Sorry to all that I didn"t get back right away. To answer one question, the new spindle key slot was only a few degrees off and well within an adjustment range (assuming of course your tierods will budge). Who knows why the new machined part wasn't milled the same. Maybe it was and my spindle I replaced was actually the different one from a decade or two ago. I think probably the jig that holds the part in position for milling was probably within acceptable tolerances for a part that requires adjustment anyway. Also different was the machined cone diameter at the top of the spindle, that accepts the steering arm, requiring me to get some big washers to take up 1/4 " of new up/down play. I just placed those at the bottom of the vertical axle tube and left the very thin washers at the top as they fit around the key with a groove cut in them. So obviously, this new spindle doesn't just bolt in exact.
I cut an inch out of the frozen tierod and had a neighbor weld it up so I could finish mowing. My job of eyeing the length turned out pretty good because the alignment looked good enough for a few days on grass (actually it looks deceivingly good as the both front and rear tires are new and crisp still with seam lines down the middle of the rears so you can sight it out better than with old tires). I will check it out by physically measuring when I take it onto the concrete drive soon.
The welded on ball joints are nearing the end of their life so I shot some wd40 into them to give them a few more hours with this temporary setup. The original tie rod sleeve didn"t have threads, but I plan to now get a rod and have the neighbor weld two nuts on (I guess one will need to be the opposite thread) and find some new ball joints to replace the ones with no grease and to get adjustment back. Auto parts stores can"t find me what I want. I need to find 19" or 20" adjusting sleeve so if anyone knows where I can buy one from a supplier without making one please let me know.
Hey, I finished mowing the pasture before the rain and that is what my goal was. My eyeball alignment job had the steering feeling the same so I was happy.
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