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Dan, Mechanic
Category: Heavy Equipment
Satisfied Customers: 73
Experience:  3yrs as a TnT mechanic, 10 yrs as a O/O long haul driver, 1 yr in technical school
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We have a model 185 John Deere lawn tractor. It has a hydrostatic

Resolved Question:

We have a model 185 John Deere lawn tractor. It has a hydrostatic transmission and the linkage is out of adjustment. Unfortunately we do not have a service manual and haven't a clue on how to get it into correct adjustment. The tractor has a Kawasaki engine that starts and runs very well, does not burn oil, is still solid and very dependable. Does anyone have good knowledge about these older lawn tractors?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Heavy Equipment
Expert:  Dan replied 8 years ago.
Hi there does your tractor have the foot pedal or the handle up on the fender? Thanks Dan
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
It has the fender shifter - forward and reverse. The only foot peddle is the brake peddle. What happens is the tractor will lurch forward when shifting it into forward. It is so violent it will lift the front wheels off the ground. Our local dealer said it sounds like an adjustment situation as it's a very sensitive linkage setup. The shift lever (not the gearshift lever that comes through the fender) that is attached to the transmission broke. The part that broke, has been replaced. The tractor never did that prior to the part failure. I really don't believe it's anything internally in the transmission. Hopefully this will shed more light on the problem.

Jake Emhof
Expert:  Dan replied 8 years ago.
Hi there does it jerk when shifting into reverse? When you move the shift into neutral does it try to move one way or the other while in neutral position? Thanks Dan
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Not as severe as in forward. It is difficult to get the shift lever in exact neutral position. Again our local dealer thinks it is because the linkage is worn and has too much slop. Incidently, it is now 8:45 PM our time and will check with you tomorrow. Thanks. Jake
Expert:  Dan replied 8 years ago.
OK first you need to check the linkage and make sure there isn't too much play. Then set the lever to the neutral position and see which way the tractor is trying to go. If it is trying to go forward then adjust the linkage back until it doesn't or the other way around if it is trying to go backward.You may have to jack up the rear end to get it real close. Let me know how you make out. Thanks Dan
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Finally discovered the problem! The axle on the right side of the tractor had broken loose from the frame, allowing the entire transmission assembly to "float". This is what was causing the "lurching" forward plus causing a multitude of other failures. The adjustment procedure was helpful in getting the transmission back in sync with the shift lever. Thank you.
Expert:  Dan replied 8 years ago.
Glad to hear you got it fixed. Thanks Dan