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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a new Sunstar (18hp, 48" deck) owner and just got the tractor operational this year with new blades, collars, etc but I didn't replace the deck belt. I have no idea how many hours are on that belt.

I've mowed about 15 hours this year without problems and really like the stripping! I hit a buried steel rod last week and smoked the drive belt when it stopped the middle blade from spinning for a few seconds. After I cleared the obstruction, I was able to restart mowing but the deck had a different vibration to it but cut normally.

The following week, I mowed for about 2 hours before the deck belt slipped off. There is no vibration without the deck belt on so I don't think I have any issues with the drive shaft. I put the belt back on but it slipped off again after 15 minutes mowing. It doesn't seem tight even with the tension pulley fully extended.

I ordered a new belt but was wondering if there is anything else I should be looking for when I replace it. Thanks.

Ron
 

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I'm no expert, but you may be alright with the new belt. Someone with more knowledge than I should be around soon.
Good luck
 

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I would definitely check the blades for damage! Hitting a steel rod hard enough and long enough to stop the blades just had to do some damage to the blade(s). It may be bent, probably has a huge nick in it, and is possibly even cracked - a real safety hazard. Some say it is okay to straighten a blade, but I wouldn't trust it - I'd bite the bullet and get a new blade. The vibration you mention is a warning that something is out of balance, or is bent. Please check the blades!
 

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I'm with cubman on this one. The vibration sounds like a bent or chipped blade.

As far as the belt slipping off, when the blade hit the bar, it might have very slightly bent the area of the deck where the spindle assembly bolts on and threw that pulley out of alignment with the other pulleys. I don't think that this is too likely since you have used it for about two hours before throwing the belt. When you put it back on, if it were very bad, it probably wouldn't have stayed 15 minutes, most likely it would have flown off immediately.

I would definately check the blades before going any further.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for your replies - the deck belt is sitting on my porch and I'm planning on installing it tonight.

I'll check the blades during the install as well. I'll let you know the results tomorrow, maybe include some pictures as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I got the belt on but haven't flipped the deck over and checked out the blades yet, been dealing with some flooding at my place in western PA since wednesday evening. More severe storms due tonight/tomorrow ! :hide:

I'll let you know tomorrow if possible. Thanks again.
Ron
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, I got into the underside of the deck today. Didn't find the blades bent but the center one had a decent nick in it. I did find the hold down bolts on 2 of the 3 spindles to be loose so I tightened everything down, sharpened the blades and put it all back together - mowed for about 30 minutes before the rain forced me insides but no vibration so I think I'm good to go.

In hindsight, this Sunstar is the nicest tractor I've ever mowed with. Even though it is probably 15+ years old and I got it used/abused on ebay, I'm continually impressed with it. Still have some work to do on it (won't stay in neutral, parking brake doesn't work, brake pedal doesn't return back so I pull it back with my foot, and the steering is real sloppy) but the cut I get and the confidence I have when riding it makes me think my first Simplicity is a real winner.

Thanks again for all your help.
 

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Glad you got 'er fixed!
Persistence pays again :thThumbsU
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Some free advice. You know, it really doesn't pay trying to save a few bucks with a non-simplicity deck belt. I went to Jacks and ordered the non-simplicity belt replacement for my Sunstar and have had nothing but issues with my deck for the past few weeks. It got to the point that I could stall the mower trying to cut 3 inch grass!

Today I installed the simplicity belt for my deck and what a difference! While it's hard to justify a $60+ dollar belt to the wife, the newly installed belt cut through heavy thick wet grass (I had to test it right after a thunderstorm) like it wasn't even there.

Save yourself some grief and don't try to skimp - in the end it will only cost you since you can't return a used belt.
 

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Some free advice. You know, it really doesn't pay trying to save a few bucks with a non-simplicity deck belt. I went to Jacks and ordered the non-simplicity belt replacement for my Sunstar and have had nothing but issues with my deck for the past few weeks. It got to the point that I could stall the mower trying to cut 3 inch grass!

Today I installed the simplicity belt for my deck and what a difference! While it's hard to justify a $60+ dollar belt to the wife, the newly installed belt cut through heavy thick wet grass (I had to test it right after a thunderstorm) like it wasn't even there.

Save yourself some grief and don't try to skimp - in the end it will only cost you since you can't return a used belt.
I remember the sticker shock when I had to buy one of those belts!! :swow:
Good thing is they do last a long time. Only replaced one in 20 years of heavy use and that was probably because I also hit something other than grass! :bonk:

One thing I found out is that taking the three arbors off every couple seasons and greasing the bearings plus re-painting the deck underside will greatly extend its life. I had one Sunstar deck completely rust out because I didn't look after it good enough! They are tough, but the wet stuff will do them in!:(

How did you make out with your other issues?
 
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