Getting an older Bad Boy ZT back in service

Willy McCoy

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I recently was given a 2011 ZT 60" that has been sitting under a shed for the past few years. I was told it was parked because it needed a new engine (27hp Kohler) and it was a lot bigger mower than they needed anyway. I'm a retired mechanic so working on a mower is almost natural to me. I've got it back running with new oil, filters and fuel lines. Other than the starter being noisy as heck, the engine seems fine so far (it had too much oil (very dirty) in it and a very dirty air filter). The deck needs a new belt and idler pulley (bad bearing) and new blades. The previous owners apparently weren't much on maintenance.

I've still got a couple of things I'm wondering about. As I've never driven a zero turn before, it's a bit of a learning curve, but the left side seems to pull better than the right. I've been just keeping the right lever basically in position and working the left to keep it going straight. I'm wondering if there's an adjustment in there to make both sides pull more alike. I'm planning on changing the drive oil and filters, but the tank under the seat has broken mounts (zip ties holding it in place until the new tank comes in) and I'm figuring on changing the oil when I replace the tank. Any suggestions on getting the drives to work more like a team?

Somewhere in the past the wire to the hour meter came loose with a few feet of wire. I've looked at the wiring diagram in the downloaded manual from Bad Boy and can't find the hour meter on it at all. I thought getting that back to working would be a nice touch although I'll never know how many hours are actually on it.

Thanks in advance for any help

Willy
 

bertsmobile1

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While there is an adjustment in reality they will go out of adjustment again and due to the nature of a zero turn you will never get the same drive from both wheels.
The trick is to use your natural hand to do the steering and your off hand to balance the speed.
Avoid at all costs having the wheels going in opposite direction.
It is not a skid steer front end loader.
After a while you will build up the muscle memory required to steer both handed just so long as it is a hand eye co-ordination exercise not an eye, brain:- think about it , move hands process.

Left drives generally pack it in first because crud builds up on them more than the right, unless you have a left hand deck when the opposite happens.
The left drive is this always running hotter than the right so the oil is thinner so it wears more.
 

Willy McCoy

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Thanks for insight and advice.

I'll keep the thing about not having the wheels going in opposite directions in mind which makes sense when I think about it. Other than that, it reminds me a lot of driving a Navy landing craft just using the engines without any rudder input.

When I got the change drive oil, I'll make sure to get all the crud off the drives that I can find.

Thanks again,

Willy
 

bertsmobile1

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FWIW I try to get in there with a soda blaster followed by a pressure wash and blow dry.
These things are made in dust free clean rooms for a very good reason.
Apparently a lot of early failures were found to be due to crud that fell in when customers did oil changes which caused the fitting of headder tanks that could be cleaned easily on the better mowers and fully sealed units on the cheaper ones.
 

Willy McCoy

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Thanks for advice. I've ran into a few other issues with it that I've been working out (replacing the spindle bearings) and haven't got around to the drives yet.

Hopefully, I can get some shop time in this weekend. It seems like I'm busier now that I'm retired than when I was working.
 

cpurvis

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This has nothing to do with the mower but if you don't want divots in your yard, don't turn by pivoting on one wheel.
 

Willy McCoy

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I already discovered that one down behind the barn. Also discovered that if I catch the end of the deck on a bush or similar solid object, it is going to turn into that object when I caught it on the trunk of a large bush down there. I guess it's all part of the learning process which is why I'm using it away from the house for now.

And it cuts a heck of a lot better with new spindle bearings and blades. Now I know why they named it "Bad Boy". It flat cuts some grass.
 
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