EcoRider: Taming the Amps

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by Tim Fulton on August 7, 2009

This entry is part 6 of 15 in the series Ecorider

At the end of the last update, I had just finished testing out the mower for the first time.  I found that just driving the mower around doesn’t take much power, but the mowing deck was taking a ton of power.  So, I asked for help on the forum here and at the local EV (electric vehicle) club that I’m a member of.  The guys suggested that I take a look at the mowing deck and make sure that it was in good condition and there wasn’t any binding or bad bearings stealing my power.

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As it turns out, the deck wasn’t in horrible shape, but some attention and a rebuild definitely couldn’t hurt.  It was completely packed full of grass around the pulleys.  So, the first step was cleaning it up.  The picture above is after I removed the initial huge clumps of dead grass, and given it a fair cleaning.  It was pretty caked full of stuff.

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I also looked at the bearings.  It looked like they hadn’t been greased in quite some time.  I spun a few of the mower blades and two of the three didn’t make the greatest noise.  This meant it was time for new bearings.  By and far, this is t he most expensive part of the mower yet.  I went ahead and got high quality Timken bearings from the local bearing supply place.  However, I was assured by the salesman that these bearings will probably outlast me, and they also don’t require greasing like the old style.  This was worth it to me.

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So, the next step was to start rebuilding the deck.  It was disassembled, and the bearings were replaced.  I also took the time to sharpen the blades while they were off the mower.  Then, it was put back together.  A pretty simple process that was only a bit of a pain.

With the mower deck rebuilt, I can do testing to see what good the rebuild did.

EcoRider Build History

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