How To Make A Hydrostatic Lawn Mower Faster– Useful Tips

Hydrostatic mowers from Craftsman, Troy Bilt, Toro, Simplicity, Cub Cadet are pretty capable machines. But machines don’t last forever. A hydrostatic lawn mower moves slow and starts to wear out over time.

Lucky for you, it is possible to make lawn mower faster thanks to hydrostatic or riding lawn mower modifications in general. We will show you how to make a hydrostatic lawn mower faster in this article.

Although some of the tips and tricks on how to make a lawn mower fast require more work to do than others, it will be paid off to make your lawn mower faster.


Inspect The Hydrostatic Mower

Before reading tips and tricks on how to make a lawn mower faster, you should check some elements of the mower to see where your mower can be improved.

Check the tires

You should check the tires to see if they are aired to match your mower’s specs. It’s important to get the right air pressure level to ensure safety and comfort while driving the mower, especially with riding hydrostatic mowers.

Check the fluid

A lawn mower running slow will benefit from having correct fluids.

Even though you can use standard hydraulic oil for many mower brands, stick to those recommended by the manufacturers to get the best results. This also applies to steer fluid in the mower too.

Check other aspects

These are some other aspects you should take a look at to determine what slows your mover down and how you can improve it.

  • Oil levels: The oil level should be at a certain level suitable for the mower. You can add more oils if needed.
  • Damages/leaks: Look for the damages or leaks on the hoses, damages or opening on the hoses means vigor loss and potentially leads to slow movement. Try to locate and seal or repair those damages.
  • The air filter: If you are using a clogged filter, it can slow your mower down. Just like the fluid above, use air filters recommended by manufacturers. You should also clean the pump’s cooling fins if it’s dirty.
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How To Make A Hydrostatic Lawn Mower Faster – The Things You Can Do

These are the tweaks that will make your mower move faster, respond quicker, and maneuver around smoother.

Install larger tires


A large mower tire

You should first opt for larger tires to install into your mower. As long as the replaced wheels’ width is the same as the originals’, they should fit your mower nicely.

Larger wheels mean a longer path in 1 wheels’ cycle, which in turn, you get a faster speed than when using the normal small tires.

But, the small exchange is some torque loss since the engine has to work harder on big wheels. Moreover, you need to re-level your mower deck to get back the quality cut.

Sharpen or replace the blades


Mower blades

So what mower has the fastest blade speed? It’s one of the mowers with sharp blades. You need sharp blades to cut the grass easier and also to prevent the grass from slowing down the blades.
Most built-in mower blades have only a few inches of cutting edges, furthermore, blades dull as you use them. So try to sharpen the blades and remember to do them evenly to prevent blade breakdown.

If the blades are beyond repair, pick a new one with better cutting edges, like those with the entire edges as the cutting edges.

Remove the governor

Most mowing brands use governors on their mowers to restrict the engines’ ability to rev up the motors.

If your Troy Bilt riding mower moves too slow after long use, you can remove the governor to make the mower faster.

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Furthermore, this is the first step you should perform if you intend to turn your mower into a racing lawn mower.

Here’s how to remove the governor: first locate the governor and remove the bolts holding it, then just unhook it. The mower’s user manual will show you where the governor is in case you can’t find it.

Use a bigger pulley

A bigger pulley will make your hydrostatic mower move faster by a big margin if it’s done properly. However, some models won’t go easy on you so make sure to install the new pulley properly.

When you install the bigger pulley, make sure to get the right hydrostatic trans-axel model first. For the steps needed, you can find the right tutorials for each model, and some mower brands posted videos on the topic on their website.

While upgrading the pulley, don’t go to big size straight away. Try to go gradually, from 3 inches, you should go to 3.5 inches or 4 inches first, don’t jump to 5 inches right away.

If you are uncertain about how to execute the lawn mower pulley swap method properly, you can consult your local dealers.

Pulley Swap Speed Test - Hot Rod Lawn Tractor - Racing Lawn Mower

Purge the hydraulic drive

Hydro gear purge procedure is an essential procedure when using a mower, especially when maintaining a racing mower transmission

If you ask people how to build a racing lawn mower transmission, this is the first thing they will tell you to do.

This is the reason for your Craftsman riding mower moving slow, your Cub Cadet hydrostatic slow performance, or your Simplicity hydrostatic transmission problems.
The hydraulic system isn’t purged before deployment.

Here’s why the procedure is important for mowers’ transmission adjustment like Toro hydrostatic transmission or Craftsman hydrostatic transmission adjustment.

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A hydrostatic transmission typically uses oils and the system needs to be sealed tightly to transfer to force efficiently. However, as time goes on, air can mix with the oils.

If you don’t purge the hydraulic system, the pump will try to pressurize the air. The result is less force is transferred and it will impede the pump and cause it to be sluggish.

After storing a lawn mower for more than 2 months during the close season, servicing, or the oil was replaced, you should always purge the hydraulic drive so that your mower stays at top speed for a long time.

If you want to remove the trapped air inside the system, first purge the new mowers. This can be done whether you use the mower for cutting grass or racing.

Keep in mind that the exact steps for purging the air is dependent on your mower’s model, so look for the right steps before performing the procedure.

How To Make A Lawn Mower Fast: Other Tips And Tricks

If the above methods are not enough for you and you want even more speed out of your mower, here are some more things you can try:

  • Remove unnecessary attachments: It’s simple; fewer unnecessary attachments means a faster mower since the engine has less mass to carry.
  • Use better fuel: We recommend high-octane gas since it is more efficient and can send more power to the engine.
  • Disconnect the blade assembly: If you intend to use the mower for racing, try this method.


Overall, those are the ways on how to make a hydrostatic lawn mower faster. Besides all those methods, remember to also keep a frequent maintenance routine for your mower for better longevity. Thank you for reading.

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