Toro - Personal Pace drive problem

canuckjohnny

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Machine
Model 20383 - vintage 2013; 4 cycle; 21" cut; Personal Pace drive of the Rear wheels; also has the BBC (Brake Blade Clutch aka "Spin Stop")

Symptom
It was running normally, when all of a sudden I noticed white smoke coming from the top of the deck (engine was still running normally)
- shutoff off engine immediately
- based on smoke and smell, I immediately suspected something like burning rubber / a belt
- the Personal Pace drive was no longer working (had to push mower manually - no assist (as a senior = tough sledding))
Note: when I started it cold the next day, engine started fine and there was no smoke ,when I tried to engage the PP drive, but it still didn't drive.

Troubleshooting / Disassembly so far. The day after I saw the white smoke:
1. I turned it over so I could remove the Blade from the Drive Shaft
2. I also removed the plastic shield (3 screws) that covers the Brake Blade Clutch (BBC) on the Drive Shaft. I could see a) the Belt that controls the BBC and b) underneath it I could also see the Personal Pace Drive Belt that goes to the Transmission box on the Rear Axle and Wheels.
3. Both of the Belts appeared to be physically intact (neither was actually broken)
4. I started the engine normally and at the handle, when I pulled the handle to engage the Personal Pace drive, I could see the belt tighten normally (as is should)
… BUT the Belt didn't physically move / turn. The left side of the belt stayed completely still and the right side of the belt was vibrating, but not physically moving / turning.

Question:
I'm guessing the white smoke I saw was a belt burning. I don't believe the smoke has anything to do with the engine. So I believe I have a Personal Pace drive problem and for starters I'm just trying to decide what I need to try next to see what the cause is.

Based on my description above I'd appreciate any suggestions on how to further diagnose what the problem might be.
(I'm currently focusing on the white smoke and thinking it was from a burning belt, but when I started it the next day and engaged the Personal Pace, the belt wasn't even moving).
 

Rivets

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From your description I would say your drive belt is either off the pulley or jammed with something between the belt and transmission pulley. Either way you will need to replace the belt. On this unit, with BBC, it can be done by a novice but is no simple. I don’t have the time to give you the steps, but will post back this evening if no one else has posted on how to do it.
 

canuckjohnny

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Thanks Rivets ... I appreciate your comment. Before I posted my question I had been looking at as many YouTube videos as I could and have a good feel for what I need to do to either
  1. just replace the belt (cheaper and relatively easy ... even though the BBC/Spin Stop complicates the basic belt job) or
  2. replace the transmission (expensive and even more involved)
I was just trying to decide if I should proceed with buying a belt and doing a belt repair or jump straight to buying and installing the transmission. Based on your opinion (which basically matches my guess) I'll just start with the belt job. Once I actually continue with the disassembly, I'll likely see what's up with the belt and why it's not spinning.

PS: Up here in Toronto, I haven't even finished using the lawnmower to get my leaves mulched. And today we're getting a freak snow dump, so I had to go out and make sure my snowblower would start. So I guess the lawnmower job will at least be a fix I can work on with a target date of next spring :thumbsup:
 

canuckjohnny

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Go to this website and type in your model and serial numbers. You can get a full service manual here. https://www.toro.com/en/parts/partdetails/?id=40337
Thanks again Rivets. I had already downloaded the service manual (it was part of the "research" I did before I even started to take the machine apart). The only "problem" is it's so detailed (182 pages), that it's hard to narrow down the specific pages I want to print out so I can have it beside me, when I start the "surgery", but I'll figure it out. I have all winter. Have to get outside now and get my snow cleared. :laughing:
 

lawntender

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I didn’t want to start a new thread so I thought I’d add my question here. I recently bought a toro 20334 personal pace that I was told had a bad transmission. Belt was 𝑶𝒇𝒇𝒆𝒓 after inspection and no shaving in transmission. My question is I filled my transmission up with Licas Red and Tacky #2. Is this grease ok to use or should I take it out and use something else?
 

canuckjohnny

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Hi lawntender ... I'm by no means an expert but I'll try to help if I can ... but I'm confused by the description of your problem.

Based on this link a chart of different Toro models it looks like your 20334 is very similar to my 20383 ... except yours is 22" (mine 21"); yours is steel deck (mine cast aluminum); yours doesn't have the Brake Blade Clutch (mine does) etc. from some things I notice see on the chart.

1. Who told you, you had a "bad transmission"? ... somebody that knows? realize that "transmission" on the "Personal Pace" machines is just a small little thing that depends on a rubber belt to make it operate depending on how aggressively you're pushing the machine. (The problem I was describing having, ended up most likely being just the belt, that I haven't got around to replacing yet. Spring is still a few months away in Toronto :).

2. "belt was 𝑶𝒇𝒇𝒆𝒓 after inspection and no shaving in transmission" means? ... you saw the belt was OFF when you investigated? ... if yes, I'd say you're first step is to get the belt re-engaged (or replaced if it's broken) before you do anything else.

3. "My question is I filled my transmission up with Licas Red and Tacky #2. Is this grease ok to use or should I take it out and use something else?" ... are you saying you did "surgery" on the little transmission part and filled it with new goop? I haven't tried anything that involved yet and can't answer, but my real question is did you do that >AFTERr< getting the belt back >ON< and seeing if it works ... or not?
 

lawntender

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I have a twin
Hi lawntender ... I'm by no means an expert but I'll try to help if I can ... but I'm confused by the description of your problem.

Based on this link a chart of different Toro models it looks like your 20334 is very similar to my 20383 ... except yours is 22" (mine 21"); yours is steel deck (mine cast aluminum); yours doesn't have the Brake Blade Clutch (mine does) etc. from some things I notice see on the chart.

1. Who told you, you had a "bad transmission"? ... somebody that knows? realize that "transmission" on the "Personal Pace" machines is just a small little thing that depends on a rubber belt to make it operate depending on how aggressively you're pushing the machine. (The problem I was describing having, ended up most likely being just the belt, that I haven't got around to replacing yet. Spring is still a few months away in Toronto :).

2. "belt was 𝑶𝒇𝒇𝒆𝒓 after inspection and no shaving in transmission" means? ... you saw the belt was OFF when you investigated? ... if yes, I'd say you're first step is to get the belt re-engaged (or replaced if it's broken) before you do anything else.

3. "My question is I filled my transmission up with Licas Red and Tacky #2. Is this grease ok to use or should I take it out and use something else?" ... are you saying you did "surgery" on the little transmission part and filled it with new goop? I haven't tried anything that involved yet and can't answer, but my real question is did you do that >AFTERr< getting the belt back >ON< and seeing if it works ... or not?
[/QUOTE)
canuckjohnny,
First off let me clarify. I hastily posted my question and I apologize for the incompleteness. I also own an identical 20334 that regretfully has a mechanical issue that has perplexed me so I bought this 20334 off of Craigslist for $70. The seller told me she had the mower into the shop and was told it needed a transmission. Now that I have a little free time o topped the 20334 on its side and say the belt was off and was burnt in one spot. I removed the belt, transmission, blade etc then I spun the pulley on the transmission and it worked like it should. Being curious I prayed open the transmission cover and checked for metal shavings and there were none. Being satisfied that the transmission was ok I ordered a new oem belt and got some Lucas Red and Tacky #2 and packed the transmission full of said grease and reinstalled the cover. I forgot that I wiped out the old grease before adding the new grease. When the new belt arrived I reassembled everything and the transmission seems to work ok with the new belt installed. That’s a brief history of the mower since I started looking at it. This brings me to the original question which is did I make the correct choice in using Lucas Red and Tacky #2 in the transmission. I also neglected to add that I changed oil and the air filter was really dirty so I changed it. I keep a few common things like air filter and plug since my other 20334 was in use with me for about 3 years. I love these personal pace mowers and think I got a good deal on this most recent one I just purchased a few months ago. I like to do mower maintainence in the winter so I’m not hap hardly doing it when I need the mower. I salsa own a Toro 726 TE snowblower which I also really enjoy running.
 

lawntender

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I have a twin
My other mower that I have had for about 3 years has a problem also. It starts and runs real good, but after a couple passes mowing the rpms slow down to what I would call idle speed and it runs like that for a day 30 seconds to maybe a minute or two and then speeds up to the regular rpms. If I try mow again it repeats the same issue. Heads up is I have put in new carb, new governor spring and new air cane spring. I also put in a new governor when I had to replace a valve seat that came loose and I also put in 1 new valve. I think it was the intake valve but I don’t remember for sure. I also lapped the new valve seat and valve with two grits of lapping compound. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

lawntender

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My other mower that I have had for about 3 years has a problem also. It starts and runs real good, but after a couple passes mowing the rpms slow down to what I would call idle speed and it runs like that for a day 30 seconds to maybe a minute or two and then speeds up to the regular rpms. If I try mow again it repeats the same issue. Heads up is I have put in new carb, new governor spring and new air cane spring. I also put in a new governor when I had to replace a valve seat that came loose and I also put in 1 new valve. I think it was the intake valve but I don’t remember for sure. I also lapped the new valve seat and valve with two grits of lapping compound. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I also I think you call it peening or gnarling the new valve seat. I used a center punch and went around the outside of it to push the aluminum against it to keep it seated.
 
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