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Plastic belt cover on pto 520H

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On 3/23/2016 at 8:53 AM, cleat said:

I would think an air cooled engine could overheat in way under an hour if worked hard in hot weather with inadequate cooling.


That said, I got all of my Onans well used with all the factory covers in place (mine did not ever have the plastic cover) and all run well so they lived for years that way with no ill effects. I have drilled the belt covers on all of them just for my peace of mind but may not really be required.




Likely more important to keep the inlet screen over the flywheel clean. That seems to be more of a problem with smaller decks. My 42" deck is terrible and I need to clear that screen very often, the 48" deck seldom clogs it and the 60" deck on a 520 does not seem to put any grass whatsoever on the screen.



@cleat is that foot pedal a modification that came from someone on here ?


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I've never been fond of the plastic belt shroud. I understand it's purpose and I'm not opposed to safety shrouds (been around equipment in farm country while growing up; I know the hazards of open drive systems...). The problem is that the classic Wheel Horse design pre-dates that sort of guard, making any attempt at covering it up basically a tacked-on, make-do kind of solution -- something that rarely works well. I've kind of wondered if the big plastic shell tends to trap rather than pass the air that works its way around the engine block, although the support for the drive belt guard seems to be more in the way of the engine cooling fins than anything else.


Anyway, I leave the plastic guard off, but I haven't cut holes in my drive belt cover. The previous owner apparently used the plastic guard. Up here in New England, it's generally not as hot and humid as other parts, so needs may well vary based on climate, too.

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I like safety as well and am on the joint health and safety committee at work.


However, the only time a belt will be spinning in this area would be when the deck is engaged.


I don't know why you would be up in this area with the deck running.


The deck itself would be as much a hazard as anything.


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That's been my feeling as well -- generally, if the PTO is operating to run the mower, no one should be anywhere near the machine in the first place. The snowthrowers have their own belt guard setups (or lack thereof), but it's the same thing -- the operator should be in the seat, and no one else belongs anywhere near the machine. I can see where running the front-hung generator would be a good case for having a belt shroud -- the machine is stationary and likely to be tended to from the side by an operator. But most uses have the tractor in motion, and good safety habits also dictate no one should approach the machine unless the attachments are disengaged. But lawyers get involved, and you wind up with rigged-up safety guards on machinery that wasn't meant to have it -- and that starts a whole new set of unintended consequences.


Of course, by the time Wheel Horse had to put a cover on the PTO assembly, side-mounted PTOs were largely gone, especially on higher-powered GT's comparable to the 520. Most everything else was going to shaft drives or vertical-shaft engines with under-hung drive setups. The Wheel Horse design was an anachronism by the late 80s and early 90s -- but still unbeatable!

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