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A Little Off Plumb
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was cutting grass last night for about 3/4's of an hour when the tractor engine speed increased a little bit and I noticed the deck spindles were no longer turning - my first thought was my PTO repair had come back to haunt me. I powered down and got back to the shop to investigate and found out the PTO idler pulley was no longer applying pressure to the PTO belts as the front leg of the PTO lever spring had broken - apparently after fourty plus years it decided it no longer wished to be part of grass cutting duties. I jury rigged a pair of needle nose vise grips clamped onto the shaft roll pin and some mechanics wire and was able to finish up cutting the rest of the bit of grass I was working on and parked it for the night. Today I decided to pull the cover off and have a good look at things and see if I could fix it. First I removed the seat spring and tool box and the bolts that held the transmission cover on and slid it out of the way to get a good look at the spring.
 

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A Little Off Plumb
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hunted through my assortment of springs and found a pull spring that I thought I could modify with a bit of heat to reshape the ends so I got out the MAP gas torch and a couple of pairs of vise grips and started bending slowly by heating up a small section of the spring at a time and bending it to conform with the shape of the old one and letting it cool back down (sorry I did not take more pictures of the shaping process but it was hard enough to hold the spring with vise grips, the torch and then grab another pair of vise grips to shape it before it cooled to much). Finally got it shaped the way I wanted it, trimmed the ends with a cutoff blade in the die grinder and did a test fit to see if it would work OK.
 

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A Little Off Plumb
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It seemed to fit and function OK so I gave it a paint job and tried to put the transmission cover back and found out the front leg of my new spring was sticking up and hit the cover so I trimmed a bit off so it would clear and put the cover back on. Then I put the seat back on and cut grass for an hour with it and the PTO worked great - will have to see how long it lasts but at least now I have the old spring to measure that I can use to see if I can find a similar style generic spring - did a Google search on the original Bolens part number but did not find any for sale. Hope this post may help someone if they encounter a similar problem with their PTO spring. Thought about using a drum brake shoe return spring from a car but the one I looked at for an 89 Chev was too small in diameter and did not have enough coils.
 

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Excellent work and write up as usual!

Original part # for the spring was 1715680, which then superceded to 1726632. This Part # was discontinued in 2002.
 

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Nice job of re-purposing a spring. I had that lever seized in the bearing on the steering post and would not come loose. Had to cut it out and replace the whole thing.
 
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