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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought my L110 in 2003. Recently it stopped moving, even though the engine is fine. I took the trans axle off emptied it and put in Traveller 46 oil. (Shown to me at Tractor Supply). Before re installing, I put a drill on the input shaft and the axles turned, Then I put it back on the mower, stuck the wheels on, hooked up drive belt and all, ran it and the wheels turned. Put it down and it doesn't go. While running I operated the power pedal and heard like grinding noises from the trans axle. Looks like its shot. In reading I have seen that heat is a real killer of the Tuf Tork K46. I noticed the fan blades were all sheered off and the cooling vents were all filled with dirt. Guess that’s what did it in. I looked on lined for a used one and it seems like that they all had the fan blades sheered off. No thanks. I am also learning of that because there is no way of knowing the time or care of the unit. I am thinking about a new mower. My property is about 1.5 acres. But the back half is the main use of the equipment, I have a service do the front. It is a bit rough as the donkeys create wallow hoes and it is not grass but an assortment of weeds. I have a John Deere small dump trailer. From time to time, I will be hauling heavy loads, manure or even cut up tree trunks from the back to the road for pick up. Have a couple right now that need to come down and one that is down and needs to go out after being cut up.
Any suggestion on the repair? Any input on a new mower. Was thinking of a s 100. . I think that is a lawn tractor not a garden tractor, Other brands ok to consider Thanks for looking and any responses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Try this one. It appears the s100 and the s 110 have different transmissions. The s 100 is listed as automatic, the 2 110 is list as two pedal hydraulic. The s 100 transaxle appears to be used all through the s 100 series up to the s160. ( except the s1000 is it really a different part.? And can I assume that since it is used on the bigger machines it is a sturdier part and the s 110 has a tougher drive chain than the s 100. thanks again.
 

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My property is about 1.5 acres. But the back half is the main use of the equipment, I have a service do the front. It is a bit rough as the donkeys create wallow hoes and it is not grass but an assortment of weeds. I have a John Deere small dump trailer. From time to time, I will be hauling heavy loads, manure or even cut up tree trunks from the back to the road for pick up. Have a couple right now that need to come down and one that is down and needs to go out after being cut up.
Any suggestion on the repair? Any input on a new mower. Was thinking of a s 100. . I think that is a lawn tractor not a garden tractor, Other brands ok to consider Thanks for looking and any responses.
Welcome! Yeah, no cooling fins, and caked with dirt, will be a bad combination for any hydrostatic transmission. And the K46 is small to begin with, so it doesn't have a big physical case to help dissipate the heat.

What you're describing (hauling heavy loads, mowing 1.5 acres) sounds more like garden tractor work to me, rather than lawn tractor. Is your property flat, or are there inclines?

I don't think an S100 or S110 is a good choice, personally. They are really just meant to mow, on flat ground, and have lighter-duty transmissions than the K46 you were using. There are some versions with the K46, like the S240. But the rest have weaker transmissions.

I would recommend considering a used garden tractor, rather than a new low-end lawn tractor, if you want to be pulling that sort of stuff around. The S110 transmission may be better than the S100, but those are pretty much the two lowest-end tractors that Deere sells, so is kind of a low bar.

To make a clumsy analogy, a Toyota Camry is stronger than a Toyota Corolla. But neither one is a good choice to tow a 30 foot boat, you need to be looking for a big truck.

There are 2 current threads that have a bunch in common with your questions, and are definitely worth reading closely. Much of the discussion & recommendations would apply for your situation. At a bare minimum, I would suggest looking for a machine with a K46, rather than something weaker, like the TLT200 in the lower S-series models.

Do I need a LAWN Tractor or a GARDEN Tractor?
Think I decided on a S220
 

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Hmmn, interesting that checking out that Traveler 46, the very first line in the online description states:

This product is not recommended for transmission, differentials, wet brakes or final drive gears

If uncertain of what oil to use, first step is usually to go to the manufacturers website, Tuff Torq.
 

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For the current tranny, you could try the recommended fluid. But you'd have to pull the tranny again. And it stopped moving before the oil change, and now grinds, I'd say you're probably past the point where new oil will help.

I should have mentioned, if you want to move heavy stuff with a lawn tractor, you can at least make things easier on the tractor by making a larger number of lighter trips. Don't put 500 pounds in the cart. Put 200 pounds in it, and make a smaller trip, etc, to reduce how hard the transmission needs to work.

If it's material that you're loading in, you can at least control the weight of those loads. And make sure the trailer tires are properly inflated, maybe lube the cart axles, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, 20p/20 hindsight on my part. I thought the folks at tractor supply would know. At least I didn't ruin a good transaxle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Welcome! Yeah, no cooling fins, and caked with dirt, will be a bad combination for any hydrostatic transmission. And the K46 is small to begin with, so it doesn't have a big physical case to help dissipate the heat.

What you're describing (hauling heavy loads, mowing 1.5 acres) sounds more like garden tractor work to me, rather than lawn tractor. Is your property flat, or are there inclines?

I don't think an S100 or S110 is a good choice, personally. They are really just meant to mow, on flat ground, and have lighter-duty transmissions than the K46 you were using. There are some versions with the K46, like the S240. But the rest have weaker transmissions.

I would recommend considering a used garden tractor, rather than a new low-end lawn tractor, if you want to be pulling that sort of stuff around. The S110 transmission may be better than the S100, but those are pretty much the two lowest-end tractors that Deere sells, so is kind of a low bar.

To make a clumsy analogy, a Toyota Camry is stronger than a Toyota Corolla. But neither one is a good choice to tow a 30 foot boat, you need to be looking for a big truck.

There are 2 current threads that have a bunch in common with your questions, and are definitely worth reading closely. Much of the discussion & recommendations would apply for your situation. At a bare minimum, I would suggest looking for a machine with a K46, rather than something weaker, like the TLT200 in the lower S-series models.

Do I need a LAWN Tractor or a GARDEN Tractor?
Think I decided on a S220
Thanks for the input. It sounds like the TLT 200 is a lighter duty transaxle that the K46. At least that is what it sounds like to me. Inclines, 5 feet max very low grade and I can get them sideways. L110 I have has a K46. Did they go to a cheaper unit over last number of years? Have checked around, not much in the used market around here. Thanks for the help.
 

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Yes, they went to weaker transmissions than the K46.

Tuff Torq has pages with specs, one example:


Max torque listed depending on gearing, shown in lb-ft:
TL-200: 130
K46: 171
K58: 217

By contrast, their good garden tractor transmission:
K72: 405

The K72 is used in the Deere X500-series garden tractors. Much more money, of course, but much more capable, and longer lasting. (The K92 goes in the X700-series)

Going with a used garden tractor, perhaps from a different brand, can get you a much stronger machine, for the price of a new lawn tractor.

For budget-friendly GTs, you could look for things like the Craftsman GT5000 or GT6000, which can often be found under $1000, around here. Or older Deere GTs, like the GT225/GT235/GT245. Which may be more like around $1500 around here, but have a K71 (previous generation before K72), and will far out-work a lawn tractor.
 
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I have pointed several threads to the K57R that is currently pretty inexpensive from
Tuff Torque K57R Hydrostatic Transaxle | New Arrivals | www.surpluscenter.com

There are many variants of both the K46 and K57. But, they are more the same then different. One thing that can be an issue is which way the lever goes for forward and reverse. There are two ways to do it and you need it to be the way your linkage expects it to be. If you were to install it, and discover it goes in reverse. You would have at least 3 choices:
  1. Learn to use the opposite pedals.
  2. Figure out a way to make the linkage work backwards.
  3. Take apart the transaxle and reverse one of the internal parts that sets direction
While the K57 is marginally better than the K46, it won't survive broken fan blades and caked on dirt either.

If I didn't already have a spare K46 in the basement, I would probably buy the K57R as a backup. I almost bought it a K61 a couple of years ago, but I already had the spare K46 (I still don't need) and I wanted to get a real garden tractor (which I did some months later).

It looks like you got 17-18 years out of the L110. That is a lot. You should think about how much more money you want to put into it. I don't believe you would be able to get what you would need to put into it out of it if you were to sell it after you were done. So, only fix it up if you plan on using it.
 

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I have pointed several threads to the K57R that is currently pretty inexpensive from
Tuff Torque K57R Hydrostatic Transaxle | New Arrivals | www.surpluscenter.com
...
While the K57 is marginally better than the K46, it won't survive broken fan blades and caked on dirt either.
...
You should think about how much more money you want to put into it. I don't believe you would be able to get what you would need to put into it out of it if you were to sell it after you were done. So, only fix it up if you plan on using it.
Very good points. Though a minor counter-argument, if you will, might boil down to:
- new K57 for ~$300
vs
- new S110 for ~$2000

The K57 is better than what will be in even an S240 (K46), never mind the lesser S-series models (TL200). So while the L110 has definitely provided a lot of work, and maybe earned its retirement, putting some money into it might still provide a better tranny setup than a new entry-level lawn tractor.
 

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I'm into finding one of the old 200 series like the 240, 265, 285. They are nice tractors, built tough, Kawasaki engines. I have over 3000 hours on my 265. It got a reprieve when I got my X540, but I still mow several acres with it at my hunting property.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
First, thank you all for the advice. As you can tell, this is new territory for me. I looked up a new 2 240 and it said it had a k 46 transaxle. The 100 series has the TLT 200. It looks like the new ones have been down graded as to the toughness of the drive train. Am I missing something. I have looked for a 240 on line used. Good idea. Can't fiond one down here., yet.
 

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The S220 also has the TL200. I think the S180 and maybe S170 have the K46. It's not super-obvious from the model #s, to me, which has which tranny.
 

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My Father In Law had a 240, it's a clutch and shifter. My 265 is a hydro. I'd look for a 265. Here's a pic of my 3000 hour 265 mowing the tall grass in my field. A 285 is the same tractor with a water cooled Kawaski Twin V. I saw one of them at a farm and equipment auction 2 weeks ago. Started and sounded nice. Sold for $700. This 265 is a 1990, I bought it in 2000 with 900 hours on it. My local small engine shop says he has no problem taking in one of the older Kawaski powered JD's with up to about 1500 hours, on trades. If you want to look up any JD just do a google search for example, "JD 265". With in the top 3 replies will be TractorData. They have pics and all the stats, engine, trans, etc. Plus, at the top of the page it has the previous model and next model, so you can kind of follow the evolution.

 

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Even back then, Deere was "value engineering" mowers. The L110 was about $1800 then the CPI says that is about equal to $2700 today. The S240 is about $2600. The S240 is probably about equal to your L110, but almost 2 decades newer.

If you love your L110 and everything else is in great shape, replacing the transaxle is worth doing as long as you can do the work yourself (and don't count the value of your time as part of the price of the repair). The problem is, the rest of the machine is 18 years old. What else needs replacement/repair/maintenance?

No disrespect meant, but if you didn't notice/do anything about the broken cooling fan and caked on dirt until the transaxle stopped working, what else has you or whoever does the maintenance missed.

A few years after you bought your L110 I was looking for a mower, but knew nothing about them really. The dealer steered my to the X300. That was really not the best choice. But, since I came in looking for a 100 series, she took the easy win of getting me into the X300 instead of what probably would have been the better choice, something in the X500 series.

The L110 served you well for almost 2 decades. Figure out if you still like it or really want to get something nicer, or just something newer.
 

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On the old 200 series, they just had the 200 number, no L's or S's. I think all the 0nes that ended in "0" were sticks and the ones that ended in "5" were hydro's. 240 and 245, 260 and 265, etc. After my 265 were the GT 200 series, still tuff machines. My 265 is pretty much as tough as my X540, big difference is the X has Trak loc, and power steering. The old 265 will mow just as fast and do just as good of a job as my X540.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Even back then, Deere was "value engineering" mowers. The L110 was about $1800 then the CPI says that is about equal to $2700 today. The S240 is about $2600. The S240 is probably about equal to your L110, but almost 2 decades newer.

If you love your L110 and everything else is in great shape, replacing the transaxle is worth doing as long as you can do the work yourself (and don't count the value of your time as part of the price of the repair). The problem is, the rest of the machine is 18 years old. What else needs replacement/repair/maintenance?

No disrespect meant, but if you didn't notice/do anything about the broken cooling fan and caked on dirt until the transaxle stopped working, what else has you or whoever does the maintenance missed.

A few years after you bought your L110 I was looking for a mower, but knew nothing about them really. The dealer steered my to the X300. That was really not the best choice. But, since I came in looking for a 100 series, she took the easy win of getting me into the X300 instead of what probably would have been the better choice, something in the X500 series.

The L110 served you well for almost 2 decades. Figure out if you still like it or really want to get something nicer, or just something newer.
No offense at all. It never occurred to me to check the fan blades or the fins. Changed the oil though. Greased the fittings. The deck has seen much better days Have to support rings under the spindles due to rust and its missing a guide wheel. Seat is shot. The Kohler still runs good. If I could find a trans axle I felt good about for a decent price I would probably go that way. Some on the internet have bladeless fans, staying away from those.
 

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I would get the K57R from Surplus Center. It is reasonably priced and should just bolt up. It looks like they have sold about a hundred of them in the last year or so.

But, it also sounds like there are other issues with your L110. The transaxle is about $300 delivered. It will probably take you a day to remove my and replace the old one, assuming no issues. If it goes backwards, your best bet is to take it apart and swap the swash plate (I think that is the part). There are a lot of tear down videos on the K46. It doesn't look too hard, but it never does on TV.

I recently bought an X749. It is a decade old with over 1300 hours on it. It looked pretty good when I first looked at it, but that was not the reality. It was "rode hard and put up wet". I think everything if fixable, but it certainly can be a lot of work. There are times I think I should have just bought a new one. That way I could be doing the things I bought it to do, instead of spending all my time fixing it. I felt the same way after buying my X534. But, after a year the memory of all the repairs faded somewhat and I was left with the savings I got by buying used and fixing it up.
 

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If you go the route of the K57, spin the input shaft with a drill motor, and while doing that, actuate the forward/reverse linkage to see which way it’s oriented. My LA135 I think utilizes reverse actuation. When the forward pedal is applied, it pushes the trans lever rearward and the trans spins the axles forward. If the K57 doesn’t match your tractor’s behavior, you can remove the bottom trans cover and flip the drive swashplate 180* and the controls will then work the opposite direction. You can do all these checks before you install it in your machine.

My T40 still seems to be fine, but I have been considering grabbing one of those K57s just to have around, especially at $300. I think the overhaul motor rebuild kit for mine costs more than that.
 
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