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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wanted a new riding mower but needed a new well instead. So... found this used one off craigslist. Real nice guy even drove it from IN to MI for me. Said he's a retired guy who fixes and sells these. Price was right and issues aside it works.
mostly.

SO... any and all help would be appreciated.
Starting with a good source for a manual. (Ebay has them, 20 bucks-ish. Hoping to do better.)

Annoying little problem, the break pedal sticks. Gotta kick it, repeatedly before it will pop up. Be nice if I could get that fixed.

Neutral doesn't work. He warned me you won't be able to push it.

BIgger problem started today. Mowing along just fine, and suddenly no forward. And I can't describe this really but it just doesn't sound right. It would back up (VERY slow.) Then I could put it into forward, and it would lurch, roll a foot or so real slow and stop. Doing that over and over I managed to get it across the yard and back into the garage. SO I can safely say this isn't a broken belt or anything. It does go, just not fast or for long. My neighbor looked, and seems to think it's something right in or under the shift lever.
Looking over youtube rebuilding the transmission is NOT something I want to deal with but not even sure that's it. Could this be something as simple as a pin that came loose on the shift lever?

So again, I think a good manual with pictures of all it's parts would be a good thing to have.

I did actually call a dealer. Not close enough to me to pick it up. (surprised they actually did that.) I did do a bit of window shopping at new ones
BUT....
I like this old one. IT's a tank. Even the guy I talked to said this model was built really well. And even if I get a new one I will at some point need to tear into it. All machines wear out, need parts replaced, fluids etc... May as well learn on this old horse.

OH... speaking of fluids, my neighbor found a little... grrr, thingy? Under the seat. Gees, I need to get a picture. But no clue what that's for. ALmost looks like some kind of fluid gage but we didn't mess with it.
 

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If you've never worked on these things, they can be kind of daunting with all their thingies and whatchamacallits. You are correct in thinking that a manual would be a good thing to have. Not just an owner's manual, but a shop manual as well if it requires really digging in to get things fixed.

Give us a bit of time, and we'll see if we can't find something for you to get you going without lurching along.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. The dealer I talked with asked if I wanted an operators manual, user manual or more... it's why I thought I better get on here first. I don't think a user manual is it, if all that has is how to operate the mower.

Also... what's the best for lifting this thing? I'm NOT able to get on the ground and do stuff. I need it up high. Watched a youtube video where a guy had chains from the ceiling only they didn't show how it was configured. But it was cool. He hooked a few chains to his deck, and some tugging and pulling hoisted it right up to a table easy.
I want thaaaaaat!

Hubby is excited to work on these too. Only problem with that, he's over the road for weeks. But retirement is only a few years away. This could be a good thing for him too.
 

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Wow, you're in luck! John Deere is usually pretty tight with this stuff, but the fine folks at the University of Northern Iowa have come through with a pdf of the technical manual for your tractor! Not a fan of theirs, but in this case I have to say...Go Panthers! :Thumb up:

Save it, look it over, print the pages you need and hopefully get your tractor running like it should.

http://www.uni.edu/peterson/John Deere 175 Tractor/John Deere 175 Hydro Service Manual.pdf

So, there's everything you would ever need to know about your 165, and then some.

BTW, we here at MLF like pictures. We're a visual sort of group. So if you could snap a pic or two of your tractor to share, and lots and lots of pictures when you get to working on it, we sure would be a happy bunch.

Now, to find you one of those contraptions that will hike it up to the ceiling for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OH WOW that's so cool. Need printer ink but I'll print the whole thing eventually. Got it saved. Looked through it and wow. (See the flock of birds just flew over my head?)
First line is the scariest.
"This manual is written for an experienced technician."

Yikes.
Now though this thing covers EVERYTHING.... not so much with diagnosing.
For example... what it SHOULD do in one of the tests. PUt it in neutral, and it should not creep. Well mine sure does. But what it doesn't go into is exactly why that's happening?

It also mentioned pressing the break should automatically put it in neutral. Well that doesn't happen either. (And the break is all but useless. Except I have to press it just to start the thing. Then can't get it back up.)

It's got issues. And today will be in the upper 80s. The beach is calling my name.

Thanks.
 

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You're obviously downstate. It's in the 50s, windy and rainy here in my neck of the woods, and they call this the banana belt of the U.P.! Only things on the beach are the gulls waiting for stuff to wash up on shore and even they've left for the day.

Experience comes with each nut and bolt your turn. Just read the manual, re-read it, maybe have somebody else read it to you, and take it slow. If it seems you're getting in over your head, stop and check with someone who has turned a few more nuts and bolts.

Definitely sounds like things are out of whack. I think you can do it. Just make sure you've got lots of ink. Those JD manuals are long!

Have you got it hanging from the rafters yet?
 

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I would start with figuring out which of the two hydro units you have. One has a white cooling fan that's horizontal and the other is vertical to the ground.

Yours is ??

The valve that's operated by a little lever on the rear (on mine) that puts it into "Neutral" so you can push it might be the problem since it wasn't working to begin with. Sounds like it wasn't allowing the fluid to bypass so it wasn't releasing so you can move it engine off and feels like it's locked in "Park". Might be that now it's bypassing with the engine running. Might want to check the linkage to make sure it's moving freely and returns fully to the position where it closes the valve.

Your brake pedal might need a shot of grease. I'm working from (old) memory by I thing there is a grease zerk on the bottom of the pedal where it pivots. Might be missing the return spring too.

When you push the BRAKE you loosen up the belt so the hydro is not pumping oil. That's why it's like putting the machine in Neutral or Park.
I usually just drive with a hand on the wheel and on the shifter. Rarely use the brake the way I cut but it's always good to have just in case :Thumb up:

Have you checked the fluid level yet ?? Once you get it running I would strongly suggest changing out the fluid. It's supposed to be lifetime but IMHO by changine it onec every year or every few you extend that life.
If you pull that valve off the hydro unit for inspection that put's it into neutral you will be draining the fluid. It was one of the first things I did to my 185 when I got it as it had been used as a puller. Fluid was black and really nasty.

Even though you know the belt isn't broken you should still get under there and inspect it just so you know it's good or might need replacement once you get the drive problem fixed. I just lost the drive belt on my Sears and I was not prepaired. I had replaced the deck and deck drive belt but thought I had inspected the traction drive belt but turns out I hadn't and it broke in the middle of the job :Banghead: Didn't have anything I could find local and had to go ebay for a replacement. Grass got a little long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes on downstate. SW corner. My swimming hole is lake Michigan by the St Joe river.
Actually have a few videos up but posting here would probably be a no no. Nothing fantastic, just playing with a cheap underwater camera.

NO on hanging it yet... but hubby might be home this weekend. Maybe we can figure something out. Pullies, chains, something. I think until I can get it up high work will wait. I don't do the bending and stooping well anymore and crawling on the ground is out. (It's the getting back up that isn't pretty.) lol
I already built a few good solid work tables out there and have enough scraps for more. I see a mower bench in my plans already. High enough to work on it comfortably and not too high.

GOod tips on the fan and type... again until I get into it... I'll get pictures. There is also a lever on the floor no one seems to know what it does.

Did check oil, only one. Yea I need to get pictures. There is some kind of thingy under the seat no one knows about either.

And yea, I don't even use the break while mowing. Hand on the wheel, other on the shifter. Ran over some of my favorite iris's before I got the hang of it.
 

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St. Joe area is beautiful. You're down where you get to watch the sun set on the lake, I'm up here on the top of the lake where I get to watch it come up. This morning's view with my first cup of coffee. It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it.



Please feel free to post all the pictures you want of the JD in the JD forum, especially when you get into fixing what ails it. And feel free to post all the pictures and videos you'd like of the lake in the lounge area. Youtube and photo bucket are great sites to use for such things.

http://www.mylawnmowerforum.com/forum/29-mylawnmowerforum-lounge/
 

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I want to take back that "lifetime" comment on changing oil. I'm not sure if JD had a recommended interval or not. I'm used to most of the sellers saying you don't need to change the fluid so I "ASSUMED" !! I know mine has a drain plug which is nice as my craftsman doesn't have a drain and I needed to use a hand vacuum pump to suck the stuff out of it.
I have a JD 185 that I use as a snowblower, not in my signature.
Movin' on.

If you have an Eaton transmission (verticle fan) there will be a short rod 1-2" with a black knob on it centered on the floor. If you're sitting on the machine it will be down between your legs. That is the control for disengaging the transmission so it can be moved with the engine off. It opens the dump valve so the fluid can bypass the pump inside the hydro unit.
On yours I'm not sure exactly if it gets moved front to back or side to side ?? If it's out of it's operating position you will have poor to no drive forward or backward.
You might try moving it all the way forward and then all the way backward and see how the machines drive reacts. This is where an operators manual is really nice.
My 185 has that release under the seat, it's a Sundstrand.

When you said you checked the oil were you talking about for the hydro in the tube under the seat or the engine ??
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey quick question and I have to fly out the door.

ANyone have a clue how much the average JD mower weighs? Been looking at ways of using pulleys and a winch to raise the thing onto a table. Gotta make sure what ever I use can hold the weight.

Oh... if your curious about those videos, search youtube for my user name ArtmakersWorlds Also my domain name. I'm out there.


cheers,
 

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They don't have the weight of a 165 listed where I looked but the manual transmission JD 160 is around 470lbs so you should be pretty close to that.
BUT ... I went back and looked at a 175 and that's listed at 605lbs. On second thought I'd plan for 600lbs just to be safe.

TractorData.com John Deere 160 tractor information
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Dont want this to die. Kinda hit a road block on figuring out a way to raise this up without spending gobs of money. Meanwhile my neighbor mowed my lawn so got another few weeks at least to do something here. Kinda leaning towards just buying a trailor for the car big enough to haul this. (Thinking ahead to the point where I give up on fixing it myself and will need to bring it to someone who can.) Meanwhile just having it on a trailer could be high enough to work on. MOve the thing into the garage, use a car jack to raise up the hitch end.
That's the thinking now at least.
 

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If I just need a little height like doing a quick scrape out of the underside of the deck or a blade change I use drive on car ramps.


If you used two of these you should be good for a little over 800 lbs.
I think I'd still be inclined to put cement blocks or something under the tires if I was going to physically get under it. The hoist and blocks would get it up to where you'd be more comfortable working on it and the price wouldn't be that much.
You could also replace the rope with something stronger.

Gambrel and Pulley Hoist

There is also this for lifting the front end only: Search results for: 'mower lift'
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
No, I want it UP HIGH. I don't do well crawling around on the ground. Or bending over much. Husband and I are looking into a small trailor actually. I'm thinking here, after watching several youtube videos about transmission issues, I don't know if I want to try and tackle this. Might just get a trailor and haul the thing to someone who can fix it right.

But... also looking at a which system too. Going to a place later today to look around.

BTW... my BRAND NEW front tires, one is flat. I have no clue why either. Wasnt flat when I pulled it in there.
Beginning to think buying this cheap used mower to "save money" was a bad bad idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well guys I'm back, nothing but issues with this stupid mower.
FURIOUS with the place I have been taking it to.

So ok, get you all up to speed. I have the 165 hydro.
TOLD the John Deere place to diagnose the problem. (Reminder, it was going fine, then wouldn't move. Engine running but no power.)

So I get a call back it's ready to go. HUH? They fiddled with belts, replaced some bolt that they claim was hanging things up, said some other mount was too badly warn to be fixed but they adjusted it as best as they could. I said it had other issues I would have had them look at once I decided IF we were going to fix it, not go ahead. But… 150.00 later they claim it's as good as it's going to get. Oh and by the way the transmission was full of crud but it's not serviceable.
Picked it up, drove it home, got on it, mowed a few passes and it did the exact same thing. No power. RUnning but no umph.

Called them back. FOr 150.00 I expected better. They agreed and said they want to make it right. This time they came and got it to recheck for free. This time I showed the driver how the deck switch was getting harder and harder to throw. He agreed.
Then they delivered it back…. said they checked everything and found no issues. NO issues???? The break still sticks, the switch is still stiff…
The driver got on and mowed a bit and told me it works better than his old mower.
He also showed me that I likely had the choke set too high, so ok, maybe. IN fact the next time I had running issues I fiddled with the choke and sure enough that fixed it.
BUT… again, AFTER he left, and I got on, lowered the deck, it dies.

Then it occurred to me, this guy must have weighed all of 150lbs. (I am more than twice that. Yea not thrilled with my genetics here.)
But… could it be that simple? I'm just pushing the blade so far into the ground it dies?
I tried mowing with the deck in the raised position and it does ok. Not the prettiest lawn, that bad deck mount means it does ride a little crooked. But good enough. Hacks the grass into submission, good enough for the rest of this summer. Sure beats my push mower.

Well I got one good mowing in, drove to the back of my garage, and could NOT get the deck switch to budge. Not a bit. Even bent it trying to force the thing to turn off.
I finally just killed the motor, which of course now I can't start as long as the deck switch is on. (Also forgot I tried to restart it so now have a dead battery too. Not that big of a deal I hope.)

So…. before I drag it back to this service place I have absolutely no faith in anymore, I looked on youtube for how to change this stupid switch and all I can see are hillbilly ways of jumping wires…. gees. NOT about to do that.

Any clues on how to get at this switch? And how to change it? This can't be a big deal. Not like rebuilding a transmission. (Still can't believe that can't be serviced at all. They just want me to buy a new mower. I told them the last time I called that if they can't fix the simplest thing on my old one I would NOT be dropping any 3 grand on a new one. At least not there.)
 

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That switch should be the same for all that series mowers. On both my 160 &185 the PTO switch is held in place by a nut or ring that unthreads from the switch from the outside. So standing over it you should be able to take a pliers or wrench and gently unscrew that retaining nut/ring and then the switch will drop down through the control panel and you can unplug the electrical connector.

The switch P/N is AM101562 http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...=nc&LH_ItemCondition=3&_trksid=p2045573.m1684

In the diagram, up at the top is the switch and the ring holding the switch in place is #1.

 
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Well guys I'm back, nothing but issues with this stupid mower.
FURIOUS with the place I have been taking it to.

So ok, get you all up to speed. I have the 165 hydro.
TOLD the John Deere place to diagnose the problem. (Reminder, it was going fine, then wouldn't move. Engine running but no power.)

So I get a call back it's ready to go. HUH? They fiddled with belts, replaced some bolt that they claim was hanging things up, said some other mount was too badly warn to be fixed but they adjusted it as best as they could. I said it had other issues I would have had them look at once I decided IF we were going to fix it, not go ahead. But… 150.00 later they claim it's as good as it's going to get. Oh and by the way the transmission was full of crud but it's not serviceable.
Picked it up, drove it home, got on it, mowed a few passes and it did the exact same thing. No power. RUnning but no umph.

Called them back. FOr 150.00 I expected better. They agreed and said they want to make it right. This time they came and got it to recheck for free. This time I showed the driver how the deck switch was getting harder and harder to throw. He agreed.
Then they delivered it back…. said they checked everything and found no issues. NO issues???? The break still sticks, the switch is still stiff…
The driver got on and mowed a bit and told me it works better than his old mower.
He also showed me that I likely had the choke set too high, so ok, maybe. IN fact the next time I had running issues I fiddled with the choke and sure enough that fixed it.
BUT… again, AFTER he left, and I got on, lowered the deck, it dies.

Then it occurred to me, this guy must have weighed all of 150lbs. (I am more than twice that. Yea not thrilled with my genetics here.)
But… could it be that simple? I'm just pushing the blade so far into the ground it dies?
I tried mowing with the deck in the raised position and it does ok. Not the prettiest lawn, that bad deck mount means it does ride a little crooked. But good enough. Hacks the grass into submission, good enough for the rest of this summer. Sure beats my push mower.

Well I got one good mowing in, drove to the back of my garage, and could NOT get the deck switch to budge. Not a bit. Even bent it trying to force the thing to turn off.
I finally just killed the motor, which of course now I can't start as long as the deck switch is on. (Also forgot I tried to restart it so now have a dead battery too. Not that big of a deal I hope.)

So…. before I drag it back to this service place I have absolutely no faith in anymore, I looked on youtube for how to change this stupid switch and all I can see are hillbilly ways of jumping wires…. gees. NOT about to do that.

Any clues on how to get at this switch? And how to change it? This can't be a big deal. Not like rebuilding a transmission. (Still can't believe that can't be serviced at all. They just want me to buy a new mower. I told them the last time I called that if they can't fix the simplest thing on my old one I would NOT be dropping any 3 grand on a new one. At least not there.)
artmake, switch is easy to do. Just remove the nut on front of dash and unplug wires.
I have done it on my JD 180. They get water inside them and rust.
EBAY and other sites sell them.
 
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