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My Ferris IS500Z series mower suddenly won't move forward or backward on any kind of incline. It was fine one week and the next I couldn't mow because it wouldn't move right.

My mower won't move the way it should. It will move but very slow and not uphill. It happened suddenly with no notice. Has anyone experienced a problem like this?

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  • 2 more comments 
  • Gary Thompson Jul 30, 2015

    Thanks for all your help Ted!! It ended up being a twisted drive belt which was difficult to see till I got it up on jack stands. Unfortunately the belt broke today. Oh well, I learned more about my machine. Thanks again!! :-)

  • Ted Maxwell Jul 30, 2015

    Well Done!
    Now the next time someone has a problem, you'll be Mr. FIXYA

  • Gary Thompson Aug 01, 2015

    Hi Ted. It's me again. I wonder if I can further tap your knowledge with regard to my mower. About an hour after I got the mower going, the belt started vibrating badly and broke. I had to tow it to my garage because it was on a hill. I knew about the bypass valves on each pump and opened one but the other seemed to not open as far. After I changed the belt and put the mower together, I tried to run it and the one side won't respond to the lever. It will not go either direction but the other side is fine. Could I have damaged the Hyd. pump on the one side? How do I check it out? Thanks for your help in advance.

  • Ted Maxwell Aug 01, 2015

    Hi Gary:
    My appreciation for your patience. Many would have expressed extreme frustration. Recognizing that machines (most anyway) do not have the ability to deliberately try to mess with us, we have the pleasure of working with things that actually respond favourably when we figure out what they need.
    - So much for philosophy -

    Please realize that you know a whole lot more about how your machine works than I do, so my part is to try to help by asking the questions that would help me understand what is wrong if I were there.

    So, right now, I get to ponder....
    Problem 1:
    - Why is the belt getting messed up?
    - why did it work and what caused it to start to vibrate?
    Solve technique?
    - check pulleys, idlers, tension adjusters, everything associated with having the belt happily lined up where it is supposed to be.

    Problem 2)
    - Drive problem -
    - What happened to the drives to cause one of them to stop working?
    - which side is giving you grief relative to the dubious bypass valve?
    - do we know it's the pump as opposed to whatever drives the wheel?
    Solve technique?
    I'd start by checking fluid levels. (cover the basics first) Then since you know it was working, I'd be trying to find out what if any negative things can happen if it gets towed, and what the circumstances have to be. That's where your manuals and friendly advice from the service dealer may come in very handy.

    Hang in there.



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Hi Gary:
Googled this and it looks like a hydraulic drive system.
First thing to check would be fluid levels.

Posted on Jul 29, 2015

Testimonial: "Hey Ted, I checked the levels and cleaned the filter after also bleeding the system in case of air block. It will move but not under normal mowing conditions. It has surprised me because it was just fine the week before. What else might it be do you think? I'd like to check each of the drive pumps for proper pressure, but don't know how. Belt is good or it wouldn't move."

  • 2 more comments 
  • Gary Thompson Jul 29, 2015

    Hey Ted, I checked the levels and cleaned the filter after also bleeding the system in case of air block. It will move but not under normal mowing conditions. It has surprised me because it was just fine the week before. What else might it be do you think? I'd like to check each of the drive pumps for proper pressure, but don't know how. Belt is good or it wouldn't move."

  • Ted Maxwell Jul 29, 2015

    Hi Gary:
    When chasing problems, especially ones that "appear" as opposed to "gradually creep up on ya" I'd be trying to follow the power progression from "where it'e OK" (the engine) downstream through each component.
    Without finding a manual and doing a bunch of learning, I'm at the "hey what a neat machine, let's track down the problem" as far as knowing your machine specifics.

    My first guess at a weak link would be the belt.

    Have you got down and checked the belt and the pulleys? If there is pulley slippage (loose nut or sheared key?)or an idler or spring is not functioning properly, that could be the problem. The hydraulics tend to be really reliable.

    Getting back to history, can you recall anything that might have happened to the machine from the time when it was working fine, until the time when it wasn't?

  • Gary Thompson Jul 29, 2015

    Thank you Ted! I think all is OK BUT....not real sure unless I can get it up in the air or see enough trying to get my head in there far enough. I'll dig into it more tomorrow. Thanks again!!

  • Ted Maxwell Jul 30, 2015

    Appreciate the feedback.
    That's the bonus reward when we get involved.
    Tag a "Helpful" if it was, and let us know how it worked out.



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