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Old 03-22-2017, 12:54 PM   #1
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Lawn Tractor Fell Out of Gear


Fired up the mower LN and was riding very slowly for about 5-10 seconds when suddenly it just dropped out of gear and stopped. The lever does nothing now I cannot go forward or backwards. I also cannot engage the mower blades, that lever is very very stiff and tight can barely push it up. It's a Craftsman Model LT 2000 w/ a Honda Engine. Engine runs great!

Any help or advice in what to look for would be greatly appreciated. Am not the best mechanic but if there's something I can look for or try I'd like to before borrowing a trailer and bring to a repair shop that's a PITA & $$! Thanks much in advance!
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Old 03-22-2017, 01:23 PM   #2
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Re: Lawn Tractor Fell Out of Gear


Maybe the drive belt broke or slipped off a pulley and is wrapped up such that it's interfering with the blade engagement?
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Old 03-22-2017, 01:26 PM   #3
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Re: Lawn Tractor Fell Out of Gear


I need to push it up to the garage so I can get it up off the ground see underneath. Was thinking of checking the Axle key first that looks simple enough.
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:44 PM   #4
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Re: Lawn Tractor Fell Out of Gear


When you shift does the transmission actually go into gear like it normally would but the mower doesn't move or doesn't actually not go into gear? I'm not sure how your mower is set up but I'm guessing the problem may be between the output of the motor and its connection to the tractor itself. I'm guessing since it's affecting both the motion of the mower as well as the engagement of the blades it's something with the output of the motor itself.
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Old 03-23-2017, 09:27 AM   #5
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Re: Lawn Tractor Fell Out of Gear


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Originally Posted by Msradell View Post
When you shift does the transmission actually go into gear like it normally would but the mower doesn't move or doesn't actually not go into gear? I'm not sure how your mower is set up but I'm guessing the problem may be between the output of the motor and its connection to the tractor itself. I'm guessing since it's affecting both the motion of the mower as well as the engagement of the blades it's something with the output of the motor itself.
When I shift I hear nothing it's like it's a free flowing lever nothing engages or you hear nothing engage or kick on. Am thinking since the blades don't engage either it's possibly a belt issue or hoping it's an easy belt issue....!
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Old 03-23-2017, 09:58 PM   #6
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Re: Lawn Tractor Fell Out of Gear


I doubt the axle key has anything to do with it. I did a quick Google check that says that model is a hydrostatic transmission. There is a bypass or 'freewheeling' valve in there somewhere. Also, is there provision for checking the fluid level? Sorry, can't help you with the mower drive. I don't know enough about that make and mine uses an electric clutch.
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Old 03-28-2017, 07:56 AM   #7
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Re: Lawn Tractor Fell Out of Gear


So I finally got her jacked up to take a look underneath and low and behold this is what I found. As mentioned by someone the issue screamed of a belt issue. Problem is I haven't a clue how to repair, lol! Trying to go through manual now and see what it all should look like under there but again am not a good mechanic!
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Old 03-28-2017, 08:18 AM   #8
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Re: Lawn Tractor Fell Out of Gear


Looks like the bearing on that pulley seized, not allowing it to turn. The spinning belt wore the seized pulley down. Get a new pulley and inspect the belt for excessive wear. Should be a fairly simple repair


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Old 03-28-2017, 08:21 AM   #9
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Re: Lawn Tractor Fell Out of Gear


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Looks like the bearing on that pulley seized, not allowing it to turn. The spinning belt wore the seized pulley down. Get a new pulley and inspect the belt for excessive wear. Should be a fairly simple repair


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Thanks! Where should that belt be going? Wish I had a visual so I could replicate. Also would this impact the blade level? That seems very stiff and when I tried to engage LN it almost seemed to cut the engine out, weird!
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Old 03-28-2017, 09:40 AM   #10
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Re: Lawn Tractor Fell Out of Gear


There's probably a diagram printed or stamped somewhere on the tractor that shows the orientation of the belt. If not it will be in the owners manual.

Keep in mind I'm not a tractor expert or anything. Just commenting on what I see. There could be someone more versed that chimes in and proves me wrong


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Old 03-28-2017, 11:10 AM   #11
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Re: Lawn Tractor Fell Out of Gear


That works for the mower deck, but you said that it won't engage the transmission either, so seems like you have more going on than a bad pulley on the deck. There should be some directions in the manual, but the first thing I would do is remove the deck from the machine. You will probably find that there are a couple of pins that support the front of the deck as well as the linkage to raise and lower it at the rear of the deck, then may need to turn the front wheels one way or the other, or whatever, but will make it easier to see what's going on. Personally, I would probably replace all of the pulleys on the deck while I was at it, but, at a minimum, inspect the others to make sure they turn freely and silently. Then you can look at the bottom side of the machine, where I think you will find that the belt to the transmission is broken or dislodged, a linkage is bent or bound, or something like that. Nothing too difficult, and good experience as long as you have a few hand tools.
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Old 03-28-2017, 11:12 AM   #12
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Re: Lawn Tractor Fell Out of Gear


Thanks fella's think am going to load her up on the trailer and bring her to the pro's. It's older, I haven't done anything to it since I bought it used 5-7 yrs ago on Craigslist beside change the oil, oil filter, and spark plug pretty faithfully each season or at worst every other season. Maybe time for a tune up and all new belts...! Thanks again!
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Old 03-28-2017, 04:34 PM   #13
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Re: Lawn Tractor Fell Out of Gear


I feel your pain. I'm reasonably handy but a few years ago I tried to change the drive belt of my JD lawn tractor. For the life of me I could not figure it out without removing a bunch of stuff. I took it to the dealer. I figure 2 dealer visits in almost 30 years as not a bad deal.
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