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Ok... I was hesitant to post this but eventually figured what the heck someone may have ran into the same thing. Bear with me.... :)

I've had my X500 for 4 years. I changed the transaxle fluid at 50 hrs. and never had to add a drop since. When cold the level always stays right at the full mark on the reservoir tank.

So two weeks ago I hit 200 hrs and it's time to change the transaxle fluid again. To minimize confusion on how much to add back in I measured the oil that I drained out and then added that exact amount of Lo-Vis Hy-Gard back in. As expected it brought the level right back to the full mark. I ran the tractor, checked for leaks, good to go.

I've put about 4 hours on the tractor since the oil change including mowing the grass twice. Oil level has stayed right on the full mark.

Yesterday while in the garage I happened to look at the reservoir tank and the oil level was down to half way between full and add. I looked on the floor - no leaks. I crawled underneath and felt around all the bolts and drain plugs - no leaks. So I figured maybe it was due to the extreme heat in the garage so I waited until early this morning and checked it again. This time the reservoir tank was empty!! Huh? Again, no oil drops on the floor and no leaks to be found anywhere around the transaxle housing. Where did the fluid go? And why now after 4 years of the fluid level not changing?

So I went ahead and added some fluid to bring the level back to the full mark. I didn't measure it but I doubt it took more than 3-4 ounces of fluid to take the tank from empty to full, which really surprised me.

So I am still very confused and at this point will just continue to monitor the fluid level. I know common sense seems to say that there must be a leak but with no fluid on the floor and no fluid to be found anywhere on the transaxle or reservoir tank I don't see how.

Thoughts?
 

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One tire really low and it's not sitting level?
 

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The X5xx has a small tank. As you found out it only took a few ounces to go from m/t to full. If there are no visible leaks I would call it a day and not over think it. Temp variations, possible air pockets,ect, will change the level. If it was 3/4 to a full qt off..we have an issue. 3 to 4ozs..it will be ok. Its full now so rock with it.

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Discussion Starter #4
One tire really low and it's not sitting level?
It's in the garage and perfectly level. Here is the tank. You can see the oil level below the ADD mark. It WAS at the full mark two days ago.

IMG_1954.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The X5xx has a small tank. As you found out it only took a few ounces to go from m/t to full. If there are no visible leaks I would call it a day and not over think it. Temp variations, possible air pockets,ect, will change the level. If it was 3/4 to a full qt off..we have an issue. 3 to 4ozs..it will be ok. Its full now so rock with it.
Agree. I have a tendency to over think things like this. It's just that in the past 200 hrs of operation, including a previous fluid change, I've not experienced anything even remotely similar. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm going with air in the system that finally came free.
That certainly makes the most sense. The whole reason for measuring the amount of oil I drained out was to avoid that.
 

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Agree. I have a tendency to over think things like this. It's just that in the past 200 hrs of operation, including a previous fluid change, I've not experienced anything even remotely similar. :)
They even come low right out of the crate sometimes. They add by volume when new. Bouncing around and operationing may drop the level. One "glug..glug" from a qt and its full. Warm fuzzy installed and good to go. Happy mowing!

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The transmission probably had an air pocket that purged from using it. So more fluid moved down into the transmission. Seeing it was only a few ounces. Never had luck trying to measure the old fluid so I would know how much too put back. Gave up on that years ago. I just drain and fill. Plus you never get the exact same amount out when you drain a crankcase. Way to many variables. Like fluid temperature, how long it was run (amount of fluid up stairs), level of case to the ground, how long you let it drain etc. Plus what sticks to the inside of the drain pan, funnel & measuring vessel.

The tank design on my X540 baffles me. It's huge but the full line is not even 1/2 way up the tank. Don't know what the engineers were thinking. After using it all day in this Africa heat the level never went above 1/2. Maybe if you were plowing on the surface of the sun the fluid would expand enough to fill the tank. lol

Just keep an eye on it the next few times you use the tractor. Don't loose any sleep over it.
As long as the tank doesn't run dry you won't hurt anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Never had luck trying to measure the old fluid so I would know how much too put back.
It's very easy to do. I simply drained the oil into a pan and then poured the pan into my Lisle oil jug. Since it is translucent I could easy mark the level of the drained oil. I then cleaned out the jug thoroughly and refilled back to my mark with new oil. If it was an air pocket it is odd it would have taken 4 hours of operating over a two week period to release.

I use the same procedure when draining/filling the radiator as you know how frustrating it can be to get all the air out and get the right amount of fluid in. By refilling with the exact amount of fluid that I drained it removes all the variables. Well... at least it has up to now. :)

Lisle_oil_jug.jpg

Oh well, onto the next project.
 

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It's very easy to do. I simply drained the oil into a pan and then poured the pan into my Lisle oil jug. Since it is translucent I could easy mark the level of the drained oil. I then cleaned out the jug thoroughly and refilled back to my mark with new oil. If it was an air pocket it is odd it would have taken 4 hours of operating over a two week period to release.

I use the same procedure when draining/filling the radiator as you know how frustrating it can be to get all the air out and get the right amount of fluid in. By refilling with the exact amount of fluid that I drained it removes all the variables. Well... at least it has up to now. :)

View attachment 415162

Oh well, onto the next project.
The point I was making is you can drain the exact same transmission 3 times. Each time you will get a slightly different amount out. Depending on what you are draining and how many voids are inside. They are like little puddles of fluid that you can't get out. Well without total diss assembly of the unit anyway.

When you look up the volume for an automobile automatic transmission they list 2 volumes. Wet and dry. Wet is like doing a service. Dry is having the unit completely apart.

The fork fluid on a motorcycle is similar. However the last few years procedures have been changing. The drain plug has disappeared on most fork tubes. Now you have to completely remove the assembly. Then turn it over to drain the fluid. To fill it no volume is given like ounces or cc's. They give you inches from the top of the tube. If it calls for 3" from the top. You dump the bottle of oil in. Then remove enough to bring the level down to spec. After cycling the fork to purge the air.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The fork fluid on a motorcycle is similar. However the last few years procedures have been changing. The drain plug has disappeared on most fork tubes. Now you have to completely remove the assembly. Then turn it over to drain the fluid. To fill it no volume is given like ounces or cc's. They give you inches from the top of the tube. If it calls for 3" from the top. You dump the bottle of oil in. Then remove enough to bring the level down to spec. After cycling the fork to purge the air.
That brings back memories. I used to ride Husqvarna bikes back in the mid-80's. They still had drain screws on the forks. I would drain the oil, pump the fork a few times to make sure it was all out and then re-fill to a specific distance from the top with the forks collapsed. I had a gizmo that looked like a turkey baster with millimeter graduations on the side. You just stuck it down to the distance you wanted, gave it a squeeze and you were at the right level.

I assume they still use something like that today.
 

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The transmission probably had an air pocket that purged from using it. So more fluid moved down into the transmission. Seeing it was only a few ounces. Never had luck trying to measure the old fluid so I would know how much too put back. Gave up on that years ago. I just drain and fill. Plus you never get the exact same amount out when you drain a crankcase. Way to many variables. Like fluid temperature, how long it was run (amount of fluid up stairs), level of case to the ground, how long you let it drain etc. Plus what sticks to the inside of the drain pan, funnel & measuring vessel.

The tank design on my X540 baffles me. It's huge but the full line is not even 1/2 way up the tank. Don't know what the engineers were thinking. After using it all day in this Africa heat the level never went above 1/2. Maybe if you were plowing on the surface of the sun the fluid would expand enough to fill the tank. lol

Just keep an eye on it the next few times you use the tractor. Don't loose any sleep over it.
As long as the tank doesn't run dry you won't hurt anything.
The plastic tank is a small reservoir but more than that its an expansion tank. As the fluid heats up it has to have somewhere to go. So it pushes up into the tank. As it cools it settles down. On a lesser trans, if it was really hot, it would push it overboard thru a vent and the fluid would not be recovered. Simple. .

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