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Discussion Starter #1
I purchased an older Simplicity Regent 14 the other day, and I am wondering if it might have something wrong with the hydro. It doesn't seem to have as much get-up-and-go as I would think it should. It runs well, and it cuts really well, but it is fairly slow when mowing and VERY slow in reverse. I couldn't drive it up a set of ramps onto a trailer (maybe 18" high) without a little push from my dad.

I know all of this should have probably thrown up red flags when I was buying it, but the dude was really nice and said that I should take it home and give it a try. If I don't like it he says he will take it back and return my money.

I have read about similar problems here on MTF, but I wanted to re-open the topic with the specific question: should I just return this tractor for a refund, or is there something simple that could be easily repaired that could be to blame. For reference I paid $350 for it.

Thanks for the help!
Chad
 

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NEed more info...like model number, or hydro number..

But, it sounds like the belt is slipping, or the hydro is laying down, these later Regents were not very robust but made for great lawn mowers. An oil change may not be easy, but may improve it some, depends on what unit is in it.
 

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We bought one with the same issue. The hydro was weak, sealed unit on ours. RED is right, try those hints first. He will have good helpful advice with those part numbers!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
NEed more info...like model number, or hydro number..

But, it sounds like the belt is slipping, or the hydro is laying down, these later Regents were not very robust but made for great lawn mowers. An oil change may not be easy, but may improve it some, depends on what unit is in it.
It may sound dense, but where would I find the tractor model number? I found some part reference numbers for things like belts and touch-up paint under the hood, but I cant find any number that seems to indicate what exact tractor I have.

I think the hydro is a hydrogear 310-0500. If I look in the hole under the battery I see 0500 embossed in the transaxel case, and I found the manual for the 310-0500 and it looks identical to my unit from what I can see.

Maybe that is enough to get us started. If no, let me know where I might find the necessary info.

As for belt slipping, what is the test? If I am driving the tractor I can't exactly see the belts, so I am sure you guys have some strategy to test for belt slipping.

Thanks,
Chad
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So, I tried to look at the drive belt to see if it was loose enough to imagine that it is slipping, but instead I spotted something that I didn't think could be right. There is a spring that is tensioned on a bolt, and the head of the bolt wasn't even making contact with the spring. I tried to find a manual, the best I found was here:

http://www.manualslib.com/manual/153478/Simplicity-Regent-1693264.html?page=26#manual

That page shows what my spring (they call it the brake spring) looks like, but it says it is only for the geared tractor, not the hydro. Obviously, the manual is not for my exact tractor, but assuming that the tensioning mechanism in mine is the same as that depicted in the image I went ahead and tensioned the spring to the spec.

I think this adjustment may have made some kind of difference, but it still doesn't perform like I think it should. I can now get up the small hill to get onto the front yard from my driveway, when before I had to try a few times before it went up. It also seems to go slightly faster. It still wont back up a hill, and it goes VERY slow in reverse.

Does this shed any light on what the main problem might be?
 

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How does the belt look..are the V sides slick and hard? When you grab it, between pulleys, is it tight, or easy to deflect?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
How does the belt look..are the V sides slick and hard? When you grab it, between pulleys, is it tight, or easy to deflect?
Both belts, drive and blades, look fairly worn. Hard shiny sides with noticeable cracking. I was also surprised how easy it was to move the belt. It is pulled taught by the tensioner, but I can easily pull it several inches. How much tension should it have? Same as a belt on a car? If yes, then it is way under tensioned. Is the only way to increase tension to get a new belt? It doesn't look like the tensioner is adjustable.

Thanks,
Chad
 

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If the brake spring helped that much, then put on new belts from the way you describe how they look.
Spring tension on the drive belt won't be as tight as a car fan belt constantly iirr.
 

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Two additional tests to check hydro internal 'leakage'.
When cold, put the speed lever in a gear, and try to move the mower, engine stopped. If you can push the mower readily, the pump or 'motor' are leaking. If it is hard to move, they are more sealed. In short, the easier it is to move with the engine at rest, the more internal leakage you have. The next test will check the fluid condition somewhat.
Get it all warmed up and repeat the test with the engine stopped. If it moves, you have leakage that may possibly be helped by replacing the oil with new. When a hydro warms up the lubricant and working fluid becomes less viscous due to the heat. Many use multi-grade motor oil, and the viscosity index improvers may have gotten worn out over time. If that is the case, an oil change can bring back some responsiveness.
There just isn't a whole lot more that can be done to make them work better except change the fluid, or replace the pump and/or motor. I haven't thought of a way to figure out if it is the pump or the motor, but think it is buried in the 'gear' or speed selected, as one uses minimal pump deflection {slow} and one uses max deflection {or stroke} hi.
Needs more grey matter work...
tom
 
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