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Old 08-04-2013, 09:06 PM
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Liberty Lawnworks Liberty Lawnworks is offline
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JD WG36A Walk-behind Transmission Problem

Machine: 2013 John Deere WG36A (36-inch belt-drive walk behind) with only 20.1 hours on it.

I believe I may have a problem with my transmission, because all of the belts seem to have the correct tension on them and there are no clumps of grass clippings jammed in between any belts, guards, or pulleys. I started noticing that my mower would "surge" (the forward motion of the entire machine, not the engine) when I was in fifth gear (top gear) when using my Velke X2 (I am 220 lbs.). It only started doing this after the machine had about 10 hours on it, and it has only done it in fifth gear. Sometimes if you use your knee to nudge the gear shift lever over to the right (even though the shift lever is already centered in the "V" of the gear shift plate for fifth gear), it will all of a sudden catch fifth gear and take off. When it's not in gear, the transmission is making a light clicking sound. Any ideas? Thanks!
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:09 PM
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jkilov jkilov is offline
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Since this is a new machine, take it to the dealer to have it diagnosed.

It could be a faulty transmission belt, or partially contaminated with oil leaking from the engine or tranny. It probably shows up in 5th gear because that's when the most torque is required to turn the transmission input.

Since you state there are no tracking problems I assume the wheel belts are fine.

Or it could be a misaligned or loose gear selector lever. Is the clicking at idle normal? Probably not but it depends on the design of the transmission.

In any case take it to the dealer.
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Old 08-06-2013, 12:31 AM
herler herler is offline
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I wouldn't be shifting with your knee, until you fully understand how those transmissions work you are best off coming to a complete stop before shifting, once stopped shift completely into the desired gear (no nudging) and wait until the shift is complete before getting back to motion.

The transmissions aren't too terribly expensive, only around $300...
But it takes an entire afternoon to replace one, and as long again to rebuild one.
That doesn't take into account the time it takes to ship, and hope they send you the right part(s) and that you have all the parts you need.

But with 10 hours it's unlikely to be serious, I'd side with taking it to the dealer and letting them handle it.

Last edited by herler; 08-06-2013 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:32 AM
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jkilov jkilov is offline
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I agree with herler,

You shouldn't shift with the drive engaged. Most of these transmissions use a pair of internal shift pawls/keys to engage inner dogs on a particular gear. These keys can't/shouldn't move under load. There's usually a freewheeling spacer to position the keys in neutral. If there's a clicking sound in neutral, the lever alignment is probably off (bent lever, shift fork or collar).

I can't help but notice the problem started after the first 10 hrs. Usually the time of the first oil change. Perhaps oil was spilled on the imput belt/pulley.
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Ferris IS3100Z 61" L Kaw, Hydrocut 36" 13hp Kaw
Shindaiwa T3410, EB8520 Maruyama HT2300, MS047
Stihl FC85, MS192T, 041AV, MS200
Redmax HBZ2601

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  #5  
Old 08-06-2013, 08:34 PM
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Liberty Lawnworks Liberty Lawnworks is offline
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Thanks for the advice guys. I am taking it into the dealer tomorrow. I do shift with my knee, however I only shift when I am stopped (I just use my knee to move the lever since both hands are on the brake levers). I have never changed gears while it is moving. I did my first oil change at 8.0 hours per the manufacturer's suggestions. I don't think I spilled any, but I'll double check.
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:46 PM
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Liberty Lawnworks Liberty Lawnworks is offline
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The transmission is toast. I never shifted on the fly. In fact, it spent most of its short life in fourth gear. It's being replaced under warranty.
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