My Tractor Forum banner

21 - 27 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
In regards to the right width on the belt, I'm not sure where the old owner got the belt he said he put on it last year, but I'm wondering if it wasn't an actual John Deere part. The one I picked up from the dealer today was gray in color... almost white, and looked like it was made out of a different compound than the belt that's on it now, which is straight black.
That could be the problem. Manufacturers tend to use unique width and length belts. The belt you have may just be too loose. I've seen this first hand many times, the shorter the belt the more likely it will be to cause trouble if a "premium" belt or generic is used. Generics are usually exactly as the originals they replace though. The word "premium" is misleading, when describing belts it means cheap. :tango_face_wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
642 Posts
I bought a new belt and new spring today but won't have the time to install them for a few more days, possibly until the weekend. I'm hoping that takes care of it... there are only so many things that can go wrong on a deck and I've worked through nearly all of them.

In regards to the right width on the belt, I'm not sure where the old owner got the belt he said he put on it last year, but I'm wondering if it wasn't an actual John Deere part. The one I picked up from the dealer today was gray in color... almost white, and looked like it was made out of a different compound than the belt that's on it now, which is straight black. I guess a year of use can turn a white belt black, but after hearing mention of a belt of the wrong width being the possible cause, I'm hanging my hat on that for the time being.

I hope it solves the problem. I'm at 300 bucks on parts for this deck already. That new belt was nearly 90 dollars!
Deere belts are expensive but the consensus on this forum seems to be that they are well worth the money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #23
Well, I put the new belt and spring on today. I was feeling pretty good about it when I put the new parts on because the tension was obviously increased and the belt was more difficult to put on than the old one had been, so I was confident, although a little upset after all the expensive parts that didn't work, that this would be the fix...

I was greatly upset when the problem didn't go away. I shrugged my shoulders and just mowed with it anyway, figuring this vibration was just an inherent quirk of the particular tractor I had.

Twenty minutes later the blades fluttered in and out of engagement and an entirely new and awful sounding racket started up. I shut the blades off and got my wife to sit on it so I could take a look at the deck when she engaged the blades. The noise it made when she did it was still worse than the noise it made just a few minutes earlier for me.

It's on the trailer going to the dealer in the morning. I'm done with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #24
As much as I wanted to so many times already, I just couldn't give up. I figured I'd take a last look before it went to the shop... I don't really have the time for all of this, but I'm tenacious enough to hate to admit defeat.

The arm that has the primary pulley and the secondary pulley had a bolt and nut in it that was loose I suppose. I had pulled the whole assembly off and spun those pulleys last week and there was no wobble nor was there any noise, so I'm still confused as to how the cause of this problem could not have been as obvious as it seems it should have been from the photos I have included in this post. As best as I could tell they were spinning the way they should when I looked at them a week ago and I saw no reason to take the assembly apart any further.

As you can tell from the photos, just a little bit of wiggle between one pulley and the bolt was enough to cause all sorts of havoc. The hole where the pulley mounted to the bolt was widened and boogered-up, and the bolt was worn through past the threads and into the shaft. I swapped all the parts that were worn out and everything sounds and feels smooth.

The guy at the dealer took pity on me and cut me some slack on the parts, but still, it was over $160 to fix what was wrong.

Around $400 total... I'm choosing to look at it in the sense that some of the things I replaced were common wear items that would eventually need to be replaced anyway, and, if I hammer the bearings out of the spindle assembly I took off the deck, spend a few bucks for some new bearings, install the housing with the new bearings and repeat the process one more time, I'll essentially have a brand-new deck, at least mechanically speaking.

Man, I'm glad to be done with this.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
A friend of mine got a piece of stick/limb stuck inside of one of his pulley's and it took him a while to figure it out. The piece was ~ 1 inch long and about as big around as a little finger. It caused an amazing amount of vibration. What's crazy was, that the mower was a brand new JD zero-turn, and it happened on his first pass around his yard. Hasn't happened since.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
642 Posts
Looks like a hack job repair due to a failed bearing by the PO.

If you didn't, I would put thread locker and be sure to properly torque that bolt to prevent future issues.

To your point, you now effectively have a completely rebuilt deck that should be trouble-free for years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
919 Posts
BELTS: Everyone likes to save a penny, but, if you buying a wrong part, you're not saving!

John Deere belts are different from pretty much every other belt available. JD uses belts and pulleys with a 32º angle and most belts are 39º-40º. Installing "cheaper belts" means the belt is contacting the top of the pulley ONLY. Eventually...or maybe a month or so... the top wears and the belt runs a little lower in the pulley. The belt then wears more, rides lower yet in the pulley and may even look "loose".

You buy the correct mower blades, the correct spark plugs, the correct oil, so why not buy the CORRECT belt with the CORRECT physical dimensions? The $20 or $30 dollars you save and then replace the belt after a year or 2 just isn't worth it!

I bought a used tractor with a used deck... no idea how looong it was used. That was 5 years ago and the same John Deere belt is still on the deck and performing fine...I KNOW it's John Deere cuz it's marked, "JOHN DEERE M41668"! Bob
 
21 - 27 of 27 Posts
Top