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Ranwell1, Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 10304
Experience:  I Own a Lawn Mower Sales and service business (37years). Have 2-cycle and 4-cycle certification.
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I've got a Toro Personal Pace rear wheel drive mower. The rear

Customer Question

I've got a Toro Personal Pace rear wheel drive mower. The rear wheels lock up when you pull the mower backward, I've replaced the transmission twice and the wheels twice. Right now it's only the left rear wheel that locks up. The gear teeth show a little wear but apparently that's enough to cause the lockup. (I switched with the right wheel and the problem went away.) The transmission turns with no problem. I've only made one cutting with the new transmission and two new wheels, and, as I say, the left rear wheel is now worn enough to lock up.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Ranwell1 replied 2 years ago.
This is a very common problem with this model of mower. One of the major problems that can cause this more often is that people keep washing the mower with water. You cannot Wash this mower as it messes up the gears and keyways on the axles.
Also DO NOT put any grease on the keyway or gear, Spray a little WD 40 on it and that is all. The grease also messed up these gears and helps to lock up the keyways and wheel gears.
Another thing that causes problems with this unit is that you CANNOT turn the mower while the self-propelled unit is engaged or it breaks the self-propelled parts of the mower. Make sure that you come to a COMPLETE STOP before you turn.
As I said , this is a very common problem with these mowers.
Please give me a good rating as this is the only way that this site payse me for my time.
Expert:  Ranwell1 replied 2 years ago.
Also if there is ANY wear at all on the small gears that are on the axle, it will cause you trouble, so make sure that you replace the gears AND the KEYS.
Please give me a good rating as this is the only way that this site pays me for my time.
Expert:  Ranwell1 replied 2 years ago.
The wear on the small gears that I am talking about is on the INSIDE of the gears.
Please give me a good rating as this is the only way that this site pays me for my time.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
As I said, I replaced the wheels, the gears, the belt, and the transmission. Twice. Now it's crapping out again. It ran for four years before I had this problem. I suspect that the original wheels had metal gears and it took four years to wear them out. The replacements have plastic gears and this latest one lasted only ONE cutting. Do you know if there is a metal gear wheel with a different part number that I should be using? By the way, I haven't changed my mowing style and the lawn is the same: something's wrong with the replacement parts.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Are you thereCustomer
By the way, the opening page said this would cost me $18 and I ok'd a $5 good faith deposit thinking I would have to pay the remaining $13 when the question was answered. The second page said it would cost me $22 MORE! That's $27 dollars. What gives with the pricing here?
Expert:  Ranwell1 replied 2 years ago.
I have no idea about the pricing, but it should be as you described unless you give a Bonus or a tip. Just click the ratings and it would be as you thought it would be. $18.00/
If it charges you more than that I will request a refund of the difference.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Okay on the pricing answer. How about the mower?
Expert:  Ranwell1 replied 2 years ago.
If your old wheels were metal gears, then the new wheels MUST be metal as well. Someone may have sold you the wrong wheels if this is true.
MAke sure that you look up the parts again and make sure that you get the right part number for the wheels.
They DID NOT change the metal wheels to plastic but there was a model that used the plastic wheels, but other parts were different as well.
Look up the numbers of your parts at and it should give you the correct part numbers.
I was just giving you some ideas as to what causes problems with these mowers. THis is a common problem with these mowers after a few years of use and sometime it is very difficult to get it corrected if at all.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The part number from is(###) ###-#### *****'s the same number that I ordered from Amazon. It's the same number that I ordered last season from Ebay. Both new sets had plastic gears. I don't have the originals anymore to see if they were metal or plastic and I don't remember what they were.
So, what you're saying is that replacing the wheels again is a waste of money, and that there's no way to repair my machine at this point. Is that right?
Expert:  Ranwell1 replied 2 years ago.
I am not saying that at all, but you need to replace all the gears and the wheels at the same time.
But if it happens again then you will have to decide if that is worth doing again and again. Or take it to a good mower shop that has done these before and have them do the repair for you so you know what it is done right.Then may see something that you are missing.
BUt this is a very common problem with the ones that have plastic gears. If you ordered the part number that parts tree said, then they are the right wheels.
I wish I had a better solution for you, but I am trying my best to help. This is just a model that we have had trouble with.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yeah,Customeryou really are saying that. I replaced the wheels, the gears, and the transmission ALL at the same time. TWICE. I did it twiceCustomer There's not a lot of ambiguity in the procedure either. A pro shop couldn't have done it any differently. Would you have? I've rebuilt auto and marine engines; I'm not a dummy. There's something wrong here and I'm not going to do it a third time to have the same result. Your answer "This is just a model that we've had trouble with." is really no answer at all. I'm looking for a fix; you're saying there isn't one. Thanks for trying
Expert:  Ranwell1 replied 2 years ago.
I have just found another thing to try.
Check the bushings that the axle goes through the frame.
If these bushings are worn, then the axle will move back and forth and cause the gears to wear out.
Look at the diagram on parts tree and you can see what i am talking about.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I see the bushings...and also bearings. I didn't see much play in the axle rotation, but maybe there was enough. I can order the bushings and bearings and another wheel and see if that does anything. To me, it seems like we're throwing new parts at it and hoping one of them solves the problem. Seems like we're reaching for straws.Customer that's what I do. I "try" things. You're the expert. Have you done this bushing replacement and had it solve the problem?
Expert:  Ranwell1 replied 2 years ago.
We have not had the amount of problems that you have been having, usually when we fix it , they stay fixed, but we always check the bushings when we are trying the wheels.
If they are bad then we replace them. I know that I am not being as much help as you had hoped but at least I am trying.Usually these wheels need replaced between 1 and 2 years of use.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
WellCustomerI appreciate your suggestions. I've ordered the bearings and bushings and another wheel. I'm not going to replace the gears again as I don't believe the metal gears have suffered any wear from one cutting. The plastic ring gear on the one wheel that is jamming is obviously worn and I'm replacing that wheel. I'll let you know if the problem is fixed after I get the parts and cut the lawn again. I guess that's as far as we can go today. Please keep this dialogue open until I reply again. If that's not possible, please let me know how I can re-contact you after I get the parts. Thank you.
Expert:  Ranwell1 replied 2 years ago.
You should just be able to contact me here if needed although I really don't know what else I can do for you, we have covered about everything I can think of.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Like I said, I've ordered a new wheel and bearings and bushings for both ends. The wheel came today; the bearings and bushings are supposed to arrive Saturday. I'll put the parts in the mower Saturday night and mow the lawn on Sunday. Then...then...I'll be able to tell you if replacing the bushings worked. I'd like to keep the ticket open until the problem is resolved or we find out that your suggestion didn't work.
Expert:  Ranwell1 replied 2 years ago.
That is ok with me but please remember that you are rating my effort, that whether it fixes the mower or not. Since I cannot actually see the mower and what it is doing, All I can do is make the normal suggestions.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
While I appreciate your effort, I'm really only agreeing to pay for your expertise. I've put a lot of effort into this mower myself. If I were doing it for a customer, I wouldn't feel right in charging him for a mower I haven't fixed. I certainly wouldn't feel right in telling him "Well, we have a lot of problems with these here models." and then ask him to pay for my efforts. You're right that you can't see my mower, but that's part and parcel of offering an online service. Maybe you would have spotted wear in the bushings if you could have physically looked at my mower instead of just reading my complaint. On the other hand, maybe you should have suggested the bushings be replaced as part of your initial answer instead of an afterthought. If it turns out that the bushings are indeed the culprit which caused the failure of the transmission and wheels, then I'm going to add that information to the Amazon reviews where I bought the transmission and wheels. Maybe I can save the next guy from spending a lot of money--twice--for parts that will immediately wear out because the real problem is worn bushings. No, effort is expected and common to all repairs, expertise is what is sought and what customers are willing to pay for. Let's wait till Sunday and see if you're right about the bushings. AndCustomer I do appreciate your time and effort...but that's not what your site is selling.
Expert:  Ranwell1 replied 2 years ago.
Will wait and see how things work when you get all the parts.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
OkayCustomer I put in the new bushings, new bearings and the new left rear wheel and this is what I found out: it is really tough to roll forward or backward. Could be that the bushings are new but I wouldn't think that they need to wear in; they're plastic! At least they haven't locked up...yet, but they're not right. I'm talking that I can leave my mower on the side of a hill and it won't roll back; the bushings are that tight. This is not what I call fixed...and I have no confidence that the wheel gears won't strip again when the bushings loosen up; if they ever do.
I'm done throwing new parts at this thing. Unless you have any other ideas, I don't see how I can avoid having to buy a new mower. Anything else?
Expert:  Ranwell1 replied 2 years ago.
Sometimes these are hard to toll after putting on the new parts and as then wear in they get more loose.I can't think of anything else that we haven't tried, but maybe this will fix the wheel problem.Let me know how things go.