Saturday, January 28, 2012

Groomers are in

Just received my groomers on Friday for the Toro 5410 fairway unit . Should be a interesting job next week for me . I'll post some pic's later . Also will have time to start topping up batteries in the Club Car rental carts and cleaning up the wire connections . Then I can put them back on the chargers .They will be fine till start up time in the spring . One of the 4x2 gators will be out of the shop on Monday and I can start cutting out metal patches for the dump bed for the other unit .

Friday, January 20, 2012

4x2JD Gator dump box repair

 After servicing this unit I notices the rear frame for the box had rotted away . Our machines have the box liner in them and a few years back I had removed them and painted gator guard on the bottom and put the liners back in . It's been at least 3 seasons ago and looks like I'm going to be doing them again .
I knocked out all the rust I could then cut the bad sections out . 
 Dug out some metal from my scrap pile from another project that I can use for the frame . There was an old cushman engine cover out back which is perfect sheet metal for filling in holes .
Unhook your battery cables first . Only have a stick welder here so I have to be careful not to burn holes through the sheet metal.

I'm using a 1/16th rod at 30amps (that's as low as I can go ) Just spot welding and moving around filling in spaces. A mig welder is much more suited for this kind of work .  I priced up a new box and they go for > $1000 dollars but this repair will get us by for a couple more years .
I also tacked in washers  at the hinge area , it was getting pretty thin . When it's all done I'll use some seam sealer and gator guard the bottom again . The underside is going to get rust checked from here on in .

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Waiting for parts

I have the pro - gator in the shop with the 180 tycrop spreader on it . Sitting in limbo for a bit till the spinner parts come in .Pro gator is dedicated to the tycrop so it has very few hours on it . Just an oil and filter change ,plugs replaced  , checked the air filter and replaced the fuel filter .   During winter work you may be tied up on jobs . The trick is to not tie up your shop so you can keep working . I put things back in cold storage if possible till the parts come in and start another machine . The more machine you can get done the better the summers going to be for you maintenance wise . I'm looking at 150 + pieces if your counting rental carts and small engines . I leave the tractors ( if their do for service ) and small engine ( snippers , blowers etc. ) for the spring . My GKIV fuel line parts came in and that machine came back into the shop today for it's upgrade . Also have some groomers coming in for one of the 5410's . Going to be a great project for me since I have never seen , serviced or used them before . I have the install instructions sent to me vie G-mail as a PDF file from my dealer to pre- view them before they get here . I could have had them now but the sales rep is going to the island and can pick them up for me saving the club the delivery charge . While I'm in limbo I can either start servicing the grinders or get the rest of the maintenance carts done . I did do a quick check on the electric carts and the batteries are going to need to be topped up and terminals cleaned up very soon  . Might be a good job tomorrow or the next day . I have one of the 4x2 gators JD for fluid and filter changes .  These machines are near the fertilizer area I'll have to clean up the corrosion on all connections in wiring harness . I've had issues with the step and go and electric lift cylinder connections in the past plus the 40 amp fuse on the TXs  gets corrosion bad too for some reason  .

I use to have the mowing equipment on that side but since flipping the equipment around I have not had any corrosion issues with mowing equipment since . I'd rather have downed carts than mowing gear it's the lesser of two evils for sure . After a while you just know what the normal problems or issues are with equipment at the course you are working at . Keep plowing through it only 11 to 13 weeks left before go time . Looking good so far this winter has been pretty mild but February is just around the corner and it wasn't very nice last season .

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Get with the times

One off the high tech tools in the shop . Nowadays information is available  in the NOW not later . I can do most of this site with just this phone including pictures . It's my personal phone but find it very useful at this job  . There is an excellent  network of techs out there that help each other out . Great for warranty work , I can send pic's of a problem or issue to dealers or manufacturer if needed . I can also use it to cross reference spark plugs etc . eg;  champion to NGK . I will also take pictures of where wires , hoses and parts go if needed before tearing a machine apart . Also store all my contacts , salespeople order desks for parts on the phone . Sometime if I can't get through on the order desks I can e-mail them the part # and get them to e-mail me back to verify the order .   
   Good thing I have unlimited text because staff will text me if there is an issue so I can get them up and running quicker out on the course and less time is spent looking for me . I did take over an old desk top we where going to throw out for record keeping and storing PDF files . I can print off the pages (from manuals) needed for repair . Now if the old shed can get up to speed with high speed internet I wouldn't have to download so much information at home to bring in . 
I'm using a Blackberry bold 9780 .Some guys are using androids and I-phones . The I-phone has a a lot of apps. some  can remote run a computer , basically you can use your I -phone to turn your irrigation on and off ( with an internet connection ). When I first started in the business we use to turn sprinklers on by hand .  Things have sure come a long way in the past 10 - 15 years . Technology can be a good thing if you use it to your advantage .

Side winders done for now . I have checked out many things and some idea from other techs and I'm thinking that the rear deck must have hit a stump and bent the arm slightly . If it gets any worse it's going to have to be heated up and bent back .

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Friday Snow plowing

 Well it was bound to happen sometime , it is almost mid January. We had a small dumping of snow last night ( Friday about 4' of wet stuff ). Slow day for me so I plowed both course lots ( 4.5 hrs ). It's looking like almost a repeat in weather pattern as last season remember last February, I do  winter hit hard and cold .  As a tech you may have to chip in once in a while and help out .  
     I'm waiting for some parts and getting a parts list ready for the 180 tycrop . The old spinners are worn out and I'm looking into adding the extra paddle like the upgrade kit 200 has .
    The toro side winder I'm working on now has a problem with the rear deck not hitting the wear pad on top . If it's not line up  it may by pass the catch and the front roller will start to hit the metal hydro lines . It's actually by passing the catch once in a while now but not enough to damage the lines yet . I'm asking tech's on the sites for ideas or a fix . I know for a fact last season it slipped down a steep bank into a trap . Some ideas a trickling in now and will check it out on Monday .
  It was a good day to catch up on paper work .

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Toro Sidewinder 3500 D

The 4300D is all done . New blades and blade bolts installed and ready to go for spring . I  brought the side winder in today . The air filter and water separator filter needed changing so the new ones were put on and ,marked for next hr. change  . I noticed the rear deck doesn't line up properly . Checking it for worn bushing or a bent pull frame pin .A few parts ordered and some new Atomic blades . My old ones are getting a little thin .

Notice the front of these decks . Compared with the 4300D it has way more protection to help prevent the deck from getting knocked in . I don't have a 4500D here to compare front decks . Hmm makes me wonder if it was an over site . These 2 machines ( at this course) run in similar areas and so far the sidewinder has had no deck issues involving the blade hitting the decks .

Trouble Lights

 I've had different trouble lights over the years . A few months ago a salesman showed me one of these lights . Lithium ion battery and will last pretty much the whole day being used constantly .
The price was right so I ordered one . It can hook on something and has a magnetic base .
 Also bends every which way .
I use it so much I had to get another one . It's fantastic for setting up reels on the machine ( on the lift ) I just stick it to the bedknife . When there not being used I just attach them to the side of the lift . I would says the most helpful tool purchased last season .

Monday, January 9, 2012

Toro 4300 D front deck fix

The Damage

 Just brought this unit in . Our course is pretty rough and hilly . We demoed this model and where very pleased that it didn't scalp (because of the 24" decks )and hugged the terrain well  HOC 1.75". We liked it so much we are getting another one this spring . Back to my deck issue . We have had only 1 operator on this machine most of the season and have had next to zero issues until other staff started mowing . The problem I'm getting other than the usual dented up blades is that the front of the decks are hitting rocks denting the HOC adjusting brackets and bending the deck in enough for the blades to hit on . I have slowed the machine down a little bit but don't want it to be to slow . Next season they will be able to be turned down a tiny bit more with 2 units on the go .  
 I'm hopefully going to solve this issue . It can be time consuming to heat and pound out the decks plus welding up cracks by the adjustment slots .
 Front HOC adjustment .
Just in the thought process now . I asked the guys on the tech sites about a fix and I'm getting a few thoughts together for a permanent fix . I don't like to redo things if I can help it . I was thinking of welding a good size bar to the front roller brackets but then if they decide to lower the cut there may be issues . What ever the fix is it's going to have to do with this bar and some type of bracket welded to the bottom of deck not getting in the way of HOC brackets . I'll post some detailed pic's when I figure it out .

 This is what I wound up doing for a fix . I have a lot of old bedknifes laying around from winter tear downs . I'm taking the 5410 hd bedknife and cut it of at about 12 "s . Then I flipped the pieces on top of each other where it's grooved out . Worked out to be a prefect angle . Tack welded them together .
 Then I placed it under the front of the deck and tacked it in place .
 IF YOUR DOING ANY WELDING ON MACHINERY BE SURE TO UN HOOK BATTERY CABLES , otherwise you may fry some of the finer circuits on the newer equipment . It was very easy to weld on machine , I also tacked it on the corners on the inside of deck .
A little paint .

Now I'll have to wait till summer and see how it goes . Should be good and solid . Once you do one it will only take maybe 10 minutes for each of the other ones . Would also be a good fix for the bigger decks on the 4500D.

Review : 2 full seasons = 100% fix .No problems

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Slow Friday Updating the water trailer

I brought in the old water truck in . It's in pretty hard shape and need a few upgrades . I put a new adjustable stand by the hitch and replaced both tires . This trailer is used only on the course and  decided to call our tire supplier and see if he had some good used tires . 2 for 60 $ not bad for like new condition tires . I pushed the tank to one side to get the 4hp trash pump on easier and made a hold down bar for it . I'll get some pic's later . I'm also thinking of getting a cheap pump at Princess Auto and locking it down o prevent theft . It is a little bit of a pain to have to hook every thing up to it . The gardener uses it all the time in the summer .

   Received a few orders and had some errors on the invoices that need some attention . My GK's are done for now and will bring one back in later for the fuel line up grade when the parts come in . Just brought the Toro 4300 D for winter service .

  Also scraped down the fluffy snow and salted the parking lot . Fertilizer came in and we rented a forklift for super to put it all away.
  Winter work is looking good so far I'm keeping on track and might be a little ahead off the game . Soon will be the time to check all the electric carts for water levels in batteries .

Thursday, January 5, 2012

GK IV old reel motor to New style

I was going to rebuild reel motors but there is so many hrs. on them and the seal kits where very pricy and for a little more I could get new ones . But I didn't realize the drive reel hub had to be changed over also . The original problem was this reel was spinning at a slower speed than the rest . Now they run great . I might do a reel speed check and see how fast it spins compared to the  old ones . 

The newer style reel needs the drive side hub replaced so you can attach the newer 2 bolt reel motor  ( the old style has 4 studs ) The pics were taken during assemble but will try to explain  how to take the reel apart .Take the bedknive of loosen adjuster off and remove the 2 bolts holding it in the frame  and . Remove front roller and brackets and grass shield .

Remove 9/16 bolt out of the end of the reel shaft , slide the spacer shaft out . Remove the 7/8 spring tension  nut.

Now the snap ring can be removed of the drive side hub holding the bearing in .

I use some wooden block to keep the reel in place . Remove the 4 -1/2 nuts holding the hub in the frame . I try using a 3/8 drift punch and punch the old hub out from inside the reel frame . If the bearing is stuck on the shaft ( usually  is ) use a puller .

A pick at reassembly new hub bolted in frame and bearing repacked in grease . Same idea to put bearing on shaft , block the reel lands with wooden blocks and tap the bearing in place with a punch . put circlip back on .

Reassemble the other end , tighten spring load nut till it bottoms out lightly. Install 9/16 bolt ( use some blue thread lock )etc. Now back the spring load nut off till it pinches the sleeve . Snug it up pretty tight .That will give you the proper spring tension on the bearings . Reassemble in this order , grass shield , front roller and brackets , bedknife . Set up light contact and HOC . * if you put the front roller and brackets on first you might not be able to get the grass shield back on *

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

GK VI fuel starving cure

 We have a problem that I'm going to solve hopefully this winter . Our course is pretty hilly in some areas and in the dew the smooth tires slip trying to get up the hills so we back the machine up to get it were we need it . . The problem is if the tank is close to halve full it will run out of fuel because it only feeds from the rear of the tank . I seen somewhere that the newer ones have an extra feed line on the front end of the tank .

I have the parts ordered and will update . I'm going to put a T fitting in and drill for a new grommet and feed line .

I'm also going to put on the same side as the rear feed line . I'll add a few more picks here later .


 Originally I was going T into the fuel line closer to the engine side , but after thinking about it it wouldn't get filtered first so the plan has changed .
 I order the OEM grommet and fuel line insert . Removed the tank and drilled the 1" hole in the tank frame . Marked for the hole . I used a regular drill bit and a battery operated drill on the lowest setting with the least drag . I didn't what to take chance on the drill bit catching and cracking the old tank .
Teed everything to the filtered side of fuel filter and ran the other line on it's normal route . Now when we back up hills it shouldn't run dry .