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216 Randomly slows down.

4642 Views 52 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  HeyYou
JD 216, belt drive system. All belts are new. Variator spring has been adjusted to just about max tension. But, randomly, the tractor will just slow down to a crawl. Nothing changes, the ground is flat.... grass is the same height, I don't touch anything.... it just slows down. It will run slow for anywhere from six to fifty feet, and then it will speed back up to what I actually WANT to go.

Any ideas why it does that?
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The variator spring could be tightened all the way, but the spring itself might just be stretching due to age.
No clue how much pressure it is supposed to exert.... no way to measure it either. It seems, that if I pull up on the clutch pedal hard enough, usually, it will go back up to speed, and be fine again for a bit...... motor seems to have increased load when I try that though... no idea what thats all about.

Would a failing deck bearing cause it to do that?

It almost seems cyclical.... go for a couple hundred yards, slows down to a crawl.... on my last round of mowing, it would starting slowing down again at almost the same spot each time, which was down hill......
Does it do it when the deck is disengaged?

My 112 was doing that. The culprit was a worn out primary drive belt.
Did you use JD belts?
The most important thing when you replace the belts is to...
Both belts are genuine JD belts.

I will have to test and see if it does it with the deck disengaged.... maybe tomorrow, if it doesn't rain.... :D
Sounds very weird. You're gonna have to look into that. Never heard anything happen with the drive system with the deck switched on, but not with the deck off.
I thought so too... it's rather annoying when trying to mow.....

My deck slows to a stop on occasion as well..... I suspect that is a bearing heating up though.
You most likely have adjusted but do it again,sounds like it is out of adjustment.
Variator? I can do that......
Yep Variator,been a looooong day for me.If the deck slows,the drive belt from the pto is too loose,thghten the "t" handle on the front,it has to be real tight.
I think it's actually the secondary belt on the deck...... the one that actually turns the blades. Drive belt is plenty tight, and the drive pulley is still turning. Both belts are fairly new.
You are probably right,either an idler OR new belt or both.
I have the same problem with my 214 i have to slide my foot under the clutch and pull up on it to make it go faster.
Any oil leaks? Could be something getting on a belt or a pulley.
Not really... belts are clean, and new. :)

Nothing is slipping, it just decides it wants to go slower for a while. Testing without deck running is going to have to wait though.... got a delivery to make.....
Ok, checked the deck, and there was indeed a bearing there that was toast. Mowing the lawn again today, the deck runs MUCH quieter.....

I tightened the variator spring as much as possible. (left just enough threads for the locknut on one side, and ran the other all the way down.) Readjusted as well. Everything seems to be where it should be, belts are new.. (both of them.) But, I still get the random slowdown. It seems distance related more than anything else. When it slows, is is pretty much in the same area in my rounds. The ground is flat, the grass isn't tall, there is no hill..... it isn't struggling at all. It just slows down..... Seems to be slowly bleeding off speed till it gets to a tipping point, that it just slows to a crawl. Sometimes, if I pull up hard on the clutch pedal, it will accelerate back to speed, and stay there for a while. Other times, I can pull as hard as I want, an it won't speed up at all..... let it run for another 10 or 20 feet, and then I can pull it up.

This is rather annoying.... especially when I am trying to beat a storm to get the lawn done. (I lost... yard ain't done, raining like monsoon season.... guess I am done for a while. :) )

Ideas? Thoughts?
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I think your sliding pulley is not sliding good?
If it was sticking though, it would tend to stay at the speed at managed to get to though, wouldn't it? At the moment, it will cruise along at the desired speed for several minutes, then, out of nowhere, slows to a crawl...... let it go for a minute or three, and it will usually speed right back up.

I just don't get it.........

Is there something I can lube the center sheave with? Service manual seems to think I shouldn't have to do that.......
I use lucas oil treatment and then clean it off with a rag AND you pulley may be worn to the extent it sticks just sometime,that thing is busy so it could need replacing.
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