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Can't see the picture very well on my phone but the spindle seal has been semi-common on the 1 series front axles.
 

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Is the tractor still in warranty? I see nubs on the tire, which may mean they're still fairly new?

To find the leak, I'd empty and wipe the pan clean, take the tractor outside and clean the whole area with a rag, Dawn dish soap and water. That will get rid of any oil. Drive the tractor around a bit and park it after you work it some. Try to keep that area clean though. Put the pan back and let it sit overnight. See if you see it leaking from the spindle seal area, as marked in this photo.

Snout Sculpture Auto part Metal Bumper
 
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1025r with Mauser cab.
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How many hours are on the machine? Are you aware about the issue with venting inside of the front axles, where it helps to have the additional vent kit added to eliminate the pressure build up which can and does happen on these machines?

If you are going to make the repair necessary to replace those seals, I certainly would vent the axle with a kit so it doesn't put unnecessary pressure on these seals to cause any future issues. Also make sure the axle is properly filled with fluid, which requires you to open the allen head axle vent screws to permit the fluid to fill all of the axle chambers correctly. You can fill the axle without opening these vents, but it takes much more time to reach the correct fluid level. Also make sure to close the vent allen screws once the fluid level is correct as you don't want water, dirt, etc to get ,inside the front axle assembly.

The after market vent kit includes hoses which attach to the threaded dip stick so the air venting is well above the axle and can't allow moisture or dirt into the axle assembly.

It's always a good practice to carefully fill the axle until it shows full on the dip stick, let the machine sit unused for at least an hour and then check the axle fluid level again. If the axle fluid level shows full, use the machine and then after its been parked for an over night period, check the fluid again. If it remains at the full level, you are all set. If not, keep adding fluid to get the level correct.

John Deere sells a Hydro Fluid red dye under part number MT3668, which is a very small jar partially filled with red dye concentrate. This small amount of dye will treat 5 gallons of hydro fluid, turning it bright red and it makes seeing the fluid on the dipsticks much easier and also detecting any leaks easier. I strongly suggest this be used with ALL of the hydro fluid in the machine, both in the main rear assembly as well as the front axle.

Add the dye directly to either the gallon jugs or the 5 gallon can of hydro fluid and you will find it easier to maintain fluid levels visually, read fluid on dipstick levels accurately and know if the drips on the ground you might see are either water or once the red dye is used, a leak of the hydro fluid. The small jar of dye costs about $10 to $12 and should be added to new fluid when the machine is serviced, to make reading the fluids easier. Make sure to rinse the jar with some hydro fluid when adding it to the fluid to get all of the dye out of the jar. The concentrate is very strong and a little dye goes a long way in making the hydro fluid more visible and easier to use.

Also, I always use a plastic measuring container whenever I service the machine to measure the fluids added to each item, whether its the engine motor oil, the front axle or the tractor's main hydro assembly filled at the back of the tractor. By measuring the fluid and keeping track of the amount you are adding, you can be assured to match the correct volume in the machine, because the fluid settles and its difficult to get the correct level if you aren't measuring the fluid.

When filling the main hydro fluid reservoir in the rear of the machine, you can add quart after quart and if you aren't measuring and keeping track of the fluid, suddenly the fluid finally reads on the dipstick, and you are likely to over fill the fluid level. Use the plastic measuring container and keep count of all fluids as adding them and the entire process is much, much easier...........

The front axle on the 1 series is a separate reservoir of hydro fluid and not connected to the other fluid sources in the machine. This is the same on the 1023e, 1026r and 1025r and is a function of the MFWD system. Therefore the fluid always has to be serviced separately from the other fluids and should be filled carefully. Please note that on some Garden tractors, such as the X700 series machines which are all wheel drive, the front axle fluid is supplied by the tractor's main fluid reservior and just the one fluid source needs to be serviced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
How many hours are on the machine? Are you aware about the issue with venting inside of the front axles, where it helps to have the additional vent kit added to eliminate the pressure build up which can and does happen on these machines?

If you are going to make the repair necessary to replace those seals, I certainly would vent the axle with a kit so it doesn't put unnecessary pressure on these seals to cause any future issues. Also make sure the axle is properly filled with fluid, which requires you to open the allen head axle vent screws to permit the fluid to fill all of the axle chambers correctly. You can fill the axle without opening these vents, but it takes much more time to reach the correct fluid level. Also make sure to close the vent allen screws once the fluid level is correct as you don't want water, dirt, etc to get ,inside the front axle assembly.

The after market vent kit includes hoses which attach to the threaded dip stick so the air venting is well above the axle and can't allow moisture or dirt into the axle assembly.

It's always a good practice to carefully fill the axle until it shows full on the dip stick, let the machine sit unused for at least an hour and then check the axle fluid level again. If the axle fluid level shows full, use the machine and then after its been parked for an over night period, check the fluid again. If it remains at the full level, you are all set. If not, keep adding fluid to get the level correct.

John Deere sells a Hydro Fluid red dye under part number MT3668, which is a very small jar partially filled with red dye concentrate. This small amount of dye will treat 5 gallons of hydro fluid, turning it bright red and it makes seeing the fluid on the dipsticks much easier and also detecting any leaks easier. I strongly suggest this be used with ALL of the hydro fluid in the machine, both in the main rear assembly as well as the front axle.

Add the dye directly to either the gallon jugs or the 5 gallon can of hydro fluid and you will find it easier to maintain fluid levels visually, read fluid on dipstick levels accurately and know if the drips on the ground you might see are either water or once the red dye is used, a leak of the hydro fluid. The small jar of dye costs about $10 to $12 and should be added to new fluid when the machine is serviced, to make reading the fluids easier. Make sure to rinse the jar with some hydro fluid when adding it to the fluid to get all of the dye out of the jar. The concentrate is very strong and a little dye goes a long way in making the hydro fluid more visible and easier to use.

Also, I always use a plastic measuring container whenever I service the machine to measure the fluids added to each item, whether its the engine motor oil, the front axle or the tractor's main hydro assembly filled at the back of the tractor. By measuring the fluid and keeping track of the amount you are adding, you can be assured to match the correct volume in the machine, because the fluid settles and its difficult to get the correct level if you aren't measuring the fluid.

When filling the main hydro fluid reservoir in the rear of the machine, you can add quart after quart and if you aren't measuring and keeping track of the fluid, suddenly the fluid finally reads on the dipstick, and you are likely to over fill the fluid level. Use the plastic measuring container and keep count of all fluids as adding them and the entire process is much, much easier...........

The front axle on the 1 series is a separate reservoir of hydro fluid and not connected to the other fluid sources in the machine. This is the same on the 1023e, 1026r and 1025r and is a function of the MFWD system. Therefore the fluid always has to be serviced separately from the other fluids and should be filled carefully. Please note that on some Garden tractors, such as the X700 series machines which are all wheel drive, the front axle fluid is supplied by the tractor's main fluid reservior and just the one fluid source needs to bserviced.
Thanks for these details. It is a probably five years old with 350 hours. I had not heard of the vent kit, but will look into it further. I was unaware of the need to remove the screw while filling, but will do so and replace afterwards. Will the deer service manual explain how to do this repair (good to know before I shell out $100 or so for one). Based on kylew's response I believe the spindle seal may be the problem. Besides the service manual how might I find out how to do the repair? Thanks for your help!
 
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