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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Prior to starting up to clear the last snow I checked the hydraulics sight glass and the level was half-way up the sight glass. I blowed and plowed snow for about 2 hours and parked the tractor in my unheated garage. It's been over a week and today while I was in the garage for something else I checked the sight glass and the level was not visible. I checked the hydraulics dipstick and the level is at the bottom of the cross hatched section, right about where you should be adding some.

I checked all around the tractor and I don't see any oil leaks on the floor (I have a big rubber mat the floor that will show the slightest drop of liquid). I only have 37 hrs on the tractor so I still have the red dye in my fluid - making leaks easy to see, especially in the snow. The only thing I found was a little bit of wetness if I wipe my finger right below the suction screen cover. I checked the two bolts and they are mega-tight (i.e. scary tight - thanks JD). If it is leaking there it does not appear to be enough to create any drops on the floor.

All of my hydraulics are always in the same position when I park the tractor... the rear blade and front blower are lowered to the ground. The only thing I cannot vouch for is the snow blower chute position although I doubt that the little hydraulic cylinder that controls that would use enough fluid when fully extended to cauase the sight glass to go from half to not visible.

Does the hydraulic fluid level change much with temperature? We've been in the single digits lately but we are around 15 degrees when it showed half full.
 

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Have you checked the oil level in the engine? The hydraulic pump is mounted on the engine left side. If the pump seal leaks, it can go into the engine.


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the suggestion. I did check it and the engine oil level has not changed at all since the last oil change in September (still running Break-in oil).
 
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Prior to starting up to clear the last snow I checked the hydraulics sight glass and the level was half-way up the sight glass. I blowed and plowed snow for about 2 hours and parked the tractor in my unheated garage. It's been over a week and today while I was in the garage for something else I checked the sight glass and the level was not visible. I checked the hydraulics dipstick and the level is at the bottom of the cross hatched section, right about where you should be adding some.

I checked all around the tractor and I don't see any oil leaks on the floor (I have a big rubber mat the floor that will show the slightest drop of liquid). I only have 37 hrs on the tractor so I still have the red dye in my fluid - making leaks easy to see, especially in the snow. The only thing I found was a little bit of wetness if I wipe my finger right below the suction screen cover. I checked the two bolts and they are mega-tight (i.e. scary tight - thanks JD). If it is leaking there it does not appear to be enough to create any drops on the floor.

All of my hydraulics are always in the same position when I park the tractor... the rear blade and front blower are lowered to the ground. The only thing I cannot vouch for is the snow blower chute position although I doubt that the little hydraulic cylinder that controls that would use enough fluid when fully extended to cauase the sight glass to go from half to not visible.

Does the hydraulic fluid level change much with temperature? We've been in the single digits lately but we are around 15 degrees when it showed half full.
Doing some rough calcs for fun....I think hydro fluid expands at a rate of .00043 cubic inches per cubic inch of volume per degree F.
So your 4.6 gallons of fluid would change volume at a rate of .457 cubic inch per deg F. Which would be around 1/3 of a quart for a 40 deg change.
 
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I wouldn't think you would see that volume change.

I can say the level is really sensitive to being in the sight glass. It doesn't take much to overfill the trans.


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The temps are supposed to hit 40F this weekend so I will have an opportunity to investigate the situation further. Worst case is I will add a wee bit of oil.
 
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It seems I have always needed to add oil a couple times during the year since 1988. And just about always when I change/add an implement that uses the hydraulics. I ALWAYS keep at least 2 full gallons of hydraulic oil on hand.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It seems I have always needed to add oil a couple times during the year since 1988. And just about always when I change/add an implement that uses the hydraulics. I ALWAYS keep at least 2 full gallons of hydraulic oil on hand.
I agree and also keep some on hand. I keep my front blower and rear blade attached all winter so have not added or removed any implements since last Novemer.
 
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I agree and also keep some on hand. I keep my front blower and rear blade attached all winter so have not added or removed any implements since last Novemer.
You probably have some small leaks and of course you may not see them unless pressure applied.
I always just add and if it isn't too much I just go on my way.
Oil on hand is good, If you blow a hose you could go through a lot before you realize what is happening. Been there.........twice.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I wanted to provide an update on this thread. Once my snow blower cylinder and hydraulic top link were retracted the fluid was about 1/4 up on the sight glass. I swear it was at the 1/2 mark a few weeks earlier. Just to be sure I went thru the agonizing process of checking the level via the dipstick. The oil level was right at the bottom of the crosshatch region.

So I very carefully added about 1 pint. I waited a bit and the sight glass now shows full to the top which would seem to indicate that I added a wee bit too much. So again, I checked the dipstick and it shows right at the full mark.

Which to believe? Sight glass? Dipstick? I'm going with the dipstick.

I will continue to carefully watch for any leaks.

(p.s. I'm still looking for the guy that designed the dipstick location) :nunu:
 
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Don't sweat it too much. Like I said before, the oil level in the sight glass is super sensitive. You're all set. :good2:


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I add oil when I cannot see it in the sight glass or just barely see it in the sight glass (No dipstick on the 2320).
Visible in the sight glass, you should be fine.
 
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My 2520's site glass was not very reliable. Even in the summer the site glass would sometimes be totally covered with fluid and at other times have nothing on the glass at all ! My dealer told me it is normal but I had them do the 50 hr service because I could see that it would be really easy to over or under fill.

After about 10 hrs my 2520 had to go in because of a blown overfill seal! So even my dealer didn't know how much fluid to put in it. They blamed it on the fact that they had to fill the loader hydraulics and must have added to much. It doesn't sound like it's an exact science. If you ever change the fluid you could measure exactly what you put in and then you could be sure. Sorry I don't have many answers for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks Millhouse78. Yes, the sight glass can be somewhat frustrating. In the end I added about 1 pint of fluid and checked again with the dipstick. I am now right at the full mark on the dipstick and the sight glass shows completely full (no bubble). If I let the tractor sit with the 3PH raised I will eventually see a small bubble at the top of the sight glass. So obviously there is a lot of variance between the dipstick and the sight glass. For me, when in doubt I am going to let the dipstick be my ultimate guide.

I do seem to have a small leak. There seems to be a little wetness right below the suction screen end cap. It's weird, sometimes I will use the tractor and a few days later there is enough wetness there to form a single droplet on the drawbar and other times I will run the tractor hard and find the area completely dry.

I thought maybe the O-ring was leaking but I can't tell. I have my 50 hr service coming up in 1.5 hours so I am going to give it a better look when I replace the O-ring. Hopefully it is nothing major like a crack somewhere. It's odd that one time there is a drop of fluid on the floor and another time there isn't.

Also hoping for a day that's above 20 degrees as my storage/shop facility is unheated.

UGH. :)
 
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If you guys are finding it hard to check the level you may want to pick up some JD hydraulic fluid dye. It makes it easer to see the level in the sight glass. Sorry not sure on the part number.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If you guys are finding it hard to check the level you may want to pick up some JD hydraulic fluid dye. It makes it easer to see the level in the sight glass. Sorry not sure on the part number.
The part number for the red dye is MT3668. One bottle treats up to 5-gal. I have a bottle on hand for when I change my transmission oil. The dye has been very valuable, especially during the winter in the snow. I had a connector that was leaking and the red dye was very easy to notice in the snow. The native color of the fluid would have been very difficult to see in the snow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Last weekend I removed my loader and installed the front 54" blower and rear blade (hydraulic angle).

My sight glass went from this:

Auto part Engine Automotive design Vehicle Automotive engine part


To this:

Auto part Engine Automotive engine part


Today I added about 1 cup of fluid. Knowing the 2720, I'll wait a few days to see if it shows up. :)
 
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This same thing on mine drives me batty. I usually lower my 3pt arms when I park and it always seems the sight glass is 3/4. Just lifting the arms is enough to drop the fluid level enough that it disappears from the glass. At this point I gave up and quit playing with. Whatever! :laugh: The machine runs.
 
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I gave up on the site glass years ago and just use the dipstick now. Too many times like this where I would add some fluid then have to suck some back out because of the way the site glass reading is goofy.
 
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