What size allen wrenches are needed to service the front end. The large one on each side looks unusually large imo.Yesterday I did the 50 hour transaxle service. Not as bad as I thought. “On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the toughest, it was a solid 2”.
Before I started I checked the fluid level (I got the tractor at 42 hours) and it didn’t show up on the dipstick either fully in or just sitting on the ring as per the JD manual. No leaks and it ran fine and I could have sworn I checked it when I got the machine.
Loosened the front wheel lug bolts as well as the right rear and got the front up on jack stands. Invariably the center drain was right on the deck hanger arm so I used a little bit of aluminum foil to make a “funnel” to channel the fluid into the center drain pan. Oh, I’m a bohunk so removing the front deck hanger didn’t occur to me until after the service was done. Lifted the rear from the hitch, pulled the wheel and then used a second floor jack to lift from the outside so I could get the rear floor jack out of the way and then the drain pan could slide under the drain plug and the oil filter.
All vent and filler plugs came out easy except for the hex plug for the front axle that was conveniently buried under the exhaust. Even with a universal it was tricky. Of course when I was draining the left front I unscrewed the vent plug a little too far before I had the drain pan lifted up close to the drain hole . Yep, the fluid went from a trickle and shot a nice stream of fluid over top of the pan and on to the floor at the jack stand. What’s a project without at least one spill! The oil filter was on super tight but I was pretty shocked that it had a ton of dirt and grass packed in above and behind it. I blow the machine off pretty good after every use and I didn’t see the clump of grass and debris on top of the filter boss until I started twisting the filter. Oh well, I brushed as much off as I could once I saw it. Used some brake cleaner to make sure no crap was in the filter boss. Filled up the front until it started to fill the right front vent, capped that one and filled until the left one came up. Noticed that the threads inside the front axle fill plug had some crap in there so I cleaned that out also. Strange since the axle was perfectly clean outside.
Whole job took a leisurely hour or so and took the exact 3 gallons and ½ of a quart that the manual says. Gotta hand it to JD the manual is one of the best written I’ve seen. It has logically grouped sections that are easy to follow and has very little clutter. Almost as if it was written by a mechanic not a lawyer.
Only thing I noticed is that the factory oil I drained out was a greenish fluid that smelled like brake fluid. The replacement Hy-Gard Low Vis was bluish and smelled like ATF. Weird.