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MittenB10

42" mower deck giving me hassles

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MittenB10
Finally blew the spindle belt (main under the cover between all spindles) on my 42" deck. While in there to replace that, I tore out the tension idler pully, cleaned it up and reassembled it. I to 1 good round of mowing out of it and now it doesn't seem to be cutting worth a darn. More like swirling... What should I be troubleshooting or looking for? Any help is greatly appreciated!

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MysTiK
Installing blades UPSIDE DOWN is really a lot of fun also - not. The wing area is very hard to sharpen. :D:D:D Also blade installed wrong order of parts. s/b Blade, then spline washer, then convex spring washer, then capscrew. (most are like this; but I can't see your exact req's. Check your manual for order, and also torque specs. Possibly belt slippage - did you delete any "belt guides"? little angular metal guides, close to belt/pulleys. Not all decks have these - some do. Possible belt too long? Possible idler tension spring? Possible idler pulley not free to move, too tight, interference, etc.? That would mean something did not get replaced where it came from, etc.? Many decks involve use of the "back" of the belt; not all pulleys are V-type. some are 'flat'. (pto or deck) Tensioner by left rear wheel???? lot of guessing here. check manual.

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PhanDad
It sounds like the idler lever isn't rotating freely. In my experience, after a bit of use, a belt will stretch a little and if the idler pulley doesn't rotate to compensate, you get the condition you describe. Did you remove and clean up the "races" (spacer) when you cleaned up the idler lever. The "races" are part HK in the following parts diagram:


The "races" are inside the pivot point and are just a little taller than the idler lever bracket cylindrical weldment. The bolt holding the idler lever on tightens against the race and the lever pivots on the outside of the race. In most decks I've taken apart, the race is rusted solid to the idler lever so the idler doesn't move at all or the idler lever rotates slightly on the bolt itself.

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John_RI
My 42" decks don't have a sprinig type tensioning system, rather the idler pulley is mounted on a bolt in a slotted hole. I find it can be trickey to get the proper tension on my first try. It may take 2 or 3 attempts.

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BLT
quote:
Originally posted by John_RI
My 42" decks don't have a sprinig type tensioning system, rather the idler pulley is mounted on a bolt in a slotted hole. I find it can be trickey to get the proper tension on my first try. It may take 2 or 3 attempts.
John, I just went thru 42" mower decks 990407 thru 1690501 and they all have auto (spring) tensioning idlers. What product number deck do you have?

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rokon2813
quote:
Originally posted by BLT
quote:
Originally posted by John_RI
My 42" decks don't have a sprinig type tensioning system, rather the idler pulley is mounted on a bolt in a slotted hole. I find it can be trickey to get the proper tension on my first try. It may take 2 or 3 attempts.
John, I just went thru 42" mower decks 990407 thru 1690501 and they all have auto (spring) tensioning idlers. What product number deck do you have?
Thats interesting Bob. I've had several of those decks too with the bolt in the slot. Don't know if I've ever had a product number off one though. Guess I'll have to look. I think they came with B1, 700, 725's Early Landlords and early B10's, but the numbers you listed cover pretty much all the foot draggers

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MittenB10
Thanks for the info fellas! Headed out to the garage here soon to tear it apart again to inspect. Note - blades are not on upside down, double, triple checked that! The PTO belt originally was backwards and I quickly remedied that issue. I think PhanDan is onto something here. I had to tear apart the whole belt tensioner system, clean it up, new bolt, etc. and I'm wondering if I have my nut too tight on there to not allow it to move. Perhaps it's time for a nyloc on there.

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MittenB10
Found the culprit! The old rusty tension spring on the idler pulley gave up the ghost and let loose! Luckily it didn't take out my new belt. Anybody had any luck with just sourcing a spring at say TSC or their local Hardware? I kind of need to mow and can't be waiting for shipping. Thoughts or ideas?

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sammiefish
I would check the hardware store..... or even home depot... when i needed a similar spring TSC didnt have what i needed while home depot had a good match.... I would not have guessed it... http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/catalog/servlet/Search?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&keyword=spring&Ns=None&Ntpr=1&Ntpc=1&selectedCatgry=SEARCH+ALL#/?c=1&Nao=1

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MittenB10
BLT is sneaky with his locations! hahaha - thanks. Sammie- I actually was able to find one at TSC that fits the bill. Since I was more concerned with spring rate and length, not so much diameter it was a bit easier to wrap my head around what I needed. Ended up snagging a pair of 4.5" long springs (using one of them) and got it all back together and appears to be working well. True test will be tonight when I can get out there to mow!

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MittenB10
quote:
Originally posted by BLT
From a dead to sudden start and the deck blades accelerate without squealing with 1/2 to 3/4 engine throttle, my guess is that you are in decent shape
I shall report my findings back! Thanks!

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PhanDad
Jason, The nut should be tight, no nyloc or stop nut required. The idler lever should NOT pivot on the bolt, but on the outside diameter of the "race" and the inside diameter of the lever hole. Do some soaking around the outside of the race and you should be able to drive the "race" out of the lever arm and then sand, etc both the outside of the race and the inside of the lever arm. Grease well and reinstall. The "race" is usually a single cylinder, with a 3/8+" ID (for the bolt) and about a 5/8" OD which fits inside the lever arm:




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John_RI
Jason, glad to see you've identified/solved your problem.
quote:
quote:Originally posted by BLT quote:Originally posted by John_RI My 42" decks don't have a sprinig type tensioning system, rather the idler pulley is mounted on a bolt in a slotted hole. I find it can be trickey to get the proper tension on my first try. It may take 2 or 3 attempts. John, I just went thru 42" mower decks 990407 thru 1690501 and they all have auto (spring) tensioning idlers. What product number deck do you have? Thats interesting Bob. I've had several of those decks too with the bolt in the slot. Don't know if I've ever had a product number off one though. Guess I'll have to look. I think they came with B1, 700, 725's Early Landlords and early B10's, but the numbers you listed cover pretty much all the foot draggers
Dan & Bob, I use a 3-piece deck and a 1-piece deck. The 3-piece deck came with a manual that doesn't have a MFG #. The sales brochure I have lists the MFG# for the 3-piece deck as 990190. The manual I got with the 1-piece deck is identifitd as a # 407, but I'm almost positive that it doesn't have the spring tensioned lever, so I'm confused (nothing new) - I'll have to check tomorrow. John

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