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15082Re: Corrections...Click of death.........RM Gear-case failure

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  • Bill
    Jul 2 12:10 PM
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      I just opened up my mowers again and the RL-500 gear-case uses the
      white plastic'bearings' on all two shafts and four gears.

      The RL-800 has the white plastic 'bearing' on only one shaft
      containing two gears...the other RL800 shaft has sealed ball bearings
      pressed into the two gears.

      Here is what I need:
      Part No SPP0009B Description: Gear Shafts Replacement (two shafts
      with gears, snap rings and spacers/washers)

      Matt.....I placed a call with you this morning and would appreciate a
      response.

      TIA

      WB
      --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, "Bill" <wild_bill_howell@...> wrote:
      >
      > < Yeah I know you're gonna complain>
      > --------------------------
      > Has my reputation preceed me? ;-)
      > ============================
      > > Swapping the gear case is relatively easy- pull the wheels,>
      > ---------------------------------------
      > Not ~THAT~ easy because I have 'dualy-wheels', two knobby wheels
      > bolted together which eliminated the stuck-on-stupid behavior in my
      > sandy soil.
      > First the wheels must be unbolted before I can get to the snap ring.
      >
      > Maybe I wasn't clear, but my RL-800 now has the gear-case robbed from
      > my low-hours RL-500.
      > The only original RL800 parts are one drive-motor shroud with the
      > thermistor attaced.
      >
      > Now...........
      > about the new gear-case.....
      > I just want to get it clear in my mind.....
      > the new gear-case has replaced the white plastic bearings with
      > ball bearings?
      > If not ball bearings, then what is it?
      > I understand the plastic composition has changed for the frame,
      > pinion/motor assy and the gears, but I need a clear explanation of
      > what has replaced the white 'bearings' before I plunk my money down on
      > a frame/new gear-case/ drive-motor assy.
      >
      > BTW, I'm an engineer and this stuff interests me...........
      > especially now that I have a NEED. :-)
      >
      > TIA
      >
      > WB
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, <dannym@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Ah yes, the click of death.
      > >
      > > Those plastic bushings were recognized as a problem and fixed in
      > later designs. They changed out the plastic bushings with proper
      > bearings, changed the plastic the whole case is made of so the motors
      > don't soften it and sag, and changed the type of plastic the motor
      > pinion is made out of.
      > >
      > > You'd think you could just get the plastic gear frame and side gears
      > cheap, but really the other problem was motor pinion wear and heat
      > tolerance. Unfortunately the motor pinions are not removable; you
      > need new motors there. So it comes down to just swapping the whole
      > thing out, otherwise the old worn pinions will eat into your brand new
      > gears anyways.
      > >
      > > Yeah I know you're gonna complain about how much the mower cost
      > initially, this is a sort of defect, how somebody should fix it for
      > free, blah blah. I *do* feel your pain. But the mower was a
      > completely innovative design when it came out (actually there's a LOT
      > in here which is innovative), so it's not surprising that it's not
      > going to be a completely maintenance-free deal in the first 5 yrs.
      > Gas mowers break too and taking one back to the dealer to get fixed
      > would probably run you more than this gear case will cost. The good
      > news is the new gear case WILL be a long term fix. There's enough
      > benefit there to justify the $ to buy a new drive train (gear case).
      > It's not a cheap fix but not monumentally expensive either and it's
      > really good.
      > >
      > > Swapping the gear case is relatively easy- pull the wheels, take off
      > the tach board, unplug the motor wires, IIRC move some wires going to
      > the rear out of the way, pull the gear case out, reverse steps with
      > new one. Test to see if you have the motors hooked up the right way
      > before putting the top back on (hook up controller and drive forward,
      > if it reverses or turns them obviously you need to fix that).
      > >
      > > I don't think lubing the plastic is gonna help. In fact it may
      > attract dirt which acts as an abrasive and accelerates the problem.
      > But really the problems are inevitable no matter what you do. Getting
      > the improved gear case is essential.
      > >
      > > Danny
      > >
      > > ---- Bill <wild_bill_howell@> wrote:
      > > > 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
      > > > 'bushings'/bearings'.........
      > > > 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.
      > > >
      > > > So...
      > > > 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
      > > > angle.
      > > > 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.
      > > >
      > > > Grrrrr.
      > > >
      > > > WB
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > ------------------------------------
      > > >
      > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >
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