2001 Craftsman 46" mower stopped going forward or backwards out of the blue

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Old 08-04-20, 04:53 AM
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2001 Craftsman 46" mower stopped going forward or backwards out of the blue

Model number is 917- 273022
seems like it has the Hydro-Gear 222-3010L transaxle

The drive belt is not broken or off
the drive belt's clutch thingy (the spring loaded pulleys that tightens the belt) are not stuck
checked both axles' shear pin/key and they are both in place

The odd thing is that I was able to push the mower with the brake off, and the Drive/Push switch rod (the rod in the back to be able to push it manually) in the DRIVE position.

In my monkeying around with the big plate where the hitch is and the parking brake, I could feel the mower NOT move with the rod in DRIVE...so started it and put into reverse....it went backwards for 3 feet and stopped..wouldn't go forward. I stopped the engine...and pushed it back to my concrete pad to continue working on it....again the rod in the back was still in DRIVE not PUSH.

I have jacked up onto jack stands now.Before taking off the wheels, if you turned one wheel clockwise, the other wheel turned counterclockwise. It feels like the gears are meshing well. With the wheels off the axles turn in the same fashion as mentioned above....one goes clockwise, the other goes counterclockwise...which tells me the differential is working.

I have the wheels off to help remove the big plate where a hitch ball would attach, to gain better access to the things back there. There is no obvious signs of oil dripping from the transaxle, but suspect maybe the tranny is low in oil at this point.

Which allen socket plug is the oil fill? Does anyone have a pic ?

pennygurl are you around? HELP!
 
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  #2  
Old 08-04-20, 11:06 AM
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Visually verify that the transmission pulley is turning when the mower stops moving.
 
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Old 08-04-20, 11:44 AM
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Ok I will run a white line starting from the middle of the shaft out to the pulley...easier to see if it is turning and turning together
 
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Old 08-04-20, 12:57 PM
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Make sure the free wheeling and clutch shafts are adjusted and not hanging up on some resistance (move easily through complete travel).
 
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Old 08-04-20, 01:31 PM
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BeelzeBob, if you are talking about the two pulleys that put tension to the drive belt when the brake is released, then they are free wheeling and the mechanism doesn't get stuck
 
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Old 08-05-20, 07:18 AM
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Check the pulley on the transaxle, they are known to shear the pin and free spin.
 
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Old 08-05-20, 07:57 AM
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@tomf63 - good point...I'll draw a line from the middle of that shaft out across the pulley to see if it is free wheeling or moving in tandem like they should .
 
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Old 08-05-20, 10:28 AM
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I am talking about the free wheeling shaft at the back of the transaxle, not free wheeling of the pulleys. I also read the trans axle is a sealed unit so there is no level to check or method to add. Once fluid is gone, need to replace transaxle.
 
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Old 08-05-20, 12:10 PM
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They are sealed but there IS an oil level port and oil fill port (though I've read to just fill it through the vent hose as it is easier to get to.


 
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Old 08-06-20, 07:23 AM
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UPDATE: in trying to get to the OIL level socket, OIL fill socket, and filter, I got frustrated and just removed the thing from the lawn mower.

Accidentally tipped it so some of the oil leaked out of the vent bung and got this lovely iced coffee looking stuff.
This mower is a 2001 model and I've never changed the oil (didn't know you could/should).

I am hoping that the oil and oil filter will solve the problem.


 
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Old 08-06-20, 11:03 AM
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That looks like water intrusion.
 
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Old 08-06-20, 01:22 PM
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Indeed it does....which is odd as this is a sealed unit except the vent breather cap...which is intact.

 
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Old 08-06-20, 07:54 PM
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UPDATE:
Drained the transaxle of the coffee colored oil.
Poured a quart of mineral spirits into the breather hose.
Used a drill with a socket on the pulley and pumped the fluid around.
Drained the transaxle again, drained the used oil filter (again).
With oil filter off I ran the drill on the pulley and confirmed that the pump is indeed pumping.
Filled with fresh oil through the breather tube and with the oil level plug off...filled the axle with about 2 quarts.
Ran the drill on the pulley again, figuring it needs to pump fluid to all areas.
Re-topped off the oil and tried the drill on the pulley again.

With me running the gear selector into R, N and D...with the drill spinning the pulley I expected the axles to turn...nothing.

I found one check valve near the middle of the bdu and it looks fine...looking at this diagram
https://www.hydro-gear.com/c9ca4625d...N-50334_P4.pdf
page 34...I found 42B....didn't know about the other check valve 42A....will check that tomorrow.

The other part that might needing a look see is part 53 on page 34...the ByPass Valve...that is the valve is activated when you put the DRIVE/PUSH rod a certain way.

UGH: I just looked at the ByPass Valve and I would need to remove the pump from the axle to get to it.
 

Last edited by Cfauvel; 08-06-20 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 08-07-20, 05:51 AM
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looks like the link above is not right and I can't edit the post.
BDU and Transaxle Manual
 
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Old 08-07-20, 07:14 AM
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Does the differential and hydro-static transmission share the same oil supply?
 
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Old 08-07-20, 08:00 AM
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I think so..looks like the transaxle is the sump, gets sucked into the filter, then out the filter to the pump, then out the pump back down to the transaxle. I could have that backwards...just makes sense to me that the pump would suck oil from the lowest point then pressurize it on the way out.




 
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Old 08-08-20, 01:32 PM
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Update: the middle picture above incorrectly noted the check valves' location
It is actually here

 
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Old 08-08-20, 01:55 PM
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UPDATE: whee actually not as bad as thought it would be...
I removed the BDU pump from the transmission.
I removed the transaxles
I split the transmission case
I removed the gears and the Brak Shaft and sure enough the splines are toast hence the issue.

Note: the front check valve was actually missing the plunger part...don't know how that is possible, but buying one as the diagrams show both sides having the plunger....

here are the pics...enjoy









 
  #19  
Old 08-10-20, 05:46 AM
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It appears the pump/transmission coupling is floating horizontally. Is it a tight fit when assembled such it engages teeth on bot shafts equally? If not, maybe shims can be used to keep the coupling centered. I was also surprised on how shallow the teeth on the coupling are compared to the differential gear teeth. Are there dowels to maintain the pump output shaft aligned with the brake shaft? If not, the coupling could be twisting when rotating due to center line misalignment and damaging teeth on coupling or shafts, which ever is softer steel.
 
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Old 08-10-20, 06:36 AM
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Spot on...the water intrusion didn't help matters, but indeed, very little of the Brake Shaft's splines jut from the sealed case, and indeed it look as though they decided to make the brake shaft splines the softer of the two between it and the coupler.....

how tight of a fit it is when the pump is mounted I have no clue...but does give me a yearning to use Plastigauge to see the clearance. The coupler is pretty snug on the pump output shaft's splines, so Imagine it is snug on the Brake Shaft's splines when new.

Nope there are no dowels to align the pump to the transmission, just the bolts.

I like the idea of shims to push the coupler closer to the brake shaft, but worry that the coupler would wear the aluminum case on the tranny side...and that would be super bad.

NOTE: this IS a 19 year old machine

Had they decided that the coupler would be the sacrificial part (and have that part available) it would be an easy fix.

 
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Old 08-10-20, 05:25 PM
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UPDATE: I measured the coupler and where it slides onto the brake shaft.
It appears the coupler goes into the case itself, and bottoms out against the shaft's splines.
Measuring the coupler which is 1.688 inches on my caliper
the depth of the hole from where the coupler would ride on the shaft's splines to the sealing edge of the case we have 1.932 inches
The coupler doesn't ride flush against the pump's shaft, there is a lip that measures .133 inches from the mating surface.

when you do the math you get the following
1.932 full depth
minus 1.688 coupler's length
---------------------------------
.244 inches

.244 inches
minus the pump shaft's ridge of .133 inches
------------------------------------------------------------
.111 inches of play either way...which is pretty big when you look at it on the caliper.

I measured the boogered splines and it came out to about .45 inches, and the good splines about that .111 inches

So I think it wouldn't have matter if I had shims to make up most of that .111 inches as the water intrusion just rusted the metal.
 
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Old 08-11-20, 04:37 AM
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Finding parts for something 19 years old will get harder with time so end of life must be an input into the repair equation. The lack of alignment dowels means the 2 shafts will never be on the same center line, therefore the coupler will wobble. If the worn coupler is 19 years old, put the new one in an don't worry about the alignment. If you want to address the water problem, drill a weep hole in the bottom of the coupler cavity on the pump housing.
 
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Old 08-11-20, 05:34 AM
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Spot on again...yeah a damn near classic mower.

I'm at $182 in parts with shipping and tax....I found a newer used mower for $400...so it was just on the cusp of being thrown out. I've welded patches to the deck numerous times, replaced mandrels, pulleys, belts, and blades...This might indeed be the last fix it sees.

The new brake shaft comes with a new coupler...the coupler is pretty beefy. So I think the alignment issue is pretty small, the mating of the splines on either side is pretty tight. Meaning, the mating of the pump to coupler to brake shaft self aligns.

Good idea of the weep hole...I was going to add a bead of RTV on the mating surface, outside of the "sealing" o-ring as an extra water barrier.
 
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Old 08-12-20, 05:01 PM
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I have a 1992 Yamaha YT3600 mower. Still going strong and I have to get parts from England since Yamaha stopped selling mowers in US and Canada some years ago. So old doesn't mean retire/replace if it had proper maintenance.
 
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Old 08-29-20, 05:22 PM
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UPDATE: I'll post pics in a bit, but it is back together and the MRS mowed the lawn today.

I wanted to share the following warning in regards to the check valves. See the attached pic for the warning.


 
  #26  
Old 08-31-20, 05:37 AM
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Nothing spectacular here, but just some pics of the transmission being put back together...it helps to take pics of the disassembly so that you can put it all back together with the shims and thrust washers in the right place.

I didn't get a pic of me putting the hydro pump on, sorry.

As noted above...the check valves was probably the biggest PIA in the whole process as well as removing the transmission from the mower.






 
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