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  1. #1
    Platinum Member Pooh_Bear's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
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    739
    Location
    Dunlap TN 25 miles north of Chattanooga
    Tractor
    Early 1949 Ford 8N

    Default Problem with finish mower

    I have a 60inch finish mower (Big Bee brand). It has been mowing just fine all season. A couple of weeks ago I raised up the mower and ran thru some high grass. The thick stems of the grass just wrapped around the spindles and until it choked it off and the the belt started squealing. So I stopped and cleaned it out. Tried again. Same thing, except this time it thru the belt. I decided I wasn't gonna knock the tops off that patch of grass and get it mowed with the RFM. I put the belt back on, noticed it was worn but figured I could still get some life out of it. Started mowing some regular length grass and the belt started slipping. I stopped and tightened the belt up (it was loose). Tried mowing again. Would go a few feet in the grass, and the pulleys would slow down and just stop spinning, like the belt was slipping. I checked it again for tight, it was tight. Tried some more and the belt broke. No problem. I got a new belt in the shop. Took what was left of the old belt off. May have gotten a little old grease on the pulleys. Not sure. Put the new belt on. Mowed the yard a couple of times. But when I hit a patch of thick or high grass, the blades slow down and stop. Sometimes the belt squeals.
    Before I break another belt, how can I clean the pulleys of ANY and ALL grease that MIGHT be on them? And if I got any grease on the new belt, can it be cleaned? How? If grease is NOT the problem, are the spindles serviceable? Can they be taken apart and cleaned of all old grease and grass and other crud. What else can I do. Where do I go from here.

    Pooh Bear (aka Fluff for Brains)

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Dozernut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    1,574
    Location
    South Eastern Illinois
    Tractor
    M5660SU, ZD21, RTV900, B2630

    Default Re: Problem with finish mower

    Sounds like the bearings in the spindle shaft are bad. Yes they can be serviced, here is an exploded parts diagram from the web; http://www.agequipmentusa.com/manual....aspx?emid=288.

    I have done Land pride and Bushhog but not Big Bee. They are not that hard but take a little time. Parts, depending on where you buy them should run from $50 to $100. The site I listed sell the whole spindle assembly for $139 but unless the spindle housing is cracked you will not need the whole assembly, just the bearings and seals. Hope this helps a little, good luck!
    RB

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Pooh_Bear's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
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    739
    Location
    Dunlap TN 25 miles north of Chattanooga
    Tractor
    Early 1949 Ford 8N

    Default Re: Problem with finish mower

    Before I take a spindle apart, will I be able to tell if it is bad by spinning it? I would love to take them all apart and service each one. But if it is tedious and time consuming I don't know if I can get it done before the next mowing. I looked at that site. I couldn't find parts for a mower. Having the manual is helpful tho.

    Thanks.

  4. #4
    Super Member clemsonfor's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
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    7,761
    Location
    Greenwood Co., SC
    Tractor
    Yanmar YM2000

    Default Re: Problem with finish mower

    I think the belts were bad. The first one was glazed and streached as it was hot. Was that second belt really new or was it an old take off that you had laying around?

    To get greese off the spindles get a can of carb cleaner or brake clean (brake clean is cheaper) and spray the pullies down it will remove it. If there is lots of grease you may need to spray then rub with a rag then spray again. This will remove 90% of it though im sure.
    YM2000. MF dirt scoop,4' Jbar bushhog,boompole, LMC 12-16 disk harrow, 4' Atlas boxblade (with rippers). 1980 chevy K10,1990 ford ranger 2wd (285K miles),1997 saturn SL2 (twin cam!!),2001Toyota Higlander
    1986 Cobia 177 sunskiff w/1981 Johnson 60 hp
    1991 Javalen 17ft w/same year 150 Johnson GT
    Troybuilt 4 cycle & Echo 2 stroke,cold natured(need carb rebuild),MS390 Stihl, Northern tool pressure washer, mixes water into the oil in the pump(now dead, motor on a tiller). 5000 watt generator.

  5. #5
    Super Member clemsonfor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    7,761
    Location
    Greenwood Co., SC
    Tractor
    Yanmar YM2000

    Default Re: Problem with finish mower

    Oh and yes you can tell a bad spindle. It will either have a noise that the others dont have when you spin it, like a raor or a ticking. Or you can take the pulley (while its still on the deck) and see if you can rock it side to side. What i mean by this is grab one side and see if it has play when you try to lift the pulley up from one side or push down from one side. or if you push the pully away from you or toward you. The shaft should be tight and no slop in it, if there is movement there the bearings are bad.
    YM2000. MF dirt scoop,4' Jbar bushhog,boompole, LMC 12-16 disk harrow, 4' Atlas boxblade (with rippers). 1980 chevy K10,1990 ford ranger 2wd (285K miles),1997 saturn SL2 (twin cam!!),2001Toyota Higlander
    1986 Cobia 177 sunskiff w/1981 Johnson 60 hp
    1991 Javalen 17ft w/same year 150 Johnson GT
    Troybuilt 4 cycle & Echo 2 stroke,cold natured(need carb rebuild),MS390 Stihl, Northern tool pressure washer, mixes water into the oil in the pump(now dead, motor on a tiller). 5000 watt generator.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member Pooh_Bear's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
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    739
    Location
    Dunlap TN 25 miles north of Chattanooga
    Tractor
    Early 1949 Ford 8N

    Default Re: Problem with finish mower

    The belt was new in the package, but it had been here for a couple of years or so. It is one of those blue belts.

    I'll clean the pulleys and try again. Check all the spindles for ease of rotation and play in the shafts. This mower has always made a lot of noise from the point of view of sitting in the seat mowing. But is fairly quiet if just watching someone else mow. I grease it about every 8 hours of mowing time.

    It will be tomorrow before I can really look at it. I'll let y'all know what I find.

    Thanks. ~Pooh Bear

  7. #7
    Elite Member DT86's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
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    4,025
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    SW VA
    Tractor
    Kubota 9540, RTV 900 and David Brown 885.

    Default

    Oh bother.

  8. #8
    Bronze Member 5picker's Avatar
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    Jul 2004
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    97
    Location
    Western PA, USA
    Tractor
    TC33D Hydrostatic 7308 Loader

    Default Re: Problem with finish mower

    I'd bet it was just a worn belt. The belt sides were likely worn enough that it didn't grab the pulley "V" no matter how tight you made it. I also think you are over greasing the spindles at 8 hour intervals. And with all that grease in the pulley "V's" you'll need to clean them with brake clean or or carb cleaner or something similar or the grease in there will just have another belt slipping and worn out in no time.
    New Holland TC33D - 7308 Loader - 72" LuckNow 3PH snow blower with home built hydraulic chute rotation - 84" Woods RFM - 60" Woods Brushog - Home built ballast box - Home built landscape rake - 3PH post hole digger - Home built pallet forks - Home built receiver hitch - Home built soft cab - Home built boom

  9. #9
    Platinum Member Pooh_Bear's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
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    739
    Location
    Dunlap TN 25 miles north of Chattanooga
    Tractor
    Early 1949 Ford 8N

    Default Re: Problem with finish mower

    Oh, Bother is right. The grass won't stop growing and wait for me to fix the mower.

    I got a can of brake cleaner today. There used to be a sticker on the mower saying to grease the spindles every 8 hours of use. So I have been giving them about 5 pops with the air-grease gun about every 5 mowings. Still, it will be tomorrow before I can really check it all out.

    PB

  10. #10
    Platinum Member Pooh_Bear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    739
    Location
    Dunlap TN 25 miles north of Chattanooga
    Tractor
    Early 1949 Ford 8N

    Default Re: Problem with finish mower

    Ok, been looking at it this morning. Took the belt off. The pulleys had grease residue all over them. The belt has a slick spot worn around both sides that might be excessive wear from slipping or it might be just from the grease. I cleaned the pulleys off using brake cleaner and paper towels. The spindles didn't have any play in them and turned easily and quietly. Now I just have to clean the belt.
    I am worried that I won't be able to clean all the grease off the belt and will just get it right back on the pulleys. I can't tell how much of that slick spot worn around the belt is wear and how much is grease. So how do I know when it is clean. If I get grease on the pulleys again, I have to do this all over again and buy a new belt.
    Back to work on it I go.

    PB

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