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Just traded my 2305 for a 1026R. Seems like they were listening to my wishlist. The salesman talked me into the autoconnect deck, I wasn't too crazy about the idea after reading about some problems people were having. Anyway I am having problems, the latch doesnt want to lock without a little persuasion from a small mallet. It seems there is a plastic bushing on the pins that fit into the latch on the deck, and the bushing doesnt allow the latch to snap into place. I have even greased the bushings and the latches. I have watched a the videos on youtube, both from Deere and from owners, and it looks like it a snaps into place, is anybody else having this problem.
Thanks
 

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Just traded my 2305 for a 1026R. Seems like they were listening to my wishlist. The salesman talked me into the autoconnect deck, I wasn't too crazy about the idea after reading about some problems people were having. Anyway I am having problems, the latch doesnt want to lock without a little persuasion from a small mallet. It seems there is a plastic bushing on the pins that fit into the latch on the deck, and the bushing doesnt allow the latch to snap into place. I have even greased the bushings and the latches. I have watched a the videos on youtube, both from Deere and from owners, and it looks like it a snaps into place, is anybody else having this problem.
Thanks
As noted in my earlier posts (and shown in a video), the heavier gauge spring does it... as well as "speed-up" a bit right at point of contact with the latch... to snap it into place. Mine works great now... makes a belly mower functional, due to being able to get it off and on easily.. would not have a belly mower without the autoconnect...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Adding a thicker washer between the locking mechanism and the deck as "Jrs1959" suggested did the trick. It's a shame Deere couldnt have taken care of this before they start selling them.
 

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It's a shame Deere couldnt have taken care of this before they start selling them.
John, my guess is that the the problem showed up after it went into production. I am willing to bet that they are taking care of it as we speak. Glad you got yours all squared away.
 

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Adding a thicker washer between the locking mechanism and the deck as "Jrs1959" suggested did the trick. It's a shame Deere couldnt have taken care of this before they start selling them.
Glad that did the trick....just takes a little friction off the poor dimensions of the locking rod! Enjoy!
 

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GNGYoung

Gents,

I read the posts and implemented both the washer, grease and stiffer spring changes to the rear latch. While friction was reduced, I found my culprit elsewhere. If you look at the 60D deck, the spring that lifts the front draft bars, it pulls the draft bars to one side. This results in the front tractor frame being out of alignment with the draft bars as one side contacts the tractor frame first, then pushes the deck/tractor out of alignment. I always got one side of the rear latch contacting fine while the other side had as much as a 3/8" gap causing me to get into a tug-of-war with the latches/mower.

My fix was to put an electrical tie wrap on rear end of the front draft bar lifting spring, and using the nearby spring latch hard point (there are two) to anchor the tie wrap to, I forced the spring into alignment to cause it to pull/lift the draft bars evenly and directly to the rear of the mower deck, thereby maintaining mower/tractor alignment. It worked like a charm. This then allowed me to return the rear latch spring to its original fit, lower tension spring. The result is that I can now latch the mower deck on a HARD LEVEL SURFACE every time. I also found the adjustment of the two nuts on the front draft bar to be critical to alignment and had to play with it to get it aligned evenly and latching smoothly.

The final check of those adjusters that worked best for me was the front to rear mower blade height alignment procedure in the mower manual.

Good luck with it. In the end, its a set-up issue.

G
 

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Welcome to DT!

Gents,

I read the posts and implemented both the washer, grease and stiffer spring changes to the rear latch. While friction was reduced, I found my culprit elsewhere. If you look at the 60D deck, the spring that lifts the front draft bars, it pulls the draft bars to one side. This results in the front tractor frame being out of alignment with the draft bars as one side contacts the tractor frame first, then pushes the deck/tractor out of alignment. I always got one side of the rear latch contacting fine while the other side had as much as a 3/8" gap causing me to get into a tug-of-war with the latches/mower.

My fix was to put an electrical tie wrap on rear end of the front draft bar lifting spring, and using the nearby spring latch hard point (there are two) to anchor the tie wrap to, I forced the spring into alignment to cause it to pull/lift the draft bars evenly and directly to the rear of the mower deck, thereby maintaining mower/tractor alignment. It worked like a charm. This then allowed me to return the rear latch spring to its original fit, lower tension spring. The result is that I can now latch the mower deck on a HARD LEVEL SURFACE every time. I also found the adjustment of the two nuts on the front draft bar to be critical to alignment and had to play with it to get it aligned evenly and latching smoothly.

The final check of those adjusters that worked best for me was the front to rear mower blade height alignment procedure in the mower manual.

Good luck with it. In the end, its a set-up issue.

G
Very nice write-up, can we convince you to post a pic of the fix? It would be a big help.
 

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Hello all!

I'm new to the forum, been lurking for a while, finally decided to become a member.

Thanks to you, I purchased a 1026R. :thumbup1gif:

I was anticipating the auto-connect issue with the deck. The dealer wasn't as knowledgeable with the problem, but did point out that the connecting problem was only with the linkage, not the auto-connect PTO shaft. So I purchased the auto-connect option. We tried out the connect/ disconnect on the lot and was fairly successful. However when I received my new tractor, the deck came off as advertised, but the reattaching portion was an hour long headache. So I brought it into the garage for some quality 1 on 1 time. The locking latch rod was binding and a few washers as suggested fixed this. I then adjusted the front draft linkage as it seemed too short to allow the rear latches to move all the way to the front/lock position. I found the front linkage was moving off to the side as I had earlier read. Installed the zip tie to re-align the front linkage. I still had little luck getting the deck to lock on. What gives? I cracked open a cold one and studied the mechanism while rolling the tractor back and forth in neutral. The locking bar in the rear still didn't want to lock. I filed the edge of the latches that come in contact (forward facing on the deck) with the lifting linkage. After the burrs from the factory stamping were cleaned off, my success rate has increased to roughly 75%. I figure after a few hours of operation, everything will wear-in and loosen up a bit and my success rate should improve. The latching rod isn't real easy to unlock to remove the deck. It still has some "sticktion". Is yours easy?

I don't have the manual (the Dealer has ordered it) and it's not available online at deere. What is the front to rear leveling procedure? Maybe doing this will completely correct my issue.

Thanks for your input
 

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Hey, I welcome your feedback and like you I come here to educate myself and sort out minor irritations in the design.

I just read your summary. I find my linkeage works well without binding however you may have missed one step in the smooth operation - that is you need to grease the bushings (and washers that you added to the deck latching levers) where it bolts to the deck. If you dissassemble the parts, you will find a small bushing that fits over the securing bolt and slides into the latching levers. Grease it. Also, they use nylok nuts so you dont have to torque them down hard; which may be another cause of sticking.

With the deck removed, get someone else to study the front draft bar to ensure it doesnt connect one side before the other, which will cause the deck to cant off-center. The deck must remain centered and aligned to the tractor for the auto connect to work. When I connect my deck, there is a small gap on both sides of the front draft bar (when the deck is still sitting on the concrete floor). With a little wear the new tight linkeage will loosen up and make this whole affair easier and less susceptible to misalignments.

Keep at it and you will get it working well. Regarding the front to rear blade height, there is a procedure in the owners manual and available online at: http://manuals.deere.com/cceomview/OMM165250_E1/Output/Index.html?tM=
- the front tip of the blade should be lower then the rear (when the mower blade is rotated/oriented front to rear) by atleast 1/8-1/4 inch.

Take care!!
 

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How did you get to the manual online? I can get the tractor manual, not the mower or the loader.
 

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I don't have any binding in the locking rod assembly - when it's not attached to the tractor. The binding occurs when the lifting pins are in the slots and the locking tab is contacting the pins. Now that I've read the leveling procedure I'll go through that and see how it works.

I appreciate the link to the manual. I guess it's still listed as the model for the X700 series.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I did the same thing, put it in neutral and rolled back and forth on garage floor. I also adjusted the front linkage, havent tried the zip tie trick yet. No it does not disengage easily (the locking mecanism), I also figured that would come with wear. Saleman emailed about a week after delivery to ask how things were working out. I told him I spent a half a day adjusting to get it right, he did not repond. It works better, hopefully a little "breaking in" will do the trick.
 

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I got the same reaction!!

*Laughs*

I got the same reaction from my salesman when I told him two weeks later that the mower wasnt set up properly. I got that - Deer in the headlights - blank stare!!

Given these auto-connect decks are new to the dealers, they are also struggling. I wish John deere provided the dealers with a better quality control measure on these expensive little decks or provided better set up instructions. I thought the latches were a tight fit and could have been designed a little better, like the autoconnect decks on the 3000 series where the latches appear to be heavier and work easier (or so it looks).

If we continue to pool our resources, we will all sort it out together here. Its winter now so I dont plan to play wiht the deck any further, other than to get a set of roller-skate type storage wheels sorted out like I've seen posted here elsewhere. I'll continue my fine tuning of the semi-auto deck in the spring I'm sure.
 

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All of my problems are associated with the latching rod. Tonight I performed the front to rear leveling procedure. I then located the correct diameter socket to represent the lifting pin. After fitting my socket to the latches, cleaning the burrs, and lubricating, the latching rod now snaps into place while attaching and "resets" after disconnecting. Nice.:dance: Apparently my tractor/deck was one of the first manufactured and delivered. It was at the dealer since July and only the second 1000 series tractor they've sold. The jig used to make the latching rod at the factory needs to be reworked if it hasn't been already.

Bottom line is, Don't let this discourage you from buying this wonderful tractor. You've read about any potential issue and can either inform your dealer or fix/modify the latch on your own. Not a big deal. I would think John Deere has probably fixed this at the manufacturing process already.

IMG_1413.JPG
 

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Here are a few pictures of what I had to file down to make it work real good.
IMG_1442.JPG
IMG_1443.JPG
It wasn't very much as you can see, but it made all the difference in the world.:cheers:
 

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My R was born oct 26 2011. The auto connect is smooth as butter.
How did you determine the "born on" date for your 1026R? Also, is this a tractor issue or a deck issue?
 

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My tractor came with paperwork showing a build date. Your dealer should be able to do the same with your s/n.

The connecting issue I had was all in the deck. The tractor had no issues. :D
 
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