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i've got a 98 mtd 840 garden tractor with the variable pulley/high low transaxle setup. the machine runs and drives fine under normal conditions but when i put a load behind it such as a plug areator or in todays case, trying to pull a stump, it stops. i push in the brake/clutch pedal and let off and the machine starts to move again. today i was in low range, 1st gear pulling a stump (or trying to anyway) and had the tires spinning and all of a sudden it quit pulling and started rolling (coasting) backwards. i pushed the clutch/brake and let off and it started pulling again. a month or so ago i was pulling an areator in low range 3rd or 4th gear and it stopped. i pushed the clutch/brake and let off and it started pulling again.

i can drive around all day in low range not pulling a load and its fine. i can pull a small 40x48 flatbed trailer unloaded in high range 7th gear up hill and it doesn't stop. i havent tried to put a load on it in high range.

i wonder if i don't have a broken tooth inside the transaxle?
 

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sounds like you just need to do the adjustment to the vari drive as per the manual. i get nothing in the first detent on my mine too, i should probably do the adjustment myself. i think i read somewhere that losing that lowest speed is the normal result of belt wear, which would account for the adjustment instructions being in the users manual. as the speed lever is linked to the clutch pedal, and the motion of pushing in the clutch pedal is the same as pulling the speed lever back towards the lowest speed setting, its not hard to figure that the lever is just pulling a little too much to the point of allowing the belt to slack off to the point slipping.

Pat S.
 
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