LA 135 transmission issue. Need to talk about fixing or replacing.
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Thread: LA 135 transmission issue. Need to talk about fixing or replacing.

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    LA 135 transmission issue. Need to talk about fixing or replacing.

    Hi,

    I usually post over on the 1025R forum, so forgive me for just dropping in with a drama. I had a problem with my LA135SE on the weekend, and I'm hoping you guys have some views on the way to go about sorting it out. I'm chewing over whether or not to have it repaired, or pull the trigger on an X series to permanently address the issue.

    I bought the mower new 7 or so years ago and it's got 160 hours on it. I mow 5 acres with it, some of which is relatively level, other parts are sloping (it's not a goat track but I have to take it slow going side ways with the 1025r on some sections). I also have to drive it down a hill to mow an area about 2 acres, and then up the hill again, and that is fairly steep and about a 300m climb.

    That said, I do all of this quite quickly as I use a Swisher T44 as well when I mow, so I have a huge cut and bowl the job over quite fast. My original mower was an old manual JD LT 150, and it struggled a bit with the longer grass and pulling of the T44, so I swapped up for the 22hp LA135.

    Over the last few months it's become slower pulling the T44 up the slopes. I know this means the transmission could be on the way out, but yesterday I mowed again on a 34c day, and it stopped climbing the slope. There was an obvious hot chemical odour coming out of the rear of the mower. I disconnected the T44, let the LA135 cool down and then I was able to finish he job with it by itself, and it went up and down the slopes no problem. I finished the other parts of the yard just dragging the T44 behind my 1025R.

    Anyway, JD equipment in Australia is quite expensive. I'm contemplating having the transmission looked at and maybe trying for the heavier oil option if there's no other damage, but if it comes to pass that it's busted, I'd probably look to trade it in on a X series.

    Now my question is given my particular use, I'll need a transmission that can pull the Swisher no problems, the 10p steel yard cart etc, and do it comfortably. I was looking at the X590 (which looks to be about $14,000 in Australia). The alternative is possibly drop $2k on a new transmission, only to be possibly lumped with the same issue again. I thought about the mid-mount mower for the tractor, but I need to go between trees etc and it won't fit.

    It's a shame, as the motor on the LA135 is great. The deck is useless and I can never get it to cut straight, but it could chew through the long grass effortlessly. I often lament giving away my LT150 as it cut great, towed anything and never gave me any trouble, apart from struggling in the thick grass. Live and learn I suppose.

    I'd appreciate any views about the X590, or perhaps another X series that could be the way to go. The X300 series go for around the $7-11k mark, and if I'm going to drop that kind of money, it'll be a one shot deal so I can't screw it up.

    Thanks in advance.

    regards,

    craby

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    If you are any good with a wrench.
    First I'd recommend pulling the transmission and changing the fluid right away. Also replacing the drive belt while it's apart.
    Second I would stop towing with it. You are oviously over working the tractor. Seeing you have trans problems with such low hours. Heat is your transmissions worst enemy.
    Third put it up for sale. You will likely burn up a new transmission in short order. Your engine has plenty of power but unfortunately the transmission is the weak link.

    From what you posted youdefinitely need something in the X5xx series. How narrow of an area are you talking about? Because the X590 series only comes with either a 48" or 54" decks.
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    I would never put 2 grand back into a garden tractor that doesn’t fit your need. You will just burn that one up too. Take that money and put it down on a 5 series. It has the K72 transmission which is made for what you are doing. I pull a model 80 wagon full of heavy rock with my X580 all the time. I run out of traction way before power. Transmission handles it easily. Also, with heavy loads, never push petal down more than half way. Causes unneeded stress. Get the right tool for the job.
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    Quote Originally Posted by craby View Post
    Hi,

    I usually post over on the 1025R forum, so forgive me for just dropping in with a drama. I had a problem with my LA135SE on the weekend, and I'm hoping you guys have some views on the way to go about sorting it out. I'm chewing over whether or not to have it repaired, or pull the trigger on an X series to permanently address the issue.

    I bought the mower new 7 or so years ago and it's got 160 hours on it. I mow 5 acres with it, some of which is relatively level, other parts are sloping (it's not a goat track but I have to take it slow going side ways with the 1025r on some sections). I also have to drive it down a hill to mow an area about 2 acres, and then up the hill again, and that is fairly steep and about a 300m climb.

    That said, I do all of this quite quickly as I use a Swisher T44 as well when I mow, so I have a huge cut and bowl the job over quite fast. My original mower was an old manual JD LT 150, and it struggled a bit with the longer grass and pulling of the T44, so I swapped up for the 22hp LA135.

    Over the last few months it's become slower pulling the T44 up the slopes. I know this means the transmission could be on the way out, but yesterday I mowed again on a 34c day, and it stopped climbing the slope. There was an obvious hot chemical odour coming out of the rear of the mower. I disconnected the T44, let the LA135 cool down and then I was able to finish he job with it by itself, and it went up and down the slopes no problem. I finished the other parts of the yard just dragging the T44 behind my 1025R.

    Anyway, JD equipment in Australia is quite expensive. I'm contemplating having the transmission looked at and maybe trying for the heavier oil option if there's no other damage, but if it comes to pass that it's busted, I'd probably look to trade it in on a X series.

    Now my question is given my particular use, I'll need a transmission that can pull the Swisher no problems, the 10p steel yard cart etc, and do it comfortably. I was looking at the X590 (which looks to be about $14,000 in Australia). The alternative is possibly drop $2k on a new transmission, only to be possibly lumped with the same issue again. I thought about the mid-mount mower for the tractor, but I need to go between trees etc and it won't fit.

    It's a shame, as the motor on the LA135 is great. The deck is useless and I can never get it to cut straight, but it could chew through the long grass effortlessly. I often lament giving away my LT150 as it cut great, towed anything and never gave me any trouble, apart from struggling in the thick grass. Live and learn I suppose.

    I'd appreciate any views about the X590, or perhaps another X series that could be the way to go. The X300 series go for around the $7-11k mark, and if I'm going to drop that kind of money, it'll be a one shot deal so I can't screw it up.

    Thanks in advance.

    regards,

    craby
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    Thanks everyone for your input, I really appreciate it.

    I'm glad I asked as I was going to drop money on getting the transmission looked at. I'll start pricing an X580 or X590 as after looking at the transmission specs, it's clearly the choice as was pointed out. It's a ton of money, but it's going to be so much more capable and a long term investment. I really don't want to be dropping money on a new mower every couple of years if I can avoid it.

    regards,

    craby
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    I've got an LA135 with close to 500 hours on it. I know the tranny is a weak point, but it has given me zero problems--and I have not been easy on it. Although I probably don't have the hills you have.
    It will cost over $1k to repair, so when it goes, so does the rest of the tractor. I have already let the dealer know that I will be in the market for either an X354 or X370 when the time comes.

    So I have gotten myself excited at getting a new tractor. Unfortunately, I can't seem to kill the tranny on the LA135. Maybe I just need to really abuse it-fill the bagger with grass clippings and do some wheelies and stuff like that.
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