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Hi folks. I've had my 1025r now for about a month and a half and am having a significant problem with the tractor tearing up my lawn while making turns - both left and right. The harder I turn the more it tears up the lawn - scalping it down to the dirt. It will do damage even during a moderate gradual turn. It's not the deck or deck wheels dragging, but rather something going on with the steering or rear differential. I also get a grinding and binding sensation the harder I turn. If I turn too hard the tractor will keep trying to push in a straight line and actually cause the front tires to skid forward. I mow in low range and make turns slowly. To minimize the damage I have to make three or four point turns.

Here are some pictures of the damage it does:

View attachment 21240 View attachment 21241 View attachment 21242 View attachment 21243 View attachment 21244 View attachment 21245

The tractor is not in 4wd (checked that numerous times), the rear tires are not loaded with fluid, there are no wheel weights and the FEL is not on the tractor - just the 60D deck. I've noticed that the steering seems stiff from day one. It now has about 13.2 hours on the meter. This problem has gotten worse over the short time I've had the machine. I have also noticed the hydraulic connector on the power steering cylinder rubs on the inside of the left tire when turned hard left. It seems to shift closer and further away. Sometimes it’s right on the tire and other times it is 3/4 inch away.

Has anyone experienced this? I'm assuming this machine should not be doing this and should handle and cut as well as a garden tractor. My dealer sent a technician down last week but he did not find anything. They are going to pick the machine up this week to look into in further. Any help and insights would be very much appreciated. Thanks everyone.
 

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Check to make sure your don't have your rear wheels locked so that they both turn at the same time. Your owner's manual will explain how to lock in and lock out the rear wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Check to make sure your don't have your rear wheels locked so that they both turn at the same time. Your owner's manual will explain how to lock in and lock out the rear wheels.
I have checked that. I've never used it and have read about engaging/disengaging in the manual and did go through the procedure once (after all the lawn damage). It doesn't appear to be in lock-down mode, but maybe that is the problem - i.e. it's stuck in the lock mode even though the lever is in the up position.
 

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There's a heel lever on the left foot well just in front of the seat. Make sure it's in the up position. It should be spring loaded. Can you jack the front of the tractor up? Get one tire off the ground. You should be able to spin it very easily by hand. If not, it's in 4 wheel drive.

Let us know what you find and we'll go from there. :good2:
 

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It doesn't make much sense...If the front wheels are being pushed it indicates lack of weight up front or too much on the back. Can you test it with the FEL on and see if it helps, nice and low. Wonder if its stuck in 4x4?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It doesn't make much sense...If the front wheels are being pushed it indicates lack of weight up front or too much on the back. Can you test it with the FEL on and see if it helps, nice and low. Wonder if its stuck in 4x4?
I am pretty sure it is not in 4wd. About ten days ago I put the box blade on it (Frontier 48') and did a little dragging for the first time. I purposely left it in 2wd to see if I could determine if it was stuck in 4wd. Sure enough, at one point the BB grabbed and caused the rear tires to spin and the fronts did nothing confirming (I think) that it is not in 4wd.

I just went out to the garage and the differential lock is up. If I push it down with my hand, it easily moves up and down. Should there be some resistance like it is engaging a gear or is it pretty free flowing? All I feel is the spring loaded mechanism. Tractor is off when I did this.
 

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If the gears line up, there'll be no resistance. If they don't line up, it may not even go down.
 

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You can jack the rear of the tractor up. Be careful as it will want to tip on the front axle pivot. Try spinning a rear wheel. If they spin together in the same direction, the diff lock is engaged. If they spin opposite, it's not locked and in the normal position.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If the gears line up, there'll be no resistance. If they don't line up, it may not even go down.
Hmmmm. I'll drive it around a bit and see if I can find any gear resistance. If not, then I bet that is the problem - stuck in differential lock mode. If it is, what kind of damage has THAT done to my axel? Hours BTW are 13.2, not 10.
 

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With the damage your pictures show and the description you give, my bet is your tractor is in 4 wheel drive. A jack and a few minutes will answer that.
 

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I have a hunch you rear wheels are locked together. Even in 4x4 my 1026 dosnt rip up my lawn like the pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have a hunch you rear wheels are locked together. Even in 4x4 my 1026 dosnt rip up my lawn like the pics.
That's what I'm beginning to think. Perhaps that will explain all the binding/grinding I'm feeling and the front tires being pushed forward as i approach a hard turn.
 

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You can jack the rear of the tractor up. Be careful as it will want to tip on the front axle pivot. Try spinning a rear wheel. If they spin together in the same direction, the diff lock is engaged. If they spin opposite, it's not locked and in the normal position.
That would be the definitive test whether the rear end is locked in or not. It sure sounds like it is though. They don't like to steer around in circles when the rear end is locked.:lol: especially in grass.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That would be the definitive test whether the rear end is locked in or not. It sure sounds like it is though. They don't like to steer around in circles when the rear end is locked.:lol: especially in grass.
Any thoughts on axel and/or front end damage after driving around with locked rears since day one? As I mentioned, I've noticed weirdness with the power steering cylinder appearing to shift left and right...
 

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Any thoughts on axel and/or front end damage after driving around with locked rears since day one? As I mentioned, I've noticed weirdness with the power steering cylinder appearing to shift left and right...
When was "day one"? Has it been all on grass or gravel?
 

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I received it at the end of June. Yes, all grass and gravel driveway... No pavement, except garage.
I would "guess" that you didn't hurt anything, depending on what the REAL problem is.
 

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When I first got mine last summer , I had used traction lock one time . Noticed I was tearing up things with front tires. Finally drove tractor on the concrete drive , stopped and then tried making a turn to the right and then to the left After one or two times . it released and has fine every since.
Not saying this is your problem but worth a try if you have a concrete drive or a good hard packed gravel drive one close to you . May work on asphalt not sure.
 
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