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Old 10-04-2010, 08:02 PM   post #1 of 10
JDH
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Default STX38 Transmission problem?

I posted a couple weeks ago that the local dealer said my PTO clutch was going out. Well, that's not the problem. I'll try to explain what's happening:

I took the mower deck clear off. Started the mower up, put it in gear and tried to drive. When I put it in gear, a strange noise came from the transmission area, and the mower crept forward, kind of haltingly. I was in 3rd. Same in reverse. All the gears act the same.

It's been making odd noises all summer, but I wear ear protection due to hearing loss so I haven't been too aware of it. But when I mowed over a small stump a month or so ago, that "finished it off" and it started acting like I mentioned above.

Also, when the mower is turned off and it's in gear, I can push it around. Used to be that would lock it down. Not now.

Any ideas on what it might be?
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Old 10-04-2010, 08:23 PM   post #2 of 10
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Default Re: STX38 Transmission problem?

Sounds like something is slipping/sheared/broken - i.e. pulley key or a gear. I'm guessing you'll have to open the transaxle to eyeball what's happening in there.

Have a look at this service manual for the Peerless transaxles, yours is listed in here as well. This should give you an idea of how it functions:
http://www.cpdonline.com/691218.pdf

You can find used transaxles on eBay, that model is commonly used on a lot of riders. I also looked on the John Deere parts site and they list the parts for the transaxle as still available as well.
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Old 10-04-2010, 08:33 PM   post #3 of 10
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Default Re: STX38 Transmission problem?

What does it feel like if you try to turn the drive pulley on the transaxle by hand - i.e. can you feel it slipping/engaging a bit?

There are balls and springs that provide that positive snap into each gear. They wear out or break over time and then it's possible to get partially into/out of gear, lose the positive shift feel...

If you look under the tractor, can you see the shifter moving the transaxle into each gear (may need someone to shift while you eyeball it underneath)?
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Old 10-04-2010, 08:50 PM   post #4 of 10
eddyyy302
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Default Re: STX38 Transmission problem?

Reach under the rear of the tractor and attempt to move the drive pulley, there shouldn't be any play in the input shaft. If the input shaft is tight, then it sounds like you shift keys are broken and need to be replaced, you have to split the case to accomplish this.
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:52 AM   post #5 of 10
JDH
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Default Re: STX38 Transmission problem?

The shifter lever on the transaxle moves just fine when you change gears and the drive belt is tight and in good shape. No play. Wouldn't move when I pulled on it.

Not being a mechanic, the idea of pulling the transaxle and either replacing it or opening it and "rebuilding" it, pretty well freaks me out. But having lost my job, I don't have many options.

That Peerless service manual looks very valuable. Thanks! Can someone give me an idea of the easiest way to get the mower to a workable angle? I cranked it up vertical with my chain hoist the other night to look under, would that work as long as weight is off the rear tires or is there a better way?

That is, in case I get my nerve up to do this. Forgot to mention it's the yellow deck, if that matters any.
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:22 PM   post #6 of 10
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Default Re: STX38 Transmission problem?

You can still get the service manual from John Deere tech pubs that should walk you through it. It's $40.00 on CD but $80 in paper form.

Type in STX38 in the Decal Model Number field and then pick the link that matches your serial number range:
http://techpubs.deere.com/deere/Default.aspx

When I removed the transaxle from my 112 I used adjustable automotive jack stands under the frame to support it. Jacked it up with a scrap piece of 4x4 at 90 degrees to the frame to give the jack a spot in the center to lift the tractor from.

It didn't need to be up very high.
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Old 10-05-2010, 01:11 PM   post #7 of 10
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Default Re: STX38 Transmission problem?

That sounds workable..is this one of those things that just looks scary but isn't too bad, or is it something that should be taken to the dealer?

I probably have most (or all) of the tools needed and I've repaired and built a whole lot of stuff over the years, I just haven't gotten into motorized vehicles very much. Don't have the head or interest for it I guess.

Would it be easier to leave the wheels on and just roll it out after detaching? Or would there be a problem with that method?
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Old 10-05-2010, 01:26 PM   post #8 of 10
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Default Re: STX38 Transmission problem?

Well I'd say with the tech manual it's not bad - though I don't have the tech manual for my STX so I haven't seen that manual.

The tech manual I have for my 112 takes you step by step through everything with pictures. Made it pretty easy.

Since it sounds like you're familiar with tools and building I don't think you'll have a problem and we're here to help.

I left the wheels on when I pulled my transaxle - the service manual suggested it as well, to roll it out from under the frame.

If you want to read about/see my transaxle repair you can see it here:
http://www.mytractorforum.com/showth...100485&page=10

Note the transaxle in the 112 is different so the process you'll go through may be less involved as you'll just need to drop the transaxle, remove the wheels (might be a c-clip or two), and then open it.

Here's a video of a couple of guys opening one of your transaxles (there's two parts to the video) that should give you an idea of what it looks like to open it up for repair:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucbJ3Y-q1_c
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_Pf5...eature=related
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:12 PM   post #9 of 10
JDH
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Default Re: STX38 Transmission problem?

Wow, those are some great photos you posted! And the videos are awesome for helping! Thank you for finding them!! I bookmarked them. Maybe I'll even download them. I think I'm not so much afraid of opening it up as I am of taking it off the tractor. That's the part that looks complicated and it's in tight quarters. Shudder!

I hooked my chain hoist in the cart pin hole on the back, lifted the rear end and slid 2 jack stands under the frame. Worked pretty good. Everything's out of the way so I can remove the tranny in whichever direction I need to.
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:44 PM   post #10 of 10
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Default Re: STX38 Transmission problem?

You're most welcome.

One suggestion, take pics as you go along to remember what you took apart and in what order. Also write down and tag things with tape. It'll help without the manual to follow when it's time to put it back together.

Should be some bolts that hold it to the frame, remove those, and then it'll drop down. I can eyeball my STX when I get home.

One trick when you're re-installing; if you have a floor jack use that to lift the transaxle into place to align the bolt holes. I did the inverse of this by lowerering/lifting the tractor frame with the jack until it lined up.
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