JD LA145 won't drive uphill!
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Thread: JD LA145 won't drive uphill!

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    JD LA145 won't drive uphill!

    Hello everyone, new around here. I'm desperate for advice. I just purchased a late 2000s model LA145 lawn tractor. Engine looks and runs great. I hopped on it to cut our grass for the first time and in the front yard it did great. Blazed through it no problem..once I got to the back yard where we have a pretty steep grade it simply stopped going uphill. I did the first few passes but the longer I cut, the less it would go uphill until it completely stopped. The guy I bought the tractor from said he got it from a guy who had gotten in too bad of health to mow his own place anymore so chances are it sat for a while unused. The guy I got it from buys tractors like that, tunes them up and flips them.

    From my research, I've narrowed it down to a few things and I could use some advice on if I'm going in the wrong direction.

    1. Drive belt wearing out and getting loose the more I run the machine.
    2. Transmission tension spring getting loose
    3. Transmission fluid either A. gunked up B. breaking down after heating up from the tractor sitting for an unknown amount of time.

    After it wouldn't go uphill, I cut it off and let it sit for awhile. Went out about an hour later, cranked it up and it drove uphill (slowly) but I got it back to the garage.

    PLEASE HELP!

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    Sounds like the transmission needs a rebuild. A fluid change might add life but it’s still a band aid.

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    All of the items you list are valid possibilities. You should check through them one by one.

    Be prepared however. The L/LA/D and now E-series Deere mowers utilize Tuff Torq T40 or T46 transmissions that aren't designed to be serviced. It's a sealed unit. Deere dealers will offer to replace it as a single unit for you but they won't repair them. The cost of doing that is prohibitive.

    These things are known for dying and when they do, you get pretty much the exact symptoms you laid out.

    There are some videos on YouTube where guys have pulled those transmissions apart and tinkered with them. I have no idea how well they work once they get done.
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    Keeper of the GTT Cookies dieselshadow's Avatar
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    JD LA145 won't drive uphill!

    Could be stripped splines on the input pulley to the transmission. We’ve seen and heard this before as well.
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    The T40 / K46 is not intended for high load operations. On a flat lot, they will run for many years. Throw them at steep hills and they won't last. If you do rebuild yours, how steep your hill is will determine how long the rebuild will last. My yard has an area that is about 50 feet long at a 10 degree pitch (measured ). Plus I hauled wood with it and pulled a plug aerator. Under those conditions, my L118's transmission was good for about 5 years, original and then again after a rebuild. Three years ago I gave it to a cousin who has a flat yard and it's still working. Just doesn't like hills.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimR View Post
    All of the items you list are valid possibilities. You should check through them one by one.

    Be prepared however. The L/LA/D and now E-series Deere mowers utilize Tuff Torq T40 or T46 transmissions that aren't designed to be serviced. It's a sealed unit. Deere dealers will offer to replace it as a single unit for you but they won't repair them. The cost of doing that is prohibitive.

    These things are known for dying and when they do, you get pretty much the exact symptoms you laid out.

    There are some videos on YouTube where guys have pulled those transmissions apart and tinkered with them. I have no idea how well they work once they get done.

    I saw a guy pull the rear end off and drain the fluid out through the fill hole and put new fluid in...it drove around after that but no clue how long it would last.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiroVol View Post
    I saw a guy pull the rear end off and drain the fluid out through the fill hole and put new fluid in...it drove around after that but no clue how long it would last.
    There are internal check valves that prevent a dump out from getting most of the fluid out. You do need to split the case to change it.

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    My only JD is the 1025r, but my 20 or so year old Craftsman had the same symptoms. A new drive belt and adjusting the idler wheel so there was a little more tension on it fixed the problem. Hope it's a simple as that for you...
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselshadow View Post
    Could be stripped splines on the input pulley to the transmission. We’ve seen and heard this before as well.
    I wondered about this but I didnt hear anything that sounded like the splines were slipping. it just wouldnt go

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    Keeper of the GTT Cookies dieselshadow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiroVol View Post
    I wondered about this but I didnt hear anything that sounded like the splines were slipping. it just wouldnt go
    You won’t hear it strangely enough. At least nobody has ever reported that.
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