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Old 07-16-2010, 07:55 AM   post #1 of 5
humble314
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Default Hydrostatic / Automatic info needed (buying new)

I currently own the following;

- Craftsman 15.5 HP IC
- 42" cut
- Hydrostatic (automatic) Hydro Gear (310-0500)
- 1998 M/Y
- 917.258081

The manual for my current riding mower states, "hydrostatic (automatic)" as written. Are the terms hydrostatic & automatic synonymous? Here is why I ask .....



.
I am looking at buying a 2009 M/Y Craftsman LT2000, 19.5 HP, 42" cut with the "automatic" drive. The Sears item number is 28908 (see photo attached).

I called and spoke with a Sears lawn and garden salesperson. He rambled on that the automatic has a series of pulleys that automatically adjust to provide the speed change. I know a belt and pulley drive the rear unit, the explanation did not mechanically make sense. What are the differences?

So I am wondering, does anyone have knowledge of the drive unit that is in this mower I am looking at buying? Such as manufacture, type of drive unit.

Also how could I identify the type of drive unit it has. Where to look and what a series of numbers or description would I look for.

Thanks all

Humble314
its all about the pi



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Old 07-16-2010, 10:19 AM   post #2 of 5
Fcubman
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Default Re: Hydrostatic / Automatic info needed (buying new)

A hydrostatic transmission uses a variable displacement hydraulic pump and a hydraulic motor to vary your speeds. Speeds can be adjusted by a hand lever, or foot pedals that vary speeds, much like a car accelerator, hence the term "automatic". The engine speed stays constant, but the ground speed changes as you push either the forward or reverse pedals harder. Most of these use a belt to transfer power from the engine to the transmission and act as a clutch to disconnect the transmission from the engine.

A variable pulley drive used mechanical means to vary the pulley diameters to vary your speeds. I don't know much else about these. I don't think there are any hydraulics involved.

You need to match the abilities of the transmission to your intended use. A "weaker" one is fine for a level, small lot, where you just mow and do light duty work. If you intend to climb hills, pull a dirt plow, etc, you need a sturdier transmission, or risk ruining a smaller unit by overworking it.
Some prefer a straight geared transmission for reliability and strength, others prefer the convenience of a hydro.
"You pays your money, and takes your choice."

I can't help you with the specifics of that machine, but I'm sure others will be able to chime in.
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Last edited by Fcubman; 07-16-2010 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 07-16-2010, 11:52 PM   post #3 of 5
humble314
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Default Re: Hydrostatic / Automatic info needed (buying new)

Fcubman,

As you stated, the auto uses a varying set of pulies and a belt between them with then the primary drive belt to he crank. the hydrostatic is a true hydro. I called Hydro Gear and spoke with a tech who provided good detail as to the differences between each.

I do not want the auto. Thanks for the input.


Humble314
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Old 07-17-2010, 12:04 AM   post #4 of 5
Fcubman
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Default Re: Hydrostatic / Automatic info needed (buying new)

You're welcome.
I have a hydro, and love it. I don't know how I got along all those years with a geared transmission....
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Old 07-17-2010, 12:09 AM   post #5 of 5
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Default Re: Hydrostatic / Automatic info needed (buying new)

Hydrostatic has 2 pedals (1 forward 1 reverse) an automatic has a shifter from forward to neutral to reverse and 1 pedal.
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