Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for mechanics and DIY enthusiast owners of cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have John Deere SX-85 riding lawnmower which comes with a Peerless 910 series transaxle. It has mowed the lawn twice since the installation of all new belts over the winter. During the second mow, it stopped moving in reverse.

We have used the reverse on the mower numerous times and know about the safety mechanisms required in order to reverse. i listed Hyperlinks to the safety mechanisms below because they could be failing and causing the problem, albeit doubtful.

It will not go in reverse. Even with engine off, mower blades disengaged, and in neutral, i cannot even pull it backwards manually. I can push forwards however and the lawnmower still mows grass in forward direction. I will have to pick up the 367 pound lawn mower to get it out of the garage!

Engine Stops When shift lever is moved to the R (REVERSE) position and Attachment Is Engaged Normal condition. (See Using Reverse Implement Option in the OPERATING section.)

Testing Reverse Implement Option (RIO)

Using The Reverse Implement Option (RIO)

share|improve this question

migrated from May 27 '14 at 13:56

This question came from our site for contractors and serious DIYers.

It seems you are suggesting the gear selection lever will not even move to the "reverse" position ... is this correct? – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 May 27 '14 at 15:28
The lever does move to the "reverse" position, albeit i am not 100% certain is has the same "feel." Pressing on the gas in "reverse" does not move the tractor, just strains the engine. – rjt Jun 14 '14 at 6:24
The left wheel rotates forward and the right wheel rotates backwards. So if i pick up the left side of the lawnmower, i can get it to move backwards. It is a struggle, but i can move it. – rjt Jun 14 '14 at 6:27
To me this sounds as though something internal to the transaxle is toast. The differential itself is working, as evident by your being able to move forward and being able to spin the tires in opposite directions (this is indicative of an "open" differential). You are getting it into gear with the lever, which is evident from straining the engine while pressing on the gas. I'd suggest you'll need to have internal transaxle work done in order to get it fixed. There should be an intermediate gear which changes the direction of work rotation which may be at fault. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jun 14 '14 at 13:42
@paulster I hope check to check your theory out this week – rjt Jun 16 '14 at 21:13

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.