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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Rear roller question

Quick newbie question about my 1999 model year Suffolk Punch 17S please. Should the rear roller free wheel with engine stopped and all levers released? I’m thinking it should, how else do you move it around? It will go maybe half a revolution before sticking. Frontwards or backwards. Thanks

the2ems Wed, 18/09/2019

Thanks, I thought it should. What should I look for with the belts? I did have a quick look earlier, and they seemed pretty slack. 

the2ems Wed, 18/09/2019

Thanks very much for that. Gives me a few pointers to start me in the right direction, I hope. Incidentally, there was mention in that post of an operation manual. I’ve not been able to find anything useful on tinternet. If someone has a copy, I would be most grateful. Thanks

Chris G Wed, 18/09/2019

Hello, I have sent you a PM, I have the manuals kindly supplied by Wristpin originally.


wristpin Wed, 18/09/2019

Take the roller drive belt off and do the roll test. If it still jams the problem lies between the drive pinion and the ring gear within the roller; either one or both or the bearings that support them . 

A few images of the dismantled assemblies will help. There never was a workshop manual as such but illustrated parts lists are available and do help.


the2ems Wed, 18/09/2019

Thanks so much to all for the quick responses and suggestions.

I think this may well be a steep learning curve :(

the2ems Thu, 19/09/2019

So, I’ve taken the side cover off and tried the roll test, while watching the belt. Probably got a full revolution before sticking. And the belt was still slack. I could hear something rattling around inside. So it’s gone back in the shed for the time being. I don’t really have time to start stripping down at the moment. Maybe over winter. I’ll be back :)

wristpin Thu, 19/09/2019

You really do need the belt completely removed from the back pulley to do a proper check.

The noise that you can hear may only be a ball of hard mud rolling round inside the roller.


wristpin Fri, 20/09/2019

If it still locks up with no belt the chances are that either the pinion’s teeth are chewed up or the bushes that it runs in are worn and allowing it to “wander”.  Sometimes the ring gear comes loose within the roller. 

If, when the time comes, you have to source a new pinion , be aware that over various Suffolk / Qualcast models there are several similar looking pinions with small differences in materials and tooth counts.

wristpin Fri, 20/09/2019

Possibly  the “ best” places are trade only but JAPG , the Gateshead Mower Centre and the Hailsham Mower Centre are good starting points. Jon Cruse at Hailsham carries a lot of parts for older machines.

Check it out for yourself but I think that your pinion will be F016L11993 and it’s bearing / bush F016L08477. The roller bushes should be F016L07034