Figured I'd post my experience here to save the next n00b a little heartburn.
I was cutting a newer section of our property for the first time and managed to run into a short stump. Immediately realized that I'd bent the housing under the deck. Cut the PTO, back out of there, and make a run back towards the house. Realize that I'm about to remove the 60D for the first time since I've purchased the mower. Follow the directions, remove the deck, check the housing and pound the dent back out. Blades turn freely again, everything looks good.
I go to put the deck back on. Check the instructions...and then spend the next couple of hours pushing the deck around trying to get it re-attached. Consult the directions again. Come to GTT and read all the posts I can find. Adjust my procedure a little, still no luck. In the process, I manage to break the pivot rod.
Order the part and keep scratching my head. I can get the deck mostly engaged (though not locked). By "mostly," I mean that the left rear hook needs to be lowered slightly to engage the deck correctly. Should be a simple adjustment, but the PTO just won't align right with the gear box at all. It just hangs way too low. Dangling and flopping around, and it doesn't make a bit of sense. In fact, I can't figure out how it ever aligned right.
Head to the dealer to ask some questions...what could I be doing wrong? As a n00b, the safest assumption is operator error. We go out to the lot and look at another 1025R that's set up with the MMM and dig around underneath. Then I notice the bearing bolt, which holds the PTO in alignment for mating with the gearbox.
I don't have one, and it's obvious that this is the issue.
I order another one, plus the washers and nuts, then recheck my tractor when I get back home. Could it have broken off somehow? I don't see any signs of damage or scratching. On the other hand, if it's been missing from day 1 (and I couldn't tell you one way or another, to be honest), how on earth would they have gotten the deck on there to begin with? One guy hand-aligning it while another drove it over the deck? My guess is that it broke off somewhere, somehow but I've no clue when or how it could have happened.
The dealer was helpful, but the guys told me that the the autoconnect stuff was new to them and they didn't have a ton of experience yet. OTOH, now that I know about the missing part, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot to it. One thing I will absolutely be doing once I have the pivot and bearing re-installed is to run through the sticky'ed setup process again to make sure there's nothing else amiss.
Anyway, thanks for reading my adventure. Here's to getting it fixed and running again soon before the grass covers the swingset and the chickens disappear completely.