Poulan PRO riding lawnmower won't drive

I have a 2004 Poulan riding lawn mower model #PD25PH48STC with hydrostatic drive that won't drive. The engine starts up fine but when you step on the forward or reverse pedals it doesn't move. The belts all seem fine. I tried disengaging the transmission (i.e put it in freewheel mode) so I could push it home but the rear wheels still wouldn't turn so it seems like something is bound up in the transmission or axle. It happened very suddenly. One minute is was working fine 5 minutes later I came back to it and it wouldn't move. Any suggestions would be appreciated Thanks Matt S.

3 Answers

Garyg48Garyg489 May 2015
Mine was 42" with same problem. Removed mowing deck, quite simple 5 pins and then slide out slightly to left, get on back and crawl under. To front under engine see steering mechanism exposed. Above this is a "box" , 3" tall 12" wide 12" long approximately, the engine sits on top. The drive belt runs thru this "box" . Inside there is a lever that pushes against drive belt to tighten and thus powers transmission. Mine had lots of build up of hard dry grass and was frozen. After scraping this buildup off it runs like a new mower.
paulclestonpaulcleston28 Nov 2005
I to am not a Poulan expert but do understand the basics of a hydrostatic transmission. Can't offer much to this but I will try. The belt that drives the transmission could be off a pulley and would cause the machine not to move when you push the pedal but it does not explain why the machine cannot be pushed when you release the freewheel feature. The only thing that I could think of is that something could be causing the brake not to release. Does it drag the engine down when you press the pedal down to go? If so, the brake may be locked up. You can look at it and tell if the linkage is moving when you put it on or off. If not, and your belt is turning the pulley on top of your transmission, the only external thing that I can think about is linkage. When you push the pedal, you rotate a shaft going into the hydraulic unit that makes the pump send oil to the motor that drives the wheels. Some times to see all the belts, pulleys, and linkage, you have to remove the mower deck. Usually when you do you get a good look at all the components and can figure it out. I would do that before assuming that the trannie is bad inside. Hope this helps. If not let me know and we will keep trying. Paul psmith2017@charter.net
mbailey1967mbailey196725 Nov 2005
Matt: I'm in no way an expert on the hydrostatic transmission or the Poulan, but before you pronounce the transmission dead, check the mechanical linkages. In my experience -- not a Poulan, though -- the brake/clutch pedal controls an idler pulley along the belt that runs from the engine to the transmission. When you let up on the pedal, it releases the brake and moves the idler pulley to tighten the belt, so that it turns the transmission. Sounds like that isn't happening on yours, which would explain both why the tractor won't move. But again, I'm in no way an expert on this; maybe someone with more experience has a better idea... mike
authormschuck 25 Nov 2005
We looked at the linkages belts, etc and they looked fine. What lead me to think it was something in the transmission was that the rear wheels wouldn't turn even in the free wheel mode. I was thinking about it last night and maybe the brake is stuck on. The brake/clutch pedle seem to working ok and the linkage to the clutch seemed ok but I'm not sure that we actually checked the brakes. That would at least explain why the wheels won't turn in the free wheel mode.
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