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Old 05-16-2011, 07:54 AM
skilowyo skilowyo is offline
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: michigan
Posts: 3
Simplicity Champion ZT Hydrolic trouble / problem

Hey all, I recently picked up a used 2005 champion ZT with the 20hp briggs and 50" deck with the tripple bag blower vac and 290hrs on the machine.

When I went and checked out the mower, the hydros seemed a little off. When i would do a "zero turn" (one stick forward the other back) in the driveway, it didn't always have enough power to actually move the machine. I could feel it Chatter trying and would sometimes, but wouldn't always. If i got it moving a little in one direction or the other, then it would seem to want to do a zero turn a lot better.

I talked to him about it and he said that the hydro hoses were leaking and he took it to the dealer to be fixed. The dealer replaced the hoses and said that hydro fluid got on the drive belt and will probably need to be replaced. He also said that it never had this issue before he had the hoses replaced and just never got around to changing the belt.

It was a really good deal, and the issue really felt like a belt slippage, so i ended up buying it. I got it home and put a nice Kevlar belt on the drive and cleaning up the area the best I could and the issue is a lot better. However, I have a hill on the side of my house and when I go across it and have to mainly drive with just one wheel so it stays straight, the mower slows down to almost a crawl. Do I have another issue, or is this normal? I have drivin zero turns before, but this is my first that I have owned. This is also my first experience operating one on the side of a hill. It does go full tilt and hauls butt going straight on flat ground or when both wheels are being powered, but when i have to do a gently sweeping curve, or drive on the side of a hill driving just one wheel, it seems to slow WAY down.

I did ask him when it was leaking if he ever ran the hydro tank or pumps dry and he said he always made sure that it was full of fluid. Any help from you expertise out there would be GREATLY appreciated.
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Old 05-19-2011, 06:53 AM
skilowyo skilowyo is offline
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: michigan
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anyone? No ideas??????
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:03 AM
BNS BNS is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Vernon Center, New York
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I have very same unit for mowing at my home. I was experiencing the very same issues as the first half of your post. Not being able to "zero turn." My issue was going back and forth between right turns and left. I went through both pumps, both wheel motors, filter, everything. Then when I went to add more oil to the unit I found that the o-ring that should have been in the oil cap had come out and was laying in the bottom of the oil reservoir. It would work it's way over the outlets and not allow fluid through causing sluggish turns and overall poor performance. After fishing that out and placing it back in the cap I have seen a total improvement and no further turning issues. However, I do not have any hills on my property so I have no thoughts on the poor hillside tracking. Just thought this might be a quick inexpensive fix to look into.
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Old 05-19-2011, 09:16 AM
THG THG is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Charlotte NC
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I had this happen on a new ZTR once and it ended up being air in the hydro. On hills or tough turns it felt like is was chattering. If you were blind folded you would have thought your tires were slipping slowly but they weren't. Since it was new I took it back to the dealer and bled the hydro system and it resolved the problem.
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Old 06-01-2011, 04:21 PM
skilowyo skilowyo is offline
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: michigan
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Thanks guys, they both sound like really good ideas and I will try them both this weekend. Sorry for the delayed responce I was out of town for a bit, so I haven't been able to check the site.
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