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A funny thing happened on the way to cutting the lawn

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by mywaynow, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    My Toro Z Master has about 110 hrs on it now. I think it is 4 years old. I check the fluids regularly and do a service at the beginning of the season. Last check of hyrodraulics showed a loss of fluids. It took a half a cup to get it back a level. Brought the tractor up to the garage and was jacking up the rear end when a odd sight occurred. As the rear tire was breaking contact with the driveway, it was tilting inward, like a front suspension of car would do. Odd for sure, no independent suspension on this thing. When I grabbed the tire a shook it, the assembly was loose big time. Turns out both rear tires were way loose, even shed one of the nuts completely off the bolt that holds the housing to the frame. These were not lug nuts, but bolts holding the bases. This is a commercial mower that I would not have suspected of such wear. I have the feeling the assembly was never done correct in the first place.

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  2. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Bummer. I expect my craftsman riding mower to do something like that but not a toro ZTR. Those puppies are not cheap!
  3. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, 6k doesn't get much these days!
    ScotO likes this.
  4. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Common to have lug bolts rather than jug nuts and studs but it sounds like someone either didn't get them tight enough or they were not rechecked after running them for a few hours.

    I see quite a few ZTR mowers with egged out lug holes due to the number of direction reversals a typical ZTR sees. Check those lugs!
  5. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    I have done the services myself over the last 2 years. The original break-in was done by the dealer who promptly lost my business after trying to charge me about a hundred bucks more than I was quoted. They replaced (or charged me for) spark plugs at 20 hours! Regardless, when I do the service it does not involve a lift, so I never saw the loose condition. Lugs were fine however. She rides a bit better now that it is tight.
  6. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Loctite's yer friend. Sounds like, as you said, maybe a sloppy assembly a long time ago just now come to raise its ugly head. Good that you found it & figgered it out & fixed it. Rick
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Duct tape is the mower's best friend!

  8. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Doesn't sound like he's talking about lug nuts/bolts, but rather the bolts that hold the axle halves to the differential housing, hence the loss of hydro fluid? Maybe I've just lived in the IH Cub Cadet world too long, to be reading this right.
  9. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Zero turns have gone to integrated pump/wheel motor units that bolt directly on the machine's frame. Perhaps it is indeed those mounting bolts that loosened up on MyWay.
  10. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Yep... fully aware of that, but he said this was a tractor, not a zero turn mower.

    You just have the advantage of knowing what a Toro Z Master is. ;)
  11. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    Your reading this correctly, the mounts that came loose held the drives to the frame.
  12. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    !!! Well, I was still wrong, but yikes! I'd also assume they were not properly tightened down from day no.1.
  13. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    I would have to agree they could not have been properly torqued. I mow about 3.5 acres in about 50 minutes, which means I am at full steam most of the time. I opted for the smaller 48 inch deck to assist in getting around plants and dealing with inclines (scalping). It used to take me 2.25 hours with my good old IH Cadet 742. The lawn is lumpy around the Willow and Pines and bouncing is an issue. So much so that I have to route the deck adjustment pin in a way that prevents it from backing out with all the banging around. Darn thing steers much better when the drives are snug!
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It's a good idea to regularly check all bolts. Rough terrain is bound to shake some bolts loose, particularly if one is going fast. Our old Craftsman lost a few engine mount bolts this way.
  15. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    True, but maybe not on a commercial machine at 110 hours! That thing is essentially new, having a design expectation of 30 - 50 hours per week. It's seen the equivalence of 3 weeks commercial use.

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