Plastic Pulleys on an X300? Say it ain't so.
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    Plastic Pulleys on an X300? Say it ain't so.

    Hi Everyone,

    New to the group and I am wondering about something. The back story:

    Last weekend I was giving my wife's uncle a hand with his Husqvarna riding mower (box store purchase with 125 hours on it). His machine had slipped its drive belt off the back end. When we finally pushed it into his garage, removed the mowing deck and got it jacked up, we noticed that the three of the pulleys along the drive belt were made of plastic. (These guys are in between the drive pulley/PTO under the engine and the transmission/fan pulley above the differential in the rear, which, interestingly, are both made of metal.) Two of the plastic pulleys were v-channel and the other was flat, but all of them were severly melted in multiple places and no longer ran smooth. I canI only assume this was the reason the drive belt jumped off the rear pulley. Long story short, we pulled off the cooked pulleys and ordered three new pulleys and a new belt from the dealer.

    As I walked back across the street to my house I said to myself, there's no way my John Deere would have cheaped out and put plastic pulley's on my X300 given that my machine cost 2.5 times as much. With a sense of dread, I lowered the 48" deck and with a flashlight, looked under the chassi and behold, plastic pulleys! Now my machine has half the hours as the Husqvarna above, but I would much rather replace these with their metal counterparts. I understand the whole idea of planned obscelencence, but by no means do I agree with it or think think it's fair JD to use plastic pulleys on a machine that I paid over $4k for new. That is a discussion for another thread.

    So my question is, does anyone know where I can purchase metal replacement pulleys to replace the plastic ones that the drive belt contacts with? Has anyone tried this?

    Many thanks for reading and for the advice.

    Cheers,

    Chris
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    jgayman's Avatar
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    Below is the parts illustration for the X300 drive line. Which pulleys are plastic?

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	X300_drive_belts.jpg 
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    2012 2720 -- 200CX Loader -- 54" Quick Attach Snow Blower -- Frontier LR5060 Rake -- Land Pride RB1660 Blade (Hydraulic Angle) -- Artillian 42" Forks -- Ken's Bolt on Grab Hooks -- Fit Rite Hydraulic top-link -- 2013 X500 for mowing duties

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    I have not seen plastic pulleys on the decks of JD equipment but I have seen them for the drive belts, although I think it absolutely sucks for JD to use plastic, I would not be overly concerned until they fail. I'm sure JD is using plastic of the highest quality

    I owned a z425 that had well over 1000 hours and the drive belt was all that I ever replaced, the pulleys was very much so intact and fine. If I recall correctly only the idler pulleys was plastic
    Last edited by ky_shawn; 04-25-2017 at 03:40 PM.
    3520 (cab, eHydro, R1's, 300x fel, forks, grapple) Frontier 5' cutter, 7' Tufline disk, 6' Gill pulverizer, 6' box blade, 6' rear blade, TSC post auger, 6' Woods rfm, 8' JD rotary hoe, 8' Brillion cultipacker, 6' field cultivator, Tarter spreader, Fimco 3 point sprayer, subsoiler, ken's bolt on hooks & clevis, JD Z920 ZTR

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    #4 and #15 if I remember correctly. In looking online, #21 is also plastic. I coworker told me they might be nylon. Doesn't make me feel any better. Would like to change them out for metal ones if possible.

    Thanks,

    Chris

    Quote Originally Posted by jgayman View Post
    Below is the parts illustration for the X300 drive line. Which pulleys are plastic?

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	X300_drive_belts.jpg 
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Size:	105.0 KB 
ID:	354042

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    xcopterdoc's Avatar
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    Momma Deere has been using plastic idlers for years and years. What usually fails is the bearing. The bearing locks up, smokes the belt. I see a few that are worn out from just use. I also see the ones that failed due to neglect and foreign objects crammed up in the belt/pulley areas. I just changed out my traction belt on 17yr old Scotts. Original belt and idlers. Lasted 17 years.. Plastic. This is not unusual. Yes.. Parts fail prematurely. Nature of the beast. That's what warranty is for. IMHO.. I see no problem with the plastic idlers/pulleys.

    Sent from my LGL52VL using Tapatalk
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonko View Post
    #4 and #15 if I remember correctly. In looking online, #21 is also plastic. I coworker told me they might be nylon. Doesn't make me feel any better. Would like to change them out for metal ones if possible.

    Thanks,

    Chris
    4 and 15 are plastic. 21 is steel. As is the pulley on top of the transaxle.

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    I know you don't like to see plastic pulleys on the new tractor but the X300 has been out a long time and there really haven't been mass reports of issues with any of the pulleys. Finding exact metal replacement is going to be a challenge. I would try not to worry about it too much. You have me curious now to check the pulleys on my X500. :-)
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcopterdoc View Post
    Momma Deere has been using plastic idlers for years and years. What usually fails is the bearing. The bearing locks up, smokes the belt. I see a few that are worn out from just use. I also see the ones that failed due to neglect and foreign objects crammed up in the belt/pulley areas. I just changed out my traction belt on 17yr old Scotts. Original belt and idlers. Lasted 17 years.. Plastic. This is not unusual. Yes.. Parts fail prematurely. Nature of the beast. That's what warranty is for. IMHO.. I see no problem with the plastic idlers/pulleys.

    Sent from my LGL52VL using Tapatalk
    Along with most of the major automakers. Just look underneath the hood of anything built in the last two decades. My absolute favorite thing is trying to press one off just to get at a mounting bolt or bolts blocked by it. Then expecting to have enough of it left in one piece to reinstall. lol

    I'm talking about plastic pulleys and idlers of course. lol
    Last edited by H-D dealer dude; 04-25-2017 at 08:47 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonko View Post
    Hi Everyone,

    New to the group and I am wondering about something. The back story:

    Last weekend I was giving my wife's uncle a hand with his Husqvarna riding mower (box store purchase with 125 hours on it). His machine had slipped its drive belt off the back end. When we finally pushed it into his garage, removed the mowing deck and got it jacked up, we noticed that the three of the pulleys along the drive belt were made of plastic. (These guys are in between the drive pulley/PTO under the engine and the transmission/fan pulley above the differential in the rear, which, interestingly, are both made of metal.) Two of the plastic pulleys were v-channel and the other was flat, but all of them were severly melted in multiple places and no longer ran smooth. I canI only assume this was the reason the drive belt jumped off the rear pulley. Long story short, we pulled off the cooked pulleys and ordered three new pulleys and a new belt from the dealer.

    As I walked back across the street to my house I said to myself, there's no way my John Deere would have cheaped out and put plastic pulley's on my X300 given that my machine cost 2.5 times as much. With a sense of dread, I lowered the 48" deck and with a flashlight, looked under the chassi and behold, plastic pulleys! Now my machine has half the hours as the Husqvarna above, but I would much rather replace these with their metal counterparts. I understand the whole idea of planned obscelencence, but by no means do I agree with it or think think it's fair JD to use plastic pulleys on a machine that I paid over $4k for new. That is a discussion for another thread.

    So my question is, does anyone know where I can purchase metal replacement pulleys to replace the plastic ones that the drive belt contacts with? Has anyone tried this?

    Many thanks for reading and for the advice.

    Cheers,

    Chris
    Just looked at the price of a new X330
    $2,999 just saying

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    xcopterdoc's Avatar
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    Personally I like plastics and composites. When it goes bad... It shreds and blows into a million pieces. No doubt it's bad. Metal... It wears.. It fatigues. . it cracks.. Whatever. When a plastic pulley bearing fails.. You'll know it. Metal pulley.. Now i have to check stuff..aaaggghh. Lol

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