Problem with Drive Train?
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    Problem with Drive Train?

    Hello Vintage JDers from a new member,

    My first question on this forum and I am so happy I found it because the grass has started growing and my John Deere 180 ride-on mower has decided to give me problems. I'm guessing that a 180 falls in the vintage section even though I have no idea how old it is.

    On with my question. In my last outing with it last autumn, it was working perfectly. I took it out for a trial run last week and noticed a problem. As I'm driving, whatever gear, it appears to mechanically miss. The only way I can describe it is like when riding a bicycle, at the point of changing gears - like a clunk, clunk. I put it up on stands, today, and ran it in all gears with no problem.

    So basically, it was running OK the last time I used it and after the winter break, problem. Also it works fine on stands but problem shows up when on the ground.

    Any ideas will be gratefully received.

    I should add that it has the 5 speed transaxle (I think).

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    Is the transaxle driven by a belt? Could the belt be slipping?
    1025r TLB w 60D MMM & Independent Lift
    SN 114287 Built April '13 received 8/21/13
    180 degree thermostat
    Omni Transformer w/ integrated weight bracket
    Single Point
    Ken's Bolt on hooks
    Artillian Forks (42")
    Full Compliment of Wheel Weights (340lbs)
    Custom Seat Springs

    Kubota 326H 72" deck ZTR

    Stihl MS361, FS250R

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    Quote Originally Posted by psrumors View Post
    Is the transaxle driven by a belt? Could the belt be slipping?
    That's what I thought, so I changed the old belt, which was quite cracked. Unfortunately nothing changed. What I have noticed is the sheaves have rust in them, could that be a cause? I'm about to go out and remove the belt and try to clean them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rodisi View Post
    That's what I thought, so I changed the old belt, which was quite cracked. Unfortunately nothing changed. What I have noticed is the sheaves have rust in them, could that be a cause? I'm about to go out and remove the belt and try to clean them.
    Sheaves? As in pulleys? If they have ruse where the belt rides then yes, that could cause the belt to slip as well as wear faster.
    rodisi likes this.
    1025r TLB w 60D MMM & Independent Lift
    SN 114287 Built April '13 received 8/21/13
    180 degree thermostat
    Omni Transformer w/ integrated weight bracket
    Single Point
    Ken's Bolt on hooks
    Artillian Forks (42")
    Full Compliment of Wheel Weights (340lbs)
    Custom Seat Springs

    Kubota 326H 72" deck ZTR

    Stihl MS361, FS250R

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    Trav1s's Avatar
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    The 180 is part of the series that replaced the 60/70/100 machines and IIRC they are early 80's.

    While I don't have any experience with them, three things come to my mind.

    1. Did you use JD belts? If not, get a belt from Deere and see what you get.
    2. Is the clutch out of adjustment?
    3. Is there an idler or other tensioner stuck?

    Drive belt is JD M86996 and #14 in the attached pic

    By looking at the pic attached I would begin by making sure the pivot point #9 in the pic is moving freely.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails MP9027_________UN01JAN94.jpg  
    Trav1s on WFM
    '67 110, '68 side tag 110, '71 120/41 deck "worker," '77 312, '88 318/38 deck/49 blower, 7 & 10 carts, 51SV Chain saw, and a couple of old JD push mowers and a 318 needing a new heart.

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    with the hydro-statics of that era and family (165, 175, 185) it is common for the pulley on the transmission to strip out.

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    T-Mo's Avatar
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    The 180 was made from 1986 to 1990, but it doesn't qualify to be placed in our Vintage L&G section. Only the tractors listed in the description are called "vintage" by this site. So I moved this to the regular L&G section.
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    Quote Originally Posted by psrumors View Post
    Sheaves? As in pulleys? If they have ruse where the belt rides then yes, that could cause the belt to slip as well as wear faster.
    Yes, the manual refers to them as sheaves. I suppose they mean the sides of the pulleys.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trav1s View Post
    While I don't have any experience with them, three things come to my mind.
    1. Did you use JD belts? If not, get a belt from Deere and see what you get.
    2. Is the clutch out of adjustment?
    3. Is there an idler or other tensioner stuck?
    Drive belt is JD M86996 and #14 in the attached pic
    By looking at the pic attached I would begin by making sure the pivot point #9 in the pic is moving freely.
    1. No, the JD belt, here, costs $75 as opposed to the $25 I paid on ebay.
    2. Yes, I did the clutch adjustment when I changed the belt.
    3. There are no idlers stuck although there is some play in the clutch pulley. I have just gone and bought one and shall replace and get back when I've done it.
    BTW, I appreciate the help from everyone and your time. After finding the forum, I'm having fewer anxiety attacks
    Superglidesport, Levi and BigJim55 like this.

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    I have changed the clutch pulley and on testing it appears that the clunking is diminished but not totally gone. I shall do some more testing tomorrow.
    My neighbour keeps telling me that it's the gearbox. In my thinking, the fault was not there the last time I used it, at the end of last year - how could something happen to it when it wasn't being used? Any thoughts on that?
    BigJim55 likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rodisi View Post
    I have changed the clutch pulley and on testing it appears that the clunking is diminished but not totally gone. I shall do some more testing tomorrow.
    My neighbour keeps telling me that it's the gearbox. In my thinking, the fault was not there the last time I used it, at the end of last year - how could something happen to it when it wasn't being used? Any thoughts on that?


    RODISI- glad u found this place, welcome from PA. I would be just as unhappy as u are for it not working when I for go for it in the spring too. but sometimes strange things happen-I am evident of them things. sometimes I swear aliens has decided to visit me, and mess with my stuff over the yrs. this fall when u park it, take and sprinkle some baby powder around it-good way to check for the little foot prints-ok. don't get mad-as I'm only joking ugood luck and I hope u find the problem, these fellas will help u the whole way thru till it's up and running again.

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