Checklist For An Annual Check-up

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by cmurphy128, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. cmurphy128

    cmurphy128 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 41

    CHECKLIST FOR AN ANNUAL CHECK-UP
    Clean the tractor and deck thoroughly using an auto wash soap or household detergent. After washing, blow off all electrical connections and switches with compressed air.
    Strip tractor and deck for repainting. If the paint is in good condition, only a touch-up may be needed.
    Clean the inside of the catcher box with an automotive whitewall cleaner. These cleaners contain bleach that will remove some of the stains. This process should be done periodically during the mowing season.
    Remove the engine. Have an authorized service technician evaluate it and perform the needed tune-up, repairs or overhaul.
    Check all of the pulleys for wear and damage. Replace as needed.
    Check the idler pulleys for wear and the bearings for smooth operation.
    Check all idler arms for straightness and idler pulley alignment with the belt.
    Replace all of the belts. This is cheap insurance.
    Check over all of the springs. Replace any that are stretched, bent or show any signs of damage.
    Check all gearboxes for proper oil level, and for damage and leaks. Check the seals closely. Repair or replace as needed. Change the gear oil in any gearboxes as specified in the Owner's Manual maintenance chart.
    Examine the throttle, choke and parking brake cables. Replace any that are damaged. Lubricate the cables with silicone or another non-petroleum lubricant.

    Clean the blower thoroughly. Check for worn impeller blades and housing. Check the bearings by making sure the impeller turns smoothly. Repair or replace as deemed necessary.
    Check all of the switches (safety, light, implement, accessory and ignition) for proper operation. Replace any that are questionable.
    Check the wiring harness for any damage. Repair or replace. Check all of the plugs and connectors for damage and corrosion. Clean or replace as needed, and apply dielectric grease to protect the connection.
    Check all of the solenoids, relays, lights, gauges and circuit breakers for proper operation.
    Examine the tires and valve stems carefully for cuts, cracks, nicks or bulges. Make sure there is sufficient tread for good traction.
    Replace any bent or cracked wheels, or wheels with worn lug mount holes.
    Replace any worn or damaged chutes (deck, body and catcher).
    Replace the hydro fans if they show any signs of damage, and certainly if any blades are missing.
    If the operator's seat is damaged, replace it or have it repaired. Your back is not replaceable.
    Check the deck caster wheel bearings and pivot bushings.
    Replace any deck height adjustment bushings that are worn, broken or missing.
    Install a new set of sharp and balanced blades.
    After everything is reassembled, check all adjustments carefully: PTO clutch, blade brake, transmission control, safety switches, fuel solenoid and cables (throttle, choke and parking brake).
    Finally -- give your mower a good coat of wax.
     
  2. alpine692003

    alpine692003 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,502

    Good tips, I think i'm going to copy and paste it!
     
  3. tedk

    tedk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 100

    Belts are expensive. I would not replace one unless it needed it. I mean, if your going to do that you might as well replace the battery and the tires too. Sure, they have alot of life left in them, but this is the annual maintenance, so what the heck..yea, right.

    Why would i check the gearbox oil before i changed it?
     
  4. cmurphy128

    cmurphy128 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 41

    i here you, if there is any dought though replacing belts in the winter if any dought in most cases is cheaper than if the belt breaks in season, because it is going to happen at your worst possible moment and will cost you more, consider travel time and down time, now how much more did that just cost you..

    on the gear box oil you left out some steps and let me word it differant.
    check or replace pending condition or hours, refer to your manual for recommended changes, but at least check it.
     
  5. metro-hp_48

    metro-hp_48 LawnSite Senior Member
    from TN
    Posts: 874

    Sold a 36" Deere many years ago, that had original wheel belts (was atleast 12 years old, and know they were original,because I know the man that bought it new)
    Keep suggestion to the man that bought it, that he should get new ones.
    But, they still work just fine.
    (have all new replacement belts for mine, but just for spares, when one wears out)
     
  6. metro-hp_48

    metro-hp_48 LawnSite Senior Member
    from TN
    Posts: 874

    " Remove the engine. Have an authorized service technician evaluate it and perform the needed tune-up, repairs or overhaul."

    I understand that you mean incase you need to strip the tractor and deck, but ahh........ if it's that bad, sell it, and get another one that has EVERYTHING new/with warranty........or spend a fortune, on something that you'll never get your money back out of.

    You consider that an "annual" thing?
    (hope you never "rebuild" a Peerless (disposable, BTW) Parts alone would be in-excess of 2000.00 (if you bought every part separate) and you can buy new for less than 200.00.

    Think I'll stick to MY annual check list.
     
  7. cmurphy128

    cmurphy128 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 41

    i here you, if there is any dought though replacing belts in the winter (if any dought) in most cases is cheaper than if the belt breaks in season, because you know it is going to happen at your worst possible moment and will cost you more, consider travel time and down time, now how much more did that just cost you..a spare at the shop or in the truck is another option, keeping all your machines the same if possible is great, so one part fits all. so on a saturday night when the dealer does not open back up till monday your still able to mow on sunday

    on the gear box oil you left out some steps and let me word it differant.
    check or replace pending condition or hours, refer to your manual for recommended changes, but at least check it.
     
  8. cmurphy128

    cmurphy128 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 41

    you are absolutly right some tune ups may exced the value of the machine, that is something that always should be to concidered, i am glade you said that.
     
  9. cmurphy128

    cmurphy128 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 41

    on out front mowers like the walker or scag turf tiger, toro, ransoms or even mid moun z's , if the engine is under the bagger or in dusty conditions and you dont remove the engine to get under the engine housing and dont clean the air fins you are taking a big risk of over heating the engine thats why i say to remove the engine
     
  10. metro-hp_48

    metro-hp_48 LawnSite Senior Member
    from TN
    Posts: 874

    Your right . I always remove the cover (s) to gain access to the cooling fins...........sure helps it stay cooler, and the horror stories I've heard (here) of fires....YIKES!. Very good idea cmurhy128.

    (that's the ONE thing that I haven't done yet this year (maint. wise) , and according to Murphy's law....................)
     

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