48" Ransome Mower -> only one speed!

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by buzzard86, Mar 11, 2007.

  1. buzzard86

    buzzard86 LawnSite Member
    from Philly
    Messages: 52

    Hey gang -

    I'm new to the forum... hope you can help me.

    I just picked up a late-model 48" Ransome walk behind model XM-4801. Runs great, but I discoved that I only have one forward speed that's a bit too fast. I thought that I may have had a bad gearbox, but upon further inspection I'm not sure that I even have a variable speed gear box. There's a pulley arrangement underneath that appears to apply more or less tension on the drive belt when you move the speed selector lever.

    Is this accurate? If so, can you tell me how I adjust the pulleys so that I can get multiple speeds? Or am I completely wrong on this? For the record, I'm also missing the metal rod that connects the control lever to the mechanism at deck level. I've been troubleshooting by manually pulling on the mechanism, but I don't see how this would affect things any. I can't pull up on the pulley arm at all... won't budge due to the belt tension.

    Thanks, in advance, for any and all help that you can provide.
  2. Jay Ray

    Jay Ray LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,510

    Never seen a variable speed mower so am unqualified, but could someone have stuck the wrong belt on it?
  3. pugs

    pugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,025

    First off, that is not a "late model"...LOL. I have no idea really but that machine is probably at least 10-15 years old at the minimum.

    I would suggest getting the rod before going any further. You can move a lever up top to one of 3 positions. Actually there is a 4th I think for neutral. The belt tension is controlled by a spring in the variable pulley. You are just moving an idler pulley to cause the belt to run deeper or shallower in the variable pulley. Without the rod you cant really hold it in different "gears".

    If you get the rod an that still doesnt make it change speeds, then I would check that variable pulley to see if it is free. Be very careful with that as there is a pretty nasty spring in there.
  4. buzzard86

    buzzard86 LawnSite Member
    from Philly
    Messages: 52

    Yep... it's a dinosaur. I used the term late model quite loosely. :laugh:

    It runs great, though, and the deck is solid so I think it's still got plenty of life left in it. Just want to get to the bottom of the speed control issue so I don't have to chase after the thing. I'll try to replace the connector bar to see if that helps. I appreciate your insight into how it works... makes sense now that you've described it to me. If that doesn't work, I'll update this post.

    Any recommendations on places online that might carry parts for a mower of this "vintage?"

    Thanks again!
  5. pugs

    pugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,025

    Any bobcat dealer should be able to get you parts. Some stuff is available aftermarket as well.

    The variable pulley and gearbox on those machines are quite pricey.

    You should be able to go here and click where it says "click here" to look up parts for it. They may even have some manuals in the parts lookup system that will tell you how to properly adjust all the belts on that machine.

    Alot more adjusting on that one than on the newer ones that all the belts have spring tensioned idlers ;)
  6. mini14

    mini14 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 236

    vari speed pulleys temd to freeze at one speed and stop working if they arent constantly being used.my 48 bunton with velke is stuck in high for the rest of its brutal exhistence....taking the pulley off to replace is not an option, from experience i know the whole thing is rust welded on the shaft.when it or the mower breaks it will see the scrape yard.

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