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MrSteele

42" Deck Questions

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MrSteele

I am rebuilding all 3 arbors on my Landlord 42" Deck. This time, I did not buy bearings from a Simplicity parts outlet, as the last ones I got from Sandy Lake have "China" written all over them, and the 2 I replaced last year are shot this year. I spent enough to buy a new lawnmower, but got Fafnir bearings, instead of ones marked simply "China", in clear plastic packaging.

The question, though. The deck appears to have an 'improved' mandrel housing. I have the catalog for the original deck, and the arbors are not even close to them. There are 2 aluminum or similar metal spacers between the deck and the arbor housing on the two outer mandrels, while the center housing is like the original catalog, with 2 bolts holding the blade on the end of the shaft. Is there supposed to be a shim in the assembly to take up the remaining space when the assembly is bolted together? I have play from top to bottom when the housing is bolted together, and don't see final assembly providing enough crush to take the slack out. There were no shims or spacers in the mandrel that I have never touched. I have rebuilt the center shaft several times with bearings made in China, and one of the remaining last year with those same bearings. There was no spacer in that one, and I simply put it back together, but, there is more play in the one I have never rebuilt.

Any answers will be appreciated. I am going to see if I have enough shim stock to take most of the slack out, as I do not think it should be there. If I am making a bad mistake, please let me know, and, though it won't be a lot of fun, I will remove it.

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PhanDad
PhanDad

I just re-read your post and now I'm not sure if you have the newer splined arbors. The only time I've seen or read about the aluminium spacers being used was with replacement arbor kits or when replacing a "deep mount arbor" deck shell with the newer "shallow mount arbor" deck shell and using the old arbors with flat blades. Here's a post about deck shell replacement:http://www.simpletractors.com/club2/topic.asp?ARCHIVE=true&TOPIC_ID=49726&SearchTerms=arborFor all "old" non-splined arbors, there is always a center spacer between the bearings. Without it, when the top pulley is tighened, I would think the arbor shaft would bind or excessive axial force would be placed on the bearing causing premature failure. Maybe that's your issue. Here's the B series arbor repair instructions showing all the parts:

pgC6a.jpg

pgC7a.jpg

pgC6a.jpg.fbe88c303b52dbdc5aebba28c5f7e9ef.jpg

pgC7a.jpg.e28babdafbf4b56e6369b4edce7c807e.jpg

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MrSteele

My deck has both arbors. The two outer are splined, the center is the original. I Shimmed the housings, with a .035 shim to take the slack out and put them back together. I would have finished, but could not find a suitable washer for the locknut on top. I got one today, but might still bore a hard steel washer to put there, instead of the soft 3/4" washer that I got at Lowes.

My deck also has a fixed idler. I bought all the parts, I think, to put the spring loaded idler on the deck, will have to decide how that works, as I do not have a really good idea how it is supposed to work. It seems that it will fit, but where it fits will not take up the slack in the belt. Is a fixed and spring-loaded idler required on a 42" deck?

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PhanDad

The belt path is pretty severe with a spring loaded belt. These pics of my 42" Allis deck shows the location of the parts:

IMG_4537a.jpg

IMG_4540a.jpg

I would think different belt lengths may be required for the old fixed vs new spring loaded idlers; that might be why there's slack with the spring loaded setup. PS - The pic was originally taken to show how tuff the OEM belts are. The belt pictured is 20+ years old, has chunks missing but was still working.

IMG_4537a.jpg.855e45c53283c859f4d43f87da4b68b5.jpg

IMG_4540a.jpg.59aed133a2f82c5e434fff9a1f3884fc.jpg

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RickS

The path of the belt in the picture provided by Bill is a good example as to why we suggest Simplicity belts for the deck and blower. Most belts don't like (or last long) when bent backward over a pulley.

Rick...........

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MrSteele

My fixed idler is in about that same position. The Indian kevlar belt I am replacing has been there about six years. If the spring requires a different belt,I will leave the fixed idler on, as I have another Indian kevlar. Hate to waste it!!

Thanks for the pic.

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Kent

One thing that will dramatically improve belt life on these decks is to always engage the PTO at just slightly above idle -- just fast enough that it doesn't kill the engine -- and then speed up the engine once engaged.

Engaging the PTO at high RPM will sometimes snap a cheaper belt in two, and can cause that spring-loaded idler to jerk enough to where the belt can get turned over...

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John_in_Oxford
quote:Originally posted by Kent

Engaging the PTO at high RPM will sometimes snap a cheaper belt in two, and can cause that spring-loaded idler to jerk enough to where the belt can get turned over...


id="quote">
id="quote">Been there, done that just last week with a brand-new kevlar - flipped right over. LOL, smelled that special chemical smell, stopped, looked and said "well, THAT was brilliant".Belt is still running - just looks like it lost a war.

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Kent

BTW, the OEM Simplicity belts are "specced" for these specific applications, not just their size and length. The OEM belts will often have much more fabric cording inside the belt to handle the abuse of running over idlers etc., in comparison to aftermarket belts. Consequently they don't stretch as much, they're stiffer and don't flip over as often, and give much longer life.

Way back in the archives is the story of a guy getting over 25 years of service from an OEM clutch belt on a 3-speed foot-dragger that was used regularly...

I use some aftermarket belts, but usually only as a stop-gap measure until I can get an original replacement belt ordered and delivered. This is especially important for the snowblower belts on the FDTs, where you have backside idler pulleys plus the belt turning 90 degrees. Gates and other aftermarket belts simply don't handle that abuse nearly as well. I've destroyed Gates green belts in one day on a snowblower...

Your mileage may vary...

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PhanDad

FYI - The part number for the arbor drive belt shown above is 108209; it is 82.1".

Is the fixed idler pulley belt about the same size?

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MrSteele

I'm not sure about the length. I ordered the Indian belts from their part numbers for a Simplicity 42" deck. It fit when I got it. I should have ordered more, especially the PTO to deck belt. That belt is the one I fry on a regular basis. They did not list it, nor a length close to it when I got the deck belts. The starting slow and speeding up trick works, do it all the time. What causes my deck belt to become unglued, though, is the seeming stuck situation of one arbor or another. That may go away with bearings not made in China. If I don't start slow, the "stuck" arbor eats the deck belt. I also have to ease the deck into operation by bumping it in gear with about 3-4 tries, then engage when the deck finally gets up to speed.

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PhanDad

Sounds to me like one or more of your arbors are to tight or become tight with use.

Without the arbor belt on, if you spin a blade, will it continue to rotate for several turns? All my decks with good bearing and proper setup do this. On my Homelite, which uses an old style electric PTO without a "brake" function, when the PTO is depowered, the blades take 5 to 10 seconds to stop turning - which includes the arbor drive belt, pto to deck belts, 2 mule drive pulleys and the electric PTO "released" drive pulley.

When you torque the arbor top nut to the 45 to 70 ft-lbs (old nut/new nut), the arbor shaft should still have some axial movement; not much but some. If not, then some of the parts are missing from the arbor stack.

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MrSteele

I have all the parts shown in the center arbor, have added a shim at the two outer arbors. I am not certain right now of the spinning, but will check later today when I finish the deck. If the belt you speak of is the one on all the arbors, then yes, the blades spin freely without that belt. With the belt on, I doubt there will be a lot of movement until freewheeling after disengagement. I have built the center arbor each year that I used the lawnmower, the last time, parts were from a Simplicity dealer, with bearings clearly marked China, before that, the bearings were BCA, and no one knows where they are made, likely China. While the work is not difficult, it is a lot of trouble. The bearings I have now should last a while. If not, one I removed is a Fafnir, and I will go back with them, next time. I use the mower from around early march til December, and always on New Years day. I like to be the first in my neighborhood to cut grass each year!

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MrSteele

Got the deck back together with the spring loaded idler, had to drill a hole for the fixed/floating end, but found out why the shroud under the deck was relieved in one place. It is for the bolt bead. Also, the spring bolt was too short for my spacers. A 3/8" die and a little work and I made one from a bolt long enough for the spring and to hold the arbor, as well. I centered the idler hole in the slot for the fixed idler, then drilled the hole for the other bolt. The Indian kevlar was a perfect fit, though a bit harder to put on against that spring.

Now, while cutting, I can hear the tranny whine because I assume I have something going out there. Could not hear it before, even with the new BCA bearings. I have to look to make sure the deck is in gear, can't hear it any more! Thanks for all the pics.

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