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Discussion Starter #1
I have a JD 14SB that needs some work, but I'm not sure I want to keep pouring money into an old mower even though it is a great one.

The drive belt broke at the end of last year. I picked up a new belt, tune up kit and new mulch blade over the winter for ~$50. This Spring I changed the oil, air filter and spark plug but didn’t feel comfortable disassembling the BBC to install the drive belt. I was thinking this would be around $40 so I was shocked when the bill came to $100. 2-weeks later I changed gears and bam the self propelled stop working. Fortunately a week or two later I jiggled the shifter and it must have nudged it into 3rd gear which is where it remains today. It’s probably a fairly easy shift cable fix, but I haven’t had time to address it.

This past week I was mowing and I heard a clank and I thought I saw a spark and then the mower started making a lot of noise. I let go of the handle and the BBC did not kick in. I shut the mower down since it was making a lot of noise. I just called a JD dealer and just a rough phone estimate is ~$200 ($90 parts + labor & shop fees). I don’t think I want to keep sinking money into this old mower. I can just see me getting this done and then then next year it’ll need a rebuilt carb or something else. Plus the expense of the shift cable which I could probably tackle myself, although I have a 15 month old son and a little girl due the day after Thanksgiving so my time is limited. My skills/knowledge is somewhat limited too although if I bought a decent repair manual I think I could get through some things.

So would you recommend putting ~$200 more into this old machine or put it towards a new one? I’m leaning heavily towards a new one, but I hate to just let this one go. If I kept it I may not get around to repairing it for many months or even a year or two.

I’m thinking of taking the $200 and putting that towards a new mower. I’ve been reading up on a new Toro Super Recycler- 20099 w/ the Kohler engine for ~$530. The wife may have a conniption about me spending that much on a push mower so I may just pick up the standard Toro Recycler 20032 for $350.

I’ve thought of trying to sell this on Craig’s list, but I’m not sure what the value is since it needs to be repaired. I do have the original bag, the plug for mulching and a brand new mulching blade still in the cardboard.
What are your thoughts?

I'm near Baltimore, MD if anyone is interested in the mower please let me know.

Thanks,
-T
 

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do you have i pick of it ..I have 2 deer self propelled mowers at the shop one its toast not much that is any good other then cables the other is a parts mower it has a 6.5 intek on it
 

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If it was me, I'd try and replace the parts myself and keep the JD. That keeps the price a lot more affordable. If you decide to tackle it yourself and get stuck, take some pics and post'em along with your question(s) as there are lots of knowledgeable peeps on this form.

Plan B for me would to keep an eye out on CL for a quality used mower. I'd rather pay top dollar for a quality used mower than virtually anything new. Of course this won't work if you have to have something now......
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sorry, are you asking for parts? The mower was running pretty good before this so if I decide to buy new I'd prefer to find someone that would fix and use this one.
Thx.
-T
 

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you dont have to dissasenble the bbc to change the belt. just remove a spring and the belt slips past everything else. you still have to remove the engine tho.
 

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you will be very dissapointed in the quality of todays home owner mowers. yours is the very best and you should be quite spoiled by now. the shift cable is easy to change or you can set the trans in your fav gear by hand and just leave it. i have done everything there is to do on these except go inside the trans and replace the bbc. these are no harder than anyother mower to service. i cant image being with out one of these marvels of desighn after owning one (have 7 now)
 

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Sorry, are you asking for parts? The mower was running pretty good before this so if I decide to buy new I'd prefer to find someone that would fix and use this one.
Thx.
-T
Post some pics of it....I go by Baltimore alot. I may be interested if she is in good shape and the price is right. I have had the BBC off and replaced the drive belts and BBcs on the 14SB and JX75.

You can get the entire replacement BBC unit from EBay for a little over $100.

I am with Dan on this...new mowers are ridiculously cheaply made.
 

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you will be very dissapointed in the quality of todays home owner mowers. yours is the very best and you should be quite spoiled by now. the shift cable is easy to change or you can set the trans in your fav gear by hand and just leave it. i have done everything there is to do on these except go inside the trans and replace the bbc. these are no harder than anyother mower to service. i cant image being with out one of these marvels of desighn after owning one (have 7 now)
I've been all through the trans and several BBC's. The JD is the easiest BBC to replace bar none!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the replies. I wanted to reply sooner, but work is really busy right now! I was 90% sure I was going to go get the Toro this weekend, but now you are all compelling me rethink things. Due to my limited time I may still pick up the Toro, and decide what to do with this later.

I’m glad to hear the JD has the easiest bbc to replace. For removing the BBC- How do I get the big spring off? That was my issue on installing the drive belt. I was a little scared of all the potential energy in that spring. I think the shop said they just used a huge screw driver and pried it off. Seems a bit crude and uncontrolled. Is that the only/best way to do it?

Are there many different BBC’s for the SB14’s? I called JD to price one and they told me I need a number off the part. They said there are two brands and a total of 6 different BBC’s so they need the #. I looked at the part with a flashlight a couple nights ago, but didn't see any # on it.
I saw the one on Ebay, but how do I know it’ll fit my mower?

Would any of these #'s help determine which one I need?
- GX14SBF460803
- Family ID: SKA153U1G1RA
- OMM121572 H5


Does anyone know of a repair manual for SB14? I work much better with direction and diagrams to refer to. I would feel much more comfortable repairing/keeping the mower with a manual.

The mower was running good before the bbc froze up and started on the first pull almost every time- hot or cold. Since the mower is ~14 years old, what other issues might I run in to over the next 3-5 years? Unfortunately keeping an old mower just doesn't pay off if you can't do most of the work yourself. I'm just not sure I can do all the necessary repairs over the next few years with my limited skills. Who knows, maybe I'd replace the BBC and it'll run great for the next 5 years w/ just oil, air filter & plug changes.

Thanks again for the replies.
-T
 

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Why don't you just bring the mower to the dealership and the y could help you find the number.
 

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If I was going to buy new it would be a honda. The HRS216 would be my choice (come in self-propeled and non-self-propeled) and keep the John deere as a second mower for the wife or give it to one of your kids as their first mower after you fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Any recommendations on how to remove the spring on the JD BBC?

LawnboyDan- You read my mind! Just this morning I was thinking that. I was going to post and ask you guys if there was a way to just remove the BBC and continue to use the mower. If anyone knows, please share.

Chewy78- There are no JD dealerships near me. The closest one is 25+ miles away which is over a half our drive. I don't get over that way too much and spending a couple hours and $10 in gas just to order a part just doesn't seem right.

MTD- What do you think of the HRR216VKA? It seem comparable to the Toro Recycler. I’m leaning towards Super Recycler which is $100 more, but has an aluminum deck vs. steel, a beefier transmission and some other nice features. Anything specific you like the Hondo’s over Toros for?

-T
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok, I'm finally getting around to working on my mower. I removed the blade, spring, cable and large bolt stabilizing the BBC. What are my next steps to removing the BBC? Do I remove the allen bolt from the bottom of the mower- see pic? If so how? I tried and my allen wrench keeps popping out. I'm affraid I'm going to strip it if I keep trying. I priced allen sockets and they are $26 for a small set. I'm going to ask around and I hope to be able to borrow one from a neighbor.




I uploaded those pics to my album and the FAQ section spoke of posting them from there, but I can't find the "BB Code" that it spoke of. It never shows up below my pics like it says.

Thanks for any help you'all can provide.
-T
 

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Yes remove the allen key bolt and the BBC "should" drop off the crank. At this point since you've removed everything blade and bbc support you are gong to need an air gun to remove the allen bolt. You may have to tap and persuade the bbc unit once the bolt is out-but yes it should slide right off mine did on both my 14sb and JX75.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks GTP. I put the blade back on so I had something to hold on to. I tried loosening the hex bolt w/ an allen wrench, but it just spins. Is there any other way to get this off w/o an air gun?

Thx.
-T
 

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only the bolt spins?
there's no way your clutch is turning right?
trying to probe jd web page to see what the parts viewer shows, but thier pic viewer sucks
just tossing out acorns to see what might help.....
 

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Thanks GTP. I put the blade back on so I had something to hold on to. I tried loosening the hex bolt w/ an allen wrench, but it just spins. Is there any other way to get this off w/o an air gun?

Thx.
-T
Did you put the BBC bolt back it? The clutch isn't engaged so it's just free spinning the crank. You'll probably have to put that long bolt back in and engage the clutch (tie off the handle) this may work...if it was me, I'd pull the motor and go to a garage that has an air gun and gun it off.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ok. Thanks guys!

I'll try putting the bolt back in and engaging the BBC. I have a couple neighbors who may have an air gun so I'll try to hit them up this weekend too.

All this and I still need to get the part #'s off the BBC so I can order a new one. Hard to believe, but the JD parts store told me there are 6 different models and they need the part # so they can order the correct one for my mower.

Thx.
-T
 

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Ok. Thanks guys!

I'll try putting the bolt back in and engaging the BBC. I have a couple neighbors who may have an air gun so I'll try to hit them up this weekend too.

All this and I still need to get the part #'s off the BBC so I can order a new one. Hard to believe, but the JD parts store told me there are 6 different models and they need the part # so they can order the correct one for my mower.

Thx.
-T
After you get sticker shock from the JD dealer-get the part number and check ebay. Here are a few.

http://cgi.ebay.com/John-Deere-Blad...533?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item483c52cc55

http://cgi.ebay.com/John-Deere-Blad...689?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4152b35cf1

http://cgi.ebay.com/John-Deere-Blad...518?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4152d4cade

Once you replace the BBC it is well worth over the $100 in parts to get it running properly and will probably last you as long as you want to keep it.
 
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