MTD Riding Lawn Mower won't drive

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by Rain Man av, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. Rain Man av

    Rain Man av LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    MTD RLM mod # 144Q845H088 TMO-3398005 has a B&S 42A707 1237

    Purchased this from a man who says it had been sitting a while....
    The transmission has 14 forward speeds, 7 low, 7 high.

    First thing I noticed is the variable speed pulley (VSP) does not variable. So I removed and cleaned and got the center to move easily up/down the shaft. Lubbed and replaced.

    After freeing up the VSP, the mower now goes nowhere.

    Before removing the VSP, the RLM would move, but only at the speed of a snail. Forward or reverse.

    There is a spring tensioned idler pulley that maintains belt tension at the transmission. After releasing the brake, the belt tensioning idler pulley and the pulley atop the transmission, are touching....this was happening even before I removed the VSP for maintenance.

    NOTE: there is a rod that connects the brake to the spring loaded arm that the VSP is mounted to, there is another rod that connects to that arm and continues backwards to my transmission speed selector on the fender, the speed selector rod was bent when I got the mower. So I straightened and reinstalled.... There is an adjusment ferrule (honest, I looked it up) at the end of the rod that connects to the speed selector assy.

    Do I simply need to adjust the ferrule ? Are the belts the culprit ? Did the chicken really want to cross the road ?

    Where should I start and what should I do....

    More importantly, why does this happen to me..... LOL, jk.
  2. echoman8

    echoman8 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 293


    It seems to me that GS is ground speed.

    VGS is variable GS.

    Have you gotten the proper belt (oem belt).

    Personally, I will try almost any aftermarket product until I know it will not work.

    But sadly, belts are an exception. Choose the proper belt for the machine and from the correct manfacturer. There is a lot of stuff that goes into making a good belt.

  3. Rain Man av

    Rain Man av LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    The belts on the machine are the ones that were on it when I got the mower. If it turns out I need new belts, then that is what I will do. but Until I hear from Retrobob, I ain't doin nuttin.

    Thanks for your input.
  4. pugs

    pugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,022

    Either get the right belts on it or make sure the ones that are on there are the correct ones before doing anything else. Pulleys touching each other should not be possible if the belts are correct.
  5. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,023

    OK Rain Man here's the deal,

    Any time a belt is removed on one of these vari-drive systems (in your case the variator) you must re-center the belts back in the VSP.

    This is done by putting the speed select shifter in the highest speed, With the fwd/rev shift selector in neutral push the clutch and start the engine. Then release the clutch FULLY for a couple seconds and you will feel the pedal slowly raise, then push it back in and shift into fwd/rev and release again. If the belts are correct for this unit it should drive as normal, After doing this re-check the idler that is now hitting the trans pulley and it should'nt be any longer.


    Just think.....If it didn't happen to you, You would have no reason to grace the pages of this informative site..... :clapping:

  6. Rain Man av

    Rain Man av LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    I verified that the front belt looped around the PTO is correct, I haven't been able to find the P/N on the tranny belt.
  7. Albemarle Lawn

    Albemarle Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,544

    I would cash the MTD in now, scrap values are not likely to recover until the recession is over.
  8. Rain Man av

    Rain Man av LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    ummmmmmmmmmm, sure,,,,,,, ok,,,,,,, why ??????????
  9. Jay Ray

    Jay Ray LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,510

    I had one and it started slowing down going up hills or mowing heavy grass. Then slowed down on level ground not mowing. Replaced all belts, then felt the tranny and you could cook dinner on it.
  10. Rain Man av

    Rain Man av LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    Did that, same problem....MOWER NO GO-WEE

    Here is an update.

    A) determined that both drive belts F/R are correct for the mower.

    B) New belts say they are 7/8", the belts on my mower measure 3/4 in (wear)

    C) the flat Idler pulley (the one that touches the trainy) can be bolted in either one of two was bolted into the hole closest to the pivot point, I moved it to the hole fartherest from the pivot point. The mower wants to go, problem is, the Flat Idler Pulley now comes into contact with the variator (variable speed pulley) THE EXPLODED VIEW FOR THIS MOWER SAYS THE PULLEY SHOULD BE MOUNTED IN THE HOLE CLOSEST TO THE PIVOT POINT.

    D) the ENTIRE variable speed pulley assembly moves up and down about 1/8 inch. IS THIS COMMON ?- SHOULD I SHIM IT ? DOES IT NEED REPLACING ?

    E) What do you get when you drop a GRAND piano down a mine shaft ? A-FLAT MINOR.

    F) The exploded view for the flat idler pulley says it is 3.5" dia.. but when I look it up for parts replacement, parts replacement is a 4" dia. WHAT GIVES? by the way, the one currently installed measures out at 4" dia.

    G) also, the speed control rod link, (rear) is bending on me again. SHOULD THIS BE HAPPENING ? remember, it was been fairly severly when I got the mower, but I straightened it out. SHOULD I JUST GO AHEAD AND REPLACE IT?

    any help with B, C, D, F and G above would be great.:weightlifter:

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