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Discussion Starter #1
My 2012 X500 has 170 hours on the meter and I notice something strange when I got it out of the barn last night:

When I go forward and leave off the foot pedal, the GT used to come to a stop fairly quickly / almost abruptly...it was always very efficient to be mowing forward, let off the pedal, go in reverse, let off the pedal, go forward again. It could all be done smoothly and quickly...no waiting/drifting to a stop.

Last night, I noticed a drastic change in that behavior - it will now coast a bit. I watch the foot pedals and when I let off the pedal, the pedal is not returning to the "neutral" position right away. Its almost as if the pedal motion has a damper on it. So, essentially, the forward/reverse pedal action is very sluggish.

Has anyone noticed this before? Initially, I though the trans-axle just wasn't up to temperature, so I drove it around a good 10 minutes with no change in the behavior.

I crawled underneath and there is no damage on the pedal linkage; I lubricated things with spray lubricant where it made sense.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!

:cheers:
 

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My 2012 X500 has 170 hours on the meter and I notice something strange when I got it out of the barn last night:

When I go forward and leave off the foot pedal, the GT used to come to a stop fairly quickly / almost abruptly...it was always very efficient to be mowing forward, let off the pedal, go in reverse, let off the pedal, go forward again. It could all be done smoothly and quickly...no waiting/drifting to a stop.

Last night, I noticed a drastic change in that behavior - it will now coast a bit. I watch the foot pedals and when I let off the pedal, the pedal is not returning to the "neutral" position right away. Its almost as if the pedal motion has a damper on it. So, essentially, the forward/reverse pedal action is very sluggish.

Has anyone noticed this before? Initially, I though the trans-axle just wasn't up to temperature, so I drove it around a good 10 minutes with no change in the behavior.

I crawled underneath and there is no damage on the pedal linkage; I lubricated things with spray lubricant where it made sense.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!

:cheers:
There is an adjustment in the actual rear hydro unit to properly adjust this so it "works like it used to". If you have the technical service manual, it's covered in the manual as a "Neutral adjustment".

The adjustment is not complex, but you want to make very small changes to it while determining whether you have it adjusted correctly. On some of the models, it requires the right rear wheel to be removed to make this adjustment in the actual hydrostatic unit. To get this set correctly, I would suggest having the tractor on jack stands, with both rear wheels removed, so you can make the adjustment and then push the pedals and see exactly when the axle stops.

It's actually easier to get this adjustment correct without a load on the tractor and drive axles. Then you can push the pedal and release it and see when the axle stops moving. Right now, if you put your tractor on the jack stands the axles will be spinning forward when the tractor is running without any pedal pressure.

The rear hydro unit will build extra heat if the adjustment is not correct and this will wear on hydrostatic drive pump components, etc. Normally, this adjustment is required after repairs on the rear end assembly to get the neutral bias correct. Also, you want to make sure there isn't a mouse nest or some other obstruction up under the rear tractor platform or something which is impeding the linkage movement at the rear end causing this to suddenly occur.

Have you checked the fluid level in the rear hydro to make sure it's not low? Also, has this hydro unit ever been serviced? Always make sure to ONLY use the Deere Low Viscosity Hydro fluid and the appropriate filter on your tractor as it is crucial for it performing correctly.

I will find more information about the actual adjustment procedure and post it. Right now, I have to leave for an appointment......
 

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It doesn't quite sound like a neutral pedal adjustment. I believe there is a damper gismo like a little shock on the hydro pedal linkage back by the transaxle. Yours may be worn out.

For the record, my X500 with 125 hrs on it does pretty much the same thing you describe.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks SulleyBear.

I think tonight I will pull the wheels and get it on jack-stands. I'd like to thoroughly clean the mechanism levers, etc. as well, just to be certain there are no obstructions, as you mentioned. The transaxle on the x500 doesn't have a filter to worry about, just a 200 hour oil change interval. The level is correct and always has been. I think I topped it off one time, not too long after I bought it new. The level sank a little bit and I brought it up to the line. I always keep an eye on it.

The strange thing is, I used the tractor throughout Winter at least once a week to get a cart load of firewood. I'd always run it for about 15 or 20 minutes every time. The forward/reverse pedal never felt sluggish. Its now been sitting for about 5 weeks in my pole barn. I bought a JD 2025R, so the X500 has been ignored a bit lately...unfortunately.

I'll look into the neutral adjustment a little further. I sort of hate to mess with that because it seems to find neutral just fine....from forward or from reverse, it will come to neutral correctly. The pedal movement is just very sluggish. If you can paste in the procedure, I'll have a look at it and maybe go through it just to see if things are set correctly. Its worth a look.

There is a shock absorber - part # M808782 - in the linkage. I wonder if they can go bad. I think that is what gives the damping affect on the pedals.

BTW, unfortunately, I don't have the service manuals, just the owner's manual.
 

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The control lever shown as item number 3 is what pivots on the rear end assembly to cause the Swash Plate, which is item 21 in the illustration, to control the forward and backward movements of your tractor. Also, the shock absorber, shown as item number 8 is what controls the "smoothness" of the pedal movement and response.

Before you get into making the actual adjustments which affect the swash plate, I would make sure the linkage is clear and not bound up, the linkage is not obstructed in some manner and also that the shock absorber hasn't come loose. I have seen the retention clip which is number 7 break or be missing, which causes the shock absorber to not control the lever and pedal movement correctly. These are all things which I would carefully inspect before undertaking any adjustment on the swash plate position which affects the neutral bias of the hydro static unit.

Sometimes, wear in the swash plate bushings can cause the drift you are talking about, which is shown as item number 23 in the illustration. Are there any leaks of fluid in the rear of the tractor which are causing either dirt to accumulate to the hydro unit or drip on the floor? Often, the "packing", which are seals, on the swash plate can leak over time, which can also cause symptoms like you are describing.

I have to be honest and say most of the issues with leaks or bushing wear, etc. occur after MANY more hours on a machine that what you have. The hydro static drive units are very robust on these machines and very reliable. While little problems can happen, it's hard to really "tear one of these units up" unless it is used heavily for pushing lots of snow or pulling ground engaging implements.

If you are not real comfortable with making these adjustments, simply double check the items I have mentioned in this and the prior post and then if there is nothing in the way or hampering components movements and functions, you may want to check with your dealers service department. Swash plate adjustments are not something to be undertaken lightly as there ARE consequences for the changes you make.

This is a very important safety matter for the machine.

Just out of curiosity, did the PTO seem to function correctly in starting and stopping the mower deck operation?

Also, keep a close eye on your tractor's engine temperature gauge when operating the machine. An over heated hydro unit will also sometimes act like you are describing.

 

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Thanks SulleyBear.

I think tonight I will pull the wheels and get it on jack-stands. I'd like to thoroughly clean the mechanism levers, etc. as well, just to be certain there are no obstructions, as you mentioned. The transaxle on the x500 doesn't have a filter to worry about, just a 200 hour oil change interval. The level is correct and always has been. I think I topped it off one time, not too long after I bought it new. The level sank a little bit and I brought it up to the line. I always keep an eye on it.

The strange thing is, I used the tractor throughout Winter at least once a week to get a cart load of firewood. I'd always run it for about 15 or 20 minutes every time. The forward/reverse pedal never felt sluggish. Its now been sitting for about 5 weeks in my pole barn. I bought a JD 2025R, so the X500 has been ignored a bit lately...unfortunately.

I'll look into the neutral adjustment a little further. I sort of hate to mess with that because it seems to find neutral just fine....from forward or from reverse, it will come to neutral correctly. The pedal movement is just very sluggish. If you can paste in the procedure, I'll have a look at it and maybe go through it just to see if things are set correctly. Its worth a look.

There is a shock absorber - part # M808782 - in the linkage. I wonder if they can go bad. I think that is what gives the damping affect on the pedals.

BTW, unfortunately, I don't have the service manuals, just the owner's manual.
It's a case of tractor jealousy......Oh boy.....I have been down that road. My 455 has been on dolly wheels ever since the new tractor arrived in my signature and there is a lot of animosity from the "Old Boy" towards the new kid on the block, the 1025R......(just kidding, of course.):laugh::lol:

Since it has been sitting, I would look for that "obstruction" in the linkage or perhaps one of the linkage retainers is broken or missing.

Also, when testing the function on jack stands, the axle should stop spinning the second you release the directional pedal, either forward or backward. If the axle continues to spin or "rolls" it's not actually in neutral, its the hydro unit not promptly returning to the non directional position of neutral in the linkage and or swash plate.

Yes, those shock absorbers do wear out. When you get under the machine, you will be able to tell if it's functional as the linkage and shock should be visible under the wheel well. With the tires removed on the jack stands, you will be able to see exactly what, if anything is going on with the linkage and controls......

Let me know what you find.........
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It doesn't quite sound like a neutral pedal adjustment. I believe there is a damper gismo like a little shock on the hydro pedal linkage back by the transaxle. Yours may be worn out.

For the record, my X500 with 125 hrs on it does pretty much the same thing you describe.
Yeah, my x500 is basically perfect in every way. Its a very robust little tractor and has only cut grass the first 70 hours of its life on a small 0.4 acre parcel. We moved to a 3 acre property where it has mowed a full acre for the past 100 hours. It also pulls the cart with firewood/leaves/debris/brush/etc.

Are you saying yours drifts as well?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The control lever shown as item number 3 is what pivots on the rear end assembly to cause the Swash Plate, which is item 21 in the illustration, to control the forward and backward movements of your tractor. Also, the shock absorber, shown as item number 8 is what controls the "smoothness" of the pedal movement and response.

Before you get into making the actual adjustments which affect the swash plate, I would make sure the linkage is clear and not bound up, the linkage is not obstructed in some manner and also that the shock absorber hasn't come loose. I have seen the retention clip which is number 7 break or be missing, which causes the shock absorber to not control the lever and pedal movement correctly. These are all things which I would carefully inspect before undertaking any adjustment on the swash plate position which affects the neutral bias of the hydro static unit.

Sometimes, wear in the swash plate bushings can cause the drift you are talking about, which is shown as item number 23 in the illustration. Are there any leaks of fluid in the rear of the tractor which are causing either dirt to accumulate to the hydro unit or drip on the floor? Often, the "packing", which are seals, on the swash plate can leak over time, which can also cause symptoms like you are describing.

I have to be honest and say most of the issues with leaks or bushing wear, etc. occur after MANY more hours on a machine that what you have. The hydro static drive units are very robust on these machines and very reliable. While little problems can happen, it's hard to really "tear one of these units up" unless it is used heavily for pushing lots of snow or pulling ground engaging implements.

If you are not real comfortable with making these adjustments, simply double check the items I have mentioned in this and the prior post and then if there is nothing in the way or hampering components movements and functions, you may want to check with your dealers service department. Swash plate adjustments are not something to be undertaken lightly as there ARE consequences for the changes you make.

This is a very important safety matter for the machine.

Just out of curiosity, did the PTO seem to function correctly in starting and stopping the mower deck operation?

Also, keep a close eye on your tractor's engine temperature gauge when operating the machine. An over heated hydro unit will also sometimes act like you are describing.


I think I would be OK making the adjustments, once I saw the procedure, but I also realize that these things are very critical adjustments. That's sort of why I don't want to go there yet. That is the same parts diagram I was looking at from JD's site.

I'll get this tractor up in the air a bit and clean everything good around all the linkage and do a more thorough inspection of the parts you pointed out.

I have the mower off right now. Last night I was doing a full service on the mower and tractor...oil, plugs, filter, grease, etc. I know the PTO was engaging and disengaging, but I'll test it out once I put the deck back on.

The sad part is I was giving it a full service in preparations to put it up for sale. I'll probably be using the 2025R for mowing duties. Hopefully the linkage is just boogered up with dirt / grime. I somehow think it might be more than that, though.
 

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Yeah, my x500 is basically perfect in every way. Its a very robust little tractor and has only cut grass the first 70 hours of its life on a small 0.4 acre parcel. We moved to a 3 acre property where it has mowed a full acre for the past 100 hours. It also pulls the cart with firewood/leaves/debris/brush/etc.

Are you saying yours drifts as well?
Yes. If I am motoring along and remove my foot from the pedal it does not stop immediately - it sort of rolls out. If you like, I can measure the exact stopping distance this weekend - both forward and reverse.

This initially took a lot of getting used to because my previous mower was a 175 Hydro and when you moved the lever from forward to neutral it would literally slide the tires stopping. On that tractor I never ever needed the brakes. On the X500 I quickly learned that you need to use the brake to stop when on an incline.

Although you stated that this condition seemed to appear all of a sudden.
 

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As suggested by others above, definitely start by giving the entire pedal linkage a once over to ensure everything is moving freely. There are some bearings on the pedal linkage that I've read can fail and cause the pedals to work hard. They are highlighted in the illustration below.

I recall seeing some YouTube videos which shows replacing them.


X500_bushings2.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yes. If I am motoring along and remove my foot from the pedal it does not stop immediately - it sort of rolls out. If you like, I can measure the exact stopping distance this weekend - both forward and reverse.

This initially took a lot of getting used to because my previous mower was a 175 Hydro and when you moved the lever from forward to neutral it would literally slide the tires stopping. On that tractor I never ever needed the brakes. On the X500 I quickly learned that you need to use the brake to stop when on an incline.

Although you stated that this condition seemed to appear all of a sudden.
Interesting. It sounds like yours is operating like mine is now. Mine would never drag the wheels by letting off the forward/reverse pedal, but if you didn't ease off the pedal, with your foot in control, it made for a very abrupt stop, especially if you were traveling quick. While mowing, I never was moving too fast (mulching kit), so just pulling your foot off quickly was still abrupt. Point being, I needed to learn to not be "rammy" with the pedals while doing backwards and forwards turns, just to make a smooth riding expereince. It was never an issue - and, in fact, a very nice back/front transition was easily attainable. Now, the pedal is taking longer to come to the neutral position.

I only ever needed the brake on my x500 if i had weight behind me. Most moderate inclines, the transaxle had enough holding power to hold the tractor back on its own...in most situations.

Now I'm anxious to get out of the office and home so I can lift this thing up and get to inspecting things closer.
 

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Mine would never drag the wheels by letting off the forward/reverse pedal, but if you didn't ease off the pedal, with your foot in control, it made for a very abrupt stop, especially if you were traveling quick. While mowing, I never was moving too fast (mulching kit), so just pulling your foot off quickly was still abrupt.
Yep - yours appears to be working exactly how mine has since it was new (4 years now). If it wasn't that you said it has worked differently until now I would be advising everything is normal.

Let us know if you find anything abnormal in the linkage somewhere. I have the tech manual.
 

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I’m going to check my x580 next time I mow and let you guys know. I don’t use my brakes much but mine doesn’t bring me to a fast halt, either. I’m going to check and be sure. I will test it out and report back.
 

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Yep - yours appears to be working exactly how mine has since it was new (4 years now). If it wasn't that you said it has worked differently until now I would be advising everything is normal.

Let us know if you find anything abnormal in the linkage somewhere. I have the tech manual.
Awesome - thanks. I'll certainly post back in when I get a close look at it. I should get chance tonight.
 

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Well, I didn't take a terribly long amount of time to inspect things last night. Sadly, the 2025R taunted me with mounting up its mower deck and making a few cuts with it.

But, I did crawl around and inspect. There is a little dirt and grime under there, but nothing caked onto the mechanism to stop pedal movement. The bushings and knuckles where levers attach throughout the system all look very good. Again, 170 hours and to the naked eye, there are no signs of wear....just as one might expect.

Just the same, I gave all the joints a squirt of SuperLube.

Here's what I can say about the Forward Pedal: With tractor turned off, if I push the pedal all the way to the floor board and quickly remove my foot, the pedal returns to the neutral position in "one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, thr" ... so a whisker over 2 full seconds.

When driving the tractor, its in this just-over-two-second time frame that the tractor is drifting until the pedal reaches neutral. I guess it really isn't a problem, but wow, does it sure feel completely strange and not normal.

I hate to drop $130 on a new shock absorber just to see if that's the cause. If I had a bunch of spare time, I could pull the shock absorber and take it to the dealer and compare with a new one, maybe. :dunno:
 

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Just out of curiosity, would someone be able to measure the time it takes for their forward pedal to go from all the way Forward to the neutral position? Mine takes just over 2 seconds. I know, I feel like I'm going OCD over this, but if I put it for sale, I'd like to be sure there really isn't an issue with it.

Thanks.
 

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Just out of curiosity, would someone be able to measure the time it takes for their forward pedal to go from all the way Forward to the neutral position? Mine takes just over 2 seconds. I know, I feel like I'm going OCD over this, but if I put it for sale, I'd like to be sure there really isn't an issue with it.

Thanks.
I'll check mine this morning and report back.
 

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The temperature in the shed this morning is 50-degrees and the tractor has been sitting for two days.

With the engine stopped, pushing the FWD pedal all the way down it takes ~1-second to return to the original position. I timed it 5 or 6 times and it was exactly the same each time.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The temperature in the shed this morning is 50-degrees and the tractor has been sitting for two days.

With the engine stopped, pushing the FWD pedal all the way down it takes ~1-second to return to the original position. I timed it 5 or 6 times and it was exactly the same each time.
Thanks for looking at it. That definitely sounds more correct. And probably what mine used to take. I wonder what happened.

Looking at the mechanism, I think that shock absorber part is the only thing that might control the pedal action. Do I spend $130 on a new one? Ugh...tough choice. It works as is, it just has a different feel to it. I'll have to mull that over.

Thanks again.
 

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Thanks for looking at it. That definitely sounds more correct. And probably what mine used to take. I wonder what happened.

Looking at the mechanism, I think that shock absorber part is the only thing that might control the pedal action. Do I spend $130 on a new one? Ugh...tough choice. It works as is, it just has a different feel to it. I'll have to mull that over.

Thanks again.
Don't get me wrong, timing something for 1-second by hand is not an exact science. :) But it definitely didn't take 2-seconds.

$130 is crazy nuts for that little gizmo. Every time I think I'm used to JD parts prices I find something to cause further disbelief.

The fact that it takes 2-seconds tells me the shock absorber is working. Most of the time when shocks fail it's because they leak and lose their dampening ability. They usually don't fail and increase the dampening.

My tractor still takes a while to stop and will continue to drift going downhill. I'm used to it now. I know you said yours seemed to just suddenly start working this way after winter. Only you can decide if it's something you can put up with a while longer.

Compared to spending $130 for a part that you are not even sure is bad, I'd be tempted to run it for a while and see if things change as the weather gets warmer. When are you due for the next transaxle fluid change?

If you want, you could always disconnect one side of the shock and see if the pedals work effortlessly. I'm not sure how hard it is to disconnect one side as a test. The parts diagram shows it connected with a pin and E-clip.
 
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