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Sunstar transmission help please


TooMuchSpaghetti

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TooMuchSpaghetti

Hey all.

I'm new to tractors but I'm a fairly adept mechanic. I recently purchased a nice place in the country with about 4 acres to mow. I figured I start inexpensively and bought a used Simplicity Sunstar 20 HP model 1691381. Currently, the 60" deck is attached. 1800 hours. I think it was relatively well maintained and taken care of. The previous owner was a county engineer and had kept it in good shape. Anyway, my boy was mowing and after a forward to reverse gear change, he said the tractor would not move. After I investigated some I discovered the hydro control rod had broken. The eyelet broke that attaches it to the lever assembly.

Tractor starts fine but obviously won't move. What concerns me it while the engine is running the tractor will not move even when I manually manipulate the lever assembly. I ordered a hydro control rod but is there something else that I should look for or check to make sure nothing else needs attention? Is there some safety that iIover looked that would prevent the lever from being manually operated and driving the tractor? Might the transmission be damaged as well as a broken rod? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Also, is there an easier way to work in these transmissions areas? The tractor broke down on the field and I haven't towed it to the garage yet. I was messing with it in the field with the mower deck still in place. I took apart the top deck and was trying to work on it from above. Is it best to take off the deck and work from underneath? Can I jack the whole tractor up and put it on heavy jack stands? Not sure how to approach it besides trial and error. I'd be obliged to avoid the error part. I've looked around the forum but didn't see many tips for my particular predicament. Any help greatly appreciated. Also, I hope this is the correct forum. I couldn't seem to post anywhere else.

Thanks,
Chris

Edited by TooMuchSpaghetti
typos
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If it has the High/Nuetral/Low options, the shift lever down by your right leg along the right side of the center console could have been bumped into nuetral.  I do that all the time as the detents are not very tight on mine.

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TooMuchSpaghetti
1 hour ago, SmilinSam said:

If it has the High/Nuetral/Low options, the shift lever down by your right leg along the right side of the center console could have been bumped into nuetral.  I do that all the time as the detents are not very tight on mine.

Good call. I'll check it out tomorrow. Thanks.

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10 hours ago, TooMuchSpaghetti said:

Also, is there an easier way to work in these transmissions areas? The tractor broke down on the field and I haven't towed it to the garage yet. I was messing with it in the field with the mower deck still in place. I took apart the top deck and was trying to work on it from above. Is it best to take off the deck and work from underneath

Unfortunately the best ways to access the control connections  at the transmission are either from above or below. Having the deck off is almost a must. From above requires the seat deck & fuel tank removed. Neither is a real horrible job, just time consuming. Removing the mower is less involved, it just weighs alot.

As to towing. Make sure the tractor is in neutral ( if its a hi/n/low equipped tractor. If its a single speed tractor, you have to have someone hold the bypass lever while you roll the tractor...and roll it slowly. DO NOT TOW AT SPEED.

Edited by SmilinSam
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TooMuchSpaghetti
On 5/28/2023 at 11:57 PM, TooMuchSpaghetti said:

Good call. I'll check it out tomorrow. Thanks.

You were right. I bumped the shift lever into neutral when I was working on it. Competely forgot about it.  I had temporarily patched the hydro rod to engage the lever assembly enough to drive it from the field to the garage. The new hydro control rod arrived so I'll see about getting the deck off and swapping it out. Thanks.

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TooMuchSpaghetti

Got the hyrdo rod installed and it works. However, I think the dimension of the rod are a little off. Or.maybe I over tightened a bolt. Now when the tractor is in "neutral"is seems to actually be in "reverse" a small amount so it creeps backwards.

I have to manipulate the lever into a "neutral" position to keep it from moving. But it works. Maybe I'll mess with it next time I take off the deck.

A tip I learned. It helps to remove the battery to access the front nut and bolt.

 

Thanks for the help.

Chris

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  • 2 weeks later...
TooMuchSpaghetti
On 6/3/2023 at 10:11 AM, PhanDad said:

Thanks. I can't seem to download the file. I get an error when I try....

 

Sorry, there is a problem

You are not allowed to download that file.

Error code: 1D161/3

 

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I just read the referenced link in detail. 

The original poster was a dues paying member of the club and therefore has access to the "Downloads" forum.  I didn't need to post a "dues paying member" warning in that post.  Sorry for the confusion.   

There's a lot of good info in the Downloads forum, well worth the $10 dues payment that keeps this site up and running.  

 

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TooMuchSpaghetti
1 minute ago, PhanDad said:

I just read the referenced link in detail. 

The original poster was a dues paying member of the club and therefore has access to the "Downloads" forum.  I didn't need to post a "dues paying member" warning in that post.  Sorry for the confusion.   

There's a lot of good info in the Downloads forum, well worth the $10 dues payment that keeps this site up and running.  

 

I'm happy to be a dues paying member if I can get set up and I suspected that might be the issue.  I'll work on that now. Thanks for your help.

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TooMuchSpaghetti
26 minutes ago, PhanDad said:

I just read the referenced link in detail. 

The original poster was a dues paying member of the club and therefore has access to the "Downloads" forum.  I didn't need to post a "dues paying member" warning in that post.  Sorry for the confusion.   

There's a lot of good info in the Downloads forum, well worth the $10 dues payment that keeps this site up and running.  

 

I got it. Thanks man.

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  • 2 weeks later...
TooMuchSpaghetti

Another question regarding the transmission, please. I think I'm going to change the transmission fluid and filter. What kind of filter do I get?

 

It just says cartridge with 25 micro rating, full flow without anti-drain back. Not sure where to get that...

 

One of these...

https://www.lawnmowerpros.com/simplicity/simplicity-oil-filters.asp

 

the 1691381 model isn't listed.

Edited by TooMuchSpaghetti
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If you're looking at this IPL for your tractor:

image.png.1cd949d39fb008c4b4e8736070c16b6b.png

I believe the model #1691981 is a misprint since that MFG# is listed as a snowcab on the Simplicity Manuals site.  I'm guessing the number they meant to list is your MFG#. 

So based on this listing a few pages later in the parts manual:

image.png.8b689dadb1be330026fb841f0b16b044.png

You need the Part #1650954 filter, the long filter.  

I'm not familiar with SunStars, but it appears the hydro pump is the same as that used on the Sovereign.  It's important to NOT get a "better" filter (finer filtration is usually thought of as "better") since the filter is used on the suction side of the pump.  If a finer micron rated filter is substituted, the pump performance will suffer.  

See this post for the different lengths of filters used by Simplicity:

https://simpletractors.com/forums/topic/65970-model-identification-please/?tab=comments#comment-527101

 

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On 6/22/2023 at 9:18 AM, PhanDad said:

You need the Part #1650954 filter, the long filter.  

I'm not familiar with SunStars, but it appears the hydro pump is the same as that used on the Sovereign.  It's important to NOT get a "better" filter (finer filtration is usually thought of as "better") since the filter is used on the suction side of the pump.  If a finer micron rated filter is substituted, the pump performance will suffer.  

So, cross-referencing to another brand filter may not be a good thing?
I show Fram PH43, Wix 51068, and Baldwin B120 as "replacements" for 1650954SM.

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5 hours ago, Hick said:

So, cross-referencing to another brand filter may not be a good thing?
I show Fram PH43, Wix 51068, and Baldwin B120 as "replacements" for 1650954SM.

Short answer is no.

Long answer is : Wouldnt use Fram for any kind of transmission application. While it may physically cross over, Frams are way too restrictive. Transmissions and Hydraulics dont work properly when using Frams. Never had problems with OEM, Napa, or Wix. I generally dont use any of the box store car filters anymore.

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On 6/29/2023 at 5:56 AM, SmilinSam said:

Short answer is no.

Long answer is : Wouldnt use Fram for any kind of transmission application. While it may physically cross over, Frams are way too restrictive. Transmissions and Hydraulics dont work properly when using Frams. Never had problems with OEM, Napa, or Wix. I generally dont use any of the box store car filters anymore.

Okay, so the conundrum deepens: Looking up the Hydro oil filters by the Manufacture's websites I get different numbers (expected). But what is throwing me is the Cross-References: They come up different on the WIX and Baldwin sites!

649edcdb0c42a_D-AOilFilters.JPG.bd29904fb94c5ad2de4dc8940eb59e11.JPG

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On 6/22/2023 at 10:18 AM, PhanDad said:

it appears the hydro pump is the same as that used on the Sovereign

Sunstars and Sovereigns use the same Sundstrand Series 15 hydro's but they are different  spec #'s.  Differences include different splined main input/output shaft and maybe different capacity charge pumps.

Edited by CarlH
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21 hours ago, Hick said:

AND . . . .  The Deutz has a Fram on it. 
 

All orange metal ... or does it have the black grip on the end of it?

 

I never had problems with frams till they "improved" them  (years ago) and added the black grip.

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3 hours ago, SmilinSam said:

All orange metal ... or does it have the black grip on the end of it?

 

I never had problems with frams till they "improved" them  (years ago) and added the black grip.

It has the black grip band. I put it on a while back to help the hydro performance. Guess I need to find a Simplicity filter.

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