Tractor Forum banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
**Warning Long Message**

Pre-ride: Saturday I got started with the new tractor. I decided to check the assembly instructions to ensure that Sears had done all things correctly when they assembled it for me (I had originally requested it be delivered unassembled, however, they said they could not since it would be to heavy to move on and off the delivery truck in the crate) What I found was alot of the assemble was done incorrectly! I started in the owners manual and began with the first task - steering wheel. It was not on straight. Easy fix (but sloppy work) Next item the seat. They had only put one mounting bolt on - no lock washer. as for the seat tracks - those were mounted with the correct nuts, however, again they did not use the lock washers. The next item was the deck and the nose roller was installed finger tight. Scary. Many other issues arose as I continued with the inspection/assembly. To keep me from ranting here I'm going to voice my concern to Sears and in a letter to all parties involved. My overall impression of the 'free assembly' was that they threw it together in a big hurry to move onto the next job.

After cutting: I was able to get to cutting yesterday. Here is my question - When cutting it left some grass trails in two rows spaced about as far as the blade tips would be on the center and left blade. I stopped and checked that the blades were on tight. They were. I had leveled the deck side to side, front to back and adjusted so the front tip of the blades was approx. 1/4 to 1/2" lower than the rear tip as suggested in the OM. Frankly I was disappointed with the cut. I am thinking one of two things at this point: the blades are not spooling up to proper speed or they are dull. I checked them and I would not say they were 'razor sharp' however they were not super dull either. The grass was dry and moderately high. I was cutting at a high level 5" considering the height of the grass. Mowing slowly and a full throttle. I had the gouge wheels set at proper height also. The look of the grass reminded me of when my other craftsman would have a loose belt that kept the blades from spinning at full speed. So any thoughts on what to check other than sharpening
the blades? Should you have to sharpen 'new' blades?

Other issues: The arm to raise and lower the deck is very difficult to engage. You have to really struggle with the button to lower it and if you are lowering it to the lowest position it does not want to 'click' into the slot at the bottom. Then if you get it in it is a bear to get back out to raise the deck. Compared to my old craftsman that is squeeze as you please. Any thoughts?

When I enter a turn the auto tranny seems to slow itself down. I can have the stick forward and then go into a turn and it will move back to the slowest position. Anyone heard of this before?

Good news: The tractor runs great. Had plenty of power. I did a break in cycle on the engine and bleed the tranny. Love the ride and it seems that the 'California' carb is going to work ok. Throttled up nice and throttles down. The governor kicks in as it should on hills and under laod. Love the tach and gage placement seems fine. It did good on gas. Rode for about 3.3 hours on half a tank. I'm cutting 2+ acres on hill side that was old pasture land. I spun a few times so perhaps some wheel weights would be in order. The push bumper install went off with out a hitch. Looks good and should provide some good protection.
Cutting performance aside the deck seems to throw the grass well. It fits the tractor nicely making it intuitive to steer around and toward obstacles.

30 Day Free Service call: No doubt that I'll be calling Sears for the free in-home call. Here is what I want to get done so far:
1. Replace all the missing bolts (Mowing with one bolt holding your seat not fun)

2. Look into cutting issue? Is it spooling up as it should? Blades need sharpening?

3. Deck lift handle - fix engagement button to be easier to engage to lower deck and fix sticking at button position.

Any other things to have checked and or serviced you can think of?

Overall - very good tractor that needs a few bugs worked out.

I'll post some pics when we get a digital camera soon.

thanks for your help and feedback.

john
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,173 Posts
hey john, congrats on the new ride.. thats gottas piss you off when its put together quickly like that..

you sound pretty thorough and you say were cutting at full throttle and going nice and slow... do you think it just bogged down due to too high of grass in those spots?

it did not leave the strip all over right? were the 2 rows that it missed was that grass extra heavy? you mulching or bagging or just letting the grass go?


Id want to try it again when the grass is not so high and see how it does...

lots of GT owners here... someone will chirp in..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,687 Posts
John
As for the sloppy assembly, no one will ever do it the way you would. This carries over to most things in life. Have you ever seen the big box of used nuts and bolts at a service station or body shop? Where do you think they came from?

As for the uncut grass is it possibly from the tire tracks and not coming back up fast enough to be cut. I would do as sj said and cut before it gets so high again. But chances are we don't need to tell you this because you probably want to cut it everyday just to get some seat time:D

As for the hydro, couldn't say since mine is 6 speed.

As for the lift lever, have you tried to loosen the adjusting knob all the way counter clockwise? Remember the deck can only fall as far as the gauge wheels will allow. I think you wouldn't want the deck locked in any position anyway as it wouldn't be free to "float". The reason the button might be difficult could be because you're trying to make the lever go all the way down when the gauge wheels are trying to hold it up. When it's in the up position does it release easier? When you use the knob to adjust deck height, and let the lever go forward to lower the deck the button shouldn't come back up as you won't be at the end of the limit only about 1/2 way. In the up position pull back on the lever slightly as you depress the button and see if that helps. If not maybe that rod with the button on top is bent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
I have a GT5000, and I too have an issue with the deck height lever button. It acts like it doesn't want to disengage its lock and let the deck drop. It seems as though I need to push directly along the length of the lever to get the lock to let go and let the deck drop. (Since I have done a lot of volunteering with my Greyhound Adoption group: 10 full weekends of fundraising so far this year) I haven't had time to try to adjust it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
simple_john : Right now I am just cutting and throwing the grass. I'm using the blades that came with the mower. It does a good job throwing the grass out. I was cutting at full throttle. Even though the grass was high it was not very thick in most sections. What I found interesting was the it seemed at times to cut fine and then it would leave the 'trails' and some of the times it left 'trails' it was in the thin grass areas. Basically I had to go
back and run across those areas again. (I enjoyed the extra time on the tractor but I did not enjoy that I had the extra time ti cut something that should have cut the first time if you know what I mean) Sometimes when I would turn it would leave alot of grass uncut in the apex of the turn.
I plan on cutting again this weekend and seeing how it does.

sixchows: Love the comment about bolts left over. In fact when we would rebuild engines we always had some bolts left over - but it ran good!
Got what your saying about the lift handle. I noticed that the handle will only fall to the point of the deck height. It is really the release of the handle at the top of the position. I tried to take off the 'load' by pulling towards before pressing the button and that helped some, however, not enough. It is a real struggle. I wiggled the rubber grip some thinking that it may have worked its way up the bar and it may have been interfering with the button operation but it was seated fine. Now if you dial the deck all the way down and raise the gouge wheels so that the deck sits on the ground it will not want to drop into the indent at the bottom. If you work to get it in then once you want to raise the deck it take a might force to get the button pressed to release the handle. I tried looking under the dash and from underneath to look for anything that may be binding and I could not see anything. I will say the 54" deck is heavy - so when your pulling that bad bay up it make you think about an electric lift :whistle:

Now for some real serious news. It had been a long day and I had some small branches that I had trimmed in the driveway. Well they needed to go to the burn pile at the bottom of my property. I thought well its a good walk and walking back up the hill will be a chore but hey finish that and I'm done. That is when I looked over at the tractor:naah: I swear that tractor looked like a dog just waiting to play catch with you. It just smiled at me and said 'I"ll give you a ride" . Can't turn down an offer like that. Fired her up and drove those three sticks down to the pile. Coming up the hill I realized it was nicer to sit and steer that to walk. :driving:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
130 Posts
To help with the lever unlatch in the up position you would pull back on the lever just a bit to take the load off the latch then push the button, to unlatch in the lower position just push the lever forward just enough to again take the load off the latch and then push the button.
 

·
Tractor Lover
Joined
·
4,461 Posts
Does your mower deck seem heavy when you disengage the lock (red button)....There's an attachment assist sprong that you may want to tighten. It's located under the rear deck on the left.:D
 

·
Tractor Lover
Joined
·
4,461 Posts
Originally posted by klein444
I swear that tractor looked like a dog just waiting to play catch with you. It just smiled at me and said 'I"ll give you a ride" . Can't turn down an offer like that. Fired her up and drove those three sticks down to the pile. Coming up the hill I realized it was nicer to sit and steer that to walk. :driving:
It'll also ride you to the mailbox:lmao:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,687 Posts
John
I don't think the deck will lock into that down position slot, but other sleeve hitch attachments will.

As I re-read what you're saying about the cut problem, it could be the deck is loading up and the quality of the cut deminishes and then it clears itself and then cuts better. Do you you hear any change in the deck just before it gets better?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I don't recall a sound difference - maybe a feel. Feels like the deck was lifting itself more when it cut well. Then kinda lower when getting into taller grass. It would have a slight left to right movement - ever so slight when it would not cut well. That is what made me think that it must not be spooling up to full speed - kinda like it lacked the power to handle the grass. And although I said tall grass I would say no taller than 8 - 9" and not very thick. Think sparse with patches. What also puzzled me was that it would leave one or two strands of grass completely uncut - they looked like a piece of straw. Just standing there after a pass 'under' the deck. Some of the field is very thin grass that would not even put a load on a hand pushed reel mower and it too would not get a complete cut.
For comparison I had cut the grass when it was the same height with my older LT4000 and it would handle it fine as long as the blades were sharp.

Can the electric clutch in some way be holding back the speed of the deck?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,687 Posts
John
Is this the 54" deck? 27hp with the 54" deck should be OK. I have a 22hp Kohler in my GT with the 50" deck and it seems to have enough power, never bogs down.
Was there any problem with deck pulley alignment? I thought someone had mentioned some of them not being lined up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Can't find the lift assist spring - how sharp should your blades be?

Randy - I looked under the mower and I do not see a spring on either the left or right side. I also did not see a mention of it in the owners manual under the deck assembly instructions or in the back in the lift assembly repair parts. Should the tractor have one or were you referring to a different model?

and OK kids don't try this at home - but while I was looking for the attachment assist spring I decided to look at the blades again. I ran my finger along the cutting edge and I did it again and again harder each time. That blade would not cut you if you tried. I know a mower blade need not be 'razor' sharp but this thing was DULL. They all were that way. I think I was hitting the grass - not cutting it. Which brings me to ask - how sharp should a blade be?


Does everyone run their deck lower in the front than the rear as the OM suggests or do you run it level front to rear?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,687 Posts
On mine there is an assist spring under the fender pan above the l/r wheel. Mine was bought in 2000 and is green and just says GT on the sides of the hood. I think yours has a larger gas tank so not sure if you have it. Look in the manual under lift assembly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,569 Posts
John…

I set-up the 48” deck on my GT5000 with the front about 3/8” lower
than the back. This is my 2nd season with the deck and it cuts very
well as long as I don’t try to mulch. I would give the deck another
chance, I don’t think the problem is the blades not coming up to speed
or not being sharp enough. I’ll bet on sixchow’s guess about tire’s
laying the grass down. This tractor is a lot heaver than your old one
and that tall thin grass is probably getting a good squeeze. See how
the deck cuts when the lawn is not so tall (9”).

The lift arm button on mine was also hard to push in when I got the tractor.
I oiled all the arm and deck points and after a few weeks it was fine.
My arm will not “Lock” in the down position when I’m cutting, the height
adjustment keeps the deck from going down that far.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the scanned lift assembly image - mine does not look like that one. It is missing the lift assist spring and its bracket. The tank sits under the left fender and seat - nice though as it is 5 gallons!

I went back and read some past posts on poor cutting performance - seems like I describing the classic 'wind row' effect. Even though the grass was not waist high it was high and that may be what was causing the problem. I plan to cut it again this this weekend and look to cut about 1 1/2 inches off VS 3".

I also played with the attachment lift arm. The knob is very difficult to engage, however, it could be that my old one was much easier and 'worn' in so I'm unfairly comparing it to that which I am used to.
I noticed that when you dial the cut height down as low as it will go the deck is bottoming out on the floor and you could make it 'lock' in if you really push. Again I'm comparing against the old tractor that has the height settings range 1 - 6 as separate indents for the attachment arm to click into.

Thanks for the input on front to back deck level. I'll keep the front lower as I have it now for this coming weekend.

But what about how sharp should a lawn mower blade be? I usually put enough of an edge on one that it would cut your finger if you ran it along it. I make sure that the edge is not so thin that it would wear right down. What is the rule of thumb when it comes to 'blade sharpening 101'


Should I tie up the discharge shoot to help clearing of the deck?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,687 Posts
I think the edge should be squared off slightly,not thin like a knife edge. A thin edge won't stay sharp too long as it is more prone to nicks.

As for the deflector shield, that's your call. You realize that the grass will discharge more evenly and be thrown further with the shield off or up, BUT BE CAREFUL! Things will fly out quickly and could seriously injure someone even at a distance.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,394 Posts
Pre-assembled items have always been my heart burn. Ahile back when originally looking for a vac cart in Lowes, I noticed a bag of assorted hardware laying inside the trailer portion of an already assembled vac cart, and it was predominately lock washers and flat washers..........yet they have the balls to charge $$ for assembly. This past week I seen em at Lowes and Wally World assembling gas grills.........same thing again, tons of unused hardware left over and just a quick look at items revealed rounded out phillip or allen screw heads, no washers (flat or lock) used, nuts or bolts excessively tightened down into and stressing and distorting the base metal, just general shoddy assembly overall. OPne time while waiting for the wife to get through the checkout line in Wally World, I managed to pick up a pocket full of new unused assorted hardware from the front section of Wally World where they assemble mowers and lawn furniture bicycles etc.......Everything was long assembled and all this hardware was left laying all around the area........

I agree assembly on you tractor for the most was hap hazzard and done in such a manner so they could get their next assignment finished as well and have more screwoff time, and their attituude probably was stick it to gether good enough so it looks like its all there and then let the Service / Repair guy do what it takes to satisfy the customer. It seems this is all to much a common way of doing things anymore since the advent of big box stores.
 

·
Tractor Lover
Joined
·
4,461 Posts
I'm sorry klein444...when I said your lift assembly was under the deck, I meant the seat deck or seat or fender pan...Sorry for using the wrong terminology...My GT3000 came standard with one...My GT5000 did not.

If your deck is moving back and forth (left to right) as you cut, they may have neglected to attach the stabilizer arm..It's on the right side towards the front of the mower deck.

You should have a cutting depth dial on your machine. The mower deck only locks in the up position....it drops and hangs to whatever you dialed in for a cutting height.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
272 Posts
No more button or handle for me I have a actuator running the show, even the wife can ajust the deck with very little effort.
plus I can adjust on the fly when I see a problem area coming.
I removed the handle and Im about to remove the old adjustment
knob. you can find the post in the, garden tracton section


one arm bandit removed :D
http://www.tractorforum.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3940

sleeve hitch conversion hidden actuator install
http://www.tractorforum.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3939
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top