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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 444 started hesitating in moving recently. When mowing, ground speed drops (often while turning), then (after the pump builds up pressure?) "pops" in motion. Almost like a clutch dump in a manual car. Does not do it all the time, and never in reverse. Sound like pump/drive motor replacement? Differential issues? Or possibly play in the control valve linkage?
I plan on a fluid change soon as I can.
 

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HeadCase For My Ingersoll
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Sounds like something in the spool valve. Have you tried reversing the tractor and turning to see if it hesitates in that direction under load? I'd assume if it were the pump or hydraulic motor it'd do it all the time.

How has it been sinve the new mule pulley and belt?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In reverse it's stronger (different gear ratio?), and no issues.

Mule drive is good as new, I was suprised that the new pulleys are plastic (err, sorry...composite). Got it from BHildret, (great service by the way).

Managed to get rid of a metal clanking noise too. It was the screws holding the cooler on. Thet were out a good half inch and the cooler was rattling around.
Still have the governor noise, but definitley not worried about it.
when I did head gasket I saw the piston was a .10 over, so It may have been rebuilt too.
 

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The symptoms sound like either something obstructing the pump inlet or low on hyd oil.

If the oil level is ok, check the suction hose connections and look for something loose in the tank.
 

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HeadCase For My Ingersoll
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The ratio is the same whether foreward or reverse. The spool valve, controlled by the hand lever on the left, controls how the oil flows from the pump. Foreward flows the oil one way and reverse flows it in the opposite direction. The only ratio control on the transaxle is the High-Neurtal-Low range bar below the seat.

Debris in the system is a possibility. Does it do this at any temperature or only after warmup? Check fluid level and try driving it under load un reverse to see whether it has the problem in both directions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'd bet the level is low. My lift cylinder is leaking, and I may have just reached the point where it's noticable. Although there's not a lot of oil on the mower deck, at least not enough to think the reservoir is low.
I'll check it out and report back. Thanks guys
 

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Have you tried to climb an incline in low range after it is warmed up? If so try the same incline in high range. If you notice loss of power or slipping, chances are the hydraulic pump may be getting weak. Do this after you have checked your oil level and making sure you have the right oil [20-50w] Mine did the slipping in high range on hills, but after replacing the pump [BHildret] it is like new, with power to spare. I can climb hills at idle. Hope this helps in giving you another idea to try. Good luck.
 
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