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Dave-Saratoga

Vari-speed question (or 2)

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Dave-Saratoga
just finished installing the variable speed unit (with the rebuilt tranny) onto the b-110. when i tried it out - the unit worked fine but there were other problems - mainly in getting into gear. every time i shifted, the gears would grind. so - not ever having one of these contraptions, but troubleshooting nonetheless - should the pulleys be spinning (along with the vari-speed belt) when the brake is applied? it seems that the idler doesn't disengage the belt enough to stop the rear pulley from turning. as such, the tranny gears are always spinning and therefore difficult to engage. btw, the tranny shifts stiff but fine when the engine isn't running.

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PatRarick
Dave, here is the adjustment procedure; [url]http://www.simpletractors.com/service/vari-drive_adjustment.htm[/url] My experience has been that this is an "initial" adjustment. It takes a little fine tuning to adjust for component wear, mainly the brake adjustment and belt adjustment with the turnbuckle. One tractor I never could get "right". On that particular tractor, the variable speed had to be in low, and the engine idling, in order to shift without grinding. Pat

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Kent
Dave, On my old varidrive, I found the key to stopping the grinding was the belt stop on the idler pulley. You have to get it fine-tuned to where it "pinches" the belt just enough to stop it from moving when clutched, yet provide no drag when the clutch is released. Play with that adjustment a little bit, watching what it does, and I think you can get it. I removed the seat deck, then put the tractor in neutral, and eyeballed what was going on, until I figured it out. The front belt stop/guard should also be adjusted as specified, or the belt will get out of shape and still move...

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Bunky
I have one of these on my B112 I thought somewhere that the brske band had to be adjusted so that it would stop the transmission from turning so thst it wouldn't grind.. just my thought...

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dirtsaver
Dave I had the same problem on my 3012. I followed the adjustments laid out by Pat and Kent. As Kent says the final cure was that dang belt stop on the front pulley! Try that and I think you will be happy. Larry

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callwill
"On that particular tractor, the variable speed had to be in low, and the engine idling, in order to shift without grinding"!!! I think i have that tractor! I hate my 3112V & would trade it in a minute for another H!

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Dave-Saratoga
adjusting the idler stop worked great - it grabs the belt & stops the tranny from spinning. the vari-speed worked fine - was especially useful when i had to mow downhill - could adjust the speed slower to compensate for gravity. did lots of shifting - no grinding

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Kent
Glad it worked for you Dave. I had all kinds of problems with mine when I first got it, until I learned that trick -- even replaced the $56 belt. That worked for a little while until the stiff new belt got flexible, then it started grinding again. Adjusting it precisely to the measurements in the adjusting procedure didn't work, since it was so worn, so I finally had to figure out how it was supposed to work, and compensate... After that, no problems! I really liked the Varidrive, I also used it to "gear down on the fly" to go down the steeper slopes in my backyard. They work great for snowblowing, too, in 1st gear. You can easily vary the ground speed to keep the "intake hopper" full. The biggest single reason I got rid of the Varidrive (replaced it with a Sundstrand) was that the PTO was worn out and the BGB was about to let go. Between the slop in the worn keyway, and the sloppy gear lash, there was literally 7/8" of play measured on the drive pulley.... So, I replaced both PTO and tranny with one from a 716H.

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Dave-Saratoga
yep, that was about the condition of the donor i bought, except the bearing going out of the tranny to the driven pulley was frozen. a gear on the shaft actually went 3/4 of a turn around the shaft after it froze up. (i'll be posting some pics when i get back into the office & the faster connection). basically - the tranny & the bgb are "new" - all bearings & gears are replaced. the tranny is tight, but nice and precise. one of the shafts was heated which caused minor damage - it was lightly sanded until the gears slid smoothly. this is the set-up i've wanted for a while now. just working out the bugs. hope to bring it up to the mass. show in june - depends on how the pickup is then. (right now the power steering gearbox is shot).

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Bunky
I too like the variable, for the "On the Fly" speed change.. Mine is also warn my front pulley on the BGB has egg shaped holes where the pins come through... It still seem to work ok, probably change the pulley someday when I find another... When I got mine the belts slipped and it didn't have much speed change, so I too bought a new Belt and Idler to find it was just basicly out of adjustment... Ithink like any one of them they have there Advantages and Disadvantages..... JMO

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Guest
I'm having a speed problem on a 3012 variable drive. After I bought a new 164080 $69 belt, the problem went away, then returned. The only thing I am concerned about is when mounting the mid-PTO pulley for the tiller, I was tapping/hammering the pulley onto the shaft (not too hard); though as I am analyzing the play in the PTO Transmission, I see the front Vari-drive pulley has an 1/8th or more play in it on the shaft. I'm not sure if this caused my problem to re-occur or if as I saw earlier in this posting, the new belt worked itself in. So if anyone knows how much play should be in the Mid-PTO take-off, that would be a big help. As for me adjusting the Vari-drive, I'm going to continue working on that this weekend. I see some other wear in the front pulley, mostly on the front of it where it's warn against the nut on the shaft. I am also noticing the Keyway looks really beat and I'm going to try replacing/cleaning that out. I'm going to try to steel wool up these shafts, I'll take suggestions (someone said emery cloth). I also am finding the adjusting bolt between the two pulleys extremely tight and I used a cresent/partial box wrench I believe to get this to turn; are there any better wrenches to use on this so I don't break anything? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, Thank you, Michael G - First Post to this club discussion!

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Guest
Dave, The speed is changing but a very short distance later I have no power and I am getting belt slip. When I bought this tractor two months ago, it had the same problem. I bought a new 164080 belt (Orig Simplicity and I couldn't find anyone who had replacements for this belt) and for the past few weeks I can not operate at the higher than the lowest speed any more; the tractor just slips and will not move. (q: I've seen the bgb term before and I'm wondering what that means?) Thank you - Michael G.

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UCD
BGB = Bevel Gear Box. A Bevel Gear Box changes drive force 90°. It is at the end of the drive shaft and has a shaft out each side. One to drive the PTO one to drive the Transmission.

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Guest
Does anyone know a way to find out what parts are still available new? I found a major problem and I am getting part of it fixed for me (lucky me found someone who works in a aircraft machine shop and is repairing a part for me.) The keyway on my outside forward variable speed gear was shot and actually had a second one cut; they were not able to fit a full size key onto the shaft and the pulley so they used one which was smaller. You probably can guess, it caused more damage. So my friend is drilling out the center of this pulley and pressing in a new circular section and making it "round" again. Then he's cutting a new keyway slot and coming over with some key to see what we can get to work on the shaft. Ok to my first question, if I was to start rebuilding my BGB, would I be able to order a new shaft? Any guesses or suggestions? Also one other thing, I found my shaft has almost a half inch of play in the BGB (found after I changed the PTO pulley). Is there some way I can open the BGB without removing it and stop this play? Thank you in advance for any assistance. Michael

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MPH
Michael, sounds like your vari spped is in the same shape mine was on the 112. Been a couple years, but I got pulleys and BGB shaft from Sandy Lake. I'd bet the three holes in your pulley are egg shaped also, since your keyway was rattled out, sounds like its done a lot of work. You might be able to get the back cover off the BGB still in the tractor, but it would be a pain, eaiser to break it down IMO. Sounds like you may need new gears with a half inch of play, though it may just be the keys that hold the gears..Lots of them rebuild on here so advice is just a keyboard away...MPH

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thedaddycat
If you're looking to clean up the output shaft from the BGB. here's an easy way to do it. Remove the pulleys from the side that you want to clean. Start the engine. Take a long strip of Emery cloth(fine grit) and wrap it around the shaft so it covers about half the shaft, maybe a bit more. As the shaft turns, slowly pull the strip of Emery back and forth, soon you'll have a shiny clean shaft. I have used this method to clean the rust off so I could get the tiller pulley on, works pretty fast and easy.....

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Dave-Saratoga
damn, that's so simple & slick i would never have thought of that have to try it next time. as to the bgb shaft - i recently priced one out - was around $100. not cheap. try sandy lake, they might have a decent one. as to the parts, go to the simplicity manual link from here and download the parts manual for the tractor - it will have part numbers - you can contact a dealer locally to see what still is available. i've found you can get most everything that can wear out.

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Stoneheartfarm
Just be careful with that emery cloth trick. Too much and you can take off more than just the rust. The trick is to stop frequently and check the fit. Steve

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thedaddycat
Actually, I usually use Crocus cloth if I can. It takes a bit longer, but you don't have to worry about how much you take off. Scotchbrite scrubbing pads work too, just watch your fingers.....

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Guest
Thanks for all these suggestions. What is the correct keyway size? I know it's a wooduff (sp?) key but is it 3/16" or what? I'd hate to have the part I'm having fixed repaired to the wrong spec.

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Guest
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