Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Torque Sticks

 Napa has a great sale on them this month. Finally picked a set up .

Going to try them on the rotary blades bolts this season .  They're changed out quit often and  should speed things up . I was concerned about the hub bearings getting damaged . After rebuilding a couple of them I noticed the outside and inside of the bearing are supported by a sleeve so there should be no added  pressure on the bearing itself . It will save me at least 30 minutes to do both 4300's and the side winder .

The set comes with 5 sticks and there is room for a few more . Going to be great and more efficient to check wheel nut torques on the equipment . First time using them and found them very easy to use and pretty cool watch the stick stop moving no matter how much you crank on them . For the blade bolts I'll watch and stop when it just stops turning . One Of the guys pointed out that for highway used vehicles you use the torque stick that is under your setting then finish them off with a torque wrench.

One of the Toro 4300 D finished .

Looking good . Feels like I'm behind but really I'm on track... just doing machines in a different order . I like my routine but if your going to get most of the gear done you need to keep things rolling in and out of the shop .
Now that my fall booking order is here I bring in one of the fairway units .Going to be great to have the parts on hand . The older unit is getting a new steering pump , hydraulic and anti freeze changed out and valves adjusted plus what ever else I find when it gets cleaned up . Rust is showing up pretty good around the front axle and I'll be rust checking that area .

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Winter work continued 2013 update

Eagerly waiting for my Toro Fall Booking order to arrive . After my weeks vacation I started going over the smaller machines . The Toro Pro Force need an oil and filter change and a good cleaning . My hub grease nipple idea worked great . No / little bearing play and just pump grease in them .

Best idea ever 2 seasons and it still looks like I just installed the gel battery .

I heard a few rumours that the blower did a roll over , over all it looks pretty good . I see the shut has been cut down . Now there will be less  air velocity. I have seen a few other alterations I don't agree with but that is sometimes part of the job .

Also had time to work on our Tru-turf roller . The smoothing roller bearings are still great .Should get another season out of them . The sealed bearing trick works fantastic to get more life out of them .
One of the rollers was sticking a bit do to the fact the hitch keeps the front of the machine pointing down and a rock must have bent the spacer washer .My hydraulic  press made quick work to straighten it back out . It's pretty hard to get the staff to tow it slower so I made a few more adjustments to the tow bar .

 I removed the spiker attachment last season and this winter I removed the framing that it was attached to .
This past week our Toro grounds master 3500D ( sidewinder ) made the trip in for winter service . Most of the items needed for repair I had on hand but the front deck rollers will have to wait till my order gets here .
The sidewinder is a 2008 and is starting to show her age a little . It's a good idea to protect the course investment and save yourself some big problems in the future. I'm starting to use Rust check once a year in hard to get at places to slow down rust on machines .

A can goes a long way . $10 dollars can save you thousands $$$ in the future . I can get 2 or 3 machines hitting just key areas , framing connections , steel lines etc. .

There are a lot of steel lines in the front end that traps the grass really well .

Blowing out all the old clippings so that the Rust check can do it's work.

Here is a prime example . The front frame tubes carry a lot of weight . You can see the rust starting where the tube is welded to the frame . Not likely it will go , Toro has some pretty heavy gauge material here but I have seen saddles holding the front axle on a fairway unit ( different company )break away causing some pretty weird issue with acceleration and traction .

Machine was also due for it's hydraulic oil change . Keeping filters marked for next change interval sure speed things up .

I had a few lines that needed some padding .

 Line / hose pad kit from Lawsons . Pretty beefy and easy to attach with zip ties .

Brand new tire going on the right front .

This past season the tire pressure was kept at 18 PSI. It's the first time that we didn't loose a couple of tires do to sidewalls breaking down . Wow a worn out sidewinder tire . That's a first for us . Our machine runs on side slops all day . Notice the wear is still on the edges and not the center .

Last season there were issues with the park brake seizing up . After they where freed up I decided to drill an access hole in the backing plate so it can be blown out occasionally . You can see the plug at the bottom in the pic.

Not to bad fairly clean .

Decks where a lot easier to clean by removing them from machine .

Last season they where waxed on the top side of the decks to help them stay cleaner during the season . It worked so well I'm going to do it again . Some rewiring and solid solder connects were done on the lights and the battery holder had to be removed and repainted , it was getting pretty corroded .

I'll get a picture tomorrow of what it looks like in the cold storage building ,

Not bad for a 2008 .

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fall project at New Ashburn

Nice to see the extra line being added . I use to do the irrigation here years ago and set up the flow manager on their Rainbird system  . The original plans showed a line going across the river but wasn't  added . Before we could only run about a little more than half the flow rate across the river to get full coverage on irrigation heads  .The problem with this was being able to run a full irrigation cycle for entire course would take all night + + . Good to see them using the High Density Poly and welded joints . Pretty much indestructible . With the additional 450 + - GPM they can adjust the flow manager to get maximum  out put and most likely will half the time it takes to irrigate the course .

Line coming down from 17 green area and runs along bridge section and above ground along side of pond area.

The final hook up . Looks great . I'll try to get more pictures later .On Vacation this week .

A few more pictures during the cleanup .

New line riding on saddles on the bridge section .

Getting pretty cold up here now some areas are frozen and will be finished off when the climate permits .

A lot of valves added in this location in 17 fairway . They tide the line to  help feed a few more irrigation runs .

Friday, November 15, 2013

Winterwork GKIV and PGM's

 Got the go ahead to start on my winter maintenance . The New Course has blown out their irrigation and are scheduled to close on or before November 11th. With the coming rain it should slow rounds down to a crawl . Our irrigation is next to get blown out on Monday November 4th.We had a good 4-5 frosts this week and the grass has pretty much stopped growing . We will most likely mow the greens and Tees  again . The rough units will be going out a few more times to mostly to munch leaves for the blower to spread out . New budgets starting up and I'm starting off with our approach mower . I have torn it down pretty good to get at a few areas that I have been putting off till now .
Most of the panels /seat /and fuel tank has been removed for easier access . I had a line under the seat that I've been keeping an eye on . Was easy to replace on site with the hydraulic supplies in the shop .
Bio oil has been drained out . We're having a few issues with the front reels swinging around to much . I'm going to shim under the pull frames so they won't be able to swing as much . One pull frame will need a little attention to get the clippings to go in the basket better. A little oxy / acetylene will take care of that.

The transport lever needs to be extended a bit to make it work every time instead of randomly . Also a new light switch .Fuel lines are looking a little weak and now would be a good time to replace while it's all apart . If we get another set of reels for our 3150 Toro greens master we plan to use it for approaches while we are mow with the flexes during the summer . This GK we will use to mow after top dress but keep one set of reels set up for approaches as a back up . This way the other older GK IV can be sold . If it's approved it will be nice to use the 3150 Toro all the time instead of it sitting in cold storage for half the season . Picked up the items I need at Eastern Turf today and should have most of it back together tomorrow . Then I'll get the reels ready to grind .

 For winter work I like to get all the grinding on reel type mowers done first . They are the most time consuming to do . While the reels are grinding I'm working on the mower . That way I can move back and forth getting both jobs done at the same time .

A few more weeks and it will be time to get the snow gear hauled up to the front of the shop and check them over . I think where going to get the white stuff early .

I had finished of my GK a few days after the last post .

Instead of getting some custom piping bent I decided to take everything apart and open up the exhaust pipe going into the home made pipe . There was enough flow that it wasn't getting to sooty. I did weld the exhaust together and pipe clamped it to the OEM one .  
Also added another support bracket and now is fairly quite for a diesel GK.
also added an exhaust cap in case the guys leave it out in the rain .
It's great to get a few pieces of equipment done early but sometimes the weather and later closures of the course may mean it could go out for a few more mows . You have to look at it as getting an early test run for next year and all the little bugs are getting worked out .
It has transport now do to the fact that one off the dash bolts was missing . Once replaced it gave the lever a little more movement .

My PGM's where up next a few of them couldn't be relief ground so new reels where in stock at Eastern Turf . I did the same process as an earlier post to install the new reels in 2 of our machine . 

Here are a couple of pictures of the difference .Also when replacing new reels replace any seal ,races (cups) and bearings (cones)while it's all apart.  .

Might have been able to just get away for another season by just spin grinding ( tee HOC )It's a fairly big job to just drop everything else to install them mid season where you need every minute for other things  . Yes they are still 11 blade reels the 9 blade ones I would have used for Tee HOC cost considerably more .Plus If we had to use one for  a spare or back up greens mower that option would be still open by just changing the bedknives to Tournament or low profile . The mower had been sped up a bit for this HOC and and 11 blade reel set up.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Clearing out some old Stock

Making room for new gear . Had some time on my hands today to haul a few unused items out for sale .

First up is an old farm style trailer . $800.00 or best offer . Needs some TLC.
I'm guessing 4 to 5' by 14 to 16'. Very large single center mounted ram . It will dump what ever you put in it depending on HP of tractor .  Hydraulics driven from tractor .
Still good for hauling brush ,rock etc. If you we're to reline the dump bed you could use it for soil type material .
Banner Slicer . Was used in the past for greens and towed by a Cushman truckster with remote hydraulics .
Hydraulics are used to lift and lower wheels for transport . Would also work well on a small tractor . Also has the smoothing roller that follows behind the slicing process. 

The slicing tines are in great shape and are hardly worn . Parts are available through Eastern Turf if needed . This one needs nothing . $1,000.00 .

We have 2 Gradens .one at each course .

Very aggressive deep verticutting units . Work great . Only used less than a half dozen times .

Just pulled this one out and cleaned up a little .

Here it is running . Still has a tag on it . We are asking $1000.00 for EACH unit .Or if your looking to buy both we can work out a better deal .  Parts are available at Eastern Turf if needed . They ran pretty strong with no issues .

Old Ashburn 902-443-8363 ask for Jason (superintendent )or Bob .
New course  902-861-1175 ask for Brian (superintendent ) or Al .

I may have a few more items once the final decisions are made on equipment 

Season rapidly winding down and I'm waiting for the mowers to be put to rest so I can start our winter work . I managing to get a few carts done and all 3 flexes with parts in stock .It will free up a little time for the big equipment repairs planned to get ready for next season  . We  we're just under budget ( equipment maintenance) and waiting to see what new gear we are getting for next season . We also did the Toro/Club Car fall booking this year which will save use 15% and free shipping . This way I'll have most of what I need for the season and don't have to pay till April + save the club up to $ 1750.00 at the end of it all . When doing this try to carefully plan to get all your  usual wearable items on the order . When working at the same club for many years and knowing the routine well you will be able to make a justifiable order.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

MDX (MD) sticky throttle problem and fix

Our MDX has a few season on her now . Still holding out well . Lately the throttle pedal has been sticking down causing the machine to keep running when you let off on the throttle . Pretty simple fix . After dismantling and cleaning up the parts I used a little never seize . I also drill and taped a hole for a grease nipple to solve the problem . My Toro MD's are a little newer but they will get the same upgrade  this winter . Good thing they have great brakes on them !!!! Ten minute repair. As a golf equipment mechanic you may have to do these type of alterations . Different climates may cause issues not foreseen by the manufactures . It will also prevent a run away cart running into a tree or worse someone on the course .   You can see my homemade plate to keep guys from pulling the throttle cable to make it go faster . They are factory issued on the MD's we have now .

Monday, September 30, 2013

OEM bedknive angle changes on our Toro 5410

I recently ground the newer 5410 with the damaged reels and with no time for repair could only spin grind the reel and grind the bedknives . When I reassembled the reels they where not cutting as well as I would have liked them to . I like the keep the bedknife angles ground to OEM spec's . After posting the issue I was having on Golftech's I received some ideas and answers of why and how to get my units to cut properly again .
This picture shows the newsprint being pinched by the reel against the bedknife before cutting . The OEM angles didn't provide me with a perfect edge to cut against on a worn down reel ( nearing 4.5  "). As the reel wears the front edge moves upward changing the angle for the grass to lay up on the front face before cutting plus it was affecting where the reel edge was landing on the bedknife . Eventually it could cause riffling of the bedknife .
Here is the newsprint cut after adjustments where made to the angles on bedknife . I went 7 Top and 7 front . Some guys suggested going as much as 8 from a new set up will avoid this issue in the future .
Remember my rough fairways and bedrock out cropping that I talk about . Well this how one of them came back today . The chunk also went back and went through one of the rear cutting units causing more damage .
Cutting newsprint cleanly at a whisper setting sounding smooth across the knife .

For as beat up as they are, there still providing a great cut . We are running the groomers again to thin the grass out . Grass is standing up very well now for play .

A small video of whisper quit sound ......and a little Billy Idle thrown in .

One thing about this type of work and why I like it so much is that there is always something new that comes up and  learning new and better ways to keep things rolling .