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BrianP

Help Dialing-In my 48 Inch Deck

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BrianP
Need some collective help leveling my 48" deck mounted under my newly refurbished, (as opposed to restored), 7016. I made sure the nuts and bolts on the height adjuster/bail area were loose, and attempted to set the deck to 2 1/4 inches. One side had been 1 1/2, and the other 2 1/2. So much for my by gosh and by golly initial adjustment after replacing 2 of the 3 arbors. Yep, I was in a hurry to mow in-between rain storms. Now to the problem. I was able to raise the left (discharge)side to 2 1/4 inches, but the adjuster was getting really hard to turn even with a shot of WD-40. I loosened the right side and even with the adjuster almost screwed all the way out, (and my 200 pounds or so squatting on the deck) it will not go any lower than 2 1/2 inches! These are supposed to me infinately adjustable (within a given range) aren't they? What am I missing here? I thought the upper front adjusters, where the deck hangs from the frame, were to set the "angle of attack" to make the front of the blades 1/8 inch higher than the back of them. If I do have to adjust those, one is so rusted it may break off if I attempt to loosen it. Is that bail assembly super expensive? Will heat or penetrating oil keep me from snapping off the threaded studs? Another question that's purely subjective. What height do most of you set your decks to cut at? I'm on a suburban 1 acre lot, so I'd like to keep it well groomed as opposed to the occasional field cutting scenario. Any help would be appreciated.

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Ronald Hribar
I think my lawn looks better when it is cut higher. I have my deck setup for 3 1/2 inches. It took some alterations to do this. Both the front mount and rear rollers were changed. The front of deck is 3/8 inch higher than the rear.

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Simpleton7016
Ironically, I am at the exact stage point in the reassembly of my deck and took these pictures this morning to post similar questions. So forgive me for hijacking your thread. For ease of analysis and assistance I will number the pictures and insert what I think to be the appropriate names (where applicable) for the parts and adjustments. For my own purposes, I am having a hard time determining how far down to crank the nuts. If I crank them too tight, then the deck can not be adjusted. If I leave them only semi tight, I suspect they could vibrate loose! Is this how we are supposed to tighten them? That is...loosen the nuts, set the desired height then tighten down the nuts? (Also, I put a lot of anti-seize on everything until I get mine "dialed in", then I will wipe the excess away) Here goes: Picture Number 1 (I believe this is the "Yolk End Adjuster") [img]/club2/attach/Simpleton7016/bailassemblycloseup.jpg[/img] Picture Number 2 (Is this one of the nuts we loosen to adjust and then crank down to tighten? If I keep this tight, it seems the "handle adjuster" won't perform the necessary adjustment) [img]/club2/attach/Simpleton7016/deckadjuster.jpg[/img] Picture Number 3 (I do not know what this is called, but it defintiely appears to be the most critical area for adjusting the height of the deck. Again, if I crank down the nut, the deck can not be adjusted with the handles. Is this how it is supposed to work? - i.e. loosen it, set adjustment, then tighten it? Intuitively, that doesn't seem right.) [img]/club2/attach/Simpleton7016/deckadjuster2.jpg[/img] Picture Number 4 (and here is another picture of the yolk adjusters on the bail assembly that Brian is fighting with. This picture is not from the restored deck, but fortunately, I spun both of the nuts on mine last night and they did turn. Brian is apparently not having the same good fortune. [img]/club2/attach/Simpleton7016/bailassemblyadjuster1.jpg[/img] Picture Number 5 (the near competed deck). The first time I take it out for a trial run, I am going to leave the covers off. The reason, because with all new hardware and a new belt, I plan to make sure those covers are on very securely. It will be a real pain to take them off if I need to make any adjustments or throw a belt, etc, etc. [img]/club2/attach/Simpleton7016/091906deck.jpg[/img]

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HubbardRA
On the last one I did, I had a friend use his press to disassemble and re-assemble the arbors, including putting in the new bearings. As I bolted them into the deck I checked where everything was sitting. I found out that all of the blade mounting flanges did not sit at the same distance below the deck housing. I disassembled the shafts and shuffled some washers to get them all in line. I then had to play with, move around, and add a couple washers on the top side to get all of the pulleys to line up. I am sort of a stickler for measuring things when I put them back together. I've been bit too many times by assuming that since it came apart that way, then when it goes back together it will be right. Anyway, now, after I made sure that everything is lined up right, this deck mows the smoothest and most uniform of any I have ever used. Moral of the story: If the two sides are different, make sure it is not the alignment of the arbor shafts (this controls blade height too), before you blame the deck adjustments. Been there, done that.

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stevenj
The nuts on the clevis (yolk end adjuster) are really not even needed to prevent movement. How's the clevis going to turn once the pin is inserted since the bolt head is welded to the bail? The nuts are there to keep the engaged threads under tension so you don't fatigue and bugger up the threads that are engaged. The nuts on the deck height adjusters and on the roller bar adjusters should be tightened after you have made your adjustment for cutting height. Why do you think you need the flexibility to make mowing height adjustments on the fly? Set the deck up for the desired cutting height and then tighten the nuts and bolts so the adjustment doesn't change. The reason you might be having problems with the end of the bail disengaging from the brackets is because you have too much movement of the brackets on the deck adjusters.

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BrianP
Don't worry about hijacking the thread, as long as I get this thing figured out that's the important part. In this picture, I've circled all the nuts I loosened to adjust the height. Since the nuts were stamped to be "vibration proof," my use of lockwashers is probably overkill, but these nuts are old and I probably need new ones.

Take a look at my yolk setup in the next picture. During my "refurbishing," I very gingerly attemted to loosen the yolk, but the whole threaded part began to twist. I prudently left well enough alone.

There had been a battery leak and there were huge amounts of rust on the original deck, and (unfortunately), the bail assembly. Since I don't weld, I can't replace the threaded rod section so I'd need a whole new bail if I "over-torque" things. Actually, I'll probably sacrifice the yolk, (I have a few spares laying around), and Dremel it off once cutting season is over. Rod makes a good point that I hadn't even considered. I assumed (yeah, I know the old joke) that all the arbors were the same distance from the deck bottom. Since I used the aluminum spacers for each arbor, it seemed a natural assumption. Once the first frost hits and slows down the grass, I'll pull this thing apart and go over it with a fine-tooth comb. The humidity in SC has been brutal this summer. Thanks again.

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stevenj
Apply some heat to the nut and clevis. That will expand the parts, break loose the rust and allow you to turn them. If you don't have a gas welding torch, I find that you can apply some pretty good heat using a soldering torch with MAPP gas.

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firefoxz1
Maybe your roller bar is just rusted fast but here is steps I use to level a deck if something don't seem right. First: park the tractor on a level/flat driveway. Flat is better than level because we are not using a level to level. second: support the very front center point of the deck shell at close to the mowing height you desire and pull the front pins out. third: level the rear of the deck fourth: measure the height of each of the front mounting holes on the deck. if these are different try evening them out with the front adjusters, if even continue to five, (lossening the front mounts to the shell may also be required) if not something is twisted out of alignment (deck shell or front hanger or bail assy). NOTE: if these are not even they can hold a rear corner of the deck up not allowing for adjusting or proper floating for grass cutting. fifth: repin the deck to the tractor and level front to back 1/8 to 1/4 higher in front, but remember to turn each side equally because you had them equal already. sixth: mow some grass. a sign something is not right in the front is when you put one pin through the mount and the other one doesn't even seem close so you have to really struggle to get the second pin in. I hope you understand this. I maybe just rainting but I have seen this more than once.

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gregc
quote:
Originally posted by Simpleton7016
I am having a hard time determining how far down to crank the nuts. If I crank them too tight, then the deck can not be adjusted. If I leave them only semi tight, I suspect they could vibrate loose! Is this how we are supposed to tighten them? That is...loosen the nuts, set the desired height then tighten down the nuts?
No, the lock nuts in the pic below should be left loose enough to allow adjustment with the height adjustment handles all the time. [img]http://www.simpletractors.com/club2/attach/BrianP/nuts.jpg[/img]

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Simpleton7016
That makes sense. Does everyone agree in the effectiveness of lock nuts? I personally have seen them spin free, loosen and fall off. As long as I am this far, perhaps it might me better to buy a longer bolt and put a double nut on it? I have never had a "double nut" spin free. And can "lock nuts" be bought at any hardware store? I haven't seen them available like these OEM lock nuts. Instead, the ones I have seen have some kind of plastic or nylon lining in the center. Will these work? What are the preferences of the experts for keeping nuts in pace without cranking them down all the way? Thanks in advance again.

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Roy
"I have seen have some kind of plastic or nylon lining in the center. Will these work?" Yes, the locknuts with a nylon insert work fine. Just one of several different methods to make a lock nut. A lock nut in good condition does not have to be "cranked down all the way". It will stay where you leave it. But, as gregc stated, a lock nut can become worn from removal/reinstallation and lose its effectiveness.

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HubbardRA
I tighten mine all the way down after adjustment. Adjusted it 3 years ago when I rebuilt the deck. No reason to change it, since it mows great. Can't see any reason to leave those bolts loose either. Less wear on the deck if all parts are tight.

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Simpleton7016
Hmmm...what to do? Maybe I'll ask the originator of this thread what he is planning to do? (monkey see monkey do). Brian, are you going to adjust the deck then tighten everything down? Or are you going to leave them loose so that you can adjust on the fly? My lawn is fairly even and I cant foresee too much reason to adjust on the fly....perhaps a little experimentation is in order? On a side note, I bought my OEM belt yesterday (35 clams). It sure seems tight compared to the old ones I took off of the other decks. I used part number 108450 (165048 new number) and I had to push the idler pulley pretty far to get it on. I know that over the years, these belts become a little more malleable, but my idler pulley is lined up directly in line with the center arbor.

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BrianP
Okay, I pulled my 7016 into my carport where I have a nice level cement surface to conduct what I hope is an in depth investigation of my mower deck. I also took pictures to both help me in my diagnosis, and to enable you helpful folks to follow along with me. Oh, when I refer to left and right it's from the perspective of sitting in the saddle. First of all, Rod had really gotten me thinking about those arbors, so I began there, measuring them to be sure they were each hanging down an equal ammount. The left arbor:

The right arbor:

As you can see, each arbor was at a height of 4 1/2 inches. Wow! They're exactly the same...turned out to be the only things that were. I took care to measure each from the same relative position beneath the deck. Next up those darned blades that got me digging into this in the first place. The left blade, height from ground, 2 3/8's inches:

Now, the left deck shell, height from ground: 2 1/2 inches:

Now, here's where things get skewed out of shape. The following picture is of the right blade, height from ground: 2 5/8's inches.

Now, the right shell height from the ground, 3 1/4 inches.

Now, to give you an idea of how I attempted to correct things, take a gander at my two adjusting handles. First the left adjuster:

Now the right adjuster:

From the above pictures you can see how each adjuster has been cranked to the opposite extreme in an attempt to level this baby out. I even checked the yoke adjusters to see what they looked like. First up, the left yoke, checking in at 3/4 inches of thread showing from the lock or jam nut:

Now the right yoke, checking in at 12/16ths of thread showing:

So, where does this leave me? Well, to the naked eye, the lawn doesn't really look that bad, so I'll leave things as they are until the cold weather arrives and grass cutting is no longer a top priority. Then, I plan to follow Thomas's instructions to detach the front pins on a flat surface and support the center of the deck and then make my adjustments. I plan to free up the yoke adjusters as well to accomplish this. To answer Erik, yes, as some others here have mentioned, I do plan on locking down all the nuts nice and snug after leveling the deck. If I still mowed for clients who wanted different heights, well that would be different. But for me when I get it the way I want it, that's it baby...lock 'er down and move on to other adventures. Thanks again for all the replies. Hope my little adventure helps out some of our other members as well.

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Simpleton7016
Brian, see my Picture Number 3 up above. Even with all new parts and excessive grease on all the parts AND with the bolts loose.....the deck did not adjust as freely as I would have liked. With the deck mounted under the tractor, I played with the adjustments and still had to apply for some "foot" pressure to get the back of the deck all the way down. Did you try loosening everything and lightly standing on the deck to make sure all the settings are all the way down? If it is all the way down, does the deck spring back to the mismatched heights when you take the pressure off? If not, then you can use the adjustment handles to get to the deck to the height you want and then crank down all your bolts. Or, if that still doesn't fix it, try getting one side to the desired height and tighten everything down on that side. Then go to the other side and stand on it or twist it to the desired height and crank everything down. That should help "dial it in"! Good luck. I should have some great pictures soon.

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BDSchmidt
Just read through this thread and would like to know about Ronald Hribar's alterations. ( in the second post of this thread).I too like a higher cut but even following all the other suggestions and techniques mentioned here I haven't been able to get over 3". Are the rollers you speak of different than the standard equipment rollers? I have often wondered what kind of modification I would need to do raise my cut height.

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Garyz
Hi all, I just inherited an '85 5216 Simplicity and love it already! One issue I do have is the ability to adjust the cutting height. I usually cut from 3 inches in cooler weather up to ~3.75 inches in the dead of summer. The problem I have with this model is the maximum height I can achieve at the highest setting is 3 inches. I was messing with it tonight for awhile and all is well as far as side to side and front to back leveling but I can't seem to figure out a way to raise it any higher. To get to my question, is there any way to raise it any higher? It's not a huge deal, but it would be nice to have a range of 2 to 4 inches instead of 1 to 3 inches. Thanks

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MPH
Just cant resist Brain, hope you can :) Your left yoke is 3/4 inch of thread showing, your right yoke is stated as12/16 showing, :) just caught my eye. Now maybe to be of some help, if you go to try to get them to turn this winter, brush off your paint then soak with Areo Kroil squirting several times a day for a few days. It's the best penatrating oil I have found.

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BrianP
Good idea MPH - I've read lots of posts touting the greatness of Kroil, but haven't been able to find it here in SC. Is it a regional thing or a product only carried by certain retailers? WD-40 doesn't do much, and Liquid Wrench takes quite a while. I'm always looking to add another good product to my arsenal of tools and lubricants. Regards.

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MPH
I've found Kroil at places like industrial hadware stores, ie for contractors, and also at bearing specialty stores. Never have seen it at retail type hardwares. NAPA carries one called PB blaster that's not bad for most uses. I always try it first as it's cheaper. WD-40 really isn't much of a rust penatrant. Heard once WD-40 stands for 'water dispersent- try #40' Brake fuild will penatrate rust better. No penatrating oil is a quickie. Rust is a hard deal too break loose.

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UCD
Kroil/AeroKroil is available direct at. [url]http://www.kanolabs.com/[/url] Try there Risk Free Trial Offer AeroKroil (Kroil aerosol) - $9.50 ea. 1 can of AEROKROIL FREE [url]https://secure.cnchost.com/kanolabs.com/termsofsale_kroil.shtml[/url]

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