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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, Just hoping for some pointers and helpful advice as I try to find out what's wrong. My partner was mowing as I was pulling weeds and I heard this weet-weet-weet...disengage the deck and smoke coming from the pulleys toward the center of the deck, not sure which pulley, if it's the center spindle or one of of the idlers. Not sure if the smoke was a hot belt or burning grease. Belt looks good and don't see a burnt spot. Could engage deck at low engine speed and engage, everything rotated but the smoking returned. Just couldn't tell the source. Also couldn't get close with whirling blades. Have greased the deck liberally including this spring but everything is old, from 1978 I believe. It's an 8000 series, and some of you know me and my previous posts! It was cutting last year and I got everything adjusted and even got a guy to weld a steel strip to the front edge of the deck to reinforce it (some stumps out back), and deck needed straightening. Anyway, I got the deck off last night and with a bad back, everything is more difficult. Not sure if I need to take that huge center bracket off and gearbox to get at the center spindle? Going to need some help to flip the deck maybe, or prop it up well with jack stands so it doesn't roll. I can rotate the blades and nothing seems bad just slowly rotating but a bearing or something internal could be chewed up. What do you experts say is my next step?
 

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There are others that can probably tell you more than I can.
Did you let the deck cool down after it first smoked? If so, how fast did the smoking return after you restarted it? In my experience, smoke from a deck is usually belt related. It could be an idler pulley seized or something else seized and making the belt smoke.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi guys. I checked right away. Hard to tell but the smoke looked pretty black. Could have been blue but I'd say black. When I saw the smoke, we had disengaged the PTO, throttled the engine down to idle, and re-engaged the PTO with the engine idling (almost stalled, so had to give it a bit of throttle). Just to try to see if everything rotated...everything spun and the belt hadn't been thrown and nothing seized fully. BTW, I replaced the belt last year and re-tensioned it this spring. I think I'll pull the belt off and see if any spindle or idler spins hard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh, and I pulled the covers last night and no packed grass or branches! That would be nice! I can rotate everything by hand with the input shaft. :unsure:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh no, it was. I was on the ground and I had my head at deck level and was looking right into the belt drive, just too much swirling air around in the center there where the two idlers are along with the center spindle and whirling blades to get at anything without being dangerous...I was being bad enough at that level on the ground with the deck! But I appreciate the advice. No wiring down there...and I already went through most of the old wiring on this tractor and replaced much of it back by the engine and some under the IP when I got it a year ago last winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I just figured it out! It is the idler! I could rotate it but it squeaked a bit. Spindles are butter smooth. Took that idler pulley off and locked up tight in my hand! I bet it locked up and the belt smoked! Looks like Gravely p/n 21060. Now to see where I can get one!
 

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Hi guys, Just hoping for some pointers and helpful advice as I try to find out what's wrong. My partner was mowing as I was pulling weeds and I heard this weet-weet-weet...disengage the deck and smoke coming from the pulleys toward the center of the deck, not sure which pulley, if it's the center spindle or one of of the idlers. Not sure if the smoke was a hot belt or burning grease. Belt looks good and don't see a burnt spot. Could engage deck at low engine speed and engage, everything rotated but the smoking returned. Just couldn't tell the source. Also couldn't get close with whirling blades. Have greased the deck liberally including this spring but everything is old, from 1978 I believe. It's an 8000 series, and some of you know me and my previous posts! It was cutting last year and I got everything adjusted and even got a guy to weld a steel strip to the front edge of the deck to reinforce it (some stumps out back), and deck needed straightening. Anyway, I got the deck off last night and with a bad back, everything is more difficult. Not sure if I need to take that huge center bracket off and gearbox to get at the center spindle? Going to need some help to flip the deck maybe, or prop it up well with jack stands so it doesn't roll. I can rotate the blades and nothing seems bad just slowly rotating but a bearing or something internal could be chewed up. What do you experts say is my next step?
Hi guys, Just hoping for some pointers and helpful advice as I try to find out what's wrong. My partner was mowing as I was pulling weeds and I heard this weet-weet-weet...disengage the deck and smoke coming from the pulleys toward the center of the deck, not sure which pulley, if it's the center spindle or one of of the idlers. Not sure if the smoke was a hot belt or burning grease. Belt looks good and don't see a burnt spot. Could engage deck at low engine speed and engage, everything rotated but the smoking returned. Just couldn't tell the source. Also couldn't get close with whirling blades. Have greased the deck liberally including this spring but everything is old, from 1978 I believe. It's an 8000 series, and some of you know me and my previous posts! It was cutting last year and I got everything adjusted and even got a guy to weld a steel strip to the front edge of the deck to reinforce it (some stumps out back), and deck needed straightening. Anyway, I got the deck off last night and with a bad back, everything is more difficult. Not sure if I need to take that huge center bracket off and gearbox to get at the center spindle? Going to need some help to flip the deck maybe, or prop it up well with jack stands so it doesn't roll. I can rotate the blades and nothing seems bad just slowly rotating but a bearing or something internal could be chewed up. What do you experts say is my next step?
Real bad thngs happen when decks start smoking... (Ask the woman who bought my immaculate 345, and then burned it to the ground. It's her second 345 she's burned to the ground with a deck debris fire. STOP MOWING IMMEDIATELY when you see smoke...! Pull all the deck pulley covers (if you run them) & perform a full deck cleanout of all, grass, leaf, & stick debris...! Then lubricate everything on your mower deck with high temp bearing grease, and go back to mowing again. Carefully monitor for smoke again... It could be a spindle bearing failure, or belt slipping.
 

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I just figured it out! It is the idler! I could rotate it but it squeaked a bit. Spindles are butter smooth. Took that idler pulley off and locked up tight in my hand! I bet it locked up and the belt smoked! Looks like Gravely p/n 21060. Now to see where I can get one!
A GRAVELY dealer would be the best place.....

https://www.jackssmallengines.com/jacks-parts-lookup/part/021060

Or Richards Lawn and Garden in WV.

That part will be easier to look up with a zero in front #021060 or #07314800

Sheldon
 

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What color was the smoke?

Blueish is belt
Black is grease
White is oil(unlikely on a deck)
Tan is organics.

Check a branch isn't stuck under the covers and rubbing on a pulley. Or it's not packed with grass.
Good advice. I never thought of color to determine the source. I’ve gone by the smell. The smell usually tells the tale.

glad you got it figured out OP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Real bad thngs happen when decks start smoking... (Ask the woman who bought my immaculate 345, and then burned it to the ground. It's her second 345 she's burned to the ground with a deck debris fire. STOP MOWING IMMEDIATELY when you see smoke...! Pull all the deck pulley covers (if you run them) & perform a full deck cleanout of all, grass, leaf, & stick debris...! Then lubricate everything on your mower deck with high temp bearing grease, and go back to mowing again. Carefully monitor for smoke again... It could be a spindle bearing failure, or belt slipping.
I keep a pretty good eye on things and keep things clean and lubed. Caught it right away and heard it immediately. But good advice. Can’t believe someone burned up not one tractor but two!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Looks like the Gravely pulley part number crosses to a very common Oregon and Rotary part used on many mowers, Exmark, Snapper, and others. I ended up buying two Oregon pulleys from an EBay vendor. I’m going to replace the one on the belt tensioner arm before that one fails too. Ordered a new belt. I have less than a full season on the $50 Gates Bladerunner belt I put on last summer. I looked closer and found a portion of the backside where it’s smoked clean down to rubber like a racing slick. With a tractor this old something always needs to be fixed.
 

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Ugh!!! I just got done doing 3 idler pulleys on 3 different machines and repacked a sealed bearing on the machine drive belt. To anyone that's reading this thread it's a good reminder to check the pulleys and replace if older than you can remember the last time you changed them.
 

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Glad you are getting it sorted out. Can you please share the common part number?
 

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Glad you are getting it sorted out. Can you please share the common part number?
Rotary #5714

Results for GRAVELY 021060 at Rotary Corporation

But the one GRAVELY is selling now appears much better made:

https://www.jackssmallengines.com/jacks-parts-lookup/part/021060

I have both styles on hand, and the black one is welded rather than riveted and appears to have much better bearings. Having owned my tractor for 26 years (as you know, there are actually two of these idler pulleys on a GRAVELY 40" or 50" deck), and also owning the GRAVELY vacuum which also uses this same idler, I have worn out two or three..... or 5....

Originally the GRAVELY part was just like the Rotary part - plated and riveted. The ones I have replaced with the black ones are holding up much better. Sometimes (most times actually) you do get exactly what you pay for.

Sheldon
 

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Ok thanks. I’ve never replaced one, but I’ll need to soon. I also own the vacum. So I’ll order 3 of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ok thanks. I’ve never replaced one, but I’ll need to soon. I also own the vacum. So I’ll order 3 of them.
Sorry guys, I've had a super busy/crazy work week plus personal life. Eveled, I just got a minute to get back to this thread and Atlantic Central gave both of us better information! I only found that there was an Oregon equivalent (p/n 34-007 and 34-019) and Rotary equivalent (p/n 5714) to the original Gravely 21060. From my web searching, I did not find that the original Gravely was still available or superseded to that new part that Atlantic Central found. If I knew that, I would have ordered that. I believe mine are the original Gravely 21060 stamped and riveted parts. My bearing seized on the one that failed. I found Oregon 34-019's on Ebay. If pictured is what I get I assume they are welded.
Dishware Gas Circle Metal Serveware
 

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Sorry guys, I've had a super busy/crazy work week plus personal life. Eveled, I just got a minute to get back to this thread and Atlantic Central gave both of us better information! I only found that there was an Oregon equivalent (p/n 34-007 and 34-019) and Rotary equivalent (p/n 5714) to the original Gravely 21060. From my web searching, I did not find that the original Gravely was still available or superseded to that new part that Atlantic Central found. If I knew that, I would have ordered that. I believe mine are the original Gravely 21060 stamped and riveted parts. My bearing seized on the one that failed. I found Oregon 34-019's on Ebay. If pictured is what I get I assume they are welded. View attachment 2555880
Not a fan of that style idler, as they have a relatively small bearing compared to similar sized rivetted together idlers I've come across. And any water that gets on them just sits and then gets into the bearing... There's cheap, and then there's too cheap.
 
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