Stuck homeowner with pistol grip questions

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by fprintf, Apr 2, 2003.

  1. fprintf

    fprintf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    Hi gang,

    I have a geared pistol grip walk-behind that I purchased at the end of last season and I am in a quandry about the adjustments of the brakes. I have a Toro Proline 48 geared pistol grip fixed deck WB which is very similar to the Exmark Metro 48.

    When adjusting the brakes according to the directions, it seems that I cannot engage the parking brakes easily. The following occurs:

    1. I adjust the control rods so there is 1/8" of play between the rod that goes through the control rod and the base of the parking brake/neutral thumblocks (that was hard to describe). Otherwise my drive belts were not fully engaging and I was getting pulling to one side.

    2. I adjusted the tightness of the brakes using the wingnuts on either side of the machine so that I can engage the parking brakes relatively easily. I have to pull the brake levers to the grip to apply the brake on either side. While still being able to engage the parking brakes easily, I cannot make either wheel lock up.

    3. I then adjusted the brakes so that either wheel will lock up when the brake levers are almost to the grip. This still requires almost a full "throw" of the brake lever to get the mower to turn 180 degrees. However in this setting I cannot engage the parking brakes without really pulling on the levers with all my strength and engaging the brake lock with my other hand.

    So it seems there must be a happy medium in there somewhere but I have yet to find it. Am I doing something incorrect, or do I just need to wait for the machine to break in a little bit? It has about 8 hours of use on it. I hadn't expected for there to be such fine tuning required - adjusting one rod 1/2 turn, then adjusting the wingnuts 1/4 turn at a time to find the sweet spot. I am also somewhat concerned that I might be doing something wrong and the brakes really should be engaging closer to the initial pull point of the lever travel - but this makes the parking brakes useless to me.

    Either I need to fix this, or I just need to get larger forearms! Maybe they'll develop on their own after a season of pulling on the pistol grips!
  2. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    If it's a 48 I assume it's their fixed deck. They make a T bar version of that, so I bet you could have a dealer install a T bar system on the mower for you. Much easier to use and adjust.
  3. fprintf

    fprintf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    G'day bruce,

    Yes, it is the fixed deck version. I really didn't want to spend any additional money on the mower just yet. I am actually quite pleased with the mower as it is, just concerned that I am doing something incorrect in adjusting it.

    I can use the mower as it is, I'll just be unable to set the parking brakes easily. I have lived with it for 8 hours so far, and quite frankly can continue to live with it if that is the way it is supposed to be.
  4. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    I think I read someone here saying it cost them about $300 for the T bar upgrade, so that would be some extra cash.

    If it's just at your home, I'm not sure why you're needing the parking brake, unless you just want it set up right, period. Usually that is for transporting. But if it makes you feel any better it's tricky to get the parking brake on the T bar adjusted properly w/o messing up the operation of the unit.

    I'm sure someone here with pistol grip experience will pipe in soon with an answer for you.

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