Husqvarna LGT2654 Hydro probs

bart66December 25, 2009

I am copying-pasting an email I sent to TuffTorque and Husqvarna with the problems I'm having. It is descriptive, hoping someone on here can offer some insight! So far I've gotten no help from Husqvarna or the service center that has looked at my Husqvarna.

To whom it may concern,

About a year and a half ago I purchased a Husqvarna LGT 2654 lawn/garden tractor. First year everything worked fine. This year however I began to have problems with the hydro-static drive. Part of my yard has a steep hill. It is approx. 40 foot in width, ranging from 10 to 25 feet length(height) uphill. The steepest is about 30-35 degree incline. For safety reasons I mow up the hill, then back down to mow up again. Again, the first year the unit worked fine. Last spring while mowing, I would mow maybe 4 passes when the tractor would go slower up the hill, then not able to climb at all. I would then move to a flat part of the yard and mow for awhile. Then I could go back and mow a couple more passes before it wouldn't climb again. This I would repeat until finished. The problem gets worse when the weather is warmer. I've had the unit at a local True Value hardware that is an authorized Husqvarna service center. First time they found nothing at all. When I took it back late summer, they again found nothing wrong with the hydro, but said the engine had a bad magneto and a couple other things. They thought this was causing the problem. Of course it wasn't, still same problem with mowing. I have stopped in again to continue to try and get this resolved. Last advice I got when they said they talked with a Husqvarna tech was add oil to the unit. They said remove the breather cap, fill the hydro to the top! In addition they said to use 20w50 oil. On the TuffTorque site 10w30 for the K46 hydro is indicated. So it seems they are telling me the wrong oil, and the advice seems bad anyways. I don't see how filling the hydro to the top would have any positive affect! I spoke briefly last summer with a Husqvarna customer service woman. When relating the circumstances and telling about mowing on a 30-35 degree incline, she stated that was the problem, I should only mow on no greater than 15 degree. And that was the end of story as far as she was concerned! I posted my problem on a forum, one person responded that it seemed there may be internal leakage, which gets worse when the weather is hot, and the oil heats up quicker. So the end of my long story, I am hoping for some help to finally get this resolved! Thank you in advance.


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If the transmission in your tractor had only gears, the oil would function as a lubricant only. Not having enough oil in the transmission case would result in worn bearings, and worn gears, eventually. But, the unit would work OK until it finally wore out. But you have a tractor with a "hydro-static" transmission. That means the oil is both a lubricant, and also a source of power, in much the same sense that the wind contains power that is extracted by a windmill. For some reason, there is not enough oil present to provide power when the tractor is moving up a steep grade, as you describe. Adding oil might help, but you should be aware that there are bearings in the transmission that will eventually run dry, if you spend enough time on a 35% grade. If I were in your situation, I would keep the tractor off the 35% grade, and use it on level ground and more gentle grades only. Transmissions are too expensive to replace every other year. It might be possible to modify your transmsission with an external oil supply, and an external pump, so that it would handle the gradient in your yard. I doubt that Husqvarna will volunteer to engineer such a modification.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2009 at 3:58PM
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I'm having the exact same problems with my HusqvarnaLGT2654. It will not mow on any gradient when it gets warm. I've changed the belt and purged the transmission as they directed in the owner's manual. Neither option seemed to work. If this tractor can't pull a hill then it is basically worthless. It's very discouraging that a company represntative gives little if any help when contacted. If this problem is not rectified by the company it will be the last Husqvarna product I purchase.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 2:39AM
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How old is this tractor/how many hours on the clock?
Whether the outdoor power products industry agrees or not, the oil in the hydrostatic transmission needs to be changed at least once every three years, or about 150 hours.
On this forum, there have been countless cases where an owner was at wit's end over the seeming complete failure of a hydrostatic drive transaxle.................and changing the hydro oil and filter magically brought the thing back to life.
And let me add: No point in beating on Husqvarna.....or Sears.....or any other brand name, because they ALL use hydrostats made by just a few transmission OEMs and ALL hydrostatic transmissions will act the same way when the oil inside wears out.

You can use the Search feature at the bottom of the forum opening page to find a multitude of threads regarding changing of the hydro oil.

Though you may hear from some folks (like the manufacturer of the tractor) that the oil is permanent and never needs changing, that is about as far from the truth as it can be.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 9:31AM
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My experience is similar to Bart's with my one year old 2654. Had Cub Cadet for 10 years and was having worn and broken parts too often near the end of my use. Decided it was time for new tractor with bigger deck for my larger yard Use my tractor year round for various use and is very helpful. But now it will not climb my at least 35' hill to mow. My former Cub Cadet never had any problems performing that task as I am using this tractor as before. My problems with CC was hard to start, seats worn out early, would not mow grass on highest setting without breaking belt, but never had problems with transmission mowing same hill and pulling trailer with load. I got "sucked" into price of tractor and military discount at Lowe's I want my CC back, since I can't find any help with this orange nightmare.


    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 10:01AM
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A few things.

Have you ever adjusted the directional linkage?

Have you ever check the drive belt tension once it gets warmed up?

Have you ever purged the system of air?

20W50 is the oil to use.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 10:37AM
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It sounds like you bought the wrong tool for the job. Your Husqvarna LGT2654 is a riding mower intended to mow flat, small lawns. Asking a rider to mow up a 30-35 degree incline is far exceeding the design and intended use.

Removing the transaxle and draining and refilling the trans with the correct fresh oil might treat the symptom but it will not cure the disease.

And stay away from the moron who suggested you "...remove the breather cap, fill the hydro to the top". All that will do is puke oil all over everything from the breather cap.

You really need to honestly evaluate your needs and get a machine that meets or slightly exceeds those needs.

I suggest you look around for professional lawn and garden dealers and go pick their brains. Stay away from hardware stores who sell and service riding mowers.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 12:31AM
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apprin(S. Louisiana)

My problem is exactly the same as the above and I understand that this is a unanimous problem that consumers are having with this product. When I purchased the mower, I was concerned about the absence of hydraulic fluid drain and filler plugs; however, I took a chance. At ninety hours of normal use, the transmission will not reverse if there is ANY restriction and then, very slowly. It has no real power in forward mode either. This problem was obviously found in testing but Husq elected to market the item anyway, likely because their transmission supplier was allowed to dupe them. The choice? Pass the duping on to the consumer. How can we fix this? Where would be a practical and safe spot to tap drain and filler plugs? It makes me furious when a mfgr does this. They should be hit with a class action suit, just to get their attention.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 10:58AM
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***"They should be hit with a class action suit, just to get their attention."***
To initiate a class action lawsuit, first you must get a "class" of consumers together on a single "platform" seeking some form of restitution.
You can be the person to set this process into motion, if you want to.
An alternative way to rectify the shortcomings of the design is to have ALL consumers band together for the common cause of requiring that all hydrostatic drive transmissions used in LT. YT, and GT outdoor power applications feature easily accessible drain and refill ports to facilitate periodic maintenance oil changes.
The most convincing way for a group of consumers to make a point is to REFUSE TO BUY a product that they are not satisfied with. Simply DO NOT BUY it.

The truth is that you would have very little success in trying to get the average consumer to climb on either platform with you.
And should there ever be any legislation requiring that to happen, I feel the OEMs would just up the price of each copy by about $300, or they would cheap out on something else.....just to get our attention. :^(

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 11:37AM
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Considering the broad application of the TT K46 over the years I'd like to have $1 for every owner of an LT with a K46 that has not had any problem at all.

As rampant as some say the complaints are all over the internet I'd wager that the posts we read are from an insignificant of K46 owners, but that doesn't make a trans failure any less painful for them. I'm reminded of something I was told when I was very young... 'some people can break an anvil with a rubber hammer'.

While I agree that all transaxles should come with drain plugs we have to remember that we get what we ask for. In their never ending zeal to provide the best (perceived) value at the lowest price, as the market demands, when manufacturers can save $.10 per unit over a sizable production run they will do it.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 12:20PM
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