MTD-made LTs with 0310-0510 tranny - - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:00 PM   post #1 of 2
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Default MTD-made LTs with 0310-0510 tranny


I'm out to start a thread about maintaining the 0310-0510 hydro-gear transmission found on a number of MTD-made LTs, i.e. Cubs, Craftsman, and others I'm sure. My LT is a Craftsman "professional" PYT9000 46" deck, found in my signature. Moderators -- pls help cross post this to MTD and CC forums; I wasn't able to figure out how to do it

Anyway. to get started: Thanks to MTF senior member (and CC repair technician) jsoluna I have come to know that:

1. The Hydro-Gear 310-0510 Transaxle calls for 79 oz./2.47 qts of 20w-50.

2. The fill port will be also a way to check fluid level, fluid should rest at 1/4" from the top of the fill port with fluid between 50 and 100 degrees F.
Also, the service manual for the 0310-0510 tranny is found here:

and just to clear up the obvious: the fluid is ordinary automotive engine/crankcase oil. I assume the obvious benefits of a synthetic apply here as well...

even though this transmission is marketed as a "lifetime no -maintenance required" product, most of us know that LT tyrannies are not filled with magic fluid or parts, and can benefit from regular maintenance as GT trannys do. Moreover, the above manual describes a fluid change procedure, in the event of fluid contamination. So -- anyone have an 0310-0510 maintenance experience or tips to share? here are some initial questions on my mind:

1. if one wanted to avoid removing the tranny, how effective would "several" incomplete changes be -- by using a vacuum pump, for example? by "several" I mean change the fluid perhaps every 50 hours? each change would only drain some % of the fluid (cant' get to what is in the expansion tank). automobile automatic transmission fluid changes are sometimes done using this same principle.

2. The purge procedure is pretty well understood -- my question is this: why is it better to perform this with the rear wheels off the ground? esp with the tranny in "bypass" mode - it doesn't make sense to me why allowing wheels to "freewheel" is important in this step -- and with the bypass valve closed, why is it ineffective or less effective to perform the back-and-forth purge on a flat level surface and actually move the tractor?

3. when would you perform your first fluid change?
  • twin blade 46" Craftsman/MTD PYT9000 model 247.288880 upgraded from Craftsman/husqvarna/YT4000 that was burning my lawn.
  • Gators not available yet, but MTD supplies a serrated "extreeme mulching blade" part #942-04290-x.
  • For bagging leaves ,use the OE high-lift blade: one or more passes in reverse prior to final forward pass produces great results.
  • Universal 12.5 cu ft. poly cart
  • decided to pass on the aerator: They make the tranny work too hard.
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Old 12-03-2011, 11:13 AM   post #2 of 2
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Default Re: MTD-made LTs with 0310-0510 tranny

Took me a few days to reply, sorry! You guys have a very active forum here, so I had to sift through a page or two of threads!

I'm going to start with your #3 question:
when should you perform your first fluid change?

The short answer is - it depends.
Climate, hours used, and type of usage all affect the fluid condition in the transmission.

If you live in a wet climate, or one that has great fluctuations in temperature, your trans case will draw moisture eventually. It's not a huge concern, but I know a lot of these units I see at work will sit all winter, and run only in the summer. That sitting all winter is what allows moisture to creep in.
Hours used obviously is the major concern. I've seen fluid in transaxles with 500 hours that looked crystal clear, and some at 250 that were sludge. If you have a relatively flat property you mow and you don't tow anything behind the unit, do any plowing, etc - you could easily go 300 hours before changing the fluid. Personally, if it were my unit, I would run it for a minimum of 50 hours before changing the fluid, and a maximum of 150. The kind of heavy use that my tractors see would make me tend towards sooner rather than later.
The first change will have more "break-in" contaminants from the metal-to-metal wear that initially occurs. Most likely, the fluid will only need to be changed once or twice in the life of the tractor - but again, it depends on the type of use it sees.

question #1:
how effective would "several" incomplete changes be -- by using a vacuum pump

If you don't want to remove the trans, you could easily replace a good portion of the fluid by using a vacuum pump, and it done more regularly yes, that method I believe would be effective in replacing the fluid.

question #2:
why is it better to perform this with the rear wheels off the ground?

The reason I believe that they recommend you purge in both the engaged and bypass modes is to properly circulate all the fluid - and since the pump and rear diff share the same fluid, getting the gears and axles to move the fluid they are immersed in as well can help to ensure that all the air is purged into the expansion tank. I don't think it is absolutely crucial, but what the heck - it only takes a second to jack up the tractor. You can purge in bypass mode with the wheels on the ground if you like, that doesn't make a difference in my opinion.

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