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Bigbartguy

Lawn tractor hydrostatic drive probs?

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hi folks

I've got a 2000 Murray lawn tractor with hydrostatic drive. It used to breeze up my hills but now it's just crawling up them. Still mows flat areas just great.

The drive unit? appear to be pretty foolproof - i.e. sealed transaxle, no oil to add/etc. Anyone have any insight into any other possible solutions? or do these hydrostatic drives go bad that quickly ?

thanks for any help!

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The hydro drive is going out in mine too. Gets worse the warmer it gets (longer the motor has been running). It's pretty expensive to replace so I'm just running mine as long as it's still crawling up the hills.

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Perch - thanks, it has to be the same prob. Mine definitely gets worse as it warms up.

I called a repair place and they said that I'm better off buying a new one rather than paying to replace a tranny. I'll go with manual trans next time.

are these tough to replace DIY? any ideas on cost?

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Most of the commercial grade units use 15W-50 or 20W-50 synthetic ONLY motor oil in the hydro unit, and recommend annual oil replacement. Some of the cheaper home-owner units may have taken the cheap way out and use petroleum oils. Time and heat cycles are definitely going to get them. 5 to 7 years is probably all the manufacturer expects them to live in the first place.

I have worked with commercial applications in Florida where they can get a work-out year round in continuous heat. In golf-course and parks-and-rec where they run all day, some have had to go to 10W-30 in the hydro to avoid high heat cavitation problems.

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It sure sounds like a lack of fluid could be the problem. Doesn't there have to be a way to put it in?? I mean the thing wasn't born full, was it.

Maybe that's why you want to avoid a Murray the next time??? I've heard that they can become lawn ornaments over some of the most minor things due to poor parts support.

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I assume you've already checked to make sure your drive belt isn't slipping.

Mine went out this spring. I did some searching and the best price I could find was in Isanti at a small engine repair. Pat sent it to my home next day for about $60 less than the local small engine repair in Alexandria.

Installation wasn't too bad. The replacement kit for mine had some minor changes in dimension that caused me a little trouble but nothing I couldn't work around.

You'll need to look for the transmission part number to order the replacement. You'll find it on a sticker on the transmission. Easy to pull out. I had mine on the ground in less than 15 minutes. Pull the rear wheels, remove six bolts, disconnect a couple linkage rods, and take the belt off the pulley and it's out.

Bob

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Total cost including shipping was $565.00. I hope it's allowed for me to post the name of the business where I ordered mine (Pat's Small Engine in Isanti)

Bob

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Before you ditch it, tear it apart just to check it out. It may be a $.50 gasket from a hardware store fixes you up. I know so many things today are built "sealed" or made basically disposable. But they all went together somehow, and they can be taken apart. If it really is broken already it won't hurt to give it a shot. I wouldn't do it until it's just about given up though or you are ready to buy a new one in case it can't be fixed. But always give it one last try. If nothing else, you'll be able to tell the rest of us to never attempt or you'll get to tell us about your success story.

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I'll probably end up selling to someone that has a flat lawn, they'll probably get a few more years use out of it than I'll be able to. At least I'll see some money towards a new one

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In my situation it was either $500 for the transmission or $1,200 for a new lawn tractor. No brainer when you consider that the engine, steering, deck, and everything else is in great condition.

Bob

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