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BigSix

Mower Belt Rubs on Landlord's Deck "Bail"

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BigSix
I mounted my 1960 42" mower deck (Mfr. # "109") under my Dad’s late 60's Landlord, because I'm borrowing the tractor until my 700 runs, and I wanted to go through his tractor for him because he hasn’t used it yet and doesn't have a computer to access this wonderful club. I figured out why the PTO wouldn't stay engaged (guide rail rod was bent) and a number of other minor things, but the smell of burning belt has me scratching my head.... The mounting points on the two decks seem identical, and it cuts fine, but the older deck (actually both of them) have a wear pattern burned into the "bail" or U-shaped pipe-frame that encircles the top of the deck. The bail is worn semi-flat right where the belt crosses it to go to the center PTO. And the mower belt is doing the same thing with this tractor as it apparently did when the previous owner used it on my 1960 700, when the deck was mounted under that tractor, even though the PTO's differ slightly in design. (I hadn't mowed with either tractor 'till yesterday, and like you all said, it’s definitely a sweeter ride than the late model MTD I was given! Tighter turning radius, more beef, better ride, easier one-hand steering, close cutting on both sides). However, the backside of the belt rubs so hard you can't touch the belt after 20 minutes of mowing. With two decks doing this, (which seems odd) I still feel it can't be right. What am I doing wrong? I'm on the larger mower pulley of the PTO, not the sickle pulley. My Theory on a Solution: Is the deck mounted too far back? The angle of the belt, over the bail, is then essentially DOWN to the bottom of the PTO pulley. Is this right? I notice there are two more holes on the front rocker arms, further back than the ones I pinned into, at the very front ends of the arms. I found the belt difficult to slip over the deck pulley as it was.... But if I AM able to stretch the PTO spring forward enough so the belt will allow me to use these more rearward holes, thereby pulling the deck forward an inch, given the angle of the belt, DOWN slighlty to the PTO, this would seem to lessen the interference between belt and bail. Which rocker arm holes am I supposed to be using? Do the more rearward holes require the use of a longer belt? Is the rear of the deck too high? It looks like the rear of the deck is “jacked up” pretty high on the rear roller, as the manual lift, even in the “transport” position, merely puts tension on the 5-link-long deck lift chain. It doesn't actually raise the deck appreciably. And yet the blades themselves seem low enough, as the cut is fairly short. The deck has a down angle to it, as you go toward the rear of the deck, so that if I were to lower the rear, it would definitely exceed the ¼” down-bias at the rear, that the manual calls for. The grass is growin'...any help would be very much appreciated. Also, when you tighten the rear diff. anti-slip adjustment bolts to the requisite 25 lbs., and it still behaves like an open diff, on grass, what's the cure? Peter

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HubbardRA
BigSix, Had a similar problem, went to smaller idler and shorter belt. Only takes about an inch or so. This lifted the belt higher so that it doesn't touch the bar. The farther the tensioner moves toward the rear of the tractor, the lower the belt, as it goes forward, it raises. I forced the tensioner to be tight at a more forward position. I burned up my first new $20 belt, and have been moving since the change with a half worn out belt that I found in my garage from a previous project, with no problems. Rod H.

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BigSix
Rod: Thanks! I do have a belt off of the other tractor, that's like an inch shorter, that I didn't even think I could get on, but I'll try it, as that's easier than moving the deck forward. Didn't even think of it till your suggestion. I'll let you know. Thanks! Peter

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BigSix
Rod: Thanks, buddy! You got me thinking, and I noticed that the rear of the deck was jacked up so high over the rear rollers that the rear blades were an inch higher than the fronts, and that's why there was no "lift" left, so I couldn't raise my deck over obstacles. Getting the deck close to the proper adjustement gave me an airgap of over 1/2" between the bail and belt. Before, I knew something was wrong, in addition the other reasons, because attempting to raise the deck at all caused the PTO to engage and turn the blades, even when the PTO was in the disengaged position. The only thing I can figure is that the 1960 42" deck (#109) may have been being hung by the second, more rearward, and higher holes, when it was under my Wonderboy, with the previous owner. Perhaps, if that was done, the owner jacked the back up just to level the deck? But this severely limited the deck's ability to "float" under the Landlord, as it was too high in the rear. I may still have a slightly bent blade on one side, as I'm 1/4" high on one side, despite the bail clevises being adjusted equally. But I will wait until the deck is down for maintenance before worring about investigating further. Thanks again. Peter

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HubbardRA
As far as your uneven mowing. I have had both bent blades, and a spindle that was not perpendicular to the deck. Try to check both. Believe me, when these Simplicity decks are right, they make the best cut I've ever seen. I love the cut of the 48" deck that I got from John Holyfield about a month ago. It's got rust holes, and is noisy, but cuts great. Rod H.

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