slop in dampening cylinders

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by sparechange, Sep 3, 2001.

  1. sparechange

    sparechange LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    i have a lazer hp 48/21 hp. i am starting to get some slop in the dampening cylinders on the hydro controls. this mower has 45 hrs on it. there does not appear to be any way to take the slop out of the cylinders. is there a fix for this or am i missing something?
     
  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Dear sparechange:

    Have you spoken with your local Exmark Dealer about this problem? If you haven't, I would encourage you to do so. If the problem is in the dampeners, there is no fix or adjustment, except to replace them.

    What is happening is that you are getting air in the dampener, because a seal is shot. This results in the slop you are feeling in the drive levers. Replace the dampeners, and you should be fine. If you have any other questions, you can either contact your Dealer or e-mail me at Dustin.Schwab@exmark.com.

    Dustin
    Exmark Customer Care
     
  3. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 870

    Those steering dampners are a bit of a sore subject.

    1.) Their failure rate seems high: We replace about 1 every 424.6 machine hours (according to my equipment maintenance software)

    2.) Our cost (at Exmark dealer) is $49.99 + tax! I know from ordering equipment from Suspa (the dampner manufacturer) that the cost of these is but a mere fraction of that. (I don't know what Exmark pays for them, but I assure you they're a very profitable part to distribute and sell.)

    They're easy to change and a dampner failure does not result in downtime, but...

    Either spec a better dampner or make them more affordable.
     
  4. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Dear Kent Lawns:

    A failure rate of one dampener every 424.6 hours is not terrible for an item that receives so much use. Think of how many times the average operator moves the drive levers in one day, especially if the operator is cutting a lot of small, residential properties. If you figure this as an hourly cost, the dampener costs you approximately $0.12 per operating hour. Regardless, I can tell you that this item frequently shows up on our warranty claims forms and that we are in the process of investigating our options.

    Like any good businessman, you are looking for ways to reduce your costs, and like any good manufacturer, we are looking for ways in which we can improve our product. In the future, we hope to offer you a more durable dampener for your Exmark units.

    Thanks for your input,

    Dustin
    Exmark Customer Care
     
  5. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 870

    I guess we're spoiled because so few parts ever need replacement on our Exmarks :) lol

    Thanks for the reply.
     
  6. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    I'm wondering if the dampeners are really that necessary to have? If you're a well seasoned operator, and have mastered the machine, it seems almost as if you could do a more efficient job without it. Sure, it would take a bit of getting used to, as the machine would be a bit "jumpy" and sort of have an attitude at first, but once you got that down pat, you could become exTREMEly effective on this machine. It would be like surgery!
     
  7. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Runner:

    On our system, it is necessary to have dampeners of some kind. Without any dampeners, it would be very difficult, as you mentioned, to control. This may not be a problem for the "seasoned operator." However, how many hours does it take someone to become a seasoned operator, and how much damage will the unit incur during this period of time? It only takes a few seconds for a pressure spike to damage a hydraulic pump. By removing the dampeners you saved approximately $0.12 per operating hour (if we use Kent Lawns unit as an average). The only problem is now we have to replace a $350 hydraulic pump.

    Until we find a better way of dampening the motion control levers, we will continue to use the hydraulic dampeners. As I told Kent Lawns, we are always looking at improving the current dampening system. As soon as we find something that works better, we will pass it on to you guys.

    Thanks for the comment,

    Dustin
    Exmark Customer Care
     
  8. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    Dustin wrote:
    .............................
    Without any dampeners, it would be very difficult, as you mentioned, to control. This may not be a problem for the "seasoned operator." However, how many hours does it take someone to become a seasoned operator, and how much damage will the unit incur during this period of time? It only takes a few seconds for a pressure spike to damage a hydraulic pump.
    .............................

    I'm not trying to be argumentative but I have a question. If not having dampeners is difficult to operate and could conceivably cause damage to the hydro drive system how does Dixie Chopper get away without dampeners? The VTC hydro system has been out for about 2 years now and I have heard nothing about hydro problems like you hear about Scag.
     
  9. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Dear Richard Martin:

    Look back to the first sentence of my last post. In the last post, I started with the words, "On our system. . ." The statements that I made were specific to Exmark riders only. With our current system, eliminating the dampeners or using it with failed dampeners may damage the hydraulic components due to pressure spikes in the pumps. Fortunately for us, we don't have many hydraulic problems.

    Other companies, like D.C., do different things, which work for them. Different strokes for different folks!

    Dustin
     

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