Over time Westwood / Countax powered grass collector brushes become brittle and snap. This leads to inadequate grass and leaf pickup and lawn care disappointment! Fear not, here is my guide on replacing Countax powered grass collector brushes.
Not much for this job, just a 10 mm socket with ratchet and extension, and a 10 mm spanner. Some penetrating fluid will probably be useful as well.
Removing the Countax powered grass collector
For easy access to the brushes, it’s best to remove the grass collector.
Remove the net
The grass net has 2 support stays, one at each side. The upper end of these is attached to the hooks or frame of the main body of the grass collector and the lower end is attached to the metal tray at the bottom of the grass bag.
The top end of the stay needs to be moved from its mounting on the grass collector body to the other mounting point on the grass bag assembly. This is done by sliding the collar downwards, which will allow the stay to be pulled outwards. With the collar held back, the stay can be reattached to its other mounting point.
Having done this on both sides, you should be able to lift up the grass bag assembly and remove it.
Detach the powered grass collector drive belt
Start by lowering the grass collector with the usual lever, so its weight is resting on the ground.
The first step to removing the belt is to move the grass collector towards the tractor to remove tension from the drive belt.
Tilt the seat forward and lift up the drive belt guard. Lift both locking lugs on the grass collector mounting handle upwards. Hold them up and push the handle backwards (i.e. away from the seat).
The grass collector can now slide fore and aft on its mounts. Push it forwards towards the seat as far as it will go. This takes the tension out of the belt and means it can be removed from the pulley on the grass collector. Before taking it off, make a mental note (or take a picture) of how the belt is twisted so you can put it back the same way afterwards.
Remove the powered grass collector from the tractor
With the belt removed, you should now be able to pull the grass collector backwards and separate it from the tractor.
I found I could get the best access to the brushes by tipping the entire unit backwards and resting it on the mounting points for the grass bag.
Remove the old brushes from the Countax Powered Grass Collector
The individual brushes are mounted in sets of 3 on plastic holders, which slide onto the central driveshaft, otherwise known as the brush stock. The brush stock is held in place at either end by plastic clamps, secured with 10mm nuts and bolts. Undo each of these. I gave them a good spritz with WD40 and left them to sit for a while before attempting to undo them.
You may find access easier if you cut away the bristles on the brushes at each end near the bolts, to improve access. Thanks to one of my YouTube viewers for that tip.
Once you’ve undone the two nyloc nuts, withdraw the bolts and separate the 2 halves of the plastic brush stock clamp. At this stage you should be able to remove the brush stock from the powered grass collector.
With the brush stock removed from the grass collector, it’s now time to slide each brush holder off the shaft. But before you do, make a note of the orientation of each holder. They are mounted opposite ways round so the brushes are offset against each other to provide an even sweep.
This is a good time to check the condition of the metal driveshaft. The one on the tractor I was working on had seen plenty of action and had been welded before. With some gentle hammering it was good to go again.
With each brush holder removed, the individual brushes can be slid off.
Do you need to replace anything else?
Now would be a good time to check whether anything else needs replacing on your grass collector. I’m thinking of the bearings in particular. With the brush stock out you can turn the drive spigots by hand and feel for the condition of the bearings.
Fitting the new brushes
Slide the new brushes into place on the brush holders. I needed 54, you may need more or less depending on the width of your grass collector. I used genuine Countax brushes, as per the owner’s preference. A number of aftermarket options are also available.
With the brushes on the brush holders, you can slide the brush holders back onto the driveshaft. Remember to put them back in the same orientation and to offset each one compared with it’s neighbour.
Refitting the brush stock
Make sure the brush holders are pressed up snugly against each other and are central on the driveshaft, so there is space for the clamps at each end. Then refit the clamps and bolts. I replaced the nuts and bolts as the old ones were definitely past their best. They are M6 bolts with nyloc nuts.
Once the brushes are installed, give them a spin by hand to make sure all is well and they aren’t catching on anything.
With the brush stock back in and tightened up, you can refit the collector to the tractor, then refit the grass bag to the collector.
Make sure you put the drive belt back in the correct orientation!
Cut some grass and give it a test!
Obviously the final step in the process is to cut some grass and see how well the grass collector collects it. You may have adjusted the brush height to compensate for the broken brushes, so it may need raising up again. I’d recommend keeping it on the highest possible setting that collects the grass effectively, to minimise the stress on the brushes and so hopefully prolong their life.
Watch me replacing Countax powered grass collector brushes
Want to service the whole tractor?
If you’d like to know how to service the entire Countax tractor, I’ve got you covered! Have a look here.