How To Disengage Hydrostatic Transmission John Deere

The hydrostatic transmission helps move the mower forward and backward. It might be a small component but the mower’s performance relies on it greatly.

But If you have found yourself stuck with your John Deere lawn mower where the mower wouldn’t move, you need to disengage the transmission. But do you know how to disengage a hydrostatic transmission John Deere?

Tools That Will Need And Why

Since the hydrostatic transmission helps move the mower efficiently without requiring to start or stop the engine, you should not ignore regular maintenance.

And to maintain it from time to time, you will need to have the right tools, especially in case the mower gets stuck. Here is the list of tools you will need:

  • Ratchet And Socket: You will need a good quality ratchet to loosen and tighten the nuts and bolts. You can check out the Egofine 12pcs Ratchet Socket Wrench Set for that. Make sure you choose the right size sockets that fit your hydrostatic transmission.
  • A Flathead Screwdriver: You will also need a flathead screwdriver to remove certain screws. If you are unsure of which size of screwdriver you need, you can get the CRAFTSMAN Screwdriver Set as they are affordable and well-made.
  • Pliers: You may also require a plier, just in case. And just as I said before, having a set of few can be handy. So you can keep the WORKPRO 7-piece Pliers Set.
  • Oil Drain Hose: Make sure to use a good-quality oil drain pipe/hose to ensure you can drain oil into a pan safely. The Briggs & Stratton Oil Drain Valve comes with a pipe, valve, and cap to help drain oil conveniently.
  • Oil Catch Pan: When you drain the oil from the transmission, you will need something to drain the oil into. So you should use an oil drain pan that can hold oil without making a mess. In that case, I would recommend using this LUMAX LX-1632 15 Quart Drainmaster Pan.
  • Spray Bottle And Clean Water/Cleaner: You will need a spray bottle filled with water or a cleaning solution to clean the hydrostatic transmission.

How To Disengage Hydrostatic Transmission John Deere: Step-By-Step

While disengaging a hydrostatic transmission in John Deere is pretty straightforward, it does require you to keep some necessary things in mind.

Step 1: Locate The Hydrostatic Transmission

Knowing where the hydrostatic transmission is located in the John Deere lawn mower is important when performing routine maintenance. Look just below the engine and you can spot it immediately. Then find the control lever right under the right-hand grip.

Step 2: Remove The Bolts

Next, you need to remove the bolts of the hydrostatic transmission to be able to lift it. There are a few of them and they help hold the transmission in its place. Then you will need a ratchet and the right size socket for that.

Step 3: Lift The Hydrostatic Transmission

After removing the bolts, keep them away safely so that you can find them easily later. Then carefully take out the transmission from its housing. Since it stays under the engine area, try not to damage anything as you do it.

Step 4: Drain Oil

Draining the oil from the transmission is necessary and a precautionary step. This way you can prevent accidentally damaging any components. And here is how you can do it:

  • First, disengage the PTO or power take-off.
  • Then put the transaxle in neutral.
  • After that, carefully disconnect the battery.
  • Carefully raise the mower’s deck to its highest position to get better access.
  • Remove the fuses. You will find them in the fuse box.
  • Disconnect the wiring harness of the hydrostatic transmission.
  • Then remove the mower deck belt.
  • Place the drain pan under the drain line of the transmission.
  • Though you can drain the oil directly by removing the plug, I suggest using a drain pipe or hose to prevent making a mess or wasting any oil.
  • Carefully remove the drain pipe after draining the oil.

Step 5: Clean The Hydrostatic Transmission

Use the spray bottle with water or a cleaning solution to clean up the hydrostatic transmission. Make sure there is no dirt, debris, or buildup left.

Step 6: Reinstall It

As the cleaning step is done, you need to reinstall the hydrostatic transmission and set it back to its housing. After you put it back in its place, take the nuts and bolts you kept away and line them up.

Use the ratchet and sockets to tighten them and secure the transmission. If they are tightened properly, the hydrostatic transmission may have an oil leaking issue later.

Step 7: Add Oil

Finally, add the right oil transmission before starting it. Though John Deere recommends using Hydrostatic Transmission Fluid for the best result, you can still use standard motor oil instead, such as 10W-30/10W-40 viscosity oil. However, the oil must have SF, SG, SH, SJ, SL, or SM API service classifications.

Here is a video tutorial on how to change the oil in a John Deere lawn mower:

Tips To Remove/Replace Hydrostatic Transmission In John Deere Tractor

Here are some tips to help you if you want to perform disengaging John Deere hydrostatic transmission without much hassle or making many mistakes.

  • Make sure to disconnect all the electronic connections related to your mower before disengaging the hydrostatic transmission.
  • Always recheck the nuts and bolts to ensure you have placed them properly and the transmission is secure in its place. 
  • Keep the nuts and bolts in a safe and secure place after removing them so that you do not lose them.
  • Check everything once again after the oil transmission before you start the lawn mower. 

Final Words

I know it looks like a lot, but learning how to disengage a hydrostatic transmission John Deere couldn’t get simpler than this.

With the right tools at your hand, and following the instructions properly, you can easily perform the task yourself. If not, don’t hesitate to call a professional.

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