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2001 Cub Cadet 3240 40th Anniversary Edition
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all...new to the group here. I recently bought a 2001 3240 40th anniversary edition tractor with about 450 hours on it. I've never owned a tractor with a PTO quite like this so I'm pretty new to how the vacuum actuated system functions.

When I bought the thing, the PTO engaged OK but the guy I bought it from had just gotten from a friend whose dad had passed, it had been in his garage. He just didn't get around to working through it more than getting it running. The deck fired up and I liked what I saw in the tractor so I went ahead and bought it.

That said, I'm now having issues with the belts. He "adjusted" something down there, he said and didn't even realize it was supposed to have two belts. So, I'm sure he didn't do it correctly and I initially just thought it was because his belt was dry and cracked. I bought the matched set of belts and after installing them, I mowed for about a half hour and they started smoking, on the verge of breaking when I quit to see what was going on. What I need is documentation or instructions on getting everything adjusted so I can determine if other parts will be needed. I called Cub Cadet and they gave me the service manual, parts manual and owners manual. None of which show me how to adjust this system properly or diagnose problems.

I really want this mower up and running by spring. The half hour of mowing I did get out of this was by far the best riding mower I've had (preferred it even to my zero turn) and the cut was beautiful with the roller kit, power steering and hydraulic 54" deck. So I'm willing to do quite a bit of restoration on this, but need to know how to get it at least functional.

Thanks for any advice that can be offered!
 

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@BeetleInTN put this thread in the stickies forum so it wasn't seen until I found it just now and moved it for him.

Bumping this up to see if anyone can help this fellow. I haven't messed with any 3000 series PTOs yet so don't know the system well.
 

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Ejl in Pa.
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Hi all...new to the group here. I recently bought a 2001 3240 40th anniversary edition tractor with about 450 hours on it. I've never owned a tractor with a PTO quite like this so I'm pretty new to how the vacuum actuated system functions.

When I bought the thing, the PTO engaged OK but the guy I bought it from had just gotten from a friend whose dad had passed, it had been in his garage. He just didn't get around to working through it more than getting it running. The deck fired up and I liked what I saw in the tractor so I went ahead and bought it.

That said, I'm now having issues with the belts. He "adjusted" something down there, he said and didn't even realize it was supposed to have two belts. So, I'm sure he didn't do it correctly and I initially just thought it was because his belt was dry and cracked. I bought the matched set of belts and after installing them, I mowed for about a half hour and they started smoking, on the verge of breaking when I quit to see what was going on. What I need is documentation or instructions on getting everything adjusted so I can determine if other parts will be needed. I called Cub Cadet and they gave me the service manual, parts manual and owners manual. None of which show me how to adjust this system properly or diagnose problems.

I really want this mower up and running by spring. The half hour of mowing I did get out of this was by far the best riding mower I've had (preferred it even to my zero turn) and the cut was beautiful with the roller kit, power steering and hydraulic 54" deck. So I'm willing to do quite a bit of restoration on this, but need to know how to get it at least functional.

Thanks for any advice that can be offered!
The old style PTO actuators had the ability to adjust the pull of the actuator for belt tension but the new style that is on a 3240 does not. I would suspect the PTO actuator is bad/weak and not putting enough tension on the belts. The dual lower belt pully could also be bent causing excessive belt wear. I included a link to why the new style actuators fail.

New style pto vacuum actuator
 

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2001 Cub Cadet 3240 40th Anniversary Edition
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The old style PTO actuators had the ability to adjust the pull of the actuator for belt tension but the new style that is on a 3240 does not. I would suspect the PTO actuator is bad/weak and not putting enough tension on the belts. The dual lower belt pully could also be bent causing excessive belt wear. I included a link to why the new style actuators fail.

New style pto vacuum actuator
Leave it to me to post in the wrong place...sorry about that.

So I ended up taking it to the Cub Cadet dealer because I didn't want to burn $60 sets of belts while I figured it out. They just called me back today and said everything looks good regarding the pulleys, actuator and all. They think it's the non-brand belts I used last, trying to not spend as much when they break. They got good reviews as working when I bought them but I guess it could be the culprit. They are going to replace them with Cub Cadet belts and see if that resolves the problem. I'm skeptical but we'll see.

I'll update this once I know one way or the other. They quoted me a week on ordering and replacing them. I appreciate the feedback!
 

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Leave it to me to post in the wrong place...sorry about that.

So I ended up taking it to the Cub Cadet dealer because I didn't want to burn $60 sets of belts while I figured it out. They just called me back today and said everything looks good regarding the pulleys, actuator and all. They think it's the non-brand belts I used last, trying to not spend as much when they break. They got good reviews as working when I bought them but I guess it could be the culprit. They are going to replace them with Cub Cadet belts and see if that resolves the problem. I'm skeptical but we'll see.

I'll update this once I know one way or the other. They quoted me a week on ordering and replacing them. I appreciate the feedback!
No worries man. I just wanted to get you some help. It's a miracle I even looked in there TBH. I hope this fixes it. If not EJL and Joel are gurus on the mowing side of 3000s. I know most of the rest of it but have never mowed with one.
 

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2001 Cub Cadet 3240 40th Anniversary Edition
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No worries man. I just wanted to get you some help. It's a miracle I even looked in there TBH. I hope this fixes it. If not EJL and Joel are gurus on the mowing side of 3000s. I know most of the rest of it but have never mowed with one.
Yeah, I really appreciate it. I'll have to go back and see how I did that in the first place so I don't repeat that mistake.

Hoping this is an easy fix but we'll see. Mowing on this was great. Definitely worth fixing if it doesn't cost me too much!
 

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Ejl in Pa.
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Leave it to me to post in the wrong place...sorry about that.

So I ended up taking it to the Cub Cadet dealer because I didn't want to burn $60 sets of belts while I figured it out. They just called me back today and said everything looks good regarding the pulleys, actuator and all. They think it's the non-brand belts I used last, trying to not spend as much when they break. They got good reviews as working when I bought them but I guess it could be the culprit. They are going to replace them with Cub Cadet belts and see if that resolves the problem. I'm skeptical but we'll see.

I'll update this once I know one way or the other. They quoted me a week on ordering and replacing them. I appreciate the feedback!
I hope the shop you took it to can get it fixed for you. The failed actuator in the link I posted would actually pull in the belt tensioner pulley quite a bit, but it was slow to do so and did not put enough tension on the belt to eliminate slippage and damaging the pto belts.
 

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2001 Cub Cadet 3240 40th Anniversary Edition
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I hope the shop you took it to can get it fixed for you. The failed actuator in the link I posted would actually pull in the belt tensioner pulley quite a bit, but it was slow to do so and did not put enough tension on the belt to eliminate slippage and damaging the pto belts.
Update: I picked it up from the shop a couple of weeks ago. They said it was just that I had put too short of belts on it. I went back and looked at what I ordered and they were non-Cub Cadet brand. I thought they were compatible but the length must really matter because I've mowed twice now and no burning, smoking etc yet. They say they just replaced the belts so hopefully that's the end of that problem.
I guess I thought they were the same or close enough because they got good reviews as a replacement and the length on these on the listing was 37 5/8"(37.625) and the Cub Cadet brand were 37.63". Not close enough apparently! Learned my lesson, pay the extra for genuine belts.

Had them do a full service on it while it was there and so far so good. Only issue left is the deck drops about an inch from what I set it to about halfway through my yard so I have to keep an eye on it. No fluid leaking that I can see. I guess I should have had the hydraulics serviced while it was in the shop. I have no idea where to even begin doing that myself. Anyway, thanks for the advice all!
 

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Does your deck height adjuster not work?
 

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2001 Cub Cadet 3240 40th Anniversary Edition
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, I'm not sure. What I mean is, the deck wheels are running along the ground but I set the height to 4 or 5 using the hydraulic control handle and after about 15 minutes, it's back down to 3. I'll admit I have only ever had a much simpler deck where there can be minor adjustments made with the hanging bolts and then you lift and lower using the spring assisted handle. Are you saying if I don't adjust something else, the deck is expected to not stay at 4 if I set it there using the hydraulic lift handle? I need to lock it down with the deck adjuster knob?
 

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Ejl in Pa.
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Well, I'm not sure. What I mean is, the deck wheels are running along the ground but I set the height to 4 or 5 using the hydraulic control handle and after about 15 minutes, it's back down to 3. I'll admit I have only ever had a much simpler deck where there can be minor adjustments made with the hanging bolts and then you lift and lower using the spring assisted handle. Are you saying if I don't adjust something else, the deck is expected to not stay at 4 if I set it there using the hydraulic lift handle? I need to lock it down with the deck adjuster knob?
There are numbers stamped in the metal for the adjustment of your front casters as well the striping rollers. Adjust those to the setting you want to see on your height gauge.
 

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2001 Cub Cadet 3240 40th Anniversary Edition
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
There are numbers stamped in the metal for the adjustment of your front casters as well the striping rollers. Adjust those to the setting you want to see on your height gauge.
I'll go check it out. Thanks! The shop I took it to said they adjusted/leveled the deck and sharpened the blades as part of the service. I did notice before I took it to them, 5 was the highest number it would go to when I would raise it up. Now it goes to 6 so they did something, I just need to learn about this deck if it's an adjustment thing and not an issue with the hydraulics. That would be great! I've been dreading how much a hydraulic problem might cost...
 

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You need to adjust the deck height limit stop knob so that it can't go any lower than your desired setting.
 

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2001 Cub Cadet 3240 40th Anniversary Edition
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You need to adjust the deck height limit stop knob so that it can't go any lower than your desired setting.
I see. I had the operator's manual sent to me by Cub Cadet but it doesn't have a lot of details on this process that I can find. Just the sticker has some info. If I'm understanding this correctly, I raise the deck all the way up, then turn the adjustment knob to the lowest I want it to go? Or highest? Then move the wheels so they are at my lowest? I appreciate the help! I don't want to mess up my deck.
 

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The height adjustment will prevent it from going any lower than the desired setting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I went out today to try to set the height adjustment. I raised the deck up all the way and it shows most of the number 5, but not 6 like the decal next to the knob says to do. Another problem is that once it's up there, I can't turn the height adjustment knob. I have tried turning it using quite a bit of pressure, but didn't want to go overboard in case I'm doing something wrong, or something else is out of alignment and I do some damage.

I have the 54" deck. I can see the stamped numbers on the front wheels and it's currently set to 1. I want my lowest setting to be 4", because that's as short as I want my grass. Any ideas what I can do to get this thing adjusted? Do I need to remove the deck and possibly lubricate or check some things?
 

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I went out today to try to set the height adjustment. I raised the deck up all the way and it shows most of the number 5, but not 6 like the decal next to the knob says to do. Another problem is that once it's up there, I can't turn the height adjustment knob. I have tried turning it using quite a bit of pressure, but didn't want to go overboard in case I'm doing something wrong, or something else is out of alignment and I do some damage.

I have the 54" deck. I can see the stamped numbers on the front wheels and it's currently set to 1. I want my lowest setting to be 4", because that's as short as I want my grass. Any ideas what I can do to get this thing adjusted? Do I need to remove the deck and possibly lubricate or check some things?
IMO, with a 54" deck (has rollers on the rear) you want to have the deck riding on the deck wheels/rollers, ALL of the time while mowing. I only use the decks with rear rollers and on several of my tractors I have removed the height adjustment mechanism in the floor pan.

Put the mower on a flat surface (does not need to be attached to tractor) and set the front wheels where you want the height to be and then adjust the rear rollers so that the rear of the deck is slightly higher than the front.

Set the height adjuster so that it allows the deck to easily drop to where nothing is holding up except for the deck wheels and rollers.

There is tension on the adj. mechanism at certain points(and it may be binding due to corrosion or damage) but if undamaged/unbound you should be able to find a sweet spot for doing the adjustment by playing with the lift lever while the tractor is running.
 
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