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Old 06-01-2013, 10:29 PM   post #1 of 21
littletractorguy
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Default Argh! Blade changing woes on z425...

So today Kidlet #2 and I went out to give my dad a hand with his EZTrak Z425... Last season, one of his workers skimmed a cindercrete block with the center mower blade, and for some strange reason it hasn't mowed right since then... Leaves a strip of poor cut around the centre of the deck... MIGHT have something to do with THIS:





(I DID check the center spindle last season for any damage/out-of-alignment, it was fine... They were LUCKY!)

So our job today was to change out the three blades (might as well do all three, since they're only $18 a piece). Nothing says father-daughter togetherness like a JD zero-turn!

So got out there, FINALLY located my dad's 1/2 drive sockets, popped the 3/4" on the impact wrench... geez, it doesn't fit.. Too loose... So it must be 11/16, right? Nooooooo.... So I went through his entire bin-o-random sockets (metric and imperial) and tried every one I could find... The only size I COULDN'T find was 18mm... Couldn't find a socket, nor could I find an 18mm box end.

Guess what size the interweb tells me those bolts are!

If you said 18mm, you win a PRIZE!

So... is 18mm some oddball size that it doesn't get included in any of the socket sets I've got access to? I've even checked online, and all the sets I've seen skip from 17mm to 19mm! ARRGH!

(I finally broke down and used the 3/4", but now I figure I'll need to buy replacement bolts AND an 18mm impact socket... Cuz all three have nice rounded edges now).

Last edited by littletractorguy; 06-01-2013 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 06-01-2013, 10:36 PM   post #2 of 21
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Default Re: Argh! Blade changing woes on z425...

LTG...you have Princess Auto up there right? (Regina and Saskatoon)
http://www.princessauto.com/pal/en/I...cket/3410944.p
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Old 06-01-2013, 10:48 PM   post #3 of 21
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Default Re: Argh! Blade changing woes on z425...

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Originally Posted by Harryc View Post
LTG...you have Princess Auto up there right? (Regina and Saskatoon)
http://www.princessauto.com/pal/en/I...cket/3410944.p
Cheap enough price and the deck maybe Canadian!LOL
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Old 06-01-2013, 10:53 PM   post #4 of 21
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Default Re: Argh! Blade changing woes on z425...

Of course, the woes didn't stop there... We got the deck all back on and hooked up, but I was in a rush to get mowing and didn't TASTE the gas in the gas can before pouring it in... Filled the tank right up, then it occurred to me, I'd never checked with my dad WHICH of his 7 different RED gas cans I should use... Smelled the tank... Hmmmmmmmmmmm... NOT that nice tangy gas-like smell I'm used to...

Some of you may remember my experiences LAST summer when I grabbed a random red gas can and wound up hiking all the way back to civilization to get a siphon and the can when the z425 decided it didn't like diesel so much...

I thought he said he was gonna start putting his diesel in those YELLOW cans he's got! At least I or Kidlet didn't get out into the middle of nowhere and find this out. So, JUST to be sure, we hiked to the gas station, filled an empty can, and LABELLED it...

Off we went to mow... ONCE we got it started (the battery froze over the winter apparently, so my dad left his booster for us to use)... Checked Kidlet #2 out on zero-turning (it isn't really that hard!) and took her out to the starter-pasture for some supervised mowing... She mowed a swath up and back, then, as I watched, she shut down the PTO and-

SWISH-off came the mower belt!

CRUD! By the time I got over there I could see the shreds of belt hanging off the mower... In too much of a rush to get the mower back on, I never checked our belt routing. I was loosening the idler pulley while Kidlet #2 was putting the belt around the PTO. Neither of us noticed the belt was routed UNDER a crossframe piece instead of OVER it...

Guess I pick up a new belt on Monday when I go get the 18mm socket and replacement bolts... Anybody know what the serial number range of the Briggs and Stratton-powered Z425 is? I notice that they have two belts listed, one for pre 100,000, one for post-100,000... I'm thinking post-100,000.
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Old 06-01-2013, 10:58 PM   post #5 of 21
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Default Re: Argh! Blade changing woes on z425...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harryc View Post
LTG...you have Princess Auto up there right? (Regina and Saskatoon)
http://www.princessauto.com/pal/en/I...cket/3410944.p
Is on my list to get to tomorrow... I just don't understand why 18 wouldn't just be IN any set you buy... Like all the sets I've bought or my dad has...


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Cheap enough price and the deck maybe Canadian!LOL
Apparently, its "international" phooey! None of OUR lumberjacks use 18mm ANYTHING!
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:02 AM   post #6 of 21
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Default Re: Argh! Blade changing woes on z425...

Lots of socket sets skip 18mm to keep the set cost down.


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Old 06-03-2013, 09:32 PM   post #7 of 21
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Default Re: Argh! Blade changing woes on z425...

I had to buy an 18 MM socket to work on my car since the socket sets I got for Christmas eons ago did not come with one. I share in your frustration!
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:49 PM   post #8 of 21
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Default Re: Argh! Blade changing woes on z425...

Good to know about the 18MM socket! If my set doesn't have one i'll have to buy it. The Z425 is a great mower! Hopefully I get many years out of it. Thanks littletractorguy!
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:30 PM   post #9 of 21
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Default Re: Argh! Blade changing woes on z425...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harryc View Post
LTG...you have Princess Auto up there right? (Regina and Saskatoon)
http://www.princessauto.com/pal/en/I...cket/3410944.p
Quote:
Originally Posted by SonnyT View Post
Cheap enough price and the deck maybe Canadian!LOL
Well, funny story about that, you two... Well, actually, its kind of a sucky story... So I went out yesterday on a quest for an 18mm 1/2" drive impact socket... Stopped at Peavy Mart hardware... Nada. So, I went to Princess Auto. Well their impact sockets weren't WITH their regular sockets so I wandered over to air tools... And the helpful guy said

"Sure, they're right over here! Did you want a set or a single?" I said

" I want an 18mm 1/2" drive single socket.". HE said... " Ohhh... I don't think we SELL those in singles, you'll have to buy a set".

I said, "Your website says you sell singles, I don't want to pay big dollars to buy all those other sizes I don't want, and I didn't FIND the 18mm in any of the sets on your website".

"Oh, well, we don't HAVE any single 18mm sockets."

"You got a web browser on that computer over there?"

"Sure..."

And there it was, large as life, on their web site, for $2.99...

"Oh.." he says, "let me check our inventory".

click, click click...

"Ya, that socket was discontinued in February. We don't have any. They have some in Lethbridge, did you want me to get them to ship you one?"

"WHAT?!? WHY is it still on your website then, saying its in stock?"

"Well, funny thing with our website, until the inventory is gone across country, stuff stays up there. When did you need it by?"

"Yesterday, at 1:00. Never mind, I'll go find one somewhere else."

So, after an abortive trip to Costco, we stopped at Canadian Tire, and I found their LAST 1/2" drive 18mm socket.... 9 bux and change.
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:48 PM   post #10 of 21
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Default Re: Argh! Blade changing woes on z425...

So TODAY, I went back out to replace the belt on the z425...



$93 later, I have a spiffy new belt to stick on... Its the one on the right.



I have to say, I REALLY like the little "speed clips" on the mount points..



AND how the front draft bar works... That's very slick.



So, here's the newly routed belt...



Took me a bit longer to get things adjusted right (after I replaced the battery so that I could start it up and test). First thing I learned is that they aren't kidding in the manual about making sure that the belt guide "C" (that gold thingy in upper right of the deck) is properly lined up... Mowed one stripe, smelled burning belt, found a bunch of belt bits piled up on that guide. It must vibrate some, because at first glance it looked like it was passing through... Back out to mow some more, STILL smell burning belt... Hmmm Back to the gate, check the guide, it seems clean... Check/adjust the other belt guide to make sure its sitting in the indented hole.. Yup (after 20 minutes of futzing)... One more run, STILL belt burning smell... NOT good... I can see $93 going up in smoke, so back to the gate, REALLY carefully look things over... Hmm... belt seems AWFULLY close to the idler tensioner spring... In fact, there's a shiny spot on it... AND a burnt stripe on the underside of the belt! DOH! SOMETHING must be out of alignment... Pull the belt off the PTO, practice wedging my socket extension in between the idler arm and the center spindle pulley (as per the advice in the manual) to relieve the belt tension so I can take it off and put it on the pto... Pull off both belt guards, again... flip the spring the other way around... Can't see ANYTHING out of alignment... But its still too close to the spring. Well WTH... Its like the deck is coming up too high or something... So, I go and look at the deck height adjust lever to see if something is wonky-WAITAMINIT... Its not resting on the big deck height pin (which we always leave at 4", because we're mowing pastures), its above it... I'd left it in the transport position!... Drop it down to the 4" pin, take it for a spin, it mows like a dream!

Oh, and I used my new 18mm socket and my clicky torque wrench to make sure my spiffy new blades were torqued to 50 foot-pounds... It may be a metric socket, but I can't think in newtons per centimeter...
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:02 AM   post #11 of 21
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Default Re: Argh! Blade changing woes on z425...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Displaced Hokie View Post
Lots of socket sets skip 18mm to keep the set cost down.


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While we're on the subject, go look in your Allen wrench collection for that 7mm hex that you need to change the rear brakes on my old VW. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Nope, not included in all but the largest sets!
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:07 AM   post #12 of 21
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Default Re: Argh! Blade changing woes on z425...

Don't you love how those small tasks turn into huge jobs and how what you think are simple tools dont exisit!

Glad you got it going again
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:10 AM   post #13 of 21
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Default Re: Argh! Blade changing woes on z425...

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Originally Posted by moondawg View Post
While we're on the subject, go look in your Allen wrench collection for that 7mm hex that you need to change the rear brakes on my old VW. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Nope, not included in all but the largest sets!
Da** you. You know I had to get off my a** go out to the shop and look and yep your right.
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:12 AM   post #14 of 21
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Default Re: Argh! Blade changing woes on z425...

And apparently now I have to go buy an 18mm socket because there is a worldwide shortage
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:15 AM   post #15 of 21
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Default Re: Argh! Blade changing woes on z425...

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And apparently now I have to go buy an 18mm socket because there is a worldwide shortage
Once that z425 is no more, I'll be auctioning MY 18mm off on eBay... If you can wait 10, 15 years, I'll let you have it for a reasonable Buy-It-Now price!

(seriously, I'm keeping that 18mm socket at MY house, 'cuz I KNOW if I let my dad have it, we'll be lost next season when I go to change the blades)
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