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Discussion Starter #1
I have a new to me LT160 that has 345 hours on it.

Forward seems to work just fine and can climb a decent hill. Reverse is about half the speed and can only back up very small inclines.

Is this normal or is there something wrong with the transaxle? I just spent the evening putting a new drive belt in.

I have read about the many many issues with the transmissions on these things, so I don't know if this is normal, or if this is having the known issues.

I have an opportunity to get a D140 new for $1450 + taxes from the Big Box store. But my JD dealer says the LT160 is much better built machine than the D140.

I can't see putting $700 + several hours time into an almost 20 year old machine. Which is too bad, because the engine fires up and purrs right along.
 

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I have a new to me LT160 that has 345 hours on it.

Forward seems to work just fine and can climb a decent hill. Reverse is about half the speed and can only back up very small inclines.

Is this normal or is there something wrong with the transaxle? I just spent the evening putting a new drive belt in.

I have read about the many many issues with the transmissions on these things, so I don't know if this is normal, or if this is having the known issues.

I have an opportunity to get a D140 new for $1450 + taxes from the Big Box store. But my JD dealer says the LT160 is much better built machine than the D140.

I can't see putting $700 + several hours time into an almost 20 year old machine. Which is too bad, because the engine fires up and purrs right along.
Most tractors will reverse slower than the max forward speed. Backing up an incline is hard to say. It should back up anything it could drive up forward. Well until one of the rear tires start to spin. You will have less traction going in reverse up a hill.
Your transmission is way overdue for a fluid change. If the drive belt didn't help this will be the next step. However the transmission must come out of the tractor to do it. See how bad the oil looks when you drain it out.
 

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As the unit gets older the pivot points in the pedal system begin to wear and causes a stack up of slop in the pedals. You may not be getting full stroke of the hydro. Under the floor board where the reverse pedal attaches you wil see a bolt on the pedal. Loosen the bolt slightly and pull the pedal back/up. It wont move a whole lot. Then tighten bolt and nut. Retry and see what you have.

Sent from my LGL52VL using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #4
As the unit gets older the pivot points in the pedal system begin to wear and causes a stack up of slop in the pedals. You may not be getting full stroke of the hydro. Under the floor board where the reverse pedal attaches you wil see a bolt on the pedal. Loosen the bolt slightly and pull the pedal back/up. It wont move a whole lot. Then tighten bolt and nut. Retry and see what you have.

Sent from my LGL52VL using Tapatalk
Thanks Doc.

I was pretty tired last night when posting that...Just finished an evening with the thing, pulling the blades, sharpening them, tipping the machine on it's side, doing the drive belt, etc. I was so hoping the new drive belt, which was a little tattered and torn and about 3/4 of an inch longer than the new one, was going to fix it right up.

I should have added, that when it stops under load in reverse, it just sorta stops...tires aren't spinning and there's only a slight hint of screeching from the drive train, like the transaxle just isn't being allowed to get much oil. With my big tractors, if I stall the transaxle, you know it from the loud squeeling, and you generally kill the engine.

So I forgot to task in my tiredness if there was any pedal linkage that might need adjust in case the pedal was bottoming out before it was allowing full oil through the transaxle. Your suggestion gives me renewed hope for something to try when I get home tonight!

If that doesn't work, I'll have to think about pulling it and doing the oil change. But I would think if the oil is good enough for a strong forward, then it should be sufficient quality for reverse. So either the linkage needs to be adjusted, or the thing is shot. I don't know much about HST transmissions, but I would think they either work forward and reverse, or not at all.

Thank you!
 

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Thanks Doc.

I was pretty tired last night when posting that...Just finished an evening with the thing, pulling the blades, sharpening them, tipping the machine on it's side, doing the drive belt, etc. I was so hoping the new drive belt, which was a little tattered and torn and about 3/4 of an inch longer than the new one, was going to fix it right up.

I should have added, that when it stops under load in reverse, it just sorta stops...tires aren't spinning and there's only a slight hint of screeching from the drive train, like the transaxle just isn't being allowed to get much oil. With my big tractors, if I stall the transaxle, you know it from the loud squeeling, and you generally kill the engine.

So I forgot to task in my tiredness if there was any pedal linkage that might need adjust in case the pedal was bottoming out before it was allowing full oil through the transaxle. Your suggestion gives me renewed hope for something to try when I get home tonight!

If that doesn't work, I'll have to think about pulling it and doing the oil change. But I would think if the oil is good enough for a strong forward, then it should be sufficient quality for reverse. So either the linkage needs to be adjusted, or the thing is shot. I don't know much about HST transmissions, but I would think they either work forward and reverse, or not at all.

Thank you!
I agree. Low oil, or broken down, would manifest issues in forward, too. Either it's linkage, or a bad hydro. I'd emotionally prepare for the latter. Then, anything else is a pleasant turn of events.
 

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Hope changing the fluid does the trick. You might try to find out if there is some type of filter, screen or magnet to clean in the transaxle. I noticed you stated that you tipped the machine on its side, did you really lay it on its side? Anyway, I am sure that new fluid will help quite a bit. :thumbup1gif:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Went home last night and loosened the pedal nut and pulled the pedal up and re tightened. Looks like it might have changed the height a bit.

I also saw a suggestion to push in the Hydro release in the back. It did go in about 1/4 inch.

Testing saw a noted improvement in reverse. It was now able to go up my test hill in reverse, still with some struggle, but before it could not do it at all.

My neighbor was out with his Craftsman and tried to go up the hill in reverse, and he was able to without any struggle whatsoever.

So I'm still not sure if this is an issue with this transaxle or just the way this model is in reverse.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
 
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