Older Bobcat "classic" transmission durability?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by SoloSulkySurfer, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. SoloSulkySurfer

    SoloSulkySurfer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 224

    Just wondering if the "classic transmission" is different as far as durability, compared to a peerless trans.? Any other differences on a 1995 36" WB bobcat compared to a 1999 Bobcat WB with peerless trans.?
  2. Mark in MD

    Mark in MD LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 322

    I would have to say, the classic gearbox has an advantage in durability, because you can eyeball the gear oil level, and add as needed. You can even drain it and refill if you have to, if water ever somehow got into there. On the peerless, it's supposedly sealed, but water can get in there, and when it does, it's only a matter of time before it goes.

    Another problem with the peerless is, that gear selector control can break at the point where it connects with the box. When that happens, you'll be stuck in whatever gear you happen to be in, until you buy a new one.

    I've got a 1970s (pre-Ransomes) Bob-Cat WB that's still running with the original gear box.
  3. SoloSulkySurfer

    SoloSulkySurfer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 224

    Wow I actually expected guys to say that the "classic" gearbox was junk, because it is older technology. But, I guess you proved that it is infact durable. Thanks
  4. mini14

    mini14 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 236

    fill it with mobil shc 634 and it will last forever, the varispeed pully is what usually gets frozen in place if machine is outdoors.
  5. tallimeca

    tallimeca LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,229

    those old vari speed boxes were pretty indestructable. As long as you kept oil in them.

    Those vari speed pulleys are what killed everyone. They are like 600 bucks to replace now and some of the aftermarket ones are not a direct bolt up because you only get half the difference in speeds with them. Been there and done that.

    The peerless gearboxes are reliable. The problem is guys don't use them/take care of them. 2 most common failures are caused by the operator.

    1) you are NOT SUPPOSED to put the tranny in hear and leave the belts engaged on the trailor!!!! I yell at guys about this all the time and the next time they come in, they are doing it again. This is what wrecks the shifting dogs which causes it to fail. The machines have parking brake settings on them for a reason and if you adjusted the controls periodically, they would actually work.

    2) you are NOT SUPPOSED to shift these transmission while in gear. You are supposed to de clutch the wheel belts when you shift. This is not as bad as number 1, but common failure.

    As far as water getting in them. I've never seen a tranny fail because of water getting in. At least on these 700 series boxes. Everything is coated in that bendite grease and water never touches anything anyway, it will just pool and puddle around like dropping water into a bottle of wesson oil.

    Like anything else, most failures are caused by inpropper maintenence and abuse.
  6. johnnywill08

    johnnywill08 LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA z6
    Posts: 372

    is that true??? i was always taught to put the belt drives in gear on the trailer.... no wonder its in the shop right now- lost power on hills.....
  7. tallimeca

    tallimeca LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,229

    the tranmission gear are what holds the machine from rolling. Ask around and see how many guys go through trannys or, complain they can only get a couple of gears or it stuck in 1 gear.

    The problem is it's not worth taking the tranny apart and fixing it in most cases when the dogs go. Might as well just buy a new tranny and pop it on.

    That's why your thumb locks have 3 positions. Drive, neutral, and brake. Granted some of the landscape supply specials don't, but bunton/bobcat/scag/exmark all do.

    As far as loosing power on hills, i would say that is more of a belt issue. Usually the tranny belt is loose/damaged. Or, wheel drive belts are worn. Usually, if you look at the pulleys that drive the transbelt from the tranmissions, they become U shaped, instead of V shaped, and the belts bottom out and slip.
  8. Darrin A.

    Darrin A. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 94

    I have 2 older bobcat w/b's, varispeed, should/can these be left in "gear" (no reverse gear) while on the trailer? I always have but, probably haven't traveled as far in 2 years as others do in 1 month.
  9. SoloSulkySurfer

    SoloSulkySurfer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 224

    Good info guys. Thanks
  10. Mark in MD

    Mark in MD LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 322

    I've never heard this, but it makes sense!

    I had one fail 3-4 years ago, and after I replaced it, I took the old one apart just for fun, and it was filled with water. Naturally, I blamed the water.

    Last year I had one that was getting harder and harder to shift gears or get out of gear. I had to force it more and more. Eventually, the small part that holds the control broke, and it was stuck in 5th.

    Good info, thanks

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