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Hey everybody. I recently inherited my father's old John Deere 165 Hydrostat. I cut many a yards with this thing growing up. Now that I have a house of my own, It's been passed down to me.....

The reason we stopped using it years ago, was because it has this funny issue where after about 15-20 minutes of running, it starts to lose power to the wheels. Engine stays really strong, but the transmission just starts failing. Sometimes it happens over the course of a few minutes and I can limp it back to the house. Other times, it happens within seconds. I can let it (and me) "cool down" for about 30 minutes. I start it back up, and it's strong enough to get me back home. I've noticed that when putting it under load by going up a slight incline, is when it happens most. Usually after the cool down period, there is about 1/4 cup of the transmission oil laying under the transmission. I top it off before every ride.

Some things I've checked-
- Transmission fluid is good before every ride. I've even tried SAE 40 instead of 30, just in case a thicker oil would hold better.
- Transmission fan is running just fine, blowing lots of air
- Getting off of it and giving it a push along is enough to get it going usually.
- I am able to push the tractor when it is in neutral. When it cools down, I am unable to do this. I always remember being unable to do this as well, which is why I am mentioning being able to push it when the transmission gives out.
- The manual push lever is not engaged.
 

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You can get a hydro rebuild kit.

Rebuilding is somewhat complex but it was
no problem for me ....I did take photos along the way for reference... couple You Tubes will be helpful.
 

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You can get a hydro rebuild kit.

Rebuilding is somewhat complex but it was
no problem for me ....I did take photos along the way for reference... couple You Tubes will be helpful.
Hi New here. Where can I get a 185 hydro rebuild kit.?
 

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Hi New here. Where can I get a 185 hydro rebuild kit.?
First step is determining which Hydro Gear unit is in your machine. They make dozens of different models. There's usually a tag that gives the model number(s). Then go here to find the Service Manual.
https://www.hydro-gear.com/service-and-repair-manuals/

When you say "kit", what are you expecting? It depends on the model and your machine as to what you'll find on-line. I do a lot of their ZT units, as opposed to single unit transaxles.

For those, most "seal kits" run the same part # for the same size axle. The usual failure is a worn "center section" and thrust washers. There are two variable displacement "cylinder blocks". These rarely fail unless the owner never changes the oil. The usual parts cost to rebuild a ZT unit with shipping, parts, filter, and oil is about $325. Hydro Gear pays 3 hours labor on a ZT warranty rebuild and thats out/rebuild/in per side.

Center Section -- $120
Cylinder blocks (2) - $130
Seal kit - $35
Thrust washers - $16

Center Section


Cylinder Block(s)
upload_2020-12-10_8-37-49.jpeg
 
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