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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I run a river cleanup non-profit in Michigan.

We got a 1972 301A JD 3 cylinder GAS Loader donated that hasn't run since 2014. When it last ran, someone put Diesel fuel in it and then, when it choked in a huge cloud of smoke and noise, they drained the diesel and put in gas and used it for a day. Then they put it away and never got it going again.

When I got it, the fuel lines had rotted, and all the fuel had drained out on the ground. That was a good thing. The battery was DOA, the oil smelled "gassy". It was 1 gallon low on antifreeze and the points, condenser, plugs and wiring was not looking good. The alternator was not working (dash light was ON when running). And it's dirty. Very dirty!

I got a new battery, alternator, new oil, filter, gas lines, gas filter, antifreeze (green), condenser, points, plug wires, etc and got it running. Not smoking and idles smoothly. All the hydraulics work.

Questions:
1. How do you check the transmission fluid? What kind of oil do you use for the transmission?
2. How do you check the Hydraulic fluid? What kind of oil do you use for the hydraulic system?
3. There is a small cylindrical tank in front and above of the radiator. It looks like some sort of vacuum system. What is that for? The small tube with the flare fitting has come off and the flare nut is broken and doesn't hold the tube in place any more. I have it held in place with a tubing clamp and some tape. What does that do and how do I fix it?
4. I'm a little embarrassed to ask this one. Which pedal is the clutch? and which is the brake? I'm a city boy and have never driven a tractor. I know where the gas pedal is.
5. I can't find any marks on the harmonic balancer (main lower front engine pulley) or on timing gear cover to time the engine with a timing light. Is there and inspection plate over the flywheel somewhere I am missing? Any suggestions?
6. Can I wash it with a power washer without fear of damage? I know I need to cover and avoid putting water on the alternator.



Automotive tire Motor vehicle Gas Auto part Machine





Wood Gas Machine Automotive tire Auto part


Automotive tire Motor vehicle Gas Auto part Machine


Wood Gas Machine Automotive tire Auto part




That's it for now.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Norm Fred
Traverse City, MI
 

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#1 and 2. Transmission and hydraulic oil is all the same oil there is a dipstick close to your right heel as you sit in the seat. It has round metal cap that screws out.
#3. The round tank up front is actually a hydraulic reservoir. It stores extra oil there when the hydraulic pump needs a fast surge of oil such as when raising the hitch. That reservoir fills automatically from the transmission pump oil flow. The small plastic tube is actually what is called a seal drain line for hydraulic pump. It bleeds off excess pressure from behind the shaft seal and then drips into that round reservoir. You can reach the bottom end of that plastic line by removing a tin plate under the hydraulic pump. You will need a 9/16” wrench to remove two bolts holding tin cover on.
#4. The pedal on left side is the clutch. The pedals on right side are individual wheel brakes. Each rear wheel brake can be controlled individually or together.
#5. Timing marks are on front pulley. On right side of tractor is a pointer cast into the timing cover that aligns with timing marks. Not sure offhand what the marks on pulley are. One for TDC which you want to set timing to at slow idle and another that might say S for spark or 28 for 28 degrees advanced which should be aligned with timing light when engine is running at wide open throttle.
 

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I'll add; When checking the transmission/hydraulic oil, rest the dipstick cap on the threaded tube, do not thread it in. Just rest on tube, pull out and check the level.
I use JD HyGard transmission/hydraulic fluid. Yours is probably old enough it used JD spec 303 hydraulic oil. If not buying JD HyGard, check what you do buy meets JD specs.
Check the shifter boots. Crack/splits are the main source of water in hydraulic system. Keep your power washer spray away from them, PTO shaft seal, and the rear axle seals.
 

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I'll add; When checking the transmission/hydraulic oil, rest the dipstick cap on the threaded tube, do not thread it in. Just rest on tube, pull out and check the level.
I use JD HyGard transmission/hydraulic fluid. Yours is probably old enough it used JD spec 303 hydraulic oil. If not buying JD HyGard, check what you do buy meets JD specs.
Check the shifter boots. Crack/splits are the main source of water in hydraulic system. Keep your power washer spray away from them, PTO shaft seal, and the rear axle seals.
Just a PSA, the Deere JDM 303 spec has been obsolete since the 1970s, and nobody can make actual 303 oil any more as whale oil was one of the friction modifiers (not kidding.) Several companies were making "303" hydraulic oil (often referred to as "yellow bucket oil" as it was generally sold in a 5 gallon yellow bucket) and since there wasn't an active specification to meet, they put all kinds of different oils in there and equipment got damaged by using it. People with damaged equipment complained about it, the state attorney general in my state sued some of the distributors of the yellow bucket oil, and the state Department of Agriculture banned the sale of the yellow bucket oil. (see top of page here: State of Missouri bans 303 hydraulic oil).

I would recommend either Hy-Gard or some third party oil that meets the current JDM J20C specification.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Forgot #6, yes you can power wash it. Might want to also cover distributor and ignition wires so you don’t have any problem starting it afterwards. When washing radiator, direct spray straight through the fins rather than at an angle to keep from bending the cooling fins flat.
Hi jd110

WOW. I need to get your number. 😀

THANKS. That's great and helpful information.

The radiator fins were clogged with dirt but I got them power washed while the alternator is removed and now they are ok.

Also, the fuel pump has an vacuum side "L" fitting that is so close to the starter that it can not be removed without removing the starter or fuel pump. If you make a mistake and try that, it arcs and if there is any fuel leaking you have an instant fire in your fuel line system with very bad results. That's a poor design. Some engineer was not thinking clearly when he drew that design. The only way I can figure to get that out is to cut it with and angle grander, take it out and replace it with one that is straight or some other Rube Goldberg solution.

Last night, I had an idea on how to repair that bleeder hose. The hose and flared end are ok but the nut that holds it in place is damaged so that the hose's flared end just falls out of the nut when I try to attach it. I have the damaged nut so I can look for another one at the hardware or plumbing store.

I'll cut the tube and slip on a new flared retainer nut then reconnect the ends of the cut area with a short slip-on piece of 3/16" rubber tubing with some small clamps. I may not even need clamps. I assume that bleeder hose doesn't have a lot of pressure in it. Right?

More Questions:

1. Does that hydraulic reservoir have to be full? I see a 1.1/4" filler cap on the top of it. Shall I fill the reservoir?

Thanks again for your help.

I know I will have more questions as this continues and it is good to know that I have this forum to ask them.

Norm Fred
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi @jd110

I got the reservoir overflow tube fixed. A 3/16" compressor flare fitting worked perfectly.

I found a little cap on the right side of the drivers seat and on the floor near the back.

Vehicle Automotive tire Wood Motor vehicle Road surface


Amber Automotive tire Wood Road surface Asphalt


Is this the right one to check the Hydraulic oil level? I don't see any others.

Do I also fill the reservoir? I see how to do that. There is a 1-1/4" fill plug on top of it.

Wood Automotive tire Motor vehicle Gas Automotive fuel system


Thanks again for your help.

Norm Fred
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi @jd110

I got the reservoir overflow tube fixed. A 3/16" compressor flare fitting worked perfectly.

I found a little cap on the right side of the drivers seat and on the floor near the back.

View attachment 846656

View attachment 846658

Is this the right one to check the Hydraulic oil level? I don't see any others.

Do I also fill the reservoir? I see how to do that. There is a 1-1/4" fill plug on top of it.

View attachment 846661

Thanks again for your help.

Norm Fred
 

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Front hyd reservoir was designed to be supplied automatically by excess oil that trans pump sends to front pump. If front hyd reservoir oil level is low that indicates a large internal hyd oil leak in hyd system. Cap in your 1st & 2nd photo depicts cap for hyd oil dipstick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks TX Jim,

So as I understand you post:

1. Do not add oil to the reservoir tank?

Question:

Where do I add oil for the Hydro system? Into the dipstick hole?

Thanks.

Norm
 

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When checking the hydraulic/transmission fluid, rest the cap/dipstick on the tube, do not screw back on. But do screw back on when done!

Fill on the rear, behind the seat. Round fluted cap.
 

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One of your pictures shows the belt off the lower pulley. Did you take it off for alternator change?
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Tire Wheel Motor vehicle Vehicle Automotive tire



I finished the JD 301A today (with your help). I installed the alternator and it worked as expected. It actually fit better than the one I took off. That was a surprise. The old one had spacers and bushings and the new one fit without any added pieces or parts. It was a perfect fit. I went back to the NAPA parts store to thank the counter guy for being so careful to get the right one for me. That's a rare thing these days.

I covered the new alternator and distributor with small garbage bags held in place with rubber bands and washed the entire machine with a battery powered power washer which was sort of wimpy but which worked great. It removed 75% of the heavy grime and 100% of the dust and dirt. The machine looks a lot better now.

We did discover that the rear wheels are filled with some sort of liquid (my guess is Calcium Chloride which is very corrosive) and we discovered that they are both corroded around the tire air stems. One is much worse than the other. See the new photos I got after we washed it. The liquid has ruined the tire stem valves and that was a problem for us. But we got some air in all the tires.

My Non Profit really didn't need the machine for our every day operation and we had nowhere to store it, but a Parks and Rec organization that works with us did need it and has a nice barn to store it in, so we gave it to them with the understanding that if we need it, we can use it whenever we want to. They jumped on that offer - FAST!

They were over the moon that I got it running and functioning as they wanted. They kept saying, "No more shovels." It was funny.

I will investigate the rear wheel corrosion problem and get back to you. Thanks for your help.

Oh - I did find the Hydro filler cap and I got some photos of it. I also removed the top of the overflow tank (1.25" threaded plug like the oil pan plug - Tight as hell) and it is definitely an oil filled chamber. There is a spring loaded valve in that plug that allows the excess oil to go back into the transmission space. I found the return line.

I got a video of the machine rolling off and I will post a link to that here:

http://www.brcleansweep.org/2022_0601_JD_301A_small/DSCN0763.MP4

The earlier link will show all the photos now- before and after.

JD_301A

Thanks again.

Norm Fred
 

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Nice of you to go back and thank the counterman. That's a rare thing to do, in the current environment especially. I can assure you that he appreciated it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Nice of you to go back and thank the counterman. That's a rare thing to do, in the current environment especially. I can assure you that he appreciated it.
Yeah. Thanks.

I first thought I would get all the stuff I needed online but there is a NAPA store just a mile from where the JD was and I figured I would give them a chance to help me and it would be faster if not cheaper. It turned out to be both faster AND cheaper and I got what I needed without any surprises. The guy took a real interest in my project probably because I'm 85 and he thought I was going to kill myself. As I was going past the store today, I just had this feeling that I needed to thank him, so I did. He did appreciate it. I could tell. He thanked me for coming by and letting him know how it turned out.

I know I learned a lot about tractors doing this little restoration but what I really learned is to trust my local parts dealer to help me more than some guy in Podunk, TX.

My real profession was Dentistry but I have loved auto mechanics since I was 11 when my older brother and I rebuilt a 1939 Buick straight 8. That thing was a beast and we were way out of our league but we rebuilt the entire engine, pistons, rings, cam, valves and all. We had no idea about torques and cam angles and timing but we learned and it ran great when we got done. My brother was a very popular kid with that big car in high school. I got left at home.
 

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Yeah. Thanks.

I first thought I would get all the stuff I needed online but there is a NAPA store just a mile from where the JD was and I figured I would give them a chance to help me and it would be faster if not cheaper. It turned out to be both faster AND cheaper and I got what I needed without any surprises. The guy took a real interest in my project probably because I'm 85 and he thought I was going to kill myself. As I was going past the store today, I just had this feeling that I needed to thank him, so I did. He did appreciate it. I could tell. He thanked me for coming by and letting him know how it turned out.

I know I learned a lot about tractors doing this little restoration but what I really learned is to trust my local parts dealer to help me more than some guy in Podunk, TX.

My real profession was Dentistry but I have loved auto mechanics since I was 11 when my older brother and I rebuilt a 1939 Buick straight 8. That thing was a beast and we were way out of our league but we rebuilt the entire engine, pistons, rings, cam, valves and all. We had no idea about torques and cam angles and timing but we learned and it ran great when we got done. My brother was a very popular kid with that big car in high school. I got left at home.
Hey Now!

@Tx Jim just might be from Podunk TX! He and Flyweight and the fellows on this thread are real JD tractor experts as in Deere dealer ownership and service expertise. :D

Nice work on the tractor though from a hillbilly that loves anything with wheels. And great story with that Nailhead Buick. (y)
 
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