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jsarro

Mower pulley frozen, need help! (Updated 7/5/12)

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jsarro
Today I used the 3112 for it's second mowing. The first mowing was about 10 days ago, I shredded the left sided 34" PTO belt for no apparent reason. I put on a new belt and got through the 1st mowing, and all seemed normal by the end of the work. Today was the second mowing and towards the end of the work, I began to have problems. The tractor felt like it bogged down and was being hindered in some way while the PTO was engaged. I shut things down disengaged the PTO and restarted the tractor. With the PTO disengaged the motor and transmission were functioning as normal. As soon as I went to engage the PTO, each time the tractor bogged down heavily, was heavily strained, and even stalled out. It did this repeatedly. The PTO belt did not appear to be moving properly. Looking straight down below the seat I question the alignment of the idler pulley with the 5" bevel gear box pulley above. The Vbelt appears to be tracking to the extreme right on the idler pulley. The idler pulley also appears to be slightly cocked or torqued in a fashion that it is not running squarely parallel to the BGB. Here is what I've done so far. I took off both the PTO belt and the mower belt. I removed the upper PTO pulley belt gaurd. I've loosened the allen key on the 5" PTO pulley to put it more in line with the idler pulley. I've attempted to take the torque out of the idler pulley by applying some leverage to the mounting bracket. I don't know how successful I was here. I have not put things back together to test it yet. I wanted to get some feedback on my situation before I go any further. May I need to adjust the spring tension-er on the PTO engagement lever? Am I on the right track here with the pulleys? Both the idler pulley and the lower PTO to deck pulley spin freely. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks

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Mel_W
Just a shot in the dark here; it almost has to be something with the deck arbors or under the deck its self. I'd look and see if there's something hung up under that before I did much up top. Mel

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RickS
Jack, Since the tractor (in your words) runs and drives fine, you can eliminate that as the problem. Again you state that once you engage the PTO the tractor bogs down. This could be caused by two problems. The first would be the PTO is having a problem, and the second could be the deck is having a problem. To test the PTO, remove the belt and engage the PTO. If the tractor continues to run fine and not bog down you have completely ruled out the tractor. The only thing that is left is the deck. As Mel stated start checking the deck arbors and pulleys. More than likely the problem is in the deck. You could also have an alignment issue that is causing your belt to wear on one side. Good luck. Rick........

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jsarro
You guys were right. My top center pulley is frozen on the deck. After reaching under the deck and turning the blades manually, I can get some slight movement of all three together. This is really seized up. I installed the deck 2 wks ago, and things seemed to move normally and freely, but this is the only deck I have ever had. So why did it seize, and what do I need to do next? I just got this deck and have never done any maintenance on it. I did hit a large rock with the blade during my first mowing which was haunting. It seemed to mow normally after the rock incident, but I only have used this deck a few hrs at best. Thanks

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jsarro
Thanks Bob, Being new at this is humbling sometimes. I pulled the deck off, and low and behold there was a piece of wood wedged up under the farthest blade from the side shoot. It was stuck up between the blade and the housing. It was in such a way, that looking under the deck, it was not visible until the deck was taken off.


You can see how this piece of wood was about the perfect size to get wedged up there diagonally. The blade was sunk into the wood holding it in place. I must have picked this up on the edge of the yard bordering the woods. I guess I consider it a gift, instead of some more involved repair.

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Mel_W
Seeing how nice the deck is, if it was mine I'd take the belt covers off and hang them up somewhere. The reason for this is to be able to keep things dry under where they are and keep rust to a minimum. Mel

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GLPointon
Keep the spindles well greased (if they have zirks, some do & some dont) I believe in keeping the deck covers on to keep out grit/dirt/grass/debris that will get wet and rust...or worse ....IMO sm01

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jsarro
Thanks for all the tips. I will check for the zirks, where are they usually located? One thing I am surprised about, is when this deck is mounted I have maybe 1-1.5" clearance between the top bar and the mower drive belt above. This makes using the hydrolift virtually useless as I will jam the deck bar into the drive belt. I also noticed when going over uneven terrain the bar approximates the belt? Is this normal? Also how many half turns on the handles do people typically set the mower height at for the combo benefits of grass cutting, blade preservation, and reduced ground object damage? Given that the starting point would be the deck in a low position, such as when the very bottom of the bolt on the handle is flush with the bottom of it's bracket. How many clockwise half turns is a good starting point? As you turn the handle clockwise, the bolt will begin to protrude from bottom of the bracket. Thanks

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jsarro
What should be some good yearly maintenance to prevent rusting the bottom of the deck? Should it be wire brushed, sanded, rust preventor applied, and then painted? I want this deck to last the life of the tractor.

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jsarro
Ray, Wow! Quite a heat wave! I'll check for the zirks. How many squirts of grease per arbor and how often? I have mulching blades, are these gator blades? How does water get in below the covers, if the tractor is not out during the rain?

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PhanDad
Decks left out in the weather is the main way water gets under the covers, but "fresh" grass clippings contain moisture, rapid humidity changes will also result in moisture under the covers. IMO, if you don't leave the deck out in the rain and clean out under the covers yearly, you'll be OK. On a Simplicity deck, I've also cut the center portion (directly under the tractor) and the very outer edges of the covers off. This of course lets more clippings under the remaining covers, but I occasionally blow the clippings out. Just like I do with my Homeltie deck, which IMO, is set up the best with just the outer arbors covered:


Lot's of room under the covers to blow the clipping out.

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jsarro
Bill, That is one nice looking deck! Thanks for the insight. Maybe someone could briefly address my questions up above about adjusting the deck height and clearance from the deck drive belt using hydrolift. Thanks

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powerking_one
In response to Ray's comment, I would say grease the arbors once per season so it (the grease) just starts to ooze out of one of the bearing seals (top /or bottom with the deck covers off to see it either end). A grease gun puts enough pressure to go past the bearings internal seals for this maintenance. Case in point; I rebuilt my dad's 728 Broadmoor deck in 1974 with new bearings in the arbors and put in grease zerks. He ran this till 1999 only maintaining the arbors with 5-10 shots of grease in each arbor once a year; no bearing failures and probably about 50-75 hours use per the annual mowing season. During that time, I think the deck drive belt and idler pulley had to be replaced once. Till the end when he sold it the arbors were tight, quiet and smooth. Just some empirical data. Tom (PK)

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MysTiK
My 48 on 716 (MFR=1690272) gets greased like PK describes - except the first time, it took 75 shots of grease to gush. So I know it's full; I just throw some more in or might go for more gush later. Not everyone subscribes to this method; and that's ok. There's also older and newer type spindles. I only know newer, mine. Grease zerks are under deck on the side of the lower housing, on mine, that's kinda cone shaped, the housing. Your spindles might be ok with the wood removed. Your blade might be bent; or not. If blades were new, you can stack them together to see if bent. (well, mine ya can anyway). Deck height adjusts - raise/lift the deck first, get the weight off the adj's. Get some light lube into adjustors so they spin well up and down - then max them out on HIGH. Then do deck leveling. It won't cut any grass for at least a week. :D You might get 3"; deck roller wear reduces height; they can be replaced. 3" isn't bad; but I would rather have more. Someone modified adjustors, the max length of the height bar extended an inch or so, never heard how it worked out.

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jsarro
I checked my deck on the underside before re installing today. I did not see any zirks on the arbors. I got some good seat time today and got to know my tractor a little better. It was a lot of fun. One issue I am having is the 5" BGB pulley above the idler pulley keeps moving on me. The only thing holding it is an allen screw. The pulley next to it to the rear PTO has a key and allen screw. I have to go back and check, I may have not lined up the allen screw with the keyed groove. If I do line it up with the groove and it still moves, can I put a key in both pulley's on the same shaft?

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RayS
quote:
Originally posted by jsarro
I checked my deck on the underside before re installing today. I did not see any zirks on the arbors. I got some good seat time today and got to know my tractor a little better. It was a lot of fun. One issue I am having is the 5" BGB pulley above the idler pulley keeps moving on me. The only thing holding it is an allen screw. The pulley next to it to the rear PTO has a key and allen screw. I have to go back and check, I may have not lined up the allen screw with the keyed groove. If I do line it up with the groove and it still moves, can I put a key in both pulley's on the same shaft?
Yes, there should be a key in both pulleys.

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powerking_one
The keyways on the BGB output shaft use 3/16" size. One end is a woodruff and the other just straight square profile. Like Ray said, both types are very common and available at almost any hardware store. There are conical "cupped" type set set screws available you could change over to which resist back-out better than the std flat profile ones. Maybe consider using red Loctite if the set screws keep getting loose. Tom(PK)

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jsarro
Thanks for the input on the keys. I have never had to buy one before, cause any motors I worked on in the past already had the key with it. Do the lengths of the keys vary, because I need a key short enough that it wont over protrude in a way to effect either the placement of 2nd rear PTO pulley in front or the BGB to the rear. I'll probably just pull out the existing key on rear PTO pulley and get a second one of the same. Thanks for the tip on the newer allen set screws and the locktite.

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PhanDad
The square key stock comes in various lengths. I usually get the longest (cheapest cost per inch) and cut off what I need. Also, all the pulleys on the shaft should have keyways. There isn't anything wrong with having a "full length" key that any pulley on the shaft uses.

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jsarro
quote:
Originally posted by PhanDad
The square key stock comes in various lengths. I usually get the longest (cheapest cost per inch) and cut off what I need. Also, all the pulleys on the shaft should have keyways. There isn't anything wrong with having a "full length" key that any pulley on the shaft uses.
Thank you Bill, So your saying I can use one long key and can and run it through both pulleys on the same shaft, rather than 2 shorter keys? I wasn't sure which is easier 1 or 2 keys to get both pulleys in the position I need?

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BLT
quote:
Originally posted by jsarro
quote:
Originally posted by PhanDad
The square key stock comes in various lengths. I usually get the longest (cheapest cost per inch) and cut off what I need. Also, all the pulleys on the shaft should have keyways. There isn't anything wrong with having a "full length" key that any pulley on the shaft uses.
Thank you Bill, So your saying I can use one long key and can and run it through both pulleys on the same shaft, rather than 2 shorter keys? I wasn't sure which is easier 1 or 2 keys to get both pulleys in the position I need?
Yep!!

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