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Discussion Starter #1
My name's John and I live in Franklin, NY and this is my Honda 4518. Bought new in '91 and grass still shrivels in terror when I fire it up. I'm preparing to replace all the pullies and thought I'd check a tractor forum or three before I dove in naked.

The mower deck pullies look pretty straight forward but I'm not too sure about the PTO pully... I can't be sure the wife isn't gonna need a triple bypass when I tell her that the pulley alone is $325. I wish there were someway to regrind a pulley and put some kind of insert into it to restore it to OEM angle and depth...


Anyway, I've jawed long enough and I still need coffee. Adios and I'll be back in an hour or so!
 

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if you're only replacing pulleys because of the bearings, those are available locally - you can match em up at shops like Applied Industrial Supply (and others like Motion Industrial) - they all have branches in most major cities

chinese production sealed bearings generally run $5-7, Japanese production bearings about twice that

and the few pulleys that don't allow for the bearings to be easily pressed out or replaced, there are threads here folks posted where they drilled out the spot welds and either replaced the spot welds with small nuts & bolts, or like i did, with a new mini laser welder we had just gotten in

only caution i'd offer is that all of the pulleys i've encountered, whether on the engine (PTO) or on the deck, there's no heat treat, ie they are soft metal, so don't pry too hard

and welcome to the forum
 

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Discussion Starter #5
black88mx6 said:
Nice to see another 4518 owner. The sheet metal on yours looks good!
:thanku:

This tractor only sees water twice a year - once in the spring and once in the fall when it gets washed thoroughly followed by multiple coats of wax on anything with red paint on it - even the underside of the hood. After every mow, I blow the grass and dust off with my air compressor, making sure to get the crap off the top of the deck and out of the radiator - I've never had an issue with overheating. I change the oil and filter every spring and flush the cooling system every other year. I've never cracked open the tranny fluid (as per the dealer) and have yet to experience any of the problems I've heard about such as the surging trannies or bum carbs.

if you're only replacing pulleys because of the bearings, those are available locally - you can match em up at shops like Applied Industrial Supply (and others like Motion Industrial) - they all have branches in most major cities

chinese production sealed bearings generally run $5-7, Japanese production bearings about twice that

and the few pulleys that don't allow for the bearings to be easily pressed out or replaced, there are threads here folks posted where they drilled out the spot welds and either replaced the spot welds with small nuts & bolts, or like i did, with a new mini laser welder we had just gotten in

only caution i'd offer is that all of the pulleys i've encountered, whether on the engine (PTO) or on the deck, there's no heat treat, ie they are soft metal, so don't pry too hard

and welcome to the forum
Nah, I'm replacing the pullies due to the excessive amount of wear they have. They're supposed to be V-pullies but now look more like U-pullies. The guy at Pro-Power in Oklahoma City told me that with 19 years of wear, this shouldn't come as a surprise. I replaced the original PTO belt after 17 years, and the replacement belt snapped in less than two years. I called Pro-Power to complain about the replacement belt and he told me that he'd be happy to sell me another one, but that I'd be calling him in another couple of months for yet another belt. This is when he explained the pulley wear and when I felt my pullies, I could actually feel the "dip" in the pulley where the belt rides. He said that a new V-belt in my old, worn, "U-pullies", was only making contact with about 15-20% of the pulley and wearing the belt prematurely. Made sense to me so I'm puttin' down for the pullies unless any of you know of a way to recondition the old ones, hehe.

As reliable as this tractor has been, I see no issue with dropping almost $650 on the new pullies and two bearings I'm planning to purchase. I'm going to go ahead and buy the Japanese bearings because I flatly refuse to buy anything made in China unless there is no other choice. ****, if my dad hadn't given me this tractor, I'd be mowin' with an American-made tractor.
 

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haven't seen that pulley wear you describe, but that's just me -

and while i agree with you on going with japanese bearings, the honda bearing in two of the 3813s i've pulled down were chinese mfgr - but i suspect honda is closely QCing them. I wouldn't be surprised to find the japanese bearings actuall contain chinese components

and oddly enough, one of the american bearing mfgrs (forget which), our rep at Applied Industrial told me they're sourcing their bearings in china

a buddy of mine in major mfgring, has toured chinese, taiwanese, singapore & india fabrication shops over the past few years - india seems set to be the next "cheap" labor supplier

fwiw
 

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Discussion Starter #7
To be completely honest, I can only find the aforementioned wear on the small pullies under the radiator. There's a small amount of wear on the engine-side of the PTO drive pulley, but nothing I would consider to be substantial. The deck pullies don't appear to be too bad and considering the deck is still running the original belt, I don't think I'm going to change them either. What I may do is gently clean each pulley with a green scratch-pad to ensure I'm looking at metal (not old grass that's been caked on the pulley) and lay a straight edge on the belt mating surface of the pulley. That'll tell me whether or not I'm replacing pullies and which ones.

I hope I never have to replace the PTO drive pulley... at $324 plus all the junk ya gotta pull off the front of the motor, Ouch!
 

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before i'd drop $325 on a honda pto pulley, i'd look at adapting an electric pto assy -the shaft on the front side of the 3813 engine is 1.0006" (when i miked mine) which is a common shaft diameter for the US mfgr'd electric PTOs - i wouldn't be surprised to find the 4518 engine shaft is similiar, ie inch standard and not metric

i bought a set of PTO clutch disks or plates a couple of years ago (couldn't believe what i paid) anticipating mine going but now i'm wishing i had thought about adapting an aftermarket pto

mounting plate would probably need to be fabricated but that wouldn't be too diffficult

granted the honda parts seem to hold up, but ouch do they hurt the wallet when it's time to replace a few. But John Deere, and the others are no different on parts pricing.
 
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