Bolens Rider Barely Cuts


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Old 10-23-19, 01:47 PM
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Bolens Rider Barely Cuts

I have a Bolens riding mower, 38 inch cut, about 10 years old. The machine has held up well up until about a month ago. The deck has 5 setting for blade cutting height. I usually mow at the 3rd highest setting but now the blades will not spin fast enough to mow effectively. It I raise the deck higher, no problem. I lowered the deck to second highest setting & I could actually see the blades turning. I'm not hearing any bearing or pulley noise from the deck. The belt looks fine. I power washed under the deck so there is no buildup underneath. I replaced the pto cable last summer. Anyone have an idea what's wrong here?
 
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Old 10-23-19, 02:48 PM
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Have you had the blades off for sharpening? If so make sure they were installed right side up.
 
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Old 10-23-19, 04:03 PM
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I agree with checking the blades, but at the same time I would suspect the belt. How old is it? Original? Some belts show their age, but some don't, so they look fine, but they stretch and the working edges become glazed, in which case they'll still turn the blades fine with no load and slip under load. Also check that the tensioners are free and functioning properly.
 
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Old 10-23-19, 04:39 PM
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Blades replaced summer 2018 as was the belt. Is there an adjustment for the belt/tensioners? When I lowered the deck to second lowest position I held a mirror to the cute & could see the blades were barely spinning. If I raise the deck they take right off.
 
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Old 10-23-19, 06:46 PM
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A little model guessing = that has an idler with a tension spring. Either the idler pivot may be corroded or damaged or the spring broken. Or something in the PTO cable's mount may have come loose.

What is the model number of the machine?
 
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Old 10-23-19, 09:03 PM
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I agree, usually this is because the idler pulley arm is not moving enough to tighten the belt. It's usually because the blade brake on the left side is rusted in place and won't move away from the blade pulley. If so, some penetrating oil and working it back and forth should loosen it up.
 
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Old 10-24-19, 03:22 PM
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The model no. is 13AM761F065. I just noticed that the lever for the PTO cable seems loose, it is in the off position right now. It's getting dark now so I can't investigate further. And thanks for the responses.
 
 

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