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Discussion Starter #1
Figured I would start this as a new thread seeing as how this may be valuable to any new members looking specifically for this type of information.

Here is my scenario for those who are not aware. New DGT6K this spring with 25hp kohler. Believe this is last year's model available in US seeing as how Canada is usually a little behind the US for this kind of stuff. In other words, this may have already been corrected on the newest models available.

At 5 hrs, I destroyed my factory V-belt on the deck. At 40 hours, I destroyed my NAPA V-belt that I bought for the deck. This is getting excessive, as belts can usually last 2+ years depending on application.

sorry for the picture quality, I am going to try and describe what I have found.
<img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v216/bwiswell/Tractor/Jam142B.jpg">

On the left (driver's side) of the deck is the tension pulley. I realized after belt #2, that the spindle cover on my machine was stopping the tension spring from pulling tight, hence a loose belt. I removed the spindle cover and tension spring tightened up the belt a LITTLE (see red lines). Appearing to still be loose, I added a shorter spring of my own (blue lines). There is almost an inch difference in how much tighter the tension pulley can tighten down.

The results so far are showing great improvement. My belt used to slip and smoke in moderately high and dense grass, especially on the center pully. Now, it seems much, much better. The spring I have currently is too light, so I will have to increase the pull. The lenght however, appears to be bang on.

I will get in touch with Sears to see what they will do. If I fix it myself, I will need 1) the shorter spring with bigger diameter and 2) need to shave a portion of the spindle cover to allow the additional travel of the belt and tension pulley arm.

I'll keep you posted.

SnowMower
 

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Snowmower
I can understand you wanting to fix it and get on with life, but this should be sear's problem not yours. Make them fix it, give you a new deck, or a new tractor. When the warranty is over on this tractor you'll regret not having it taken care of during the warranty period. Did you get it for free? I think not! It's great that you can work around the issue with the deck and come up with band aid solutions that sorta, kinda, work, almost but not really. Why should you be forced to operate the machine with a belt guard missing? This is a potentionally dangerous situation, no matter how careful you think you are, especially in the tall, wet grasss you describe. Demand action!! The sooner the better!
 

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There is a belt 'guard' under the left side of the tractor - you are not running your belt on the inside of that gaurd are you?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
No, I am not running on the inside of the belt guard. This is one of the first things I had noticed. It really appears as though that belt guard would be ideally suited for the 48" deck. But the belt rubs and is bent around that guard on the 54.

SnowMower
 

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Sorry to hear about your problems with the tractor. I bought one about 2.5 months ago. The salesman at sears told me the 54" deck had been recalled 3 times due to problems ( couldn't tell me why ); however, he assured me the one on mine was fixed. I haven't had a problem with the tensoner or spring. I did have to shave a little bit off the front side of the left mandrel cover, because of the belt rubbing. Like sixchows said, call Sears and make them fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, Sears came by today to have a look.
The guy was quite impressed by my JBJr and the box scraper.

But, unfortunately couldn't help much.
He is going to send me another belt (hope this one actually comes), and a new spindle cover.
The new spindle cover is not necessarily to correct my problem, but rather so I can shave mine up as required and patch my problem accordingly. And then, if someday I need to return the tractor or deck, I just put on the new cover.

I told him I had it on good word that Sears US has recalled this deck 3 times. Then, he reminded me that we are Sears Canada, and there has been no such recall.

So, his departing words, implement my patch for the rest of the this season and chase Sears down in the Spring.

Not sure how much I like that answer. I'm tempted to take the whole damn thing back. I was expecting at minimum a 'patch kit" because someone must have identified this problem by now. Barring that, a new deck. And barring that, a new tractor.

What do ya think guys?

SnowMower
 

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I just got the craftsman club flyer in the mail today. In it is the gt5000 w/54" deck and kohler 25hp on closeout for $2249. They obviously know it's a problem and are dumping them. You don't often see a first year model on closeout before the season even ends!

Don't let them keep putting you off until the warranty is finished. If this guy couldn't fix your problem, call them and tell them you want someone who can fix it to come to your place. AND don't pay for either service call. If they tell you this is their guy for your area and they don't have anyone else, tell them that this means since he can't fix it, it can't be fixed! Then tell them to come and get it!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Calling out my friends for help. Particularly my american friends, as you guys have access to all the info (and you love to sue people):D .

Can anyone help me find any of the tech bulletins/ recalls for the first gen 54" deck.

I'm looking for some hard ammo before I get back to Sears.

Part of me feels a little shifty in that I have worked this little tractor hard. But I believe any of my problems with this tractor have been related to the engineering of the deck. All things being equal, I love this tractor.

Am I within my rights to request a new deck? Or a new tractor? Ammo guys, would be fantastic.

thanks
SnowMower
 

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I think it's impossible for you to have worked the tractor too hard and caused the problem with your deck. I don't have any printed info other than the craftsman club ad showing this tractor/deck combo on closeout. It's only been out a short time, maybe not even the full season. That alone would seem like proof enough. Although, they may tell you it's due to a design change. If they are stupid enough to tell you that, then pin them down as to what has been changed. Chances are it has to do with the deck and that will prove your point. Asking for only a deck seems more than fair, especially after the tech saw you had to use it w/o the guard in place. Ask them if they would rather a lawsuit when your pants get caught in belt.
 
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