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I have a 2005 MTD 42" riding lawn mower. Transmission feels like it is surging, all speeds. It is similar to what you would feel if you were pushing the "clutch" in and out quickly. Have changed both the engine drive and transmission belts along with the variable speed pulley assembly. I can hear a belt slap sound when it does it which is over 50% of the time. The only other issue with this 5 year old lawnmower is that the Clutch pedal no longer contacts the parking brake switch with the parking brake set, could this be related?

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This Problem is Usually caused by one of the Following:
1- The Shifter Linkage is Binding or Bent and Requires Lubricating and Straightening. 2- The Shift Keys are Worn and Require Replacing.
To do that You have to Remove the Transaxle from the Mower and Remove the Top Half of the Transaxle Housing and Disassemble Part of the Transaxle to Replace the Shift Keys.

Before you do that try these steps and see if it helps you:
1.Park the mower on a flat level surface with the engine off. Locate the self-propel cable on the left side of the mower handle. Loosen with a metric socket the cable clamp that secures the cable housing. Do not remove the hex nut, just loosen it. Wipe away any dirt and debris with a clean rag.
2.Adjust the self-propel cable by pulling the cable downward (toward the engine) to remove all the slack from the cable. Once all the slack is gone from the cable, push the cable jacket up an eighth of an inch away from the engine. Hold the cable jacket in this position, then tighten the hex nut that secures the cable housing. Apply one drop of machine oil to the top of the cable where the cable housing and cable meet. This will lubricate the inside of the cable the entire length.
3.Test the mower for normal operation. If the transmission still does not engage, the traction control cable must be adjusted. The place of adjustment for this cable is the transmission knob, which uses two jam nuts and the clamp assembly on the handlebars.
4.Loosen on the handlebars the two jam nuts (metric hex nuts) that secure the transmission knob and cable together. Wipe away any dirt and debris with a clean rag. An adjustment must be made so the transmission begins to engage when the bail (control knob) is one inch below the upper handle bail stop; pushing the transmission knob forward one inch should engage the transmission.
5.Slide the transmission cable jacket up or down (toward or away from the engine) until slight resistance is felt in the cable jacket with the control knob one inch below the upper bail stop. Tighten the hex nuts once the correct adjustment has been made. Apply one drop of machine oil to the top of the cable where the cable housing and cable meet. This will lubricate the inside of the cable the entire length.
6.Test the mower for normal operation of the transmission in all forward gears. If the transmission still does not engage, there is an internal problem with the transmission.

Posted on Aug 19, 2010

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