Mower self-propel repair

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Old 03-20-19, 11:25 AM
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Mower self-propel repair

So I am looking for thoughts on this before I get my hands dirty so I can know what to look for.

A bunch of years ago , I decided to give my mower an oil change. Not knowing any better, I looked at the manual and it showed an oil drain plug on the bottom of the engine.

A quick peek under there revealed nothing, as there was a big piece of plastic covering it.

Figured I had nothing to lose, I undid the screws (leaving the blade on), and all I saw was belts for the self-drive. So I said screw it, bolted it back up, and decided to just tip the thing over and empty it through the oil fill neck.

Oil changed I fired it up, got going and engaged the self drive. It started making a horrible grinding noise (but the wheels did turn). So I stopped, took those cover bolts back off, didnt see anything caught, and put it back again. Still a horrible noise. Defeated, I figured I broke it and mowed the lawn without the use of the self-propel, maybe mowed the lawn once or twice in this state, but with a horrible grinding noise. After that, no use other then the accidentally bumping into the lever and engaging it for a second

Last year at one point, I decided to engage it again. The noise happened again, breifly, and then stopped. Working great! No grinding noise, wheels happily spinning. Life was good! Half a lawn later, the wheels stopped engaging. I pull the lever, and nothing happens. No noise, no wheels moving, nothing

Any idea why the grinding noise started? And what the probable fix is? Hoping its something simple like a misaligned (and now broken) belt, but its a headscratcher why the issue happened at all
 
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Old 03-20-19, 11:41 AM
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A horrible grinding noise would be gears in my opinion. You may have investigated to see what was causing it and fixed it back when it first started, but now it's probably going to need parts. I'd think gears in the transmission but maybe you'll be lucky and it will be gears at the wheels.
 
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Old 03-20-19, 11:49 AM
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Any way to test that? Like, if I turn the pulley on the transmission by hand and see the wheels spin, would it be safe to assume they are both in working order?

EDIT: I should note that I never did anything to "fix" it, besides remove and reattach the plastic cover on the day the issue was caused. This didn't really help the problem, as it didnt get better (or worse)
 

Last edited by steven1350; 03-20-19 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 03-20-19, 06:14 PM
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If you turn the pulley and the wheels turn, that means there are still teeth engaging enough to turn the wheels but they could be chewed up, or there could be ad bearings on a shaft causing the teeth to skip, or other problems. I would try to isolate the noise by taking the covers off and running it. See if it makes the noise without the wheels on. If so, is there an idler pulley that could have bad bearings or something rubbing, or is it coming from the transmission itself.
 
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