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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Ransomes Meteor mk. 15 - cylinder bearing housing removal ?

On behalf of a local contact I put forward the following question :


Any idea how to remove the bearing housing from the cylinder  please? If a 3 legged puller, would that not damage the bearing cover at the cylinder end? or are these sacrificial? 

I'm sure one or two of you gents will know the answer.


wristpin Fri, 09/07/2021

The splined adaptor is screwed on with a left hand thread. A blunt cold chisel or flat ended drift angled into the base of a spline and a sharp smack with a club hammer will usually free it. From there on it is usually just finger tight  - clockwise. A two leg puller with thin wide jaws can be used at the drive end but with no exposed ? shaft at the other end two long tyre levers ( 24”+ ) are my weapon of choice. Insert just enough so that they bear on the diameter of the bearing cover supported within by the cast bearing holder rather than the unsupported area closer to the centre shaft. The levers should pivot on the ends of the blades rather than the area between the blades. I usually use the levers at both ends.

For maximum leverage it’s advantageous to have the cylinder vertical and with a bit of practice it can be done single handed, but an assistant to steady it  is helpful.  Careful positioning of the levers will do little or no distortion of the pressed steel covers - definitely not sacrificial.

Some  of the later Matadors have an exposed shaft at the non drive end with a circlip which must be removed before attempting to remove the bearing but once removed the two leg puller can be used.

hillsider Fri, 09/07/2021

Just to be sure inspect the bearings for any circlips securing the inner races to the cylinder shaft, if found they will need to be removed. Many times careful levering with a pair of pry bars inserted between the bearing shields and the cylinder will allow removal of the bearings.
More importantly has the owner noticed what appears to be a crack in the uppermost blade adjacent to the end support, this will need welding before attempting to grind the cylinder.

stonethemows Sat, 10/07/2021

Many thanks Angus and Ray. Result :

One side off. Will need a puller for the other side. Circlips are fitted, so will have to find suitable circlip pliers. All is in pretty poor shape. 

Many thanks for the information.


I have a feeling we may hear more about this before it's finished !




wristpin Sun, 11/07/2021

That looks like a good result. What occurred to me after making my post was to wonder how the bearing carriers had been disengaged from the bottom blade block without at least one being eased away from the cylinder a bit .  Long time since I’ve done a Meteor or Matador but I seem to remember that at least one bearing carrier has to be eased parallel away from the cylinder to disengage it from the pivot lug on the bottom blade block.  Maybe memory fails !

stonethemows Mon, 12/07/2021

The latest from the owner :

Busy day so hence late reply. Your correspondent is spot on; I eased one bearing carrier away from the cylinder in  order to remove the cylinder. This was probably made more easier as the bearing is completely shot and hence much more clearance to ‘give’ . 


I will look to join the website tonight.

My main worry is the provision of spare parts. I had a long session on eBay and frankly a lot of ‘parts’ for sale looked like junk to me. I did not get the impression that John ( Gregory ) can provide a good selection of replacement parts, and this machine is going to need quite a few, particularly bearings, seals, pinions/sprocket drives etc. I have sent a hastening e-mail to Ransome’s re my first inquiry asking if they could kindly respond - as yet - no response. 

Is it your experience that new/old stock for these machines are hard to come by? If so, I may be doomed before we really start.

Hopefully the web site may be able to identify people who can and are able to provide.

Thanks again for all you help, advice and suggestions.

wristpin Tue, 13/07/2021

The parts situation may not be as dire as you seem to think. Ransomes bearings, for instance, were nearly always proprietary off the shelf items that can be bought at sensible prices from local or on line bearing and transmission part factors. Step one is to arm yourself with a parts book for your Mk of Meteor and check out what may still be available via Ransomes agents . That will probably mean some research in finding the current equivalent part numbers for those in old paper manuals which will have transitioned to micro fiche , then to DVDs and finally to just on-line.  You may be pleasantly surprised in finding the same part  carried forward to much more recent Matadors and others. 

A possible useful source of obsolete parts is OLC member Jon Cruse at the Hailsham Mower Centre.. 

From just my personal experience , don't expect much information or response from Ransomes themselves.   

stonethemows Fri, 16/07/2021

I have removed the bearings now, (pry bar method worked). I have also found a bearing supplier only 2 miles away from me.  But I will be in touch with John Cruse to see if he has any of the items I need, (seals etc.). Thanks to all for the comments:help.



Interestingly the bearing part No’s - RL5,6 & 7 (primary drive & cyl bearings), are still good, well recognised part numbers. I hopefully will pick up the new one’s tomorrow. 

Cost is not cheap, but they are cheaper by several pounds from other suppliers - RL7 - £32 plus VAT.  nearest comparable £45.




wristpin Fri, 16/07/2021

Think that you need to expand your research a bit. RL7 £8.99 + vat and free postage.

Edit. The RL prefix is just one bearing manufacturer’s reference - not a Ransomes part number . NLJ 7/8 is another reference for the same sized bearing.

stonethemows Wed, 21/07/2021


Today I dismantled the lawn roller clutch and removed the roller assembly. The bearings in the roller assembly are ‘shot’, but as they are RL7’s and as advised able to purchase for £8..50 online no big issue. However, as you can see below the Ferodo clutch ‘plug’ type linings are also badly worn. Could you kindly post on the forum please to see if anyone can point me in the right direction in finding/purchasing  either the plug linings (presume they come as a kit), or a new clutch plate. Thank You. 






wristpin Thu, 22/07/2021

I would just try the machine with them “ as is” . If new ones are needed the most likely source will probably be a vintage motorcycle supplier.

hillsider Thu, 22/07/2021

Re the clutch plate I go along with wristpins thought, give it a go as they are, there looks to be meat left on the plugs and they don't look as though they were slipping from their appearance. Giving the clutch plates a good clean and degrease will improve how they function.