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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Im sorry folks. I am so out of breath right now and done this evert year for 3 years and absolutely hate it. Whomever came up with the auto connect should have rethought this. I have to take off every part to put the snowblower on every year and it works ok. Then comes the spring and I have to put everything back on to mow. The frame parts all go on OK.

The comes the AUTOMATIC part. I go through this every year and get furious and usually calm down. After about 30 attempts the mower finally slams on. I don't get it. I drive over the deck and it gets 95% of the way and never locks. My old trick was to manually try to line up the connector with the deck position so that the star lines up. This year no dice. So I push the mower and mower forward and unsuccessfully try to connect for about an hour, messing with the cross and no dice.

Im sorry but I am at my wits end, this cost me a fortune and I wish I just had a deck with a drive shaft and the dealer pushed this wonderful feature on me. I had considered buying a separate mower but at this point with close to $30k in this combination machine it wouldn't be worth keeping.

Plus the fact it compacts my soil terribly with turf tires and mower very badly. I did the fix here and it improved which was pathetic that so many were wrong from the factory.

I guess what I am saying is for $30k it would be nice for this to be easy.

A big part to buying this was to save stress on my body from past surgeries. There is no way I could keep muscles this accessories and misfits in a few more years.

Anyone with valium or a welder that can permanently weld my autonightmare mower please let me know.
 

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Sorry to hear of the frustration. Just curious if you've ever voiced your concerns to your dealer and what they said?

I've had issues when transferring a AutoConnect deck from one tractor to another, but never removing and reinstalling on the same machine.

Those mowers and attaching parts must be aligned just right and normally once "setup" from the dealer, this isn't too much of an issue. Maybe some jiggling here and there to get it to fully align, but not the headache you're talking about.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sorry to hear of the frustration. Just curious if you've ever voiced your concerns to your dealer and what they said?

I've had issues when transferring a AutoConnect deck from one tractor to another, but never removing and reinstalling on the same machine.

Those mowers and attaching parts must be aligned just right and normally once "setup" from the dealer, this isn't too much of an issue. Maybe some jiggling here and there to get it to fully align, but not the headache you're talking about.
My dealer went out of business a year after I bought it. Padula brothers is only going to recommend I bring it in at cost for them to repair it. Only thing I can think of is that it was setup wrong from the dealer initially. Coming off is never a problem, going on has never been smooth.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I found an old post with the install directions for the auto connect. This can't be right then. I am going to look at the adjustment bolt on the female side. It looks like there is suppose to be a 1mm gap at the end of a bolt per the directions. Maybe I will get lucky..
 

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My dealer went out of business a year after I bought it. Padula brothers is only going to recommend I bring it in at cost for them to repair it. Only thing I can think of is that it was setup wrong from the dealer initially. Coming off is never a problem, going on has never been smooth.
I know this will be at a cost but maybe a one time cost to a dealer that knows how to set it up right would be worth it. I had to take mine in to get redone and it's worked great since. If you did have it done right by someone then you would know how it's supposed to be from that point on as you can then see how it is and even take pics to let you know later should you forget.
 

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Sorry to hear of your problems, maybe once or twice I've had issues after it was setup correctly in the past 5 yrs. Guessing yours wasn't setup correctly. One thing have you checked your rear tire pressures if tire or tires are low that can cause you problems. If after checking the setup per this website and still have issues , paying the dealer the cost of setting it up correctly may be the best money spent. I will agree it is a pain to remove the lift arms every fall and installing every spring. For me I remove the lift arms, and back bracket that holds the auto connect part all connected together.

IMO 54" gives the best cut on slopes and level yards. I've had a 60" and will never buy another 60" deck.. Mows terrible on a sloped yard. One piece of advise, if it is a 60" keep the gauge wheels all but touching a hard surface then it mows fair..
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok, so I haven't exactly fallen in love again yet, since my chest is killing me from pushing the power back and forth but I think i may have figured this out.

I checked and adjusted the bolt on the auto connect adapter but I don't think thats it.

What seems to be is actually the front deck height bolts. They were adjusted too far inward. The issue with these bolts that if they are way too far in it actually shortens the total mount of the auto connect adapter that can fit in the socket. I carefully loosened and counted the turns on each and it probably allowed another 1/4 or 1/2" of movement and this seems to allow it to work properly now.

Very strange and it sounds like I will need to go through and re-level the deck, etc per the procedure here.

I think my VT dealer was not too great which is probably why they closed.

I make a lot of videos on YT some of you may have seen my channel.

Probably a good thing I didn't record this one! :) But i suppose it could have been a great comedy video!

Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC67dKTEwpAhKv2oYDATwR8g
 

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Good to hear,, yep that will cause you trouble of not connecting, sometimes only one complete turn of the nuts,,, Don't forget to tighten both sides.
 

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You need to take a breath and set aside some time - follow the instructions that I linked to. All of them. Start from the start and follow each step.

This will be time we’ll spent - you shouldn’t have to mess with it again. The deck should click right on with no effort. It just needs to be set up properly from the beginning.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You need to take a breath and set aside some time - follow the instructions that I linked to. All of them. Start from the start and follow each step.

This will be time we’ll spent - you shouldn’t have to mess with it again. The deck should click right on with no effort. It just needs to be set up properly from the beginning.
I agree! I guess the one positive to come of this was that I couldn't take it any more and finally looked for help and a better way! Sounds like I am heading there. I will definitely follow the mower setup here next.

Thanks!
 

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I have the 60d mower on my 1025 with the manual connect drive shaft. It takes literally 30 seconds to attach the drive shaft. It works absolutely flawlessly and requires no adjustment or tinkering.

I have stated many times that the autoconnect feature is a poorly designed marketing gimmick piece of s--t, and this is yet another example why.

Throw it out, get a manual connect drive shaft, be happy.
 

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I have the auto connect on my x758 and it works pretty much flawlessly but if I would have known the it needs to be put aside and the blower setup is manually connected I would have never ordered it. I still have to get down to unlock the mower to take it off and also check to see if it's locked when re-attaching. After mowing for a season and blowing for 2 if I could do it over again I would have put the money into the 3 point and stuck with the manual connect. I do like the drive over deck though.
Ron
 

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I have stated many times that the autoconnect feature is a poorly designed marketing gimmick piece of s--t, and this is yet another example why...
I think the engineers had a little too much faith in the people who would be setting it up. The design is fine, it is the quality of the set-up that is the problem - and something the customer has no control over - unless they opt to do the install themselves.
 

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When set up properly the auto connect is the dream. Goes on like butter and comes off like butter. When not set up properly the auto connect does not work. Remember this one thing. The auto connect pto on the tractor cannot be lower than mower deck input shaft. If you drive over the deck and stop before trying to engage. Get off and look underneath the machine. If the auto connect pto is lower than the mower deck shaft you will have huge issues.

If the auto connect pto is about 1/8 inch higher than the mower deck input shaft it will engage very easily. The reason for this is because the auto connect pto will move up but will not move down. The mower deck binds up from the weight of the deck if the auto connect pto is lower than the mower deck input shaft. This is where most people go wrong. Set up correctly works great, set up incorrectly works terribly or not at all.:usa
 

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You need to take a breath and set aside some time - follow the instructions that I linked to. All of them. Start from the start and follow each step.

This will be time we’ll spent - you shouldn’t have to mess with it again. The deck should click right on with no effort. It just needs to be set up properly from the beginning.
ABSOLUTE GOOD ADVICE (SHOULD BE A LAW!):laugh:

When set up properly the auto connect is the dream. Goes on like butter and comes off like butter. When not set up properly the auto connect does not work.
If the auto connect pto is about 1/8 inch higher than the mower deck input shaft it will engage very easily. The reason for this is because the auto connect pto will move up but will not move down. The mower deck binds up from the weight of the deck if the auto connect pto is lower than the mower deck input shaft. This is where most people go wrong. Set up correctly works great, set up incorrectly works terribly or not at all.:usa
Took me near 4 years to get this adjustment business totally correct, but my 54D will connect perfectly now... Providing I put wood wedges under the 4 corners of the deck before driving on or off the deck. It just plain wants to spin itself if not wedged.

When I could not raise the deck this season on the first try, I found that the rockshaft slotted strap had become disconnected. Strangely, the bolt was still trapped in the strap slot... which means it was not on the correct side of the rockshaft arm. Lost washers, bushing and flange nut. Dealer setup suspected once again since the 3 bolts on the slotted link were also waaay out of adjustment when I got the machine.

Hope all works out for you, as stated by Coaltrain, when it works it's great. And if you get yours to work right then you can tell me how to get more cutting height, I've run out of linkage adjustments for that one. Cuts too short in hot months to even use so my GX335 gets the mowing call.
 

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Ok, so I haven't exactly fallen in love again yet, since my chest is killing me from pushing the power back and forth but I think i may have figured this out.

What seems to be is actually the front deck height bolts. They were adjusted too far inward. The issue with these bolts that if they are way too far in it actually shortens the total mount of the auto connect adapter that can fit in the socket. I carefully loosened and counted the turns on each and it probably allowed another 1/4 or 1/2" of movement and this seems to allow it to work properly now.
I had to do this early on and forgot all about it. :banghead: I adjusted mine to where it is now with the deck raised all the way up. Seems to be when it's the tightest on the front. Then just raise and lower it a few times to make sure it doesn't bind or just slop around. Take the deck off and on without driving over the deck to make sure it connects right and you should be golden. :thumbup1gif:
 

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I think the engineers had a little too much faith in the people who would be setting it up. The design is fine, it is the quality of the set-up that is the problem - and something the customer has no control over - unless they opt to do the install themselves.
It seems to me that if you never had to remove the mower deck and attach a different implement on the mid pto, and could set up the autoconnect once and never touch it, it would be ok. But when guys have to take it off and back on, the amount of time it Saves doesn’t offset the time it takes to set up and adjust. It also seems to experience failures and adds components to break and or wear out.

To your point, a very savvy owner probably keeps it working ok, I just feel it’s more hype that real-world time savings.
 

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It seems to me that if you never had to remove the mower deck and attach a different implement on the mid pto, and could set up the autoconnect once and never touch it, it would be ok. But when guys have to take it off and back on, the amount of time it Saves doesn’t offset the time it takes to set up and adjust. It also seems to experience failures and adds components to break and or wear out.

To your point, a very savvy owner probably keeps it working ok, I just feel it’s more hype that real-world time savings.
My tractor is from before this auto connect system. I take my mower deck off and put it on on a weekly basis for the entire mowing season - takes me all of 2 minutes if that.
 

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It seems to me that if you never had to remove the mower deck and attach a different implement on the mid pto, and could set up the autoconnect once and never touch it, it would be ok. But when guys have to take it off and back on, the amount of time it Saves doesn’t offset the time it takes to set up and adjust. It also seems to experience failures and adds components to break and or wear out.

To your point, a very savvy owner probably keeps it working ok, I just feel it’s more hype that real-world time savings.
The Auto-Connect system is literally just the PTO shaft assembly. That assembly just bolts in place to the tractor. Both versions of the mower deck are still a drive over design that requires the same setup procedures to work right. That is what most owners have issues with, connecting to the tractor, not always the driveshaft. There really isn't anything to adjust when connecting the AC system to the tractor, it bolts in place. Once setup correctly, it should just bolt right back in place and work fine as long as the rest of the tractor, mower, and tires are still setup the same as well.

There are two different camps on this, the lovers and the haters. Seems like the haters have never tried or owned the system or don't have theirs setup correctly. I know it can be frustrating to get it right, but once it is, it's a pretty good setup.

BTW, it's ok to be a lover or a hater. I'm not picking on anyone. :thumbup1gif:
 
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