Sears 917.288280 no longer climbs hills
I've had this tractor for 5 years now. Last year, it started stalling while climbing a hill (guessing a 3/12 grade, nothing serious). I changed the oil in the hydrostatic, which made it through the season. This spring it had NO power, so I changed the drive belt. The unit ran for 20 minutes, then would stall every 30 to 50 feet on flat ground. If I held the pedal down, eventually it would start going again.
Recently, I ordered a replacement transaxle. This wasn't cheap, but it's cheaper than a new mower. I made sure the T2 matched the existing transmission, checked the oil level, and purged the oil. The unit worked fine for a day, but now it's back to stalling again.
I've purged the transmission more times than I could count.
I made sure the brake wasn't sticking.
I've tried pulling the brake pedal up to make sure it wasn't a weak brake return spring.
I can't believe a new transmission would be broken out-of-the box. What am I missing? The engine doesn't bog at all. If I hold my foot down, eventually the mower pulses forward and gets going, but I don't want to do that every time I go up a hill, and I imagine it's bad for the transaxle. Help!!!