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ok - So I recently purchased a used STX38 with a 12.5 HP Kohler motor. The thing runs great - but the problem I have is with the steering. When I bought it from the guy, he told/showed me there was a problem with the steering. It would turn ok to the left but no to the right. He said it is a simple fix (1 part) and I would be up and running. I tore the entire assembly apart and found the gear that was stripped out. (part 11 in the illustration). After I put it all together again, I took it out for a spin and everything worked great. On the second week, I went to mow the rear lot and I drove a little too close to the patio, which was on a slight incline, and the steering slipped again. Now, it is slipping to the left and right. I pulled it apart again, and both gears look fine, so it must be something else. The strange thing is, if I go in reverse, I get total steering control, but then once back in drive, just slipping left and right.

Anyone have any ideas? help!
 

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Check part # 8 for looseness on the shaft! Also is your steering when you move forward and back tilting any. The shaft #7 might be loose in the collar in the pedestal.
 

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Check part # 8 for looseness on the shaft! Also is your steering when you move forward and back tilting any. The shaft #7 might be loose in the collar in the pedestal.
I would also look at how well the teeth on 8 and 11 fit together 8 could have just enough wear to let it slip
 

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I helped a buddy a couple of years ago with this exact problem.

IIRC, there are some bushings that aren't on that diagram that are needed as well. We ended up like you, replacing the gears only to strip them out again, a while later. We replaced #11 & #8 a second time... But we replaced the inexpensive bushings as well and as far as I know the steering still works. I will see if I can find them.


Edit to add:
Go to the fuel tank and pedestal section, #11a or #11b, those bushings hold the two gears in position. You may have to check but there might be 4 of them... 2 in the top like in the pic and 2 opposite on the bottom, my memory isn't good enough to recall. I also seem to recall tearing apart about half of the tractor to make it all right, but nothing to terrible.
:trink39:
 

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Your front axle pivot pin/bolt might be broken. Jack it up a litte and shake
It some.
 
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