I picked up a x724 a month ago and just mowed the lawn with it for the first time. As I was mowing I found a couple puddles and streaks in the lawn that look to be hydraulic fluid. I have put about 2hrs on the machine before this (it has just over 1,000 total) using the blade with a quick hitch and have not noticed anything before. I did a fluid and filter change when I got it.
The only thing I did differently is disconnect the angling cylinder hydraulic lines before I mowed and left them loose tied to the lift lines that were still attached. I couldn't find the leak point after inspecting the valve, transmission and power steering. The places that it leaked are consistent with where I would have raised and lowered the deck. The only other thing I noticed is that when raising the deck the top 1" of travel makes a loud creaking sound.
Any ideas on where this leak could be coming from? I tried replicating it in the garage and couldn't. They were fairly heavy puddles, so i think it's more than just a drip and something must be triggering it.