Troy Bilt Rider PTO Blade Won't Engage

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  #1  
Old 05-19-10, 09:07 AM
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Troy Bilt Rider PTO Blade Won't Engage

I have a Troy Bilt 42" riding mower Model 609 with a manual PTO lever. The PTO control won't engage the blade reliably. When this happened once before, the problem was that the pulleys were work out; replacing them fixed the problem. But this time the pulleys were not worn,

The mechanic said the undercarriage is loose; he apparently does not have a favorable opinion of these mowers. He installed a new belt and said he did install a longer bolt, which should fix it for a while. Now it does engage sometimes, but usually does nothing when I engage the PTO. No screeching or blade movement. I can usually get it going by slowing the engine down and moving the deck up and down.

This mower has always done a much better job than my other larger mower, and I would like to get it going again. It does a really good job of mulching. Any suggestions? Is it practical to add an additional pulley with an adjustment to compensate for a loose belt?
 
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Old 05-19-10, 09:58 AM
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Can you post the model and serial #'s on the label under the seat?
A couple of things come to mind but I am not sure what system you might have.
It could be the cable for the PTO, or debris on the deck keeping it from engaging...or....

Is your PTO lever separate from your height gauge?
 
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Old 05-19-10, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by BFHFixit View Post
Can you post the model and serial #'s on the label under the seat?
Model: AQ609G063
SN: 1A200H20007
A couple of things come to mind but I am not sure what system you might have.
It could be the cable for the PTO, or debris on the deck keeping it from engaging...or....

Is your PTO lever separate from your height gauge?
The PTO is a lever on the left. It just swings a pulleythat puts tension on the blade belt. The height adjustment is a separate lever on the right that raises and lowers the deck.
 
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Old 05-19-10, 11:10 PM
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Does this one have a belt that goes from the engine to the deck, then a separate belt that goes from blade to blade? If so, find the short cable that goes to the blade brake arm, and lubricate the brake arm and make sure it moves back and forth freely. This is a common problem area among many on these mowers.
 
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Old 05-19-10, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by cheese View Post
Does this one have a belt that goes from the engine to the deck, then a separate belt that goes from blade to blade? If so, find the short cable that goes to the blade brake arm, and lubricate the brake arm and make sure it moves back and forth freely. This is a common problem area among many on these mowers.
It has a single belt that goes around a pulley on the engine and then wraps around the pulleys on the two blades and another one or two pulleys controlled by the PTO arm. I believe this URL will illustrate my model; I'll check again in the morning.
http://www5.vetmed.auburn.edu/~branc...elt_Manual.jpg

When I push on the belt with the engine off and the PTO engaged, the tensions seems awful loose to me--even though it has a new belt installed by the mechanic. I will check the parts connected to the PTO arm as you suggested. That sounds like a reasonable possibility, since the problem is intermittent. When it does engage, it seems to work fine.
 
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Old 05-20-10, 08:19 AM
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Fix what's loose & put the correct belt on it... Did the mechanic tell you what's loose??? A longer belt won't tighten properly as you found & slips on the pulleys. Get an OEM replacement belt as auto type belts won't last... Roger
 
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Old 05-20-10, 08:20 AM
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I think cheese is still on the right track. There is cam and roller affair...(for lack of a better description) that should release the blade brakes and latch the pulleys in place to keep the belt tight.
It is probably going to require removing the deck to get a good idea of operation and inspection.
I looks like there may be a ferrule on the rod from the PTO engagement plate that will allow some adjustment.
Also check for broken or missing rollers. Possibly even a broken mandrel housing letting it shift under pressure.
 
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Old 05-20-10, 09:48 AM
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That sure looks alot more like a Murray deck...

 
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Old 05-20-10, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by BFHFixit View Post
That sure looks alot more like a Murray deck...

Look at the belt numbers. Those are MTD belt numbers.
 
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Old 05-20-10, 12:07 PM
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Here is the belt setups that could be on this troybilt.





 
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Old 05-20-10, 03:36 PM
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Doh! Nice catch Indy. I know it is troy bilt I found the transmissionbelt img on the parent directory http://www5.vetmed.auburn.edu/~branc...issionBelt.jpg

I've only done a few one just a couple of weeks ago but it used a cable to engage the PTO.
 
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Old 05-20-10, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by hopkinsr2 View Post
Fix what's loose & put the correct belt on it... Did the mechanic tell you what's loose??? A longer belt won't tighten properly as you found & slips on the pulleys. Get an OEM replacement belt as auto type belts won't last... Roger
He just said it was a cheap mower that wasn't worth repairing. But he did happen to have a $10,000 Grasshopper that he was willing to sell me.
 
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Old 05-20-10, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by BFHFixit View Post
I think cheese is still on the right track. There is cam and roller affair...(for lack of a better description) that should release the blade brakes and latch the pulleys in place to keep the belt tight.
It is probably going to require removing the deck to get a good idea of operation and inspection.
[...]
I think that will be my weekend project. I did do this several years ago when I replaced the belt. It was a pain, but it solved the problem for a while.
 
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Old 05-20-10, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by indypower1 View Post
Look at the belt numbers. Those are MTD belt numbers.
That's right. I think they just paint it red and put a Troy Bilt label on it and ship it to Lowe's. It may be a cheapo, but it has always done a very good job--especially with the mulcher.
 
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Old 05-20-10, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by indypower1 View Post
Here is the belt setups that could be on this troybilt.
That's the one. The one on the right with the manual PTO.
 
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Old 05-20-10, 04:30 PM
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Thanks to everyone for the good suggestions. If I had checked this forum before I took it to the mechanic, I probably would have saved $126 and have it back in good running order by now.

I think this is the first time I have used this forum.
I'm impressed!

Charles
 
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Old 05-23-10, 10:11 AM
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I finally got back to this mower this morning after my bigger mower quit. The belt is connected correctly as shown in the original image. I assume the mechanic installed the correct belt, but will take it back tomorrow and complain that the mower has the same symptoms it had before he did $126 worth of work on it. When I engage the PTO, the idler pulley does move, but not enough to fully tighten the belt. In the meantime, I need to jury-rig something to get the temporary rye grass on my dam cut before the guy comes tomorrow to hydroseed it. I don't expect anyone to give an official blessing to my idea, but look at the drawing below, and see what you think. The way the frame lies above the belt, I think it would be possible to add a vertical shaft and a pulley (shown in red) with a flat grove and push the belt slightly over (shown in blue). It would need to have a flat groove, because the pulley would be riding on the back side--like it is on the existing flat pully.
 
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Old 05-23-10, 11:57 AM
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" I assume the mechanic installed the correct belt"
Do not assume he did use the correct belt.

"he apparently does not have a favorable opinion of these mowers."
I think he may have used a belt that was a bit longer making it easier & quicker for him to install.

I would try to find another mechanic.

Also, MTD belts are odd sizes. Aftermarket belts do not work well on MTD's. Their width is an odd size like 15/32 where an aftermarket would be 1/2, lengths run like 91-7/32, aftermarket would be 91-1/4 but the biggest difference is the "V" angle. Aftermarket belts use the same "V" angle on all belts that are the same width. Meaning all 1/2 aftermarket belts would use say a 40* angle, where the MTD belt uses a 36* angle. All these little differences add up. 1/32 length + 1/32 width + 4* angle = a belt that just won't work for long or work correctly.
 
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Old 05-23-10, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by indypower1 View Post

I would try to find another mechanic.
I intend to, but am trying to get something working today. One more thing: When I picked up the mower, the guy who was taking it to my truck apparently realized the blade was not engaging, and took it back to the shop, where he and the owner fiddled with it for quite a while. The owner finally told me he tried to improve it by installing "a longer bolt." I didn't know what he was referring to until I took the deck off today. I noticed that the bolt that connects the right brake pad bracket with a short cable looked new and longer than it needed to be, so I guess that was the one he referred to. I modified my original image to label the bolt and cable: http://www5.vetmed.auburn.edu/~branc...t_Manual_b.jpg
and added a photo of the bolt: http://www5.vetmed.auburn.edu/~branc...2_crop_800.jpg and the brake pad bracket it fits in: http://www5.vetmed.auburn.edu/~branc..._crop_800w.jpg. I remember that bolt, because I remember now when I put on a new belt years ago, the instructions for removing the deck did not mention having to take that bolt loose, and it took a while to figure out why it wouldn't come off.

Also, MTD belts are odd sizes. Aftermarket belts do not work well on MTD's. Their width is an odd size like 15/32 where an aftermarket would be 1/2, lengths run like 91-7/32, aftermarket would be 91-1/4 but the biggest difference is the "V" angle. Aftermarket belts use the same "V" angle on all belts that are the same width. Meaning all 1/2 aftermarket belts would use say a 40* angle, where the MTD belt uses a 36* angle. All these little differences add up. 1/32 length + 1/32 width + 4* angle = a belt that just won't work for long or work correctly.
Looks to me like you really know this mower in deail. I took a picture of the belt.
It looks like it says "Calgon or Cargon 75-263" But the part number in the manual is "754-0485." Is that the right belt? If he put on the wrong belt, and that caused all this, then I will be pretty unhappy with him.
UPDATE: I think it said Oregon 75-263.
 
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Old 05-23-10, 03:12 PM
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The Rest Of The Story

Originally Posted by indypower1 View Post
Do not assume he did use the correct belt.
Looks like you were right, Indypower1.

Being one who NEVER EVER throws anything away, I went out to the barn and found the original factory belt I took off about five years ago, because it was beginning to slip in heavy grass. I took off the one the "mechanic" put on the other day and installed the old worn out genuine MTD belt. Lo and Behold! Now the mower is working just like it did five years ago: it slips a little. I'll bet that if I get a new correct belt, it will be back working like new.

I really do appreciate your help. You clued me in onto what the actual problem apparently is. Reckon he will give me my money back? I know one thing: If I ever decide to buy a $10,000 Grasshopper, it won't be from him.
 
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Old 05-24-10, 04:36 PM
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The MTD belt number you want is the 754 (or 954)-0485. The Oregon belt he installed is the cross from the MTD belt. MTD's are very finicky on the belts. The Oregon should have worked according to their cross reference, but the size is off just enough that is does not work.
 
  #22  
Old 09-19-11, 01:52 PM
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Update

After more than a year I finally got back to this project yesterday. The PTO was still not engaging the blades. I took the deck off, and it looked to me like the problem might actually be that the pulley brakes were not releasing when I engaged the PTO. The PTO lever controls the pulley brake pads from a cable that links to the lever. The shafts on the brake pad axles seemed to wobble, which seemed to be preventing them from disengaging. Here is an image of the deck.
https://www5.vetmed.auburn.edu/~bran...abeled_800.jpg
When I tried pulling the cable, the shafts wobbled, and did not retract the brake pads. As a test, I removed the pulley brake assembly, which is illustrated here.
https://www5.vetmed.auburn.edu/~bran...G_5616_800.jpg
Now the blades engage just fine.

Question: How bad an idea would it be to just leave the brake pad assembly off? The shafts seem to have a lot of wobble, and it doesn't look like there is any adjustment. I guess this is what the original mechanic meant when he said it was a "throw-away" mower and was not worth repairing. If he had been a little more diplomatic, maybe I would have bought that $10,000 Grasshopper from him. Instead, I bought a Gizmow 61" ZTR, but I still need the old 42" mower for trimming in between some new shrubs I planted this year.
 
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