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  1. #1
    Bronze Member
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    Nov 2009
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    79
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    Gallatin, TN
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    John Deere L110 and Mahindra 2816 4wd

    Default TuffTorq K46 / John Deere L110 Transmission Repair Guide with Pictures

    Some K46's last a long time, while others do not. What is the secret? Read on..

    The K46 Transmission, found in many models of small lawn and garden tractors, is often cursed at for it lack of durability. This transmission often requires replacement long before the rest of the lawn mower dies. Replacement cost reach 50% or more of the tractors original cost, if the work is done by a smiling JD Tech. Thus the phrase disposable tractor and transmission is often tossed around. Owners are stuck with few options.

    I had noted that my John deere L110 max. speed was down a bit, and the groans from the rear end had increased. I knew the end was nearing. I found very little information on how to do this rebuild on the net. Most of what I found was pushing for an upgrade to a K66. At over $1000, I felt this is not viable option. After all, I only paid $1495 for the tractor! My feeling is that this tractor is not really designed for what a K66 can do. Something else is likely not going to hold up in the long run, even if the transmission is bullet proof. I decided to rebuild the K46 myself. After all, what's a good weekend project without the Fire Department involved?
    : )

    My journey began with a discussion with a TuffTorq service tech at the TuffTorq Service Center in TN. Their telephone number is (423) 585-2000. Their web parts address is: https://www.tufftorqservices.com/Env...tml/login.html. Derrick Dalton was quite helpful. I had heard there was a rebuild kit, but it was over $300. So I asked the question of the Derrick. "What are the parts that are most often replaced when the K46 fails?" He graciously provided this information. My parts totaled $162.95 delivered with tax. Amazingly the parts arrived in 1 day!

    Parts List*:

    1. Cylinder block (pump) kit
    2. Cylinder block (Motor) Kit
    3. Filter 105

    *You will need to go to the TuffTorq site with the bar code tag from your transmission. Apparently there have been many different versions of this unit. Mine was a K46V. Yours may be another iteration. You will see an exploded view of the transmission for your version. Print this out for reference. I found the site challenging to use. No big deal, you can call the Tech and he will do all the work for you. Just have your bar code handy.

    Disclaimer:
    I am providing this information as a reference ONLY. Any work on a tractor can be dangerous, cause injury or DEATH. You assume your own risk and any and all risks to others if this information and / or pictures is used.

    I am going to probably upload the picture individually with the relevant info. for each one. Please be patient.

    The photos are Copyrighted. I decided to do this after a previous bad experience with a website stealing my photos from another project. I have no financial interest here.
    Last edited by LotsofGreenGrass; 02-28-2010 at 11:01 AM. Reason: more info.

  2. #2
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    79
    Location
    Gallatin, TN
    Tractor
    John Deere L110 and Mahindra 2816 4wd

    Default Re: TuffTorq K46 Repair Guide with Pictures

    Ok, I will assume you can get the transmission off the tractor. I have some pictures of the removal, if need to be added later to this thread. Safety is key here.

    You will need to clean the transmission case well. You don't want dirt getting into your transmission. I used laundry soap and a brush, since it was mostly dirt and grass. Smells good now too! Engine cleaner did not work well.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails TuffTorq K46 Repair Guide with Pictures-oe-048.jpg   TuffTorq K46 Repair Guide with Pictures-oe-039.jpg  
    Last edited by LotsofGreenGrass; 02-28-2010 at 09:33 AM. Reason: More info.

  3. #3
    Bronze Member
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    Nov 2009
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    Gallatin, TN
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    John Deere L110 and Mahindra 2816 4wd

    Default Re: TuffTorq K46 Repair Guide with Pictures

    Now we need to start the internal cleaning process.

    Be careful not to turn the transmission over. PARTS WILL FALL OUT. Turn the axle slowly to rotate the gears so they can be cleaned with a rag. Then use a parts cleaner to get the sediment out of the case. Take your time. It will pay off. Make sure you get all of the cleaner out. Otherwise it can ruin the new oil. I stuffed paper towels in to get all the cleaner out. There are lots of nooks and crannies that can hold dirt or cleaner.

    Do not remove the three gold top bolts yet.

    My K46 had a LOT of dark metal sediment in the filter and in the case.

    #1 is the old filter
    #2 is the magnet with a lot of metal shavings on it. Clean this with a rag and then toss that rag.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails TuffTorq K46 Repair Guide with Pictures-oe-050-1.jpg  
    Last edited by LotsofGreenGrass; 02-28-2010 at 09:34 AM. Reason: added info.

  4. #4
    Bronze Member
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    Nov 2009
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    Gallatin, TN
    Tractor
    John Deere L110 and Mahindra 2816 4wd

    Default Re: TuffTorq K46 Repair Guide with Pictures

    Now remove bolts #1, #2, and #3. GENTLY remove/pry the cover piece with a screw driver. It is a force fit with dowels, so work all sides with the plate with a screw driver. Parts will want to force their way out. Particularly watch for the two spring loaded small valves that contact inner pad at part #9 from the cover you just removed. These will fall out on the floor and you could lose the tiny BBs size balls at that are inside.

    Carefully remove any components, keeping the integrated parts together, where possible.

    Part #7 is the larger Motor Cylinder Block which you will replace. It has a number of spring loaded pistons, so remove slowly. CAREFUL, there is a tiny rod in the center of the cylinder that slips in and out. It must be a valve or something. Save this part. Also, there is a washer on one end that goes around the shaft. It sticks to the cylinder and could be easily missed. BE SURE TO PUT THIS ON THE NEW PUMP. Part #8 is a wedge that can be taken out and set aside for reuse.

    Part #6 is the nice new nylon mesh filter. Much better than the woven old one.

    Parts #12 and #13 are U shaped washer that LOVE to fall out.

    Parts at #4 are the brake pads. They fall out easily. So take out and put a side. Same issue with the two pads at #9. Part #10 is just the large gear. Mine was in great shape, as was most of the K46.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails TuffTorq K46 Repair Guide with Pictures-oe-055.jpg  
    Last edited by LotsofGreenGrass; 02-28-2010 at 11:14 AM. Reason: more info.

  5. #5
    Bronze Member
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    Gallatin, TN
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    John Deere L110 and Mahindra 2816 4wd

    Default Re: TuffTorq K46 Repair Guide with Pictures

    On to the Pump Cylinder Block area.

    You can see it in the center of the case. It looks like a smaller version of the Motor Cylinder block. It has a bearing race, which the larger cylinder block does not. It has spring loaded pistons too. Remove carefully and set aside. Clean the newly exposed area like I previously mentioned. Parts at #5 should set aside. Note the orientation of the curved surface on these pads when you re-install these. #2, 3 and 4. are just the holes where the dowels are re-inserted. Oh no! I have two part number 5's in the pciture! Well, 5 and 6 at the upper left corner are just the U shaped washers that CONSTANTLY slip out : ). Where the #1 is in the first picture, I want to draw your attention to the rough piston side walls. This is where the tech says the problem is. The cylinder walls get scored from the pistons and allow the oil to slip through. The hotter the oil, the more the slip, since the oil is thinner at a higher temp.

    This is a good time to talk about replacement oil. The recommended replacement oil is SYNTHETIC 5w50. It was interesting to learn that, in order to keep the costs down, the OE oil is standard oil, not synthetic. Apparently MOST people won't pay or appreciate the benefits of Syn oil in the very competitive, cost cutting, lawn mower market.

    After looking closely at this transmission, I think that Syn oil is a must, particularly in very hot or cold climates. I think you could double the life of the K46 if you change the filter every 50 hours and run synthetic. A new K46 should probably have the oil changed at 10 hours to get metal shavings out from production. It would be nice if the if you could tap a drain in to the bottom plate. If I rebuilt this again, I would drill and tap a drain. It just makes sense. I hear some of the K46's have an external oil tank and drain plug. The ones that don't are the cost cutter version. OK, so I AM CHEAP! lol Had I known....

    While cleaning the case, remove the old gasket, being careful not to get these rubber pieces lost inside the case.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails TuffTorq K46 Repair Guide with Pictures-oe-054.jpg   TuffTorq K46 Repair Guide with Pictures-oe-052.jpg   TuffTorq K46 Repair Guide with Pictures-oe-053.jpg  
    Last edited by LotsofGreenGrass; 02-28-2010 at 10:56 AM. Reason: more info.

  6. #6
    Bronze Member
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    Gallatin, TN
    Tractor
    John Deere L110 and Mahindra 2816 4wd

    Default Re: TuffTorq K46 Repair Guide with Pictures

    When you install the new cylinders and pistons, prime all of them with synthetic oil.

    Take your time on reassembly. It can get a little frustrating, since spring loaded things want to pop out. Careful with the two small valves that contact the pads at #9. Depress these when sliding the plate in. Use a rubber mallet to GENTLY seat the 3 dowels.

    The toughest part is re-seating parts #12, 4, 8, 7 and 1, since they function as a unit. It takes some jiggling and moving of parts. Part #8 likes to pop out of place when reinstalling the plate with the 3 gold top bolts. No biggie, just re-seat it.

    Reseal the case with RTV. I use Permatex Copper, since it never has leaked on me. Make sure you pay close attention to all of the areas that need sealing. There are a few internal areas that serpentine around the internal components. Let RTV dry over night. Refill case with 5 W50 Synthetic Oil using a small diameter funnel. This can be messy, go slow, since there is no vent and it tends to reflux out of the fill spout. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the top of the K46 with the fill plug. Should be pretty obvious though. Remove the dust cap, then remove the plug with Channel Locks.

    Reinstall transmission. Don't forget the gold rod that controls the engage / disengage. This rod has to be put in DURING the reinstall. If you forget it, you can't get it in once the K46 is in. Once you get the transmission in, remove the belt guard shown in picture #3 and re-seat the belt. Otherwise, you will smell burning rubber! How do I know? LOL. It is easiest way to re-seat the belt is by griping both sides of the belt with one hand and sliding the guard back on over the pulley.

    This is good time to vacuum out the underside of your tractor. If your tractor is like mine was, there is a lot of dead grass in the frame. Put some oil on the steering shaft inside the engine hood and let it creep down to the bearing. This will make steering easier.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails TuffTorq K46 Repair Guide with Pictures-oe-051.jpg   TuffTorq K46 Repair Guide with Pictures-oe-055-1.jpg   TuffTorq K46 Repair Guide with Pictures-oe-035.jpg  
    Last edited by LotsofGreenGrass; 02-28-2010 at 09:41 AM. Reason: more info.

  7. #7
    Bronze Member
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    Gallatin, TN
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    John Deere L110 and Mahindra 2816 4wd

    Default Re: TuffTorq K46 Repair Guide with Pictures

    Now fire up your tractor and drive off in to the Sunset

    Mine worked fine immediately. I heard others had to get the air out by bleeding the transmission?

    Here is how you do that: https://www.tufftorqservices.com/Env...AirPurging.htm



    Drop me a line if this guide helped you : )
    Brit
    Last edited by LotsofGreenGrass; 02-28-2010 at 10:32 AM.

  8. #8
    Elite Member Mace Canute's Avatar
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    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

    Default Re: TuffTorq K46 Repair Guide with Pictures

    That was quite a nice illustrated write-up and I think it deserves at least one thank you, so..Thank You! I don't have a L110 tractor, (mine is an old Ford 100 with a Peerless 4 speed gear tranny) so it's unlikely I will ever need the information, but I can certainly appreciate the work and effort you put into your post. Thanks again.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: TuffTorq K46 Repair Guide with Pictures

    LotsofGreenGrass,
    I wanted to first say mega thanks! I have been struggling with which decision for my Scotts (John deere) L2548; Junk the lawn mower, Replace the transmission, or try to nurse it along for another year. The last option worked for the last year basically I dropped the transmission and replaced the fluid. As of today, the mower is a no-go. So, I am going to use your post and see what happens. I am looking forward to spending under $200.00 as opposed to $600+. I'll let you know how it goes...

  10. #10
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
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    Location
    Gallatin, TN
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    John Deere L110 and Mahindra 2816 4wd

    Default Re: TuffTorq K46 Repair Guide with Pictures

    Quote Originally Posted by JSlomke View Post
    LotsofGreenGrass,
    I wanted to first say mega thanks! I have been struggling with which decision for my Scotts (John deere) L2548; Junk the lawn mower, Replace the transmission, or try to nurse it along for another year. The last option worked for the last year basically I dropped the transmission and replaced the fluid. As of today, the mower is a no-go. So, I am going to use your post and see what happens. I am looking forward to spending under $200.00 as opposed to $600+. I'll let you know how it goes...
    How did it go?

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