hydrostatic transaxle problem?


Old 08-14-06, 08:03 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
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hydrostatic transaxle problem?

have an older Simplicity w/ Briggs 16.5 hp engine, runs fine.
recently, in hot weather, power to rear wheels is lost and I have to leave it cool down before I can drive again.

sound like transaxle to me but I'm not certain,

how to trouble shoot?
what are the options?
is rebuilding a DIY job?

replacement Transaxle no longer available per dealer. 1988 model
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Old 08-14-06, 09:23 PM
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Sounds like the cooling fins are clogged up with grass/debris. Look on top of the tranny. Is it covered with grass and dirt? If so, clean it off. Get it clean down between the cooling fins.
Old 08-17-06, 07:09 AM
bontai Joe's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 592
Before rushing to rebuild or replace, I'd clean it as mentioned above and replace the fluid and filter. I pretty much agree with Cheese that the fluid is overheating and thinning down to the point that it's not doing it's job. And since I'd bet the fluid & filter are probably original 1988 vintage, I'd change them.
Old 08-18-06, 08:46 AM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Alabama
Posts: 718

Cheese, you mentioned replacing the filter. Is it commonplace to have a filter on hydrostatic drive lawn tractors? I have a Craftsman with a Kohler engine and I don't believe my owners' manual has any recommendations concerning transmission maintenance. Thanks
Old 08-18-06, 02:44 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 3,224
Hydro tranny filters are common on upper end machines. You probably don't have one on the Craftsman. The hydro tranny needs to stay clean for proper operation in order to reduce internal temperatures, which a rather high on hydro's. Hot hydro oil will cavitate when overheated and render the tranny useless.

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