A wobbly lawnmower wheel can cause serious problems and make it hard to cut the lawn. But don’t worry, with very little effort, a couple of simple tools, and a part or two, you can have your wheels working perfectly again. Instead of struggling with a wobbly lawnmower, why not just fix it!
Wobbly lawn mower wheels are signs of trouble
A walk-behind lawnmower’s wheels are usually held together by a bushing and a shoulder bolt. These parts can wear over time and cause the wheel to wobble. These symptoms will help you recognize a wobbly lawnmower.
- Uneven Cut
- It is difficult for the lawn mower to be pushed.
- The wheel makes a banging sound
- Vibration from Wheel Mount
How to fix wobbly lawnmower wheels
If you have any of these symptoms, you will need to remove the entire lawn mower wheel and determine the extent damage. Here are the tools you’ll need to remove the wheel from your lawn mower in order to complete the repair.
Tools needed to remove the wheel
- Wrench Set
- Socket wrench set
- Kit to replace a wheel
- Spray Lubricant/Grease
Take the wheel
Use your socket wrench for loosening the nut that holds down the wheel. Next, take off the wheel. The wheel may need to be removed from the cover.
Take a look at the Bushing & Bolt
The metal tube is the bushing, which is a tube made of steel and located in the middle wheel where the axlel or shoulder bolt pass through. Both the bolt and the bushing can wear down over time. This can cause additional movement. If your lawn mower’s bushing and bolt are worn, you will need them to be replaced. In this scenario, you don’t need to replace the wheel.
The Bushing Must Be Dismantled
If you want to save the wheel and a few bucks, then you’ll need to remove the bushing from the wheel. If you take a closer look at the wheel, you’ll see that the bushing slots into the wheel from one side. This is where the bushing should go.
To remove the bushing from the opposite side, use a flathead drill. The bushing’s lip should be caught if the screwdriver is passed through the wheel’s opposite side. You can remove it by tapping the screwdriver with a hammer.
There is no bushing
Some lawn mowers don’t have a bushing. Some mowers have bolts that go through the wheel. These designs can wear down plastic enough to need a replacement.
So, if you have stripped down your wheel assembly and found no bushing and a worn-down wheel, you’ll have to change out the wheel completely.
Get the Shoulder Bolt
If you do find a bushing, then you’ll also need to inspect the shoulder bolt. The bolts are not always made of the same strength steel, so they don’t always wear down at the same rate as the bushing.
But, when you purchase the repair kit, you’ll usually find that the bolt and bushing come as a pair, along with a few washers. Slide the shoulder bolt out of its mounting place by hand.
Installing the new bushing
For the bushing to be installed, the wheel must be laid flat on a flat surface, such as a table or workbench. Take your new bushing and slide it into the wheel’s center hub. The bushing must be inserted only in one direction. If you try to put the bushing into the wrong side of the wheel, it won’t fit because it will be too big.
So, find the correct side and slide the bushing into the wheel’s center hub until it can go no further. A light tap with a hammer should help if it’s a little tight.
Reattach the Wheel
Next, take your new shoulderbol and slide it through the lawn mower’s mount. Next, slide the wheel on. Grease can be added to the bushing to reduce friction, and prolong the life expectancy of the wheel mechanism.
But, keep in mind that because the mechanism isn’t designed to hold grease, whatever you put in it will end up coming out pretty quickly. Spray lubricant is available for application after every few cuts.
Bolt on The Wheel
Attach the wheel last. Next, remove the washers from the kit and place them on top. Next, screw the nut. Using your socket wrench, tighten up the nut so that it’s nice and tight but not too tight that it restricts the wheel.
After you’re done, remove any decorative covers and give the mower a test drive. Your mower’s wheel should now be working in perfect condition.