LT160 Transaxle Pulley Problem

john_wa(8)April 15, 2012

I haven't been here in a while but now have a problem that I need help with. I have a 2005 LT160 SN MOL160D530506 with 275 hours on it. Yesterday after mowing and cleaning up, I went to drive the tractor back into the garage and heard a rattle/grinding sound. I stopped and after further checking it appears that the pulley on top of the transaxle is loose and I can easily move it back and forth with my hand. I have no idea where to start with repairing this and I'm wondering if it's even something I could repair myself or should I just take it back to the dealer? Once this happened, I was afraid to drive it for fear of making things worse so I just pushed it into the garage. Can any of you more knowledgeable repair guys advise me on what the problem might be and what kind of expertise or special tools one would need to repair it? I do my own maintenance but have never had to fix something like this. Thanks in advance!

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justalurker

This might give you an idea of how it works...

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 2:13PM
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justalurker

If you see what you need to do there may be room to do effect the repair with everything in place. If you can't get to it I'd remove the body before I pulled the trans.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 2:42PM
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john_wa(8)

Thanks for the diagram, justalurker, though I was able to find that online! I'm no mechanic by any means but this looks like a repair that I could do. What it doesn't show is exactly what keeps the pulley in place on the shaft. I can reach it with my hand from either side but no way could I get a wrench or any other tool in there with my hand! I'll have to look to see what it takes to get the body off.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 3:30PM
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justalurker

It's far easier to remove the body than remove the trans with disconnecting all the linkage and such.

The illustration is not clear what locates the pulley to the trans shaft. Could be that the pulley is keyed to the fan and the fan is keyed to the shaft by #6.

What you are hoping is that what keys the pulley to the shaft has failed and all you might need is a new pulley and/or fan and associated hardware. If the trans shaft is damaged then you are in a whole other mess.

It may take one with an experienced eye to understand the assembly and not just be a bolt and unbolt repair.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 3:58PM
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tomplum

The hex part of the fan simply fits around the hex on the pulley. The pulley should be splined and the majority of the time that spline on the pulley wears out and the shaft remains fine. Lurker is right, unbolt the body, watch over the harness that goes to the seat and you should be fine.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 1:11AM
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john_wa(8)

Thanks tomplum! I think I'm going to try to do this repair myself. I'll report back on how it goes.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 10:06AM
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john_wa(8)

tomplum, I forgot to mention that someone else accomplished this same repair by jacking the tractor up, removing one wheel and reaching in to replace the pulley. Any thoughts on that method?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 10:09AM
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justalurker

John,

At the risk of rubbing you the wrong way but it's for your own good...

People who know more than you have told you how to do this job the right way and the easiest way on at least two forums I've seen you post. By removing the body you'll have a clear view of the area and be able to completely clean everything, which it undoubtedly could use. That would be the time to replace the drive belt if the belt is at all questionable... and use a REAL JD belt if you do.

Since you know what you don't know you should spend $55 and buy the Tech Manual on CD (TM1975CD @ 1-800-522-7448) for your LT160 and learn the right way to do this repair. It will be invaluable if you plan to keep your LT160 and teach you a lot about every aspect of your LT160.

All you need to do anything are the tools and the knowledge. You don't have the knowledge and the tech manual will correct that so if you have the tools and know how to use them you're ready to give it a try.

BTW, that snap ring #2 in the picture does require snap ring pliers AND the snap ring is directional in that there's one way it goes on the shaft correctly and won't pop off.

When you do it yourself there's no one else to blame so take a deep breath and do it the right way.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 11:06AM
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john_wa(8)

Well guys, it looks like I may just take it in to the dealer. Upon further inspection I could not figure out how to remove the seat pan so I decided to call the dealer for an estimate. They estimate $145 parts and $120 labor to drop the transaxle, replace the pulley, fan, 2 idler pulleys and belt. They suggested changing all those other parts because they are likely worn as well. I asked about removing the seat pan and he laughed and said "Good luck, for your model the seat pan is welded to the frame!" Any more thoughts?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 11:50AM
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justalurker

Well John, a bunch of us have egg on our faces including (a) JDTECH on another forum. That model has the pan welded to the frame.

If you like that LT160 and it's treated you well than $300 isn't bad for the job and you'll have no drive belt worries for quite a while.

It does seem that you'd like to be doing the work that you can so I so recommend buying the Tech Manual on CD. It's really a lot of valuable info.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 12:13PM
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mownie(7)

Egg is easier to wipe off than BS.............and I did not detect any BS in any of the advice offered............so it's gonna be a good day anyhow. :^)

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 12:33PM
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john_wa(8)

Well said, mownie . . . I have always valued the advice that I receive on this forum, it has helped me out of trouble on several occasions and I do appreciate everyone who tried to help me here this time too. I did drop it off at the dealer this morning because $265 sounded better than my aggravation at trying to do something that I didn't feel that comfortable doing. I guess it was all the linkages and other junk I'd have to remove and worry about putting back correctly that made me go that route. Thanks again everyone for your help!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 9:14PM
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john_wa(8)

Well said, mownie . . . I have always valued the advice that I receive on this forum, it has helped me out of trouble on several occasions and I do appreciate everyone who tried to help me here this time too. I did drop it off at the dealer this morning because $265 sounded better than my aggravation at trying to do something that I didn't feel that comfortable doing. I guess it was all the linkages and other junk I'd have to remove and worry about putting back correctly that made me go that route. Thanks again everyone for your help!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 9:15PM
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john_wa(8)

Well said, mownie . . . I have always valued the advice that I receive on this forum, it has helped me out of trouble on several occasions and I do appreciate everyone who tried to help me here this time too. I did drop it off at the dealer this morning because $265 sounded better than my aggravation at trying to do something that I didn't feel that comfortable doing. I guess it was all the linkages and other junk I'd have to remove and worry about putting back correctly that made me go that route. Thanks again everyone for your help!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 9:16PM
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tomplum

Sounds like a fair price really. I don't recall having run into a body integral w/ the frame before. I think I'll have one next week to do from the gal's description.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 1:02AM
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