My Tractor Forum banner
  • Are you passionate about Tractors? Would you like to write about topics that interest you and get paid for it? Read all about it here!
1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

first I wan how awesome this site has been as I've struggled with my tractor these past few weeks. It's amazing to have such a resource, and the dedicated folks that make it possible.

On to my problem which I'm desperately hoping someone can tell me what I'm doing wrong.

I purchased a used 917.251521 garden tractor/snow blower combo a couple months back. It's from 1995(ish) and from the looks of it not much had been maintained aside from the occasional oil change, which was in my favour since I got it for a decent price (or at least I thought so at the time). I feel very differently now that I"ve been struggling with the tranny, a Hydro Gear 218-3010L (Model # 150073).

A couple weeks back I decided to swap the main drive belt since the one on the mower was squealing on the slightest incline. Fortunately there was a spare one in good shape with the box of random parts thrown in with the sale. After swapping out the belt I hoped on, fired her up, and nothing, no movement whatsoever. The wheels would turn manually by hand, and jerk forward a bit when I put it in reverse, but otherwise there was no movement or sound. The belt and pulley were moving well, the bypass wasn't engaged, and there was no noise from the tranny when shifting gears. I changed the oil (never changed) for some fresh 10w-40, (only 32oz came out which is about 13-15oz shy of what I've read on MTF) went through the purge process several times and still nothing. I even tried the old belt and nada.

I scoured MTF and came to the conclusion it must be the brake coupler, which seems to be the main weak point in this tranny and lines up with its age. Unfortunately the part was approximately $400 CDN, and $150 USD+$50 for shipping. I managed to find a the exact same model used on Kijiji, and managed to get that for a steal. I finally got around to swapping out the old one, and eureka the new one worked both forward and reverse.

Now the owner of the "new" tranny told me it had been sitting around for a couple years since he used the tractor for a project, taking the motor and leaving the rest. stupid me I decided to change the fluid and filter (Wix Hydraulic filter 51269). Did the change, made sure the new oil came out of the oil level port, tightened everything up, purged and...nothing! I put on the old filter thinking that might be the issue but no change.

At this point i've spent way too many hours on this and away from my newborn, never mind the time and money, so i'm utterly heartbroken and defeated. If anyone has any ideas I would forever be in your debt and name my second child after you.

Thank you
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,486 Posts
Hi GTNCR and welcome to
2475324

Any possibility that you either used the wrong fluid?....or could the belt be routed incorrectly, or just not the right one?..Sorry that this is working out as such a disappointment for you
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the welcome Mark, glad to be on the forum. I found the service manual on MTF, and followed the spec oil 10w-40. I was planning on swapping it out for synthetic 15w50 in the winter, once I've gone a few cycles cleaning out the old oil. The belts routed according to the manual and figure on the bottom of the tractor, and it was the same way when it did work briefly. It's a head scratcher for sure.

Mel
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
323 Posts
Thank you for the welcome Mark, glad to be on the forum. I found the service manual on MTF, and followed the spec oil 10w-40. I was planning on swapping it out for synthetic 15w50 in the winter, once I've gone a few cycles cleaning out the old oil. The belts routed according to the manual and figure on the bottom of the tractor, and it was the same way when it did work briefly. It's a head scratcher for sure.

Mel
Hi Mel, I have to say, this is a very interesting issue you're having here. I think I might be able to help with this. You say the transaxle is getting the input from the belt, but have you put the old belt back on and tried it again? Also, did you spill oil on ANY of the pulley when doing the fluid changes for both the engine and transaxle? If so, you'll have to take the belt off and either find a way to remove the coating of oil or just replace it along with cleaning the pulleys with degreaser. Additionally, when you say you purged the transaxle, did you try jacking it up and purging it with the wheels off the ground? If so, purge it with the bypass valve out first, moving the drive lever back and fourth between forwards and reverse and of course do so with the engine running and brake off. But also, put the bypass valve back in and purge it like you would with the wheels off the ground so they can spin back and fourth. Maybe move them a bit if they can't get going. The wheels should spin both directions with good response between both. Also, note that when you change the oil on these and drain everything out, I forget what it is that loses oil, maybe pistons or motor block or whatever, but they will lose their oil also and that's why at first you get no response with motor input. Sometimes mine wouldn't cooperate, so here's what I did. With the motor off, remove the drive belt from around the transaxle pulley. Then, let the brake out, and with the motion lever in the forwards position, push the tractor forwards by hand until you feel the pressure build and it tries to fight you. You can do this vice versa for reverse. It's a better way of purging them basically. Works every time for me. What I do is just that and then I pick the wheels back up and do the usual purge process according to the manual. Sounds like quite an issue, looking forwards to helping.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow thank you that's super helpful I'll give it a try tomorrow afternoon and let you know how it goes. The pulleys were spotless and I made sure take my time when changing the oil to avoid any kind of contamination on either the belt or pulleys. I did the purge with the wheels on the ground, but I read somewhere on MTF about jacking it up (which isn't mentioned in either the craftsman or HG servicr manuals). When I did have it jacked up the wheels moved smoothly and they would spin slowly when I rotated the brake disc. This leads me to believe you're method might be the ticket🤞🙏
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
323 Posts
Wow thank you that's super helpful I'll give it a try tomorrow afternoon and let you know how it goes. The pulleys were spotless and I made sure take my time when changing the oil to avoid any kind of contamination on either the belt or pulleys. I did the purge with the wheels on the ground, but I read somewhere on MTF about jacking it up (which isn't mentioned in either the craftsman or HG servicr manuals). When I did have it jacked up the wheels moved smoothly and they would spin slowly when I rotated the brake disc. This leads me to believe you're method might be the ticket🤞🙏
Good luck :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,093 Posts
Good point! OP, if you have a helper available, have them watch one axle, then the other, while you try to make it drive. If either axle is spinning within the wheel, then you lost a key that makes the wheel rotate with the axle. This lets you check without needing to jack it up and remove the wheels.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MARK (LI)

·
Registered
Joined
·
323 Posts
is there any chance you had wheels off and the keys dropped away and you didn't realize it?
Good point! OP, if you have a helper available, have them watch one axle, then the other, while you try to make it drive. If either axle is spinning within the wheel, then you lost a key that makes the wheel rotate with the axle. This lets you check without needing to jack it up and remove the wheels.
They're right, it's a 1/4 inch square key.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everyone, I confirmed the axle keys are in place, and the wheels turn smoothly. Ayp123, I tried your suggestion pushing the tractor with the drive belt off, but no luck. The tractor moved and I could feel the resistance build up (it was harder in reverse). I purged with the wheels off the ground,and nothing. I checked the oil filter, and it was full, so it's circulating but just not transferring power to the wheels. Pulling my hair out at this point...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
323 Posts
Thanks everyone, I confirmed the axle keys are in place, and the wheels turn smoothly. Ayp123, I tried your suggestion pushing the tractor with the drive belt off, but no luck. The tractor moved and I could feel the resistance build up (it was harder in reverse). I purged with the wheels off the ground,and nothing. I checked the oil filter, and it was full, so it's circulating but just not transferring power to the wheels. Pulling my hair out at this point...
So you've got pressure, just means you have to make sure your belt is making contact. Either clean the pulleys, check the belt routing, or try another belt.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,093 Posts
Apologies if I missed it, but the freewheel valve is in the proper position, right? There is usually a pin/lever at the back you can pull to let the transmission roll freely. Like if you have to push the tractor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yep freewheel/ bypass is out. Took a bit of effort but I was able to push it. I'll swap out the belt and clean the pulleys tomorrow, see if that works. Funny thing is, I was just messing with the original tranny, and when I rotated the pulley wheel by hand the axles would turn, in both directions. It stopped after a few revolutions, but still odd given the many many attempts I made with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update: I did the above, drive pulley engages and moved well but still nothing. I noticed the pump (bdu) gets warm to the touch but the transaxle remains cool. Could it be a blockage of some kind? Perhaps the fluid isn't flowing back down to the reservoir in the transaxle?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,093 Posts
Yep freewheel/ bypass is out. Took a bit of effort but I was able to push it. I'll swap out the belt and clean the pulleys tomorrow, see if that works. Funny thing is, I was just messing with the original tranny, and when I rotated the pulley wheel by hand the axles would turn, in both directions. It stopped after a few revolutions, but still odd given the many many attempts I made with it.
I'm used to seeing that pulled out is disengaged. It is for mine, anyways. And sometimes I've heard people mention these levers getting kind of stuck, albeit I think those were Tuff Torq units.

Regardless, as an easy thing to try, I'd cycle that back and forth firmly a few times, and try it in both positions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you Red, I checked the bypass. It was a bit slow so I sprayed it with some lubricant and it moves freely. Still nothing however. At this point I'm considering removing the pump to check the brake shaft assembly. Any suggestions on how to remove the pulley nut? And is it LH threaded given the rotation of the pulley?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,093 Posts
Bummer, sorry. I was hoping maybe it was a possible easy fix.

My tractor has a BDU-10L, but it's on a different brand, different transaxle, and I haven't needed to take it apart yet. So I'm afraid I can't offer info about removing pulleys.
 

·
Minding my P's & Q's
Joined
·
2,236 Posts
Enter 218-3010L in the Search Community window at top of page. Then choose to search across entire community.
Can also search for BDU-10L.
Lots of threads show up. I know there are a couple that show how to stand the transaxle up on one wheel, and split the case. Also info on the brake shaft coupler.

I do not think the nut is LH thread. Shaft and pulley are splined. So no need for LH thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks JP, I might have missed it in one of those threads but I don't recall seeing anything on removing the pulley. I'm have a dumb moment right now, because I'm sure there's a simple way to stop the pulley from rotating while removing the nut, but for the life of me I cant think of it. I'll take another look through the forums to see if there's anything helpful. Thanks
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,093 Posts
If available, impact tools are usually good at loosening fasteners without also turning the item they're attached to. The other day one easily spun a nut off something I was holding in my hand. But I couldn't loosen that nut with a normal wrench, when I had the item braced against the ground.
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top