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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
New here to MTF. Was looking for a place to share some thoughts, tips & tricks, & hopefully this is it. I'm not new to the world of lawn tractors, but I've been away from them for quite a while & it seems some things have changed a bit. I cut my teeth so to speak as a kid mowing my parents 3+ acres with a 60-something cub cadet with a 12 horse kohler & 42" deck that my dad got used & we ran for about 12 years or so before it was just worn out. that was 30 odd years ago & haven't really ridden or worked on one since. Now I've found myself in the position where my friend/neighbor has health problems that are preventing him from being able to run his very small lawn care business & so I've (temporarily, I hope) taken over for him for the time being & have been having to catch up on some maintainence & repairs on his equipment. Working on a very limited budget has forced me to think "outside the box" when making repairs/improvements on some of his stuff & if anyone is interested I'd be happy to share what I've done so far. The beast that has been getting most of my attention so far is a JD LA130 with 1300 hours on the clock & lots of neglect ( my neighbor isn't very mechanically inclined ) not to mention that it hadn't been run in 3 or 4 years 'till I got my hands on it. anyway I'll be posting as I go here so... so long for now
 

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:Welcome1: and enjoy the forum. Good to see another from IL. Where are you at? slkpk
 

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First welcome to the forum! Hopefully you'll get the help you seek for the "beast"! I was just thinking that at about 50 hours average home owner use annually (the crowd on here probably does way more than what's normal). Someone was working it well outside it's expected annual running time since they were introduced in 2001 (166 hrs per year!)
 

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First welcome to the forum! Hopefully you'll get the help you seek for the "beast"! I was just thinking that at about 50 hours average home owner use annually (the crowd on here probably does way more than what's normal). Someone was working it well outside it's expected annual running time since they were introduced in 2001 (166 hrs per year!)
worse than that, since it hasn't been running for 3-4 years.
 

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Welcome to the forum:MTF_wel:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
:Welcome1: and enjoy the forum. Good to see another from IL. Where are you at? slkpk
wunnerfull Wonder Lake !!!

Thanks all for the welcome !! as far as the 1300 hrs goes my neighbor was using it for his small lawn mowing business in the area & was averaging about 400 hrs per year. he's now undergoing extensive cancer treatment & cannot work, at least for the time being. We're hoping & praying he responds to the treatment so in the meantime I'm keeping his business alive in the hope that by this time next year he'll be healthy enough to go back to work. About 3 1/2 years ago the Deere was giving him trouble so his family bought him a new cub cadet that he's been using since then. He's lost a few accounts since the economy went into the toilet , so he's now only averaging about 200 hrs a year, so the cub cadet only has 700 hrs on it. So anyway, after he got the cub cadet his brother-in-law took the Deere home & rewired it & installed new front spindles. When Bob got sick I decided to see what else the Deere needed to get it back up & running so his "new" cub cadet wouldn't have to take the abuse this season.A new battery, an oil change, basic tune-up & some fresh gas got her up & running again & so I sharpened & balanced the blades & we were off to do some mowing.Then about a week ago one of the drag links let go, so when I was looking at the rest of the steering I noticed that the rest of the steering was in pretty sad shape so I started calling around for prices & checking availabilty on the parts. The guy at the local dealer quoted me prices that had me thinking that I had to find a way to repair as much as I could without replacing everything. I decided to cut the ends of the drag links off, drill & tap the ends & fitted them with some 3/8" ball joints I found at midwest control products for around 3 bucks a piece ,plus shipping & handling of course. So for about 25 bucks I now have refurbished adjustable drag links !! Then I moved on to the gears! The sector gear I made a little jig & with my hand grinder & a dremel tool I reground the teeth, which made the gear slightly smaller so then I had to shim it down away from the mounting plate to get it to mesh nicely with the pinion gear which wotked out very nicely as it now hits the pinion gear in an area that has no wear ! then , if you've ever looked at one of these gears you'll see that the gear has a couple little dimples where it rides on the mounting plate. Those were completely worn away & since the gear is shimmed down about 1/4" I had to come up with a way to stabilize the gear & keep it from rocking side to side. So next to where the dimples are I drillled & tapped for 5/16"" brass bolts. No more steel on steel !!!! Before these mods there were times when the steering would bind up to the point you needed 2 hands to steer it, now I can make most any turn with 2 FINGERS !! Total cost including a couple drill bits & taps, nuts, bolts, washers etc....about 60 bucks !!! Less than the $70 I was quoted for just the drag links !!! After putting that much time & effort into her I decided to see just what I could do with the mower deck which is a bit loud. I disassembled the blade spindles & added grease fittings. Pumping some grease into the little buggers sure quieted 'em down. I also made note of the manufacturer & part number that were stamped on the bearings & found I can order replacements from advance auto parts !! I was also able to track down the manufacturer & get a part number for a replacement bearing that has only one seal so it will accept grease easier. so in the fall I'm planning on replacing the bearings for a fraction of the cost of replacing the whole spindles ! Then I was looking at getting a dethatcher (as my lawn & a couple customers lawns could sure use a good dethatching ) when I ran across a power rake blade from arnold. They had a blade for my push mower, but nothing for the deere. They have one that uses real heavy plastic trimmer line for the "tines" . After taking some measurements off the blade for the push mower I got some .155 trimmer line & some 3/16" cobalt drill bits & went to work ! I figured since I had an extra set of blades for the deere I could afford to experiment. I now have a set of power rake blades for my push mower & the deere & they really work pretty well !!! Can't wait to see just how much it helps the lawn as it really is thin & ugly in areas.I just might have to get myself an aerator/drop spreader .One thing just keeps leading to another & another it seems, so I think I'm gonna have to find a way to leave it alone & "just say mow"!!! all for now, catch you all later
 

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Some bodies up in Mchenry County. Hey the best Deere dealer in McHenry is Buck Bros of Harvard formally Harvard Implement. I'm not to far south of you in Kane County Near Elburn. :thThumbsU
 
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