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MTD Hydro Gear stalls on inclines


cwoodman's Avatar
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07-21-10, 11:25 AM   #1  
MTD Hydro Gear stalls on inclines

Hydro Gear #'s
both are:
HG 311-0510 MTD 618-0319
One was originally out of Huskee 13AQ617H118
2nd was originally out of a Cub Cadet LT 1045

I now have 2 Hydro Gear Transaxles that exhibit the same symptoms, they move fine on flat ground but stall (stop) on pretty much any kind of incline. Both are from another (donor) tractor and both the owners say that they should have been ok before their tractors were parted out. At this point I have had the tractor that they were put into checked out by the dealer to make sure that I had not missed anything when I installed it.

I have looked around the DoItYourself forums and it seems like the consensus is that they are rebuildable and I have checked on the prices and they don't seem out of whack, so my question is:
is there some instructions/manuals to rebuild them somewhere?

Thanks,
Chris

 
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07-21-10, 08:01 PM   #2  
Hello cwoodman,

Have you checked/changed the oil in either of these trans-axles ?






 
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07-22-10, 04:01 AM   #3  
I have checked the oil level in both of them and both seemed to be up to a good level.

My current plan of attack for them is to completly drain the one that is out of the tractor, replace the oil with some new synthetic 20w50 and make sure it is purged well (starting with the purge procedure in yours and placing it up on a milkcrate and letting it run for a few minutes in both directions).

I will update with the results in a couple of days.

Chris

 
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07-24-10, 01:57 PM   #4  
OK, so the more I work with these transaxles, the more frustrated I get. The transaxle out of the Cub Cadet is supposed to have between 100 & 200 hours on it so I am concentrating on that one. The fluid is around 7/8" from the top of the hole, I have purged it with the rear end raised off the ground and a weight on the direction pedal, running in each direction for 10+ minutes. I even tried it with the bypass on, shifting from one direction to another. (I asked the previous owner about running it on an incline, but he said he had a resonable flat lawn)

The problem remains that when I take it to the steepest incline I can find, about 1/2 way up it either stalls (stops) or if you back way off on the speed control sometimes you can get it to make it all the way up. (FYI, my steepest incline is a 4-5' rise over 12-15', not really that steep) Earlier this week, after raising the rear end up and letting it just run to purge it, it actually made it up the hill a couple of times (slowed down quite a bit, but made it).

So, do any of you Hydro Gear Wizards have any more words of wisdom?

Thanks,
Chris

 
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07-24-10, 06:46 PM   #5  
Posted By: cwoodman So, do any of you Hydro Gear Wizards have any more words of wisdom?

Well Chris,

My wisdom is now telling me you need to check your drive belt and idler arm spring tension, Especially since both units were supposedly working fine and the oil has been changed in this one.

MTD and Sears/AYP are known for using odd sized belts on their units, A standard aftermarket over the counter belt will not work properly in most cases.

I've been working on these HG units since the beginning and can say they are pretty bullet proof to handle the abuse/neglect homeowners dish out.....

 
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07-28-10, 12:32 PM   #6  
Success at last

Today I finally got the transaxle that was on the bench filled back up with synthetic 20w50 and put in the tractor. After running through the purge procedure a couple of times (and topping the oil level off) off we went in search of an incline, hit it and it slowed down a little (to be expected), but it ran up the incline with no problems...yeah!

I am draining the newer transaxle (from the Cub Cadet) and will be doing the same test with it, but I think I will be able to sell it with no worries.

Chris

 
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07-28-10, 02:54 PM   #7  
Posted By: cwoodman it ran up the incline with no problems.

Thanks for the update Chris....

 
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07-28-10, 07:16 PM   #8  
Indeed! Sounds promising. Good Job! and thx for the info...


 
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08-04-10, 12:15 PM   #9  
2nd Success

Just a FYI, the second transaxle (the newer one) also worked fine after changing the oil and purging the air out of it.

Chris

 
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08-13-10, 01:22 PM   #10  
Now What???

So, the engine in the tractor I was swapping these two transaxles into had an oil leak, so I was not ready to sell it yet. Long story short, I fixed the oil lead and put the engine back in. I took the tractor out for a final check to make sure everything is running good and low and behold, the transaxle is stalling on small bumps in the ground. Because I am a glutton for punishment, I also swapped the other transaxle in to see if it was a problem with only one or if it was both and the second one did the same thing.

So, once again I throw my hands up and ask the hydro gear gods, "what could the problem be this time?"

Thanks,
Chris

 
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08-13-10, 06:21 PM   #11  
Posted By: 31YTech you need to check your drive belt and idler arm spring tension, Especially since both units were supposedly working fine and the oil has been changed in this one.

MTD and Sears/AYP are known for using odd sized belts on their units, A standard aftermarket over the counter belt will not work properly in most cases.

Chris,

Have you checked the above ?

 
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08-13-10, 08:49 PM   #12  
I'm pretty certain you don't have transmission problems, but rather belt problems.


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

 
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08-25-10, 12:27 PM   #13  
Sucess again!

Ok, so I put an OEM belt in the tractor and once again, it moves. So, I can say for sure that the OEM belt runs better than the aftermarket ones, food for thought everybody!

I was so happy that it moved that I washed it....and then it didn't move again! After the pulleys dried out it moved again....yeah! I tore back into things to see what was making it slip and narrowed my focus to the OEM pulley on the engine (above the electric clutch). It looks like they designed the pulley to accomodate different sizes of belts in one design. I happened to have one that came with an electric clutch for another project that looks like it was designed for just the size belt that these tractors run. It made the transaxle feel crisp, faster in both directions and not feel like like you have no control (speed wise) going down hill. I really think at this point that the aftermarket belt would have been fine with this pulley, but I will leave the OEM one on.

Hope this helps.
Chris Beer 4U2

 
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