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I was curious if anyone has ever had to change the vertically mounted trans cooling fan for a 165/175 hydrostatic transmission (Eaton). I just realized that the mower I've used on and off for the past year was missing every single cooling fin on the trans cooling fan. Ugh, could have been a disaster some day but trans still runs strong though. The fan is on the back right of the mower and pretty close to the frame. Does the transmission need to be removed or can a ratcheting wrench w/short socket do the trick? Reason I haven't attempted yet is because the whole top of the tractor needs removed for access and that's a tough 1 person job.

Cooling fan is part ET17698


Any help is appreciated, thanks.
 

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I don't believe you need to remove the transmission to repair the fan. It's been awhile since I worked on one but I think theres enough space to slide the fan and pulley off with the right tools.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I hope you're right. I did finally find a post somewhere else where a guy had issue removing his from his 185 because it's in such a tight area.

I also read a comment that the fan is not for cooling, but actually for preventing grass and other debris from adhering to the transmission housing on that side...is that true or BS? If that is actually true I may avoid replacing it altogether and keep it clean with other means. But I've never heard that otherwise.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
OK...so I did some googling and found a post on My Tractor Forum from 2012 about a guy needing to replace his fan on a 185 Hydro that uses the same Eaton trans. So he figured out a way to support the trans underneath by loosening the top bolts and sliding the trans to the left about an inch just enough to get his fan off and replaced. Well the next post after him said "I just cut the fan in half and bolted it on, two bolts per half. Has served its purpose for 7-8 years that way no issues".

So I partially followed what guy #2 did....here's my post on that forum in case anyone else wants to use this same solution.

I have a 165 Hydro and 175 Hydro. I enjoy using both and will keep them running as long as possible. I just happened to look around my 175 and realized, after owning it for a year, my fan had no cooling fins whatsoever!!!! No clue how that happened and how my trans has been running so well with no air flow and heavy grease/dirt clogged tranny fins! (will power wash that clean/degrease) I took off the fender/seat assembly and moved the gas tank aside, removed the fan guard and went to work on it.

I used a razor knife w/new blade and nearly cut the plastic fan in half but left one of the outer sides alone that the blades are protruding from. This allowed me to spread the fan open Pacman-style so I could feed it over the round hub from the top and viola! Easy. Fan uses 4 bolts, don't see why 2 bolts on each side of a couple halves would create any issues when it comes to the function of the fan. It isn't going anywhere and it still spins like it should. Re-threading the bolts was somewhat difficult, had to get down to the bolt holes using each pointer finger to hold the bolt and to kind of roll the bolt and get the thread started. After I had one bolt in I rotated the pulley (only rotates in one direction) and made sure the next bolt location was at the top of the turn so I didn't have to reach down as far. I have somewhat slim fingers and still had a lot of rubbing on the frame but no blood, just a solid win!!!

Photos - 1: The original, no fins. Holy smokes. 2: Original removed, ripped it out with channel locks. 3: New fan installed. 4: New fan installed, look closely at cut line from left to right side of fan.
Note: I still need to do a solid power washing of the mower, transmission especially.

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