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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). :dunno:
 

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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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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.
 

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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.
 

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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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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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Discussion Starter #8
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.

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 :bigthumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
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?
 

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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?


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. :lol: don't get mad-as I'm only joking u:hornets:good luck and I hope u find the problem, these fellas will help u the whole way thru till it's up and running again.:laugh:
 

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There is a reason the stock belt is $75 and it's not all mark up.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
[/B]
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. :lol: don't get mad-as I'm only joking u:hornets:good luck and I hope u find the problem, these fellas will help u the whole way thru till it's up and running again.:laugh:
Big Jim, I used to blame the children for my tools disappearing. Now that they've gone, the tools still disappear so there must be some truth in what you say - after all, it can't be me!

There is a reason the stock belt is $75 and it's not all mark up.
At the greenpartstore.com the JD belt is $27.54. That's the big problem, the difference between here and States prices. Also, financial restraints force me to go for the less expensive option.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have cleaned the pulleys, tightened the drive belt but nothing's changed. Since then, I have stuck a drill in my hand so I shall be out of action for a few days. I'll be back with a few more questions. Thanks for your patience.
 

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Well, the stitches haven't been taken out yet but I can move my hand and I need to get on with the fixing so I have the back end on stands and want to do some more testing.
I tried looking under the tractor while running along with it and while sitting on it but to no avail so my question now is, can I test the transaxle while on stands? I would rather not go through the work of taking it down and opening it to see if there is a problem.
All ideas and suggestions gratefully received.
 

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I finally decided to check out the transaxle. I dropped it, opened it and the only thing I could find was a missing tooth on one of the gears
IMG_3459.JPG
the white bit above my screwdriver.
QUESTION - can one tooth cause so much jerking while driving?

The JD parts breakdown list has two pages for TRANSMISSION GEARS, COUNTERSHAFT AND SHIFTER ROD - why? I have no idea and they don't give any explanation. My gear on one of the pages says
M70511 GEAR 1 Z=20
and the other says
M82807 GEAR 1 Z=20 (SUB M70511 and M70516)
Does this mean that 82807 is a substitute for the other two parts or 82807 is replaced by those two parts.

Finally, I have never worked on a gearbox, will it be a difficult job to replace that gear?
 

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Yeah that is definitely one of your problems. You need to clean out all that gunk and inspect all sides of every gear in the box. That piece of tooth went somewhere. A few other areas look like they have some damage. You won't know for sure until you disassemble & clean it.
My ex brother and law had an older JD compact tractor that had a similar problem. A broken shift fork fell in and broke a tooth off the one piece counter shaft. He put it back together with just a new fork. It would skip constantly while cutting grass. Ended up selling it as is.
 
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