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Sad state of affairs


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#1 oldedeeres OFFLINE  

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Posted April 16, 2015 - 01:01 PM

When I was finishing up mowing last fall, Little John, the old STX38 simply quit moving. The engine was running fine, the mower was working, but I couldn't to get it to move either forward or back, although the shift lever moved easily. So, I'm thinking transmission. There was no slowing down, squeal or unusual sound or smell when forward motion stopped, so I didn't think a belt had turned over or broken or pulley had ceased. When I pushed it off the lawn to load it on the truck I found a large flat washer on the grass, so thought maybe it was something fairly simple like a burr came off and a shaft let go.
Took it in to the local Co-op where they said they'd look at it---- fast forward to last week (sarcasm intended). Turns out they put a tag on it, "not worth fixing" and left it sit outside all winter. O.K., my bad, I should have shaken their cage two weeks after I took it in there, but, I trusted "Mike" to get at it and let me know what was going on. He said he thought about it, and if the trani was shot,( didn't go in and look, just assumed), it was a waste of money. And besides, it is old and they sell a different make.
So, I loaded it up and drove an hour to the nearest John Deere dealer. Got the same story except they quoted at least two hours exploratory to assess the problem and a minimum cost of $800.00 if it was something simple, which they didn't consider likely. And because it's so old and only worth about $250.00 if it was running, I shouldn't put any money in it. They do have a very nice new D130 I can have for only $2500.00 plus tax though.
Personally, I'd rather spend some money and fix the old one; I don't care what the street value is if it works, as long as it doesn't cost as much to fix as a new, bigger, shinier, but less practical for my needs machine. And $800.00 is a heck of a lot less than $2500.00. I'm to the point where I don't trust any of these people if they are only trying to push the sale of a new machine rather than look at what's wrong with the old one and fix it. Maybe it is nothing more than a pulley. When they didn't even start it up and let it run, how do they know?
Anyhow, rant over, I again loaded it up and brought it home. My neighbour who is a mechanic said he'll come over and look at it for me, minimum charge will be a visit and lunch for him and his wife, lol.
In the meantime, what's the scoop on these V-twin Briggs motors they have in the D130 mowers? They are 22hp. as opposed to the 17.5 on my old mower and supposed to be the cat's meow, according to the salesman anyhow. I do have to consider that Little John really isn't fixable and I do need a mower. Just don't know if I trust my J.D. dealer anymore, and may have to consider a different make, perish the thought. Any advise you guys can give me is appreciated.
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#2 hamman ONLINE  

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Posted April 16, 2015 - 01:48 PM

No help on Deere tractors but I am sure sad to hear the crap they gave you. Most local places here will and do call to tell you about the problem and if it is or isn't fixable. Most (well all) will not charge ya to look at them.   Good luck hope you can save it.                                                                                                   Roger


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#3 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted April 16, 2015 - 01:55 PM

I have 2 STX38 parts machines that you can have for $50 each. They were very popular and there are still plenty around here for about $400 when in good running shape. Most of the new stuff is very expensive and doesn't seem to last long by the number for sale on CL with a major part blown. If your neighbor is interested may be you can get a better machine that he can fix for you. The other choice is for you to learn to do it yourself. That is the way many of us older guys are doing it. Good Luck, Rick


Edited by boyscout862, April 16, 2015 - 01:56 PM.

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#4 propane1 ONLINE  

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Posted April 16, 2015 - 03:19 PM

It's either a very simple fix or not fixable without putting a lot of money into it,  by the way you described it, hope its simple. If you were a lot closer, I would look at it for a dinner. hehe  Noel


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#5 daytime dave OFFLINE  

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Posted April 16, 2015 - 03:29 PM

It sounds like you may need a new mower.  I hope your neighbor can diagnose it accurately.  If it's not too much and the rest of the machine is in good shape, (I'd rely on the neighbor's judgement as to it's overall shape), I'd say fix this problem and move on.  2,500.oo is a lot.  


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#6 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted April 16, 2015 - 03:33 PM

Things like this make guys wish They could clone (or at least teleport) themselves.
You'd have a line of gents there to help in trade for dinner.
Sorry to hear your dealer let you down (both of them)

What brands are better supported locally?
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#7 jms180 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 16, 2015 - 03:49 PM

I would check to see what is wrong with the STX. The STX is a well built machine with the Kohler Command engine. The Kohler Courage engine not so good. In my opinion the STX is better built than the D series.


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#8 LilysDad OFFLINE  

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Posted April 16, 2015 - 04:49 PM

Lowes sells a D130 for $1899US.

 

That washer might imply that a pulley came loose. . .   or shift linkage came apart. You don't know without looking underneath.


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#9 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted April 16, 2015 - 05:15 PM

It's a fairly convoluted belt system (now hold on Green Guys... I didnt say MORE convoluted than everyone else, just that its bad)
Hopefully, it's just one of the washers that held one of the idlers on. The washer, was it flat or did it have a raised area in the middle like a bushing?

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#10 HANKG OFFLINE  

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Posted April 16, 2015 - 06:37 PM

You are exactly right about dealers wanting to sell you a new one rather than fix yours therefore the 800.00 repair bill to try to get you to buy the new one. From what you described my guess is that a bolt vibrated off dropped the washer you found on the ground and is a simple repair. If your neighbor can't help you look for a person who refurbishes mowers or maybe buy a good used new to you one . Hank
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#11 propane1 ONLINE  

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Posted April 16, 2015 - 06:59 PM

Nice diagram of the belt system Alan. It will take a few minutes to figure all that out. Noel.
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#12 propane1 ONLINE  

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Posted April 16, 2015 - 07:05 PM

I am guessing the big washer is number twenty. If the bolt fell out the spring loaded idler would no long be spring loaded and the belt would fall off. Just a guess, Noel.
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#13 oldedeeres OFFLINE  

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Posted April 17, 2015 - 01:39 AM

 Thanks guys, this is the old original STX38 with the black deck. My Olde Deere had picked up one of the others with the yellow deck as a parts machine, but it ran so well he used it as his legs to get around on. The mower was shot on it, but the rest of it is fine. The washer I found was a regular flat washer but I no longer have it---"mechanic" #1, didn't leave it with the machine when he parked it. When my neighbour gets a day off work he'll come over and I'll update you on progress.

   There happens to be a trade show in town this weekend and I'll (blush) look at a Cub Cadet. There is a dealer in town, much handier than the long drive to the J.D. dealer.

    Learn to fix it myself? I don't know Rick, Olde Dog, new trick, steep learning curve. Don't know if I have enough time left, lol. My bucket list is pretty full as it is. I sure would like to fix it by myself and then have a word or two with the "mechanics". It wouldn't change anything but I'd feel better.    :shoot2:


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#14 massey driver OFFLINE  

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Posted April 17, 2015 - 07:41 AM

One thing to look at I bought a used JD Sabre and was told by the guy I bought it from that he had taken it in to get it fixed and looked at and was told the same thing. [It wouldn't move back or forward either] Long story short after buying it from him [cheap] once it was home I found out that one of the wheel hubs that go onto the axle had sheared the internal pressed key way off that goes over/into the axle. All that was needed was a new rear wheel hub at about $ 70. When your neighbour comes over have him jack up each side if the rear of the tractor and see if he can freely turn either rear wheel.Or start the tractor and move the lever to forward and watch to see if the axle is turning inside the hub without moving the wheel.


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#15 HDWildBill OFFLINE  

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Posted April 17, 2015 - 12:26 PM

I hear the same thing from new Customers all the time.  "I took it into .... and they said it wasn't worth fixing."  Most of the time it is worth it and it's a fairly easy fix.  Many years ago I use to pick up used refrigerators along side the road or folks would give me.  I did this in my spare time and I guess I must have had over 200 of them pass through my shop.  Out of all them I only had one that actually had a bad compressor, two had bad evaporators and the rest were just small electrical part mainly the defrost system. 

 

I hope your neighbor is able to figure out what is going on with it and can fix the mower.  You may want to check around with your neighbors and friends to see it any retired folks work on small engines.  I don't advertise and go on just word of mouth so you may have a few around your area who do the same.


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