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I am trying to bring back to life an old mower that has been flooded and setting out for several years. It is a Montgomery Wards,(believe it was made by MTD) has a 12hp briggs vertical "IC" and a "7-Speed Transmatic Transaxle" I have no intention to ever mow with it, just want to use it for light towing. I have the motor running but I cannot understand the transmission. There is a Forward-Neutral-Reverse lever that goes into the transaxle, but the 7-speed shifter lever connects to a rod that runs to the front by the pulley under the motor. The shift lever does not really move anything, looks like it just increases or decreases tension on that rod that it connects to.
I know my explanation is kind of sketchy but can anyone give me a little insight of how this setup works?
 

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I think on those the rod opened and closed the pully width changing where the belt rides inside the pulley which intern changed how fast it turns the belt. Large diameter faster speed and small diameter slower speed. We had one on my garandparents farm but that was 40 yrears ago. I can't recall exactly how it worked now. I do remember we had trouble with dirt gumbing it up and the speed not wanting to change on it. It was an MTD made Dayton.
 

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Vari drives are like a series of stepped pulleys just like on a drill press.
How it works is the double pulley that has both belts on it has a sliding side in the middle which changes the effective diameter of the two pulleys .
One of the belts has a spring to put a constant pressure on it and the other belt changes tension according the where the shift lever is.
The belt with the most tension will cause the sliding side to move away thus reducing the effective diameter of the pulley it is running on.
When they don't work it is usually because the sliding side can not move freely up & down
 
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