Jump to content

Garden Tractors and Parts on eBay



Welcome to Garden Tractor Talk Forums

GTtalk is the place to go if you are a garden tractor collector or someone looking for information on your favorite tractor. We have interactive forums, registry, tractor / implement manuals, photo galleries, articles, show coverage, tech tips, how tos, classifieds and much more.

You are currently viewing our site as a guest which provides limited access. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate with other members, vote on polls, upload images and attachments as well as many other special features. Registration is quick and easy and best of all completely free!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.

Photo
- - - - -

Transaxle Problems On The 850 - Help, Please!

bolens 850 transaxle transmission

  • Please log in to reply
41 replies to this topic

#16 MailmAn OFFLINE  

MailmAn
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 10315
  • 174 Thanks
  • 598 posts
  • Location: Albany, NY

Posted September 14, 2012 - 11:19 AM

But how hard is it to disassemble the whole transaxle and take all those gears out? Like Farmerall was saying, aren't there roll pins that hold the input shaft and the brake drum to the transaxle that have to come off before I can attempt to pull the gears out? I've never had one of these apart before and not really sure how all these parts come out of there without damaging them.

I agree that I need to change the fluid, hopefully that will get some of the worn metal filings out of the gear oil. Besides that, how should I thoroughly clean the transaxle out? Are you saying I may need to replace bearings in the transaxle as well? :( This sounds like quite the job I don't have the time or knowledge to be doing!!

I do agree though that if I don't replace the gears altogether that I should at least try to clean up the teeth on them a bit to make the gear changes easier and to prevent problems in the future.

If there is a setscrew that holds the detent ball and spring into place, can't I just screw it in all the way and the ball shouldn't drop out then? Or is that too easy and of course it won't work that way!?

I REALLY wish I had someone more knowledgeable about these things at my side when attempting to go at this so that I don't mess it all up trying to take it apart and put it back together. The first time is always the worst, but then it gets easier after that...

Because of all these problems, I haven't even had the chance to finish painting the hood and fenders this week (and I've had this whole week off from my other job and I was HOPING to get that finished up!!) and I also haven't had a chance to peek at the MacKissic shredder to see if I could figure out what was wrong with that engine and to get it running. Ugh... Too much stuff to do and no time to do it!!



(BTW - on a side note, when did this forum start censoring posts? I had just noticed that it changed some of the choice words I used and I didn't think that it did that before? I don't recall now. Oh well... I figured we're all adults here and can tollerate a little colorful language from time to time... lol...)

Edited by MailmAn, September 14, 2012 - 11:22 AM.


                       

#17 mark843 OFFLINE  

mark843

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 2905
  • 14 Thanks
  • 193 posts
  • Location: West Seneca, NY

Posted September 14, 2012 - 01:54 PM

The first gear on my 1050 looks like yours. I have a hard time shifting sometimes too. I also find that if I keep the shifter in neutral and release and engage the clutch again it will go into gear. Of course I don't have the bogging down like you though. I also support looking at the shifter and getting everything tightened up.

#18 Nato77 OFFLINE  

Nato77

    Old Iron Junky

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 9422
  • 1,169 Thanks
  • 1,113 posts
  • Location: Minnesota

Posted September 14, 2012 - 03:47 PM

  • .
  • The gear oil Looks like its got water in it. I would change it with fresh 90wt Gear oil. Be sure not to get the new synthetic oil as it will eat away at the brass parts in the transmission! The oil Level looks ok. It only should be filled to the top of the fill plug in the rear. When running the gears will bring up the oil from the bottom and splash coat the ones on top.

I've never heard synthetic oil eats away at brass. Good to know!

#19 8tyman8 OFFLINE  

8tyman8

    Member

  • Senior Member
  • GTt Junior
  • Member No: 5455
  • 405 Thanks
  • 727 posts
  • Location: kingston ont canada

Posted September 14, 2012 - 08:44 PM

The first gear on my 1050 looks like yours. I have a hard time shifting sometimes too. I also find that if I keep the shifter in neutral and release and engage the clutch again it will go into gear. Of course I don't have the bogging down like you though. I also support looking at the shifter and getting everything tightened up.

on Almost All of my geared tractors they are worn down

#20 8tyman8 OFFLINE  

8tyman8

    Member

  • Senior Member
  • GTt Junior
  • Member No: 5455
  • 405 Thanks
  • 727 posts
  • Location: kingston ont canada

Posted September 14, 2012 - 08:44 PM

But how hard is it to disassemble the whole transaxle and take all those gears out? Like Farmerall was saying, aren't there roll pins that hold the input shaft and the brake drum to the transaxle that have to come off before I can attempt to pull the gears out? I've never had one of these apart before and not really sure how all these parts come out of there without damaging them.

I agree that I need to change the fluid, hopefully that will get some of the worn metal filings out of the gear oil. Besides that, how should I thoroughly clean the transaxle out? Are you saying I may need to replace bearings in the transaxle as well? :( This sounds like quite the job I don't have the time or knowledge to be doing!!

I do agree though that if I don't replace the gears altogether that I should at least try to clean up the teeth on them a bit to make the gear changes easier and to prevent problems in the future.

If there is a setscrew that holds the detent ball and spring into place, can't I just screw it in all the way and the ball shouldn't drop out then? Or is that too easy and of course it won't work that way!?

I REALLY wish I had someone more knowledgeable about these things at my side when attempting to go at this so that I don't mess it all up trying to take it apart and put it back together. The first time is always the worst, but then it gets easier after that...

Because of all these problems, I haven't even had the chance to finish painting the hood and fenders this week (and I've had this whole week off from my other job and I was HOPING to get that finished up!!) and I also haven't had a chance to peek at the MacKissic shredder to see if I could figure out what was wrong with that engine and to get it running. Ugh... Too much stuff to do and no time to do it!!



(BTW - on a side note, when did this forum start censoring posts? I had just noticed that it changed some of the choice words I used and I didn't think that it did that before? I don't recall now. Oh well... I figured we're all adults here and can tollerate a little colorful language from time to time... lol...)

that set screw is behind the frame rail

#21 MailmAn OFFLINE  

MailmAn
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 10315
  • 174 Thanks
  • 598 posts
  • Location: Albany, NY

Posted September 24, 2012 - 07:07 PM

Okay, so update on this... Hopefully I will have an update with some actual progress on this soon (like to-morrow?)...

For now, I got the shift forks (yes, plural... Farmerall sent me THREE of them!! :D Thanks!!) and an extra gear in the mail last week. However, I haven't had a chance to do anything with them yet since I ended up getting a short-term job this weekend working at the Sylvania 300 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway! It was a great promotion and I had a lot of fun working at the track. I ended up staying for the race and took a lot of great pics with my camera. But, I got back late Sunday and slept for most of the day today, so I haven't even looked at the Bolens yet, lol!

One thing I DID notice was that the welds on the used forks I got from Farmerall look different than the welds on the fork in my tractor that broke. I'll try to get some pics up to-morrow showing the difference. But, I'm thinking that someone beat the transaxle on my 850 and had broke the shift fork on it before slamming around the gears (hence why the gears are chewed up as well). So, I'm thinking someone re-welded the fork on it once before and it broke in the same spot again. Hopefully swapping in a good shift fork will solve the problem. I also bought new stainless steel bolts with locknuts to put the shifter cover back together with so that it will hopefully stay tight! I hope that will solve some of the shifting problems with it...

Like I said, hopefully I can get to starting this to-morrow and get it back running again in no time!

Edited by MailmAn, September 24, 2012 - 07:09 PM.


#22 OldBuzzard OFFLINE  

OldBuzzard

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 805
  • 4,098 Thanks
  • 3,693 posts
  • Location: Oberlin, OH

Posted September 25, 2012 - 10:35 AM

When you replace the gear oil you will want GL4 spec as opposed to GL5.

That's important as GL5 has additives in it that do not play nice with the brass gears in the Bolens trans.

#23 MailmAn OFFLINE  

MailmAn
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 10315
  • 174 Thanks
  • 598 posts
  • Location: Albany, NY

Posted September 25, 2012 - 12:33 PM

When you replace the gear oil you will want GL4 spec as opposed to GL5.

That's important as GL5 has additives in it that do not play nice with the brass gears in the Bolens trans.


What does this mean? Doc Bolens mentioned not to use synthetic gear oil, but that was about it. I did go and check and I indeed did NOT purchase synthetic gear oil the first time to top off the transaxle assembly and to put in the mower deck gearbox. I just bought standard Advance Auto Parts store-brand 80W90 gear oil. However, I did notice that it calls for straight SAE90 weight gear oil, not 80W90. Not sure if this makes all THAT much of a difference or not. I'm going to try and find some SAE90 oil at the parts stores as I do not have enough left to fill up the whole transaxle anyways when I go to reassemble it.

Does anyone have any ideas on where to buy the upper and lower case gasket for the transaxle? According to the parts manual, the upper gasket is #1713420 and the lower is #1713427. Would be nice to not have the transaxle leak oil and/or leak water into the oil!

#24 Guest_rat88_*

Guest_rat88_*
  • Guests
  • Member No: 0
  • 0 Thanks

Posted September 25, 2012 - 03:08 PM

I was just getting caught up on this one. Did some speed reading and picked up on the highlights.
I had the same problem on my 1000. Shifter fork broke, rewelded that. Went to put it back together and couldnot find the detent ball and spring. Retrieved it with a magnet from the case and then dropped it on the floor and lost it once more. Was able to get one from bolens (but this was about 15 years ago). Shifter "gates" on the outside were sloppy and I welded back up and ground down to fit snug. That was the last of the tranny problems. It lasted a few more years until the steering crapped out due to a kohler twin repower.

#25 MailmAn OFFLINE  

MailmAn
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 10315
  • 174 Thanks
  • 598 posts
  • Location: Albany, NY

Posted September 26, 2012 - 07:22 AM

:mad2: AND OF COURSE, it decides it has to rain last night and this morning!! Thankfully I covered up the tractor again last night, but I also think that the tractor cover I have sucks since when I took it off yesterday to work on the tractor, it seemed to have trapped lots of moisture under the cover, which isn't good. But, if I can't work on the 850 this morning, I can at least post pictures from yesterday while I wait for it to dry out a bit (hopefully). So, updates to come soon once I'm done editing and uploading photos...

Edited by MailmAn, September 26, 2012 - 07:23 AM.


#26 MailmAn OFFLINE  

MailmAn
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 10315
  • 174 Thanks
  • 598 posts
  • Location: Albany, NY

Posted September 26, 2012 - 01:44 PM

Okay, so it's picture time!! :camera:

(Sorry it took so long this morning, but I got a call that the carb for my Plymouth was finally done (after 2 months), so I went to go pick that up and made a few other stops along the way... Amazing how much time you can waste just driving around!!)

I uncovered the Bolens 850 yesterday and took a look at what I was dealing with. It may have been hard to tell from the video I took last week, so I took some close-up pics to show some of the damage. First, here are some overall shots of the inside of the transaxle that also give you a good look at how watery the old gear oil was:

Posted Image

Posted Image


So here's some close-ups of the old broken shift fork that engages the Reverse and 1st gears. Notice anything odd about the welds on it?

Posted Image

Posted Image


Yeah, it sure looks re-welded to me. Those don't look like factory welds on that. Compare it with the other shift fork as well for 2nd and 3rd gears:

Posted Image


The weld on the shift fork for 2nd and 3rd gears still looks original. Plus, looking at all the damage to the teeth on the 1st gear, I'd say that someone was having a tough time shifting and was slaming the transmission around into 1st gear especially. Let's take a closer look at 1st gear as well...

Posted Image

Posted Image


The front of all the teeth are ground right down on the 1st gear. Especially compared with the other gears in the transmission which seem hardly worn at all by comparison!

The next step was to remove the shifter connectors from the shift rods. Surprisingly enough, the roll pins came out rather easily and the connectors themselves came right off of the shift rods as well. I cleaned all of the crud and grease and dirt off of them in hopes to aid in shifting when it is back together again.

Posted Image


The next step was to remove the drain plug and drain all of the gear oil out of the transaxle housing:

Posted Image


Looks pretty nasty, right? So, I took one of the shift forks Farmerall sent me that looked like it was cut off of the shifter rod and had a piece of the rod still attached to it. I hammered out the roll pin and it came right off. So, now I even had a spare piece of rod to put through the housing that the detent ball is in to keep the ball from falling out. Here is a look at the shift fork that I'm going to install into my transmission. The welds look a lot different on it and it looks like it is a good original part:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image


Then, I had to hammer out the roll pin on the broken shift fork, which also came out easily enough. Now I could take the shift rod out. After chasing the shift rod through the housing with the cut-off piece of rod in order to hold the detent ball in place, I slowly removed the shift rod and slid off the broken shift fork.

Posted Image


(You can also see that the gear oil level is much lower now that the transaxle housing has been drained...) I tried to clean out all of the old watery oil with some PB Blaster as well to flush out the housing. I also pulled off the lower cover and cleaned it off. Surprisingly though, unless all of the debris came out when I drained the gear oil, I didn't see much in the way of metal filings in the tranaxle housing after I drained the oil out.

Posted Image


So, this is where I am at with it right now...

Posted Image

Posted Image


I COULD just throw the shift fork in it and it would probably be okay to run for a while. I'm wondering though if it is not that much extra work to just replace that chewed up 1st gear or at least try to clean it up somehow before I put it back together. I'm also trying to find a gasket set to put the transaxle back together so it won't leak. If I take it apart to replace or clean the 1st gear though, I may have to replace the oil seals and/or bearings in it too, at more time and cost as well. But I'm already this far into it and I'd hate to not fix it the right way and have something else break in it later on because I cut corners on it now, you know?

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I know a lot of people have weighed in on this already and I'm not trying to sound like a pain in the ass or like I'm not listening to what has already been said, but I'm just kind of conflicted over which way to proceed right now. On the one hand, I'd like to fix it right, but on the other hand, I've never gotten into a transmission like this before and especially on something this old where the parts aren't readily available for it. If something goes wrong or I end up needing more parts because I started taking it all apart, then I'm down for another week or two (possibly more) while waiting to get or find parts. Plus, what if I screw something up or put it back together wrong somehow? (Of course I'd like to think I'm not THAT inept and I've taken so many photos already, so I should have a good idea of how it all goes back together! lol...)

#27 Bruce Dorsi OFFLINE  

Bruce Dorsi

    Old, but not dead -- yet!

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 1525
  • 1,227 Thanks
  • 1,159 posts
  • Location: New Jersey

Posted September 26, 2012 - 03:04 PM

You're getting there, Kevin!

I'm including some info which you already know, but it may help someone else.

Be sure to remove all traces of the old gaskets & sealer from the trans case and covers. ....Anything left behind will reduce the effectiveness of your new gaskets.

The bottom gasket can be easily made at home using sheet gasket material from an auto parts store or a Tractor Supply (TSC) store. .....Use the bottom cover as a template to locate the bolt holes, but you do not have to cut the center out (the gasket can be a solid piece).

The top gasket can also be made if you can get a piece of gasket material large enough. .....Lay the sheet on top of the trans, and lightly tap with a hammer to transfer the shape of the trans case and location of the bolt holes. ......Careful repeated tapping can actually "cut" the gasket to shape in place. .....The ball-end of a ball-pein hammer works well on marking/cutting the bolt holes. .....As each bolt hole is cut, install a bolt to keep the gasket material from shifting.

One of the Bolens vendors may have the gaskets in stock, but I have no idea of the cost. .....It's your call if you want to save some time & money by cutting your own.

There should be a porous bronze breather at the (top) right-front portion of the trans case. ....In one of your pics, it appears to be covered over with goop. ....If the breather is not in place (it is flush with the mounting surface), the hole will need to be covered with your homemade gasket, or sealed if you use a Bolens gasket, as the Bolens gasket is notched out around the breather.

The thickness of the bottom cover gasket is not critical. .....1/32" - 1/8" thick material is OK. ....Cork, neoprene, or treated-paper gasket material will work.

The thickness of the top gasket should be 1/32"-1/16".

Gaskets made from pizza boxes, or other cardboard will eventually allow oil to permeate through.

You can use a thin smear of silicone, gasket cement, or RTV gasket goo, to help insure a good seal.

I like to cement the top gasket to the trans case, and apply a thin smear of chassis grease to the top of the gasket. ....By cementing the gasket to the case, it will not move around when you re-install the cover. ....The grease helps create a seal, but prevents the gasket from sticking to the cover, so that in the future you can R&R the cover, and may not have to replace the gasket.

For the bottom gasket, I usually cement that to the cover, and apply a thin coat of silicone or RTV to the top of the gasket to create a positive seal which will allow the cover to be removed in the future without tearing the gasket.

Original Bolens gaskets were installed without sealers and relied on proper compression to create the seal.

It's your call on which method to use.

As far as the chewed-up gear: Try sliding the gears together by hand to see if they mesh easily. ....If they do, you may decide to take a chance and leave them the way they are. .....If they bind, or do not engage easily/smoothly, now is the best time to fix it.
  • Bolens 1000 and MailmAn have said thanks

#28 MailmAn OFFLINE  

MailmAn
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 10315
  • 174 Thanks
  • 598 posts
  • Location: Albany, NY

Posted September 28, 2012 - 07:22 AM

Geez!!! What is with all of this bloody rain lately? Just when it looks like it might dry out enough to start work on the tractor again, it starts raining again!!! According to the weather channel, it looks like it's supposed to rain all day today and into Saturday! Ugh! I just can't catch a break it seems...

Of course, I know some of you will be saying, "But I know you have a garage, I've seen it in some of the other pics you've posted. Why don't you work on it in there out of the weather?" Well, I WOULD, but stupid me had to figure on trying to paint the rest of the tractor at the same time while it was down due to the transaxle. So, the hood, fender, cowl, assorted other parts I've pulled off the tractor so far, etc. are hanging in the garage being painted, so there's not a lot of room for the tractor right now and plus I really don't want a ton of overspray all over the tractor either. So, for now I'm stuck dealing with the weather, unfortunately...


I also bought some gasket-making materials at Advance yesterday to try and make the gaskets for the case, since it doesn't seem like they are still available at all. (Well, the lower one is available, but that's not really the problem gasket - the upper one is, which of course is NLA and no one seems to have it...)

Edited by MailmAn, September 28, 2012 - 07:22 AM.


#29 KennyP OFFLINE  

KennyP

    FORDoholic

  • Super Moderator
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 2253
  • 13,759 Thanks
  • 27,268 posts
  • Location: Collinsville, Oklahoma

Posted September 28, 2012 - 07:53 AM

Looking at that 1st gear, some of the damage could have been caused by the broken part allowing the slider to contact that gear when you were in another gear, thus chewing it up. IF you decide to leave it, some of those chewed areas will come off and could take out a bearing. Right now, you probably have small particles still in the bearings. I'm not trying to scare you into tearing it down, just want you to think about it. A good flush would probably help a lot. Plus, maybe a small magnet to capture some of the particles floating in the fluid?

#30 MailmAn OFFLINE  

MailmAn
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 10315
  • 174 Thanks
  • 598 posts
  • Location: Albany, NY

Posted September 28, 2012 - 04:56 PM

Well, despite not finding it anywhere locally or from any of the other "usual suspects",
it does seem that I found a NOS upper transaxle case gasket on eBay for $14 (+ S&H):

http://www.ebay.com/...=item27c1f8a97a

Unsure if anyone else even has one at all, let alone for any cheaper. From the looks of it though, I can see what Bruce was talking about with the cut-out in the gasket for the transaxle breather. Is there actually something that goes in there to act as a one-way breather or is it just a hole in the case that allows air in that I need to clean the gook out of?

Edited by MailmAn, September 28, 2012 - 04:56 PM.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: bolens, 850, transaxle, transmission