamp and set to work on removing the bolt. But you run into a problem you’ve not experienced below. The spindle turns when attempting to remove the blade. So the bolt itself just spins and spins; there’s no resistance. How are you going to get it off?!

While a lawn mower blade bolt that’s stuck is not too uncommon, the issue of the spindle turning when removing mower blades is less common. I have got a few ideas you can try to fix this issue though.

How to Fix a Spindle that Turns When Removing Blades

This problem shouldn’t be confused with that of a lawn mower blade bolt that is stuck and won’t budge whatever you seem to do. That’s another problem. With this issue, we need to stop the spindle from spinning so you can get enough torque on the blade bolt to remove it.

Here are a few ideas on how you might do that.

Use a Wide Grip Wrench on the Spindle

It’s clear that you need to secure the spindle in some way so that it is not able to spin. The most obvious way to do that is by using a wrench and clamping it in some way.

You’re going to want to remove the pulley from the spindle first though. Trying to clamp the pulley is definitely not a good idea, as you’ll almost certainly end up damaging it, and then you’ll have a whole other problem to try and resolve. If the pulley does turn out to be stubborn, I wrote this post specifically on how to remove a stuck lawn mower pulley. Give the tips in that a try before you give up.

Once the pulley is out of the way and safely put to the side, clamp the spindle with the wide grip wrench. Make sure it’s locked on there tight, as you don’t want it slipping. If you have a smaller deck, you may not need to do anything else, as the sides of the deck will lock the wrench in place. If you’ve got a bigger deck, however, you may need to add an additional clamp onto the side of the deck to lock the wrench up against it.

This should prevent the spindle from turning when removing your blade. If you’re having trouble budging the bolt with a regular socket wrench, try using an impact wrench instead. The extra torque they can add will usually loosen even the most stubborn of bolts.

Engage the Clutch to Provide Resistance

This tip is only worth reading if you have a manual clutch as opposed to an electric clutch. If yours is electric, skip this one.

For this you are going to want to have your mower shut off. You’re then going to want to engage the clutch. In theory, this should prevent the pulley and spindle from moving as the main engine drive pulley won’t spin. At the very least it should provide some extra resistance and if you use a good impact wrench on the blade side, it might just do the trick.

Grind the Head of the Bolt Off

I should preface this by saying that I’ve never done this myself. I’m actually a little bit scared of doing so. The paranoid part of me thinks I’ll take too much off and then I won’t be able to get the body of the screw out.

But this is what I’ve seen a lot of folks recommending you do if you have a mower whereby the spindle turns when removing blades. You need to carefully grind the head of the bolt off and then leave it to cool down. You’ll still have the thickness of the blade and washer poking out of the threaded hole, which is enough for you to grab hold of and turn. You could use a pair of pliers too (I always find this stuff easier with pliers…damn small hands that I have!).

Final Thoughts

There you have it. A spindle that turns when removing blades can be a real head-scratcher at first, but it’s not a lost cause. You have options, namely:

  • Locking the spindle up with some sort of wide grip wrench
  • Engaging the clutch to provide the necessary resistance
  • Grinding the head off of the bolt

Once you manage to get the bolt off, I’d also check out the condition of the spindle bearing. It may be worn and need replacing.

About Tom Greene

I’ve always had a keen interest in lawn care as long as I can remember. Friends used to call me the lawn mower guru (hence the site name), but I’m anything but. I just enjoy cutting my lawn and spending time outdoors. I also love the well-deserved doughnuts and coffee afterward!

Комментарии и мнения владельцев

My nut on the blade turns but doesn’t come off. I think the spindle may be turning also. Suggestions?

Hi Ben, If you have a vertical drive shaft connected directly to the engine, then you can take a look at the top of the engine. If the flywheel is turning, then when you turn the bolt it is still tight. If you have a bolt connecting the blade to a pulley, then take a look at the top of the pulley. If the pulley is spinning as you try to loosen the bolt, then again the bolt is tight and your attempt at loosening the bolt isn’t working. The best way to get the bolt out is to lock the blade so it can’t move, then attempt to loosen the bolt. If this fails, you might need to put a wrench on the top of the pulley/flywheel to stop the spindle/driveshaft from spinning. Good luck Tom.

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