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I had a 317 but had to sell ( bad shoulder ) . I got 318 but it has a bad hydro leak on the bottom where the two half's of the rear transaxle are put together. How hard is it to split the rear end and put in a new gasket ? Or is it better to get a used one and put that in .
 

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What year is the 318? I had an 83 model that developed the same problem and when I had it repaired the dealer said I needed to install an updated front transaxle mounting bracket that would prevent the problem from happening again. I repaired the leak in 1987, installed the new mounting bracket and it hasn't leaked since. I had the dealer service dept replace the gasket.
 

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I had a 317 but had to sell ( bad shoulder ) . I got 318 but it has a bad hydro leak on the bottom where the two half's of the rear transaxle are put together. How hard is it to split the rear end and put in a new gasket ? Or is it better to get a used one and put that in .
Here is the #MOO318X316194 I think year 1985
 

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Here is a good reference thread about the cross member with modifications to put less stress on the differential housing. I had an early 318 that was used with lots of ground engaging attachments on uneven ground before i got it (just mowing does not stress this much...) and the case had a hairline crack -- not just a failed gasket. Be sure to inspect your carefully...try cleaning and drying it and then dusting with flour to see where the source of the fluid really is...

JD 318 Differential Bracket

Chuck
 

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I had a 317 but had to sell ( bad shoulder ) . I got 318 but it has a bad hydro leak on the bottom where the two half's of the rear transaxle are put together. How hard is it to split the rear end and put in a new gasket ? Or is it better to get a used one and put that in .
I could be wrong, but I think your transaxle casing is basically the same one used in all, or most, 300 and 400 series tractors. I believe the main difference is whether it is a 1 or 2 speed transaxle. Last year in my sons 1986 GT430, which was mine for 29 years, I had to switch all the gearing from the 430's casing to another. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the hardest, I would say it was an 8. In your case, I think you could replace the gasket without completely removing the transaxle. The hardest part, would doing most of the work sitting or lying down on a creeper. As far as replacing the whole transaxle, the job is much more involved than just replacing a gasket.
 

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If it’s cracked you need a replacement. If your near Maine I might be able to help. I have a couple 300 series housing still around. I don’t know if they are 317 or 318, I used to have both but yard cleanup reduced supplies.

I have had 2 cracked housings and 2 that only needed the pump reset. Remove, clean the sealing surfaces, install. Somehow the bolts loosened up.
 

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Here is a good reference thread about the cross member with modifications to put less stress on the differential housing. I had an early 318 that was used with lots of ground engaging attachments on uneven ground before i got it (just mowing does not stress this much...) and the case had a hairline crack -- not just a failed gasket. Be sure to inspect your carefully...try cleaning and drying it and then dusting with flour to see where the source of the fluid really is...

JD 318 Differential Bracket

Chuck
If it’s cracked you need a replacement. If your near Maine I might be able to help. I have a couple 300 series housing still around. I don’t know if they are 317 or 318, I used to have both but yard cleanup reduced supplies.

I have had 2 cracked housings and 2 that only needed the pump reset. Remove, clean the sealing surfaces, install. Somehow the bolts loosened up.
Both of you guys could be correct on this. I replaced the casing because of cracks in the original casing. Mine cracked for a totally different reason, but that doesn't matter. As I stated in my previous post, the difficulty factor greatly increases if you have to replace the casing. Moderate levels of skill and you should be able to do it. Take a lot of pictures during tear down!
 
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