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Kubota ZDs with sluggish controls.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mickpeg, Apr 2, 2005.

  1. mickpeg

    mickpeg LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    Is anyone else having trouble with the controls on a ZD being sluggish or seeming to bind up. We have 2 ZD18s, one is 3 years old and runs perfectly, the other was bought last season and everyone using it finds the controls slow or hesitating. We have had it back to the dealer and they have torn down the hydro system, checked all the levers and linkages etc. but can find no cause.?????
  2. grass disaster

    grass disaster LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,748

    i have the same exact mower, no problems really. i do have one side that is slightly faster than the other. i can notice this more in reverse.

    any idea how to fix my problem?
  3. Albemarle Lawn

    Albemarle Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,544

    Noticed a post on here that a ZD28 couldn't run across a hill.

    I was interested in buying 2 or 3 new ZD28 mowers, so I test drove a demo at the dealer.

    It could not make it up the ramp on my landscape truck. I lodged it against a utility pole and it could not even spin a tire in gravel.

    Then, I tested a different unit. It was not sluggish at all. It dug through the gravel and down to the rim instantly when blocked. It zoomed up the ramp. I asked the dealer what was the difference, was it adjustable, they did not know.

    I decided to stay away. Not worth the trouble trying to explain to a dealer that can't even notice something tragically wrong.

  4. Grass Cake

    Grass Cake LawnSite Senior Member
    from Zone C
    Messages: 303

    We bought a new zd18 last year and had a similar problem...the controls were uneven and sticky feeling.......i returned it to the dealer and complained......a few days it was back and working like silk. I think they made some adjustments...i couldn't say what tho.

    Keep us posted in case my problem returns.
  5. Craftybigdog

    Craftybigdog LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 425

    It sounds like air in the system!
  6. riches139

    riches139 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    Will air in the system make one side feel like it is binding?
  7. Cobra Jock

    Cobra Jock LawnSite Member
    Messages: 206

    We have 2 ZD 21/60's at work and both of them bind and handle like do-do. I love the way they mow and handle the rough terrain, but it's almost a joy to climb on one of our Hustlers to finally drive a sweet handling agile mower!


    NEAL ANDREWS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    I Just Bought A Zd25 60pro Deck Controls Are Great But Im Having A Hard Time Leveling The Deck.
  9. hartlawn

    hartlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    you can adjust the speed of the hydros on each side, thus straightening out your stripes without worrying about compensating as you drive.

    However, doing this may make the mower pull to one side in reverse or creep a bit in neutral. But I'd still rather have it mow straight forward and a little crooked in reverse!

    To do this, open the hood and lift up the seat. Now push the drive bars forward; you will see that a metal arm connects the drive bars over your lap to the hydro motors. By adjusting the joints on this metal arm, you can change how far the hydro valves will be opened when you mow straight ahead. To increase forward ground speed, you need to SHORTEN the overall length of the arm on the side of the SLOW TIRE, usually only by a turn or two. This will cause the arm to pull the motor farther open as you press forward on the bars, thus driving that tire a little bit faster. This straightens out the mower tracking and slightly increases the overall ground speed.

    Conversely, you could lengthen the arm of the fast tire, but this will slow your total ground speed.

    Hope this helps. I just adjusted mine this spring and it straightened it right out.
  10. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Sluggish, slow, hesitating, soft, weak, whiny.

    Binds, hangs, grabs, drags, locks up, slips.

    I for one know exactly what you speak of. The mower seems to get up to speed slow and does not have quick pointing ability? It's extremely noticeable when doing a good bit of navigating, or turning and gets worse with longer run time sessions? Really really noticeable when zero turning in off camber situations? One side responds and the other side seems to bind lock or slip?

    I know it's a totally different thing to compare to. But.... it's almost like lugging a 5 speed in too high of gear. The throttle response is about like the lever response.

    The dealer can't find the problem because this is something that cannot be adjusted out in the motion control linkages. This is not a tracking issue. It feels more like if there was a set screw where you could turn up the hydro flow and pressure, the problem would be solved.

    I don't know about Kubota's, but the rest of them don't have that sort of adjustment. Plus I don't believe that's the cause anyways. Things I believe can be blamed for this are as follows.... Bad/damaged system, not enough pressure, too much, surging or conflicting pressures, air in the system, or air sucking in on the return, or weeping on the high pressure side.

    Look for leaks, weeping, spewing reservior caps, ect. If you don't see that, jack the machine up when cold and get both wheels off the ground with the machine in a stable position. Then do what you need to do to be able to run the controls with the tires up (no load) and have the reservior cap open so you can observe the fluid. Run it forward, backward, zero turn, every combination of those and at different quickness. Look for bubbles, foaming or a seemingly increasing fluid level as it gets hot.

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