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Discussion Starter #1
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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Below is the parts illustration for the X300 drive line. Which pulleys are plastic?

X300_drive_belts.jpg
 

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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 :laugh:

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
 
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Discussion Starter #4
#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

Below is the parts illustration for the X300 drive line. Which pulleys are plastic?

View attachment 354042
 

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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.

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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
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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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.

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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
 
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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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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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There are some incredible engineered plastics and filled plastics available now, if properly specified for the application I would not consider its use as a sign of inferior quality.
 

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As a manufacturing engineer, one time I decided to change an aluminum handle to plastic.
We made a prototype,,, and asked design engineering what tests they would like to see.

EACH and EVERY test showed the plastic handle to be 10X minimum better than the aluminum.

These were complicated electronic enclosure handles.
The aluminum ones cost $29 each,,, the molded ones cost $1.93 each.

We were using over 400,000 of the handles a year.

Metal WAS the wrong choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
$2,999 plus the 48 inch deck. And then California tax. More than my first car, and hopefully more reliable. :laugh:

Thanks for all of the help and replies everyone. Looks like there is not much to worry about, at least in the plastic pulley department. The replacements pulleys, if and when they fail, are reasonably priced.

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

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As a manufacturing engineer, one time I decided to change an aluminum handle to plastic.
We made a prototype,,, and asked design engineering what tests they would like to see.

EACH and EVERY test showed the plastic handle to be 10X minimum better than the aluminum.

These were complicated electronic enclosure handles.
The aluminum ones cost $29 each,,, the molded ones cost $1.93 each.

We were using over 400,000 of the handles a year.

Metal WAS the wrong choice.
Molding alone would make sense at that volume. I have been unpleasantly surprised at our carbide wear rates with some of the high temp glass filled machining projects I have encountered.
 
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As a manufacturing engineer, one time I decided to change an aluminum handle to plastic.
We made a prototype,,, and asked design engineering what tests they would like to see.

EACH and EVERY test showed the plastic handle to be 10X minimum better than the aluminum.

These were complicated electronic enclosure handles.
The aluminum ones cost $29 each,,, the molded ones cost $1.93 each.

We were using over 400,000 of the handles a year.

Metal WAS the wrong choice.

Yes. Our oldest son is a Chemical Engineer for a global company. I've head him mention they manufacture many different types of polymers. Most are stronger than steel, and much lighter.
 

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Back in the 80s I had the pleasure of meeting the guys that built the Voyager airplane in Mojave Ca. Composite city man! Crazy stuff.

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Discussion Starter #17
Update: V-idler pulley fairs after 52 hours on X300

Hi everyone,

Well, as fate would have it, and after expressing concerns about plastic pulleys on my X300 back in April in this forum, today as I was mowing, the foward drive on my X300 momentarily stopped working. I noticed it right away, but as I stepped on the forward pedal again, it recovered and I kept mowing. A few minutes later I noticed a burned rubber smell. Knowing that can't be good, I pulled it into the garage and jacked it up to see that the drive belt had jumped off the v-pulley (part AM138080). The v-pulley was thin and brittle on one side. Photos attached.

So with only 52 hours on my X300 and still under warranty, I am wondering if my local JD shop (where I bought it from) will be cool and just give me a new pulley on Monday versus having to get the mower to them without a pick up truck. And more concerning is that this pulley even failed at all given the limited use it has seen. My uncle's Husqavarna with three times the hours had better luck than my JD before his pulley's failed. :(

Thoughts?

Chris


$2,999 plus the 48 inch deck. And then California tax. More than my first car, and hopefully more reliable. :laugh:

Thanks for all of the help and replies everyone. Looks like there is not much to worry about, at least in the plastic pulley department. The replacements pulleys, if and when they fail, are reasonably priced.
 

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Hi everyone,

Well, as fate would have it, and after expressing concerns about plastic pulleys on my X300 back in April in this forum, today as I was mowing, the foward drive on my X300 momentarily stopped working. I noticed it right away, but as I stepped on the forward pedal again, it recovered and I kept mowing. A few minutes later I noticed a burned rubber smell. Knowing that can't be good, I pulled it into the garage and jacked it up to see that the drive belt had jumped off the v-pulley (part AM138080). The v-pulley was thin and brittle on one side. Photos attached.

So with only 52 hours on my X300 and still under warranty, I am wondering if my local JD shop (where I bought it from) will be cool and just give me a new pulley on Monday versus having to get the mower to them without a pick up truck. And more concerning is that this pulley even failed at all given the limited use it has seen. My uncle's Husqavarna with three times the hours had better luck than my JD before his pulley's failed. :(

Thoughts?

Chris
Wow that thing melted. How does the bearing in the middle feel? If it started locking up this could cause your problem.
They should pick it up for your trouble. The drive belt doesn't look good either. I'd have them replace both.
 

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Wow that thing melted. How does the bearing in the middle feel? If it started locking up this could cause your problem.
They should pick it up for your trouble. The drive belt doesn't look good either. I'd have them replace both.
Wrong.. Not a bearing failure.
Now.. Lets look at this. If the bearing failed and locked up.. What would happen? Well.. The pulley would stop turning and the belt would not. So.. The belt would just smoke/ melt and big ass gap in the pulley. Also if the bearing failed there might be melting around the bearing area in the center of the pulley. None seen. So.. Based on that.. Regroup and tell me why that pulley got torn up. But only on the bottom lip.

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Belt is not tracking properly. Pulley may be canted.
 
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