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  1. #1

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    MTD Yardman Transaxle Rebuild

    OK you guys, you talked me into it!

    I disassembled the transaxle (Original P/N 618-04381A) and pulled off the top half of the housing. Man oh man is it ever a mess! The crack in the right hand axel end of the top housing is pretty bad and will require a talented welder to repair it. (That leaves me out! All I own is a little flux core wire welder and I can't weld aluminum with it..) The bushing for the outboard end of the right hand axle was destroyed! Holes worn right through it! However, without the benefit of further cleaning, the axel itself looks pretty good. The grease in the lower half of the transaxle housing looks like muck, it's going to take gallons of degreaser and lots of work to clean that mess up and I have read on the forum that finding the correct grease is difficult at best. Hopefully cleaning things won't open up another can of worms.. I'll clean the upper half of the housing first, and then see if I can find someone to weld it. Once that's done, I'll order a new outer bushing and grease (someone said it's a 'clay' based grease and someone else mentioned bentonite (which I recognize as a type of clay) - sounds odd for grease, but what do I know??? At this point d*mn little!

    So far so good, but it all hinges of whether of not I can find a good welder. I'll let you know how it's going.

    Roger B

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  3. #2

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    Re: MTD Yardman Transaxle Rebuild

    Roger,
    Bentonite grease is a clay based grease used in the transaxles. Stuff is super nasty and sticks to everything, I think it is almost as bad as never-seize for getting all over me if I'm not super careful.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tecumseh-Ben...-/360553330996

    Tom

  4. #3

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    Re: MTD Yardman Transaxle Rebuild

    All clays are slippery because they align themselves in to flat plates with very scant bonding between plates.
    All greases consists of a solid which has the same type of flat molecule, grain or crystal suspended in a liquid.
    It is the liquid medium that gives the grease its fluid properties.
    This liquid can be water as in graphite greases or spirits for the "dry greases", bees wax for chain grease, right up to tar.
    It is the lubricant particles that give the grease its name,
    Bentonite for very high loads, graphite, Lithium Sulfide / Lithium flourobate for Lithium greases
    Zinc Steriate etc etc etc.

    By the same boat all the anti corrosion properties come from the suspension medium as do the rubber preserving and just about everything else.
    All the particles do is slip and avoid being crushed

  5. #4

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    Re: MTD Yardman Transaxle Rebuild

    Well, I've now been 'schooled' in the properties of various types of grease.. What would have been really useful is if one of you guys would drop by and clean this greasy mess out of the lower half of the tranny for me! I'd REALLY appreciate that!

    Ah Ha! I just figured out how to post pictures to this forum.. So here's a couple just to wet your whistle...

    Note the condition of the bushing I'm holding! The seal fell apart in my fingers. There is a hole worn right through what's left of the bushing. The crack can also be seen in the upper housing and the wear the shaft has done since the bushing no longer supported it properly.

    The second picture is the upper case cleaned up, showing the crack I've got to get repaired. I'm going on the hunt for a good aluminum welder today.. I'll keep you posted.

    Roger
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  6. #5

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    Re: MTD Yardman Transaxle Rebuild

    Roger, See if you can find a marine machine shop ( don't know if you are near big water ,like ocean). These guys are used to problems like shafts, repairing damage and creating bushings. Suggest you take in the shaft at the same time.

  7. #6

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    Re: MTD Yardman Transaxle Rebuild

    Well I would have offered but by the looks of the second photo you have already done it, and quite well by the looks of it.

    The gears can be removed and boiled in a strong solution of cloths washing detergent, the powdered kinds are best and the hotter the better.
    just about every head shop will have a parts washer ( dishwashers on steroids ) and most will happily give your bits a scrub for a consideration ( case of beer )
    Motor wreckers who sell restored parts will also have the same kit and if the parts have been wipped out will also give them a tub.
    Alloy cases respond to a dip in the dishwasher when SWMBO is safely at her mothers place and the tablets with the little ball in the center work best.
    If mum lives too far away a large pot on the BBQ will at least allow you to sleep in your own bed.

  8. #7

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    Re: MTD Yardman Transaxle Rebuild

    moto-man,

    I live on an island (with a bridge) that 'floats' in the Atlantic Ocean.. I realize that compared to the Ocean on your side of the country, it is a mere mill pond, but we do have the occasional marine shop to deal with boating requirements.

    Here is an example of one - which just happens to be a short distance (15 minutes) from me, either by automobile or boat: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_Iron_Works

    I dropped off the cracked upper case at a local welders yesterday and hope to get it back by tomorrow. (Friday). Today I plan to clean out the lower housing and gearing.. (It's going to get nasty!)
    .................................................. .................................................. ...........................................

    berts-man,

    I appreciate your offer of assistance, but feel the cost of getting you here from the underside of the earth might put a dent in my restoration projects budget!

    Unfortunately, my mother-in-law has passed and my other half and I, as 'second-time-arounders', stick together like glue.. Even worse, we don't even own a dishwasher! I am faced with hours of scrubbing that muck out of the lower half of the transaxle and gearing by hand. (The piece you saw was only the top half, an easy job by comparison!) I did buy a gallon of degreaser and I can always fall back to good old gasoline - ('er petrol), which works wonders, especially if you are fearless - (or maybe foolish!) I tend towards a little of each. I'd approach an engine rebuilder (with a case of Fosters - if I could find any) but prefer to DIM - (That's sort of like DIY, only the acronym when you say "myself" makes it all the more apropos!

    I'll attach a few pictures of my progress, assuming I don't blow myself into oblivion!

    Roger

  9. #8

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    Re: MTD Yardman Transaxle Rebuild

    Sorry about the double post (#'s 7 & 8) - I tried to edit #7 and ended up double posting.. Then I tried to delete #7, but can't figure out how... If anybody can delete #7 or tell me how, I'd appreciate it...

    Thanks,

    Roger

  10. #9

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    Re: MTD Yardman Transaxle Rebuild

    The crap and grime cleaned out of the lower half of the transaxle and the gearing better than I had hoped for. I used some "Purple Power" degreaser, but in all honesty gasoline (petrol - for our down-under friends) did the bulk of the work.

    The damage caused by the worn out right hand bushing, (shown on your left in these pictures) is evident by the discoloration. The grease on that side was dried out and had to be physically removed, rather than washed away.

    There is some obvious scoring of the axel on that side, but I don't see that causing any trouble for the light duty I plan on using this tractor for.

    Hopefully, I'll get the upper half of the case back soon and will be able to determine if a bushing and seal will still work on the damaged end. If everything looks good then I will order a new bushing, seal, grease and a couple of springs that are tired and put the thing back together.

    Roger
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  11. #10

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    Re: MTD Yardman Transaxle Rebuild

    I use ep00 grease which is 2 grades thinner than the ep1 recommended.
    This dose leak a little out of the seals but it stays fluid for a lot longer thus avoiding your problem.
    Get some from tractor supplies where you can get 5lb tins for the same price as a 1 lb tube at an auto store.

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