Any way to increase speed on JD e180 tractor?
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Thread: Any way to increase speed on JD e180 tractor?

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    Any way to increase speed on JD e180 tractor?

    Is there a way to increase the speed by a couple mphs. I got this mower last year but it struggles to get up some hills in my yard. Im not looking to have a hot rod mower just increase a little. Any ideas that wont cost me thousands??

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    jgayman's Avatar
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    When you say it struggles to get up hills what exactly do you mean? I ask because wanting to increase the speed and having power to get up hills are two different things.

    When it seems to have trouble getting up a hill, how far down are you pushing the forward pedal?
    2012 2720 -- 200CX Loader -- 54" Quick Attach Snow Blower -- Frontier LR5060 Rake -- Land Pride RB1660 Blade (Hydraulic Angle) -- Artillian 42" Forks -- Ken's Bolt on Grab Hooks -- Fit Rite Hydraulic top-link -- 2013 X500 for mowing duties

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    Like when i cut the ditches if i go straight up the hill the mower will struggle a little even if im going full speed sometimes ill have to get a little head start. I think if i could get the thing to go slightly faster it would be alright. For the most part it gets around my yard fine but some parts it struggles or wont go up unless i get a bit of momentum. I did look into that k66 upgrade but i dont wanna drop 2 gs especially since its a fairly new mower.

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    How old is the tractor?
    How large is your lawn?
    How steep / large are the hills?
    Are you trying to pull a cart or have a bagger attached?
    Is this just while mowing?
    Are you having traction issues with the wheels spinning?

    The e180 is not designed to handle steep slopes at all.
    Last edited by CJadamec; 03-28-2019 at 07:52 AM.
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    Sometimes, there might be a little adjustment in the linkage to get a little more speed, but we are talking about a minimal difference. If the machine struggles to get up some hills, it might be a sign of transmission failure. Its a new(er) machine, but it's a belt driven hydro unit which they consider "sealed" and not serviceable.

    If the machine is having trouble climbing the hills and its not traction or an engine power issue, perhaps there is some adjustment on the hydro drive belt. Also, if you can check the fluid levels, make sure the trans fluid is full and make sure to ONLY use the specific approved fluid if you need to add any (being sealed, I am not sure if you even can add fluid, check your operators manual)

    if it's not traction and the machine is losing momentum going up the hills you mow and your machine is under warranty, I would definitely ask the service manager about it.

    The entry Deere mowers are known to have transmission issues on hills, especially if there are loads pulled or carried. These mowers are not really built to be a lawn tractor in terms of pulling loads, mowing steep hills, etc. and doing so will definitely shorten their operational lives.
    goat704! likes this.

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    I probably shouldve went up to x390 or somthing. At the time i was reading reviews and people were saying it could handle some hilly terrain so i figured it would be sufficient for lowes best model they had a decent deal on it at the time. For the most part it is alright and handles decent. But if i could increase the power a little it would be better.

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    I hate to say it if It is struggling Up You Hills Speeding it Up Isn't Going to help much The K46 In the E180 is for Use On Flat to Moderate/Rolling Hills a Transmission Upgrade to a K66 or a K62 with Diff/lock May make the difference Or Going to another Brand That has either auto diff/Lock Like Husqvarna(the Husqvarna auto/diff Lock Models still use a K46) But It would Have the Traction assist to help You Up those Hills Or Look at a Cub Cadet XT2 series Belt driven Garden tractor which will Put You In the $3,799 for the Price But will give You a K62 with Foot engaged Diff/lock Or there is even the Husqvarna Garden tractors with electric diff/lock ( a electric actuator engages the diff/lock) and it Gives You a K66 and the Lowest Price Model is $3,199.95. The K58's In the Higher Deere X300 series can also struggle with Hills If a X390 is In Your Budget at that Price You Might as well Look at a X570 with 54inch deck & Pedal operated Diff/lock which is only $600 More the than a X390 with a 54inch deck
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    These things aren't designed for speed and there is no easy way to increase ground speed. You'd have to disassemble the transmission and replace a gear or two (if you could find a correct replacement.)

    Your E180 is essentially the same machine as my D160 but you have a better seat and bigger mowing deck. If you hit a hill that's in the 30 degree range, they crawl. But then, my 2032R will crawl up the same hills if I'm in high range too. I don't know of any way around that with a hydro transmission.
    goat704! likes this.
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    I'm still not following. When you say "it struggles" are you saying the engine bogs down or does it lose traction? Speed and the ability to go up a hill are two different things. If you have good traction then you should be able to go up the hill at any speed. If you have to "get a run for it" then how are you intending to mow at such a high speed?

    If traction is your issue then even something like a X300-series isn't going to help as it is still one wheel drive. You would need to jump up to a X500-series to get something like a differential lock. Check the air in your tires, perhaps they have too much air. You can also try adding wheel weights to aid in maintaining traction.
    Spectre likes this.
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    I think making it go faster would be counter productive, as it would reduce the available torque. If I remember correctly the k-46 is only rated to transfer under 3hp to the drive wheels.


    Here is a bit of a review of the e180 I found.


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