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Hello there,
I have a Yard Machine MTD 700 series lawn tractor; I was mowing with it yesterday, and after 2 spins around the yard it just stopped dead. I had just gone into a little depression in the yard and thought maybe it was stuck, but nope, it will not go anywhere in forward or reverse. I also found a small silver disc (about 4" across) on the ground. So I took out the battery and looked at the drive belts and it looks like my VSP came apart. Do these things usually break like this? I'd like to try and fix it, I've only had the machine about 4 years and have done some work on it. Would like to keep it a few more years.
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It shouldn't be hard to find parts to fix it, There are a few different configurations for those and I don't know if the VSP parts are the same. The VSP on my Yardman mounts on the back of the axle and is mounted with one bolt.
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Cannon
 

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I assume this is the newer 700 seires. On older models I know a c-clip held the VSP down. I don't know if the clip failed if the pulley could then separate. I'd have to check the one on my bench.
 

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Hello there,
I have a Yard Machine MTD 700 series lawn tractor; I was mowing with it yesterday, and after 2 spins around the yard it just stopped dead. I had just gone into a little depression in the yard and thought maybe it was stuck, but nope, it will not go anywhere in forward or reverse. I also found a small silver disc (about 4" across) on the ground. So I took out the battery and looked at the drive belts and it looks like my VSP came apart. Do these things usually break like this? I'd like to try and fix it, I've only had the machine about 4 years and have done some work on it. Would like to keep it a few more years.
View attachment 2523230

Hello there,
I have a Yard Machine MTD 700 series lawn tractor; I was mowing with it yesterday, and after 2 spins around the yard it just stopped dead. I had just gone into a little depression in the yard and thought maybe it was stuck, but nope, it will not go anywhere in forward or reverse. I also found a small silver disc (about 4" across) on the ground. So I took out the battery and looked at the drive belts and it looks like my VSP came apart. Do these things usually break like this? I'd like to try and fix it, I've only had the machine about 4 years and have done some work on it. Would like to keep it a few more years.
View attachment 2523230
As much as we love our MTD's, they can come up with some strange ways to break :).

Until now with your pictures, I've never seen a VSP fail like that. But, I can see how it could happen. The VSP has that 'floating' disk in the middle, and one of the 'fixed' disks is welded onto the assembly. It appears the weld failed on the upper disk of yours.

Primary suspect cause is heat, and primary suspect cause of that heat is lack of lubrication. The VSP is one of those parts that often gets overlooked on maintenance. Consider, it sits down in the belly of the mower, out of sight. It spins at nearly engine speed, and carries the load of the drivetrain. It spins on its shaft via a pair of roller bearings. It is a Good Idea to open up the tractor's belly, and periodically grease these bearings at regular intervals, such as when doing an oil change.

Another problem is, the VSP's location makes it vulnerable to rainwater that can come in thru the shift lever slot, if your tractor sits outside and gets rained on. So, your VSP there in the picture is toast. As others have posted, the VSP is not too expensive or hard to find. I always kept a couple of them on hand as spares back when I was mowing commercially with my MTD (shown in the avatar).

The VSP is held in place by that little "C" clip. Ease that off (don't loose it :), lift up the VSP just a little, and the bearings can be lubed with regular axle grease. If your VSP failed due to heat, you might wan to examine the shaft too.

When replacing the VSP, this aksi might be good time to consider replacing the drive belts too, if they look worn. After all, you'll be 'in that area', so to speak.

Post back and tell us how it went. Good mowing to you.

James
 
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