Following up on my saga here. Good news and not so good... the techs here figured it was the drive belt which they replaced. They were able to fix/save my deck! Very reasonable price at just over $200 including pick up and delievery!
They delievered it Thursday and started up fine but no blades engaged. Turned out to the be the PTO cable coming loose in transport which they told me is common on JD's as they don't have a lock. They came out and fixed this quick and after over 2 weeks, I actually cut my grass!
All went well, went up the hills much better, even tried when finished to test and was good. This was Friday evening.
Sunday I was going to cut it again at the usual height as I had cut higher on Friday. Started up just fine and the blades would not engage!
I figured it was the cable and was going to see if I could attach it and soon saw my deck belt was off. I started putting it back on and found it somewhat chewed up.
I contacted the shop and they thought it would be a bad spindle or guide or something on the deck and not surprisingly, would need a new belt. Although as previously mentioned, I'm not exactly a mechanical genius but at least I can take the deck off and on and could replace the belt if I can determine what caused this. I would suppose my deck accident influenced it.
The shop said it would be at least 10 business days for them to look at/fix it and would prefer to have the tractor but could just bring in the deck, which I would if I take it back.
However, if you fine folks have any tips for me with what to look for that may have caused the belt to come off this way I'd appreciate it. After I cut the entire 1.1 acres, I simply had parked the tractor and just started it up and backed it out of the shed and tried to engage the PTO.
I'm also thinking maybe I should still see if I can trade this in while I can...or milk it out...
thanks again everyone 🙂
"My other car is a tractor!"