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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Jul 2010
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    Question Zero Turn Won't Go Straight

    I've got a zero turn that will not go in a straight line.

    When both handles are pushed all the way forward, the machine turns slightly left. The manual talks about an adjustment, however I believe that I have the left handle adjusted to go as far forward as it will go. I tried backing off the right handle, but it still turns left, only slower!

    How do I adjust it to go straight?

    This just just started recently. The mower is new. This is only the 3rd season that I have owned it. I bought it new in 2007.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member JTKub's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
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    1,560
    Location
    West Falls, NY
    Tractor
    Cub Cadet Z-Force 44

    Default Re: Zero Turn Won't Go Straight

    Which model; RZT or Z-Force? How many hours on it? This could be the dreaded Hydrogear EZT series hydrostat failure on the left side. For what ever reason the left side seems to fail before the right. Hopefully you still have warranty left on the machine.

    Joel
    Tractors of the past:
    2010 Cub Cadet Z-Force 44 fab
    2005 Cub Cadet 2544
    1979 Case 220
    2003 Yard Machines 17hp 42" transmatic (crap-matic)

  3. #3
    Super Star Member J_J's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
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    18,922
    Location
    JACKSONVILLE, FL
    Tractor
    Power-Trac 1445, KUBOTA B-9200HST

    Default Re: Zero Turn Won't Go Straight

    First, check your tires for equal pressure. Check for dragging brake. The left pump may not be putting out the same as the right pump, due to leakage, worn components, etc.
    Check front wheels for bad bearings.

    Are the tires the same make and tread pattern?
    J.J.

    When I works, I works hard. When I sits and thinks, I goes to sleep.

    Git er done.

  4. #4
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    Unhappy Re: Zero Turn Won't Go Straight

    Tires are OK - checked the pressure. I keep them inflated correctly. THey are the same tires that came on it. The front wheels spin freely.

    No leaks or oil visible anywhere underneath. The mower is kept in a garage and the floor under it is clean, so no drips.

    I have no idea what a dragging brake would look like, but the emergency brake goes off and on with no problem.

    The engine starts easily and runs well. It burns no oil. I've changed the oil twice a season and the air, gas & oil filters every spring (It's only seen 3 springtimes!)

    I called the dealer where I bought it & he wants $200 just to look at it (has to pick it up). He says that the warranty was 2 years, and ended 8 months ago. $200 just to diagnose worries me, as I was hoping that this would be an inexpensive fix, given that the mower is almost new. I replaced a 12 year old lawn tractor/mower, which still runs fine. Was treating myself to a new zero-turn a mistake?

    Hour meter says 195.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member JTKub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    1,560
    Location
    West Falls, NY
    Tractor
    Cub Cadet Z-Force 44

    Default Re: Zero Turn Won't Go Straight

    Again, it would be helpful to know which zero turn you have. The RTZ series use Hydrogear EZT transaxles where Z-Forces use Hydrogear ZT-2800 transaxles. The brake is either full on or full off on these. It's a cog-wheel type brake on the EZT (which I am assuming is what you have). 195hrs is quite a bit for starting it's 3rd season. IMO, more than this design of machine is intended for.

    Joel
    Tractors of the past:
    2010 Cub Cadet Z-Force 44 fab
    2005 Cub Cadet 2544
    1979 Case 220
    2003 Yard Machines 17hp 42" transmatic (crap-matic)

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Zero Turn Won't Go Straight

    Mower is an RZT-50.

    Are you serious about 195 hours being a lot of service?! I mow once a week, for about 2.5 hours. The mowing season here runs from the beginning of April through the end of October. Are these things disposables?

    Before spending over $3K on this mower, I used a cheapo Sears tractor mower for about 4 hours per week for 8 years, and it still works fine. That must have over 1000 hours on it. I certainly expect the zero turn to go that long, if well cared for. I guess that I assumed that the zero turn was a higher-end, more professional, mower, and therefore one that would outlast a standard Sears lawn tractor by a lot. It sure as **** cost more.

    I just checked the drive belts and they seem to be in good condition and not slipping. Checking the belts for slippage while my wife drove the mower was an interesting experience

    I guess that I'll keep using it & see if it gets any worse. I've developed a counterclockwise mowing pattern!

  7. #7
    Veteran Member JTKub's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
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    1,560
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    West Falls, NY
    Tractor
    Cub Cadet Z-Force 44

    Default Re: Zero Turn Won't Go Straight

    Overall 195hrs isn't a lot by a long shot, but it is a fair amount over a short period of time with this type of machine. $3K is a lot and it's unfortunate, but there's quite a few reports out there of failed EZT transaxles right around the 200hr mark. If I were you, I'd speak with Hydrogear Corp. Stay calm, cool and collected with them to see if there is anything at all they can do for you. Explain to them your Cub Cadet dealer ($200) deal. These transaxles are around $600 a pc. There's 2 on the machine.

    Joel
    Tractors of the past:
    2010 Cub Cadet Z-Force 44 fab
    2005 Cub Cadet 2544
    1979 Case 220
    2003 Yard Machines 17hp 42" transmatic (crap-matic)

  8. #8
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    151
    Location
    NWWisconsin
    Tractor
    Cub Cadet GT2542, Sc2400

    Default Re: Zero Turn Won't Go Straight

    A couple of thoughts on this issue. First of all, when your control arms are in the "neutral" position does one side or the entire machine creep forward or backwards? Also, does the side that is slow in forward go faster in reverse. It sounds to me like the adjustments you have made was with the handle bars themselves and not the adjusting rods that connect to your hydro. If you answered yes to the questions asked then I think you probably need a linkage adjustment. To do that I bypass the seat switch and block up the back end to get the tires off of the ground. (if you answered yes above your wheels will probably be moving one way or another with the brake off and the control arms still in the start position). Once that is done you need to find where the linkage connects to the hydro, there should be some type of ball joint where you will need to thread in or out depending on which way you tires are creeping. Hopefully you'll be able to check this out to determine if its an adjustment or a bad hydro...I'm rooting for an adjustment problem. Good luck

  9. #9
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    Unhappy Re: Zero Turn Won't Go Straight

    Thanks for the advice. I tried idling it while up on jack-stands. Wheels don't move unless the handles are moved.

    I talked to the dealer, who said "Yeah, Cub Zero Turns have transmission problems a lot, so it's probably that." (Wish he'd told me that when he sold it to me, instead of telling me that it was a '10-year' machine)

    On your advice, I called Hydro-Gear's service *& support center. They said that the problem was between me and Cub Cadet. Cub Cadet told me that it was out of warranty and wouldn't give me an answer when I asked them if this was a common problem.

    Thanks again for trying to help. I'll keep limping along mowing as long as it lasts. It's slower now than my old lawn tractor, so maybe I'll switch back to that. Meantime, I'm searching locally for a used ZT that might have a usable transmission (again no help from the dealer, who said that he doesn't mess with used parts). I'd need to find a repair shop to do the switch.

    I see that Cub sells all of the internal parts for the transmissions. Does anyone repair or rebuild them?

    I've also got a lawyer in the family. Cub would likely settle and pay for the repair, as it's cheaper for them than defending a small suit. I'm just not a lawsuit kind of person, though.

    I'll drop by TractorByNet occasionally, to see if this is a common issue, or if I just was lucky enough to get a lemon. If you see a guy mowing in circles - it's me!

    Quote Originally Posted by VinceSMTA View Post
    A couple of thoughts on this issue. First of all, when your control arms are in the "neutral" position does one side or the entire machine creep forward or backwards? Also, does the side that is slow in forward go faster in reverse. It sounds to me like the adjustments you have made was with the handle bars themselves and not the adjusting rods that connect to your hydro. If you answered yes to the questions asked then I think you probably need a linkage adjustment. To do that I bypass the seat switch and block up the back end to get the tires off of the ground. (if you answered yes above your wheels will probably be moving one way or another with the brake off and the control arms still in the start position). Once that is done you need to find where the linkage connects to the hydro, there should be some type of ball joint where you will need to thread in or out depending on which way you tires are creeping. Hopefully you'll be able to check this out to determine if its an adjustment or a bad hydro...I'm rooting for an adjustment problem. Good luck

  10. #10
    Veteran Member JTKub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    1,560
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    West Falls, NY
    Tractor
    Cub Cadet Z-Force 44

    Default Re: Zero Turn Won't Go Straight

    Quote Originally Posted by LeftTurn View Post
    On your advice, I called Hydro-Gear's service *& support center. They said that the problem was between me and Cub Cadet...
    I wouldn't give up on that so easily. I'd continue with the phone calling and letter writing campaign. I'd again go the Hydrogear route and ask them if there's anything at all they can do to help you out with a low(er) cost replacement EZT trans. Play the role: "Hydrogear is a quality product".."You've been using their products for years".. If no avail, follow up with "I'd hate to pass this trans failure info on to everyone I know.. and I won't stop".. Don't expect to get out of this cost free. You are beyond the warranty period. I do think it would be reasonable for Hydrogear to help you out with the cost of a replacement trans. I don't know of any Cub dealer that would even come near footing the bill for you. They're probably lucky to make $100 on a $4000 machine. No way they could support that and stay in business. All else fails, try the legal angle with Hydrogear.

    Joel
    Tractors of the past:
    2010 Cub Cadet Z-Force 44 fab
    2005 Cub Cadet 2544
    1979 Case 220
    2003 Yard Machines 17hp 42" transmatic (crap-matic)

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