LTH 130 hydrostatic problem

troopr1954June 21, 2009

Hi, I'm new to the list and have a question about a Husqvarna 130 LTH hydrostatic mower. This mower runs well for 10-15 minutes, but as soon as it's warm the mower hardly moves when in gear. I had it to a mechanic, who said he couldn't find anything wrong....rode it around the parking lot for 10 minutes or so and tried each gear.When i got it home and ran it for 10 minutes while mowing it loses power....the slightest incline causes it to stop.Is the problem with the hydrostatic part, the transmission or perhaps the belt drive?? It's in excellent shape, and I'd like to fix it if possible. I've been told this vintage mower probably has worn out the hydrostatics and it's not worth replacing this. Any help would be appreciated....I'm getting a little frustrated.


Simon Jung

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***"probably has worn out the hydrostatics"***
Did the person(s) offering that bit of "wisdom" explain to you exactly what "hydrostatics" are??
Simon, your problem has come to this forum well ahead of you, and there is hope and promise. You may need to do a bit of research in the archives to get a broad overview of the problem and how to go about solving it. I will tell you a little bit and then you need to begin searching. Most of the issues with hydrostatic drive transmissions are similar to yours. Pulls OK cold, "slips" or gets slow after warming up. The oil in the transmission is worn out and deteriorated (or decomposed even). In a hydrostatic transmission, THE OIL IS WHAT "TRANSMITS" the motive power! Old, worn out, oil will begin to "foam" after heating up. When it foams, the oil is unable to support the hydrodynamics of fluid power transmission. The foaming is because of water and air that have become entrained into the old oil. Use the search function provided in this forum to read about how to tackle this problem. Even if you don't plan to DIY, at least you may learn enough to communicate to someone you hire it out to. You may need to try a number of searches using various combinations of the words hydrostatic transmission oil change, hydrostatic fluid change, etc. Other members might wantto chime in on this thread as well. I have some big projects going on outside, so I'll only be checking in to cool off, then right back at it. Trust me, you can find just about everything you need (info) by doing a search here. There may be a spin on filter on your transmission. If there is one, change it when you change the oil.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 1:54PM
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I have a Husqvarna hydro and I am on my 3rd
motorm but original trans.
I would like to change the trans oil but I
am not sure if I replace it with SAE 20 wt
motor oil as the cap says or is there something
beter to use?????

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 7:13AM
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***"I have a Husqvarna hydro and I am on my 3rd
motor but original trans."***
3 "motors"??? Dare I ask "What's up with that?"
Anyhow, below is an excerpt from a recent post I made in a different thread. If the cap (transaxle fill cap?) says "SAE 20W", you will be OK using 20 W 50.

>I know people may have their own opinion of "which oil is best". For my own use, 5 W 50, 10 W 50, or 20 W 50 (synthetic) Motor Oil would be satisfactory. Use the prefix numeral in deciding which you need based on the WARMEST expected temperatures you might encounter in your local area (high temp? choose higher prefix numeral). The suffix numeral will not make much difference except if you will use it in temperatures near or below 0 degrees F.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 10:36AM
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I would recommend you start by identifying what transaxle/transmission you have in your tractor.

This will help you narrow your search for information on changing your transaxles oil along with any adjustments which might be applicable to your machines transaxle. Do you have a manual for the machine ?

Once you have this information in hand - you can start to make some informed decisions.

For the moment lets just assume the transaxle is burned up and not worth repairing. You should understand the transaxle is probably not specific to your husqy - and that it exists in many other brands as well. So getting another one (the correct brand and model) off of craigslist or ebay shouldn't be very difficult.

But first you need to know what it is (peerless, tufftorq, spicer, etc).

Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 10:41AM
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I have a Hydro Gear 316-0610 (192587) Trans which has lost nearly all of its power. Barely makes it up any sort of incline either forward or reverse.
ItÂs not an engine or drive belt issue that I know.
I pulled the fill plug and added 20/50 oil until it would not take any more. No change.
I have purged it per the manual no improvement. However, one thing I did notice was during the purge process, with the trans disengaged (push mode) I have more forward power then when it in drive mode, although no reverse when in push mode.
Any ideas?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 5:44PM
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Thanks everyone for your input....haven't been able to get on line since I posted. Can someone advise where on the transmission I might find the make/serial number? I have the product number and the manufacturers id number from beneath the seat, but can't seem to see anything on the transmission?
Simon Jung

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 11:20AM
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Hi everyone...
Still hoping for some input on the make/serial number of the transmission, but now have a new problem. Yesterday I ran the mower for 10-15 minutes just to keep the engine and mower ticking over....didn't mow much grass but let the mower run ...suddenly the engine quit. Not gas related I don't think...seems more of an electrical issue. Just quit stone dead, and now will not turn over even when boosted....any ideas from you guys on this one??:-)

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 7:21PM
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(1)Do you mean that your hear ABSOLUTELY NO SOUND when you turn the key to start?
(2)Or do you mean that when you turn the key, you hear the starter engage, but the engine will not turn??

If the answer is "question #1", you may have an issue with a safety switch.

If the answer is "question #2", the engine may have locked up (crank or piston seizure). If question #2, try removing the spark plug and then put your hands on the "screen" on top of the engine and see if you can turn the screen, even if it takes some effort.
Post back results.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 8:38PM
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Mownie....I mean when I turn the key I hear absolutely no sound...not even a "Tick" Where and how can I start troubleshooting the safety switch(s)?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 1:04PM
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Start by locating the fuse, check that. Locate the ground cable from the battery where it attaches to the frame, remove and clean the connection and also the battery cable connections. Give a good look over any plugs and connectors and remove and reconnect any you can reach.

Parking brake on? If you do not have a 12V test lamp get one at wallyworld, kmart or auto parts store. Connect ground clip to negative battery terminal, check that lamp lights by touching positive battery post with probe. Locate + battery wire going to starter, lamp should light their also. Locate small wire going to starter solinoid, hold probe on that(may have to unplug it) Have someone sit on the machine and turn key to start, lamp should light in start position.

Report back what you find, will need a complete model number to get the wiring diagram to see how the safety circuit is wired.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 1:58PM
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Thanks for the prompt response. Will start diagnostics, but in the meantime the Product # is 954-88-00-61
There are also the following numbers on the label under the seat....0315960 001146. Manufacturers ID # is HCLTH130B
Thanks again

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 2:30PM
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That was what I needed to see the diagram, that narrows it down as the parts lists go from 'b' to 'j' although they may all have the same wiring they may have evolved over the years.

This is what I found for parts list/schematic

Did you ever identify your transaxle? The parts list only gives a P/N and no mfg but perhaps someone will recognise the trans from the drawing.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 2:55PM
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Great....and I've found the transaxle details....covered in dried on oil of course....Hydro-Gear,Sullivan Illinois.
numbers are 140605 6060T3034....are these any good??
I've also been told re: ther starting issue I should check the main fuse, but cannot seem to find it?
Thanks for your help so far

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 3:30PM
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Ha Ha, I had the same proble locating the fuse the other day on my new Ariens found it hidden behind the cowling on the RH side of the tractor, attached to the sheet metal with a clip but well hidden from view. Was up near the top close to where the wires come out to the engine connector. It's one of those flat plastic ones in a holder.

All the other warning/caution labels and they could not put a label or arrow saying 'FUSE'

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 3:44PM
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Hi buzzard....working through this....can you tell me how to attach photos of what I think is the starter and solenoid so you can advise if I'm correct?

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 3:29PM
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Have to load the picture up to photobucket or the likes then post the IMG link in your message

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 4:33PM
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OK Thanks...So far found the fuse...30 amp...good....and battery checks out good. When I check the + wire to what I think is the starter sthe ignition should be on, and the seat safety should be active.....correct?

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 4:56PM
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Looking at the schematic it looks like this has a solinoid that is Not mounted on the starter motor (item 43, page 2) so their should be power all the time to the one large terminal where the battery connects. The solinoid is basicly a remote control switch, apply power to the small white wire and it pulls the switch sending power to the starter motor.

Now if you connect a test lamp from ground and hold the probe on the terminal of that small white wire, the light should light when all the safety switches are right and the key switch is turned to the start position. No light means something is wrong with any of one or more safety interlocks, looks like this needs the brake down and the attachment clutch off to complete the circuit from the 'S' on the ignition switch, through the brake switch and then through the attachment clutch switch where it then goes to the solinoid. If you get NO light at the solinoid (easiest to check) then I would pull the steering wheel and cowling off and start testing right back to the ignition switch, look for power at the 'B' terminal and then at the 'S' terminal when the switch is in start position, if that is working move on to the attachment clutch switch which should be around where the mechanical cable moves when the lever is engaged.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 5:28PM
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Thanks again....problem resolved, motor is now purring :-)
I didn't have one of the interlocks set properly!!!! Now, the problem with the transmission remains. I contacted hydro-gear with the part number and tthey tell me it doesn't exist...even though it was copied right off their label on the tranny!!! Anyhow, I've since heard that these transmissions are often sealed at the factory which means I'm unable to change the oil. At $559 for a new one, that's a third of the cost of a new machine. What should I do? Is there perhaps an oem transmission that will fit?

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 7:53PM
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Question is how did you come up with the $559 price if the transaxle does not exist? New Ariens is $1300-1400 from home depot made by Husqvarna, lowes sells the Husqvarna brand about the same price. Does hydro-gear have the spare parts, I read elsewhere that for about $250 or so you could buy a new pump, seals and gaskets and rebuild one.

But that is just me, I would probably go down that road as an ex-mechanic otherwise the options are looking at ePay, craighslist etc and find a 'hopefuly' working new/used one, Surplus Center in NB often has some transaxles also for cheap.

Anyway it's been fun, thanks for playing along at home with 'Fix my Mower by Remote Control' and to all the studio audiance... Yup some of are really sick and take delight in solving problems on line, glad you got it running, hope you learned a few tricks along the way and as Bob Barker would say 'spay and neuter your pets' although exactly how you do that to goldfish still escapes me!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 9:12PM
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You CAN change the oil in a "sealed" transaxle. I did mine on my John Deere LT155 (which sports a Tuff Torq transaxle.) I wasn't having problems, but the tractor was approaching 300 hours of use and I wanted to change it. I'm glad I did, as it was looking pretty tired!

Since these units don't have drain plugs, you will need to remove the transaxle, wash it off, remove the fill cap and turn the unit upside down to get the old oil out. Take notice of how much oil comes out so you can replace with the correct amount of fresh oil. (Mine took 2 quarts)

If you're doing this yourself, use a digital camera to take pictures of the way the belts are routed, and to keep track of any linkage/wiring you have to remove along the way. It will help when you go to put it all back together again.

My axle called for 10w-30. I used Mobil 1 15w-50 extended performance, and it's been working great going on the second summer after the change.

It sounds like a scary job, but I was able to do it in a few hours taking my time.

With what a new transaxle costs, I'd give the oil change a shot before buying a new one.

A few other thoughts--make sure that the belts are routed and tensioned properly, that the little fan on top of the transaxle doesn't have any broken fins.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 9:30PM
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Hi gregd,
Thanks foir the info. I've contacted a hydro-gear dealer in my area with an enquiry about a re and re package so that I can change seals, gaskets etc when I get it stripped down. Do you have any suggestions as to where I can find details of the disassembly process? I'm not a mechanic but would like to give this a shot, and any help/reference material would be helpful.
Thanks to everyone for their patience and assistance with this one.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 12:22PM
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Might look at this article he has some photos of the innards.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 1:06PM
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Thanks buzzard...will take a look

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 1:53PM
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One final question for anyone who has taken these transaxles apart.....what are the most common parts that wear, and now that I have the transaxle off and am ready to work on it, what parts should I replace anyway regardless of wear? I dont want to spend money on parts that I probably dont need:-)

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 2:35PM
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Well now you have it off you have almost nothing to loose by turning it over and draining the old oil and just replacing it with the proper ammount of fresh oil, think it's something like 2 quarts.

Might or might not get a month or a year out of it yet, from reading some of the other posts here and elsewhere on the subject it seems that the pump and drive motor take the brunt of the beating as mentioned in the other article. Course your going to want new axle seals, input shaft seal, filter and assorted gaskets if you do take it apart and a CLEAN workplace. I would powerwash or scrub the outside of the housing before doing anything.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 4:37PM
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I have a Husqvarna with K45 trans axel that that stated slipping at 300 hr.I replaced the oil with 20-50,and could do wheelies now.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 12:34PM
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