Lesco 36" Mower; Multiple Problems

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by ralph84, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. ralph84

    ralph84 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    Hello, all, if I can help you with any additional info, please let me know and I'll post it, I'll do my best to give you everything I can.

    My Lesco walk-behind is about ten years old, according to its original owner. It has a 14 hp Kawasaki motor on it. I don't believe anything has ever been replaced on it before.

    The first problem I have is that it is dragging quite a bit to the right. If I let go of both brakes, it pulls to the right. If I am cutting a yard, it's also very difficult to turn right because pulling the right brake lever is very hard, so I usually just cut going the opposite direction (which is counter-intuitive).

    The second problem I have is that my blades are not running very fast, the belt was slipping off, and it is now staying on, but the blades still run at about half speed. I think the belt is frayed and this is causing the problem, and I just need to get a new belt. Do y'all know if the belt has to be for a Lesco, or will any belt for any 36" walk-behind work?

    The final problem is that when going up a hill or through thick grass, the mower will stop moving. It's almost as if the motor doesn't have enough "umph" to push me through, and i have to push hard on it to get it to move. This can happen on even a slight incline, and it's not really awful, but it's certainly not handy. Any ideas?

    So, I know this is a large list, but anyone feel free to chime in on any one of these that you might know about, and hopefully you can help me solve all of them! Thank you so much for reading, and thanks in advance for your help! Have a good day!
     
  2. Breezmeister

    Breezmeister LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from South Jersey
    Posts: 1,494

    Well, there could be a few reasons for this, and you could be in for alot of work. Easy stuff first. Check the air pressure in both rear tires, it should be the same. (20 PSI ?) If you can get your hands of a cloth measuring tape, measure both tires to make sure they are the same circumference.

    Now check the front tires, if the bushing in the yoke supports are bad or gone, the tires could be rubbing against the deck, causing it to act like a brake, stopping the tires from turning.

    Let me know what you find....

    If you can wait untill Monday, I can get you the part number......


    If the Jackshaft pulleys have never been changed, you will need to change these out along with the belts. But that depends on how you answer this question. When you are going up a hill, dose the transmission still turn the jack shafts ? The Jackshafts are what connect the trans to the drive pulleys that drive the belts that move the wheels.

    If this is not the case, maybe all you have to do is adjust the trans idler pulley. If you look under the back of the engine deck, you will see a big pulley that connects to the trans, just off to the front right you will see the little idler pulley, if the belt is good, then just loosen the nut and slide the pulley in towards the center and tighten it up.

    Let me know how you make out, and if you can find out what year your Lesco was made would be a help.
     
  3. DT Lawn Care

    DT Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 850

    Sounds like your wheel drive belts are out of adjustment, and probably your right brake too.

    On most WBs you can take out a pin at the handbrake, and loosen or tighten the connecting rod to adjust the tension on these. If this doesn't fix it, check the tension on the belt from the motor to the trans (under the frame). It should be REALLY tight in order to work well. If that's loose, that could very well be the problem with that.

    As for adjusting the brakes, I'm not sure on a Lesco, but it should have a wingnut or just a nut that you can loosen or tighten to adjust them.

    As well as your deck belt, if you haven't tried to tension it, try that. If you have tried that and you need a new belt, take it to your hardware store or I personally would go to Napa. Unless it is some really weird belt, a standard V-belt should suffice.

    Good Luck :)
     
  4. ralph84

    ralph84 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    Okay, first thanks for all y'all's help! Your responses were tremendously helpful.

    Second, I found the belt! There's just one problem now: I can't get the thing on! If you're looking at the mower from the front, the spindle that's located more toward you and toward the right of the mower (the stationary one, not the one that engages the blades) has a guide pole next to it to keep the belt from slipping off of the spindle. However, I don't know what to do to move that pole out of the way.

    Am I just not strong enough to loosen the nuts and take the spindle off, because I tried that to no avail.
     
  5. Breezmeister

    Breezmeister LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from South Jersey
    Posts: 1,494

    Lesco has two different belt guides. One is just a tube over a carriage bolt topped off with a nut to hold it in place. Once you get the nut loose, you might have to tap the guide or even remove the carriage bolt. The other style is shaped like a L and is just held on with a bolt. Just loosen the bolt a few turns and it should move out of the way for you. Both will need a 9/16 socket. If you have to, get a breaker bar and a small piece of pipe to help give you alittle more leverage, just be careful.
     
  6. DT Lawn Care

    DT Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 850

    lol, nope you don't have to take the spindle off.

    The "pole" that is next to the pulley is a belt "finger". As you said, it keeps the belt from coming off. The bolt should go through the deck to the underside. It is adjustable, and you will need a socket wrench(es) to loosen. You can then swivel it out of the way to get your belt on.

    Normally, they are set so you can get your belts on without too much trouble, like just pulling it with one hand while cramming the belt in with the other, but maybe not the case with yours.

    Good Luck :)
     

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