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Metro 36 drive lever

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by MetroBoy, Aug 31, 2002.

  1. MetroBoy

    MetroBoy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    The drive lever on my gear-drive Metro 36 constantly catches in the neutral lock or parking brake position. Some days it's so bad it seems I spend almost as much time messing with the thumb latches as I do mowing. Every other time I make a turn, I have to jiggle the latch to get the wheel back into drive. It's usually a little better when freshly greased, but I grease it just about every time I take it out, and still I have this problem.

    It's not only time-consuming and extremely annoying, but dangerous. I once had both wheels lock in neutral on me with the mower pointed uphill and me between it and a fall into a rocky creek bed. I only just managed to get the wheels moving again before me and my Metro tumbled into it.

    I have tried tightening the thumb latches but that's no good; it just locks up the drive linkage. I have been considering filing down the channels on the thumb latches to "encourage" the pin to slip into the drive position when I release the lever...

    Has anybody else had this problem, and how did you deal with it? I've done some searches, but couldn't find any discussion of it on the forum.
  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Messages: 4,258


    Thanks for the post. What your experiencing is nothing new and is easily corrected. There is an adjustment to the thumb latches. Simply tighten the mounting hardware about 1/8 of a turn until the thumb latches begin to feel a little stiff. This sets the tension on the 1/4" spring disk washers that are part of the assembly. The key is to keep the thumb latches tensioned so they aren't loose and sloppy at the pivot point. Generally this adjustment can be done many time over a period of years with out any issues. If however someone has really cranked down on the mounting hardware they may have completely flattened out the washers and they may need to be replaced.

    If it is the thumb latches that are causing the locking of the drive wheels then it is probably coincidental that they are less sensitive after lubrication.

    There is another option as well. The ECS handle controls and neutral/park brake latch assembly can be less susceptible to this same situation. Not only can it be less susceptible to this occurring but in my opinion the neutral park brake latches are much easier to operate and disengage in the event they are inadvertently engaged.


  3. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    You might want to also try moving your hands down on the handle grips a little. My right hand is weaker than my left especially when my fingers are extended due to a work injury many moons ago. I will sometimes hit the neutral lock inadvertantly as I unconciously move my hand up the handle grip in an attempt to make the finger extension smaller.

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