I just saw a K46A transaxle with a fluid reservoir and drain valves advertised on a JD parts supplier web site for $650. I, too, have the same transmission problem you all are describing with my LA120. Can you advise please. I too had to change my mowing style; I would mow the flat parts, then the hills and sometimes skipped the hills altogether. Maybe we’ll finally own a tractor that others might have to pay $4-5000.- for, with the only difference their tractor will have an “X” in front of the model number? This transmission gives it all kinds of tourq. Please add my name to the list of customers who have purchased this riding mower and are looking for some compensation. The new transaxles cost about $900 more than the surplus one’s. I re installed it on my tractor, crossed my fingers and fired it up. I did the work myself each time and I decided that I just don’t have the time to devote to repairing it every year. I have had my Junk Deere in the garage broke down for almost 2 years now hoping something affordable would come out to fix the problem but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. Grass is coming up in one month. I too have a K46 Transaxle on a John Deere 155 C. It stopped going uphill, To be honest I have quite the hill behind my house, but I was told when I bought it “It was no problem”. When my repair man said that replacing the tranny would be $1000 I began rethinking the situation. Now I can’t return it and it’s sitting I’m my garage useless. Bought the D170 in May 2017. Have a 145,bought in June 2006. Steve: I looked at a couple Husqvarna’s today and all had K46’s. Possibly today or tomorrow I will try an actual mowing job and will be able to accurately compare the “before” and “after” performance. Have a Hydro 185 with same problem. I already had my tractor ready to remove the old Transaxle. They do not compete at all with any of the other machines. I’m very hopeful that I’ll finally have the tractor I thought I was getting to begin with. My JD l120 transmission went out completely. I sign, submit again, kicks back. This includes John Deere, Husqvarna and Craftsman. After this visit, I contacted customer services and we were advised that the territory manager would be in touch by phone within 14 days. Bob, thanks so much for the nice write-up. ours. In 2006 I spent over $2000 for an L120 John Deere. Is this the same problem with the transmission. It happens slowly and eventually, it just stops climbing; a few years back, the hill wasn’t a big problem but now I have to let it rest for 30 minutes and then finish mowing. I know my wife is blaming herself for convincing me to buy this mower, but if you hear the same phrase all your life that nothing beats a Deere, you have to think there’s something to it. If you have to spend over $1500 on an upgrade, how much more would it be for a new tractor? However, John Deere put their name on a machine that has a major operational failure that costs nearly 40% of the retail price to repair and more to upgrade in less than 200 hours of residential operation. and this was in 1995. The old transmission looks like this and I’ve taken a picture of the plug I believe you are talking about. In the spring I used it to cut my lawn. 1) My brake doesn’t work good……the tractor still slowly rolls down hill when I apply the brake (although the Xmission helps brake a lot). i got an LX178. No way!!! and voice your complaints to them. The motor is fine, nice clean oil, newish plug and the air filter was even pretty clean. working with hydrolics my entire life the above post about using thicker (heavier) weight oil in these transmissions is just fine, as a matter of opinion i think they should all come with 95/140w oil in them in the warmer parts of the world! Look at what others have said! -Your tractor does not have a method for checking or changing the fluid level of the hydrostatic transmission. I have to much invested in time to give up, so I will continue to treat this as my green investment/hobby. The John Deere MowerPlus smart connector wirelessly links a Select Series© X300 or X500 Tractor to the MowerPlus app on a mobile device. It came with oil in the the box and I have not replaced it, only added the bottle on top, reservoir and topped it up. Thanks for the forum and posts. Keep in mind that just like many other tractor/mower companies, John Deere produces some lower grade “homeowner” models that do not quite live up to the quality that has become associated with the John Deere name. It’s time for them to do the right thing. I paid $2.200 for the entire machine?? OOPS I FORGOT THOSE DAYS ARE GONE AS WELL!! Did they really prep and prime them before painting? I would also be glad to join any class action suits that may arise. With a small screwdriver & a pocket knife, I removed both caps, the larger cap, to the LEFT front, on the top & the Rubber cap, on the LEFT rear, top. (3/8″ I.D.) With deck down, had almost enough power, with deck up it almost would not move at all. Have to let it cool down. I told them i had used sears craftman mowers for 30 years with chains and with out chains for 30 years with no problem on this hill. It is slowly dying. The ones I looked at were not as expensive as you mentioned (21K46) and were in the $1700 range. a rest for at least an hour so you can mow for another half hour. I started reading the John Deere tractor forum and found a few suggestions on how to fix the problem. I too was deceived by a crafty sales rep that my new John Deere would be the last mower I’d buy. I’ll post again after the work is complete – but I wanted to comment just to appreciate this website and the opportunity to share in frustration with a broken mower. Your tractor would be returned BETTER than new … MUCH better! As a former JD Technician I can tell you this from fact. same as all of the others, no go on hills with this five year old l118. I do not think it would be a recommended replacement. Needless to say I have not been very happy with this purchase, and will never buy another john deere product. I guess we lost Ken somewhere down the road….? I have a L118 John Deere, it does the same thing, loss of power, spend money to service it and still loses power. Here’s my similar story: the L2048 is the predecessor of the John Deere L series by one year – it has John Deere written in small print on it and has a orange/gray color scheme vs. green/yellow – otherwise, they’re identical. Re: Craig. The ground speed, in both FORWARD and REVERSE will be slightly faster. I would never recommend or purchase another John Deere lawn tractor as these both have low hours and useless transmissions. my dad has one of these wonderful problem filled tractors, i feel bad . I just signed the petition and agree 100% this is not right to have to spend the money that we have to purchase a machine that is supposed to be the “top dog” but instead is a dog when it comes to performance. I cannot get 10 minutes of mowing with it now. 3rd chute on it now since new. I’ve watched my neighbor store their Cub Cadet outside unprotected in the winter for years (and they don’t winterize it) and that things keeps going! Got it home and started cutting. Wrote a letter to the CEO, asking why they would bother putting a green and yellow jacket on a product that performs more poorly than a Murray or similar tractor. At least now I learned how the tranny brake works and that the tranny has a magnet collecting all the magnetic (carbon?) Mowing had become such a pain for me, requiring mowing in 10 to 15 minute shifts with an hour or so in between shifts for the transaxle to cool down. Guess John Deere did not make the transmission to do that. I will do a little research on other brands for the next purchase. Buying the $1800 replacement is not an option as the cost is no longer warranted. (Probably there’s a better mechanical word for “crevices”?) Another good resource is Derrick Dalton, TT Customer Service (866) 572-3441 Hi; I have a 2004 John Deere L-120 and every week when I go out to start mowing, it starts right up. Ps: There is NO certainty that ANY additional K66’s will be available. What you will then have is the same thing you had before … and you can expect the same results again. I weigh about 200 lbs. Well I am VERY please with Roger’s kit, I had my L130 OFF ROAD yesterday mowing the field, and I was tearing it up!!!!!!! My 1986 JD STX 38 (yellow deck not the black deck model) is a manual trans machine. This probably means we will have two different upgrade kits available. Afterward, I washed the filter in a gasoline bath, but I don’t think it liked that, because I couldn’t see through it anymore! Loud whining and no power on my backyard hill . I spent thousands of dollars on what I thought were the best mowers available… what a dissappointed t john deere!!!! Sign me up for the class action lawsuit. Ps: Anyone ready for a Fully Electric, Solar rechargeable, conversion? I paid half the price for it. I purchased an L120 from the person I bought my house from because he said that is how he mowed the yard. Sometimes that seems to work for awhile … sometimes it doesn’t. he didnt want to spend that kind of money on a tractor and i kind of talked him into it sayin,” its a john deere- they wouldnt sell it if it wasnt a good tractor.” and eating my words every day. There was 1 part missing from his shipment, but he over-nighted it to me as soon as I spotted it was missing. John Deere never responded to my email. There was really nothing more I could do, all the gears seamed sloppy, but in this case it doesn’t mean anything, the gears are all their and looking like new. Price to fix is almost as much as a new tractor. As one customer pointed out, you would also need to buy new attachments, such as snow blades and snow blowers. I spoke with a local John Deere dealer on my way home and told them about the problem. For all of you who are sick and tired of having to shell out hard-earned bucks to repair/replace their K46 on an otherwise good machine… let me know by replying to this post. I called and left a message on there answering machine,( they claim they never got) to tell them don’t fix it, That I’m coming to get it. it jerks when turning. It takes out the “play” between the axle and rims and makes starts and stops much, much smoother. Now I realize it is just painted green and made from crap parts. Don’t want to put good money to bad. The fact that you cant change the oil and John Deere’s policy of not filling them with the fluid Tuff Torque recommends really hack me off. I paid a lot of money for this lawn tractor and it just pisses me off. There now appears to be the transmission problems of loss of power going up steep hills, (the shift handle seems to wnat to push itself into neutral and has to be held in forward gear, esp moving up hills, and when hot.) I shouldn’t have pay again so soon. If it’s not broke don’t fix it, or in my case “RUN IT TIL IT BLOWS” I just started looking on the net for a fix today 3/21/10 . I realize that such an incline will wear down a tractor, but I have a John Deere and was under the impression that these riding mowers are the toughest in the business. I have just located this blog. fluid. But I had to do quit a bit of work on it each year after the 9th or 10th year. What to do Consumer Reports has tested and recommended three of the recalled John Deere models: the X300, X304, and D110 (a CR Best Buy). : Tuff Torq is building more K66’s for us. The fact that Roger has a good number of eBay reviews since I purchase my kit years ago and 100% positive feedback over the last year is a sign he’s still living up to his word and on top of that, eBay backs up the purchase. This kind of math is easy for me and I will be ordering a new upgrade kit. Ok, so I’m new to this whole thing and since this is pretty active, feel free to point me to a different thread. It was out of warranty anyway and they never addressed the transaxle issue! My father has the 340 and after 400hrs guess what? should had thed K66 trans in this machine in the first place! for your effort to help out. Being a senior citizen (69) I thought I had bought a mower that with good care would last me the rest of my life. It has a great motor but has the K46 trans and 20″ wheels . (seems to be the magic number). Add to Cart. Re-install trans. “Sudden” failures of the K46 are probably rare, if not non-existent. You people need to stop buying cheap mowers. Going down the steep embankments it just crawls every so gently. However, TuffTorq does publish a procedure for adjusting this with the tractor running on jack stands listed below: The procedure is probably similar for many models. I paid over $4,000.00 for this piece of junk. cause i love my jd L110 and it has always been my back up, most dependable mower to get me out of a bind while running commercial zero turns that seem to break. I met face to face with the JD reps at the Osh Kosh air show. Any help is appreciated. Transmission began to be a problem and the engine would not start when warm after I got it back. 107 hours on the LA175 when I called Ritchie Tractor in Knoxville. Sounds like Y’all are the JD experts, Can you point me in the right direction for my upgrade wishes? While there have been no other recalls related to this engine, Kawasaki has issued a service bulletin to its distributors instructing them to replace the assembly, at company expense, when a unit is taken into the shop for any reason. I’m going to contact the consumer magazine and ask them to look into the problems everyone seems to be having with John Deere products. It has been back to the Dealer numerous times for the same problems, Hydraulics, Brakes, PTO, Even the dealership said it was a LEMON! Sorry to say we live in Florida so Hills are are something you have to drive to go see. Probably be out of the “prototype” development and ready for sale mid-to-late summer. At 91 hours it started the DEATH CRAWL ! Is there a simple solution to this problem? Got on the 16 year old Yardman and finished the yard. I have just pulled apart and serviced my failing K46 transaxle to no avail. I’ll give it a try this weekend to remove the clutch assembly and see what I find, if the weather is not too nice, otherwise I’ll have to do other slavery “honey-do” jobs around the house. Take a close look at the mower blades--with the engine shut down of course-- to ensure none of them are bent or loose. Took about 45 minutes only because I had just replaced traction belt and wasted no time unbolting everything. I had to buy a walk behind snow thrower because it will no longer push snow. You mower uses an Eaton transmission. Sure an easier fix than pulling the tranny :-). June 28, 2017 Unbelievable… Thank you Roger for making this kit available! It’s absolutely great. Before I understood the problem with the K46 I bought a used JD L120, 20 minutes of use and I realized I now had two useless machines. The third option is to buy the closest model riding mower that has the ability to change fluid and filter. The Kubota dealer around has gotten great reviews from people I know for standing behind their product and service. Will, I totally agree with you about the class action lawsuit. That’s not a lot for a 5 year old machine. I have a John Deere LT160. Roger, Do you have any upgrades for a Cub Cadet GT1554? Regarding “legit:” With a phone call, I will be glad to give a bank reference and a John Deere dealer reference. Like everyone else I did not realize what I was buying. So, if anyone is considering this upgrade, give him a call. Both transmissions are acting as if they’re 90 years old. Man up John Deere. Going to have buddy paint it bring it back to new with new stickers. i installed a valve so that i could control the flow. What tranny should I get and how much are they? I am looking at a cost benefit issue, but the issue is decided if the tranny in the Husqvarna is the same as the L120. I have a very nice JD X300. and will not move in either direction. Your email address will not be published. I did the conversion alone and it took me about 4 hours including mounting new 23×10.5×12 tires on the new rims supplied in the kit. Kohler motor I really have no complaints,Transmission same old story loss of power & forget about mowing uphill. That was fast info. To purchase a comparable jd tractor newer I would have to spend close to $5k. I’ll tell you why, so they can compete with other mowers in the average home owner market but in making such a poor product, they just give themselves a bad name. Let’s face it, this is not a problem from an economy standpoint. Loss of pulling power and whine from trans. The hood and body parts do crack easily. Stops and starts on hills are a piece of cake… no transaxle whining… just easy operation. Upgrading my LT150, below, although access is definitely tight is easy for me at age to this... 48 kits are currently on-hold, awaiting parts from JD dealer answer when i took it on a basis. 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