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15064Click of death.........RM Gear-case failure

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  • Bill
    Jul 1, 2008
      Well, it finally happened.....
      part of the gear-case failed after 328 hrs on my RL-800.

      It did NOT fail at the drive-motor pinion, although it shows some
      wear, there was still plenty of teeth engagement to work.

      The failure occured in the gears which are 'supported' by two white
      two 'bearings' on each wheel or a total of four on the same shaft.
      what a junky POS, crappy-assed design.....
      designed as though it was INTENDED to fail!!!

      The 'clicking' came from only one side where the part of the gear that
      receives the 'bearing' had worn so badly that it formed a cone-shaped
      hole so the gear wobled on the shaft...
      the other side was on the verge of failing in the same manner.

      I cannabalized my $200 Woot RL-500 and swapped out the gearcase.
      I, of course had to remove the drive-motor shroud with the thermistor
      pop-rivited to it from the original 800 and put it on the replacement
      gear-case and resolder the thermistor leads.

      Just for drill, I lubed up those white bearings with "Break-Free" oil
      and put it all back together.

      While I was already into the job, I decided to make an additional
      heat-sink "shade" for the two motors with two pieces of 1/6" alum
      I cut them so that they will also serve as a 'spreader' to prevent the
      drive motors from ever sagging inward from over-heating.
      One angle required cut corners to provide relief for the part of the
      plastic frame which have molded gussets.
      I also put TWO layers of heat-shrink tubing over both thermistor leads
      to keep them from shorting out...
      In addition, as a further precaution, I glued some 'fish-paper'
      (phenolic impregnated fiver paper) on the 'shade' in the area that
      might come in contact with the thermistor as an additional electrical
      insulation precaution.

      I oriented the drive-motor shroud containing the thermistor in the
      'valley' of the alum angle, then clamped each end of the angles to
      the ends of the two drive motors with hose clamps.

      Here is my question....
      Why did Friendly use those two crappy-assed white 'bearings' instead
      of something more substantial?
      I swear, it looks to me like it was designed to fail in order to
      generate after-sales repair income.

      What is REALLY new with the new generation RMs to eliminate this
      failure mode?
      If the answer is 'a better plastic formulation', then it's still not
      very satisfactory.

      Those white plastic 'bearings' are gonna require periodic PM lube to
      keep them from failing....
      and considering what must be done to just get to them for that purpose ...
      really is an unnecessary time-waster and it pisses me off that I'll
      have to disassemble the mower just to keep an eye on it.


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