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Discussion Starter #1
I went and got my BIL's LA130 earlier today. He has not used it for a few years because the hydro will not pull after about 10 minutes. I think it's a K46 but I haven't looked under it yet. I tilted the trailer intending to pull the freewheel lever then release the brake. Instead I forgot the freewheel lever and released the brake, the mower rolled right off the trailer without much resistance. I'm planning to do my first K46 trans removal and oil change on it but I'm not optimistic that it will fix it.
Cannon
 

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Pulleys and belts can and do have issues on the K46 tractors...don't overlook basic troubleshooting just because it has a K46...
 

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My LT180 k46 oil change to synthetic added 1/2 hour of mowing before it was dead.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I removed the deck and battery today. The deck has a broken place in the rail under the grass chute that will need to be welded. I put the battery on the charger to see if it can be saved. I'm going to pressure wash it when I get a chance, I hate to work on something that's nasty.
Cannon
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just my opinion but i think you are wasting time doing an oil change. Maybe a used with low hours.
Probably so but I told him I would change it and see what happened. If it fixes it enough for him to use it he wants to get it back. I'm thinking these big wheels would kill another K46 pretty quick. It won't cost a lot to try it.
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Pulleys and belts can and do have issues on the K46 tractors...don't overlook basic troubleshooting just because it has a K46...
Yeah, we just learned that here.
https://www.mytractorforum.com/12-john-deere-forum/1328045-can-drive-belt-tension-adjusted-la150.html

It's the first thread I can recall about servicing the drive belt to improve the performance of the K46, and lo and behold, that really was the solution. It makes me wonder now how many of the "dead" K46's that have been discussed over the years may have been a drive belt problem rather than the trans. No doubt, the trans can fail - I'm not defending the K46 or the fact that it's poor design not to have a fluid drain/fill without removing the trans from the tractor - and maybe many did, but that story proves the drive belt can be an issue too.
 

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Yeah, we just learned that here.
https://www.mytractorforum.com/12-john-deere-forum/1328045-can-drive-belt-tension-adjusted-la150.html

It's the first thread I can recall about servicing the drive belt to improve the performance of the K46, and lo and behold, that really was the solution. It makes me wonder now how many of the "dead" K46's that have been discussed over the years may have been a drive belt problem rather than the trans. No doubt, the trans can fail - I'm not defending the K46 or the fact that it's poor design not to have a fluid drain/fill without removing the trans from the tractor - and maybe many did, but that story proves the drive belt can be an issue too.
I speak from experience with an LT166. K51 transmission but has similar issues to a K46. It had all the classic symptoms of a failed hydro. The PO had even just put a new JD belt on it. I tore into the transmission and found nothing wrong with it. The front sheave was worn so bad that belt was slipping. New engine pulley and the problem was solved.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
This morning I pulled the hood off, put it on the trailer and made a quarter car wash/Hardees biscuit run. After my wife and I ate our biscuit I put the battery back in, put a bottle of fresh gas on the fuel pump and cranked it up. I took it up to the road and climbed the bank on the right of way, it went right up it. After I get finished with my Weber grill clean up I'll change the oil and see what happens after mowing 30 minutes. I picked up a gallon of Mobil 1 synthetic 15-50 yesterday. When I cranked it I noticed the hour meter only shows 250 hours.
Cannon
 

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Like they say "KISS" keep it simple stupid! Good on ya that you "checked the gas tank" first. I've repaired a few tractors and motorcycles over the years that had the simplest things wrong with after the owner had spent many $$$ on them and never started with the basics. Too many people are "parts replacers" now and can't diagnose anything simple. If that K46 has had normal grass cutting use and the occasional hill or cart to pull 250 hours shouldn't be a problem. I've used motorcycle 15w50 or 5w50 with success on these. Let us know how you make out. :thanku: Spokes :goodl:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
This afternoon I pulled the K46 out of the LA130. No big problems, the wheels came off OK and didn't have any problems with the linkages. The biggest mistake was not removing the belt guide pin before I took the transmission loose. I couldn't get the belt off with it in place. I took the plug and magnet out and let it drain in a bucket for about 30 minutes then poured as much 15-50 in it as it would hold. About 2 qt came out and just a little over that is poured out of the gallon jug. Of course I tried to pour it in out of the jug and spilled a little so who knows. I'll let it set over night covered up and see if it goes down any.
Cannon
 

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On a related note, I took 2.5 gallons of waste oil to Adv AP today. At least a gallon of it was from the two K46s I serviced a few weeks back [ one of which is still for sale - hint hint ].
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I got the Trans back in yesterday and I can't tell any difference. I only ran it about 5 minutes to be sure it was purged of air. When I was putting it back in I did notice that the drive belt was not very tight. I took the plate of that holds the idlers and cleaned and lubed the pivot point. The belt seems to be a little tighter now but from other post I've read that there is a stronger spring that can be put on it. I'm going to sharpen the blades this morning and take it back to him, if the trans last long enough for him to mow his yard I'll take the deck back off and weld up the broken places. Seems like I've been working on friends and family stuff for a month now.
Cannon
 

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When it quits driving he might be able to pull back on the brake pedal and put more tension on the belt. I'm not sure of this but think it is so. I will look at my L110 [ the one with the good trans hint hint ] and see if it looks like this will work.

Most likely it is the trans because I would think the belt would slip right off the bat instead of after a certain period of time.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Most likely it is the trans because I would think the belt would slip right off the bat instead of after a certain period of time.
I think that's right. I did have an old Craftsman that I would have to pull up on the pedal sometimes to make it go. I had to take the idler plate off and clean the pivot pin to get it working right.
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... I would think the belt would slip right off the bat instead of after a certain period of time.
Not necessarily true. I had an LT166 that was a worn engine sheave. Failure mode was near identical. Ran fine for 15-20 minutes or so then slowed to a crawl. Yes, different tractor but similar concept.

Simple test. Find an immovable object such as a parking block, drive the tractor up to it so it won't move. Step on the pedal and see if the transmission fan stops spinning. If the fan stops, it's a belt/pulley issue, keeps spinning, the transmission or input shaft is bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I took it back to my BIL yesterday. He says he'll use it to mow later this week, I'll report the results.
Cannon
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I talked to my BIL after church. He said he used the LA130 a little over an hour mowing one day last week. I ask him if he could tell if it started slowing down any, he said "Maybe a little". At any rate he thinks it's enough better that it will do what he needs to do with it. I wonder if the fluid change or getting some more tension on the belt made the most difference, maybe both. Thanks all.
Cannon
 
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