Sunday, November 28, 2010

Blasted Mowing deck Kills My Ride Plans

Bottom of Mower deck.

Mandrel that blade attaches to.

Mandrel with broken bolt in hole.

One good bolt and two broken bolts.

So my Garden tractors engine runs like a top now and the new brakes need adjusting because they stop to well, but on to getting up the fallen leaves...yeah right!
I planned on going for a two wheel ride this long weekend but it just ain't happening. Our leaves are coming down and piling up faster on the lawn, plus my wife uses the Tractor to do an elderly neighbors yard. She likes the fact that she can do the yard while listening to her music and getting away from demands of others and the gall danged phone. If I don't get this tractor working she'll be over there with a rake and leaf blower whilst I'm at work. She prefers to do that yard herself for the solitude time it gives her...on the tractor.

I went to do our yard yesterday after having completed the carburetor problem with the engine yearning to put some leaves in their place. After it was warmed up good and all the bagging attachments put on (After a trip to Lowes for a lost hitch pin clip) it was time to leaf. Pulling in the yard I pushed the blade engagement forward and the engine died. It fired right back up and I tried again and this time slower on the lever. Something didn't feel right and then I saw smoke, the blade belt wasn't moving and the engine pulley was burning it off. Quick! Turn it all off and see what might be the problem. Old clumps of last years leaves and grass were still clogged up on top of the deck so I cleaned it all off. Tried again with easing the lever up and could see the right blade wasn't moving one iota. Disgusted with messing with it and only having an hour and a half of light left I drove it back to it's resting spot.

Today I yanked off the deck after some time on the cold ground. The left side blade turns free but that right one was plum stuck. Working it I finally get it to move a quarter turn but that's all it will budge. I always thought it lame these things don't have grease fitting on them; I know the bearing is trashed. I go to take it off and the first bolt come free, the second starts to turn and 'POP!' the head comes off with the third doing the same thing. After some profanity at two broken bolts I take to the vice. WD-40 then heat from a torch then more WD-40. Put an extractor to it and it barely makes a small indention. Alright I'll try the other extractor that entails drilling a hole to put the wedge type extractor into. I dull two drill bits and break a third after the drill tip turns to a mushroom shape. So I try my impact type bolt remover and thus break it as well. Dammit to hell. I can get rebuild internals for the mandrel but without getting the broken bolts out I'll have to spring $63 for a whole new mandrel.

I go online to look for the parts and the rebuild kit is half the price of a new mandrel but comes with out the bolts. The bolts are an eye popping $5 dollars a piece. I see why none of my attempts to get the bolt out works, the bolts are hardened steel. So this mandrel is trashed - to put it nicely - and now I have to spend the $63 dollars for a new unit. I chunk the old mandrel out the door for scrap. It gave good service for ten years and more lawns and acreage mowed then most home owners do in a life time. It still pisses me off though because I wanted to ride Rat Bastard rather than screwing around all day with this damned thing for two days.

At least I can ride the Garden tractor to the liquor store.


chessie said...

LOL be careful... you can still get a DUI for driving a tractor to and from the Liquor store!

WooleyBugger said...

Hehehehe Chessie,
No I wouldn't be a drinking and riding; just use it for hauling and putting the grass catcher buckets to good use ont the way back.