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I was changing my engine oil and filter and I decided to change the front axle oil as long as I had everything out and had already made a mess on the driveway. (The wind picked up suddenly and blew the draining oil stream beyond the drain pan below it.) It was early for the front transmission change (I'm at just over 100 hours) but others have done it this early and found the oil was dirty. Mine was dirty, too.

Everything went as expected until I went to refill it. I put almost exactly 2 quarts in and thought I would check the dipstick before adding more. The oil was already about an eighth of an inch above the top mark. The manual and the specs say the capacity should be 3 quarts. The manual also says: "IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Allow oil one hour to settle before checking level to ensure accurate dipstick reading. Repeat oil level check after several hours of operation." I checked it an hour later and no change. I let it sit overnight and no change.

Thinking I had a big bubble somewhere, I took the tractor out and drove it over rough ground. I engaged and disengaged the four wheel drive several times. I did clockwise and counter-clockwise donuts on the driveway to create some big sloshing. I'm sure the neighbors are wondering....

Still at the same level. I carefully cleaned the edges of the opening to make sure the oil I was getting on the dipstick was coming from below. I was also very careful to insert the dipstick without touching the edges. Same result. So then, with the cap/dipstick removed, I briefly opened each drain plug in the lower chambers by the wheels. I got a steady stream of oil, no spurting or sign of air. With the bit of oil I removed from each side chamber, the oil on the dipstick was now just over the top mark.

Do I really have a quart-sized bubble in there somewhere? If so, anyone have any ideas on how to chase it out of there?
 
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All the oil wasn't drained out. my guess
 

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When you drained it, did you take out the plugs on each side at the same time? We're both vent plugs also removed and did you take out the dip stick also and let it sit awhile while draining on both sides while fiully vented and open?
 
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I tend to agree the oil wasn't completely drained and yor good to go, but If it were me and to sleep well at night I'd drain it again. It's not an expense process, but one that will remove the question of is it really right. Just my paranoia about my Green machine being happy :soapbox:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Figured it out.

Somehow I missed the mention of the vent plugs in the manual. I was carefully recording the size of sockets I needed for each step and not paying enough attention to the steps.

Thanks to everyone for their help, especially Firemark for mentioning the vent plugs.

So I opened both vent plugs and checked the oil level. It was no longer anywhere on the dipstick. I started adding oil a little at a time. I didn't want to overshoot. As the oil was again finally showing on the dipstick, I noticed oil trickling out of both vent plugs. Not a lot, but just enough to make a mess. (I hate it when it runs under the tires. No way to get it out of there without driving through it.) I started adding the oil very slowly, and this seemed to stop it from coming out of the vent plugs.

So it appears I had drained out all 3 quarts. I really was short a quart in the transmission.

I think the manual is confusing. It says to open only the right vent plug. I would think you would have to do the same on both sides to get the oil everywhere it needs to be, so I opened both of them. But maybe it was leaking from both vent plugs because I should have opened only the right one.
 

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Somehow I missed the mention of the vent plugs in the manual. I was carefully recording the size of sockets I needed for each step and not paying enough attention to the steps.

Thanks to everyone for their help, especially Firemark for mentioning the vent plugs.

So I opened both vent plugs and checked the oil level. It was no longer anywhere on the dipstick. I started adding oil a little at a time. I didn't want to overshoot. As the oil was again finally showing on the dipstick, I noticed oil trickling out of both vent plugs. Not a lot, but just enough to make a mess. (I hate it when it runs under the tires. No way to get it out of there without driving through it.) I started adding the oil very slowly, and this seemed to stop it from coming out of the vent plugs.

So it appears I had drained out all 3 quarts. I really was short a quart in the transmission.

I think the manual is confusing. It says to open only the right vent plug. I would think you would have to do the same on both sides to get the oil everywhere it needs to be, so I opened both of them. But maybe it was leaking from both vent plugs because I should have opened only the right one.
Be carefull with those vent plugs. I cleaned out the hole for the allen wrench. Used the proper size wrench and gently tapped the wrench after placing it in screw and it still rounded. Was able to get a bite with vise grips to get it out and put it back in so I could use rig until a new one came. I ordered a few of them to keep in stock.

Don't know what thread it is, I have sets of both metric and SAE and couldn't match it. Bottom of Allen screw is also flat. I would have grinded one flat if I could have matched it. It's a fine thread probably metric. Don't locatite it back in, just snug it good.
 
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I remember my front axle only taking two quarts to refill after changing it. It was too late to measure what I had drained out when I realized this. I think I just kept an eye on it after that. I do not remember if I ever added any after that or not..
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Be carefull with those vent plugs. I cleaned out the hole for the allen wrench. Used the proper size wrench and gently tapped the wrench after placing it in screw and it still rounded. Was able to get a bite with vise grips to get it out and put it back in so I could use rig until a new one came. I ordered a few of them to keep in stock.

Don't know what thread it is, I have sets of both metric and SAE and couldn't match it. Bottom of Allen screw is also flat. I would have grinded one flat if I could have matched it. It's a fine thread probably metric. Don't locatite it back in, just snug it good.
I used a metric size 4 hex socket to remove them; it fit a little loose but did not turn without the plug. I used a small steel brush to clean all of the dirt out of them first. Dirt was level to the top of the hex opening on both of them and made it impossible to get the driver into the opening. My plugs were put in with teflon pipe tape. This may have been there to make sure the oil stayed in with sloshing, but I suspect it was also there to keep water from getting into the transmission. It was hard to get the teflon tape out without it falling inside the transmission. I didn't have any teflon tape that narrow, so I had to trim some 1/2 inch to use for the reinstall.

Thanks again for your advice.

Keane
 
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Discussion Starter #9
I remember my front axle only taking two quarts to refill after changing it. It was too late to measure what I had drained out when I realized this. I think I just kept an eye on it after that. I do not remember if I ever added any after that or not..
In the end, I did use almost 3 quarts total to fill mine. Were your vent plugs open when you refilled? Opening those cleared my bubbles to allow me to get the final quart #3 into the fill opening.
 
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