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Question re: Sears tractor, rear axle maintenance

Discussion in 'Tractors' started by Pzanowski, Jun 25, 2005.

  1. Pzanowski

    Pzanowski LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    Do Sears tractors (model LT 1000, with a Kohler 16 HP engine) require any maintenance on the rear axles? I get a rhythmic squeak from the rear end after I have been running for 1/2 an hour.
  2. Smalltimer1

    Smalltimer1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,223

    Lower end units such as Craftsman, Murray, and MTD, tend to have permanently sealed transmission cases, but there are a few exceptions.

    Your squeak may be coming from the axle key being loose in the wheel-axle tube. Also check your brake adjustment as this is on the transmission housing as well. If it is out of adjustment it may be squeaking as an indicator that tightening/adjustment is needed.
  3. Redneckn

    Redneckn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 294

    Cracks me up when people refer to a home owner unit as "lower end". Kind of makes me laff a little. it is also funny that the people that say this kind of thing the most of JD owners.. i wonder why that is?

    Pzanowski, model number on the machine?
  4. Smalltimer1

    Smalltimer1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,223

    Well I can understand why you laugh, because you could make so much money on replacing parts in MTD, Murray, and Craftsman mowers with the cheap transmissions. Yes the homeowner JD line at Home Depot is included in that group. However, I do not care for those models. I only talk about the ones that are sold at dealers and have the true quality and durability that John Deere has been known for in mowing for 42 years.

    Come look at my JD 300. Has a real hydrostatic transmission. The rear end in it is as big as a small pickup truck differential.

    Come look at my Cub 73. Has the same 3 speed transmission as the Farmall Cub tractor. Cast Iron casing too. Wonder why most competitive pulling mowers have this transmission in them and not something out of a Murray, MTD, or Crapsman?

    There's reason to what I say. I don't say it just for the hell of it. I mean they are "lower end" because they are sold for $800-$2000 and they show it in the build quality and overall durability. Does a Murray have a cast iron front axle? NO. Craftsman has just gotten the idea after 25 years of screwups. They should have looked to the old Sears Suburban series tractors for inspiration. MTD transmissions don't even have bearings on the axles, they are just bushings. Once the bushing wears out, the axle will wear through the casing, therefore rendering it useless.

    Please keep the sarcasm to a minimum.
  5. Redneckn

    Redneckn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 294

    I could argue back and forth all day on this. but it is really kind of pointless as you are not going to understand that the average homeowner has no need in spending over 3000 on a machine.

    as for the cast iron axles. you dont know much about Craftsman tractors or you would know that there has been craftsman models out every year since 1971 with cast iron axles. not every model of every year. but all the GT's. before 1971 i am not sure about. dont get to see those old ones too often anymore. things were made better back then sure.

    the current line up of Deeres really isnt all that impressive. the green is kind of pretty.. but the price tag is too steep for most of us. i would rather put my money into a truck or 4wheeler.

    i guess my point would be that there is no reason to be so damn arrogant about owning a john deere. they really dont cut that much better than a craftman. i have both so i do know what i'm talking about.
  6. Smalltimer1

    Smalltimer1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,223

    That's why I buy older ones and restore them. Lots of older big Deeres can be found for $300-$1500 and are much more capable than anything else out there today, short of the new X-400's and X-500's.

    Take my 300 for example. I bought it for $300. I'm having the engine rebuilt ($400), putting a newer deck on ($200) and rebuilding the front end (new bushings, bearings, grease points, etc.) ($120), and repainting it ($100) and for $1120 I have a basically new JD 300 which has hydrostatic drive and hydraulic lift, as well as a 48" deck. I'm still coming out better than the guy who goes and buys a LT-2000 Craftsman for $1499 and I have a far superior machine.

    Care to come look at my grandfather's Craftsman 10/36 and 12.5/42"? Sheetmetal front axle.

    Care to come look at my Craftsman 18/42? Sheetmetal front axle.

    Care to come look at my Craftsman 11/38? Sheetmetal front axle.

    The only one I've ever seen other than the Suburban line is the newest models. Pop has a new 18/42 with a cast iron front axle. Handles and steers much better than his old 10/36" or 12.5/42". They have been getting better and better, but why they cheapened the line so many years ago is beyond me.

    Opinions are everywhere, just depends on what side of the fence you're on. I'd rather pay more for a quality machine that I know I can get 30 years of service from than to buy a new one every 3 or 4 years.

    My other grandfather had a '87 JD 180 with a 38" deck that he used to mow 5 acres with every week until 2003. He turned around and sold it then for $1200. Show me a Craftsman that could do that and still hold good value?

    My point is I have been running all these brands for 15+ years and in that time I've learned what works and what doesn't. I've worn out 2 MTD's, 3 Craftsmans, and 3 Murrays, before I even got into the mow'n'go stuff.

    A Murray, Craftsman or MTD will do fine if you use them once a week for a couple of hours, just mowing. But once you get into what I do, such as pulling heavy trailers in places a truck can't get into or turn in, plowing the ground, and other tasks that require a quality machine, you'll find out the difference real fast. I do agree the Home Depot Deeres won't hold up to that either, I do not like them at all. But the larger ones are much better built and will last a lifetime.

    I used a Craftsman 11/38" to pull Pop's old wooden boat (2000lbs./25hp Evinrude, steel trailer) out of the shed down in the bottom behind his house because he was having all the trees cut down and couldn't get his truck in there. About half way up the hill I felt a snap. It stopped and I got off and looked and the belt was fine. I tried to get it back in gear and it just squealed and wasn't going to go anywhere. I went home and got my 7hp Cub with the 3 speed Farmall rear, and hooked up to the boat and it pulled it the rest of the way up and out of the back to where we could hook it on the truck. If that's not tough, I don't know what is. I ended up pulling the engine out of that Craftsman and selling it for $20 and sold the frame to a guy who had a broken frame but good tranny for $10.
  7. br549oicu8

    br549oicu8 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,230

    IN all reality aren't we talking about a lawn mower. Never could understand why these are being referred to as a tractor. :cool:
  8. Redneckn

    Redneckn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 294

    Hold on now. I did NOT say that every model of the old craftsmans were cast iron axle. I just said that there were GT models in every year that had it. I have a 24/50 GT and never have any problems out of it. it is a 2002 model.. I have pulled my ford 7000 farm tractor with it.

    You are right, it would all depend on what you were using it for. I just see no reason to buy a lot of tractor to just cut grass with. I was mowing 5.5 acres every week during cutting season from 02 until this spring when i moved over here to Austin. now, dad has the horses in the yard at the farm.

    Again, i never did say that Deere wasnt a better mower. I just said that for the AVERAGE homeowner, a deere is overkill. and it is. at that point, it is all about status.
    IMHO of course.

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