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Old 01-05-2008, 04:42 AM   post #1 of 214
nzo
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Thumbs up John Deere Lawn Tractor L130 - dying hydrostatic drive

Over the last 6 months, I've noticed the hydrostatic drive getting weaker and weaker, to the point where if the ride-on has been mowing for an hour or less it cannot get up slopes it used to handle with ease. If I continue mowing I'll be lucky to get the machine back to base.

Two years ago, about 2 years after purchasing the new L130, I noticed the same problem, resulting in the John Deere agency replacing the hydrostatic transmission under warranty.

I expressed my concern at the time that the same fault may happen again, with us having to foot the out-of-warranty bill next time. The agency's response was that this was most likely a 'one-off'.

When I contacted them before Christmas about the present problem, the service guy said, "Oh, we don't bother repairing these transmissions - we just throw them out and put in a new one."

This did not reassure me at all, and made me wonder how many other L130 owners are being taken to the cleaners by John Deere with having to replace their transmissions about once every two years!

It also makes me wonder if there is some underlying fault in this transmission that JD are not being straight about.

Any insights very much appreciated.
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Old 01-05-2008, 05:39 AM   post #2 of 214
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Default Re: John Deere Lawn Tractor L130 - dying hydrostatic drive

and sorry to hear about your tranny. Since you've already had it replaced once and JD has a record of the problem this may help you to get it fixed or replaced once out of warranty You may also want to think about trading it in while it still working. JMO. slkpk
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Old 01-05-2008, 08:11 AM   post #3 of 214
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Default Re: John Deere Lawn Tractor L130 - dying hydrostatic drive

Our churches L has over 400 hours on it with many riders and less than recommended maintenance. The only problem we've had was a burned out electric pto clutch. I wouldn't say all L's had hydrostatic problems. If I remember correctly, your tractor doesn't have a serviceable hydro. I've heard of owners draining the hydro (by tipping tractor or removing the unit) and replacing the fluid. This may help in your case, otherwise, the only other thing I can think of is that this wasn't the right tractor for your uses.
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Old 01-05-2008, 09:34 AM   post #4 of 214
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Default Re: John Deere Lawn Tractor L130 - dying hydrostatic drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by JDFANATIC View Post
I've heard of owners draining the hydro (by tipping tractor or removing the unit) and replacing the fluid. This may help in your case,
Just as was my case, with my L118 TRACTOR.... If you can turn a wrench or two, it isn't all that hard to do.

I took the tranny out, dumped the original ugly oil out of it, refilled with synth oil, runs as good as new, it has been 2 years since the service to the un-serviceable unit. I plan on doing the same again this summer.
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Old 01-05-2008, 12:41 PM   post #5 of 214
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Default Re: John Deere Lawn Tractor L130 - dying hydrostatic drive

pefer,

Thanks for chiming in!
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Old 01-05-2008, 02:46 PM   post #6 of 214
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Default Re: John Deere Lawn Tractor L130 - dying hydrostatic drive

Try this out!!!

http://www.overtons.com/modperl/prod...=21664&aID=24A
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Old 01-05-2008, 06:23 PM   post #7 of 214
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Default Re: John Deere Lawn Tractor L130 - dying hydrostatic drive

I like the product review in the link Mayor provided,I think it's the first time I ever saw a tool described as visually pleasing!!Truly written by someone who appreciates a finely made tool.
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Old 01-07-2008, 02:45 PM   post #8 of 214
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Default Re: John Deere Lawn Tractor L130 - dying hydrostatic drive

you can easily change the oil inthe tranny. Wally2q posted instructions over on garden web, but looks like the post is gone now due to age. shoot him a PM and see if he cna repost in detail.

the simple breakdown is to remove the tranny from under the mower, pull out the vent cap, turn the tranny over and let it drain. then refill with 10w30, reinstall the vent cap, and reinstall onto your tractor. i did mine on my L130 end of the summer and it ran fine afterwards. took me all of about 2 hours to do, and that was due to a stuck bolt!
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Old 01-07-2008, 03:25 PM   post #9 of 214
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Default Re: John Deere Lawn Tractor L130 - dying hydrostatic drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidg View Post
you can easily change the oil inthe tranny. Wally2q posted instructions over on garden web, but looks like the post is gone now due to age. shoot him a PM and see if he cna repost in detail.

the simple breakdown is to remove the tranny from under the mower, pull out the vent cap, turn the tranny over and let it drain. then refill with 10w30, reinstall the vent cap, and reinstall onto your tractor. i did mine on my L130 end of the summer and it ran fine afterwards. took me all of about 2 hours to do, and that was due to a stuck bolt!
I think my way was easy but if you got the time!!!
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Old 01-07-2008, 08:32 PM   post #10 of 214
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Default Re: John Deere Lawn Tractor L130 - dying hydrostatic drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidg View Post
you can easily change the oil inthe tranny. Wally2q posted instructions over on garden web, but looks like the post is gone now due to age. shoot him a PM and see if he cna repost in detail.

the simple breakdown is to remove the tranny from under the mower, pull out the vent cap, turn the tranny over and let it drain. then refill with 10w30, reinstall the vent cap, and reinstall onto your tractor. i did mine on my L130 end of the summer and it ran fine afterwards. took me all of about 2 hours to do, and that was due to a stuck bolt!
If you go this route, I'd think about putting a drain plug in the bottom at the lowest point possible. Could make your unserviceable tranny serviceable after all. Also, I'd measure how much oil came out so you know how much to put back in.
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Old 01-07-2008, 11:02 PM   post #11 of 214
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Default Re: John Deere Lawn Tractor L130 - dying hydrostatic drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by pefer View Post
Just as was my case, with my L118 TRACTOR.... If you can turn a wrench or two, it isn't all that hard to do.

I took the tranny out, dumped the original ugly oil out of it, refilled with synth oil, runs as good as new, it has been 2 years since the service to the un-serviceable unit. I plan on doing the same again this summer.
For just a few more $$ they could make them servicable. That's what I hate about mass merchandisers and buying on price alone.
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Old 01-08-2008, 11:21 AM   post #12 of 214
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Default Re: John Deere Lawn Tractor L130 - dying hydrostatic drive

If I was going to take the transaxle out ONCE to change the oil, I'd take it down to a shop and have a plug installed in the lower housing. Once is enough the hard way!!
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:08 PM   post #13 of 214
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Default Re: John Deere Lawn Tractor L130 - dying hydrostatic drive

on my L130 a drain at the bottom would be fine. but the problem is trying to get something inthe top to refill it. space is real tight!

i did dump my old fluid in a bucket and mark teh level. then i poured it in teh jug with my other burnt oil, cleaned the bucket, and filled to that level with new fresh oil. that way i pretty much put the same amount back inthat i took out. i still had to top it off a little, but not much.
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Old 01-11-2008, 10:57 AM   post #14 of 214
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Default Re: John Deere Lawn Tractor L130 - dying hydrostatic drive

Just thought I would butt in and ask a few questions about transmissions. I have a '94 LX 176 that I bought used a few years ago. A single cylinder 14HP Kawasaki engine and a K-61 transmission. It is used only for mowing a 1/2 acre flat city lot. Anyway I just wanted to know how the K-61 compared with the transmission on an X300 and am I able to change the oil in the K-61 without removing it from the machine. As far as I know the oil has never been changed. Thanks.
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Old 01-12-2008, 04:54 AM   post #15 of 214
nzo
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Default Re: John Deere Lawn Tractor L130 - dying hydrostatic drive

Thanks for all the excellent info folks. I think I'll have a crack at doing the transmission myself, after we find out if John Deere are going to come to the party or not. Cheers to all!
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