How to Install and Adjust Your Dixon Z-Drive Transaxle

DixonZTRpartsBlogHeader2.jpgWhile some adjustments to the Dixon Z-Drive transaxle equipment can be done after the system has been installed, or without removing it in the first place, the vast majority of maintenance routines and adjustments do require removal of the Z-Drive so that it can be more easily worked on and repaired. That means most homeowners will need to familiarize themselves with the reinstallation process after they’ve completed basic adjustments or time-sensitive repairs to the system. Generally, the Dixon owner’s manual recommends at least 25 minutes be set aside for a full installation procedure. In addition, there are some key tools that need to be on hand to make this process as efficient as possible.

Required Tools for Z-Drive Installation

– Combination wrenches measuring 3/4″, 7/16″, 9/16″, and 11/16″
– A 9/16″ socket with a 12″ extension
– Shop hammer
– Mechanic’s punch
– Ratchet drive
– Needle nose pliers
– Spring hook

Installation: A Step-By-Step Look at What’s Required

Installing the Dixon Z-Drive system is relatively easy, but those who are new to the procedure should be sure to follow every step exactly. If in doubt during any part of the process, consultation of the Dixon owner’s manual is highly recommended.

Step 1: Insertion of the Z-Drive into the Dixon Mower

First, the Z-Drive needs to be placed back into the Dixon mower from which it was removed in order to make adjustments. Simply slide the Z-Drive into the chassis and then, to keep it secure and continue with the installation process, attach the drive chains to the Dixon Z-Drive transaxle.

Step 2: Secure the System into Place Using Included Bolts

There are four bolts that hold the Dixon Z-Drive into place, each of which should be installed and tightened using a 9/16″ socket, the recommended 12″ socket extension attachment, and a ratchet. If the belt tensioner spring becomes loose, be sure to tighten it back up before proceeding. This is a common occurrence during system installation.

Step 3: Tighten the Belt Keeper

With a 1/8″ gap between the belt and the belt keeper, use the socket 1/2″ socket and ratchet to tighten the belt keeper assembly. Be mindful that the 1/8″ gap includes the width of the tensioner.

Step 4: Perform Small Reconnections and Assemblies

With the system largely in place and secure, attention must now be paid to the finer details. Reconnect the double ball joints to the Z-Drive system. Then reinstall the brake shaft and roll pins. Finally, install the brake shaft linkage. This will complete the entire transaxle installation or reinstallation process for Dixon mower owners.

After Installation: A Guide to Running Adjustments

While many adjustments to the Dixon Z-Drive require the system to be removed and disassembled, running adjustments actually require the system to be installed and properly functioning. Setting “true neutral,” for example, can only be done with the Z-Drive in place and fully operational. Performing these adjustments is easy, requires fewer tools than installation, and is highly recommended after any installation procedure.

Tools Needed for Running Adjustments

– Combination wrenches measuring 1/2″, 3/4″, 7/16″, and 9/16″

Step-By-Step Adjustments for Dixon Mowers

A setting known as “bench neutral” is used during system disassembly and other, more extensive repairs or adjustments. This setting will not work well in practical applications, where a “true neutral” setting is more viable. Therefore, adjustments must be made after installation to restore the true neutral setting and keep the mower’s integrity intact.

Step 1: Check and Equalize Air Pressure

First and foremost, check the air pressure of the mower’s rear tires and ensure that it matches with recommended Dixon levels. Also be sure that both tiers have equal air pressure.

Step 2: Begin the Adjustment Process with the Control Levers

Gradually rotate the control levels from the “drive” position into the neutral position, ensuring that the levers enter each position without having to be pulled back or pushed forward excessively. If pushing or pulling is necessary, loosen the jam nut on the assembly and turn the ball joint collar until the lever rotates freely without pushing or pulling.

Step 3: Check for Mower “Creep”

Place the mower into neutral and start the equipment. Note whether or not the mower creeps either forward or backward. If it does, adjustments must be made by adjusting the spring assemblies. Slight adjustments to the left and right discup within the spring assembly will need to continue on a trial and error basis until the mower no longer creeps in either direction.

Where to Buy Dixon Parts and Seek Further Assistance

Dixon ZTR Parts has been a reliable resource for Dixon owners for the past several decades, serving as an authorized retailer that keeps Dixon mowers, the Z-Drive system, and plenty of OEM parts on hand. Parts are easily located, ordered and shipped using the convenient online parts lookup tool. The company’s support staff can also help equipment owners with regular maintenance, installation, and other adjustments that their equipment might require.

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