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Cub Cadet 1330 moves but brake rotor isn't spinning, and the tractor can't be moved with the engine off by engaging the dump lever.

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Active member
Oct 10, 2015
Fred Higgenbottom
I don’t know if this is the proper forum, but I need help with a parts problem.

Two weeks ago, my wife's Cub Cadet 1330 quit moving while she was mowing as the result of a failed hydrostatic pump. A new pump at nearly a thousand dollars is far more than the tractor is worth. But attempting to salvage the mower, I purchased and installed a used hydro from a parts mower for about $150 and after three frustrating hours of work was ecstatic that the lawn tractor now moves normally in both forward and reverse. But the problem is that the tractor can’t be moved manually by depressing the dump valve lever and the tractor has no brakes.

Normally the hydro alone provides all the braking action you'll need while mowing but with no manual brakes as backup it can prove extremely dangerous if the drive belt breaks on you while you’re mowing on a hill.

I took the dump valve from the old defective hydro and installed it on the one I purchased in hopes that was the problem, but it provided no improvement. After investigating further, I discovered that the rotor coming out of the transaxle for the disc brakes isn't turning.

I’m near my wits end. Does this mean I have purchased and installed a defective hydrostatic pump or perhaps have a broken coupler between the used hydro and the transaxle that I didn’t discover before finishing the work? I guess I can purchase new couplers if that's the problem and invest another three hours of hard work but since there was a no warrantee the used hydro so, if it's the cause of the problem I'll just use this mower as a parts tractor for the other Cub Cadet 1330 and 1320 tractors that we own.

I don't want to invest a lot more time and money on this mower just to end up with the same problems. Any helpful information would be greatly appreciated from knowledgeable members on this site who have experience with this kind of problem on the 1320, 1330, 1720 or 1730 Cub Cadets which all use the same transaxle.

Thanks in advance.
As a follow-up, I discovered that all the couplers in the transaxle were in good shape but the replacement Hydro pump I purchased and installed on my Cub Cadet 1330 lawn tractor wasn't.

The Hydros on these model lawn tractors are the weakest part of the machine. Although disappointing it was not surprising given the age of my tractor. The Cub Cadet 1330's and parts from them are more than 30 years old having only been produced until 1992. Purchased new mine has proven to a work horse requiring only normal maintenance and providing many years of dependable service.

But with time on my hands and being stubborn I once again removed the transaxle from the tractor and removed the hydro from it (quite a time-consuming chore for an old guy) in an attempt to diagnose the problem. I immediately noticed leakage of hydrostatic fluid around the hydro pump located underneath the hydro couplers driving the brake rotor. Digging a little deeper, when spinning the couplers from the input shaft driveline to the pump) it was evident that the wheels moved but the couplers driving the brake rotor weren't workingproperly and only turned sporadically.

Wanting to salvage this tractor for sentimental reasons (which is otherwise in excellent shape) I've exemplified the definition of insanity and purchased yet another Hydro pump which is scheduled for delivery next week. But this time it was an expensive brand-new BDU-10S-215 hydro pump (ouch).
After I've installed it, and reassembled the transaxle to the lawn tractor, I'll let you know how it turns out.
Update: After several hours of piddling (as my wife calls it) I successfully finished installation of the new BDU-10S-215 hydro pump onto the transaxle for the Cub Cadet 1330. It now works flawlessly and with more power than it has in years.

But to make the lawn tractor work properly after reassembling and installing the transaxle to the mower I had to readjust the hydrostatic linkages and brakes and took the opportunity while it was off the mower to replace the brake pucks before cleaning, lubricating and reinstalling the brake caliper.

I essentially, have a brand-new drive line for the Cub Cadet 1330 and given the service lifespan of the original this new one should serve me well and also outlive me.