Craftsman YT4000 - Slow uphill

Messages
21
Location
Wisconsin
Thread starter
Originally Posted by meep
nice work Covington.
Thanks, it was a great experience. Even though I think it was mostly belt, I am glad I dug in and worked on the Trans-axle. Makes me feel like I know the workings of the mower much better. My next mission will to be to put a gas gauge on this sucker - I'm tired of running out of gas mid-way through a mowing.
 
Messages
21
Location
Wisconsin
Thread starter
Figured I would re-invoke my thread here smile This was originally about my mower running very slow when going uphill. Seemed to be fixed last season after replacing the drive belt (after previously doing everything else, including pulling the hydrostatic transaxyl, dumping the oil, replacing the oil, etc). anyway - back to the going slow uphill issue from last year and not sure what to do. I'm almost to the point of taking it in - but the only quality place I know of in town has a 6-week waiting list. Any thoughts from here? (you may have to re-read the thread - it's not too long, I promise) Thanks!
 
Messages
34
Location
St.Cloud MN.
Is the transaxle drive belt tensioned with an idler pulley assembly? Maybe check that and be sure the assembly is free to move and the spring is in good shape. It might have stiffened up after the off season and is not applying pressure to the transaxle drive belt.
 
Messages
21
Location
Wisconsin
Thread starter
[Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image] Hopefully these are decent images. I can't find any where it is being tensioned, but I seem to recall it is somewhere and those images are the full path of the drive belt. The only thing I really see is the green spring that hooks into the Transaxyl. I assume that engages the transaxyl when pulled, but I really do not know.
 
Messages
34
Location
St.Cloud MN.
I think the middle plastic pulley is the idler. Looked at a parts diagram and that is connected to the brake/parking brake. Be sure that nothing is binding or hanging up in the brake mechanism. The idler pulley has to fully tension the drive belt or the belt will slip under a load such as a hill.
 
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5,964
Location
Connecticut
Something a bit unrelated, but after mowing it's a great idea to take a leaf blower and clean underneath the machine. It really helps keep the grass and grime from building up and causing issues.
 
Messages
21
Location
Wisconsin
Thread starter
I will have a look today when the fog lifts and I can get a better look underneath. Hopefully it is something as simple as tensioning. And - I do agree that I could blow it out, I assumed I would get at least 1 comment since I have pictures with grass in the housing. smile
 
Messages
1,857
Location
missouri
Originally Posted by jeepman3071
Something a bit unrelated, but after mowing it's a great idea to take a leaf blower and clean underneath the machine. It really helps keep the grass and grime from building up and causing issues.
I have a friend that parked his mower in the garage and the grass on the deck caught on fire. It did over 50K in damage to his house. The fire department said it is sort of common, it happens usually once ever year or two. My mower had a layer of grass over the belts. It was so thick the belts were mostly entombed. I knew it was there, did not worry about it. I actually thought it was an advantage since I have had a stick knock the belt off and take a chunk out of it. When I cleaned it some of the grass had been so hot it was pretty brown, almost black. I mow fescue, it is pretty moist, saved me I think. So now my friend and I both blow off the deck after every mowing. Rod
 
Messages
89
Location
WA
Originally Posted by ragtoplvr
Originally Posted by jeepman3071
Something a bit unrelated, but after mowing it's a great idea to take a leaf blower and clean underneath the machine. It really helps keep the grass and grime from building up and causing issues.
I have a friend that parked his mower in the garage and the grass on the deck caught on fire. It did over 50K in damage to his house. The fire department said it is sort of common, it happens usually once ever year or two. My mower had a layer of grass over the belts. It was so thick the belts were mostly entombed. I knew it was there, did not worry about it. I actually thought it was an advantage since I have had a stick knock the belt off and take a chunk out of it. When I cleaned it some of the grass had been so hot it was pretty brown, almost black. I mow fescue, it is pretty moist, saved me I think. So now my friend and I both blow off the deck after every mowing. Rod
I've had mine catch fire twice. The first time it was a hot day and the grass was dry, plus I mow several acres. I shut it off and started walking to the house, turned and looked back to see smoke, as I walked back to it flames erupted. I was lucky, just happened to park it near the hose so I put it out quickly, it still melted many plastic parts. After that I always parked it near the hose to cool off before blowing it off and putting it away. The second time it did the same thing, only I was ready and put it out immediately.
 

JTK

Messages
12,868
Location
Buffalo, NY
Sorry if it's been asked, but does it go slow up hills right after startup or does it only act up after it's hot? If it's only acting up when hot, it's likely an internal issue on the hydro drive. Yeah- you gotta keep that thing cleaner underneath. It almost looks like the hydro cooling fan might be buggered up. You don't want that to happen. I given the deck a quick scrape under with a piece of wood and blow the whole machine off with my leaf blower after every use.
 
Last edited:
Messages
5,964
Location
Connecticut
Originally Posted by ragtoplvr
Originally Posted by jeepman3071
Something a bit unrelated, but after mowing it's a great idea to take a leaf blower and clean underneath the machine. It really helps keep the grass and grime from building up and causing issues.
I have a friend that parked his mower in the garage and the grass on the deck caught on fire. It did over 50K in damage to his house. The fire department said it is sort of common, it happens usually once ever year or two. My mower had a layer of grass over the belts. It was so thick the belts were mostly entombed. I knew it was there, did not worry about it. I actually thought it was an advantage since I have had a stick knock the belt off and take a chunk out of it. When I cleaned it some of the grass had been so hot it was pretty brown, almost black. I mow fescue, it is pretty moist, saved me I think. So now my friend and I both blow off the deck after every mowing. Rod
Wow that's crazy! I've never seen that. The main reasons I use the blower is to keep the hydro free from grass for better cooling, and also the mice like to use the grass clippings as nesting material, so it seems to decrease the likelihood of nests in the engine.
 
Messages
21
Location
Wisconsin
Thread starter
Originally Posted by JTK
Sorry if it's been asked, but does it go slow up hills right after startup or does it only act up after it's hot?
When I brought it out the first time (and same with end of season last year) it was when I first started it and when it was cold (50-60 deg F). Now, I had a look underneath - sorry it took me so long, dealing heavily with my own work + kids online schooling. First image - I'm curious what this lever, that has 2 holes in it like a spring should be attached, does? [Linked Image] Second Image - Is this belt on backwards? The side of the belt that is on the pulley is slightly less in width from the outside of the belt. [Linked Image] When running, I do notice somewhat of a vibration to the belt - as if it is not 100% tight. I have no idea if that is normal, though frown
 
Messages
21
Location
Wisconsin
Thread starter
ok, so I found a youtube video showing me that lever should be pushed all the way towards the engine (front) of the rider. I'm going to go ahead and put everything back together (mostly put deck back on) and see if it's possible that thing was only partially engaged. There is supposed to be a little push-pull wire sticking out the back, which allows you to move the tractor easier when pulled. I'll let you know what the deal is after that.
 
Messages
21
Location
Wisconsin
Thread starter
That appears to have been the fix. Will need more mowing time to prove it out - but seems to be the answer at this point. Went up the steepest of my hills which is probably a 45-50% incline with no problem. Previously it wouldn't get up a 10% incline very well and the 45-50% it wouldn't make at all.
 
Messages
21
Location
Wisconsin
Thread starter
That lever moves the gears internal to the K46B transaxle and allows the fluid to pass through - thereby allowing motion to the axle for pushing/pulling. I don't know if that is called an idler, but it does not remove or add tension to the belt as far as I can tell.
 
Messages
21
Location
Wisconsin
Thread starter
More news on this... I took the mower out for an extended run today. What I noticed (surprisingly) was that it was slow uphill at first again frown So - when it was cold, it had a difficult time getting up a pretty steep hill (35-45 degrees). It was fine everywhere else. After running/cutting for maybe 10-15 minutes it seemed to get up that same hill like normal. No idea why cold would matter... I would think, if anything, it would help. Any thoughts on that? Starting to feel like I need to rebuild the K46B or something - but that would be a pain in the butt. Of course... I have time during this quarantine smile
 

mez

Messages
350
Location
MA
I had the same issue with my Craftsman GLT2000. It would struggle to go up the smallest hill. Thought it was the transmission, almost bought a new tractor. I finally changed the belt and being running fine past 3 yearrs. Maybe the belt stretched again?
 
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