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Craftsman YT4000 - Slow uphill #5238747 10/13/19 06:23 PM
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Covington Offline OP
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I have a Craftsman YT4000 which has a Tuff Torq K46B Transmission Axle. I started noticing early this season that it would occasionally have trouble getting up hills. This would happen even while I was already moving fine up a relatively small incline (15-20 degrees, I would say). It is almost as if the gas isn't getting to the engine. It has gotten way worse now that it is colder, but has been getting worse for some time now over the season. The last 2 mowings (yesterday at 40F and then a week ago at 70F) were REAL slow going up hill. What I noticed was:
  • I could start on the incline fine, then would lose speed until it was essentially not moving.
  • While not moving I could bring the gas pedal back half way and it *may* move again
  • While not moving I could sometimes only let off the gas then press the gas slowly again to get it moving. Either way it always would eventually move.


So - I read through several threads here and on other websites. I watched several YouTube videos as well. I had come to the conclusion that it was the Transmission and I should remove it, drain it, and fill with 5W50 or 15W50 to solve the problem. I did just that with minimal problems. I took off the K46B, cleaned it up, pulled the fill plug, drained the sludgy old oil, re-filled with 15W50 to about 1 1/2 " below the fill hole, and moved the axle back and forth several times once the fill plug was put back in place. I then ran the mower in reverse and forward several times to purge.

I mowed the backyard sideways so that the incline was slightly less than the usual mowing. It was a bit better than previous, but not by a whole lot. I still got stuck a few times and had to back off on the gas pedal to get moving again. So now I'm stuck wondering what else I can do frown It does have a new belt and I do not believe it's slipping as it is tight - and usually when it slows down I'm already at top speed on the same degree incline - so no extra load to cause slippage (or at least that is my thought).

What should be my next task? I would assume something internal isn't quite working right, but don't really have the skills/tools to rebuild the transmission I don't think. Is there some other transmission that might fit this mower that is better/cheaper and can be fit without requiring a welder?

Anyway - a little frustrated that I worked for quite a few hours and did not solve the problem frown

Thanks in advance,
Andy

Last edited by Covington; 10/13/19 06:28 PM.
Re: Craftsman YT4000 - Slow uphill [Re: Covington] #5238766 10/13/19 06:42 PM
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mk378 Offline
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The belt between the engine and transmission could be slipping.

With a hydrostatic drive, what you are calling the "gas pedal" actually controls the transmission. The engine runs at a constant speed controlled by the lever on the dash. The engine and blades do stay running steady, right? The problem is just that the machine won't move over the ground?

Last edited by mk378; 10/13/19 06:45 PM.
Re: Craftsman YT4000 - Slow uphill [Re: mk378] #5238767 10/13/19 06:45 PM
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Covington Offline OP
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Originally Posted by mk378
The belt between the engine and transmission could be slipping.

What you call the "gas pedal" actually controls the transmission. The engine runs at a constant speed controlled by the lever on the dash. The engine does stay running steady, right? Just that the machine won't move over the ground?


The engine does stay running steady, yes. I will have to check that belt, didn't even think of that frown I'll have to figure out belt size and hopefully have something local that fits. Appreciate that - I should have thought of that, just maybe too frustrated at the moment.

Re: Craftsman YT4000 - Slow uphill [Re: Covington] #5238839 10/13/19 08:09 PM
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HangFire Offline
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Just went through exactly that, slow and couldn't climb hills, with my decade old Cub Cadet 1554. Hopefully it is your drive belt. Changing my transmission oil did nothing for me. I sold it for parts and bought a new Ariens.


Various musings: http://hangfire.net
Re: Craftsman YT4000 - Slow uphill [Re: Covington] #5239089 10/14/19 06:20 AM
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JHZR2 Offline
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Is there a rubber clutch disc in there?

Re: Craftsman YT4000 - Slow uphill [Re: JHZR2] #5239157 10/14/19 07:47 AM
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Covington Offline OP
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I found a drive belt that should be pretty close. The specs from what I read are 1/2"x90" on the YT-4000, I picked up a belt that is 5/8"x90" that is for Craftsman/Poulon/Husqvarna. I will have to get under the tractor a bit later, but hoping this will be the fix.

Originally Posted by JHZR2
Is there a rubber clutch disc in there?

I will find out when I get back under there.

Re: Craftsman YT4000 - Slow uphill [Re: Covington] #5239184 10/14/19 08:25 AM
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CT8 Offline
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Check the oil in the hydros.

Re: Craftsman YT4000 - Slow uphill [Re: Covington] #5239185 10/14/19 08:26 AM
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CT8 Offline
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Check the oil in the hydros.

Re: Craftsman YT4000 - Slow uphill [Re: CT8] #5239197 10/14/19 08:47 AM
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Covington Offline OP
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Originally Posted by CT8
Check the oil in the hydros.

Sorry - I have no idea what that means frown I'm just a regular average Joe who knows little about this stuff, but isn't afraid to get in and learn.

Re: Craftsman YT4000 - Slow uphill [Re: Covington] #5239205 10/14/19 08:56 AM
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benjayman227 Offline
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Originally Posted by Covington
I found a drive belt that should be pretty close. The specs from what I read are 1/2"x90" on the YT-4000, I picked up a belt that is 5/8"x90" that is for Craftsman/Poulon/Husqvarna. I will have to get under the tractor a bit later, but hoping this will be the fix.


An oversize belt might make it worse (or introduce a new problem, if it wasn't the problem already). An oversize belt will run too high in the sheaves, and reduce the contact area between the belt and the sheaves, which will invite slippage. It may also overheat if the radius of the sheave is close to the minimum radius of the previous belt. The tensioner may not have enough adjustment range either.

If the original belt was in fact the problem, and the oversize one somehow does work, I would not recommend it as a long-term fix. Or you will be fixing it again soon anyway. Learned my lesson on improper belt sizes the hard way.

Re: Craftsman YT4000 - Slow uphill [Re: benjayman227] #5239217 10/14/19 09:18 AM
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Covington Offline OP
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Originally Posted by benjayman227
Originally Posted by Covington
I found a drive belt that should be pretty close. The specs from what I read are 1/2"x90" on the YT-4000, I picked up a belt that is 5/8"x90" that is for Craftsman/Poulon/Husqvarna. I will have to get under the tractor a bit later, but hoping this will be the fix.


An oversize belt might make it worse (or introduce a new problem, if it wasn't the problem already). An oversize belt will run too high in the sheaves, and reduce the contact area between the belt and the sheaves, which will invite slippage. It may also overheat if the radius of the sheave is close to the minimum radius of the previous belt. The tensioner may not have enough adjustment range either.

If the original belt was in fact the problem, and the oversize one somehow does work, I would not recommend it as a long-term fix. Or you will be fixing it again soon anyway. Learned my lesson on improper belt sizes the hard way.


ok, thank you. I will make sure to find the exact size then. Will have to hit the store again or order online. I also noticed now, after you mentioned this, the part information I had from another site was innacurate - the part number I just found inside the hood is 130969, which is actually 0.5"x92.5". Back to the drawing board.

Re: Craftsman YT4000 - Slow uphill [Re: Covington] #5239224 10/14/19 09:33 AM
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benjayman227 Offline
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I have noticed that many OE belts are goofy sizes (92.5 in your case), but you can only ever find even inch sizes in stores. I don't know why they do that, but it makes it all the more difficult to repair things.

Re: Craftsman YT4000 - Slow uphill [Re: Covington] #5239225 10/14/19 09:33 AM
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JTK Offline
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You said in your original post after changing the transaxle oil that the belt is new and tight.

I'm confused..


2019 Nissan Pathfinder SV
2017 Ram 1500 4x4, 3.6L.
2015 Nissan Versa 1.6 S
Re: Craftsman YT4000 - Slow uphill [Re: JTK] #5239278 10/14/19 10:28 AM
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Covington Offline OP
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Originally Posted by JTK
You said in your original post after changing the transaxle oil that the belt is new and tight.

I'm confused..


yeah, because I didn't know what I was talking about wink I put on a new belt, but that was the belt for the deck. I honestly (showing my stupidity here) assumed it was the same belt. I put that one on beginning of summer when I changed oil and fuel filters and put on a new blade. (feel free to razz me as much as you want)

Last edited by Covington; 10/14/19 10:30 AM.
Re: Craftsman YT4000 - Slow uphill [Re: benjayman227] #5239318 10/14/19 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by benjayman227
I have noticed that many OE belts are goofy sizes (92.5 in your case), but you can only ever find even inch sizes in stores. I don't know why they do that, but it makes it all the more difficult to repair things.


I ended up returning that belt, googled Husqvarna, went to a local shop, and found the belt smile Husqvarna because this is actually their tractor and the belt is the same as their drive belt (on 42" deck models) except with a slightly different part number (532130969 vs 130969). I verified it was the same belt with the manager to be sure, but googling told me enough prior to going there. I feel much better about installing this belt, so definitely appreciate you catching me before I tried to install a belt that was not a perfect match.

Last edited by Covington; 10/14/19 11:17 AM.
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