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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys and gals, I’m new on here. I am trying to help my father with his John Deere lawn tractor. He owns a 2014 JD D160 lawn tractor. He is having issues with going up hills. He cuts approximately half acre of flat lawn, then tries to tackle the hilly portion part of the yard and the tractor refuses to go up the hills. He thinks he may have messed something up while going quickly down the hill a few years ago, said it felt like it tried to reverse or the gearing slowed it down while going down that hill. Anyways, he’s asked a small engine mechanic and they think it’s a transmission issue, a very expensive sealed unit? I did some digging around and it could be simply a lawn tractor that’s not meant for hills and slopes. I wanna get this issue with his tractor fixed so he’s not cutting the hills with push lawnmower. I am Happy to try the repair myself to save some money. Anyone know where to go from here?

Thanks!
 

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Hi, Shep.
Welcome to GTT.

Have you checked the condition of the drive belt and pulleys. It's possible they're slipping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi, Shep.
Welcome to GTT.

Have you checked the condition of the drive belt and pulleys. It's possible they're slipping.
I will mention it to him, would it be making a noise or would he just need someone to check while climbing the hill? I take it there should be tension on the belts if its mowing fine while cutting the flats, but with his weight and the incline, its more stress on the belts leading to them not having enough tension or grip on the pulley ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
He says tractor goes up and down the hills when the tractor is cold, but after it running and working for a while and is warmed up, its sluggish and unable to climb the hills. Possibly a fluid issue? He says the transmission is a sealed unit and doesn't think the fluid can be changed? Im translating for the old man over a long distance phone call.
 

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Chief Stick-picker-upper
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He says tractor goes up and down the hills when the tractor is cold, but after it running and working for a while and is warmed up, its sluggish and unable to climb the hills. Possibly a fluid issue? He says the transmission is a sealed unit and doesn't think the fluid can be changed? Im translating for the old man over a long distance phone call.
That can be a sign of a loose, worn or slipping drive belt.

Also, check the Tow Rod to make certain it's pushed in completely.
782180



See item #12(pressure relief valve) in image above. May be bad, but check all items mentioned prior to having a dealer investigate.
 

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I don't have your tractor but I did some quick googling. It looks like the D160 has a Tuff Torq HD K46
Tractor Data

Then if you do some googling on Tuff Torq HD K46 you will find a bit of hope that an oil change might do your father some good.

Tuff Torq K46 Oil Maintenance - General information for servicing your unit
Do a search for "Hills" on this thread and you will see what I mean.

here is just one example:

Al says:
Good day, I have a Husqvarna YT48XLS Model# 96043015500 with a K46 CR/LD transaxle. When it is cold, it will climb hills fine, but after it warms up, it will not climb anymore. Level ground is fine. I’ve never changed the transaxle fluid. Do I need a new transaxle or is there hope for just a fluid change? I have no leaks, and no other issues
Reply

Good Luck
 

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I would check the transmission oil, I had a Scott's JD and it did the same thing so I talked with my dealer and they told me to put 10W-30 oil in it then put it on blocks turn the back tires BY HAND for a minute both ways to work out any air bubbles then it was Good to go!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That is great, all very good information!!! I am gunna pass this information on to him and i will likely be giving that oil change a try. He did mention that the belt is probably original. And that he does an engine oil change regularly but never changed the oil on the transmission. He always thought that the transmission was sealed but I will investigate how to actually change the oil. and what oils are required. I was on youtube last night and watched this guys descriptive video.
He does a good job showing every step. I still need to confirm with the old man what the transmission model number is but its likely the T46 ( K46 ). It obviously won't need to be rebuilt but it shows how to drop it outta the tractor and I'll be able to get that fluid changed!!!

You guys are the best!!! Thank you for responding so quickly!!!!
 

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That is great, all very good information!!! I am gunna pass this information on to him and i will likely be giving that oil change a try. He did mention that the belt is probably original. And that he does an engine oil change regularly but never changed the oil on the transmission. He always thought that the transmission was sealed but I will investigate how to actually change the oil. and what oils are required. I was on youtube last night and watched this guys descriptive video.
He does a good job showing every step. I still need to confirm with the old man what the transmission model number is but its likely the T46 ( K46 ). It obviously won't need to be rebuilt but it shows how to drop it outta the tractor and I'll be able to get that fluid changed!!!

You guys are the best!!! Thank you for responding so quickly!!!!
just wondering if this fixed the problem i am having the same issue
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
just wondering if this fixed the problem i am having the same issue

It was at the dealership a month ago, mechanic said that it was a bad year for that transmission. Basically it’s 700 for the new trans, and 300 for labour. My dad is gunna pass it on to me and he’s planning on purchasing a new tractor. Something specific for hilly property. I plan on tearing into the transmission and rebuilding it and changing the oil. The mechanic told my father it’s not serviceable but based on the YouTube video I posted it definitely can be repaired. Luckily I’m due for a new lawn tractor anyway and he’s itching to buy a new one! He was thinking of a kabota zero turn but has been informed they are not good with hills. So there will likely be some research and shopping!

Hope that answered your question.

Cheers
 

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It was at the dealership a month ago, mechanic said that it was a bad year for that transmission. Basically it’s 700 for the new trans, and 300 for labour. My dad is gunna pass it on to me and he’s planning on purchasing a new tractor. Something specific for hilly property. I plan on tearing into the transmission and rebuilding it and changing the oil. The mechanic told my father it’s not serviceable but based on the YouTube video I posted it definitely can be repaired. Luckily I’m due for a new lawn tractor anyway and he’s itching to buy a new one! He was thinking of a kabota zero turn but has been informed they are not good with hills. So there will likely be some research and shopping!

Hope that answered your question.

Cheers
You really need to consider the ROI carefully in taking this on. A couple of things to be aware of is, yes, you can order parts and rebuild kits through Tuff Torq. You do need to research the exact age and revision of your TA via the serial number. If it's not the latest revision, you may very well be required to update many more parts than simply the rebuild kit. Check this very closely, as it will toss your numbers in the weeds very quickly. With these low end machines, you really have to have a good handle on what the current real world values are, and take careful consideration of what the existing value might be by parting it out. Then from that point, the investment necessary to get it to fair market value. The problem is, These things just are not worth a whole lot. I've done a number of rebuilds, mostly on the K61 with the LX188 and LX288 series, which is all around much better machine. Even with those, it was very hard to make it worth the cost and time. And, the gamble on buying a used TA is particularly risky with the K46 which is a flat land TA at best, and pretty much junk. Be cautious as you can get upside down very quickly.
 

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When the trouble starts more so after the machine warms, much of the time changing the oil to 15/ 20 W50 buys you time on the cheap. In fact, I've had good luck just using my extractor and drawing out what I can from the front compartment which is usually ~ 2/3 of quart and refilling w/ the 50 weight.
You'll find that most shops won't repair the transaxles due to cost and possible headaches that come from rebuilding.
 
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