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Old 01-22-2008, 03:59 PM   post #1 of 16
thunderbirl
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Default 3225 Transaxle Seal Replacement

Can anyone help with some questions for this?

I've got to rebuild my transaxle in my 3225. I've opened it up, got it drained and have seen the essence of what I've got to do. I've ordered the parts, but have a couple questions and could really use some help.

If you look at the diagram here,

Link to transaxle diagram

What I don't clearly see is what holds the axles in place.

Is the axle caught between #5 and #6 by being a larger diameter between them and then it steps down inside #5 and outside of #6? If so, then I can see that I need to remove #30 and #11 to pull #6 off the threaded end of the shaft. #5 would come off the "inside" end. Is this right?

(In addition to replacing the usual leaking block #5, I need to replace #6 as well because one of those seals is torn. I don't want to remove #11 unless I have to as it looks like it might be just plain old hard to do!)

Question #2: Does the differential lock out lever/actuator (#1) need to come out? If so, does it just "pop" out through the seal(#44)?

Question #3: Does anyone know if this is something I'm going to have to do again in a couple years or are the bearings and/or lubricant of some new/improved design? Has anyone done "two" rebuilds on the same tractor?

Thanks for any help on this!
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Cub Cadet 3225
60" mower, wheel weights, hydraulic front lift, 45" snowthower, Johnny Bucket Jr. with extender and home-made caddy bars, three point hitch, 42" hydraulic rototiller, Agrifab dethatcher, Spyker 179 spreader, Turfvent plug aerator, CountyLine 25 gal Deluxe Trailer Sprayer
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Old 01-22-2008, 09:13 PM   post #2 of 16
peavs
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Default Re: 3225 Transaxle Seal Replacement

I have not had mine apart, but I think you are correct.

In addition, I think that you will have to remove 13 to get the axels out of the spur gears (14).

If I remember correctly, there was a recall because 39 would get loose and let 11 (and the rear wheel!!) spin/fall off. So, 11 might come off easier than you think. I think that you might have to remove it anyway to get to 34's to take 30 off because the axel goes throught the hole in 30.

and

Oh, check your link. There's too many http's

Last edited by peavs; 01-22-2008 at 09:18 PM. Reason: 5 q 3 // 1 |\| 9 (spelling)
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Old 01-23-2008, 05:02 PM   post #3 of 16
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Default Re: 3225 Transaxle Seal Replacement

Thanks for the input. The parts have come in and I'll get started this weekend. In the meantime, here's a proper link to the image.

Corrected Link to Transaxle Diagram
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Cub Cadet 3225
60" mower, wheel weights, hydraulic front lift, 45" snowthower, Johnny Bucket Jr. with extender and home-made caddy bars, three point hitch, 42" hydraulic rototiller, Agrifab dethatcher, Spyker 179 spreader, Turfvent plug aerator, CountyLine 25 gal Deluxe Trailer Sprayer

Last edited by thunderbirl; 01-23-2008 at 05:03 PM. Reason: grammah
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Old 01-27-2008, 08:41 PM   post #4 of 16
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Default Re: 3225 Transaxle Seal Replacement

I'm done and I wanted to document this for others. This post is really long. I hope it will be helpful to others.

Odd tools Needed:
Big wrench for wheel hub nuts - 1 5/16"?
2 jaw puller to remove wheel hub
electric heater to help cure RTV in Winter
A helpful friend who doesn’t mind a little oil/grease

Supplies Needed:
Transmission Filter
5 quarts of fluid
Replacement bearings
Replacement gaskets
RTV (the service guy recommended the black High Temp stuff)
Engine degreaser and brake cleaner.

(Sorry about the lack of pictures, but my photographer had to visit her parents, so all you get is narrative!)

Start by eating your Wheaties!

The first step should be to remove the HUGE nuts that hold the wheels in place. This is really hard to do and if you can do this, you can do all the rest. If you can't do this, you won't be able to do the rest as I'm describing it. (Note: If you can't remove these nuts, you may be able to disassemble the differential with all the planetary gears, etc., but I'm not going there in this discussion. You can consider that path, or consider taking your tractor to the dealer.)

Place a jack under the axle and remove the wheel and get a wrench onto the center nut. It seems to be 1 5/16" or so. I didn't have the right tools and was able to use a pipe wrench to hold the hub, a big crescent on the center hub and whack the crescent with a 2x4. I confirmed with the shop that it is put on to 250 ft-lbs. Do one side and then the other. You may need to put the wheel back on and put the weight back on that wheel to get the other side done. This is the most physically demanding part of the job.

Once you’ve got both your nuts off, jack up the tractor, place it safely on jack stands or blocks and start stripping. You're going to remove everything from the steering console back except the transmission, transaxle and control valves. Even if you've never done this before, it's pretty straightforward. The tricks include removing the electric plug from the switch from the bottom of the seat before you rip it out and bend the contacts, loosening the hydraulic lift control levers from underneath the left wheel area and removing the light bulbs from the rear lights BEFORE you try to lift the fender over the gas tank. (If the bulbs fall out and end up in the taillights, you'll be able to fish them out when you get the whole fender/running board assembly off!)

When you get to the back plate with the draw bar, you'll need to slip a 14mm wrench up the inside of the frame from the sides above the axle to reach the top nuts at the inside top the housing. You can guide the wrench with your fingers from the top to get it on the nut and then use a socket from the outside to get it all free. If you have a three point hitch, be aware that it's really quite heavy once it's loose! Again, if you have the three point hitch there is an extra cross-member for mounting the hydraulic cylinder and you'll have to remove that too!

When you remove the gas tank, plug the hose with a bolt or pencil so that you don't end up with a fire. Set the gas tank someplace safe.

Since you are here, take the time to adjust your brakes (see the owners manual.) and then remove the brake pad assemblies - rods and all. You will need to partially remove the brake pedal lever to get the right side brake rod out because the tip of the rod won't clear in the space available. The left side is easier.

Use a two jaw hub puller to remove the hub assembly (containing the brake disk) from each side. I used the lug nuts threaded on backwards to create a grip point. It is tightly splined in place, so it has to come straight off. Smacking it to "wobble" it off isn't a good idea. Remove the brake mounting brackets that are 1/2" bolted (and locktited!) to the end of the axle ends.

Trace from the differential lock-out pedal on the left running board to the level on the "front" of the transaxle, remove the 7/16" bolt holding the differential lock actuator lever in place. The bolt is held in place with blue locktite. The order is: bolt, a thin washer, the lever and three washers. You don't need to remove the lever from the cable - just let it dangle. When you remove the drive shaft, the actuator shaft will slide out from the inside.

Now drop the giant U-bolts that hold the transaxle to the frame. (Note: My U-bolts were longer in the back than in the front! Look for differences so that you can rebuilt it "right".) With the U-bolts disconnected, the transaxle will hang there without any issue.

Drain the fluid (5 quarts or less) and remove the filter. If you have clean filter, put it on - or cover that area with aluminum foil. At this point you may want to consider that the floor is going to be covered in oil. I placed several handfuls of sawdust under the unit to soak up the many drips.

Now remove the 3/8" bolts on the center cover. The long screws go on the immediate sides of the differential and go through the metal bars. These bars hold the bearing blocks in place! The medium length ones go in the top and bottom. Remove the gasket and then remove the bolts on the axle cover. The short bolts go along the sides out toward the wheels.

When you get the first cover and gasket off. Take a look at what's in front of you. The horizontal shaft on the top is the output shaft and it has a bevel gear on the right. You'll eventually just pull that straight out, but not right now. The lower shaft is the driveshaft. The big cluster in the middle is "the differential". Find the differential lockout actuator shaft (that you removed the locktited bolt from and note that it is all the way to the far left. The actuator will come out in a couple minutes when you remove the lower shaft unit - and then it probably fall on the floor!

Now go ahead and remove the cover for the axle shafts and look around some more. You'll probably see oil below the axle shafts - outside the differential hub area. This is your leak. You may get away with changing only the inner bearing block assembly on that side, but give some thought to the time you have invested. My dealer suggested not only changing the inner blocks on both sides, but also both inner and both outer bearing blocks and I'm glad he did. One of my outers had a torn seal.

Prepare an area to put the shaft assemblies. I used newspaper and then put aluminum foil on it.

After removing the last gasket, carefully take out the upper shaft - aka, the output shaft, holding your hands over the ends to keep the blocks in place and place on the foil surface. You're not going to do anything with/to this.

The big assembly with the bad bearings now comes straight out and then down to clear the frame. The differential lock-out actuator will come straight out at the same time and probably fall on the floor unless you have a friend to catch it! If the actuator sticks, wiggle it to get it to slide out. Place the actuator and big shaft on the foil.

Clean the old RTV and dirty oily crap out of the housing. You'll probably find some fine metal dust in the bottom of the transaxle. Don't panic as it's normal, but this is why you should change your fluid when it's all stirred up and hot and why you should change your filter and fluid regularly, too. Just wipe it all out and clean it all up with something like brake cleaner so that there is no residue.

The bearings will be replaced from the ends of the axles. I used 000 steel wool to clean up the little surface rust on the axles outboard of the bearings, but inboard of the hubs. Try to smooth it out as much as possible because you'll be slipping the new bearings over this spot and you don't want to harm the seals.

Directions on the RTV used to seal the new bearing blocks in place suggests that the metal should be held at a minimum of 70F for about a day to completely cure. The advice from the shop is that you can fill after the RTV sets for 15 minutes - maybe 30 to 40 in the cold. I did this in the winter and chose to let the RTV cure for about 16 hours using an electric heater to warm the transaxle. If you are doing this in the winter, put away the degreaser and brake cleaner and then set up your heater to warm the area. Degreaser and brake cleaner may be flammable, so don't have or use them near the heater!

Now we remove the bearing blocks from the shaft. The inside ones have a rubber seal that goes toward the center line. The outside ones go either way. Look for differences and do one side at a time. Remove the outer and then the inner bearing block on one side. Note that there is a washer that may be stuck (just by oil) to the inner face of each inner seal. Make sure it stays on the shaft.

Now take your new bearing blocks and prepare to put them on the shaft. Lube up any rough spots on the axle and minimize stress on the seals when you put them over the end of the shaft so that you don't destroy them. Repeat for the other side.

See the next post for the continued instructions...
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Cub Cadet 3225
60" mower, wheel weights, hydraulic front lift, 45" snowthower, Johnny Bucket Jr. with extender and home-made caddy bars, three point hitch, 42" hydraulic rototiller, Agrifab dethatcher, Spyker 179 spreader, Turfvent plug aerator, CountyLine 25 gal Deluxe Trailer Sprayer
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Old 01-27-2008, 08:43 PM   post #5 of 16
thunderbirl
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Default Re: 3225 Transaxle Seal Replacement

See the previous post for earlier steps...

Installing the differential is (would have been!) a lot easier with two people because you have to hold the differential lock-out actuator and the drive shaft and align all four blocks and the actuator level holes.

Once the blocks are on the shaft, note that one side of each block has two sharp corners. This is the side that faces outward. Put RTV on the other three sides of the inner seals and slip the differential actuator over the shaft. Slip the whole thing into place. You may have to wiggle the differential actuator to get it to go through its long port.

Now align the bearing blocks on the output shaft assembly and place it where it goes.

Don't stop here because you need to finish up the RTV so that it dries in the right configuration. Apply RTV liberally over the face of each of the four blocks that will be under the gasket. Place a gasket and the axle cover and the other gasket and the center cover and bolt it all together. RTV skins over quite fast, so keep moving. Tighten it all up, particularly on the sides and top of the center cover.

(Caution: I found another discussion of someone having done this operation on another group and they mentioned that they broke a bolt when tightening up the covers. I also broke a bolt along one of the axle covers. I don't know what to say except - be careful. I was only using my wrist choked up on the ratchet and was very surprised when it snapped right off.)

Reattach the U-bolts (remember the notes on orientation) and the brake brackets on the ends of the assembly. The brake brackets should have “locktite” on them too! Reattach the differential lockout actuator lever with all the washers in the right order (see above).

Leave the transaxle for as long as you need to be comfortable that the RTV is skinned/cured, then fill the transaxle with 5 quarts of Cub Cadet Liquid Gold (WOW is that expensive!) and run it (I made a jumper for the seat switch with a paper clip!). Make sure there are no leaks. Run the transmission and actuate the control valves and then recheck the level.

(Honestly, after doing this, I don't think that it's possible that replacing the seals wouldn't stop a leak. I didn't have any noticeable groove in the axle shafts. Given the tolerances, this should just "work". Thus, there may be no need to pause to wait for the RTV to dry. If I had to do this again, I think I'd just reassemble.)

On thing you might note in this discussion is that all the bolts on the transmission were fractional inch sizes vs. metric on the rest of the tractor. I found this interesting, but don't really know what it means.

This process took me quite a while to do. Ignoring the other things I did, it was probably 8-10 hours or more to get this all done. I chose to do quite a bit more. The parts were about $250 for the four bearing blocks, fluid and filter. The shop charge is supposedly 3 hours JUST for the bearings once they get at the transmission. I think that would be about right.

I did use the opportunity to learn a lot about the tractor. In addition to the transaxle bearings, I got the seat moving (couldn't remove the fender/running boards without fixing it!), replaced leaking o-rings in the control valve cluster (see my other post!), cleaned up a lot of old oil/fluid/grass clippings, made all new control valve levers that space out very nicely (the old ones barely cleared each other and I couldn't run them in mitts), and replaced the "gasket" in that assembly on the left fender. I also rebuilt the brake rods (one was folded up and the other was "missing" due, I think, to tire chains that were improperly installed at some point), got the inside-out wheel weights on correctly including the correct mounting bolts (nice design so that no one gets cut on the bolts) and fixed the mid mounting arrangement that allows you to remove the mower from the left side (I'd had to use a jack to get the mower off). The cruise control wasn't working because of improper installation - sliding the bolts 1/4" to the left in the mounting slots fixed that problem. I also got grease into all the zerks, completely cleaned up the battery area and made a first pass at cleaning up the engine with compressed air. The springy metal piece that shuts off the PTO (and turns on the back up lights) when backing up is on order and I'll replace that when I can.

On the attachments, the snow blower is my primary focus right now. The up/down lever didn't work at all well even after adjusting the cables, but as soon as I used silicon spray on the inside back of the chute, the controls worked great. The blower itself is the quietest snow blower I've ever heard!

I've done a lot on this project and, for right now, I'm just going to take a break. I drove all over the neighborhood and there isn’t a drop of hydraulic fluid anywhere! I have yet to tackle the engine yet, but it seems to be in need only of routine maintenance. I'll probably do the PTO and mower deck belts in the spring. But for now, I hope to enjoy blowing the next storm away!

Steve MacLeod
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60" mower, wheel weights, hydraulic front lift, 45" snowthower, Johnny Bucket Jr. with extender and home-made caddy bars, three point hitch, 42" hydraulic rototiller, Agrifab dethatcher, Spyker 179 spreader, Turfvent plug aerator, CountyLine 25 gal Deluxe Trailer Sprayer
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:18 PM   post #6 of 16
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Default Re: 3225 Transaxle Seal Replacement

I should mention that, while it might be possible to go at this by removing the wheel axles from the spur gears and to replace the bearings by slipping them over the inside of the axles, my dealer does it from the outside.
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Steve MacLeod
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Cub Cadet 3225
60" mower, wheel weights, hydraulic front lift, 45" snowthower, Johnny Bucket Jr. with extender and home-made caddy bars, three point hitch, 42" hydraulic rototiller, Agrifab dethatcher, Spyker 179 spreader, Turfvent plug aerator, CountyLine 25 gal Deluxe Trailer Sprayer
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:39 PM   post #7 of 16
Jim4041
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Default Re: 3225 Transaxle Seal Replacement

Has anybody replaced just the seals on the bearing blocks? Why replace the whole unit if only the seal is bad.
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:06 PM   post #8 of 16
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Default Re: 3225 Transaxle Seal Replacement

Interesting question...

I grabbed the old parts and the seals all say (I think) MTP 4885. (I'm not certain that the last digit/letter is right. It's really small print. Almost hurt myself trying to read it!)

I also found MTP as a seal company.

http://www.mtpcorp.com/

They don't list any catalog part numbers as such on the site.

Since I've now got a "broken in" set of blocks, I'd be interested in a source of seals should anyone find one!
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Cub Cadet 3225
60" mower, wheel weights, hydraulic front lift, 45" snowthower, Johnny Bucket Jr. with extender and home-made caddy bars, three point hitch, 42" hydraulic rototiller, Agrifab dethatcher, Spyker 179 spreader, Turfvent plug aerator, CountyLine 25 gal Deluxe Trailer Sprayer
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:18 AM   post #9 of 16
rbig
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Default Re: 3225 Transaxle Seal Replacement

How'd you figure out where to put the bearings on getting the seat squared away? I finally just stuck mine in any old way and it seems to work just fine. go figure.....
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Old 02-03-2010, 06:33 AM   post #10 of 16
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Default Re: 3225 Transaxle Seal Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbig View Post
How'd you figure out where to put the bearings on getting the seat squared away? I finally just stuck mine in any old way and it seems to work just fine. go figure.....
What do you mean by "getting the seat squared away"? I'm confused.
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Steve MacLeod
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Cub Cadet 3225
60" mower, wheel weights, hydraulic front lift, 45" snowthower, Johnny Bucket Jr. with extender and home-made caddy bars, three point hitch, 42" hydraulic rototiller, Agrifab dethatcher, Spyker 179 spreader, Turfvent plug aerator, CountyLine 25 gal Deluxe Trailer Sprayer
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:26 PM   post #11 of 16
rbig
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Default Re: 3225 Transaxle Seal Replacement

I got the seat moving (couldn't remove the fender/running boards without fixing it!)

This is the quote. I may have assumed you removed the seat. If so, I was wondering how you got it back together....
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:00 AM   post #12 of 16
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Default Re: 3225 Transaxle Seal Replacement

Oh!

As a first step, the seat has to come off. To get the seat off, there are bolts that hold the front/back adjusting rails through the fender into supports on the frame. To get to the bolts, the seat has to move back - to get the front bolts- and forward to get the rears. Before you yank it off, take a moment to remove the seat safety switch wiring connector - or you'll bend the connector. After that the seat comes right off.

The trick for most of us is that we don't move that seat much and the rails get "stuck". There's been a thread or two about it being important to move the seat back and forth a couple times a year and lubricate it so that you have the range of motion to get to those bolts.

Once it's off, the seat only goes on one way - though it's a bit of a clumsy operation because nothing wants to stay still. The back moves; the storage compartment lid moves and the rails move - at least until it's all bolted on again.

Hope this helps.
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Cub Cadet 3225
60" mower, wheel weights, hydraulic front lift, 45" snowthower, Johnny Bucket Jr. with extender and home-made caddy bars, three point hitch, 42" hydraulic rototiller, Agrifab dethatcher, Spyker 179 spreader, Turfvent plug aerator, CountyLine 25 gal Deluxe Trailer Sprayer
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:55 AM   post #13 of 16
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Default Re: 3225 Transaxle Seal Replacement

I hope I never have to re-read this thread as a how to. It's well written, but the process sounds like a PIA.

Given that I work the poop out of my tractor, I'm sure at some point I will be elbows-deep into the transmission.

Thanks for putting it all in 1's and 0's for us.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:47 AM   post #14 of 16
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Default Re: 3225 Transaxle Seal Replacement

Gary,

Learning this stuff first hand was how I saved quite a bit of money and was able to afford this incredible machine! If it helps anyone else own or maintain their 3000 series, it'll be well worth the effort.

IMHO, the best thing that any of us can do to keep from needing this as a "how to guide" is to change oil and filter frequently.

When I took mine apart to fix the seals, there was a big pile of "metal dust" on the bottom of the transaxle housing. It looked to me like the faces of the gear teeth had been "polished" by rubbing against each other, and the resulting metal was sitting there. Some fraction of that metal will be in circulation. If those shards get to the seals, they're done for.

Based on what I saw, my feeling is that anything that you/we can do to keep from accumulating those particles will prolong the life of the axle seals.

Thanks for your kind words regarding the writing. I, too, hope that no one else ever needs to do this!!
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Cub Cadet 3225
60" mower, wheel weights, hydraulic front lift, 45" snowthower, Johnny Bucket Jr. with extender and home-made caddy bars, three point hitch, 42" hydraulic rototiller, Agrifab dethatcher, Spyker 179 spreader, Turfvent plug aerator, CountyLine 25 gal Deluxe Trailer Sprayer
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Old 02-04-2010, 02:05 PM   post #15 of 16
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Default Re: 3225 Transaxle Seal Replacement

Steve,

Many years ago I built an airplane (something called an RV-6). I powered this aircraft with an low-time engine from a Cessna 172 Skyhawk. The engine only had 1,200 hours on it, but I decided to modify it by installing higher compression pistons (from 7:1 to 8.5:1) and a oil filter (the original engine only used a screen).

When I dropped the oil pan it was FILLED with compacted metal shavings, about a cups worth. I figured I purchased a boat anchor for an engine. I talked to several A&P mechanics and they all assured me that the metal shaving were "normal" for a first run engine with an oil screen.

I made my modifications and installed the O-320 engine in the aircraft. That aircraft got it's oil changed every 25 hours and the filter changed every 50 hours. I cut open every filter and always found some metal. I dropped the oil pan annually for the first 5 years and it was always clean as a whistle. The engine had a total of 2,250 trouble-free hours on it when I sold it.

This is a long-winded (but hopefully interesting ) way of agreeing with you. Change the filter and oil regularly. Keeping those metal shaving from circulating is vital to the long-term reliability of an engine or transmission.
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