Belt drive-not all gears working

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by Russo, May 9, 2002.

  1. Russo

    Russo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 287

    First let me say that you guys rock. Best machines, best dealers, best at responding to problems on forum.

    I have a eXmark 48" belt drive w/14 Kaw about 10 years old. It is a mean machine to say the least. The problem is....when I got it used, 1&2 gears weren't worth a flip. I had to push it up the slightest incline and I could stand still and easily hold the mower in place while it was supposed to be moving. I couldnt' have this because it wouldn't load on to the trailer.

    I took it to a back woods repair shop ( my neighbor ) who informed me that the transmission was fine, but the pully needed adjustment and someone welded it in place. He put on a larger pully. The end result was that 2nd gear worked awesome, but now 3rd was slower and 4 was absolutely nothing. Not too big of a deal cause 3rd was pretty fast even though it was slower than before.

    Fast foreward to today. I now have 2 wheel sulky and I know this machine will cut faster if I could only MOVE faster but I got no 4 and a slow 3. Get me? It's a big deal now cause I can really increase my production! On top of it all, now 1st and 2nd are starting to suck again!

    1. How come I have to choose between low gears working or high gears working?

    2. The the main pully coming from underneath the motor opens and closes like a sandwich type thing. I assume that this is the design but want to double check with you because if it's not, I have a pully that is broken in the place where the cream filling would be in an Oreo.

    3. I don't want to take it to the dealer cause I feel like I'm missing something small. Some general concept like the pully size screwing it up or the wrong belt( by the way belt is 4030 18 df on a model 48-14K ).

    Help me PLEEEEAAASSSSEEE.


    BTW- the gears suck even when I'm not using the sulky. And if this post is not long enough, just let me know and I'll stretch it out some more for ya.

    Thank you, Landscraper.
     
  2. Russo

    Russo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 287

    Well, well, well....When all else fails...use the search button. I feel like a real dingus. Just searched for a while and think I determined that since the tranny "bar" is still spinning when it's not moving that it must need drive belt adjustment.

    Am I right?
     
  3. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Landscaper,

    Sorry it took me so long to get back with you. What you've got is an old variable speed model and it's tough to find anyone left who knows much about them. There are two guys around here that know much about them and they tend to dose off every now and then so it's tough to get any information. I believe your machine may be a little more than 10 years old.

    I'm probably going need to punt on this one but we'll give it a shot. We've got a couple of issues that we can't diagnose for sure with the information we've got.

    The machine should pull fine in all gears. The variable speed technically has only one gear and the transmission speeds up and slows down according to the changing diameter of the variable speed pulley as the "sandwich" opens and closes. Just make sure there's no cream filling in it cause it makes the belts slip and attracts ants.

    The problem is when the larger pulley was put on. I don't know what type, brand etc and even with that information we don’t know how it is going to react in this application. I also wouldn't be able to determine if the belt is going to work with the new pulley but we’ll take a shot in the dark……………duck just in case.

    Based on what your telling me there may be a couple of different causes for what your seeing. Lets assume that you've got belt slippage somewhere. First we need to determine where. While running the machine, when it looses drive and quits moving do the small pulleys on the output shafts of the transmission still rotate or not. If the small pulleys that drive the belt that turns the wheel stops spinning then the problem is a loss of rotation to the transmission. If the small pulleys on the output continue spinning then you're loosing drive at the wheel drive idler.

    I’ve pulled the adjustment information from an old manual and the procedure for adjusting the variable speed pulley/belt is as follows: “Periodically check that the belt moves fully in and out of variable speed pulley. Adjust swivel on slide control rod for full range of control. Place variable-speed lever (on the upper handles) in the fastest position. Thread rod through swivel until the belt pulls down into the variable-speed sheave and the outside of the belt is seen with the outside of the sheave. With the spark plug wire removed and after adjustment of the swivel, the engine must be rotated one revolution to allow the belt to properly seat itself in the variable speed sheave before checking variable-speed belt position.” Or punt and take it to your local dealer.

    If the problem is in the wheel drive idler you’ll need to adjust that. Make certain that the linkages are pivoting freely and that the linkage from the drive lever to the drive wheel idler does not bottom out in the thumb latch. You can also order new pulleys for the output shafts. There were two different styles, one had smooth sides to the “V” and the other had holes drilled through the “V” to add a little more grip on the belt. Make sure you’ve got the ones with the holes drilled in them.

    I suspect however your going to find the problem in the variable speed pulley. This may however be a good project for an experienced dealer. It’s awfully difficult to diagnose if the unit no longer has a standard pulley on it.

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  4. Russo

    Russo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 287

    That does help quite a bit. At least I know what it's not. More than ten years old, huh? No wonder the dealer said that he never had a request for the belt size I gave him. I will do dad a little with some of the info you provided. If it is over ten years old....you'd never know by looking at it or the cut it produces. I have absolutely zero trouble with things like clogging, deck pitch adjustments, bogging down and other things that consantly cause thread creation around here. Thanks for the reply, they are always complete and timely.

    Landscraper.
     
  5. Russo

    Russo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 287

    Bingo, the problem has a name-o.

    The pully was sort of the problem; I think the real problem is that the belt is wrong size or has stretched. I took a chance and put and even BIGGER pully on it. I was then able to adjust it according to the specs you provided. Now all gears work great and I can't help but sing " Grease Lighting " while mowing. Well, actually I alternate between that song and the Oreo cookie tune. ( ice cold milk and an oreo cookie.....). Then sometimes when I see someone mowing a pattern like they are driving a Zamboni, I start to sing " Jam on it " by Cozmo D. from the early '80s except I replace the words 'jam on it' with 'zamboni'. Kind of like - zamboni,zamboni, zambon anon non nononi.

    Thanks again, Landscraper.


    PS- I said a za za za za za zamboni.
     
  6. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Landscaper,

    The old variable speed mowers were great. You just needed to make sure you cycled the though the full range on the ground speed control shifter every now and then. This helps ensure that the pulley doesn't freeze in one spot. You should also make sure you keep grease in the gearbox. Very solid, very reliable and very trouble free, or at least that's what some of the older guys tell me. Huh, huh.

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  7. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    Were still running an old vari-drive, too. With the added strain of the velky, or actually regardless, I'd recommend taking the top off the "90 degree gearbox", removing the 90 weight gear "oil", and use a good high temp. wheel bearing grease. Actually we install a grease fitting in one of the veiwer holes, and grease it until the grease comes out the other viewer hole.
    I know the manual says to use 90 weight hypiod oil, but it just doesn't handle the heat, and ends up running dry. the grease stays thick and disapates the high heat even using the velky.
    Hope this helps,
    Pete
     
  8. Russo

    Russo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 287

    Thanks dude! I'll do whatever is necessary to baby my baby. I appreciate your sharing.
     

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