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riding mower won't move

Discussion in 'MTD' started by truace, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. truace

    truace New Member

    Jun 6, 2011
    hi newbie here. not sure if its a MTD but its a ACE 12.5 hp 38" shift to go 6 speed mower. i was mowing grass last weekend when it started to go slower(i had it on first gear cuz the grass were a bit high) so i went on the clear and place it on a higher speed but it did not engaged. so i placed it in neutral let it run for a second then shifted forward...nothing it would not move.reverse.. same thing. so i turned it off then start it,it runs,just don't move. I replaced the drive belt(after inspecting it) cuz it was almost ready to snap. it still runs but it would not move. prior to this happening, i had to forcefully engage the shift lever to either forward,reverse and even neutral. since i had replaced the drive belt and still no movement, could it be my tranny shift lever inside the housing broke? it feels like it engages when i move the lever but it just not moving at all. btw, does the drive belt/pulley supposed to spin when the motor is running in neutral? cuz its not. i can turn the pulley by hand when the motor is off and all my belts are fine. please help:confused:
  2. jhngardner367

    jhngardner367 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 4, 2011
    Which pulley?On the engine,or the trans.? If the one on the engine can be turned without moving the engine the pulley probably sheared the index key.If the trans pulley turns,with it in gear,but the wheels don't move,look at the axle shafts as the trans pulley is turned,and see if the the axles are turning(in gear).ifthey are,but the wheels don't turn,the square drive-key is missing,or the key groove has worn out.if the axles don't turn(in gear)but the trans pulley does,it has an internal problem.Welcome to the forum.

  3. dangeroustoys56

    dangeroustoys56 Collector Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2010
    Hmm, could be a few things - non movement when trans engaged is either : slipping belts or seized brakes ...

    It could be moving by hand simply by the belts 'slipping' on the drive pulleys. Does the tractor move easily
    when you push it around?

    MTD's dont use a key setup on the transaxles- theyre a splined input shaft setup for the pulley - wheels have a notch that fit the axle ends - no key way there either . I have like 10 MTD's , so im familiar with them.

    What you said about shifting seems to be the issue : 'forcefully engage the lever' - keep in mind- MTD's dont actually have a 'transmission' to speak of - the variable pulley IS the transmission ( in the middle of the tractor just in front of the seat down in the chassis)- the transaxle is just a 1:1 unit - just forward, neutral and reverse only .

    MTD transaxles are notorious for issues - from the factory theyre a sealed unit stuffed with bennonite grease ( nasty sticky grease- wear old clothes and rubber gloves) and are usually noisy . Theres a shifter pin where the lever goes into the transaxle , sometimes this gets all packed with dirt/grass - there is a small detent ball that locks the pin into each position - this can get all sticky from contstant use.

    MTD's also have a clip that holds the input gear onto the shaft inside the transaxle - sometimes these can come off ( ive had it happen) in that case, the unit needs to be removed from the tractor , opened up and looked over. The gear will drop and 'lock the trans' if the clip comes off.

    Try the F/N/R shaft first - then you might need to crack it open and clean it thouroughly. I would use a heavy duty wheel bering grease as a replacement for the bennonite.

    Ive actually drilled and tapped a MTD trans axle out of a mod project for zerk fittings - slap some grease in it every so often .

    Let us know what you find out.
  4. truace

    truace New Member

    Jun 6, 2011
    thanks for the replies. i replaced the transaxle belt. i can push the mower fairly easy. i actually had to remove the shift lever to take the belt out. the shift lever FEELS like it engages when i shift them either F,N,R. the only difference is that it rather feels short. if i put back my cover plate and watch the lever move to F,R positions it does not get to where it should be. also does the transaxle pulley should be turning when motor is running in neutral? not have the chance to work on my mower yet cuz the weather here is not cooperating. hopefully that the shifter pin could be just dirty.to remove this pin, this can be done without dropping the whole unit down right?
  5. jhngardner367

    jhngardner367 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 4, 2011
    Mtd made early low-end units(ACE,HUSKEE,and a few BOLENS),with the squaredrive key for the wheels.Models after mid-80's have the flats on the axles,and a bolt to hold them on.Tyr to rock the tractor back & foth,while trying to put it in gear(engine OFF)If it still won't engage,then the problem is internal,and you'll need to dis assemble it.
  6. dangeroustoys56

    dangeroustoys56 Collector Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2010
    To pull the shifter pin- the trans needs to come out - i just did that on my 97 mastercut , was more of a pain to pull the deck then the trans. Im used to it tho....


    MTD makes the shifter gates a tad bit larger then needed - youll have a lil gap on each end ( up to 1/4"). Sometimes on my older MTD's i have to rock the tractor( sitting on it) a lil bit to get it to 'lock' in place when i shift gears.

    To make sure the trans shifter pin moves freely- you can put a pair of pliers on it and work it back and forth ( with the lever unhooked) - try some PB blaster where it enters the trans housing.
  7. truace

    truace New Member

    Jun 6, 2011

    first of all,thanks for all the reply. the problem i had was not the transaxle but the engine pulley.further inspection, after noticing my drive pulley was not spinning while on neutral,as someone suggested i checked the belt and pulley but decided to the check the engine side too and found out that the key on the shaft was sheared off. and the bolt that holds the pulley was gone, meaning only the engine belt tension is holding the pulley. had the engine pulley replaced and everything is back to normal. though i must share,putting the belt back on the drive pulley was a b#^*!. thanks for all the help.:D
  8. Bluefish

    Bluefish New Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Can't locate a replacement input shaft for a MTD Yard Machine

    MTD8186A19/141-848H098 Axle
    MTD part Number 717-1134

    Mower is a 1994 Model (at least that is the engine manufacture date) tracker with the 2 speed axle. The input shaft seized up destroying the pin bearing "top and bottom" and badly damaging the shaft and killing the belts.

    Was able to buy new bearing but no one has this shaft.

    Turned the shaft myself to see if I could salvage... came out surprisingly well but the top race is .01 smaller then the original bottom.... so the top has a bit of slop in it.

    Tried to run the unit with the turned shaft and it ran fine with out the deck running... no issues. When I run "with" the mower deck engaged the engine bogs down. When I run just the mower deck it runs fine. My conclusion is that the shaft is twisted just enough on the pin bearings causing them to bind just enough under the load which is sapping power from the engine.

    So my question is simple, where can I find a shaft for this unit, is there another shaft that will work in this axle? The mower has too much life in it to toss it for a $20 part.

    Attempting to turn a new shaft but have no way of doing the splines so I may have to weld the gear and pulley onto the new shaft (less then ideal by a long shot).

    PS. Pulled the axle completely apart, washed and inspected then re-greased all of the parts by hand. All the bearings and bushings were near perfect or perfect condition.... nominal wear, zero binding. Case has zero cracks or stress marks.