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Donzo

Bad Hydro Transmission?

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Donzo
I have a Regent and I use it to plow. Last storm was heavy,icy snow. I was unable to push the snow in some places and the drive wheels completely stopped and the tranny groaned. Is it normal for the drive wheels to completely stop with the tranny fully engaged? or is it that the tractor just isn't powerful enough? it is 12.5 hp and I load the rear with about 150 lbs.

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RedbarnRick
The transaxle will only push till the wheels spin or the belt slips, or the engine can't produce enough torque, is the trans working properly without a load? The belt if tight, will cause a shuddering noise if it can't slip, also check the fluid for discoloration!

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FiremanRon
I have a '94 Regent and a few years ago, I had trouble with getting it to move. It was during the mowing season, but the tractor wouldn't go forward as fast as normal and hardly at all in reverse. The problem was traced to a loose set screw on the control lever going into the transaxle.

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Donzo
It does well with the mower and grass catcher on it. I didn't feel any shuddering, maybe the belt is slipping. Firemanron may be onto something. It doesn't feel like it goes forward fast enough and reverse is painfully slow. I assumed it had to do with all the extra weight I have on it when I plow. I'll check the setscrew you mentioned and the belt tension as well. The transmission manual says the unit is self contained and that it is not serviceable. It is made by Hydrogear. Last fall (2006) it was really groaning a lot. One of the other club members said that he removed his, drained it, and refilled it and it worked better. I did the same thing and it has been working well all year. This was 10 years old when I bought it, so I'm not sure how much power it's supposed to have because I don't have anything to compare it to. Thanks for the help.

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RedbarnRick
My newer landlord has the hydro gear trans and has lots of power, I mow with a swisher 60" tag along finsh mower and the 52 in. deck so I'm mowing a 9' swath without any trouble I also run a 42" blower and a 46 dozer blade with it only time it didn't handle what I gave it was when the dump truck left a 4 foot high pile of limestone when we retopped the drive. Oh it's a 17 hp liquid kaw.

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Donzo
I have the Regent manual. The manual says that it is a sealed unit and that no fluid needs to be added unless its a complete overhaul. The oil fill tube is put in such a location that the only way to get to it is to unbolt and remove the transaxle from the tractor or to cut a hole trough the steel in the battery compartment directly above the fill tube. Poor design. Last night I started looking at it to see if there was anything obvious. The transaxle was covered with pieces of leaves and twigs. They had worked their way into all the nooks and crannies. Also, the little nylon fan on top of the drive belt pulley is missing every blade. I have no idea how this could have happened. Every one is completely sheared off. They were all there about 2 months ago. Is it possible that it got very hot with no fan blowing plus all the insulation (leaves) covering it and that the oil lost some viscocity? Is it possible that the excessive heat caused the oil to expand and vent off and now it's running low? That could explain the groaning. I cleaned it real well and ordered a new fan from Jack's. I hate to take the transaxle off, but that's the only way to check and refill the fluid without cutting a hole, which I'm loathe to do. Lesson learned,spend a few minutes cleaning and save hours repairing. Hopefully the problem is solved. Thanks for all of your good advice.

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Al
Hi, These the first thing to check it the brake. These trannys have a multiple disk brake. They are a very efficient brake. The stationary plates have a tab that sticks down into a rectangular hole on the bottom right side of the tractor. These disks are prone to getting rusty and the other disks sticking on the spline shafts causing the brakes to drag. Tractors with these Hydro-Gears should have WD 40 or penetrating oil sprayed up into this opening and get these disks free and loose. This should be done every 6 months. 2 Make sure the governor is set to 3600 to 3650. These pumps are marginal and need full rpms. 3 Make sure the belt isn't slipping. We have replaced probably 40 of these transmissions between the Regent and the Broadmoors, mostly under warranty. These units were prone to have the pump rotating group wear into the mating surface of the center section of the unit. This allows some pump output to leak out into the case instead of going to the motor unit. These can be repaired by removing the center sections and lapping the surface and lapping the pump rotating group mating surface. In the later days of using this transmission, Simplicity used the Broadmoor version for warranty in the Regent. This transmission is basically the same, except it has a reduction gear set in the final drive. This improved the reliability significantly. After struggling with so many warranties on the Broadmores, Simplicity brought out a kit that replaced the Hydro-gears with Kansaki Tuff Torque trannys. This was very costly, because they had to pay for all of these trannys, because Hydro Gear wasn't about to pay for a competitors tranny. The Tuff-Torques have been nearly bullet proof. As I remember, they went out up to 4 years on these warranties. I had one that they paid for the kit at 5 years, but not the labor. The first failures showed up in units with grass catchers and hills. Tractors with flat lawns and no catacher, rerely causes problems. I suspect that the Hydro Gears were over rated and when Simpicity put them in the tractors were heavier than many of the others that used them. Secondly the later Broadmoors had 20 inch tires and they pulled harder. So greater loading. One can save about $500.00 buy tearing apart the tranny and lapping it. In the midst of this, I was working with a company to resurface these Center casings and then have the mating surface Hard Chromed. About this time the Tuff-torque kit came and I abandoned the project. I would suspect that with the weight, the pump is leaking. If you can drain the hydro and put some 20-w50 Full Synthetic or even one step heavier, you might steal a few more years out of this unit. Al Eden
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Donzo
Al,Thanks for all the info. Unfortunately I think it's wasted on me because I don't know what you are talking about. Lapping? The last thing I should do is attempt to try and take the unit apart. That would ensure that it would never run again, but it would be interesting to see what the inside looks like. I can get a new replacement for about $500 like you said. That's probably going to be the best bet for someone with my limited technical expertise. I was amazed that I was able to take the transaxle off and re-install it. Opening it up and trying to fix it is a different animal all together. Should I get another hydrogear or should I get the Kansaki tuff torque?
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2burning
Lapping "Lapping is a machining operation, in which two surfaces are rubbed together with an abrasive between them, by hand movement or by way of a machine." :) I have worked a little on a MTD with a Hydrogear, but it sounds like Al is saying to check out the brake to make sure the discs aren't sticking. Also, it sounds like you have drained/refilled it before, so it may be easy for you to try Al's idea of using synthetic 20W50 or thicker oil like a straight 50 or 60 weight (like oil for a Harley Davidson). If it was me, since there seems to be known problems with the Hydro Gear and I decided I am going to fix it right spending $500, I would get the TuffTorq...
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Al
Hi, Believe the Tuff-torque kit is only available for the Broadmoor. However the Broadmoor Hydro-Gear will go in the Regent and is a step up from the Regent tranny. I doubt you will find a new tranny for 500.00 a dealer can't even buy it for that, last time I priced one. Unless you find something on the surplus market. Happy Holidays, what the heck. Merry Christmas. Al Eden
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Donzo
Al, Do you know the Hydro gear model number for the Broadmoor that would fit in my Regent? The Hydrogear I have is a 318-0500. There are a few new Hydro's on Ebay for around $500 and they may be worth a look. I couldn't find the one on our site for $275.

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ehertzfeld
quote:
Originally posted by Donzo
Al, Do you know the Hydro gear model number for the Broadmoor that would fit in my Regent? The Hydrogear I have is a 318-0500. There are a few new Hydro's on Ebay for around $500 and they may be worth a look. I couldn't find the one on our site for $275.
If you click on the link provided by Ray, scroll down till you come to transmissions, it's the first one listed in hydro gear.

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