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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've had my X500 w/48" deck for two seasons now. I normally engage the mower deck at about 1/2 throttle but it will start up even at idle.

The weather is turning a bit cooler and I've been mulching leaves a couple times a week and have been noticing the deck is getting very hard to start.

Last weekend I went out to do some mulching, started it up and let the engine warm a bit and upon engaging the blades at 1/2 throttle it stalled the engine. Restart, try 3/4 throttle - stall. Now I'm scratching my head. Finally I give it full throttle and the deck starts but not without some effort.

This scenario has repeated several times this past week.

Once the deck is running and I finish mulching I can shut the deck off, reduce the throttle to idle, re-engage the deck and it will start right up with no engine loading at all. I can do it over and over.

It's like after it sits a few days the deck gets tight or something.

I checked under the deck and it is completely clean. Turning the blades by hand they don't seem any tighter than usual. Next step is to remove the deck, undo the belts and see if everything turns nice and free.

I keep the deck greased regularly and never use water on it. I blow it off with a leaf blower after every use.

Anyone experience anything similar? I don't recall having this issue last fall while mulching.
 
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My L130 hesitates to engage the mower this time of year too. I chalked it up to the engine needing more warm up time in colder weather, that and rubber belts and a bit stiffer and grease in the mower spindles may be a bit thicker in the cold too.

Start your X500 and let it idle a while, get on it throttle up and drive it around a bit, 5 minutes or so to fully warm the engine and then engage the deck and see if it's any different.

You could also store it warm or warm it up before you start it so see if that makes any difference.
 

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Not sure what your manual says for your x500 ,but for the x585 engage mower at FULL THROTTLE and disengage mower at FULL THROTTLE.

Just saying.. check your manual.
 
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Pull the deck and check your idler pulley. They put some plastic bushings on the idler pulley instead of bearings and they'll wear over time. When they warm up they are a little more flexible but may bind when cold.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Not sure what your manual says for your x500 ,but for the x585 engage mower at FULL THROTTLE and disengage mower at FULL THROTTLE.

Just saying.. check your manual.
Yes, it does say that but I never do. :)

The manual for my old JD 175 Hydro said the same thing. I had that tractor for over 25 years and not a lick of trouble with the PTO clutch.

Never did understand the whole full throttle thing.

Can anyone offer a reason that might change my mind? :)
 
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jgayman, why don't u check ur battery the next time before u start the tractor. my dad's 318 was kinda the way ur saying, if I tried to flip mower on at idle it would kill the motor and battery lite would come on. try the 2nd time with more throttle and it would work, well the battery was pretty old, so I replaced it and that solved it. so I'm thinking that ur battery is losing some of it's charge but not enough to not start it, but enough that at slower motor speed when enguaging mower deck it kills the motor, u said after mowing with it u can start it at a idle, so I'm assuming the battery is recharged by then, good luck, big jim
 

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Discussion Starter #7
jgayman, why don't u check ur battery the next time before u start the tractor. my dad's 318 was kinda the way ur saying, if I tried to flip mower on at idle it would kill the motor and battery lite would come on. try the 2nd time with more throttle and it would work, well the battery was pretty old, so I replaced it and that solved it. so I'm thinking that ur battery is losing some of it's charge but not enough to not start it, but enough that at slower motor speed when enguaging mower deck it kills the motor, u said after mowing with it u can start it at a idle, so I'm assuming the battery is recharged by then, good luck, big jim
I will certainly check that but I'm thinking it's probably not the battery. It's only 2 years old and I just bought one of those new wiz-bang electronic battery testers so I've been checking all my wet cells and the X500's battery is showing in tip top shape.

But I will check the voltage prior to starting the next time.
 
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Yes, it does say that but I never do. :)

The manual for my old JD 175 Hydro said the same thing. I had that tractor for over 25 years and not a lick of trouble with the PTO clutch.

Never did understand the whole full throttle thing.

Can anyone offer a reason that might change my mind? :)
Full throttle mowing does many things better than trying it at less.

Full throttle allows the mower the most power for the task, instead of hunting and starving for power at less.
Full throttle allows the most cooling for the engine and for the transmission as there is more airflow (fan) and oil movement at higher throttle speeds.

They're designed that way and the manual tells you to operate them that way, unless there is an update or a good, sound, reason NOT TO, I would follow the manual.
 

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Full throttle mowing does many things better than trying it at less.

Full throttle allows the mower the most power for the task, instead of hunting and starving for power at less.
Full throttle allows the most cooling for the engine and for the transmission as there is more airflow (fan) and oil movement at higher throttle speeds.

They're designed that way and the manual tells you to operate them that way, unless there is an update or a good, sound, reason NOT TO, I would follow the manual.
I believe he's talking about engaging the PTO at full throttle, not necessarily mowing.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I believe he's talking about engaging the PTO at full throttle, not necessarily mowing.
Yep - I always mow at WOT... want the highest blade speed I can get.

It looks like this may be related to the engine being warmed up. I had some stuff to haul in my trailer prior to this weekends mulching session and after driving around for about 15-mins the deck seemed to start up much better. I did check the battery and everything seemed fine.

I guess I just never noticed it last season.
 
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I believe he's talking about engaging the PTO at full throttle, not necessarily mowing.
From the post he quoted prior to my response it seemed like he might be talking about the clutch and mowing, but I can see where if you just his quote in my response it might seem like he was talking only one of the two.

Either way, seems like the issue is resolving itself.
 
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