Whining noise from hydrostatic transmission on New Craftsman LT2000 Lawn tractor

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Posted by steve on Saturday, April 12, 2003:

Bought a new Sears Craftsman LT2000 with hydrostatic drive. Purged the transmission as in the owners manual. Drove the tractor around my yard for 10 or 15 minutes. Whisper quiet. Drove up and down mild ditches. Drove back to the garage, shut the tractor off and got a drink. Backed the tractor out of the garage with no noise other than the engine noise. Switched to forward drive and a nasty whine came from the transmission. Closest comparison would be a power steering pump without enough fluid in it. Tried reverse and the same whine came. The tractor uses pedals to control the forward, reverse, with a separate pedal for each direction. Both pedals felt kind of stiff when I first drove it, but now the forward pedal goes down fairly easily while the reverse seems to feel the same. HELP!

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