Is this John Deere transmission history?


  #1  
Old 05-19-20, 08:53 AM
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Is this John Deere transmission history?

hi all Ė

I have an old John Deere LT160 lawn tractor with very low hours (180 hrs, I guess I donít mow the grass as much as I should). But last week when I tried to use the tractor the forward/reverse pedals did nothing and the tractor would not move at all. Also the free-wheeling lever seems to make no difference. You can now push the tractor by hand (and Iím 75 and pretty weak) with the free-wheeling lever either in or out.

Before this problem you could NOT push the tractor unless the free-wheeling lever was pulled OUT. With it pushed IN the tractor could not be pushed by hand. But now you can push it by hand (I only pushed it a little to verify this).

Also, the brake pedal doesnít lock the tractor.

I donít know much at all about how these work but it looks like all the problems here point to the transmission. I checked the forward/reverse pedal linkage to the transmission and the brake pedal connection to the transmission and the free-wheeling connection. They seem to work and move the levers at their connection levers on the transmission.

But here is what puzzles me. I took the rear wheels off the tractor so I could see better underneath. On the right rear axle (sitting on the seat looking forward) I found the axle key and made sure it was installed properly when I put the wheel back on.

But on the left rear I could not find the axle key at all. I thought maybe it dropped on the ground when I took the wheel off. But I donít think so. The garage floor is totally bare where I took the wheel off. I looked in the grove in the axle and also in the matching grove in the wheel. I canít find a key at all. I canít see how the key could have come out when I was last using the tractor. But I read somewhere that the tractor should not operate without a key, so how was mine working? Strange.

My question is: would there just be a key on one wheel and the key on the other wheel isnít really necessary? Iím thinking maybe one day a long time ago I took that wheel off and lost the key or maybe it never had one to begin with.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

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05-20-20, 01:01 PM
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Both axle keys MUST be present or the mower won't even attempt to move. The side without a key will just spin the axle in the bore of the rim. A lot of times the key sticks in the rim and falls out wherever the wheels are put, or somewhere in between.
 
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Old 05-19-20, 10:02 AM
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John Deere Key

If you dont have a parts breakdown for your tractor already, you can bring one up on your computer with the Model number of the Tractor in hand. Go to JohnDeereParts.com and click on a parts heading. Go to the picture of your rear axle and transmission and look for a key. If one there note the part number and go to your deere dealer and get one. Good Luck!
 
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Old 05-19-20, 02:33 PM
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Thanks WML. That web site has been down all day but I found the correct info which maybe might useful to somebody someday:

A wheel blowup diagram for the LT160:

https://partscatalog.deere.com/jdrc/.../pgId/80719929

and a link from that diagram for the part identified as ď5- Shaft KeyĒ

to a do-it-yourself cut to size replacement part here (at least they were good enough to tell you that you can make your own):

https://www.greenpartstore.com/John-...ck-H64373.html

I'm thinking that absolutely you need one shaft-key on each rear wheel. But where shaft-key on mine got to and whether its absence would explain the symptoms I'm seeing (i.e., like the transmission isn't even there LOL) can be explained by a missing shaft key Ė seems slim to me. But Iíll give it a try.

But before I pull the transmission I'm going to install the key and see what changes.

thanks!
 
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Old 05-19-20, 02:50 PM
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I hope it works for you, Deere likes to use their shaft keys in numerous ways. I had Deere walk mower that had everything running and transmissions and shafts turning but the wheels wouldn't turn. turned out to be two spring loaded shaft keys , One for each wheel, had become clogged and imbedded with dirt to the point that they wouldn't move up like they were supposed to to engage the spur gear that engaged the gear with the drive wheel. A clean up job with PB Blaster and compressed air got them moving.
 
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Old 05-20-20, 07:15 AM
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Ha! That is interesting. I'll post back when I get the keys. thanks again!
 
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Old 05-20-20, 09:18 AM
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John Deere Rotary Mower

Cheese gets all the credit for the preceding fix. The shafts were so clogged with dirt I couldn't even see the keys, slots, and keyways. He was the guy who told me they were supposed to be there!
 
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Old 05-20-20, 01:01 PM
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Both axle keys MUST be present or the mower won't even attempt to move. The side without a key will just spin the axle in the bore of the rim. A lot of times the key sticks in the rim and falls out wherever the wheels are put, or somewhere in between.
 
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Old 05-20-20, 03:32 PM
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John Deere Rotary Mower

There you go Zoesdad, the master has spoken! Get the new key in and you are on your way!
 
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Old 05-21-20, 08:51 AM
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Well thank you very much guys for taking the time here and your expertise is well appreciated. Iím pretty hopeful now. Iíll post back when the parts come in and I give it a try.

Thanks again.
 
  #10  
Old 05-30-20, 12:46 PM
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Well I am a really happy camper. Can’t stop smiling. I got the key stock (a whole $5.90 lol), cut a piece to length (2-3 minutes), installed it on the tractor (5 minutes) – and it now drives great.

Here I was thinking a new transmission (about $930.00 – wow) that I would have to install myself (if I could).

Thanks guys for all the help. (I used a non self-propelled push mower on my 2 acres about 2 weeks ago and lived, but when there is heat and humidity - at almost 76 yrs old now - it about kills me).

Thanks again.

(cheese, I read that Atlas Shrugged. I liked it a lot. Saw her on a talk show once. Smart lady.)
 
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Old 05-30-20, 02:00 PM
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There you go! Now you can send the case of beer I
owe cheese directly to him to hold him over until I get around to it!
 
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Old 05-30-20, 10:43 PM
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Sweet! Glad it's going. I like Yuengling or Michelob Ultra

But you replied regarding the key first WML13. Good call.
 
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Old 05-31-20, 06:27 AM
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Got it! One case Yuengling for cheese, one case Yuengling for WML, and while Iím at it - two cases Sierra Nevada Pale Ale for me - lol!
 
  #14  
Old 05-31-20, 08:44 AM
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John Deere Transmission Keys

I just learned from the master and passed it on. Make sure you guys wait until after you're done mowing until you drink all that beer! Had a guy a county over did a turn around on the road after the end of a mowing pass and didn't stop and look. On the news the next day. Stay Safe!
 
 

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