Changing the wheel of a push lawn mower is easy, but on a self-propelled lawn mower? That’s complex.
Self-propelled lawn mowers won’t just work with any wheel. They have to be the correct size. There is another thing you need to keep in mind while buying a self-propelled lawn mower wheel, its gears.
Most self-propelled lawn mowers have a rear wheel drive system that has gear of its own. You need to match the gear as well when you buy their wheels.
Now you might say, “Alright fine”. “I will buy the exact wheel my lawn mower needs, but how do I replace them? They must be complicated?”
Well, fear not. We are here to give you a lesson on changing the wheel of a self-propelled lawn mower. Just follow our steps in the guide below and your job will be done in a jiffy.
Steps to Change the Wheel of a Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
Alright, here we are. Time to tell you a safe and easy wheel changing guide for a self-propelled lawn mower. Just read along.
- Step 1 – Gear and Clog Check
The first step requires you to check the power of the mower, because you can’t start any maintenance work until the engine cools down. Disconnect the spark plug if it already isn’t.
We need to elevate your self-propelled lawn mower to work from the bottom. Use the height adjuster to set the lawn mower to the highest level. Now just like a car lift up the front side of the mower. You need to place something under it to keep it elevated. Two pieces of wood under the mower deck frame should do the work.
Most self-propelled lawn mowers are rear drive. If your one is a rear-drive, the motor is between the rear two wheels. Pop the casing off with a smooth screwdriver. Inside the casing check the gears carefully for any clogs. If you notice any clog, remove it with a screwdriver. If any of the gears need replacing, just unscrew the gears with a screwdriver. Then replace the old gears with new ones, and tighten it.
- Step 2 – Remove the Lawn Mower Wheel
Just get a socket wrench and unbolt the wheels of the lawn mower. The wheel holding unit is very visible and easy to find out. Unscrew the bolts and the wheels will be out.
- Step 3 – Lubricate the wheel
You will want to expand the workability of the wheels. To do that we will have to lubricate them. Use a dry lubricant like graphite. You can try the B’laster 8-GS Dry Graphite Lubricant.
- Step 4 – Replace the Wheel
Get the replacement wheels. Once you have securely screwed in the wheels you should check them. Spin the wheels and check for any cracks. You can fix an arched wheel by tightening the middle bolt in the wheel. A 3/8 inch wrench should be enough to do the job.
Speaking of wrench, you can get a Capri Tools 3/8 inch Combination Wrench, if you don’t have a wrench.
- Step 5 – Ready the Mower
Now you can remove the elevator that was holding the mower up. Time to test the wheels.
We will need to start the mower. Reconnect the spark plug ignition wire to start the lawn mower engine. Since these wheels are new, you will need to keep an eye on them. Look for any vibration or shake. If you notice any inconsistency, you will need to assemble the wheels again.
Now, if everything is fine and dandy then your mower should be good to go. It will work as intended.
However, if you screw up something or let’s say your assembly was incorrect then you can take your mower to a mechanic. Any mechanic can fix this simple issue.
Alright, we hope by following these steps you are able to change the wheel of your self-propelled lawn mower.
What to do when a self-propelled lawn mower wheel won’t move?
We have given you the steps to change a self-propelled lawn mower wheel. What if changing the lawn mower wheel is not the right solution? What if your lawnmower has a different problem?
Well, whatever it may be, we need to do something. Here are some things you can do if your self-propelled lawn mower wheel stops moving. Now, before you start, please disconnect the spark plug of your self-propelled lawn mower.
Alright let’s start.
- Solution 1- Changing the V-belt
A V-belt is connected to the pulleys and when turned, it moves the lawn mower wheels. V-belts can wear out from time to time or from pressure. If your lawn mower V-belt is broken or worn out, you will have to change it.
- Solution 2- Change the Drive Pulley
If your V-belt on your mower is fine then you might want to check the drive pulley.
The drive pulley is connected to the crankshaft and it turns according to the V-belt. If the drive pulley is not working correctly, meaning it is defective, then the wheels will not turn.
The best solution to this is to just replace it with a new one.
Just remove the lawn mower blade and Voila! The belt is right there ready to be removed or replaced.
- Solution 3- The Self-Propel Cable
The self-propel cable starts from the handle and goes all the way to the transmission. The transmission that is responsible for moving the wheel.
Due to high use this cable could break or become weak. You can easily check its workability by checking whether the cable is moving freely or not. The cable should respond by turning the wheel immediately.
Sometimes just lubricant fixes the problem, but replacement is always the better option.
- Solution 4- The Transmission
The transmission of a lawn mower is powered by the drive belt. The drive belt is connected to the crankshaft.
You can check the transmission by watching the transmission work when the engine runs. If it is working properly, the drive belt should power the transmission which will in turn move the wheels or turn the wheels.
If the pulley spins without turning the wheels then the transmission is in bad condition. Only problem is that the transmission is an irreplaceable part of the self-propelled lawn mower. You might have to buy a new lawn mower.
You can only hope that the transmission is not fully ruined and hope that it is just a normal grass clog. Grass clogs are easy to clean with simple tools.
Apart from these solutions you could also check the gearbox. For that you will have to take the wheels off. You can also check the V-belt tension.
All of these can be solved by replacing them, except for the transmission one.
If you ever find your wheels on your lawn mower not working, you can follow these steps to check and solve your problem. We have a blog with even more details about this wheel lock up problem. Check out our blog on self-propelled lawn mower wheels getting locked-up problems and solutions.
Can I put larger wheels on my lawn mower?
It is possible to install large or wider tires on your lawn mower. However, if you have a riding lawn mower, you will have to check the wheel’s clearance well.
Is it Ok to push a self-propelled lawn mower?
Pushing a self-propelled lawn mower will not cause any harm to it, but it will require a lot of muscles. Self-propelled lawn mowers are heavy.
Does tractor supply sell lawn mower tires?
Yes, tractor supplies can provide lawn mower tires and engine parts.
Should lawn mower wheels be the same height?
Yes, lawn mower wheel heights should match the requirements. Some lawn mowers are already tilted forward, so their heights must match the specification.
Self-propelled lawn mowers were made to serve a purpose that is automatically cleaning your yard. But as they say, the more expensive an item is the more maintenance it requires.
Self-propelled lawn mowers do require a lot of care. In our previous blog we have said that self-propelled lawn mowers have an annual cost no matter the use. It is just one of those machines that will always need proper maintenance.
Hopefully there is always a solution and sometimes those solutions don’t cost much.
And then there are people like us who are here to give you those low cost solutions.
Anyway, we hope you found our guide to change the wheel of a self-propelled lawn mower helpful.