Transaxle noise


Old 10-15-02, 02:54 AM
J A Boggan
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Question Transaxle noise

I have a Craftsman riding lawnmower (917.252711). I recently did some work on the engine and the deck. When I started to move it (let the clutch out) I noticed a slight grinding noise that seemed to be coming from from the transaxle or in the region of the PTO (incidentally, it has an electric clutch on the bottom of the PTO). It could have been coming from both places. It has a "Hydro gear? transaxle". It seems to operate O.K. other than this. Is this just natural noises?
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Old 10-16-02, 05:54 PM
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Hello: J A Boggan

First thoughts are to suggest you attempt to determine exactly where the grinding noise is coming from. If that appears difficult, check for metal to metal contact at the PTO first. Metal shavings and or particules may indicate where the problem lies.

The idea is to avoid taking apart the transaxle until it can be reasonably determined this is where the grinding noise is coming from. If the PTO assembly is not suspected to be the problem, check all rotating and or moving parts and assemblies.

If nothing is found to be the problem with the above, disassembly of the transaxle will be required. I would suggest you have a service and or repair manual before attempting this project.

May be a good idea to check parts availablity and costs prior to attempting any repairs.

Very likely I have not covered all of the potential possibilities. The other resident small engine service and repair professionals may offer additional suggestions, advice & help.

Check back on your topic several times over the next several days for additional replies. Of course you already know the routine here....

Regards & Good Luck with this project.
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Old 10-16-02, 07:41 PM
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Hello JA Boggan

Without hearing the noise, I can't say this with certainty. I do know that many hydrostatic transaxles make a "moan or groan" when you engage them in fwd or rev. This is normal. However, if the unit makes this noise while you are motionless, then there is likely a problem. The normal "moan" will occur the loudest when you initially engage into gear and start moving. It quiets a little when you reach speed. It shouldn't be terribly loud though. If the mower does this when it's not moving, then I would start a process of elimination by removing the deck belt. If the noise disappears, then it is related to the deck and/or related pulleys. If the noise continues, check the electric PTO clutch to make sure its' gap is set correctly and not scrubbing while disengaged. If it is the PTO clutch scrubbing, the noise will generally go away when the blades are turned on.

Check for metal shavings and all rotating and moving parts before condemning the transaxle as Tom mentioned. Also make sure the belt is not routed over the top of a belt keeper, instead of inbetween the keeper and the puley.
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