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Bought this tractor a few months ago. It had 92 hrs and now has 100 hrs. Plenty of power, 48" deck cut great, but the trans is very jerky when moving from froward to reverse or vice-versa. It has the hydro on the fender. The last tractor I had was an '02 Scotts with a foot operated hydro trans that was VERY smooth when moving from forward to reverse and visa-versa. Is this normal? Do you think there is a problem with the trans? How are the new craftsman foot operated hydros? Are they smooth or jerky?
 

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tpaul,

I have the same tractor with the 54 inch deck. If it has the same tranny as mine, the Hydro Gear 311-3500, yes it is jerky if you move between forward and reverse rapidly. It has a really strong tranny and an engine with a lot of power. I have just learned to move it slowly when transitioning between the two. If you transition too fast it'll really give you whiplash!

However, this winter I discoverd a design flaw/manufacturing flaw that deals with the fender power lever and its connection to the transmission. I noticed that when the shifter was pulled all the way back in reverse as far as it would go, the actual lever on the transmission didn't move to its full extent. It was about 3/8 to 1/2 inch short. If you look at the lever connection to the tranny (behind the drawbar), there is a "Z" connecting link that is about 5 to 6 inches long. Well, that link is too short.

Have you noticed that your fender shifter does not go all the way forward or all the way back (there is a gap between the lever and the ends of the slot when the lever will move no more)? Mine was lacking about 3/4 inch both ways. I took some of the kink out of the link making it longer and the tractor now is more responsive and the shift lever goes almost all the way forward and back. Now it's down to about 1/4 inch short on forward and 3/8 inch on reverse. The next time I go in to check the tranny fluid I will take it off and stretch it some more. This flaw may be causing the jerky transition. I'm not sure but I think that it doesn't jerk as much as it did before I lengthened the link.

I would think the foot pedal operated one would be even worse because you move the lever less with your foot but the lever on the tranny travels the same amount, however I have not tried one. It may just be the tranny.

Runningbare
 
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