Zen and the art of Kubota grass blower repair

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Faulty housing on right. Rebuilt on left.

Kubota tractors are wonderfully overbuilt, but nightmarish to work on, so much so I sense that even my dealer, MB Tractor in Plaistow, N.H., doesn’t want to do it.

My latest project was replacing the plastic housing on my GC54-24B grass catcher for my 1995 B2100 tractor. The plastic housing had an expanding hole and duct taping over wasn’t cutting, er blowing it, anymore.

The new housing arrived at MB in less than a week and cost only $60, cheap by Kubota standards. The unit was worth rebuilding because the pulleys, power take-off shaft and metal frame were all in good working shape.

And what would a Kubota repair be if it wasn’t a bit of an ordeal? Two years ago, I blogged about my torturous experience replacing a main hydraulic line that ran from the hydraulic pump on engine back to the transaxle. To remove the leaky line and install a new one replete with more than a dozens jogs required major disassembly of one side of the tractor.

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$45 bolt

The housing replacement went smoothly until I got to the fan assembly although before that, I discovered there was much more to the blower than met the eye initially – namely metal parts inside the housing that gave the unit durability. After all, the blower has worked well since the mid-nineties even with the duct tape over the hole for the past 7-8 years.

Tape blower on my B2100

Taped blower on my B2100

I just could not get enough torque on the fan bolt to remove it. And everything had to come off the old housing and go on the new.

The bolt was inside the housing and left-handed, which I would later discover. Jerry at MB said I had to get an impact wrench on it. So I brought it down to Matt, my local and trusted mechanic. He got plenty of force on turning to the right. SNAP! Matt had wondered aloud if it was a left-handed bolt, but bet wrong.

No matter. I wanted the bolt and remaining threaded piece out, which indeed, Matt did. This is not just any Kubota bolt: It’s a $38 bolt plus $7 for shipping.

The bolt arrived in a few days and the re-assembly went smoothly, including Matt’s sidekick Tom putting an impact wrench on to tighten it and a corresponding nut on the other end of the shaft that torqued down a pulley.

All told, I put $120 into the blower rebuild project – not bad given Jerry told me it would cost $1,500-$1,600 to replace the unit. And my grass catcher unit is discontinued so finding one might have been a challenge.

I am thankful that Kubota’s are so sturdy and don’t break down much.

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