Monday, July 23, 2012

Prism for checking HOC / QOC

We have the accu-gauge product purchased through Eastern Turf .  I like to use it to check QOC ( quality of cut ) If you have a machine leaving lines or doesn't quit look flat then I can check the cut with this tool To see if an adjustment is need or if reels need to be reground . Also good for getting 2 different machines set up for a similar cut . At least it will give you a good starting point .

 Comes in a nice protective box .
 It's a triangle piece of glass with HOC lines marked on one side .
 You lay it flat on the turf and tip it toward you to see the HOC . If you want to check QOC you can tip it a little bit more towards you .
 You can get them with finer lines but I can tell we are in the .120 to .130 range by looking at theses lines . The QOC looks really good to . Very few stragglers .( grass that was missed in the  cut )

Over all pretty easy to use . It's a good tool for trouble shooting cuts .

Friday, July 20, 2012

Marking HOC on Machines

Learned something new the other day . About a month ago I was checking cuts ( mostly for stragglers missed ) with the prism and noticed that we are cutting below the bench HOC on most machines .I know there is a difference from bench set and actual .  I pointed it out but must have been overlooked due to the daily rigors at the course . Now recently the greens are getting a little stress due to hot couple of weeks we are having and I was approached to set the HOC ( height of cut ) up a little to help with the situation . I politely reminded the superintendent that we were cutting quite a bit lower than the bench HOC and I had checked them this morning with the prism . We learned a little bit about why there was such a difference in HOC ." I explained that I deal in bench setting with the numbers given to me" . If you add on grooved front rollers and the weight of the cutting unit plus lift/ lower arms and hydraulics, tire pressure,make and model, type of grass and maintenance practices  then the actual HOC can be as much as .010 to .025 . A big difference when your cutting at .125 on greens . So to make things easier I'm starting to mark both HOC's .The super will still tell me the actual HOC and now I will figure out the difference and adjust accordingly so we are on the same page . It's good to have a full understanding between the mechanic and superintendent  at these shorter HOC.
Our 3150Q cuts .010 lower than bench and the flex 21's I have to set up  .015 more to get the same HOC .
Triplex  .135 bench to get actual .125 and matching to flex 21  =.140 bench gets me .125  at this course ...... it most likely will be different at other courses .

A few of our machines .
         Notice how similar they look . Not hard for an operator to grab the wrong machine and start cutting if it's not labeled . I have marked them for many years the only thing I changed is marking bench set and actual HOC on greens mowers  for Superintendent so that we both know that we're on the same page .
We have never had a situation where the wrong machine has been used since doing it this way .
Prism ? yes when I get a chance I'll post one on the site .

PS. If anyone has a little extra rain that their not using please send it over  . Thanks .

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

1999 Cushman master cylinder replacement .

Our Gardeners truckster had lost it brakes . Usually it's a leaking wheel cylinder . After topping up the brake fluid and pumping the brakes I couldn't see any leaks . I did notice the master cylinder leaking a little and figured it was by passing fluid internally . Over all a pretty easy job . Biggest part was bleeding the brakes afterwards .

 Master cylinder is in a easy location to the right of the steering wheel . The reservoir is in a remote location under the engine bonnet .
 Surprisingly it wasn't to expensive for the new part and was in stock at out dealer at Eastern Turf .
 I started of by draining the reservoir by removing the rubber hoses on top of the master cylinder , then I loosened the lines with a flare nut wrench . The pick above shows to loosen the nut off the bolt , If you try to take the bolt side off you may wind up stripping the head . Remove the plate that locks the brake pedal shaft in place .
 I just used a pair of vise grips and turned it as your pulling it out . Hopefully it's not seized . Once the pedal is out of the way you can remove the 2 bolts holding the part on the brake pedal plate .  
 The pedal should pull out of the master cylinder and drop out .
 Just finishing removing the 2 brake lines .
I see this may not be the first time it has been changed . 2 different bolts holding the part in .  

 On installation I hooked the rubber hose up first and then the brake lines . It is easier to do it this way before you mount the new part in place . Gives you a little more wiggle room to get the lines threaded on .

 I also cleaned up and put never seize on the shaft that holds the pedal in place . Before you start bleeding the brakes top up brake reservoir . Always bleed brakes from the wheel cylinder that is the furthest away from the master cylinder . In this case Right rear .. left rear...right front ...left front .Work your way around till the air is all out . You may need a helper for this or you can put a line on the bleeder screw into a small jar partially filled with brake fluid and then you can open the line and pump brakes till the air is all out . Bear in mind that you will have to keep an eye on reservoir level and keep it topped up .

Here is a pick of how the pedal shaft is locked in place . 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dubbing Jacobsen bedknives

 When your front facing bedknives on jacs it's a good idea to keep dubbing the leading end of the bedknive . I just give a light touch with the 4.5 handheld grinder .
Otherwise this might happen . The dub will ( help ) deflect the reel in... instead of catching it and peeling up a bedknife  when hitting an object like a raised sprinkler . I've seen this pictured and posted often . 

Toro 1250 boom valve upgrade install

My upgrade kit arrived today . we were having and issue with one of the booms dripping on the new sprayer . After talking to the Veseys to find a part # for the valve . I was told about the upgrade kit and since we were still with in the warranty period it was free of charge . Thanks again to the great staff at Veseys . 

Here are all the parts to the kit . If you have a regular boom system the brackets could be put on first , it may be easier . We have the Windfoil on our unit and the brackets are of no use as you will see later . 

 Pull out the rubber gloves your going to need them for this job . Sprayers are not as clean as they should be I find but staff are on the move to get to their next job , it's a busy time of year for everyone  . Wear your protection and if your in area that sprayers spray pesticides you may want to get the spray tech to give it a good cleaning before you start .  
 Pull the clip of the bottom of the boom valve to pull the hose off . Then use a 3mm Allen key to get the valve out . Watch and see if the top spring comes down with it . If it does save it for reinstallation with new valve . Mine just happened to stay in .
 In the instructions it recommends to check the torque on these Allen head bolts in a cross fashion at 3 inch lbs increments till you reach 9 inch lbs . If you do not have a torque wrench that goes this low just skip this part , you can take a look and see if the Allan head bolts are seated at least . If they are not then barely seat them .
 In the instructions it says to lube seals with vegetable oil . I don't carry vegetable oil in the shop but I do have pipe lube which work well . If your springs came out place them on top of the new valve before installing it . I think the valve extension piece is there just to help you get the valve in easier .
 The new valves seem to have a lot more pressure I had to use a pieces of wood to carefully pry up to get the clip in . Then use the 3mm Allan key to screw the valve up in place .

 After you get all three on you can reattach the hoses .
 With the Windfoil I have a bar directly behind the hose and the bracket couldn't be used .
 The bracket looks like and easy install the grommets for the hoses you just cut to get them on the hose .
 So I zip tied them on the bar.
 On the Windfoil there are gauges to let you know if a everything is working evenly for each nozzle and set of booms .

Your going to have to recheck the pump and boom pressure settings . I have a key to unlock the pump pressure setting .The switch I'm ponting at sets the pressure up and down . We run our sprayers at 50 p.s.i. A common setting is usually 40 psi as long as you do your math for your apps you can use different settings . Oh yes set your boom valves somewhere mid way first . Red knob on rear of boom valve .
 To set boom pressure to match pump pressure you turn any two booms on and adjust the one that is not on to the pump pressure . Do this for each boom . Top pick I'm adjusting the right boom .
 This is the adjustment for the right boom . When your all finished your pump pressure should stay at 50 p.s.i ( in our case) no matter what boom or booms are put on in any order . I have the tank half full of water before I started.

 The kit solved my problem the balls are bottomed out when it's off unlike before you would see one bouncing around near the bottom  .

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Toro Reelmaster 5410 Bedknife facing/back-lapping

 Today I spent part of the day facing the bedknives and back lapping my 2 - 5410 fairway units . Being up on adjustments on the machines as they come off the course really helps reduce the coneing you can get on a reel . One of the tech's on a site will front and top faces his bedknives . I have tried this method and will use it for my fairway units to save some time by not having to pull the reels of the machine for a touch up on the grinder . My time is sort of limited and have to use it wisely to keep everything sharp as often as possible . This process will buy me 6 to 8 weeks and by then we usually top dress fairways so my reel grinding will be done then .

With a lift I am able to easily pull the bedbars off the reel units left on the machine . Loosen adjusters /tension spring at rear of adjuster and remove bedbar bolts don't loose the nylon washers .

 The reel makes a pretty good shelf to hold the tools and bedbar bolts and washers .

 See the nubs at the end of the bedknive , you want the grinder to just tic on both ends for the top face grind . On the foley there is liquid coolant that helps cool the bedknive while grinding . I'm starting to grind dry now , I find it works the best and will use the coolant near the end to finish of with .
 After doing the top and front face use a piece of hardwood to knock of any burrs then I'll do a couple more passes. It works for my goalie skates so I'm trying it on reels .
 Bedknive faces are back to original grind .
After assembly  adjust reel to bedknife clearance to cut news print . 90% of the time they will set right up . I will still backlap to mate the two surfaces .

When backlapping the brake has to be on the machine .

Flip the seat up and look back where the seat hindges . You will see these reel speed dials and forward reverse levers .
Turn the speed dials to the slowest setting and swing the levers straight up .

Start the engine and leave it at idle . Turn reel switch on and push the lower lever forward start appling the lapping compound to each reel with a longer handle brush than what I'm using . Let them run and go from reel to reel working the brush back and forth . You will hear the reels quite down fairly quickly if they were adjusted properly .  A little video below of how I rinse the compound off the reels by the wash rack . Then it goes back on the lift to check and adjust cut again usually 1 click and sometimes they are fine .  . The HOC ( height of cut )will have to be adjusted as well . Most importantly flip the levers back and set the reel speed to your chart settings.

Just a little side note . You might want to check stock for oil filters and fluids . We had an early start up and oil and filter changes may be due soon .You may want to start check machines when their in for service . This past 2 weeks alone I have had 6 large area units ready for oil changes 1 needed a hydrualic oil and filter change and I see our 5410 # 2 is only a few hours away from it's hydraulic and filters change .