06 May 2017

toro 580d battle scars

Get ready for a whopper!!
One thing about having a steady gig,
is the serious case of deja vu.
And I've barely cracked the 5 month mark.
This was the second batch of mower and golf cart.
There were major differences since last time.
This golf cart was gas powered.
No stacks of batteries,
just a little quad like motor.
This one steered on its own,
the axle and spindles were super worn,
and none of the suspension had seen grease in a while.
Easy fix.
The mower was the same ole same ole.
Half the cutter hubs were loose,
so new bearings and seals were hammered in.
I kinda got rebuilding these things wired.
There was also a problem with the 4wd unit,
and the issue was possibly electrical.
This panel hadn't seen fresh air in a while.
The fuses were ok,
but one of the hydraulic solenoids was bad.
I found a good one in the junk pile,
and swapped it in.
I love having a junk pile.
Ultimately another problem kept this issue solved.
Chasing wires found a busted kickdown switch,
with a worn or broken tang.
A couple hundred clicks had it working again,
but it was replaced with a new one that probably cost $100.
Toro stuff is notoriously one-off and over-priced,
which makes having the junk pile that much better.
After that fix I uncovered a great project.
Someone had battered the side wing real good.
A little snip,
cut and grind...
I'm surprised how cheesy these mowers are.
They're basically a special use rat rod,
made using relatively basic engineering principles.
I found a scrap piece of diamond plate,
the perfect size for the repair.
Cut template,
fit steel,
weld and hammer...
And top it off with a nice rattlecan red.
Just enough battle scars to prove a well used machine.
The previous guy had covered up the crack
with these skids.
Check how worn out they are lotsa skidding!
These bumpers were also out of wack.
They keep the front cutting deck from bouncing around.
Everyone figured they were sposta be bent like that.
The bumpers basically keep the deck
from slamming into the frame area,
where those two marks are.
Now it's all banged out and flat again.
I thought lastly was this little gouge.
Before cleaning,
it was caked with grease exiting the hole,
which was the size of that little "puma" shaped template.
After a through cleaning,
the tig came out for some operation-like welding.
If it was too messy or deep,
the hinge pin wouldn't fit back in the tube.
No problem...
Even with a pretty thorough cleaning,
there was shop had some serious smoke.
Now to fix the cause,
this pin had worn out.
It was surprising how cheesy these were built.
New bases were cut,
and a local shop machines new pins.
Glad I brought up the TIG welder! 
Bushings were pressed in,
and had to be honed to fit.
That took a while.
Now there was no slop.
These should last another 29 years...
With everything wiped down,
another wear spot was found.
This bracket holds the outer wing up,
as it rests on that skinny ledge in the background.
It's tough to see,
but it was cracked over 3/4 through,
besides being very worn.
A backing plate and gusset beefed it up.
Here it is all buttoned up.
Lotsa chit goin on here!
And here's the full front cutter deck.
It's a monkey motion mechanism.
Interestingly enough,
there's a newer style replacement deck in the junk pile.
They updated all the issues I fixed with a 1" pin vs 3/4",
and a different belt and tensioner layout.
By this time you'd expect things to be good to go.
The hydraulic mechanism that lifts the outer left arm was glitchy.
I was hoping it wasn't a blown o-ring,
as this valve assembly would need rebuilding.
Luckily it was worn out levers.
There was just enough play in the holes,
the linkages couldn't push down far enough.
More junkyard fixes,
but the levers were only a little better.
I welded and redrillled the holes,
and swapped the cheesy pushrod things.
Crude but effective!
It was a perfect chance to clean under the covers,
limiting problems during the season.
Yes this is a long one!!
Meanwhile there was an ongoing hydraulic leak.
Not a pressurized leak just a small drip
Usin some baby powder,
the leak was in this intricate pump.
After studying the junkpile one,
the job would be very intensive.
Maybe later.
However while I was inspecting the underbelly,
what the heck is this?
At first I thought it was a grease spray,
but it was a crack.
Holey chit this is never ending.
This machine had taken a beating,
and had been half ass repaired before,
but the crack had been there a long time.
I had to prep myself for this one.
It's tough lying on your back working overhead,
showering grinding sparks and weld spatter.
Fish plates were definitely needed.
The cross member holds the hydraulic cylinder
as well as supports the side deck mechanism.
The metal was so fractured,
I'd would have replaced the whole square tube
if I had time.
The welds looked much prettier with some rattlecan red.
Just when things were all fixed up,
the 4wd mower came back with a busted hydraulic fitting.
Rocks will usually win.
Here's a quick tip that works wonders in not losing tools.
A piece of tape keeps things easy to find when on the ground,
or in the dark.
I started doing this to mark my own tools at boat jobs,
and realized how quickly cleanup was.
Now we were ready to cut some grass!
Next up I'll show why and how this stuff could happen!


  1. you earned hero status on this job... seriously. That machine was half dead! When you get back to San Diego, call me, I'm buying you a pizza and beer, or cola, whatever you prefer. 619 985 0783

  2. TP I 2nd what Jesse says...You are a Wizard...Magician..
    Works of art!!