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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My first post, but I got a Murray 2142 about a month ago, was only able to use it 2 times so far.

This is the Zero Turn that is MTD made, that is basically the same as Cub Cadet and the Troy Built models from 2012.

The good, it runs great, cuts fantastic, has great power and all that.

The bad, After watching wife run it, I noticed the engine itself was shaking front to back, basically rocking up and down about 1/4 or so.

I checked bolts, and all are tight on engine mount.

Mower deck shakes barely at all, but the Tensioning pulley does shake around about 3/4 inch to an inch with mower engaged.

Switched to new belt, and balanced blades on a cone, and still shakes.

I noticed the frame where engine sits, is not very thick, and in fact when I put a shor 2x4 under back of engine and very lightly pushed down on it as a lever, engine moved up and down the exact same amount that the mower caused it to shake.

The frame appears to be about 2 foot wide and only maybe 1/8" thick metal and appears to be flexing that amount I see, but not sure what is causing shaking ONLY when mower is engaged.

Pulleys appear good, new belt and old belt do it, and blades are nearly new and very well balanced.

Its cuts perfect, but the shaking is mainly disconcerting, not even felt.

Does not shake at all when just driving with mower off.

Any ideas?? sorry to go into so much detail!
 

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First thing I would do is remove spark plugs and disconnect positive terminal of battery.

This way you can get under mower and turn by hand the engine's crank to see if crank isn't bent. It doesn't take much to throw off any balance. This may not work and you need a friend to start mower to see any vibration while your body and hands are not near any moving components. You can use binoculars to help out if needed.

Next I would go over the engine mount to see if any bolts might be broken or missing that lets the engine torque to flex the mount plate.

If the mower is under warranty, don't do anything and call the company you purchased mower from and let them fix any problems or replace the mower due to defects.
 

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I have seen several engine pulleys that were were out of round or would wobble or the pulley was higher or lower on one spot as it turned.

You can watch this at slow rpm to see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Engine appears to be bolted down good and tight, no missing bolts. Crank does not seem bent, and pulleys on engine do not wobble at all.

It seems maybe more on the mower deck, but nothing LOOKS wrong or all that wrong with anything on deck.

One idler pulley has a bit of looseness when moved by hand, but maybe need to replace it and see if it helps.

It only does it with mower engaged.

Need to go out again today and start it up and see.

One pulley on top of one mower spindle seems to have a slight wobble, but in the up and down direction.

Years past when I had issues like this, they were obvious to see!!

It never shakes at all just driving. Just with mower engaged. Has an electric PTO.

I know when I pushed a wood scrap against the mower tensioning pulley with it engaged, it lessened the shaking.

Hard to test, as I need a second person!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
First thing I would do is remove spark plugs and disconnect positive terminal of battery.

This way you can get under mower and turn by hand the engine's crank to see if crank isn't bent. It doesn't take much to throw off any balance. This may not work and you need a friend to start mower to see any vibration while your body and hands are not near any moving components. You can use binoculars to help out if needed.

Next I would go over the engine mount to see if any bolts might be broken or missing that lets the engine torque to flex the mount plate.

If the mower is under warranty, don't do anything and call the company you purchased mower from and let them fix any problems or replace the mower due to defects.

Oh its used and not under warranty. I do not mean to make a huge deal out of this, but was just concerned. It runs perfect in all ways, except for this weird shake.

I did find out, that the plate the engine is mounted to, flexes fairly easily. Far easier than any riding mower or tractor I have ever owned. It almost appears that the steel is so wide and relatively thin, that this may partially be an inherent semi-bad design.

It looks like only about an 1/8" thick at best, but the engine mount area is very wide and long, so there is a lot of leverage to make it twist easily.
 

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Oh, OK. Mower only vibrates when deck is engaged. Well this now tells me that something odd is wrong with deck.

You need to get that second person to help----neighbor, friend from work, etc.

Engage deck and see if any spindles/pulleys are bent or have some grass/debris between any pulley grooves and belt.

You replaced belt, so that cures that.

Remove deck to see if all blades are level and on same plane. Spin the blades and look for any up/down wobbles. This will determine if blade is bent or spindle is bad and mandrel needs to be replaced. Also listen and feel for any dry bearings. If these are sealed mandrels, you'll need to replace the whole assembly.

Pulleys on deck need replaced as they're worn out from usage.

Tension springs need replaced or moved to give better tension to keep belt from flexing and ossilating from the spinning action.

I rebuilt my '03 GT5000's 48" deck last year due to breaking/burning belts. It turned out being the pulleys had worn down enough that belt was riding "too deep" into the grooves. You may have same problem of belt being too deep in the grooves and giving the belt too much slack that the tensioners don't work as they should. That is, if you don't find a bent spindle or dry bearings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
hah, this is getting crazy. I checked blades, perfectly balanced, not bent, and they spin freely and level when deck is removed and looked at from below.

The only two things that seem odd, are the tensioner pulley seems to flail around a decent bit, and the pulley on it, has a small amount of "slop" when I shake it by hand, but not really that much.

I do see the the belt is riding "Low" on both the tensioner pulley and the other routing pulley. By low I mean not deep IN, as these are flat faced pulleys, but low as in towards the bottom of the pulleys face.

When running it, it simply seems like the belt and tensioner are just jumpy looking.

No shaking of the deck itself or the blades.

I realize it has to be something ON the deck, but frustrating to narrow down..lol.

This is the actual parts diagram and list.

MTD 17AC2ACS058 - Murray Zero-Turn Mower (2012) Mower Deck 42-Inch Diagram and Parts List | PartsTree.com
 

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I fixed a cub cadet ztr that had a vibration and a knock...It really sounded like rod knocking hard. I was the tensioner pulley slapping back and forth.

The belt was worn and a little long. It was olmost to teh very end of adjustment so not a lot of tension on it.
I put a new belt on that was either 1/2 or 1 inch shorter and it was perfect with no noise and no slapping around.
If it is safely possible, I would add tension to blade belt moving idler when engaged to see if it lessens the vibration.
Maybe a shorter or newer belt and or stronger spring will lessen it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I fixed a cub cadet ztr that had a vibration and a knock...It really sounded like rod knocking hard. I was the tensioner pulley slapping back and forth.

The belt was worn and a little long. It was olmost to teh very end of adjustment so not a lot of tension on it.
I put a new belt on that was either 1/2 or 1 inch shorter and it was perfect with no noise and no slapping around.
If it is safely possible, I would add tension to blade belt moving idler when engaged to see if it lessens the vibration.
Maybe a shorter or newer belt and or stronger spring will lessen it.
I ran it again today for a few minutes, and while though the belt is brand new, and it does it with the old one also, I tried pushing a bit on the idler with a long narrow trim board, and it lessened the shaking quite a bit.

This seems likely now. Maybe not enough tension or something. I do see that there is another position about 2 inches forward for the tension spring bolt.

I will try to move the bolt and reattatch the spring and see if that cures it.


Ooh and from what I read, the cub cadet is also a MTD design same as my "Murray", Zero turn.

It may have the same exact deck, quite likely!
 

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I like tensioner to be in the somewhere in the middle. Some spots can crate more slap than others.
I would put a 1 inch shorter belt on and try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ya, still putting up with the shaking. Need to look into this soon.

It does not appear to be fatal, but I doubt it can be a "Good thing".

Finished my issues with camshaft and leaking oil seal, at least all that went well!

Now time to look at the shaking issue again...lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I am back again. Still having the same issues, but have been running the Mower even though it shakes.It appears to vary some based on engine speed.
Idle speed it shakes quite a bit, same with full throttle, but about 3/4 throttle the shaking dies down a decent bit.

I tried new blades, and all 4 spindle bearings recently, and both idler pulleys, more for noise, and checked blade level and everything spins freely and does not appear to be crooked or loose or shaking.

It only appears to be the tensioner that is shaking a lot, along with the belt obviously in that area. The belt on "other" side, has zero shaking.

The tensioner arm moves up and down about a quarter inch at the end with the idler pulley. When I tried running and used a crow bar to push against tensioner arm, the shaking lessened a good bit, but was still there.

I am trying to figure if it has either too much or too little tension. The belt looks okay still no missing parts or anything.
I have other tractors so not super important, but just QUITE annoying to not be able to fix it!
 

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welcome back Kevintomb. I think you should check for the deck mounting bracket. Maybe one of them is missing, making the deck rock back and forth and making vibrate
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
welcome back Kevintomb. I think you should check for the deck mounting bracket. Maybe one of them is missing, making the deck rock back and forth and making vibrate

Just had the Deck off yesterday, when I installed all new bearings. Deck is installed correctly for sure.

It seems as if all she shaking originates from the Idler arm area. I will do a video later today, but holding the deck and even wedging wood under it, stops the overall shaking some for sure, but the idler arm and belt are still flailing all over the place.

The belt does seem a bit thin, as far as the width goes. I am not sure if it has worn down or was that way to begin with when new a year or so ago.

It is about 3/8" wide, when the specs say it should be a 1/2" belt.
It appears to ride a good bit down in the spindle pulleys, that might cause it to lose some tension I am sure.
But pretty sure even when brand new (belt) it still shook....so maybe just a red herring.
 

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Just had the Deck off yesterday, when I installed all new bearings. Deck is installed correctly for sure.

It seems as if all she shaking originates from the Idler arm area. I will do a video later today, but holding the deck and even wedging wood under it, stops the overall shaking some for sure, but the idler arm and belt are still flailing all over the place.

The belt does seem a bit thin, as far as the width goes. I am not sure if it has worn down or was that way to begin with when new a year or so ago.

It is about 3/8" wide, when the specs say it should be a 1/2" belt.
It appears to ride a good bit down in the spindle pulleys, that might cause it to lose some tension I am sure.
But pretty sure even when brand new (belt) it still shook....so maybe just a red herring.
A lot of riding mowers have The Idler tensioner pulley that bounces back and forth quite a bit on it spring tension. This rarely causes any problems or any noticeable feeling of vibration or any wear or belt jumping off or anything else.
I think a belt worn irregularly could intensify this problem so you might try a nice new belt. I have also taken a piece of sandpaper like crocus cloth on the surfaces of the pulleys just to smooth them down.
This has seemed to help some.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
A lot of riding mowers have The Idler tensioner pulley that bounces back and forth quite a bit on it spring tension. This rarely causes any problems or any noticeable feeling of vibration or any wear or belt jumping off or anything else.
I think a belt worn irregularly could intensify this problem so you might try a nice new belt. I have also taken a piece of sandpaper like crocus cloth on the surfaces of the pulleys just to smooth them down.
This has seemed to help some.

I suppose that could be, as it has been doing this for many years with no issues, other than being a bit annoying.

I will get a new belt, and also tempted to switch another PTO clutch from another of my lawn tractors to just eliminate that as being the cause.

My other Cub cadet 1040 has almost zero shake when the blades are engaged, so a very pronounced difference between the two.
 

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Maybe the idler is bouncing because the engine is shaking? If it was me, I would want to shore that up anyway as you said it doesn't take much force to move the motor. I would get some1/4" thick or so pieces and longer engine mount bolts and sandwich the motor mounting plate in between and see if that helps distribute the load.
 

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I once had a Cub Cadet zero-turn come into my shop that was slapping The Idler pulley underneath the engine that tightens up the belt for the hydro drives so badly that it sounded like a rod knocking in the engine and I immediately turn the engine off because it sounded just like a rod was ready to let loose.
It was simply the tensioner slapping around. I replaced the belt with a brand new Factory original one and the spring and the noise was no more.
if I remember correctly it was a factory originally built I use but there is a possibility I use a slightly shorter belt because the tensioner angle was quite a ways out but I typically do not believe in putting anything but OEM brand name correct belts on machines.
Regardless one new spring and a new belt made it sound perfect and lasted multiple Seasons with no issues so this could simply be a belt issue or a slightly weak spring or about that has Warren making it a little bit too long allowing a nyler to be at slightly the wrong angle with two little tension.
 
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