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Old 06-27-2000, 04:50 AM
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Keith Keith is offline
LawnSite Gold Member
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 3,973
My thoughts on Belt vs. shaft<p>I have a Grasshopper (shaftdrive) and a Kees ZTMax (almost an Exmark). If you look at them, you say &quot;that shaft drive sure is complex, it must be better&quot; You're half right, it is more complex, but I see no benefit. To me the Kees with it's mule drive transfers power better. With the shaft, you still have belts, you have just thrown a shaft and gearbox into the mix. When I first looked at the mule drive, I thought to myself, &quot;you must be kidding, that belt will slip and break too easily.&quot; It doesn't!<p>Now I really decided the belt was better recently. One day while going down a hill with the Grasshopper tractor and up a hill with the deck (like a V), the driveshaft slip yoke came apart and the driveshaft seperated. These two pieces seperated and flopped around out of control. I took it back to the shop and determined I needed to replace a couple of parts. First I needed to replace the PTO belts (about $30) and the two slip portions of the driveshaft (about $100) They were worn and had a lot of slop in them. While doing this you would have to replace a couple of U-joints ($40). When I pulled the QD off the powershaft I noticed it had play in it, probably the pillowblocks (they are about $60 for two). Yep, and it had managed to groove the powershaft (about $70) too. While attempting to take the pto pulley off the powershaft, I proceeded to break to pulley (about $45). Total damage: about $350 + tax if you fix it yourself. The gearbox would add another $150+ I would imagine. And that is not all, there are a couple more pieces that can go bad (the QD section of the shaft and deck yoke). You will also, most likely need access to a hydraulic press. Now what does this complex belt-shaft-gearbox system do? The exact same thing as one belt and a couple of idler pulleys on the Kees. <p>While other shaft drive decks may be less complex, it seems to be a waste, at best for this application. <p><br>&lt;font size=&quot;1&quot;&gt;Edited by: Keith<br><p><font size="1">Edited by: Keith
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