John's Old
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Woods L503 Mower

I get more questions on my Woods mower than anything else. In this section I will show how it attaches. I bought the mower used attached to a 2n that I later sold. The local Woods dealer had parts on the shelf for it including a new spindle assembly, blades, and a belt. My guess is that the spindle and blades are common to numerous other mowers. I have no idea how old the mower is or if they are still made. I chose to mount the mower on an 8n due to the brakes being on one side and the improved steering. This tractor is a 48 but has a 49 steering box and hood.

Prior to this I owned a 6' pull behind finish mower with  rear discharge. I later sold it after trying this setup. While not as wide its far more maneuverable and if you have a lot of trees its the better way to go. This mower is a 60" deck.

This is a picture of the tractor shortly after installing the mower. It became obvious pretty quick that the 3 rib Firestones on the front were not a workable setup. With a wet yard the tractor would easily roll the grass over on tight turns. While working on the tractor I found the front toe in to be over 1" which I corrected. This improved the grass tearing quite a bit. The rear tires are 12.4 x 28 mounted on Ford Hat Rims.

This is a later picture showing the front tires that I changed to. These are 6:00x16 implement tires. Notice they have 5 ribs which are not tall at all. I'm still running the tractor as shown and has been trouble free and this is its 3rd season. As set up the tractor makes no damage at all to the grass regardless of how wet it is.

This is the mower deck being removed from a 2n that I bought. I was after the mower and had to buy the whole thing. The tractor ran well and was sold shortly after removing the mower. The tractor is hung from my gantry in this picture. Taking the mower deck off or installing is not an easy or quick job. Before I pulled the mower I ran it a couple times and while it mowed fine it was very noisy. This tractor had wide 15" bias ply car tires that were easy on the grass but a chore to turn.

Here is a shot of the deck itself hanging from my gantry. I use this as a reminder as to belt routing.

This is the deck laying on the floor. It appears as those the lift point has been farmerized. I don't know what it's supposed to look like but this clearly isn't factory but it works. It has a big bolt welded to the front. Due to the way the deck is made I'd say it's built for an N.

View from left side rear or tractor looking forward. If you look closely you will see the belt is rolled over in the drive pulley. This is one place the belt tension/alignment is set. While not easily seen the rear end of the mower assembly can be rasied and lowered here which is done to keep the belt in alignment with the drive and idler pulleys.


View from right side rear or tractor looking forward. Note the cable and pulley used to lift the deck.
This is one place the belt tension/alignment is set.

View of the right side of the tractor looking back. Here you can see the adjustment for how far forward the mower sets. Since I had a running one to look at I used all the same locations but ended up changing the height of the rear mower mounts to get the belt tracking properly.

The next section are pictures taken after I repainted the deck and replaced a spindle assembly. Attempts to press out a failed bearing did not go well and a new casting was required.

All the parts were cleaned and painted

The rear tires were re-mounted on a set of hat rims then sandblasted and painted. 

The mower deck was rebuilt, I replaced 1 spindle and the idler pulleys. I also installed new blades but ran the ratty looking belt until it failed 2 years later.

This is the drive pulley which mounts on the PTO shaft using a taper lock bushing. Its cast and quite easy to split if the 3 bolts are overtightened. It also welds easily.

And this is the rear mounting plate that the idler pulley bolt to. This is one place where the belt tension is adjusted. The deck also has a spring loaded idler pulley as well. You need to monkey around with all three to get the belt right. 

This is the belt tensioner. There is a large spring and idler pulley under the cover.

Lift Mechanism

This is the attachment to the 3 point lift arms. I strung a new cable on the mower when it was rebuilt. The cable attaches to the upper lift arm then heads down around an idler pulley

Next step is under a roller on the mower. This aids in lifting the entire deck, not just the front.

And finally the cable goes over 1 more idler then attaches to the front part of the deck which appears to have been farmerized.

Tractor Modifications

I only found it necessary to modify the exhaust. The muffler that came on the tractor with the mower was shot. Upon installing a new  muffler I quickly learned that the down pipe had been shortened. I took approx 1.5" out of this one so that the deck can raise all the way up. With this mod the deck can actually hit the underside of the tractor prior to collapsing the muffler.

The other change was that there was an elbow on the outlet which diverts the exhaust down instead of into the drive pulley and rear guard. I don't know if this was factory or not but it seemed like a good idea so I cut it off and welded onto my new muffler.

If you would like more photos let me know and I'll post them or email them.


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