JD 1025R Transmission leak - should I be concerned??
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    Question JD 1025R Transmission leak - should I be concerned??

    So, while I had my tractor in for a 'shock absorber' replacement for my forward/reverse drive pedals, the mechanic noticed a small 'leak' and tracked it down to the transmission.

    They said they had to replace an transmission gasket, if I have that correct.

    So... they replaced it and true to form, they never call me back with ANY updates.... so I called to see how the tractor repair was coming.

    They said that the mechanice (who I believe is a talented and good guy) was concerned that the transmission 'drive' shaft seemed 'looser' than he thought it should be.... so they ordered a new 'shaft' and had it overnighted and are going to install that so they have some sort of way to compare the feel to the first one installed.

    First of all: I am no mechanic.... so it worries the hell out of me knowing they had to do major surgery to my tractor and pull the transmission off the engine.... and then to think they are 'unsure' if a major component 'feels right' after they installed it.

    Should I be concerned.... and why would they have to remove a transmission drive shaft anyway?? Pardon my ignorance on the topic.... but it seems like my tractor has had more than it's share of issues for only having 75 hours on it....

    I am starting to think that John Deere's quality control is almost non-existent.... from shoddy, ill-designed and ill-fitting body panels to mechanical maladies.... I am beginning to wonder if I would have had better luck with a Kubota or other make.

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    IndianaJim's Avatar
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    Id be more concerned about your dealer than any issues your 1025 may or may not have.

    Do you personally know the mechanic?
    I dont believe anyone is talented or a good guy until they prove it if they are working on my stuff. Thats not meant to be a slight towards anyone, but there are way too many "mechanics" that I wouldnt trust to check my washer fluid level in the car.
    Since no one is calling with updates, Id say that knocks the "good guy" out of it, but thats just my opinion.
    When I have something in for a service, they darn well better call if they find anything other than what it went in for, cost involved or not, because it almost always adds time. If they dont call, my opinion is that they value their time much more than they value mine, and thats a big red flag to me.
    Your dealer should want you back on your machine as fast as possible, and that involves calling with updates, calling when done, etc. In other words, it requires what we used to call good customer service.

    At my dealer, I do know the set-up guy/mechanic for CUTs, enough that he says hi if I see him outside of work.
    I KNOW he knows his stuff because hes been at it a long time, and has fixed more than a few things for me.
    I also know all that because he worked at that dealer doing that same job when I worked there quite a few years ago, and he is very conscientious.
    Jim B.

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    I personally would worry much about the leak as seals and gaskets can leak because they can be defective at manufacture or can be damaged during assembly. Assuming it is repaired under warranty, there should be no cost to you.

    I had "major surgery" on my 1026R with less than 25 hours on it due to an oil leak through a porous spot in the transmission cover casting. Not the fault of JD, just a bad casting, that they replace free of charge. They had to remove and split open the transmission to replace that cover. I would consider a leaking seal or gasket as a minor repair.

    As for the driveshaft, I assume that's the driveshaft connecting the engine to the transmission. The mechanic wasn't sure if it felt right, so he ordered a replacement. It's good that he's checking out other things while he's under there. That does not mean they will "separate" the transmission from the engine ... as they are not really connected together. It is not major surgery to change that driveshaft, should take more than a few minutes (IIRC).

    I'll take a WOG that the seal on the transmission at the driveshaft input was leaking/seeping oil, and in checking it, he checked the driveshaft too when he thought "it didn't feel right". He'd have to remove the driveshaft anyway to replace that seal.

    As for your other issues, I don't know how bad the body panel fit was, or the "other mechanical maladies" were, so I can't comment, but any tractor regardless of manufactures will have some issues on occasion.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeFriday1979 View Post
    So, while I had my tractor in for a 'shock absorber' replacement for my forward/reverse drive pedals, the mechanic noticed a small 'leak' and tracked it down to the transmission.

    They said they had to replace an transmission gasket, if I have that correct.

    So... they replaced it and true to form, they never call me back with ANY updates.... so I called to see how the tractor repair was coming.

    They said that the mechanice (who I believe is a talented and good guy) was concerned that the transmission 'drive' shaft seemed 'looser' than he thought it should be.... so they ordered a new 'shaft' and had it overnighted and are going to install that so they have some sort of way to compare the feel to the first one installed.

    First of all: I am no mechanic.... so it worries the hell out of me knowing they had to do major surgery to my tractor and pull the transmission off the engine.... and then to think they are 'unsure' if a major component 'feels right' after they installed it.

    Should I be concerned.... and why would they have to remove a transmission drive shaft anyway?? Pardon my ignorance on the topic.... but it seems like my tractor has had more than it's share of issues for only having 75 hours on it....

    I am starting to think that John Deere's quality control is almost non-existent.... from shoddy, ill-designed and ill-fitting body panels to mechanical maladies.... I am beginning to wonder if I would have had better luck with a Kubota or other make.
    Depending upon the actual location of the leak, it was either a gasket or used the RTV Sealant, which is a liquid silicone type product which is used on many of the rear hydrostat unit case covers. Either way, the fact they fixed it is a good thing and I wouldn't be too concerned.

    These tractors are quite different than a car and the transmission is a small component on the front of the rear hydrostatic drive unit which drives the tractor, powers the PTO shafts, etc. The transmission actually does attach at the very front of the rear hydro unit and it is directly related to the drive shaft which goes from the engine to the rear hydro unit. So, if the leak was at the transmission portion of the rear hydro pulling the drive shaft would have made sense if he had to pull the transmission off the front of the hydro unit. I will tell you that historically, where the transmission mounts to the rear hydro unit, a gasket is used between the transmission and the rear hydro unit and that has been a source of leaks on other machines with similar set ups.

    Just to be clear, they didn't have to separate the transmission from the engine, as you described, as they are not directly mounted together. Also, I personally would not consider what you have described as "Major Surgery", but more of a "typical repair". The tractor's mechanical's are quite different than those of a car and their components are structured differently. I know its a technical distinction, but pulling the transmission off of these tractors is considerably less work than pulling the transmission in a car since the engine is not mated directly to the transmission. I make this point just for clarity, not to minimize the work done on your machine.

    Once you have the driveshaft removed to remove the transmission from the front of the hydro unit, it would have permitted the mechanic to handle the drive shaft extensively and that may have raised some concerns about the quality of the Universal Joints in the driveshaft. The Universal Joints are a grease serviced item on these machines and could be showing signs of wear, but at such low hours, it seems quite unlikely. If this is the shaft to which they are referring, then it is a very integral part of the machine.

    To help you understand the importance of the difference in what I have described, I am going to give you an example of how this machine works to help you understand why they are different. In the tractor, the driveshaft from the engine to the rear hydro unit and transmission spins whenever the engine is operating, regardless of whether the tractor is moving. The reason this spins whenever the engine is running is because this shaft provides the power to rear hydro unit and let's say you are stopped, with the tractor running and you are raising and lowering the front end loader. The engine is providing the power to the hydro unit through the shaft and your hand controls for the front end loader are raising and lowering the bucket, or it could be the rear three point hitch and even without the tractor moving, the engine is running and the hydro unit is functioning to move the loader, hitch, etc.

    I think you should speak with the service manager directly and find out exactly what was done and which shaft was replaced and have them show you the shaft which came out of your tractor and they should be able to show to you or demonstrate why the service technician thought the shaft "seemed loose'. It will help you understand more about exactly what was done and why, which is always important.

    As far as regretting your purchase, well, that's something which only you can judge and feel. If you have a responsive dealer which is promptly working with you and fixing the issues with your machine under warranty, then you are in a better position than some who don't have a good dealer to work with. As far as the number of issues with your machine, if you have had a number of dealership visits and repairs, that would seem to be unusual. No one likes to have a "major repair" on their machine, regardless of the hours.

    While parts failures are more common typically with use and component wear, new machines can have issues as well. To be totally honest, I am not sure your experience with a Kubota would be any better or worse. You can have two identical machines of the same brand and one might be nearly flawless and the other have issues. Overall, I would say that "Large Failures" on the John Deere 1025r seem to be less common than some other brands and models from what I have witnessed. None are perfect and to a large degree, it's somewhat the luck of the draw.

    Depending upon your machine purchase date and the specific issues you have had, you may want to consider purchasing the extended warranty. If they did replace the driveshaft in this repair, I can tell you that if you had to pay for the total repair if warranty was not covering it, then you very likely would be facing a repair bill which is about what the total cost of purchasing the extended warranty would be. But make sure you are very clear on what the extended warranty from Deere would cover and what it would not cover.

    If you can provide specific details from the paperwork (part numbers of items used or replaced during this repair) from the service department, it might help us help you assess exactly what was done to your machine. Please make sure to post a follow up here on this thread after you get your machine back and have had a chance to talk to the Service Manager. Make sure to ask him / her if they have had this repair on other tractors like yours and ask them why they think this repair might have been needed on your machine. The input and response help to indicate if this is something unusual or more routine. I can't say I have heard of driveshafts being replaced on these machines, if that is in fact what they did to your tractor.

    Actually, knowing what other tractor owners are experiencing is helpful in the overall picture. I am looking forward to hearing what the Service Manager has to say and what parts were used on your machine to complete the repairs. It's good the service technician noticed the leak which they have repaired as otherwise, you would have lost fluid. Just to be clear, Also, the area where the original repairs were taking place with the "shock absorber" on the tractor's directional control pedals, it would make sense for the other issues and repairs to have been noticed, which you have mentioned in your post.

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    The OP stated his concern over the dealer's ability. Just would like to add something here. My local dealer is one of the largest, if not THE largest Deere dealerships in the country with 56 dealer locations. My particular dealer STINKS. I am now into the sixth week waiting for a bench work repair to my Transaxle which I removed from the tractor & took in for a seal replacement.

    I don't know if the mechanics are just incompetent or the service manager is a total ass. I have given them until the end of business today before I pick up the phone & call the dealerships corporate office & complain about it.

    Two week ago, I was considering buying a Deere zero turn mower from this dealer. I have now since changed my mind & will not buy anything from this dealer because of how stupid the service dept. is. The products & services that Deer offers is no longer the Gold Standard it was once. They've become a joke. I'm sure I will now hear from all those who love their dealer & think that if it's not green it's not good. If you still have one of the old time dealers in your neighborhood, count yourself lucky. My dealer was family owned & now bought out & taken over by this giant dealership that STINKS & couldn't care less about its customers, new or old.

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    RetiredDoc's Avatar
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    The time when you had a relationship with a mechanic/technician are long gone for most of us. Today the interface beteen customer and dealer is largely via a service manager in small dealerships, or a step down to a service advisor in larger businesses.

    And, in my limited interactions with the service manager at my Deere dealership, all I have heard are excuses and frustration about the lack of good people to hire, and the lack of skills of those working under him. And that is exactly why I have done almost all the work on my tractor myself. If the head service guy doesn't have faith in his mechanics, why should I?


    That's why I really like GTT; guidance in doing my own service.

    Plus a place to vent.

    PS: I had a hydraulic fluid leak starting at 30 hours. It continued after the 50 hour service. I used Blue Devil stop leak . Leak went away and still leakless at almost 450 hours. It did generate a bit of discussion when I used it. Here's the link.
    https://www.greentractortalk.com/for...lue-devil.html
    Last edited by RetiredDoc; 08-09-2018 at 05:44 PM. Reason: add PS
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredDoc View Post
    The time when you had a relationship with a mechanic/technician are long gone for most of us. Today the interface beteen customer and dealer is largely via a service manager in small dealerships, or a step down to a service advisor in larger businesses.

    And, in my limited interactions with the service manager at my Deere dealership, all I have heard are excuses and frustration about the lack of good people to hire, and the lack of skills of those working under him. And that is exactly why I have done almost all the work on my tractor myself. If the head service guy doesn't have faith in his mechanics, why should I?


    That's why I really like GTT; guidance in doing my own service.

    Plus a place to vent.
    Your right on. Waiting six weeks now for a stupid oil seal to go into my transaxle. Today, I called the corporate office of the dealer & got the name & number of the of their division president. Then I called the dealership one more time. The service manager tells ne he just fired the tech who was suppose to fix my oil seal but removed some gears & pto shaft & could not get it back together. He tells me he hired a new guy & will work on it on Monday. I told him if the new guy has zero experience with transaxles & if he is not a tractor mechanic what the devil benefit is that to me. I told him I will be calling the Division president on Monday for a conference call. This is just insane. The motto of this company is "STRONG ON SERVICE" What a *****Joke that is.

    This franchise has a whopping 58 dealer locations covering Texas, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Arkansas & where else I do not know for sure. You would think the service mgr. at my location would have enough on the ball to pick up the phone & call his superiors & say to them I need help with a repair. You mean to tell me that in 58 locations they do not have a single tech. that can help walk thru another tech to get the freaking thing done. I will NEVER buy anything from John Deere again. I was going to buy my wife a zero turn. I will be buying it from the local outdoor power equipment company who has excellent service & carries three different brands of zero turns from residential to full blown super size commercials.

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    IndianaJim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maddog View Post
    The OP stated his concern over the dealer's ability. Just would like to add something here. My local dealer is one of the largest, if not THE largest Deere dealerships in the country with 56 dealer locations. My particular dealer STINKS. I am now into the sixth week waiting for a bench work repair to my Transaxle which I removed from the tractor & took in for a seal replacement.

    I don't know if the mechanics are just incompetent or the service manager is a total ass. I have given them until the end of business today before I pick up the phone & call the dealerships corporate office & complain about it.

    Two week ago, I was considering buying a Deere zero turn mower from this dealer. I have now since changed my mind & will not buy anything from this dealer because of how stupid the service dept. is. The products & services that Deer offers is no longer the Gold Standard it was once. They've become a joke. I'm sure I will now hear from all those who love their dealer & think that if it's not green it's not good. If you still have one of the old time dealers in your neighborhood, count yourself lucky. My dealer was family owned & now bought out & taken over by this giant dealership that STINKS & couldn't care less about its customers, new or old.
    I wouldnt say I love my dealer, but I like them well enough.
    I trust me working on my equipment/cars/etc, but not too many others. This creates a lot of work for me, but its ok because I dont mind and have the know how and tools anyway.

    I much prefer Deere, as Ive always had darn good luck with them, but the most important part of any purchase is the dealer support you receive AFTER the sale. If it stinks, its not worth buying no matter how much you like one brand over another. That goes for just about anything that might need serviced. Cars, tractors, chainsaws, etc. If your dealer cant fix it, or cant fix it in a timely and friendly fashion, it doesnt matter how much you like a brand, once its broke, either you are fixing it or at the mercy of a crappy dealer.
    My local Deere dealer is also a Stihl dealer. Gold level service or some such nonsense that says they are Stihls top of the line service center. They couldnt find a torn intake boot on my neighbors saw in any of the 4 times it was in over the course of 2 months. Threw parts at it trying to fix it.
    Next dealer, after a talk with Stihls area manager, had it fixed in a couple days.
    Luckily for me, the 2 stroke guys are the same guys that work on the bigger stuff. Well, guy, they only have one that does Stihl.
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    What Iím guessing he didnít like the feel of was the splined yoke of the driveshaft onto the splined input shaft of the hydro transmission. Itís a cheap, shoddy arrangement, and some guys found it was only catching onto about a 1/2 inch of the splined shaft. They probably wanted to try a new driveshaft to see if it fit and felt better.

    A quality design would be a driveshaft with a slip-yoke and a flange or clamping splined yoke on the input of the hydro.

    Although, Levi has something like 600 hours on his 1026 and reported that the splines on his input shaft still felt good and not too much deflection.
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    The problems with dealers, ANY dealers is,at the end of the day it comes down to profits. That causes low wages, high turnover rates between personnel and the whole ball of wax.

    Ive seen many dealers that could fix anything buy a broken heart one day, then they get a new service manager who drives all the good talent away.
    When it comes to tractor mechanics in general, they are typically paid a tad lower than many other outside trades (heavy truck, diesel, automotive) and its been my experience that many 'move up' to the bigger paychecks (and who can blame them)

    Im not painting this picture with too broad of a brush, there are many excellent dealerships in all of the fields mentioned but one thing is constant in most cases....... a dealership you might have had a great relationship with a year ago, with superb mechanics, might be a totally different outfit the following year for too many reasons to fathom. (again, a new different service writer, a new owner, the loss of a senior mechanic etc)

    Add in to that mix, a model year change, where Deere totally changes out a major component. Training gets done when the dealership can afford to send their people there. So if your brand new thingamajig breaks and he doesnt know how to fix it, that just adds to the time it takes to fix, with sometimes unnecessary parts being changed while they hunt for the proper fix.

    Add in computer controls and you are in a totally different league from 30 years ago where you could fix anything with a hammer, a screw driver and an emery board to file down the points (old timers will know what I mean)

    At the end of the day, while you may think (or may actually have) a bad tractor, that itself isnt reason enough that Id change my mind and swap to a different brand. You may be in the same situation on that machine as well.

    Not all dealers are the same is the message of the day. While yours may be incompetent, Id try to locate a different one and/or go by word of mouth. Im sure your neighbors with similar tractors will know which the best are in your area.

    Good luck though as you try to get your issues resolved.

    PS.....my personal feeling is, Id rather they worked on my vehicle instead of updating me of anything. Talking to you is keeping them from turning wrenches. I only want 2 calls from them....1 if they found an issue thats going to cost me money or 2, when its done. Nothing more, nothing less.
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