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Looking into getting a D140 tractor, and there's a seemingly never ending issue that's been going on for 5+ years in regards to transaxle problems on all JD 100 series lawn tractors, LT, L, LA, D, etc, etc.

Do all manufacturers have these problems?

Why hasn't Deere addressed these issues by now?
 

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Looking into getting a D140 tractor, and there's a seemingly never ending issue that's been going on for 5+ years in regards to transaxle problems on all JD 100 series lawn tractors, LT, L, LA, D, etc, etc.

Do all manufacturers have these problems?

Why hasn't Deere addressed these issues by now?
I think it is safe to say that all manufacturers who install the tuff torq transaxles have seen these issues.
With that said, I am not sure that the issue is as prevalent as you think. There have been a LOT of lawn tractors sold with tuff torq transaxles over the last 10+ years. And yes there have been failures. But how many?

I'll use me as an example. In 2007, I bought a Toro lawn tractor. I used it only for mowing the grass, never towed anything with it. That transaxle lasted 2 years until it let go (it would move forward, but go down a hill and kiss your a$$ goodbye because there was no stopping it).
In 2010 I bought my current JD LA135. I have beat the crap out of it. I mow the lawn, snowblow my driveway (which is sloped), and I have towed everything that I could move with it. Bucket after bucket of loam, mulch, yard debris etc. I tow a Cyclone Rake with it. After 7 years and well over 400 hours, I can say the tranny is doing just fine.
 

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Deere has addressed the issue, X330 is the answer. Tuff Torq T40 vs Tuff Torq K46.
I second this. This Chart is a breakdown of Tuff torq transaxels above the T40. The T40 I don't think is rated to handle anything more than mowing and pull light equipment around.
Big difference in rating for both weigth and torq. IHT Transaxle series K (K46, K57, K58, K62, K66, K72)?Hydraulic Equipment,Transmissions and Marine Gears?Products?Kanzaki Kokyukoki Mfg. Co., Ltd.
 

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Keep in mind that Deere made this lawn tractor to compete with other low end manufacturers and have a mower to sell at home improvement stores. So JD cannot invest a lot of money into these and stay in the price point. They are mainly for small city lots and not acreage.
 

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John Deere sells over 100,000+ tractors a year with T40/k46 tranny’s in them- the industry sells a million+ a year- that’s right a million a year K46 type tractors. If used as designed (light pulling) on flat land with gentle slopes no reason they can’t last 400-500-600 hours or more- on typical ¼ acre to 1 acre lot the rest of tractor usually wears out before tranny does. The reason why you hear about K46 failures is because more of them out there than any other type- in fact more of them than rest of tranny line up combined. You get people trying to use them on 10/15 even 20 degree slopes, pull 1,000lbs of firewood up a hill and wonder why their tractor died in 200 hours.
 

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John Deere sells over 100,000+ tractors a year with T40/k46 tranny’s in them- the industry sells a million+ a year- that’s right a million a year K46 type tractors. If used as designed (light pulling) on flat land with gentle slopes no reason they can’t last 400-500-600 hours or more- on typical ¼ acre to 1 acre lot the rest of tractor usually wears out before tranny does. The reason why you hear about K46 failures is because more of them out there than any other type- in fact more of them than rest of tranny line up combined. You get people trying to use them on 10/15 even 20 degree slopes, pull 1,000lbs of firewood up a hill and wonder why their tractor died in 200 hours.
I see you have an x590. I also just purchased one with a 17P cart. I have some fairly steep hills in my back yard and have not had any issues hauling moderate amounts of wood, brush, etc. I know the discussion is regarding the K46, but how do you feel so far about the K72 in the x590? I'd like to think for the extra $3k+ and the additional features, we would be okay hauling around some firewood and other miscellaneous items up hills and around the yard.
 

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I see you have an x590. I also just purchased one with a 17P cart. I have some fairly steep hills in my back yard and have not had any issues hauling moderate amounts of wood, brush, etc. I know the discussion is regarding the K46, but how do you feel so far about the K72 in the x590? I'd like to think for the extra $3k+ and the additional features, we would be okay hauling around some firewood and other miscellaneous items up hills and around the yard.
You shouldn't have a problem. It's made heavy duty for work like this. I put the trans in my X540 through some pretty good testing. lol
Plowing snow deeper than the blade.
Towing 2 full size snow mobiles across an acer of grass. Then using the brush guard to push them into the counter of the yard.
Towing my 42" lawn sweeper.
Towing my 10P cart with various loads.
Skidded a bunch of trees that I cut down. They ranged from 6"-8" thick. Couldn't tell you how high they were.
Cutting grass on some serious slopes. On one area of my side job lot. I have to drive down a steep hill till the front tires are on the curb. Then reverse back up with the diff lock engaged. Another section is just one big hill.
And that's just this year.

I also put the K46 in my old L108 through some pretty good torture testing in the 9 years that I owned it. Never had a problem with the transmission. Kind of wish it had an hour meter. I'm sure it had well over a 1,000 hours before I sold it. Maybe even closer to 2,000.
 

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I recently replaced my 11 year old Sears Craftsman. It was a low end mower yet I used the hell out of it & never had trans problems. It had a Hydro-Gear trans. I also sold my Troybilt zero turn with over 400 hrs and again had no trans problems. It also had a Hydro-Gear. My experience has been good with low end trans. Now I did have problems with deck and engines on these mowers but no trans problems.
 

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I see you have an x590. I also just purchased one with a 17P cart. I have some fairly steep hills in my back yard and have not had any issues hauling moderate amounts of wood, brush, etc. I know the discussion is regarding the K46, but how do you feel so far about the K72 in the x590? I'd like to think for the extra $3k+ and the additional features, we would be okay hauling around some firewood and other miscellaneous items up hills and around the yard.

No issues with K72 and hills. Don’t want to sound like a John Deere commercial—but in fact no issues with tractor at all- in two years it’s been everything I expected and more. The Kawi EFI/ 25.5 hp Engine is plenty powerful enough. Can never bog it down mowing lawn, no matter how steep the hill; I mowed a hill only billy goats could handle. I’ve snow blow 27 inches of snow. Tractor starts with flick of the key no matter how cold or hot outside temperature is. Power steering is a dream, love the HDAPS, the mulching kit works well. In short nothing negative at all to report on tractor in 2 years of use
And BTW it’s not the hills per say that kill the K46. The K46 only puts 2.73 HP to wheel no matter how big the engine is. When going up hills the k46 is producing maximum pressure of transaxle, maximum pressure for any length of time produces heat, in addition many owners don’t clean top of transaxle ( sometimes hard to get to) you get dried grass clipping etc there which compounds the heat problem. Over time the heat breaks down the lubricating oil, when the oil is “bad” it no longer protects tranny and you start to get problems- take any K46 and put in synthetic oil every 150-200 hours and K46 will last a long time hills or not. Of course with filter and easily serviceable transmission that’s not an issue for the k72 in X590
 

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No issues with K72 and hills. Don’t want to sound like a John Deere commercial—but in fact no issues with tractor at all- in two years it’s been everything I expected and more. The Kawi EFI/ 25.5 hp Engine is plenty powerful enough. Can never bog it down mowing lawn, no matter how steep the hill; I mowed a hill only billy goats could handle. I’ve snow blow 27 inches of snow. Tractor starts with flick of the key no matter how cold or hot outside temperature is. Power steering is a dream, love the HDAPS, the mulching kit works well. In short nothing negative at all to report on tractor in 2 years of use
And BTW it’s not the hills per say that kill the K46. The K46 only puts 2.73 HP to wheel no matter how big the engine is. When going up hills the k46 is producing maximum pressure of transaxle, maximum pressure for any length of time produces heat, in addition many owners don’t clean top of transaxle ( sometimes hard to get to) you get dried grass clipping etc there which compounds the heat problem. Over time the heat breaks down the lubricating oil, when the oil is “bad” it no longer protects tranny and you start to get problems- take any K46 and put in synthetic oil every 150-200 hours and K46 will last a long time hills or not. Of course with filter and easily serviceable transmission that’s not an issue for the k72 in X590
I mentioned the same thing in the X300 won't go up hills thread. Usually what kills an automatic transmission is heat. The fluid brakes down and hard part failures follow.

This is probably the biggest killer of the low end transmissions. The fact that people are told they are not serviceable. Just use it till it brakes and buy another one. Consumers are not only told this by JD but many other manufacturers as well. If the transmission fluid would be changed every 200 hours like the bigger units. The 40/46 wouldn't have many failures at all. The other problem is having to remove the transmission to change the fluid. Not many average Joe's are willing to tackle a project like this. A convenient drain and fill plug would help a lot.
 
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