Hydraulic Fluid is Low
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    Hydraulic Fluid is Low

    Hi all, back for some more advice 🙂

    I was working outside (2018 1025r) and I noticed my bucket was curling when I was trying to extend. Then I looked and the loader plug was half in and everything was soaked in hydraulic fluid. Plugged the hydraulic line back in and I drove back to the garage... on the way I realized the machine didn’t have enough power to move in high gear (guessing lack of hydraulic fluid in transmission). Once in garage, I pulled the dipstick and sure enough, no hydraulic fluid on it.

    Just to check, does this power outage sound like low hydraulic fluid? Also, when refilling, will I just have to keep going back and forth to the dipstick? I have no idea how much leaked out.

    Thanks guys!
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    etcallhome's Avatar
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    First thing,, let the machine cool off before adding very much fluid.

    If you havn't done so, lower the rear 3pt lift arms and lower the fel to the ground .

    After machine has cool now check your fluid , may still see no fluid on the dipstick.

    For me I would only add a qt or less at a time , leave it set a few minutes before checking.



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    I can't imagine you lost enough fluid with a loose connection to make the machine not want to move in high gear?? Maybe though
    2012 1023E, 60d MMM, H120 Loader

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    really low fluid usually results in a change in the sound of the hydraulic pump IE a high pitched whine...

    strange as it sounds i agree with both posts above...
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    Quote Originally Posted by cottrillj View Post
    I can't imagine you lost enough fluid with a loose connection to make the machine not want to move in high gear?? Maybe though
    You have to remember the hydraulic fluid flows with a lot of PSI so it doesn't take much of a leak to lose a lot in a short amount of time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cottrillj View Post
    I can't imagine you lost enough fluid with a loose connection to make the machine not want to move in high gear?? Maybe though
    That’s definitely crossed my mind. I truly don’t know how long it was leaking. I guess as another said, it is flowing at fairly high pressure.

    I was going up a slight uphill loaded to the gills with ballast, so that probably was part of it not wanting to move in high gear. Definitely a power loss though.

    Another factor, I got the loader put on a couple months ago and they may have not topped off the hydraulic fluids when they did so. I’m sure the loader holds at least a decent amount of fluid in it so I could have been relatively low on hydro fluid to start. I should have checked the dipstick when I got the tractor back - amateur mistake!
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    Quote Originally Posted by GasKing View Post
    Thatís definitely crossed my mind. I truly donít know how long it was leaking. I guess as another said, it is flowing at fairly high pressure.

    I was going up a slight uphill loaded to the gills with ballast, so that probably was part of it not wanting to move in high gear. Definitely a power loss though.

    Another factor, I got the loader put on a couple months ago and they may have not topped off the hydraulic fluids when they did so. Iím sure the loader holds at least a decent amount of fluid in it so I could have been relatively low on hydro fluid to start. I should have checked the dipstick when I got the tractor back - amateur mistake!
    The fact that you were going up hill loaded is why it didn't want to propel in high range. High range on these tractors is for level terrain with the tractor unloaded. Any other time, low range.

    Concerning low hydraulic fluid. If you fluid was low enough that would cause a propel problem in high range, the same problem would exist in low range. The hydraulic drive pump and motor does the same thing in high range as it does in low range. The range shift is accomplished by a gear change in the differential which has nothing to do with the hydraulic propel.
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    I agree with Ray. I'd think you'd have a hard time not realizing it was leaking if it was spraying out of the connection fast enough to drain several quarts of hydraulic fluid (the machine holds 13-14 qts), which is what would have to happen for the machine to not move. Plus, it sounds like you noticed the loose connection pretty quickly because it was affecting the loader's ability to operate correctly? My guess is your connection was only slightly loose, the leak was minor, and you were already a little low. It doesn't take a huge loss for the stick to read nothing. I'd be curious to know how much fluid you put back in it, though.
    Last edited by cottrillj; 04-26-2019 at 09:15 AM.
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    To make the dipstick easier to read, consider adding some hydraulic fluid dye to it. It turns it red instead of clear.

    Here's the part number.... John Deere Oil MT3668 - Green Farm Parts

    The bottle says that it can treat something like 5 gallons. Pay no attention to that - just several drops will make a huge difference in being able to see the fluid.
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    Not to mention there are plenty of threads or at least questions in threads where the issue of climbing slopes / grades / hills whatever one wants to call them, is an issue in High gear on the 2 speed trans axle on the SCUTS.......So your problem climbing the hill was coincidental to the fluid loss, not a consequence of it.

    When adding fluid, always add no more than a quart at a time and wait for the fluid to settle and then check again via the dipstick. The fluid level is off the dip stick for a long time and suddenly, it will be full.........

    I use a two quart clear plastic jug to fill my hydro systems because its easier for me to measure the amount of fluid I am adding, plus I always buy the fluid in 5 gallon buckets and pour into the plastic container with the spout and also the measurement lines on it. I got the plastic pitcher at the dollar store and I use it only for adding either motor oil or hydro oil. When done, I wipe it out with paper towels and then seal the pitcher in a zip lock bag and keep it in the cabinet so its clean for use.

    We all learn though experiences and its not a bad thing. From now on, you will likely check the hydro fluid level more often, which is a good thing.

    In the meantime, repair why the leak occurred in the first place and keep on tractor ing

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