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Discussion Starter #21
Finished up getting the mower deck height lever working again. Made a new pivot pin for it, welded it in place, replaced the grease nipple, and modified a bushing I bought yesterday to have the right ID (it was 3/4", and it needed to be 7/8").
IMG_1394.jpg
IMG_1391.jpg

The lever now easily and smoothly goes through the full range, whereas previously, I needed to use a hammer to move it.

I also started on making a fitting for the engine oil drain, so I can attach a hose to it so oil changes will be a little cleaner (vs removing a plug and just letting it run all over the frame, which seems to be Husqvarna's idea for an oil change)... This is thread attempt #2, as #1 was dimensionally correct, but was left-hand thread...doh.
IMG_1390.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Almost finished up making my oil drain plug (20mm coarse thread into the block, with a O-ring seal, to a 3/4" barb, for a short hose with another barbed port, with a cap that is removed to drain the oil from the engine. It's a ridiculously large size for the engine (a Kawasaki FH541V), I think I'll need a 1" wrench and maybe a 1.25" wrench to get the cap off.

Top item is the original plug for the engine, middle is my custom-made part, bottom is the output "port" that gets capped.

Still have to use my grinder to put some flat parts on the round section of it, so it can be tightened with a wrench.
IMG_1395.jpg

I also pressure-washed the Husqvarna frame and engine, now it's going to the side while I wait for some parts for it. In the meantime, I'll reshingle the garage roof and change my other large walk-behind mower to a blower powered by a deck pulley instead of the current one which is powered by a separate gas engine (as part of a grass catching system I added to it a couple of years ago). It'll cut down on the mowers weight, and the engine doesn't seem happy with the rebuild I did on it last year.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Got sidetracked on this project for awhile. The engine was leaking, and I had thought it was the main crankshaft seal on the bottom, bought a new one, replaced it, reinstalled the engine and found it was still leaking, and the leak was the seal for the governor shaft, bought a new one, replaced it, reinstalled the engine and found the engine would now wildly overrev, took a bunch of time to figure out that the governor plastic guide plate (that rotates with the cam, forcing some metals balls to spin with it) had the pins going into the camshaft gear had broken off (likely one had broken off some time previously, the other just happened to fail now), so bought a new one, replaced it, reinstalled the engine, tried it out, still didn't work right, took it apart again to double check that everything moved freely, reinstalled engine, and finally, success, governor worked again, and the engine no longer leaked.

Also rebuilt both hydro controllers, as they would creep shortly after adjusting the rods so the wheels wouldn't rotate when the controls were locked. They seem much better now.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
And I just got an electric actuator installed (physically, still have to do the wiring for it). It's a bit of a rube-goldberg setup, as I'm not entirely sure of the range of motion I should use for raising the brush (as raising it too far may cause the belt driving the brush to stretch or possibly break if it's raised too far). I was also concerned with possibly damaging the actuator from something hitting it (such as a curb, or the edge of a trailer ramp). So, I made a setup that lets me adjust both ways using clevis joints on threaded rods.

Behold (note, it's upside down, the brush attaches to the bracket that the right side of the actuator is attached to):
IMG_1528.jpg

Now I need to work on the electrical wiring to test it out a bit. I think this will be pretty solid, the only bit I'm concerned about is the center rod holding everything together on the left side of the actuator. It's a 1/2" rod (limited by the side of the hole the actuator has), and most of the force of the actuator will be through the two threaded rods on each side of it (there's another rod on the other side of it), and the distanced between the threaded rods and the actuator may result in that center rod bending. But, that's something I'll deal with once I get it working and test it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Well, this is a good news/bad news post.

I installed the unit in the previous post to the Husqvarna, wired up a DPDT momentary switch to control it, and it does raise and lower the brush nicely, perhaps a bit slowly, but it's not terrible. No side of any bits bending, but it does have the ability to lift the brush too high (at least, I think it's likely too high for the belt to not break), so I'll have to watch it. Or maybe add a limit switch.

I did get a little too cute with how the actuator connects to the bracket that the brush mounts to (seen at the upper right corner in the pic of the above post). I made it so it's solid when the actuator is extending, but when retracting, it can give a little. But, while testing raising/lowering the brush, that "give a little" part didn't work quite right, and it resulted in the shiny silver part holding the actuator's rod being pushed away from the main body of the unit. Broke off the tab on each side, and it's slightly separated (held together with a clamp for no particular reason in the pic):
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The actuator still functions (yay), so I'll fill the two holes in the case with some rtv so water & dirt doesn't get in there, and make a clamp around the housing to hold it together, and see how that works. As well, I rejigged the mount so that particular problem can't happen again, but it also won't have that free play. Once everything is operational, I'll see how it works, and if I can leave it as-is, or if it's better to have that free-play in the setup and come up with another way to have it...
 
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