Brand new X584. Hit a stick and can't get the mower deck off. ARGHH!
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Thread: Brand new X584. Hit a stick and can't get the mower deck off. ARGHH!

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    Brand new X584. Hit a stick and can't get the mower deck off. ARGHH!

    I'm new here, so I hope I'm not bringing something up that's been covered before. I know that's irritating.

    So, I've had my beautiful new X584 all of a month. I was rolling along in new-found mower bliss, when I ran over a big stick, unseen due to leaf cover. I immediately stopped the blades, went off the lawn and onto the driveway, and manually cleared the debris from under the deck. I got going again, but the left blade is still hitting something. I drove the front wheels onto ramps to see what's going on and it looks like a bent piece is sticking out, but I can't see clearly, so I went to take the deck off.

    The manual makes it seem pretty easy...just lower the deck, turn the unit-scalp wheels 90°, release the belt, pull the J-pins, move the front bracket off, and slide it out. Problem is the J-pins aren't budging. I've lifted the deck to different heights, I've lifted the deck with my hand while pulling the J-pins, I've even tried hooking a chain to the J-pin and gently jerking on it...nothing. It feels like the J-pin is welded on or something. It's super frustrating because the manual makes it look easy and I know it's a super simple system, but I'm not having any luck.

    I'd be grateful for suggestions.

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    jgayman's Avatar
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    You need to lower the deck all the way down. There should be a symbol on the cut height knob showing the position for removing the deck. On my X500 it is as far CCW as the knob will go. You then need to get all the tension off the J-hooks before they will release.
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    If the stick or bent piece is keeping the deck from lowering all the way, you may need to jack the rider up so you can get tension off the pins as jgayman had noted. You are taking tension off the belt and dropping it off the engine pulley- correct?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tsoleno View Post
    If the stick or bent piece is keeping the deck from lowering all the way, you may need to jack the rider up so you can get tension off the pins as jgayman had noted. You are taking tension off the belt and dropping it off the engine pulley- correct?
    Yes, I released the belt from the engine pulley first thing. I dunno what to think about the J-pins. The debris was easily cleared and I was able to remedy the bent piece underneath without removing the deck, so that's taken care of, but I still want to be able to remove the deck. I just lifted the deck with my hand and can clearly see there's no tension that would keep the J-pins from pulling out. They're just in there solid and unbudging. I didn't want to, but I guess I'll have to call the dealer to see what they say.

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    ean
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    Quote Originally Posted by attomica View Post
    Yes, I released the belt from the engine pulley first thing. I dunno what to think about the J-pins. The debris was easily cleared and I was able to remedy the bent piece underneath without removing the deck, so that's taken care of, but I still want to be able to remove the deck. I just lifted the deck with my hand and can clearly see there's no tension that would keep the J-pins from pulling out. They're just in there solid and unbudging. I didn't want to, but I guess I'll have to call the dealer to see what they say.
    I took my deck off of my x584 for the first time as well a few weeks ago. I can say it wasn't as easy as I expected it to be. My j-pins were also stuck. I had the main pulley belt off, I put the deck on the lowest setting and lowered the deck. What eventually worked for me was to lower the deck very slowly and watch just as the caster wheels touch the ground you'll notice the tension is off of the lift to raise and lower the deck. At that point I was able to pull out the j-pins. If the deck was lowered all the way down I was unable to remove the pins. Eventually I got it and it didn't take a ton of force. Not sure if that helps at all.

    I also didn't realize that I would have to turn the wheels so much to slide the deck out. With the deck raise all the way, the only way that I could turn the rear left caster to the slide out position was to turn the wheels hard to the right (then the rears point left on the all wheel steer versions). This allowed for enough room to rotate that caster. Otherwise there was not enough clearance for the left rear. I thought that was really frustrating (and wasn't in the manual).
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    Attom, I see 2 solutions:

    1. You said you had a chain on the J-hooks and gently pulled. Put the chain on again and REALLY PULL HARD! A length of 2x4 across your front and rear tires with a ratchet strap from the 2x4 to the j-hook may also work too. Believe me they're not welded! Perseverance shall prevail!

    2. Take it back to the dealer....BUT! If there's any visible damage to the deck, the Dealer may say that you screwed it up and charge you. Bob
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    Another tip.

    I own a new 580 and the first time I removed the deck my neighbors thought I had lost my mind.

    Raise the deck all the way, change the position of the wheels, then turn the height knob to it's lowest position. Lower the deck, turn the left or right front wheel and you're ready to pull the deck.
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    On my 455, I found it was easier to get the deck out from underneath the machine by putting a floor jack under the center of the front axle, after removing the front deck support on my machine, and then it's easier to turn the wheels with the machine not running and the center pivot on the front axle will allow the wheels to lift on each side. Between turning them as needed and the additional height of maybe 6" to 8" when using a couple of pumps on the floor jack, it makes sliding the deck out much easier.

    Don't forget when you do get the deck off, to rub some grease or at a minimum, spray the J pins with some lubricant where they insert through the bracket, to help the next time................
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    Check your tire pressures and make sure they are not over inflated. The deck may not be resting completely on the guide wheels, causing extra pressure on the J pins.

    Or you can try putting small pieces of 1/2 plywood under each guide wheel.

    I found on my 580, that with the deck properly leveled and set to proper height using the gauge tool, if I set it to the lowest position, turned the guide wheels and lowered it, there was still too much pressure on the lift arms to remove the J pins. I kind of verified this when I put the deck back on by rolling it underneath and lowering the lift arms. The holes in the lift arms would not lower enough to line up with the holes in the bracket on the deck.

    I also took one round out of the lock nut that holds the spring and J pin in place. This was just enough to allow me to pull the J pin out more and rotate it to sit on the bracket.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SulleyBear View Post
    On my 455, I found it was easier to get the deck out from underneath the machine by putting a floor jack under the center of the front axle, after removing the front deck support on my machine, and then it's easier to turn the wheels with the machine not running and the center pivot on the front axle will allow the wheels to lift on each side. Between turning them as needed and the additional height of maybe 6" to 8" when using a couple of pumps on the floor jack, it makes sliding the deck out much easier.

    Don't forget when you do get the deck off, to rub some grease or at a minimum, spray the J pins with some lubricant where they insert through the bracket, to help the next time................
    I also use a jack on the front axle of my x485 to make removing the deck easier. I did not have to do that with my 285, smaller, lighter deck.
    J
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