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Dixon Z-Drive Transaxle Overhaul and Adjustment Manual

   
DIY for Dixon
   

Dixon Z-Drive Transaxle Overhaul and Adjustment Procedures

 
 

Z-Drive Transaxle
Overhaul & Adjustment Procedures

DIXON ZTR

1994 to 2003 Models:
1001, 2301, 3014, 3303, 3304, 3362, 3363,
4423, 4424, 4425 and 4426
Dixon Z Drive Transaxle

 

Table of Contents

Dixon Z-Drive Transaxle

Variation of Rubber Springs

Front View of Transaxle

Side (Left) View of Transaxle

Removal of Transaxle From Unit

Disassembly of Transaxle

Drive Cone Replacement

Discup Replacement

Reassembly of Transaxle

Bench Adjustments of Transaxle

Installation of Transaxle Into Unit

Running Adjustments of Transaxle

 

Dixon Z-Drive Transaxle

Dixon Z Drive Transaxle

 
Variations of Rubber Spring Assemblies by Date of Manufacture
Dixon 1994 Z Drive Transaxle Dixon Z Drive Transaxle Rear View Dixon 1999 Z Drive Transaxle
Fig. 5 Rear View 1994 (8 washers) Fig. 6 Rear View 1995-1998 (4 washers) Fig. 7 Rear View 1999 Initial Production
(8 washers)
Dixon Z Drive Transaxle Dixon Z Drive Rear View  
Fig. 8 Rear View June 1999 to present (3 washers & 2 cups) Fig. 9 Rear View 1999 proposed production
(2 washers & 4 cups)
 
     
Front View of Dixon Transaxle
Fig. 4 Front View of Transaxle

 

Side View of Dixon Transaxle
Fig. 3 Side View of Transaxle

 

Transaxle Removal
Estimated Time Required: 25 minutes

Tools Required:
(1) 7/16" combination wrench
(1) 9/16" combination wrench
(1) 3/4" combination wrench
(1) 11/16" combination wrench
(1) 9/16" socket
(1) 12" socket drive extension
(1) ratchet drive
(1) shop hammer
(1) mechanical punch (drift)
(1) needle nose pliers or spring tool

NOTE: A lift or work table is not required but very helpful.

DISCONNECT THE GROUND WIRE FROM BATTERY!

 

Disconnecting Dixon Ground Wire
Figure 10

1. Using a 1/2" socket, 12" extension and ratchet, loosen the drive belt keeper located to the left of the transaxle.
 

Dixon Tensioner
Figure 11

2. Push/pull the drive belt tensioner away from the drive belt.

NOTE: The 42" deck has two idler pulley's.  Only the top pulley must be moved.

   

Removing Dixon Belt
Figure 12

3. Remove the drive belt from the transaxle drive pulley.
     

Dixon Pulley
Figure 13

4. Using a 9/16" socket, 12" extension and ratchet, remove four bolts from underside of mower which hold the transaxle in place.

NOTE: The belt tensioning idler spring partially covers bolt #2 and must be pushed to one side in order to remove the bolt.

   

Removing Dixon Seat
Figure 14

5. Remove the seat assembly by doing the following.
     
  a. Using a 1/2" wrench, remove the seat rod nut located on the right (left) side of the
     mower.
     
  NOTE: The seat rod nut may have been installed on the left side of the machine.
     

Disconnect the seat switch.
Figure 15

  b. Disconnect the seat switch.
     
  NOTE: Use special care during reassembly to insure that the connection plug is placed between the seat base and the seat frame.  This prevents the cable from being pinched or caught up in the moving parts of the transaxle.
     

Removing Dixon seat rod
Figure 16

  c. Remove the seat rod by pulling it toward the right (left) side of the seat.
     
  d. Remove the seat
     
  NOTE:  The seat rod may have been installed from right to left.
     

Removing Dixon brake link
Figure 17

6. Using needle nosed pliers, disconnect the brake link from the right side of the transaxle.

NOTE:  On models built prior to July 17, 1996, remove the clips from both the left and right side of the brake shaft.  See Figure 19 for the location of the two clips.

     

Location of Dixon Roll Pins
Figure 18

  Location of roll pins on a three piece brake shaft.
     

Location of Dixon Roll Pins
Figure 19

  Location of roll pins and clips on one piece brake shafts.

NOTE: The one piece brake shaft was used on mowers built prior to 17 July 1996 and is a solid shaft rather than a tube as is used on later applications.

   

Location of Dixon Roll Pin
Figure 20

  Location of roll pin on right side (1 of 4) on units built prior to 17 July, 1996.
     

Location of Left Dixon Roll Pin
Figure 21

  Location of roll pin on left side (1 of 4) on units built prior to 17 July 1996.
     

Removing Dixon Roll Pin
Figure 22

7. Using a shop hammer and mechanics punch (drift), drive the roll pins out of the cross shaft.
     

8. If the mower has a one piece shaft and slide the cross shaft to the left side of the chassis and allow it to drop downward out of the way.
     


Figure 24

  NOTE: Alternate location for brake shaft placement.  Use which ever works best for your application.
     
  NOTE: Field experience has shown that it is not necessary to remove the fenders on models built prior to 17 July 1996, although earlier instructions suggested their removal.
     


Figure 25

9. Using a 9/16" socket and ratchet, disconnect the ball joints from the transaxle (ball joints will stay attached to the drive levers in the chassis).
     

Figure 26
10. Push the transaxle toward the front of the chassis and remove the primary chains from the drive sprockets.
     


Figure 26

11. Lift the transaxle out of the chassis.
 

Disassembly of Transaxle
Estimated Time Required: 12 minutes

Tools Required:
(1) 7/32" allen wrench
(1) 7/16" combination wrench
(1) 9/16" combination wrench
(1) 11/16" combination wrench
(2) 3/4" combination wrenches
(1) needle nose pliers or spring hook


Figure 28
1. Place the transaxle onto the transmission base plate (PN 539116708) and bolt it down with at least two bolts.
     

Figure 29
2. Loosen the 7/16" lock nuts at the top of each rubber spring assembly.
     


Figure 30

3. Loosen the 3/4" jam nuts on top of each rubber spring assembly.
     


Figure 31

4. Pull the rubber spring assemblies away from each cradle.
     


Figure 32

5. Using the 11/16" combination wrench, loosen the pivot bolt lock nuts.
     


Figure 33

6. Using the needle nosed pliers or the spring hook, remove the cradle spring from the cradle spring holders.
     


Figure 34

7. Using the 7/32" allen wrench, back off the pivot bolts until they are clear of the bushings on each cradle.
     


Figure 35

8. Using a 9/16" wrench, remove the nuts from the top and bottom of each roller plate located at the front of the transmission (four nuts in all).
     


Figure 36

9. Remove the upper rubber tension springs.
     


Figure 37

10. Using a 9/16" combination wrench, loosen the jam nuts at the bottom of each neutral rod.
     


Figure 38

11. Using a 9/16" combination wrench, unscrew the neutral assemblies from the base by turning the adjustment nut at the top of the neutral assemblies.
     


Figure 39

12. Remove the cradles from the center assembly.
 

Drive Cone Replacement
Estimated Time Required: 45 minutes

Tools Required:
(1) 15/16" socket
(1) ratchet, breaker bar or air wrench
(1) 15/16" combination wrench
(1) Torque wrench calibrated in ft/lbs
(1) bearing puller or hammer and punch
(1) Loctite Anti-Seize

Disassembly of the Drive Cone Unit


Figure 40

(1) Cone Shaft Lock Nut PN 3388 superceded to PN 539115670
(2) Cone Drive Shaft PN 5320 superceded to 539116022
(3) Upper Drive Cone PN 5109 superceded to 539115957
(4) Long Keys PN 5070 superceded to 539115950
(5) Upper Bearing PN 5343 superceded to 539116040
(6) Long Spacer PN 5316 superceded to 539116018
(7) Lower Drive Cone PN 5109 superceded to 539115957
(8) Middle Spacer PN 5317 superceded to 539116019
(9) Lower Bearing PN 5343 superceded to 539116040
(10) Short Spacer PN 2164 superceded to 539115329
(11) Drive Pulley PN 5326 superceded to 539116027
(12) Short Key PN 3385 superceded to 539115667
     


Figure 41

1. Using a 15/16" socket, remove the top nut from the drive cones assembly.  If air tools are not available, the bottom of the shaft can be held in place using a 15/16" open end wrench.  (This allows the drive pulley to remain attached to the shaft.)
     
  NOTE: If the bottom nut releases first, reverse the shaft during reassembly, as both ends of the shaft are identical.
     
  NOTE: The cone shaft should slide out of lower cone, bearing and cone frame, however, tapping the shaft through the upper cone may be necessary if the cone has seized to the shaft.  If the cones cannot be removed by use of penetrating oil and tapping the shaft, it will be necessary to cut the shaft in order to remove and replace it.
     


Figure 42

2. Remove the upper and lower bearings from the cone frame.
     
  NOTE: If the bearings do not slip out easily, they may be removed by use of a bearing driver or hammer and punch.
     
3. Inspect the bearings for wear.  Inspect the spacers for burrs, wear or cracks.
     
  Note: The bearings are identical and may be reversed without harm.
     
4. Inspect the drive cones for uneven wear, rough spots, glazing or any other signs of wear or damage.  See the troubleshooting guide for examples of normal and abnormal wear.
     
5. Inspect the keys, key ways and shaft for burring or signs of wear or damage.
     
6. Replace worn, damaged or defective parts as needed.
     

Re-Assembly of the Drive Cone Unit

     


Figure 33

1. Insert/press both upper and lower bearings into the frame.
     
  NOTE: The bearings may require a press fit into the frame.  This can be accomplished with a press, hammer and drift or the use of chilled bearings into a warm frame.  Do not use any lubrication.
     


Figure 44

2. Coat the cone shaft with Loctite Anti-Seize
     
  NOTE: Ensure that the anti-seize is sprayed on the shaft only.  Anti-seize will (ruin/destroy/etc) the drive cones and discups if it is sprayed onto the drive surfaces or any part that comes into contact with the drive surfaces.
     


Figure 45

3. Install the drive pulley and short key (PN 5070 superceded to 539115950) onto the cone shaft.
     


Figure 46

4. Reassemble the drive cone assembly by sliding the small black spacer onto the shaft and then inserting the shaft through the lower bearing in the bottom of the cone frame.
     


Figure 47

5. Slide the middle sized, zinc coated spacer onto the cone shaft.
     


Figure 48

6. Slide the lower drive cone, tapered end down, on the cone shaft.  Align the key ways and insert the key.
     


Figure 49

7. Slide the large zinc coated spacer onto the cone shaft.
     


Figure 50

8. Install the upper cone and key.
     


Figure 51

9. While holding the bottom nut with a 15/16" wrench, tighten the top nut to a torque valve of 75 ft/lbs.
 

Discup Replacement
Estimated Time Required: 23 minutes

Tools Required:
(1) 15/16" wrench or 15/16" socket with ratchet drive
(1) 1/2" wrench or 1/2" socket with ratchet drive
(1) Torque wrench calibrated in ft/lbs
(1) Loctite Anti-Sieze

Note: A bench vise is not required but helpful if used carefully.

 


Figure 52


Figure 53

Cradle Assembly PN 5330 superceded to 539116031
(1) Cradle PN 5322 superceded to 539116024
(2) Discup PN 5329 superceded to 539119543
(3) Locknut PN 3388 superceded to 539115670
(4) Sprocket PN 8413 superceded to 539116885
(5) Long Key PN 5070 superceded to 539115950
(6) Bearings PN 5343 superceded to 539116040
(7) Spacers PN 5068 superceded to 539115948
(8) Discup Shaft PN 5332 superceded to 539116033
     

Disassembly of the Discup Unit

 


Figure 54

1. Place cradle into bench vice, using the front (neutral spring arm) end.
     
2. Using a 15/16" wrench or socket, remove the discup lock nut.
     


Figure 55

3. If a set bolt is present, use a 1/2" wrench or socket to remove the set bolt.
     


Figure 56

4. Slide the shaft out of the discup and cradle.
     
5. Remove the bearings and spacers from the cradle.
     
6. Inspect the bearings and spacers for wear, damage, etc.
     


Figure 57

7. Inspect the roller and pin for smooth operation.
     
  NOTE: The roller and pin are not a tight fit, but they must not bind when turned.
     


Figure 58

8. Inspect the pivot bolt and bushings for wear and damage.
     


Figure 59

9. Inspect the discup for wear, cracks, rough spots on wear surfaces, etc.
     


Figure 60

10. Inspect the sprocket for wear.
     
11. Replace any defective parts.
     

Reassembly of the Discup Assembly

     
1. Coat the shaft with Loctite Anti-Seize
     
2. Place/press the bearings into the cradle.
     


Figure 61

3. Slide the shaft through the inner bearing and inner spacer in the cradle.
     


Figure 62

4. Place the key into the discup keyway.
     


Figure 63

5. Slide the discup shaft through the discup, outer spacer and
     


Figure 64

6. Slide the sprocket onto the shaft and align the keyways in the shaft and sprocket.  Insert the key into the aligned keyways.
     
  NOTE: The keys used for the discup and sprocket (PN 5070 superceded to 539115950) are interchangeable.
     
7. Screw the lock nut onto the shaft and torque to 50 ft/lbs.
     


Figure 65

  NOTE: Lock nuts with a complete nylon inner ring may be used.  Lock nuts with single nylon button should be replaced.
 

Reassembly of Transaxle
Estimated Time Required: 12 minutes

Tools Required:
(1) Needle nose pliers or spring hook
(1) 7/32" allen wrench
(1) 9/16" combination wrench


Figure 66

1. Reattach the cradle springs to the cradle.
     


Figure 67

2. Place the cradle assemblies into the center section.
     


Figure 68

3. Using a 7/32" allen wrench, screw the pivot bolts far enough into the pivot bolt bushings to hold the cradles in place.
     


Figure 69

4. Screw each neutral assembly stud into the center section casting until the bottom of the neutral rod assembly is flush with the bottom of the transaxle base plate.
     


Figure 70

5. Using a 9/16" combination wrench, tighten the lock nut on each neutral assembly.
     


Figure 71

6. Using needle nose pliers or a spring hook, reattach the cradle springs to the cradle spring holder.
     


Figure 72

7. Using a 9/16" combination wrench, install the roller plates.  Tighten the top and bottom nuts of the roller plates equally until a slight compression of the rubber tension springs is achieved.
 

Transaxle Bench Adjustments
Estimated Time Required: 50 minutes

Tools Required:
(1) 7/16" combination wrench
(1) 9/16" combination wrench
(1) 11/16" wrench
(2) 3/4" combination wrench
(1) 7/32" allen wrench
(1) adjustment gauge (PN 539116707 and PN 539115692 if early 1999 - present)
(1) .050" feeler gauge


Figure 73

1.   Rubber spring assembly gap adjustment (1995 - early 1999)
1A. Rubber spring assembly gap adjustment (early 1999 - present)
2.   Neutral spring assembly gap adjustment
3.   90 degree gauge for cradle height adjustment
4.   Mounting hole for cradle height adjustment
5.   90 degree gauge for roller plate adjustment
     

Roller and roller plate adjustment and discup alignment

     


Figure 74

1. Using a 9/16" combination wrench, remove the top neutral springs.
     

2. Using a 9/16" combination wrench, back off the bottom neutral springs completely.
     


Figure 76

3. Using a 7/16" combination wrench, loosen the lock nut on top of each rubber spring assembly.
     


Figure 77

4. Using two 3/4" combination wrenches, loosen the jam nuts on top of each rubber spring assembly.
     


Figure 78

5. Slide the rubber spring assemblies off the rear of the cradles.
     


Figure 79

6. Using the alignment gauge, check both roller plates to ensure that they are perpendicular to the base.  Adjustment is made by using a 9/16" wrench to loosen or tighten the attachment nuts on the top and bottom of each roller plate.
     


Figure 80 Discup not aligned


Figure 81 Procedure for alignment


Figure 82 Discup aligned

7. Using the alignment gauge, check the discups to ensure that they are perpendicular to the back edge of the center section.  Adjustment is made by using a 7/32" allen wrench to turn the pivot bolt.
     


Figure 83

8. Bolt the alignment gauge to the front of the cradle, where double ball joint screws into the casting.  The short leg of the alignment gauge should rest on the base plate.

NOTE: This ensures that the next step is completed in the correct neutral position.

     


Figure 84

9. Grasp the front of both cradle assemblies and pull inward in order to check the gap between the rollers and roller plate.  The correct gap is .050".  If the gap is too tight, loosen the pivot bolt and top and bottom attachment nuts on the roller plates.  Turn each nut one flat in ratio of 1:1:1.  If the gap is too loose, tighten the attachment nuts and pivot bolt in the same manner.

Repeat this procedure on the opposite cradle.
     


Figure 85

10. Remove the height gauge from the front of the cradle.
     
11. When the gap is set correctly, use an 11/16" combination wrench to tighten both the inner and outer jam nuts on the pivot bolts while holding the pivot bolt in place with 7/32" allen wrench.
     
At this point:
-  The roller plates should be perpendicular to the base.
-  The discups should be perpendicular to the back of the center section casting
-  The gap setting between the rollers and roller plates should be .050" with the discups held against the cones.
     

Rubber Spring Assembly and Pre-Load Adjustment

     


Figure 86

1. Push the rubber spring assemblies back into the fork at the rear of the cradle castings.  The rod end must be perpendicular to the L-Rod, and the rubber spring assemblies must run parallel to the rear of the center section.
     


Figure 87

2. Turn the rubber spring mount tube clockwise until the lower rubber spring is held tightly against the bottom of the cradle.
     


Figure 88

3. Set the rubber spring pre-load by tightening the lower jam nut against the upper rubber spring.  Hold the bottom of the rubber spring mount tube to keep it from turning.  Tighten the lower jam nut until the pre-load gauge sandwiches the washers outside the rubber springs.
     
  NOTE: On transaxles build after June 1999, it is necessary to use the gauge shown at position 1A, page 38, to set the correct pre-load.
     


Figure 89

4. Once the proper pre-load has been set, lock the 3/4" jam nuts together on the rubber spring mount tube.
     

Centering the Discups on the Cones

     


Figure 90

1. Place the cradle height gauge at the front of the cradle where the double ball joints screw into the casting.

The cradle should sit lower at the front.  If the cradle casting sits higher than the bolt hole in the height gauge, repeat steps 2 through 4 of the Rubber Spring Assembly and Pre-Load Adjustment Instructions.
     


Figure 91

2. Turn the two jam nuts on the top of the rubber spring assembly clockwise until a bolt installed through the hole in the height gauge can be screwed into the cradle casting.  The bottom edge of the gauge must be setting flat on the transmission base plate.

Repeat this procedure on the opposite cradle.
     
3. Turn the drive cones slowly.  As the cones turn, slowly tighten or loosen the jam nuts on the top of the rubber spring assembly until the cones turn free with no contact with the discups.
     
4. Remove the alignment gauge from the cradle.
     
Bench Neutral Adjustment
     


Figure 92

1. Bring the lower neutral spring up the neutral rod until the neutral gauge can be slid between the jam nut on the neutral rod and the adjusting nut on the bottom of the spring.
     

Figure 93
2. Insure that the neutral stud is centered from side to side in the hole in the cradle casting.

NOTE: If the stud is off center it should be straightened or replaced
     


Figure 94

3. Install the top neutral spring parts and:
  • Tighten the top adjustment nut until the discup just comes free from the cone
  • Note the position of the nut
  • Counting the number of revolutions, continue to turn the nut clockwise until the discup drags again
  • Turn the nut counterclockwise one half of the counted revolutions
     


Figure 95

4. Tighten the 7/16" lock nuts to lock the rubber spring assemblies in place

Note:  When the transaxle is replaced into the chassis and the drive levers are connected, a small amount of fine tuning on the neutral springs will be required
     
 

Transaxle Installation
Estimated Time Required: 25 minutes

Tools Required:
(1) 7/16" combination wrench
(1) 9/16" combination wrench
(2) 3/4" combination wrench
(1) 11/16" combination wrench
(1) 9/16" socket
(1) 12" socket drive extension
(1) ratchet drive
(1) shop hammer
(1) mechanics punch (drift)
(1) needle nose pliers or spring hook
 


Figure 96

1. Place transaxle into chassis
     


Figure 97

2. Attach drive chains to transaxle.
     


Figure 98

3. Using a 9/16" socket, 12" extension, and ratchet, re-install the four bolts that secure the transaxle to the chassis.

NOTE: The belt tensioner spring often comes loose during repairs.  Ensure that it is reattached.
     


Figure 99

4. Using a 1/2" socket, 12" extension, and ratchet, re-tighten the belt keeper.  The proper gap between all belt keepers and the belt is 1/8" with the tensioner installed.
     


Figure 100

5. Reconnect the double ball joints to the transaxle.
     


Figure 101

6. Reinstall the brake shaft with the roll pins.

Note: The roll pins must be a press fit.  If they are loose, they must be replaced.

Note: On mowers with a one piece brake shaft, it is important to install the roll pin on the right side first, then the left, and finally the two in the center.
     


Figure 102

7. Re-install the brake shaft linkage.
     


Figure 103

 

NOTE: when installing the brake shaft on models with the three piece shaft, ensure that the brake shaft tension spring is installed properly.  The spring often comes loose during repairs and must be re-inserted into the chassis.
 

8. Re-install the seat using the reverse of the procedures outlined for removing the seat from the mower.

Note: Ensure that the seat switch connector is not pinched by the seat frame or that the wires can not come in contact with moving parts of the transaxle.
     
 

Running Adjustments
Estimated Time Required: 30 minutes

Tools Required:
(1) 9/16" combination wrench
(1) 1/2" combination wrench
(1) 7/16" combination wrench
(1) 3/4" combination wrench
 

  1. Equalize the air pressure in the rear tires to specified levels.

    Establish "True" Neutral

    During bench adjustments, "bench" neutral was established.  The purpose of establishing "true" neutral is to compensate for the weight of the levers and other parts.
     

  2. Gently rotate the control levers from the drive position into the neutral slots.  The levers should enter the slots without having to be pushed forward or pulled backward to line them up with their neutral slots.  If either lever must be pushed or pulled, the ball joint on that side must be adjusted.  Loosen the jam nut on the ball joint assembly, and turn the ball joint collar until the lever rotates freely into their slot.  Retighten the jam nut.
     

  3. Start the mower and move the control levers to the drive position.  See if the mower "creeps" either forward or backward.  If it does, the neutral spring assemblies must be adjusted to prevent creep.  If the left discup is dragging, adjust the left neutral spring assembly by turning the top nut clockwise or counter clockwise as needed.  If the right discup is dragging, adjust the right assembly.
     

  4. If adjustment of the neutral spring assemblies was necessary, it will be necessary to readjust the levers as outlined in step 2 above.
     

  5. Continue this procedure until:

    - The levers rotate freely into and out of their neutral slots.
    - The mower does not creep in any direction.
     

  6. Drive the mower.  Start slowly and gradually "stroke" the levers all the way forward while noting how the mower performs.  If the mower is pulling only in the full forward position, adjust the lever stops located at the base of the control levers.
     

  7. If the mower is pulling either to the left or right through any portion of the lever stroke, follow the procedures listed below.

    - Stop and shut off the mower
    - Rotate the levers into drive position.
    - Raise the seat to gain access to the transaxle.
    - Loosen the 7/16" nuts on the top of each rubber spring assembly.
    - Turn the 3/4" jam nuts atop the rubber spring assemblies.  If the left side of the
      mower is slow, turn the left jam  nuts counterclockwise to speed up the left side.
      If the right side is slow, turn the jam nuts clockwise to speed up
      that side.  Reverse these actions to slow either side down as needed.
    - Check neutral, and adjust the top neutral nut, as needed.
    - Ensure that the control levers rotate freely in and out of their slots.  Refer to step 2
      above if necessary.

    - Drive the mower again, and continue these steps until the mower drives in a
      straight line at mowing speed or 1/2 to 3/4 lever stroke.

    - Tighten the 7/16" lock nuts on top of each rubber spring assembly after all
      adjustments are completed.
     

  8. If the mower does not respond to the above adjustments, the rubber spring mount pre-load is probably too tight and will need to be readjusted as covered in Bench Adjustment Procedures.

 

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