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Lawn Tractor Question


bkent's Avatar
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05-01-03, 07:13 AM   #1  
bkent
New mower, needs "service"

A buddy I work with just gave me his old 18 hp yard machines tractor (42" deck). It's got a briggs and stratton engine, but he told me it needs serviced. It does run, but where should I start?

I was thinking change the oil and check air filter, but what else should I be concerned about? I can do basic stuff on my car (oil, change plugs and wires) and am willing to rehab the mower myself, given basic instruction.

It's sitting in the bed of his truck right now while we are at work, and will be dropped off at my house during lunch. What should I do to trouble shoot it tonight?

thanks.

 
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05-01-03, 07:39 AM   #2  
truckdrivinfool
Changing the oil and checking the air filter are good starts. A new spark plug wouldn't hurt either. You'll also want to grease any joints that have grease zerts. Check any drive belts and their adjustments. Probably also want to pull the mower deck off and inspect the blades, sharpen or have them sharpened. Also check that any idler pulleys (usually atleast one on the deck) spin freely, some may have zerts to be greased. If its a battery start clean the connections and check the water levels in the cells. While your doing all this give it a good looking over for any loose screws, bolts, ect. as mowers tend vibrate them loose through the years.

 
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05-01-03, 10:19 AM   #3  
bkent
Thanks, what kind of oil and what kind of spark plug do I use? There is a service center for my mower down the street but I doubt they would want to give me advice instead of charging me to fix it...

 
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05-01-03, 01:43 PM   #4  
30 weight oil, about 1 1/2 to 2 quarts. Get the same type of spark plug you have on the mower (has to have the same numbers and letters that is on the old one, unless it is of another brand, which the parts house can match up for you). Also, make sure to double check after they give you the spark plug. It has happen before to me that they say it is the same spark plug but when comparing them side to side, the new one was slightly longer, which if I hadn't noticed it, the piston would have hit it and ruined the piston. Also, if the mower uses points, them being changed or cleaned would also be included in a tune up. Good luck!!!

 
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05-01-03, 07:18 PM   #5  
bkent
Well I mowed my yard today, it worked great. Only problem is thinking I could squeeze thru a spot I nailed a plastic downspout water catcher thingy and screwed up the blade somehow.

After I pulled around into the driveway and cut the engine, I tested both the blades. The screwed up one, when I turned the blade the sprocket thing that is driven by the belt wouldn't turn at all, but on the other side (other blade) the sprocket was turning with the blade. I'm assuming that I broke the ball bearing?

I'm not sure how the blade is connected to the belt driven sprocket, but whatever part are there I must have broke.

I tried searching thru the yard machines website but couldn't find my owner manual online with the model # and serial #.

Any advice?

 
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05-01-03, 08:51 PM   #6  
Yes, something definiately broke. Some are designed to brake if you hit something.

 
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05-01-03, 09:53 PM   #7  
Hello bkent!

Sounds like you have all the advice needed for a tuneup/checkup. I would look at the blade, it may be bent and hitting the deck, keeping it from turning, or the deck may have pushed back and hit the blade. When you say "sprocket", are you referring to a belt pulley, or an actual cog that a flat timing belt goes on? (those are expensive to fix).


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

 
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05-02-03, 05:46 AM   #8  
bkent
I guess it's a "cog". It's the part that the drive belt for the deck actually spins, with the blade attached on the other end.

What parts are involved from the drive belt for the deck on down to the blade? I thought I had bent the blade but upon hand turning it, the blade does not strike the deck at all.

Somehow when I turn the blade in question the part that is driven by the belt (and thus drives the blade) does not turn. Basically whatever connects the blade to the belt driven part of the deck is broke.

What pieces could have broke? Ball Bearing?

 
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05-02-03, 09:55 AM   #9  
bkent
I called the parts guys and he told me to just get a new pulley assembly for $73...

Will I have to take the deck off to install the new assembly...

 
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05-02-03, 01:35 PM   #10  
There is the pully on top, it bolts to the jack shaft, the jack shaft goes through the jackshaft housing, in there it is supported by either sealed of greasable bearings, then at the bottom of the jack shaft is the 6 piont star shape that the blade fits over, then the bolt is screwed into the end of the shaft. Yes you would have to remove the deck, take the belt off, remove the blade and the bolts holding it to the deck. I am sure the parts guy would prefer you to buy a $73 assembly rather than a $12 to $15 dollar shaft.

 
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05-03-03, 12:16 AM   #11  
If the cog on top is turning but the shaft is not, it may just be a loose nut on top, or a bad cog. I'm trying to tell if this is actually a timed deck or not. Some of these older MTD machines had a timed deck with a flat belt with teeth. Others that are not timed have a "V" belt. If it has the timed deck, $73.00 is about right, but you might be buying more than you really need. If it is a "V" belt deck, the whole assy should run you about 40-45 bucks.


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

 
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