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I have been looking at some anomilies on the mechanical side of the lift mech. on my 444. First I have found the deck lifting link on the right side is straight like the left side, I believe it should have an offset in it.(easy fix) Here's the kicker- The previous owner had put 1/2" bolts, nuts and washers in the middle of the slots to apparently lift the deck faster/ sooner. I also have a sleeve hitch. There is a 1/2"x2 1/2" carriage bolt going through the hole in the drawbar down through an elongated hole in the hitch. The rear of the drawbar is bent down over 1". The hitch has about 2" of "up" travel along this bolt before it hits the drawbar. My thoughts are the bent drawbar is limiting the mechanical travel. Maybe that's why the bolts were installed by the PO in the links? Is the bolt too short causing the hitch to bend the drawbar down when deck/hitch are lowered? If so, what is the correct size bolt to use? Any thoughts and/or suggestions here?
 

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Billygoat said:
I have been looking at some anomilies on the mechanical side of the lift mech. on my 444. First I have found the deck lifting link on the right side is straight like the left side, I believe it should have an offset in it.

My recollection is that the strait links are used on both sides on a 444 while the offset link is used on a 446.

Here's the kicker- The previous owner had put 1/2" bolts, nuts and washers in the middle of the slots to apparently lift the deck faster/ sooner.

That is a common method of getting increased lift on the deck so it has greater ground clearance.

I also have a sleeve hitch. There is a 1/2"x2 1/2" carriage bolt going through the hole in the drawbar down through an elongated hole in the hitch. The rear of the drawbar is bent down over 1". The hitch has about 2" of "up" travel along this bolt before it hits the drawbar. My thoughts are the bent drawbar is limiting the mechanical travel. Maybe that's why the bolts were installed by the PO in the links? Is the bolt too short causing the hitch to bend the drawbar down when deck/hitch are lowered? If so, what is the correct size bolt to use? Any thoughts and/or suggestions here?
The bolt is used to hold the sleeve hitch in the up position when the lift link is removed. It should not be in place when using the lift link to raise and lower the sleeve hitch.
 

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The bolts in the lift links of the deck are there to make the deck lift HIGHER off the ground for transport. This is a common fix for a very common complaint. More so with the 200's than the 400's. When mowing, you are supposed to lower the deck to the ground and then lower the pin on the bell crank to the half-way point in the slot of the lift link. This allows the deck to float up and down on its own without any interference from the tractor. You do not put the lift lever in float position for mowing because it's too slow to react.

Straighten out your little triangular tow hitch so that it's at 90 degrees, remove the bolt from the sleeve hitch and store it in the tool box under your seat. I agree with what Bart said.
 
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