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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
:help:Thought I myself and some others might want a good thread on newer/older transmissions per tractor. I think it's an important part of the purchase and we would all benefit by bringing up this subject for conversation.... (again) Maybe you can share some of you own personal history with those that may have given you trouble, Or those that you didn't have any trouble with.

What particular brand/model include some of the best/strongest tyrannys out there? What is the low end tranny and what tractors can you expect to find those in? Which trannys are serviceable and which ones aren't?These are just some observations that I've noticed newbies are asking about. I think the topic needs to be refreshed for 2015. :2th:

Thanks for your feedback and why don't I kick off the questions.... I have a 2013 Cub Cadet LTX 1046 KW. What transmission can I expect to find in this machine, and what kind of life might it give me? What was it intended for? (lawn type and grade to be more specific?) Is it serviceable or sealed?
 

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The old Peerless/Tecumseh gear drive transmissions are pretty darn unbreakable from what I've heard, read and experienced. I have a 1974 Sears Suburban SS16 with a 3 speed transmission with high/low range that still shifts and operates reliably. Had a 1968 MTD model 700 with a Peerless 3 speed transmission and their right angle drives on the mower deck. Never a problem with it, and I actually wish I had kept that one. It was a very tough little machine for it's size.

My 1990 Honda H4514 is the first hydro I've had on a lawn tractor. My dealer tells me they're bullet proof, and so far it's worked flawlessly for me through the first season of owning it myself.

Time will tell for both the Suburban and Honda. I do like the hydro for the ability to so easily changing speed and direction over the gear drive of the Peerless, but I guess I can't have everything. I suspect that what I use the Suburban for, the gear drive might be better suited to the harder use of pushing and pulling than I do with the Honda.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply.... I hope to learn about this for my machine as well as others for theirs. Maybe there are some prospective buyers and the transmission is a key thing! Thanks so much!
 

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uh, I just bought a peerless 770 trans operated r.e.r. The trans was operational even though there were two washers where there was suppose to be one, and no washer where one was suppose to be and 5th gear was broke in three pieces. So Im pretty much sold on gears. Of course I would like to abuse a hydro one day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My thinking is Gears vs Hydro. Gears ARE the way to go. Essentially when not abused the only thing to replace is a belt.... Most of the time. With my tranny I THINK it's non-serviceable and if it goes, it goes! I'm not debating that. I'm mainly geared towards more learning about the different types of hydros implemented and the machines there in... Strongest.... Weakest... Things like that..... Which ones can be serviced... Ones that can't. Maybe even replacement prices??? Where are the experts? :bump: :dunno:
 

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bw , I read (doesn't mean its true) your mower has a non serviceable tuff torq. there should be a sticker on the unit somewhere. Non serviceable meaning you can still service it, it just doesn't have a drain plug. Dont pull alot of weight with it:^:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
bw , I read (doesn't mean its true) your mower has a non serviceable tuff torq. there should be a sticker on the unit somewhere. Non serviceable meaning you can still service it, it just doesn't have a drain plug. Dont pull alot of weight with it:^:
Thanks for that I really appreciate you looking into that. I don't plan on doing anything with it but what it was mainly intended for which is cutting the grass....... and hopefully it does a good job at that for many years to come. :2th:
 

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Well the gear drive machines seem to last forever, we just bought a Machine with seems to be bad hydro. My Bolens 1256 has a very strong hydro, then the Suburban SS10 I have is like Bruce's Sub. They are monsters with those two speed rears.
 
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From my experience, transmissions (gear or hydro) will typically last the life of the tractor (modern or vintage) should they be treated as they were designed. From what I've seen, there are more engine failures than there are transmission failures in these types of machines.

When it comes to preference, gear vs. hydro, it's much the same as comparing motor oil to motor oil. Pretty much pick your choice and both will have their pros and cons.

I think you'll find most modern machines to be hydrostatic, simply because of their ease of use. It's harder to find modern gear driven GT's. Of course, the heavier or more HP the machine has, typically the stronger the transmission it will have too.

In terms of vintage equipment, I think it's a pretty agreed-upon observation that vintage OPE was built to last. Terms like "indestructible" and "bulletproof" are often used to describe them and you can apply that to their transmissions too. That said, you really cannot go wrong if you were to choose a gear driven GT or a hydro driven GT that was designed back in the day. People that still use these machines hard today can attest to their longevity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks motor, Eric, and Austen! Really appreciate the feedback.

I'm gonna throw a wrench in the chain and ask another question..... How long have CVT trannys been around? Seems to be what the newer style tractors incorporate. They've almost gotten away from the older style select a gear and release the brake. They have also referred to these trannys as Automatic. When you go on a search today and want to sort by transmission it's normally choices like Automatic, Hydro, and Gear Drive (this is according to Home Depot among others).

I see the Automatic like on the Craftsman where you move a selector on the dash to go faster. On the Troy Built it uses a F, N, R with a push petal for a CVT.... The harder you push the pedal, the faster it goes.

We all know how the hydro works. I've seen 2 major variations with this style one being the pedals for direction and the other being a lever to the right of the driver with a handle.

And lastly still on some tractors sold today they use a gear selector where as this one use 2 selectors. One being the direction F, N, R and the other being the speed 1-5 or 6 on some.

What do we know from all of this? CVT uses belt drive, Automatic uses belt drive, Gear uses belt drive, and lastly Hydro uses a belt to transfer the power to a tranny as well as Direct Drive which is powered by a shaft. I think that pretty much sums it up. Please feel free to correct this post. :)
 

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MTD use a belt tightening system, ie FNR on center console, "gears" on fender or pedal. The newer type I am unsure of, never had one yet.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Give it some time Eric and you will.... Then you can tell us all about it :)
 
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This is an important topic as lots of consumers have been burned by buying box-store mowers (some of them even, shudder, painted green) with light-duty non-serviceable hydrostatic transaxles that fail well before reaching 1K hours.

The site I use to find out the transaxle type is www.tractordata.com. I just google "tractordata deere GT235" for example and it will find it. There is a tab on there for the transmission information.

I did a lot of reasearch before buying my Deere GT235 which has a Tuff-Torq K71 (also described at bulletproof - you hardly read anything bad online about this transaxle which is a good thing). I also own a couple of Honda 4514H tractors and they have been great so far.

After using a 5-speed manual on a Craftsman rider and the varidrive on MTD, the hydro is far surperior for me since I mow a field which has really tall grass in places that I have to slow down for. The foot-controlled hydro on the Deere is absolute perfection IMO, leaving one hand for steering and one for my beer!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for that info redmondjp.... I will definitely check out that link. From another site they were talking about the Deere trannys and figured it worth to copy and paste in this thread for later referral:
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The Following X300 series Lawn Tractor That Have a K58 sealed Or serviceable
(serviceable Meaning Trans Oil Can Be changed while transmission Is in tractor and Has a Internal replaceable filter)


X310 K58 Serviceable transmission Has Power steering and Hydraulic Lift MSRP $3,999 w/42inch deck

X320 K58 sealed Manual spring assist for Lift MSRP $4,199 w/48inch deck

X324 K58 sealed Has All Wheel Steer & Manual spring assist for Lift MSRP $4,699 w/48inch deck

X360 K58 Serviceable transmission Has Power steering and Hydraulic Lift MSRP $5,199 w/48inch deck

Here are the X500 Model as well

X500 K72 Serviceable transmission No Filter Manual steer, spring assist Lift Diff/lock MSRP $5,799 w/ 48inch deck & MSRP $6,099 w/ 54inch deck

X530 K72 Serviceable transmission w/ internal Filter Has Hydraulic Lift and Power steering diff/lock MSRP $6,899 w/ 54inch deck

X534 K72 Serviceable transmission w/ internal Filter is All Wheel steer Has Hydraulic Lift and Power steering & Diff Lock MSRP $7,399 w/ 48inch deck

X540 K72 Serviceable transmission w/ internal Filter Has Hydraulic Lift and Power steering, Liquid Cooled engine & Diff/lock MSRP $7,699 w/ 54inch deck

Since You want to Go above the K46 which the X300, X300R & X304 Have I didn't Mention them and I did not Mention the X700 series Because they start at $9,699 for Just the Basic X700 series at MSRP. Now for the X500 series You Can Get them with either a 48 or 54inch deck But they will also Take a 42inch deck If You want. As You see the X310 do start at Just Under $4,000 and If You wanted to You could Put a 48inch deck On it. Hope this Gives You some Idea about the dealer Only Models

There are several Members That did Upgrade there L120 & L130 to a K66 and They were Very Happy with the results:ThumbUp:
 

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my feable memory recalls cvt were invented in the 50's then fell out of grace and now alot of cars are using them. im not sure i'de want those cvt pulleys exposed to the elements found on a tractor. those pulleys and shafts aren't the easiest to disassemble and arent cheap. But I really like the idea of the variable speed system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
my feable memory recalls cvt were invented in the 50's then fell out of grace and now alot of cars are using them. im not sure i'de want those cvt pulleys exposed to the elements found on a tractor. those pulleys and shafts aren't the easiest to disassemble and arent cheap. But I really like the idea of the variable speed system.
Imagine that.... I'm not surprised.... there were a lot things made back then that went away, but have made a come back. Sometimes all the great things made back stood the test of time. If it's not broke don't fix it! I'm all for improvements, but to completely do away with. :dunno:
 

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Funny I just bought two tractors with bad hydrostatic trans! One a Craftsman and the other a Murray. One was a Hydrogear, the other a Peerless. The Hydrogear only went in reverse!
Bad Peerless.


Here is the bad Hydrogear
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Nice pictures for representation Eric! I've heard of Hydrogear, However I've never heard of peerless. What brand do they put them in?
 
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