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Forum Index : Other Stuff : Fixing the ride on mower

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Joined: 05/06/2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 4808
Posted: 01:19pm 07 Sep 2013
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Couple of years ago I visited forum members Bob's ( VK4AYQ ) place. Bob has a light airplane grass air strip in his back yard, and I asked him how he kept the grass cut? He said he used a ride on mower, and something along the lines of "It relaxes me, gives me time to think". I guess it would, there would be many hours involved.

My own place has about 8 acres of open grass, and in the past I've paid a local farmer to mow it with his tractor-slasher, which takes a couple of hours. A few weeks ago the grass was getting long, a couple of feet high in places, and needed to be cut again to keep the fire risk down and discourage snakes, and I decided to do a Bob and mow it with my ride on mower. Spent about an hour a day, and after the first few days the mower started to complain with a noisy bearing on the clutch driven cone drive shaft thingy. So decided to replace the bearing and see what else I could improve.

The mower is a Cox, seen here on the right. It uses a cone clutch drive system, very simple and reliable. In the past I lifted the mower a few inches so it can cut long grass, mow down tree's, etc, and its been pretty reliable, even if it needs a cup of oil in the engine before every shift. It was pretty slow, I could walk faster, but it was tough. The other mower is a Murray, twin blade, hydrostatic drive and good for a lawn, but no good on the rough stuff.

Took a bit to get the drive shaft out, everything was old and seized, needed a can of WD40 and hammer to free it up. While I had the drive shaft out I looked at the clutch cone, then looked on the internet, and worked out the cone had worn down to about half its original size. That would explain why the Cox was so slow. A replacement cone was about $140, which I couldn't afford, so decided to make my own.

The cone looked to be made from 3 layers of compressed fibre material ( probably asbestos! ), the outer two were soft, and the inner hard. So I layered up some sheets of Masonite and dense fibre board to the same thickness as the original cone, and machined it into a cone of the same angle as the original cone, but about twice the diameter. Then glued it all together with some wood glue ( not needed as I found out later ). Also drilled a dowel hole to match the original cone.

Assembled, you can see the original cone to the right.

And here it is in place, photo take after its been in service for a few hours.

While I was at it I replaced the 9 tooth drive sprocket, missing a couple of teeth, with a new 11 tooth. And of course replaced the noisy bearing.

The result. Well its a lot faster than it once was. Its even quicker than the Murray, I would have to jog to keep up with it. So far have mowed about 5 acres with the new cone and it shows no signs of wear. The sheets of Masonite have delaminated, but this doesn't seem to affect it.

Back to the mowing, took about 5 hours all up, spread over a few days. And yes it was relaxing, I'm even looking forward to the next time it needs mowing in a few months.

GlennEdited by Gizmo 2013-09-09
People say 2020 is a terrible year, with the bush fires, COVID 19, and riots. But I see it as the year we woke up to ourselves.

JAQ Software


Joined: 06/02/2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 670
Posted: 07:13pm 07 Sep 2013
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Bloody grass, always growing. I moved away from rideons (they seem to be always in need of repairs) when I scored a little Kubota 28hp diesel garden tractor with a 4ft slasher.
The Kubota being very manoeuvrable with its hydrostatic transmission but not as good as a rideon of course, just a matter of keeping the slasher blades sharp. Job is not far from that produced by a rideon, with slashers being almost maintenance free.

But the best mowers are the resident wallabies & roos(Missus is a fanatic wildlife carer). The released wallies hang around and breed, they know their on a good thing, except you`ve got to fence in young fruit trees and protect irrigation sprays as they`re a destructive lot. But I wouldn`t encourage the Missus too far in this respect, fanatic is an understatement.
We come from the land downunder.

Joined: 07/10/2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 1220
Posted: 01:26am 08 Sep 2013
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Maybe a couple of sheep is the answer. They'd probably leave the trees alone too - and lamb chops each year (err - maybe mutton chops!).

Joined: 15/06/2007
Location: United States
Posts: 21
Posted: 05:48am 08 Sep 2013
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I have seen old truck axles modified where the input yoke was facing down, a blade attached and was modified to tow behind a truck, jeep, tractor, etc. The blade was powered by the wheels and the speed depended on the gear ratio.

Was a pain in the turns but cleared fields of grass in no time.

Joined: 19/09/2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 573
Posted: 01:04am 28 Oct 2013
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The easy way is mow the grass is get a cow as l have 3 cow and two calf on nearly 6 acres land and my land got no grass left so now got to buy some cattle feed every week maybe if you like to borrow one of my cow for awhile . just send PM

Joined: 16/12/2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 858
Posted: 01:09pm 02 Nov 2013
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Great repair job! I bet you can fix anything bar the crack of dawn or a broken heart!
Taxation as a means of achieving prosperity is like a man standing inside a bucket trying to lift himself up.

Winston Churchill


Joined: 12/05/2009
Location: United States
Posts: 1329
Posted: 02:49pm 03 Nov 2013
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Glen & Crew

Here's mine:

Here's an out-of-focus picture of my "expensive-green-paint" (John Deere) ride-on mower.

I have every good intention of building an electric ride-on mower out of a golf cart chassis. The 'cutters' will be high-speed motors direct-driving braided-wire weed-eater strings. I plan on recharging things with one of my VAWT windmills, which I intend building very, very soon!

. . . . . MACEdited by MacGyver 2013-11-05
Nothing difficult is ever easy!
Perhaps better stated in the words of Morgan Freeman,
"Where there is no struggle, there is no progress!"
Copeville, Texas

Joined: 24/11/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 1
Posted: 09:21pm 30 Nov 2019
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hi where can i get 11 tooth drive sprocket to fit cox ride on thanks
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