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I'm really struggling with the annual oil change on my 2720 this time. I use JD 0W-40 Plus-50 II synthetic oil and I have only put 25 hrs on the tractor since the last oil change one year ago. When cold the oil on the dipstick is so clear that it's hard to see and if I run the tractor for a bit and then immediately pull the dipstick it is still totally clear with no foaming or other discoloration. I know the manual says annually but it sure seems like a waste of a gallon of synthetic oil.
 

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Hiya,

I understand seeing clear oil on the dipstick makes you hesitant to change it out, however, that "clean" oil may be doing real harm, all depends how the tractor accumulates those few hours.

There are 2 basic scenarios, one good, one bad for the oil

The first, the tractor is seldom used, however, when it is, it's really used, full operating temps for at least 2 hours straight, rated RPM, heavy loads, utilizing the tractor fully. If this is the case, the oil is most likely fine, I would leave it in for longer.

The second, the tractor is used fairly regularly but for very short periods under light loads where the drive line does not come up to full operating temps then shut off. This is classified as severe service as the combustion byproducts and moisture collect in the oil and deplete additives. When an engine is operated at full temps, the byproducts and moisture boil off and the oil life is extended.

So, how do you use your tractor?
 

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I would get an oil sample kit and have it scanned to check it. That way you know. And it will establish a baseline.

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I 2nd the oil sample kit. :bigthumb: let us know what it the kit cost's wise is-ok. kinda interested in it my self.
 
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I would not change it, I seriously doubt that you could have contaminated it enough to require a change in 25 hours. But of course if it bothers you might be worth doing it for the peace of mind.

All of my stuff sits a lot any more, including vehicles, but I go strictly by hours or miles for servicing, unless something really out of the ordinary happens to one. Otherwise I would be changing oil in something all the time.

Just my $.02, YMMV.
 

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Hiya,

I'm all for oil analysis however, in this case there simply isn't enough oil in the sump to make it a cost effective measure.

In my big Diesel's that have 4 and 5 gallon sumps, $30 bucks to sample the oil rather than changing it out on a time schedule makes sense as the oil is $50 a gallon plus 2 or 3 very large filters, I'll spend $30 in hopes to save a $300 oil change any day.

The 2720 here takes about 3.5 quarts of oil with a filter change, so the cost is almost the same, $30 vs $40 for the oil change, if the test comes back good, you save $10 bucks, if not, the oil change costs you $70.

My luck would be that the test comes back bad and each change would be $70. ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The second, the tractor is used fairly regularly but for very short periods under light loads where the drive line does not come up to full operating temps then shut off. This is classified as severe service as the combustion byproducts and moisture collect in the oil and deplete additives. When an engine is operated at full temps, the byproducts and moisture boil off and the oil life is extended.
Since I don't mow with the tractor it only sees occasional use during the summer usually for relatively short periods of time grading the driveway, hauling a load of brush or lifting something heavy.

That is why I mentioned the condition of the oil on the dipstick after operating the tractor. My understanding is that combustion byproducts and moisture will usually manifest itself as milky or foamy oil on the dipstick if checked immediately after shutting off the engine. In fact, I see this exact situation on one of our riding mowers that only sees short periods of use.
 

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I have this same issue not only with my tractor but also both vehicles.

Tractor gets around 40 hours a year - I change it annually per the manual.

My pickup gets around 5000 miles a year - I change it every 6 months per the manual (every 7.5k miles or 6 months).

Mrs C's turbo diesel VW gets around 500 (five hundred) miles a year. The manual calls for 10k changes. I change it every 2 years.

An oil analysis costs more than the oil and filter so I just change it.
 

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Mrs C's turbo diesel VW gets around 500 (five hundred) miles a year. The manual calls for 10k changes. I change it every 2 years.
I had two TDI's. 500 miles a year? Isn't that about a tank of fuel?:laugh:
 

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Usage is probably important, as mentioned. If you are skidding heavy trees up a hill for 25hrs vs. simply mowing for 25 hrs. Mine is on a 2 yr cycle. I rarely run it for a short duration then park it. When it comes out it's going to work.
 

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Usually right around 10 gallons (16 gal tank). It's just about time for her annual fill up.
Love my TDIs...... I have two of them, both 2004 models....1 sedan, 1 wagon... 1.9PD BEW engines....I wish they would last forever.....
 

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I've had a few over the years. An '04 BEW, a few '98 and '99 AHU's that I brought back to life and sold. And my ultimate favorite was my '03 with a stage 3 Rocket Chip plus other mods -

IMG_5273.JPG

And Mrs. C's Beetle Bug -

DSC01742.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Usage is probably important, as mentioned. If you are skidding heavy trees up a hill for 25hrs vs. simply mowing for 25 hrs. Mine is on a 2 yr cycle. I rarely run it for a short duration then park it. When it comes out it's going to work.
It comes out whenever I need it to perform a task. Sometimes it is a 5-min job other times it is a 20-min job. I have no real way to "put it to work". The last heavy summer job it had was 2 years ago when I used it to spread 25 tons of crushed stone. It obviously sees light duty most of the time during the summer as I've had it for over 4 years and it only has 125 hrs on it. It doesn't do any mowing as I have a dedicated riding mower.

The only time it gets a decent workout is during the winter, snow plowing and snow blowing - which is the primary reason I got it in the first place.

I normally change the oil in September. Of the 25 hrs put on it since the last oil change, probably 20 of those hours were during last winter and the other 5 hours were over this summer.
 

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I've had a few over the years. An '04 BEW, a few '98 and '99 AHU's that I brought back to life and sold. And my ultimate favorite was my '03 with a stage 3 Rocket Chip plus other mods -

View attachment 436594

And Mrs. C's Beetle Bug -

View attachment 436602
Lots of people love those 2003 TDIs.... Some refer to them as the "holy grail" of the TDI cars.....
 

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Lots of people love those 2003 TDIs.... Some refer to them as the "holy grail" of the TDI cars.....
As do I. When I found that one for sale I was the first one to call. By the time I got there 2.5 hours later the seller said he had no less than a dozen calls - on a Sunday morning. The last of the ALH.
 

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As do I. When I found that one for sale I was the first one to call. By the time I got there 2.5 hours later the seller said he had no less than a dozen calls - on a Sunday morning. The last of the ALH.
ALH have 90HP and BEW have 100HP. However the extra power comes at the expense of a marginal cam shaft design to accommodate the high pressure injectors driven off the cam shaft...... I had to replace my cam and lifters at 120K miles due to wear-out. I did it myself without too much hassle... Mine are both 5 speed manuals..... Can't stand the automatics.....
 

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My last service was after a year and half. I'm moving toward a longer period between service as long as the hours are low. I'm no mechanic but I am sure that the oil doesn't break down over an extra six months assuming the hours are low. If I'm wrong then I'm using the wrong oil; which is all JD product.

That said I do grease everything quite often, every couple of tanks of fuel or so.

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Honestly I don't get it.
For the cost of 4 qts and a filter-$40:dunno:

Peace of mind is priceless

I would just change it annually and not worry about it:good2:

my .02
 
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