steering control dampeners

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by Jason Rose, Jan 31, 2004.

  1. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    Just how stiff are they supposed to be? I just purchaced a 2001 Lazer Z Hp and my stering levers feel more like a rowing machine! Way too much resistance for me! Granted it is cold outside and my shop is only around 35 deg. but still, I mow in the cold too and from driving it around my property it seems really hard to control. The system I am used to is that on Dixon mowers, they just use springs that slightly pull the drive levers in the opposite direction you are pushing them...if that makes any sence.

    Question is: Is there a way to adjust the resistance on the dampeners, or are the new dampeners less stiff? Could I just remove them completely? I looked a Hustlers design and from what I recall they don't use dampeners at all on the levers. Thanks for the info, I look forward to getting a mulch kit and trying it out this spring.

    Oh... another Q: Same sort of topic... can the drive levers be raised up at all? I'm about 6'4" and the levers are nearly right on my legs and if I would have to move my leg to avoid something it hits the lever.
     
  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Jason,

    The dampeners are pretty stiff when new but the do loosen up pretty quickly........most will tell you too quickly. I wouldn't worry about it just yet. Get a good 40 - 50 hours on it and you should see a difference in the "feel". I wouldn't recommend removing the dampeners. They are there for several reasons. First to keep operators from moving the levers too quickly and spinning the tires which results in turf damage. Second to help the operator maintain a straight cutting pattern on rough lawns. When a lawn gets bumpy it's easy for the operator to get bounce and make unwanted corrections to the steering. Third, to protect the hydro drive system. An inexperienced operator can work the levers too quickly when changing directions causing excessive pressures in the hydro drive system if the dampeners are removed.

    I believe all commercial manufacturers use dampeners of some type or another.

    Yes, you can raise the drive levers. The drive levers can be mounted in the "low" position which fits most operators. This is where most dealers set them. There is also a "high" position that fits the bigger guys/gals. If you look at where the drive levers mount you'll notice two bolts holding them to the plated square mounting block. If you remove the bolts you can remover the drive levers and raise them to the "high" position.

    Thanks

    Terry

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  3. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    The unit I bought has about 165 hours on it. It's a 2001 model. I think the dampeners are broke in, as you said about 50 hrs to break in. They are just extremely stiff.
     
  4. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Jason,

    There are a few possible answers to why the damners are sooooo stiff. First compare them to a new machine. They may be functioning the way they are intended. Second it's possible that the previous owner changed the dampners and they thus need to broken in. Last and most likely is the cold. When it's cold the damner will get a little stiff until it warms up.

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  5. MikeLT1Z28

    MikeLT1Z28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,732

    if you do take them off you will put them right back on! wait till one goes completely bad then try and run your machine! just wait till it warms up and then get a few hours on them if they are new. or you could go borrow a walker for a day and then get back on the lazer (walker use springs but the steering is waaay too sensative to me).
     
  6. Ryan2

    Ryan2 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    I do agree that you will not want to take them off. You will not be able to keep the mower straight and it will be very hard to slowly trim around objects. They will break in after minimal use.
     
  7. Guardian

    Guardian LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 269

    I found today that they don't come off my 60" very easy. I spent 30 minutes trying to get my hands in the right place to remove a broken dampner. The thing is, I have done this before on 44" lazer and don't remember having so much trouble. I was going to replace both, but after all that, I decided to wait until it breaks!
     
  8. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Guardian,

    It can be a little difficult to get at everything but usually the lower bolt is the toughest to get at. If I recall you need to run right along the side of the batter to get at the one lower bolt.

    Glad to hear you have the one bad on replaced.

    Thanks,

    Terry
     
  9. Ryan2

    Ryan2 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    You can also acess the lower nut by reaching in front of the rear tire above the deck drive belt. I usually reach down from the top to get them unless they are being stubborn, then I go in front of the wheel. I take them off and then put the end of the bolt in the vise and turn the double nuts right off. Then I slide the old ram off and slide the new one on and replace the double nuts. It works really efficiently that way.
     

Share This Page