How to Replace a Steering Shaft on the John Deere LT133

The John Deere LT133 was produced from 1998 until 2001, as part of the LT-series of tractors. The LT133 was equipped with a 1-cylinder Kohler 13-horsepower engine, and a 38-inch mid-mount mower deck. The steering shaft on the LT133 is the shaft between the steering wheel and the steering gear of the mower. Accessing and removing the steering shaft requires some mechanical skills, and should only be performed by someone with prior experience.

Step 1

Raise the front of the LT133 with a floor jack. Place jack stands beneath the chassis rails on either side of the tractor, just to the rear of the front tires. Lower the mower onto the jack stands.

Step 2

Lay beneath the front of the mower. Slide yourself into position to access the steering gear, which is the metal, fan-shaped object at the lower end of the steering shaft. Loosen the steering gear mounting nuts with a ratchet and socket on the nut, and a flat-head screwdriver on the screw. This will allow the gear to fall away from the steering shaft, and not disrupt removal of the shaft.

Step 3

Tilt the mower hood forward over the front of the mower. Locate the bolt and nut at the top of the steering shaft. Remove the bolt and nut with a ratchet and socket and an open-end wrench. Push the bolt through the steering shaft. Remove the steering wheel from the steering shaft.

Step 4

Pry the steering wheel bushing from the top of the dash, using a flat-head screwdriver. Remove the cotter pin in the middle of the shaft with pliers. Pull the steering shaft upward and out of the mower completely.

Step 5

Set the new steering shaft into place on the mower, from the top downward. Allow the shaft to fall slightly below the dash. Insert a bushing into the steering shaft. Push the shaft back up and against the bottom of the dash. Insert the second steering shaft upper bushing by hand. Insert a washer between the upper steering bushing and the steering wheel. Install the steering wheel onto the shaft and set steering wheel bolt in place. Turn the steering wheel to the straight forward position. Manually adjust the front wheels so they are facing straight forward as well.

Step 6

Lay beneath the front of the mower and slide your body into position to access the steering gear. Hold the steering shaft with one hand to keep it from turning. Press the steering gear upward to lock the steering wheel in place with your free hand. Tighten the nuts on the steering gear housing by hand to snug them in place. This will keep the steering gear and steering wheel aligned temporarily.

Step 7

Tighten the steering gear nuts with a ratchet and socket, using a flat-head screwdriver on the screw. Turn the nuts until they are snug. Turn the ratchet 1/2-turn farther on both nuts, to approximate the 20 to 25 foot-pounds necessary to hold the gear in place.

Step 8

Check the alignment of the steering wheel and the front wheels. If the wheels are not aligned to the steering wheel, loosen the steering gear and make the necessary adjustments. Insert the cotter pin onto the center of the steering shaft when you have made all of your adjustments. Tighten the locking nut onto the steering wheel holding bolt until it is snug, using the ratchet and socket and an open-end wrench.

Step 9

Raise the mower off of the jack stands, then remove the stands from beneath the mower. Lower the mower to the ground gently with the jack.