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surging, motor

A little while back someone mentioned their unit was surging.
Today, after putting on the chains, while plowing snow with
a blade, my E16 started surging.  I believe that it is due to
belt slip.  Both of my belts are old, hard, and a bit cracked.
I plan to replace them both soon.  In fact, ASAP.  While
trying to push snow up a small incline, the belts slipped
while in any gear but low-low, and in fact slipped while in
low low with a "full blade" of snow.  Since this is one of
the main reasons I picked up the tractor, I plan to remedy
this soon.

My E16 started something else new today.  Occasionally,
when starting from a dead stop, the motor fails to go, even
though all contactors clack and power is given to the motor.
I reach down and turn the motor pulley just a bit by hand,
and then it works fine.  I expect that I need to check the
motor for servicing, but if I delay for a bit, am I likely to
toast the motor?  I didn't want to have to pull it out the
first week we get some major snow.

Have any of you ever spun your motor with the belts off?
Does it spin freely?  Mine stops rather quickly, there
appears to be quite a bit of drag on it.  I expect this
also isn't normal, and I'd guess that the bearings need
replacement?  How long should it freewheel when spun?
I think there's a bit more noise then just brush noise as
well.  My first close-interaction with a large dc motor.
It doesn't make as much noise as my 20 year old power

E16 owner since July '98

BTW, while I was checking the belts and such, I found
that the battery cables for the rear pack had been rubbing
on the outer belt, and had worn through the insulation to
the copper wire.  I repaired the wires, and put a wire tie
in to hold them in the frame-rail to keep them away from
the belts.  If there was one there before, it had been gone
for a while.