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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all. I have a Pro8 that I picked up about 5 years ago with about 170 hours for $150! It has done great, has about 220 hours now.

This past winter we got roughly 3' feet of snow in 3 days. The Gravely was holding its own with a MA-210 blower I bought for it.

Middle of the storm while blowing about 6-8" off the driveway it just stopped moving. I dragged it into the garage and used my little Bobcat skid steer for the rest of the storm. I'm finally having a look at the Gravely.

There was no bang/clunk, just stopped moving. It runs fine. Not in gear, it rolls very easily. In high range it rolls fairly easily. In low range it rolls with some effort. Regardless of what gear/range it is in (engine off), moving the tractor forwards or backwards does not turn the engine. With the engine running I can't pull the handle to engage the PTO (no attachment currently on the Gravely).

I'm mechanically inclined, but don't really know how these Gravelys work inside. Where do I begin (i.e what should I check first, second, etc.)?

Any help and/or advise would be greatly appreciated.

As a side note: I had a newly new K341 (16hp) Kohler in the garage so I pulled the crankshaft out and had the end machined to match the Gravely gears, buttoned it up, made an adapter plate and bolted it to the back to the Gravely transmission. Most of the 50 hours I've put on the machine have been with the larger motor.
 

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Time to pull the engine off and take a look at the planetary.
 

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I apologize but my brain is going lots of places here....

First, you won a bobcat skid steer? Want to come out to WV and be my neighbor so I can borrow that?

Second, what a steal! Pro-8 with 170 hours for $150!

Third, it seems strange to me to replace an 8-hp engine with only 170 hours with a 16-hp engine, but it's your machine to do with as you like (no judgment here).

Fourth, I bet it won't take you long to figure out the problem.

Fifth, it seems that the problem could be associated with the front clutch, which you would attack form the front of the machine, but you should trust Richard's advice much more than mine!

Sixth, please make sure to keep us posted (and pictures are nice!).
 

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I would like to add a little noise to this post, I wish to ask some questions.

Does the tractor really look like it had less than two hundred hours of use on it when you bought it?

You say the tractor stopped moving, did the snow blower stop also? Did the snow blower find a newspaper in the snow?

I also agree that the single cylinder Kohler 16 stresses the limits of the Kohler high/low planetary gears, but you do not seem to have the hours on the machine.

Have you checked linkage, no slipping between levers and cross shafts, no broken keyways?

Roger,
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thank you everyone. I'll pull the engine off Sunday afternoon.

I'll try to answer some of your questions:

-No, didn't win Bobcat, I paid for it, both in cash and in wife points...

-Those were the correct hours. It was bought by a landscape company. They operated in an urban area and quickly realized that brush hogs are very useful with a bunch of manicured lawns. They were asking $250, but had lost the key. Since I couldn't see if it ran I asked for a discount (hoping for $200) and he said, "How about $150?"

-I live in the mountains of southern California. At the time we lived at 5200 feet and the snow we got was very wet/slushy and was a bit much for the 8hp. We had 500 feet of asphalt "road" either direction to get to county maintained and plowed road. The 16 did quite well with the white mush in the winter time.
<-- those were the elderly neighbor's cars and the only other resident on that side of the road.

-We now live at 6200' so the snow is a bit nicer to deal with, even if we do get more at a time. The driveway is almost level and the plowed road is only 50' from the garage door. Of course there are the horse stalls to deal with, but...

-I seem to remember that the blower stopped spinning also, but I can't remember for sure. No newspaper.

-High/low linkage on the left handlebar and the high/low on the 'dash' seem to be doing their jobs and moving the little pins in and out where they go into the transaxle.

-So, if it did indeed eat the planetary and assuming I can find a decent used set, would I be wise to keep my eye out for a Kohler 12hp to have the crank machined again and 'de-power' the beast for longevity's sake?

Thanks again. I'll keep everyone updated (with pictures) once I pull the motor.
 

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A 16 HP machine is fine. After all the 430 had a Onan 16 hp engine on it. Gravely did make the Pro16 too.

I would see what sort of problem you have and go from there.
 

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A 16 HP machine is fine. After all the 430 had a Onan 16 hp engine on it. Gravely did make the Pro16 too.

I would see what sort of problem you have and go from there.
430 and 16 HP Onan, nope didn't happen. The 450 had a 16.5 HP twin Onan. Again, it comes down to the power pulses. The PM-50s all had 16 HP Kohlers and were hard on the gears as were the 5865s with the Kohler 16 HP single. Gravely Pro 16 was Briggs twin powered in the later models due to problems with the Kohlers.
 

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You are correct. I meant the 450, not the 430.


Anyway, the two wheel tractor is capable of handling 16 hp, but everything has to be right. Worn planetary bushings, gears, etc. means trouble down the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm sorry to resurrect this quite old thread, but I thought an update (and a happy one at that) was due.

I bought a used planetary set, but never got around to it (truth be told, I was avoiding it). Yesterday I finally pulled the motor to find...





The key holding the gears onto the crankshaft had sheared quite cleanly. Half of it was still in the keyway on the crank and the other half was in the gear's keyway. Amazing.

So I bought another key for 58 cents, and a bottle of Loctite shaft locker (formulated for worn shafts) for $15 and am letting that cure. The planetary gears are in better shape than the used ones that came in the mail. I'll put new bushings on those and keep them for a spare set.

Thank you all for the advise. I'm very glad ($) that it was such a simple fix and a bit embarrassed that I procrastinated so long to finally have a look at things...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I got it all back together today. All gears work in both directions, PTO drives the snowblower just fine. All is right with the world and I'm a happy camper.

Thank you to all.
 

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I’ve seen aluminum keys split on push mowers, which I think is a safety feature; but I never seen any other key split. Doesn’t the gear have an internal taper? It seems to me that the taper should be taking the torque. Maybe tapers don’t match.
 
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