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New Craftsman LT2400 Transaxle Problem

Russ New Craftsman LT2400 transaxle whining & will not pull hills once it gets hot, it is not grinding. Will do fine for 30 to 40 min. but always been really weak in reverse. Checked bypass, drive belt looks fine, purged it a cpl times, fluid level good, both axle keys in place, brake is not out of adjustment, & cooling fan is working fine with no obstructions that would cause overheating. Only thing I haven't done is change oil in transaxle. I know this has been a common problem for many craftsman owners. I do mow several extreme inclines with it, so could the oil be scorched & breaking down once it gets hot?? Seems like the logical answer but any suggestions would be appreciated.
rcbe your assessment of oil breaking down is a good possibility. If tranny is designed for such, do change out the hydro fluid and replace per manual.

If not serviceable by design, you can remove entire tranny from tractor - turn over- drain and replace fluid. A bit more involved, but doable.

And, always operate engine at full RPM's when machine is moving (feather drive pedal for speed control) to obtain maximum fluid cooling from tranny fan.

Russ Got the oil & a transfer pump to change hydro fluid tomorrow. Found out that reverse was so weak from day one because the black plastic insert around the shifter wasn't letting it go into reverse fully, only about half. Took it to the shop with me today & machined the slot out so that it gets full range of motion. Had to remove quite a bit of material to get it where it needed to be. Lousy problem to have on a new mower.
rcbe Bummer. Any chance of a warranty adjustment?
Russ Cooper Probably could but I hate dealing with Sears maintainence dept. Honestly, Id rather just fix the issues that arise & get the kinks worked out myself & maybe someday It will be a decent mower. My yard is large & mostly consists of dangerously steep hills so my mowers always get punished from day 1.


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