DIY: The 1000-pound Front Spindle Upgrade

Norman explains how to upgrade the spindle on his Cub Cadet 149.

How to do it:

Step 1

Start by cutting off the old spindle. Then, grind the surface of the spindle bracket smooth.

New and old spindles

Step 2

With a 1 1/4-inch bi-metal hole saw, cut a hole to accept the new stub axle shoulder. Remember to put a large chamfer on the outside of the spindle bracket for welding. Weld the inside and the outside.

New stub axle shoulder

Step 3

Box in the spindle bracket with 1/4-inch plate steel, and weld the inside and the outside.

Boxed in spindle bracket

Step 4

Make sure your outer weld is contained within the chamfer because you only have 1/8 of an inch between the spindle bracket and the new hub assembly.

Diagram that comes with the new spindle

Step 5

Install the hub, pack it with grease and check the clearances.

Spindle with hub installed

Step 6

Install your tires on the new rims. Then, you’re all set.

New and old rims

A Cub Cadet with newly upgraded 1000-pound spindles

The Cub Cadet with newly upgraded 1000-pound front axles ... Now you won’t have to wonder if the front end can take it.

What if you have L-shaped spindles?

Here is an idea from Doug H.

Doug’s new spindle; the one on the right already bored out to slip over the existing ones on his tractor

Doug kept his existing 3/4-inch L-shaped spindles and bored out the new spindles.

Doug demonstrates how he can slip a new spindle over the old

A bored out spindle slips over one of his existing spindles and is held in place by cotter pin at the end, that runs through both spindles.

The new spindle is locked to the old one with a cotter pin

Using a cotter pin allowed him to upgrade to the tapered roller bearings and a 4-bolt hub without changing his current L-shaped spindle configuration.

Doug’s finished upgrade

And, if for some reason he wanted to go back to his original setup, he could just pull the cotter pins and switch back to his original wheels and hubs.

Another method from Stan C.

Stan’s method

Stan C. in Medford, Oregon, used another technique to upgrade the L-shaped spindles on his 1968 12-HP Gilson.

Reusing stock steering arms

He reused the stock steering arms and incorporated them into a completely new C-shaped spindle carrier.

Stan’s finished project

Then, he used 1-inch spindles and other recommended parts from Northern Equipment to finish his upgrade. This is the finished product, complete with 4-bolt hubs and tapered roller bearings. You can’t get much stronger than this. Thank you Stan C.

Jon’s solution

John’s custom fabrication

Jon bored the new spindle through at a 12-degree angle to keep the alignment straight with the axle. Then, he welded in a new pivot pin.

John’s completed project

This is the finished product, using the original steering arms on the linkage.

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