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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone! I have a MTD F-N-R transmission from a Troy-Bilt Bronco (Model 13aj609g766) with the vari-drive ‘go pedal’ setup (not shift on the go, but that doesn’t make a difference, trans is the same). It was out to the trash and I saved it a while ago. Made various posts here about valves and belts, finally got it running good for a while. It clearly had a lot of time on it and I’ve added a lot more.

I started noticing a squeaking from the trans, and then noticed the trans getting extremely hot. Checked my axles and of course it has a ton of play. So I dropped the trans and checked it out...

The left-most bushing on the output shaft of the differential was worn razor thin, and the seal was gone. This caused the axle and upper housing to get chewed up a bit. It also let water in, so there’s some places light surface rust has formed. There’s metal shavings in the housing where the axles ride. However all the gears and differential seem ok, and the damage to the axles should be inconsequential. The diff has slop in that the two axles can move around in relation to each other but I think that’s normal.

I could order all new bearings and seals and replace the grease for roughly 65 bucks. But if the top case is unusable then it comes out closer to 140 to fix.

So I’m just wondering what others think about my situation. I’m attaching pics of the trans, the left vs right side of the upper case (left is worn, right is ok), the rust/metal shavings, and axle wear spots. Want to hear some opinions as to A. Whether the top case is probably salvageable or not and B. If it’s worth it at all (assuming the top case is bad, and I have to pay 140 in parts).

My plan now is order bushings/bearings and use some Tractor supply 00 grease to repack the trans and hope that works, but I don’t want to invest all that for nothing...

I know a new one can be had at 350...

Thanks!



Good Side of Top Case (Right)

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Bad Side of Top Case (Left)

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Worn Out Bushing

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Scored Axle

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Metal Shavings in Case

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Diagram for reference:

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Tyler, will you please upload your pictures to your album here on MTF?

It's not really fair to ask members to log into or join another site just to view them properly.

Many thanks. 🍻
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Tyler, will you please upload your pictures to your album here on MTF?

It's not really fair to ask members to log into or join another site just to view them properly.

Many thanks. 🍻
Sorry! I don’t know why that happened let me try again.... Also didn’t realize the pics duplicates 3 times lol

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There they are properly (same order)
Apologize for confusion
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think the only problem with reusing the case is that it might let dirt/debris in where the case gap is which could accelerate the failure of the replacement bushings. Probably worth the risk to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oh the shavings and stuff will definitely come out of there it’s loose I just wanted to include all the details. Pretty sure the shavings are just from the bearing and a little from the axle. Really my only concern is the top case being ground down. I also still hafta get those wheels off the axles they’re rusted bad lol. Imma use an oxy acetylene torch for that. Trans whines a little bit but I bet that was just the noise of old grease and the axle rubbing. But it shifts smooth and doesn’t make bad noises or anything. Think it’s ok.
 

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I think I'd give it a shot, yep... you can always install the seals with a little extra goo around the outside to make sure they're watertight. Have to test fit and see but I think it's worth a try.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think I'd give it a shot, yep... you can always install the seals with a little extra goo around the outside to make sure they're watertight. Have to test fit and see but I think it's worth a try.
thanks man, good to have some feedback 🙂. I’ll go ahead and give it a try. To clean the old stuff out I plan on scooping the grease out with a spoon and then purple power/pressure washing, but trying to keep the cleaner out of the needle bearings on the input gear.
 

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I had one with top case really done. I found another transaxle and used it's top case. Should be lots of them available.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I had one with top case really done. I found another transaxle and used it's top case. Should be lots of them available.
I ordered the bushings and they were backordered and shipping would have taken forever. Luckily I work at a lawn mower shop.(You'd think that would mean I know how to deal with these transmissions 😛 but we rarely if ever would repair a transmission on this type of mower. Old, cheap, usually have other problems... not cost effective. Labor and parts aren't worth it unless you do it yourself (like I'm doing)). I went into our scrap yard and found a much better trans off a newer Pony. had to flip the pulley upside down and it mounted right up.. for $25 I'm happy. If the parts ever come for the old trans I'll fix it and have a spare. One of the wheels still won't come off the axle so I'll be taking apart the diff I think...
 

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On something like that trans, if the new seal fit loose in the housing I would use RTV around the outside (I usually do on seals anyway). If the new bushing was loose in the housing, a little JB Weld might take care of it.
 

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I ordered the bushings and they were backordered and shipping would have taken forever. Luckily I work at a lawn mower shop.(You'd think that would mean I know how to deal with these transmissions 😛 but we rarely if ever would repair a transmission on this type of mower. Old, cheap, usually have other problems... not cost effective. Labor and parts aren't worth it unless you do it yourself (like I'm doing)). I went into our scrap yard and found a much better trans off a newer Pony. had to flip the pulley upside down and it mounted right up.. for $25 I'm happy. If the parts ever come for the old trans I'll fix it and have a spare. One of the wheels still won't come off the axle so I'll be taking apart the diff I think...
For one wheel it took me almost a week with heat , pb blaster, puller, more heat, more pb blaster, puller, more and then more and got it so hub was just flush with axle. guess just enough burr on axle end to prevent moving. Used a dremel to remove 1/4 inch of hub to expose axle end. Then ground exposed axle end and finally got it off.
 
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