How To Troubleshoot a Riding Lawn Mower That Won’t Move in Gear. Riding lawn mower transmission
Riding mower won’t go forward or backwards found the cause
How To Troubleshoot a Riding Lawn Mower That Won’t Move in Gear
Have you ever experienced a situation where you are mowing, and suddenly your lawn tractor stopped moving in gear? If yes, you might have wondered whether it is possible to troubleshoot such issues and if possible, how to troubleshoot a lawn tractor that won’t move in gear?
Firstly, gather up all the necessary tools and materials. Then, thoroughly inspect the drive cable, cable connection, drive belt, drive wheels, and transmission. Repair or replace the faulty elements.
Read the article till the end and learn the ways to troubleshoot a lawn tractor won’t move in gear.
What Causes the Problem?
If your lawn mower fails to shift or move in gears, there must be a motion drive failure issue that prevents the gear system from working smoothly.
That’s the most common reason most mowers experience such failure.
Your lawn mower might also fail to move in forward or reverse gears due to a blocked fuel filter and damaged or clogged air filters. They mainly cause the engine to overheat. As a result, the mower fails to move in any gears accordingly.
But you cannot verify the actual problem without a thorough investigation.
Steps To Troubleshoot A Lawn Tractor That Won’t Move In Gear:
Nothing can be more annoying than encountering such circumstances, and in such a situation, all you need is a useful yet quick-fixing DIY method.
However, several DIY ideas are available on several online consumer forums, blogs, and YouTube vlogs. But all are not dependable and cost-effective.
That’s why I have decided to present an easy-to-do DIY method of troubleshooting your lawn mower when it refuses or fails to move in gears:
Have a glance at the checklist of the required tools or materials for this troubleshooting task:
|Nut Driver Set||Drive cable|
|Slot Screwdriver||Front deck tray|
|Needle Nose Pliers||Drive belt|
|Plastic Sandwich Bag||Wheels|
|Socket Wrench Set||Transmission|
|Safety Goggles Gloves|
Step 1- Check Drive Cables:
As soon as you see that your lawn tractor is not shifting or moving in gears, you should check the current state of the drive cables.
Remember, a broken, loose, or disconnected drive cable will fail to pivot the transmission.
Inspect whether there’s a slack drive control lever. If you have a faulty drive cable, it will freeze up inside its sheath, and you won’t be able to pull up the lever. As a result, the drive cable won’t pivot the transmission forward to engage the drive belt.
If the drive cable looks broken, replace the Drive Cable.
Note: Work on a well-ventilated area that is free from open flame or sparks.
Step 2- Check the Drive Cable connection:
Now, if the drive cable looks perfectly intact and not frozen up, you should check whether the connection between the drive cable connection and the transmission has any loose or disconnection trouble.
To check that connection, carefully disconnect the spark plug wire first.
Then, remove the fuel tank cap and place a plastic sandwich bag over the fuel tank opening.
Next, reinstall the fuel tank cap to avoid gasoline leaking.
After that, tilt your tractor back to lift the front wheels.
Also, secure the tractor handle to keep the tractor steady.
Now, use a screwdriver to remove the bottom mounting screws and release the tractor handle.
Then, lower your tractor to the upright position to remove the top mounting screws of the drive cover.
Next, release the height adjuster lever to pull the drive cover off.
Check whether the drive cable is disconnected from the anchor post or not, and if it’s disconnected, connect the drive cable properly.
In case the anchor post looks broken or damaged, replace the Front Deck Tray.
Step 3- Inspect the Drive Belt and Drive Wheels:
A worn or broken drive belt fails to engage the engine pulley and fails to spin the transmission pulley.
Thus, the next thing to check and service is the drive belt which rarely fails. If the drive belt is broken or worn out, replace the Drive Belt.
Next, you need to inspect the condition of the drive wheels.
First, pry off the hubcaps and use the wrench to remove the wheel nuts.
Then, pull both wheels off the front axle, and you will see that build-up debris inside those drive wheels.
To prevent further damage, thoroughly clean the wheel gears and remove the build-up debris.
But if the wheels look severely damaged or worn out, you should replace the Drive Wheels.
Step 4- Replace the Transmission if needed:
After that, you need to check the current condition of the transmission.
Start by pulling the belt keeper off and disconnecting the drive belt from the transmission assembly.
Then, thrust the transmission lever forward to engage the internal gears. At the same time, use your hand to rotate the transmission pulley.
If you see that the transmission pulley is not turning, it means the transmission is locked up.
If you notice that the pulley is turning while you thrust the transmission lever, but the transmission is not rotating the front axle, it means your transmission is the main culprit causing such troubles.
Undertaking such repair or maintenance to the lawn tractor can be hazardous. Therefore, always read the instructions manual of your lawn tractor first before operating, servicing, or troubleshooting it. Make sure you have the standard mechanical expertise to handle this type of troubleshooting task.
Frequently Asked Questions
What causes a lawn tractor to stop moving forward or reverse?
A lawn tractor might stop moving into forward or reverse gears if the transmission bypass lever is engaged or because of a loose, worn, or broken pump belt and tensioner pulley.
What causes the lawn tractor to lock up?
This can arise due to seized piston of the lawn tractor. In general, the piston can seize when you keep your lawn tractor standing for a long time in wet conditions or if the crankcase does not have enough oil in it.
Why my lawn tractor only shifts in reverse?
Often users complain that sometimes their lawn tractors only go in reverse, which mostly happens due to the drive belts slipping.
Lawn tractors are equipped with drive belts. These drive belts are responsible for connecting the engine-generated energy to the axle of the drive wheels. But when the drive belt turns old, excessively worn, or broken, it tends to slip and causes such issues.
Now that I have explained all the steps to troubleshoot a lawn tractor that won’t move in gear, you can easily get your lawn tractor running again in no time.
Besides, the earlier mentioned reasons, such commotion can occur due to some other faulty areas.
Troy Bilt Bronco Riding Mower Transmission Problems
If you have a Troy Bilt Bronco riding mower, you may have experienced transmission problems. The transmission is responsible for the movement of the wheels and helps to change gears. There are several symptoms that may indicate a problem with the transmission, such as the mower not moving, the mower moving in only one direction, or the mower making a grinding noise.
If you are experiencing any of these issues, it is important to take your mower to a qualified technician for diagnosis and repair.
If you’re having trouble with your Troy Bilt Bronco riding mower transmission, you’re not alone. Many owners of this popular lawn tractor have reported problems with the hydrostatic transmission, especially after years of use. There are a few possible causes of transmission problems on the Bronco.
One is that the drive belt may be worn or damaged and needs to be replaced. Another possibility is that the hydrostatic fluid may be low or dirty, causing the transmission to slip. If you’re experiencing transmission problems with your Troy Bilt Bronco, the best thing to do is take it to a qualified repair shop for diagnosis and repair.
In most cases, these types of issues can be fixed relatively easily and without too much expense.
Troy Bilt Bronco Transmission
The Troy-Bilt Bronco is a great riding lawn mower for anyone who has a medium to large sized yard. It comes with a 42″ cutting deck and an 18.5 HP Briggs Stratton engine that provides plenty of power to get the job done quickly and easily. One of the best features of this mower is its hydrostatic transmission, which makes it super easy to use and very maneuverable.
Another great feature is its adjustable cutting height, which allows you to choose how low or high you want your grass to be cut. Overall, the Troy-Bilt Bronco is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a high-quality riding lawn mower that will make their life easier.
If you’re having trouble with your Troy Bilt Bronco riding mower transmission, there are a few things you can do to try and fix the problem. First, check the oil level in the transmission and make sure it’s full. If it’s low, add more oil until it reaches the proper level.
Next, check the drive belt to see if it’s worn or damaged. If it is, replace it with a new one. Finally, if none of these solutions work, you may need to take your mower to a repair shop for further diagnosis and repairs.
What Is a Hydrostatic Lawn Mower ( Are they Any Good?)
If you are considering getting a new Lawn mower you might have heard of Hydrostatic Lawn Mowers.
While more expensive than regular mowers due to more advanced transmission.What exactly are you getting with hydrostatic mowers?
Will they make lawn mowing faster and easier?
In this article we will see what are hyrdostatic lawn mowers,how do they work and If they are any good.
What Is a Hydrostatic Lawn Mower?
Hydrostatic transmission lawn mowers, often referred to as HSTs, hydros or hydro-drives will shift through varying speeds without the need for gears or a clutch. This means you can operate at varying speeds, providing you with much more control over your grass-cutting experience and crazy good dominance over direction. Like driving a go-kart these amazing mowers are simply a case of step and go, making that Sunday morning cut much more bearable.
These new age machines offer a technological solution to some age-old backyard issues. Providing ease and comfort with longevity and a relative lack of maintenance needs, Hydrostatic lawn mowers provide an awesome alternative in the lawnmower sphere.
HSTs combine hydraulic pumps and hydraulic motors to allow for increased range of speeds. As well as offering an increased range of speeds, the technology used in these mowers allow for more maneuverability meaning change of direction and speeds becomes easy, flaunting a big advantage on the more traditional gear or pull string petrol lawn mowers. When using mowers with hydrostatic transmission, you’ll not only have yourself turning with ease but you’ll also have your neighbours heads turning.
The hydrostatic lawn mower certainly brings a whole new dimension to the lawn-mower game. This article hopes to identify why these mean-lean-cutting-machines pros outweigh their cons, and why you should seriously consider indulging in one for yourself.
What does hydrostatic mean in a lawn mower?
Hydrostatic simply refers to the way this lawn mower operates. It brings the use of pressurised oil as its main operation which seems to outdate the established manual/automatic use of gears and belts, providing a much more 21st century gardening approach.
Hydrostatic lawn-mowers bring an impressive alternative to the traditional manual transmission or automatic transmission lawnmowers the average household is used to. If you have decided to invest in riding mowers, you would have historically been faced with the choice between manual or automatic as the two mainstream options. But increasingly, hydrostatic mowers are starting to make inroads within the wonderful world of gardening.
How does a hydrostatic lawn mower work
Now you may ask the all important question – how does it work? So let’s begin with a sophisticated technical description. The new technology uses a hydraulic pump and motor and a hydraulic pump to utilise oil. This oil releases pistons which ultimately result in the powering of the engine through the initiation of the hydrostatic motor which in turn rotates the driving wheels to make the mower move where the driver intends with ease.
If all of that sounded a tad complicated, it’s okay I also felt overwhelmed by this technology when I first encountered it. But that’s what I’m here for. Let’s talk Layman’s terms. This machine uses a pedal in much the same way an automatic car would, but the hydrostatic technology has extra control over the speed and direction of your ride. This means you can get a much more precise cut over the unruly turf. Providing further ease to your lawn mowing experience the hydrostatic mower allows the user to simply press the pedal, and the further the pedal is pressed, the faster you go. The lighter you press, the slower the mower goes. Simple, right?
Advantage of hydrostatic lawn mowers
As mentioned prior, the main advantage hydrostatic mowers provide is the control. The use of this technology means both speed and direction are handed over to the discretion of the driver much more than other models would. This provides a whole new sense of control whilst retaining ease and comfort. Indeed, hydrostatic technology allows a smaller machine to pack more of a punch, eventually lending these mowers to impressive maneuverability. This means you can switch directions quickly and effectively in tight spaces, which is all important for they pesky patches of blades that you have previously had to roughly obliterate.
John Deere Lawn Tractor Won’t Move. 5 Minute Fix!
Instead, you can now tend to the aforementioned area with grace and decorum. Their exemption from gears allows for swift acceleration and deceleration, whilst the improvement on the belt and pulley system of the automatics means dynamic braking, no power loss in wheels when shifting and a much better starting to moving transmission. Due to their use of liquid instead of belt transmission, hydrostatic riding mowers are much more smooth and less maintenance. It has also been noted that they tend to last longer, which is always a win.
Are hydrostatic transmissions good?
Easily put, yes they are. Infact, they would be your best bet for lawn mowing if you are willing to invest in these machines. Specially if you plan to Start a Lawn Mowing business than you should really look in to them! Their pros tend to outweigh both manual and automatic mowers in all departments. Their main attraction of increased control and the ability to constantly manage speed and direction with absolute ease is certainly enticing. Whilst, by no means perfect, the hydrostatic transmission technology offers an upgrade to manual or automatic transmissions. Despite losing out on efficiency, they produce consistent advantages over their competitors in the market
Do hydrostatic transmissions wear out
Hydrostatic transmissions do statistically run at around 20% lower efficiency rates than that of their manual or automatic counterparts. This means that their lifespan can be shorter due to increased pressure put on the motor. Indeed, this lower efficiency can also lead to issues involving increased wear and tear, that ultimately cost a fortune to repair. Finally, whilst this transmission’s biggest benefit is the speed and control you have over the mower, this can also become problematic when drivers aren’t used to the feel of the pedal.
Lack of experience could easily lead to lack of control through pedal sensitivity, and is certainly something with which those who are intending on buying a hydrostatic lawn mower should certainly remember. The need to maintain care of hydrostatic pumps fools many who seem to believe that this type of transmission requires less attention and maintenance, which ultimately leads them to despair when their vehicle falters. Hydrostatic transmission mowers certainly need maintenance, with some recommending constant oil checks and at least a service every season, which is more than some may expect but would normally not be any obvious increase in maintenance than what one would have to perform on manual or automatic motors.
Common problems with hydrostatic lawn mowers
It is however not all sunshines and rainbows in the hydrostaticy world would you believe. Price and the need to maintain can be a much bigger process, both financially and physically, if things do go wrong. Constant checking of oil levels is necessary and sometimes the need for purging the machine of excess air becomes a hassle. Additionally, the main problem you will face with these mowers is their unavoidable hike in price compared with other mowers on the market. They will set you back a lot more than other options, but with this comes the increase in advanced technology. For me, the trade off is certainly worth it!
What to look for when buying a Hydrostatic lawn mower
It would really depend how much you are willing to spend on your lawn mower. Perhaps what’s best to look for when buying a hydrostatic lawn mower is what type of garden you have. If the terrain your garden is on is inclined, has many obstacles such as trees and shrubs or requires constant maneuverability, then this mower will make your life so much easier. The type of garden that you have will definitely help influence whether you should buy a hydrostatic mower. If you are seeking complete ease with your grass cutting experience then you should consider hydrostatic lawn mowers over the other options too, as they provide extreme comfort and ease. My main tips would be when looking for a hydrostatic lawn mower to consider what the landscape of your garden is and how much you want to spend on your mower.
Different brands of hydrostatic lawn mowers? Which are the best?
Depending on your needs, different brands offer different advantages in their HST lawn mowers. The brands mentioned here are all very worthy buys for varying reasons. Looking to details this article aims to identify what sets them apart. Some offer cheap and compact mowers for a small area, others have hugely effective and hard-wearing bodies to offer bigger and better grass cutting, but with a price.
Known as the Rolls Royce of the lawn cutting world, these beasts are sturdy and robust. Remaining versatile and easy, these machines will last your life. John Deere hydrostatic motors tend to have twin touch pedal control, providing extreme ease and control over pace and turning. They incorporate a two-range hydrostatic transmission (HST) within a die-cast aluminium case allowing for easy flow of oil to prevent unexpected oil problems, with optional cruise control and a fancy dashboard which provides you with all the information you need. The transmission fill point is easy to access, which is a key factor you wouldn’t necessarily look out for, but couldn’t live without once you have experienced it. A truly solid piece of kit, but holds a hefty price tag because of this.
Known for their cheaper price tag, these mowers are regularly branded as the best lawn mowers for your average household. The hydrostatic transmissions used in Husqvarna come in two varieties. The classic pedal-operated transmissions which provide an easy ride, or a level-operated hydro, which offers a solid alternative to the normal pedals. Husqvana offers a large scale of width within their mowers which makes it easy to purchase the correct machine for your garden. Alongside this, they utilise a strong catalogue of attachments which add to the basics of the lawn mower. Husqvarna hydrostatic mowers regularly falter and need frequent repairs as opposed to the likes of Deeres or Hondas. Numerous reviews and consumers have reported issues with their transmissions which seemingly need a regular ‘purge’. Something that is necessary to consider before snapping up that cheap price tag.
The household name is held in high regard for its car manufacturing, but how does their lawn mower game hold up? They have recently managed to use their ingenuity in cars to manufacture their hydrostatic transmission technology into a casing the size of a baseball bat. This means they can now provide the powerful HST, which in Hondas case relies on the oil interacting with the angle of the swash plate within the motor, into self-propelled walk behind mowers. This offers a clear difference to other companies on the market who tend to reserve their hydrostatic technology for ride on and commercial mowers. Honda have managed to fill a hole in the market, helping those with seriously steep hills overcome their gradient battle. Whilst also retaining their place in the ride-on mower market.
Sporting a family run business from 1987, Craftsman are starting to firmly establish themselves in the gardening world. They provide what you would regard as a normal hydrostatic transmission engine and motor within their sturdy casing. British through and through these machines are built to last. They tend to have issues surrounding their transaxle which results in faltering speed and direction upon use, but with knowledge of the machine and an ability to identify when this issue needs rectified, the Craftsman remains relatively hassle free. An important spec that these mowers uphold is they offer mowers in a front wheel drive, which can become an issue when going uphill but offers a huge bonus in maneuverability compared with traditional back wheel drives.
American through and through, Troy Bilt is known around households in the US and takes great pride in this. With many preferring machines born and bred in the USA, Troy Bilt has managed to craft an empire through their name. Famously known for their revolutionization of the rotary tilting design, these machines incorporate a standard hydrostatic transmission. Compared with others, Troy Bilt mowers offer a great combination of long-lasting quality, compact size which works efficiently and a very reasonable price tag. It is with this combination that these mowers have managed to historically place themselves in American gardening history, much more known than some others on this list.
After a buyout Murray motors are now owned by Briggs and Stratton. This means they usually boast a solid engine and motor, whilst retaining one of the cheapest price tags on the market. These mowers are what you would class as the lower end of the market. Normally Murray mowers use a Tuff Torq HST which provides a powerful cut with minimal effort. Retaining cruise control and sporting twin rotating blades with electronic blade engagement means Murray mowers can power through tall grass with ease and continue to make that gardening experience all the more enjoyable. Combining these features with the lower end of the market price tag makes up for the relative risk with this seemingly financially unstable company
Difference between a hydrostatic and automatic lawn mower
Automatic transmission lawn mowers are much the same as automatic cars. They operate through the use of the gas pedal in combination with a belt and pulley system, which changes the speed of the machine and allows for easier movement around obstacles. Hydrostatic mowers differ with automatic through their use of pressurized oil alongside their hydraulic system which ultimately leads to a much more comfortable, easy and controllable ride.
Difference between a Hydrostatic vs manual transmission on a lawn mower/tractor?
Manual transmission lawn mowers are what you would imagine a conventional lawn mower to be like. Whether it be a hand pushed petrol number or a seated mower, manuals require clutch and the necessity to shift gears or push the bad boy around. Whilst requiring extra labour, they hold value in their sturdy nature and provide the grass with a much better look and actual health. Hydrostatic transmissions offer ease, automation and comfort to what could have been previously a gruelling task. They bring a whole new dynamic to what you would picture a classic manual lawn mower to provide.
What does dual hydrostatic transmission mean?
Dual hydrostatic transmission adds an extra feature to the already high-caliber of single hydrostatic transmission. Where single HST requires physical turning of the wheel, dual provides triggers for turning. This means you require even less physical exertion during your lawn mowing experience. These triggers automatically turn the machine and make for true precision on that turf. Alternatively, single HST will not change direction unless the wheel is moved. This is the main difference between Single and Dual HST.
Can you push a hydrostatic mower?
As previously detailed, yes. Honda have recently adopted brilliant new technology to compact HST into handheld devices for truly steep hills or those wanting a handheld device through choice. But handheld HST mowers are available across the market. You can expect these to become cheaper and better as this market grows.
How can I make my hydrostatic lawn mower quicker?
By installing a larger pulley into your motor you can make your mower go quicker. This change in pulley would allow you to gain speed but you may lose power, leaving you potentially stranded going uphill. Whilst this change in the pulley is easy, make sure to do some research on whether your transmission can achieve it.
Teardown, Overhaul, Re-Assembly of Yazoo Mower Transmission
I snapped an axle shaft in my Yazoo Mower (YR-76) that required disassembling the entire transmission in order to get the broken shaft out. While it was out, I cleaned each part, and replaced worn bearings and oil seals. Here is the process I took.
Remove the Transmission from the Mower
Usually, you would jack up the machine and place it on jack stands. Drain the oil from the transmission. Then remove the wheels, brakes, and then the hubs. After the hubs are out, normally the axle shafts will slide out, but due to the long shaft on mine twisting and breaking inside the differential carrier, I wasn’t able to do this.
Once the shafts are off, you can unbolt the two axle tubes from the transmission, allowing the transmission to be removed from above. Since I couldn’t pull the long axle shaft, I needed to lift the mower really high on one side, until I was able to clear the entire transmission from above (remove linkage rods and the input pulley first).
Transmission Tear Down
Once you have the Yazoo mower transmission out, place it on a bench and remove all the 1/2″ bolts along the flange. Then with some slight taps from a mallet, the two halves will separate. Be careful with this step, as many of the internal shafts and gears will fall loose.
In my case, I then had to remove the cross-pin and spider gears from the differential so that I could get at the broken shaft from the opposite side. The cross-pin that holds the two spider gears is locked in place with a roll pin through the carrier.
Then with a combination of drilling out the center of the broken shaft, and a LOT of pounding with a large punch and a sledge hammer, I finally persuaded the broken axle it was time to leave the differential housing.
Once you have all the gears and shafts out, check to see if any of the bearings will need replaced. If so, they are a little tricky to remove. They are pressed into s in the aluminum housing, with no access from behind.
I found that using the end of a large carriage bolt as a fulcrum along with a large screwdriver to keep it wedged in place, you can work the bearings out without damaging the housing or the bearing. Just move each side up a little at a time working your way around the bearing.
I was able to purchase replacement bearings from Wagoner Power Equipment. The replacement bearings were made by MGM Radax and Hoover-NSK, both were stamped 6204.
After the bearings have been taken care, clean all of the parts to prep them for assembly.
Following the parts diagram (available here), reassemble the differential carrier, and then press in the large axle bearing into the deep-side of the case. Then making sure you have the spacer between the bearing and the differential, install the differential carrier, followed by the intermediate gear. Then install both the forward speed gear shaft (along with the control rod form the other side) and the forward / reverse shaft with clutch packs (also with control rod from the other side. Once everything is back in place, it should look like this.
At this point you should be able to complete a full turn of the differential carrier. If you can’t double check that you have the spacer between it and the axle bearing, or that you have the spacers in the proper order on the intermediate shaft.
If everything seems good, place a bead of RTV Silicone Gasket Maker around the flange, and place the other half of the case on top. Line everything up, install all the bolts just a couple turns each, and then if everything still spins correctly, tighten the bolts in a star sequence finger tight, or until RTV silicone starts to squish out at each edge.
Give the RTV Silicone an hour to dry, and then finish tightening the bolts, again in a star pattern.
Installing Back into the Yazoo Mower
Assembly back into the mower is the opposite of removal. If the axle tubes gasket was damaged or missing, you will want to seal them with RTV Silicone as well. I took the opportunity to paint the transmission while it was out while I was at it.
Once the transmission is back in the mower, you will also need to re-connect the linkage arms below the engine mounts. I found this to be pretty difficult without removing the engine. I ended up lightly tack welding one of the end-links to a long piece of scrap steel, and then using that long handle to reach in and thread it onto the shift rod of the transmission. Once it was threaded on, a left and right jerk snapped the temporary handle back off.
Don’t forget to fill the axle up to the middle of the clutch packs. Yazoo specified 40 wt. non-detergent oil for these units.
You will probably need to re-adjust the neutral point in your shift linkage, and it may be a good idea to adjust your clutches as well.
thoughts on “Teardown, Overhaul, Re-Assembly of Yazoo Mower Transmission”
Old Warehouse full Yazoo parts and accessories the oldest walk behind number 1446 serial number yr36 mowers all the above anybody interested give give me a call at. Louis’s Yazoo 5700 College Street Beaumont Texas 409-866-6300 ask for David plenty of old parts
i’ve got my transaxle off the machine and have dropped the clutch adjustment spring i have recovered it but cannot figure out how to install it and cant find any info on it I see your pictures on the internet but none close up enough to figure it out since you dissembled one i was hoping you may be able to help. thanks for any info you can provide. r
Thank You! I just bought a 41-PTO WM 185 60″ Mower and I drained transmission. this site gave me oil recommendations and oil fill level. I am bringing this bad boy back to life as I had experience with them back in the late 70’s when I was much younger. It has a 18hp Kohler Magnum that still sounds good. thanks again