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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-12-2010, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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O/T: Hydrostatic Drive Lawn Mower Maintinance

I have a hydrostatic drive lawn mower, and since I was doing spring cleaning, maintinance, ect.

I was wondering if any of you know what maintinance the hydrostatic drive takes... If any...

It's an MTD special, Yard Man brand, and since it didn't come with maintinance instructions, I though maybe some of you guys had worked with mowers and stuff before and could clue me into what needs to be done, and when it needs to be done... (Maintenance cycles)

I've always had Snapper Comet mowers before this, and they are VERY simple to work on,
But after 30 years or so, even they wear out!

SO...
I went for a hydrostatic drive mower last year, which I'm still not used to yet!
Sure isn't a clutch and shifter mower like I've spent 40 Plus years learning to work on & drive!

Any tips, Tricks or general info I'd sure be glad to have since this is my first hydrostatic mower...
Wonder if it's going to last 30 years like the old Snappers do?...

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-13-2010, 07:51 PM
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I have a Husqvarna and around me folks have Sears and Cub Cadet mowers that seem to be almost exactly the same components. MTD looks to be just like those also. We all have been running the wheels off of those mowers for several years without any problems and no thought of the drive system. There is nothing on the drive system in the Husqvarna owner's manual except a couple of simple adjustments like the pedal.

Just one of the Sears mowers has had a hydrostatic drive problem and that was something cheap and simple, resolved by a mower shop. The owner didn't want to work on it.

In short they seem to take serious abuse and keep on ticking. Would be good if someone has some detailed info to add here that might save a failure but I don't expect to see that.

The rest of the mower, engine, steering, deck and all will require some attention as expected.

Mine fired up on it's own last weekend, first time this season, thanks to Sta-Bil fuel treatment and I drove it like I stole it.


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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-13-2010, 08:16 PM
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Aaron, I don't know what yours calls for but I have two hydrostats in the garage. One is an OLD (MTDish ?) early 70's tractor that lives on ATF with no problems.(but being 40 years old I'm sure it's not what it used to be) My Zero say Mobil full syn on it. I change both annually and have not had problems. The old oils look great but I look at it as cheap insurance for a few bucks. (besides it looks so clean I use it in the oil cans...squirt, squirt)

Don't know if that was helpful, but just what I do. The one is old as heck and even my "new" one has just shy of 3000hrs on it with the mobil 1 and works like new.

Costs me about $75 annually for all engine/hydro oils and eng/oil/gas filters for both. I'm tight as a new boot and can live with that.

(and just for reference I run generic 10/40 & ATF in the tractor, And Rotella 30wt and mobil 1 in the zero)

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 08:12 AM
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I had a Sears, wish I still had it, and it didn't call for any maintenance on the hydros. I had it for four years and did nothing but change oil, filters and lube. I think they're probably made by MTD also, so it's probably the same mower. I now have a zero turn hydrostatic and they're sealed units and the manual says if they need service to take it to a dealer. Haven't had a problem in three years. I mow three yards but don't have an hour meter, just change oil and lube it regularly.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 07:48 PM
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Here's my "old turd" AKA redneck hillbilly hotrod. We just tilled with it last night and it was good as ever. Good thing my neighbor driving it is from Ky. When we were done it was like fine sand and as smooth as a runway since we had a drag behind the tiller on the last pass.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 04-17-2010, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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I was just wondering since I FINALLY got a Hydrostatic drive after avoiding them so many years since I simply didn't know how to service them.

Seems like it's pretty simple if all you do is change hydraulic fluid and watch for leaks!
I'm smart enough to do that...

Thanks guys!

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 04-17-2010, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
I'm smart enough to do that...
I've been watching Craig's List for quite a while and the Hydrostatic rider mowers have caught my eye. Lots of Craftsman mowers are sold because they're needing rear ends, or the owners are looking for replacement parts. My suspicion is that the mowers blow seals and leak during mowing while under pressure. When put away, no pressure, no leak. The owner never knows the rear end is bleeding to death and finally burns up.

Keep a close eye on it.
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