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Discussion Starter #1
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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:Welcome1: 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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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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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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pefer,

Thanks for chiming in!:thThumbsU
 

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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.:fing32: :ROF
 

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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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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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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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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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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!!:goodl:
 

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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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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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Discussion Starter #15
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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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!
:Welcome1: nzo..

Don't be a stranger!!

Click on "Active Topics", at the top of the page, and see what the rest of the Members are talking about!! :goodl:
 

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I think the L130 uses the K46 trans axle if so the Husqvarna rider155 uses the same setup only it is serviceable with a reservoir to show a high and low oil level looked like a brake fluid reservoir. Any way the trans has 2 bolts at the bottom to drain the oil and you refill through the reservoir. This takes 2.2 liters with the reservoir or 1.87 with out the reservoir. When I saw this I thought I would put a reservoir of some type on mine and drill the bottom cover of the trans. I will try to post pics from the owner’s manual to show where to put the drain plugs
 

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I think the L130 uses the K46 trans axle if so the Husqvarna rider155 uses the same setup only it is serviceable with a reservoir to show a high and low oil level looked like a brake fluid reservoir. Any way the trans has 2 bolts at the bottom to drain the oil and you refill through the reservoir. This takes 2.2 liters with the reservoir or 1.87 with out the reservoir. When I saw this I thought I would put a reservoir of some type on mine and drill the bottom cover of the trans. I will try to post pics from the owner’s manual to show where to put the drain plugs
HY,

Welcome to the forum! :Welcome1: Looking forward to your pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I'm wondering if someone who has been-there-done-that with regard to removing the sludge and changing the oil in the L130's transmission can give me some how-to tips on doing this - i.e. how to get at the transmission in order to remove/drain it. To all intents and purposes, the transmission does not exist in the L130 user manual, the only reference to it being something like: Not a user serviceable part. Many thanks for any help! PS: I've PM'd Wally2q
 

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Couldn't find the original procedure I wrote, so after 18 months, I'll try to do it from memory...

By the way - this was done on the L120; basically the same machine but different engine.

DISCLAIMER: if you break your tractor while following these instructions, it ain't my fault. If you break your tractor while not-following these instructions, it ain't my fault either.

Read all the instructions before you even get up off your computer chair. Then read them again, slowly. Then print them and take them with you to the garage.

It took me 2 hours start to finish to do this.

OK, Here goes:

Refer to pictures below.
Step 00. Put a couple of frosties (Bud, Busch, or Molson Canadian) in the fridge. Or stick them into a snow bank (applicable to Molson only).
Step 0. Jack up the tractor and secure properly on jack stands.
Step 1. Take the wheels off
Step 2. Take the washers & spacers off.
Step 3. Take the belt off, the belt retainer bar, and the pulley & fan off. Reason for the fan, is so you don't break it while handling the transmisson - the blades are quite fragile: I broke 2 blades off the fan, by not doing this while taking my tranny off.
Step 4. Unbolt the torque brackets off the frame. I think there are 2 of them - one on either side. I can't remember if I took them right off, or just unbolted one end (either the frame end, or the tranny end)
Step 5. Decouple the fwd/rev actuator link by removing the spring clip & washer, and removing the pin from the lever
Step 6. Decouple the brake actuator link by removing the spring clip & washer, and removing the pin from the lever
Step 7. Decouple the free-wheeling actuator link by removing the spring clip & washer, and removing the pin from the lever. Then pull the lever all the way out the back, as far as it will go, so it's out of the way
Step 8. Take a break & crack one of the frosties, because the next step, you'll be dropping the tranny.
Step 9. Secure a jack (a hydraulic one works best) under the tranny - use a block of wood between the tranny and the jack. Remove the 4 bolts that hold the tranny onto the frame. Slowly lower the tranny with the jack, while observing for interferences - which you obviously want to clear so you don't break anything.

Once the tranny is out, use a paint brush, and low-pressure air to blow all the dirt off it, before you open any internal cavities. If "one speck" of dirt, or one "blade of grass" gets in the tranny - you're screwed! Wipe the area around the fill plug with a rag, to get all the sticky dirt off.

Take the filler plug out, and stick your (clean) finger in the hole. The oil level should be right near the top. Make a mental note if that's not the case. Invert the tranny to drain out the oil. Put the fill plug back in. Rotate the tranny around to get all the oil out of all the nooks and crannies. Take the plug out, and invert the tranny again to get the rest of the oil out.

Set it down, right side up, and measure the amount of oil you took out.

Replace the same amount of oil that you took out, with a good quality product. If your "finger dip-stick test" showed you were low, then obviously you should be able to get more oil in than you get out. The level should be almost right to the top, but not too full so that if you put the plug back in, that oil will leak out.

If you put in less than you took out and the tranny is full, then obviously you didn't refill all the nooks and crannies. Put the plug in, and twist and rotate the tranny around. Then set it back down, and top it off again.

I did this, and was able to get the same amount of oil back in.

To reinstall the tranny, reverse the 10 steps above. Grease all the hardware while you're at it.

At the end, you may need to bleed the air out of the system. I published a procedure for that too... either here, or on GW. You'll have to find it yourself, because I just ran out of beer, and so my typing has to stop.....

Last step: grab the 2'nd frostie out of the snow-bank, and enjoy it, while wiping grease off your fingers with a shop-rag.

cheers!
:trink40:





 
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