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42" FDT Deck on RBT


GreenStratus99

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GreenStratus99

Seen a few other posts about using older mower decks from FDT machines on newer tractors with running boards. Seems the biggest hurdle is how to get clearance for the height adjust so it clears the running boards. I attached some pictures showing what I came up with to use a free 42" deck on my 17GTH-L (7117). 

When looking at the deck I noticed there were bolt holes on the opposite side of where the height adjust screws mount. If you take off the plates bolted to the bottom of the deck and flip them to be outboard then the t-handles clear the running boards when the deck is raised. To keep the threaded adjuster vertical some all-thread and two threaded couplers are needed to reconnect the upper part of the adjuster to the factory mounting holes, just from the other side. 

One odd thing I discovered was that when the deck is mounted and PTO belt tension is set correctly it seems to shift to the left a bit. So the right side adjuster needs to be spaced out even farther. This is why in the picture of the right side it shows a stack of washers on the longer section of all-thread, just to keep things a little more ridged. Also in that same picture the lower mounting plate needed to have another plate welded to it as an extension to keep the adjust vertical so it doesn't bind.

If needed everything can be returned to stock by cutting off the extra piece of plate steel and swapping the adjusters back to the inboard side of the linkage. Only thing I still need to do is figure out where the eyebolt for the lift should be mounted. If anyone has ideas on that it would help a lot. The deck came with a flat piece of metal with holes in it bent around the rear tube of the bail which had a chain attached. I removed the chain and have pinned the lift cable directly to the bent metal around the bail tube. It does functionally lift the deck but it seems the left side doesn't get raised as high. When fully up the rollers on the left side look to be only about 1" to 2" off the ground where the right side is much higher. Never had a Simplicity deck before so I don't know if this is just how it is because the lift cable is more on the right side of the frame. That causing it to not lift from the center of the deck and balance the weight or it's just how my setup works until I mount the eyebolt where it needs to be.

Questions and advice are welcome.

(Edit - I added a photo with the lift mount circled in case anyone was confused from my description. After looking around online I haven't seen pictures of any other decks that use this. The common pictures of FDT decks I've seen have a solid bar welded onto the rear bail tube and the chain connects to that. The hose clamp on the bail tube was added by me as a stop so that when the deck is down and lift cable is slack it doesn't slide on the tube and rub the belt.)

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InkedPXL_20230604_211622689.jpg

Edited by GreenStratus99
Attached additional photo of lift mount.
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The early 42" decks had the loop with the chain and yes nearly all of the left-hand discharge decks lift somewhat crooked due to the lift point being off to one side. Some of my 48" Sovereign decks seem to only raise up an inch or so on one side and remain on the ground on the other. I have seen several attempts at removing the "slack" from the lift cable to achieve more lift. 

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The type of two front mounting arms affect how crooked the deck lifts.  The early decks had two single arms which let the deck lift crooked, especially when worn.  The later decks had a tube welded between the two arms which helped keep the deck level when lifted.  And yes, the lift point on the deck affects it also as the early decks lift off center.  As an added note, when adjusting the deck height, I tighten the bolts on the height mount to prevent them wearing and to hold  the adjustment.  

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GreenStratus99

Thanks for the info Tom. This deck does have two single arms so I guess it's just how it is. I'll try playing around with loop in different locations on the tube, see if it makes any difference. If I find a spot that works good I'll probably put another hose clamp on the tube so the loop can't slide left or right.

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You can change to the later style arms that are tied together if you find a set.  The early tractors lifted from a chain on the lift arm to the side of the tractor while  the later style lifted by a cable from the center of the tractor and I think this is forward of where your mount is.  The later style uses a special eyebolt that is also the pivot point for the spring loaded idler pulley on the deck.  

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I have taken a piece of 1 inch water pipe and welded it between the two arms to make it solid.

 

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