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post #1 of 15 Old 03-31-2016, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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HELP 345 Hydralic fluid change

Hello,

I can't seem to find an answer to my question anywhere not even the John Deere dealer.

Last July I bought a used 1999 John Deere 345 (20hp metal cam gear) from my local John Deere dealer with 308 hours on it. At that time I bought the complete service kit, two hydraulic filters and Low Viscosity Hy-Guard.

So today I was getting the tractor ready for lawn season with new engine oil, spark plugs, air filter, and a fuel filter. Even though the tractor only has 348 hours on it I figured because of the age I should do a coolant flush and replace the hydraulic fluid.

So today I found the service manual online to replace the hydraulic fluid and the two filters. When I bought the tractor the dealer told me to buy the 5 gallon bucket because I would use most of it. But after reading the service manual today the actual specifications for the "transmission" is only 4.7 quarts.

I did some research and it looks like not all of the hydraulic fluid can be removed through the drain plug on the transmission pan because there is still some in the power steering system and the hydraulic lift.

It looks like the GX345 has 2 drain plugs to empty the hydraulic fluid system. But the 345 only has one drain plug in the transmission pan.

So my question is how do I get all the hydraulic fluid out safely without damaging the transmission? I'm sure I could remove a hydraulic line off the power steering piston but I'm not exactly sure if that's the right thing to do because I don't want to get any air bubbles in the system.

What's your thoughts?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 15 Old 03-31-2016, 09:08 PM
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Re: HELP 345 Hydralic fluid change

It's only a few ounces, don't worry about it.
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post #3 of 15 Old 03-31-2016, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayjay View Post
It's only a few ounces, don't worry about it.
Funny, I say the same thing to my wife when I mix Crown Royal with Coke.
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post #4 of 15 Old 03-31-2016, 09:23 PM
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The fluid left behind will be fine. You're talking 2-5oz out of 150oz. Worry about something else.
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post #5 of 15 Old 03-31-2016, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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See that's exactly what I thought! The dealership told me it holds "gallons" of fluid and that's what his computer tells him..... After getting under the tractor and looking I don't see how the the tractor could hold gallons of hydraulic fluid...

Well I bought the 5 gallon bucket last July and lost my receipt somewhere. The dealer better give me my money back because it was like $75 for it when I only need a 5-quart jug...

Last edited by Sergeant; 04-01-2016 at 10:40 AM.
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post #6 of 15 Old 03-31-2016, 09:56 PM
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Re: HELP 345 Hydralic fluid change

It will take more than a gallon of hygard. There is two lower drains. The one is the rear lower filter. And there is also a drain plug. You leave the oils that doesn't drain in the tractor. No need to remove that.


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post #7 of 15 Old 03-31-2016, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Cool, thank you for the help. I did just that.
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post #8 of 15 Old 04-01-2016, 10:09 AM
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Re: HELP 345 Hydralic fluid change

Those John Deere dealers have a way of making money off those that come in the parts dept. eager to buy their story on what is good for the customer. Of course, they will tell, you need 5 gals. to fill the K70A transmission when actual it may take about 4-1/3 qts. to fill the unit. That is if you have open the small drain plug under the trans. and the filter plug to remove the fluid.

The sad part on this draining the transmission, is the fact all the "bad stuff" like metal shavings... if there are any from worn parts, are left behind in all the small areas that cannot be drained. The only way to really clean/drain the transmission of any bad stuff, is to remove the K70A and turn it up-side-down and drain it from the "fill tube" hole. The problem with that is, there's a good chance all the "operation adjustments" will be changed and there's some more troubles you will find.


I have a spare K70A transmission...about 400 hours on it...that I used in exchange each time I need to change the fluid. I remove the transmission from the 345, replace with the spare ono that has been completely "opened up" and cleaned of all the fluid and bad etuff...if any. Then I take the unit I removed and open it up and clean it also and store it in a plastic wrap and in a carton design for shipping the transmission for the next fluid change. Lot of work, but, I have a clean and new parts if they need replacing.
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post #9 of 15 Old 04-01-2016, 10:23 AM
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Re: HELP 345 Hydralic fluid change

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Originally Posted by JD345LM1999 View Post
The only way to really clean/drain the transmission of any bad stuff, is to remove the K70A and turn it up-side-down and drain it from the "fill tube" hole. .
Turrning your trans upside down is the worst thing you can do. All the particles you are worried about are now distributed in amongst all the moving parts and they won't drain out. Whenever I have to disassemble a tranny I suspend it from a hoist and then while the trans is still upright I remove the lower case. This way all the metal particles stay in the lower case where they can be rinsed out in the parts washer.

Only after the lower case has been removed do I flip the trans upside down and put it on the fixture I made to securely hold the trans for repair.
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post #10 of 15 Old 04-01-2016, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Great input. Thank you!

I'm headed to the dealer tonight. I hope they give me a full refund and not a merchandise credit. I stay away from the parts counter at the John Deere dealer and get everything online now. The mark-up the dealer charges is asinine!

Funny you mention the metal shavings. I didn't see any metal shavings in the oil drain bucket as the oil drained. The filter and the old oil was pretty clean and almost new looking. However, I did notice once the oil was drained a couple drips towards the very end, a little bit of grayish very fine partials in the oil.
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post #11 of 15 Old 04-01-2016, 05:46 PM
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Re: HELP 345 Hydraulic fluid change

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Originally Posted by Lineman345 View Post
Great input. Thank you!

I'm headed to the dealer tonight. I hope they give me a full refund and not a merchandise credit. I stay away from the parts counter at the John Deere dealer and get everything online now. The mark-up the dealer charges is asinine!

Funny you mention the metal shavings. I didn't see any metal shavings in the oil drain bucket as the oil drained. The filter and the old oil was pretty clean and almost new looking. However, I did notice once the oil was drained a couple drips towards the very end, a little bit of grayish very fine partials in the oil.

Well, you should be proud to have a K70A that shows no "black gumbo" fluid, and it came out so there's that little bit of milky/gray residue that always show up at the last drop. Keep in mind anytime you see some "silver/shiny" particles on the filter, start praying. A clean trans. fluid that you get when you make the filter and fluid change means the pump, bearing, and gears all are working nicely and doing their job.
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post #12 of 15 Old 04-01-2016, 06:20 PM
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Re: HELP 345 Hydralic fluid change

Do not remove the transmission and flip it upside down. Ever. Unless it is a sealed unit and you really want to do something silly like that. The 345 transmission has a rather large magnet above the rear lower transmission filter. All the fluid passes by this magnet and the metal shavings stick to this magnet. So no worries on metal floating around. I just sold a 345 with 2900 hours. I removed the lower transmission cover because it was leaking. The inside was very clean and the magnet was full of shavings. After doing that and removing some lines the tranny took over 5 quarts of fluid to fill.


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75# wheel weights and chains
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post #13 of 15 Old 04-01-2016, 07:20 PM
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Re: HELP 345 Hydraulic fluid change

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Originally Posted by Wfburton159 View Post
Do not remove the transmission and flip it upside down. Ever. Unless it is a sealed unit and you really want to do something silly like that. The 345 transmission has a rather large magnet above the rear lower transmission filter. All the fluid passes by this magnet and the metal shavings stick to this magnet. So no worries on metal floating around. I just sold a 345 with 2900 hours. I removed the lower transmission cover because it was leaking. The inside was very clean and the magnet was full of shavings. After doing that and removing some lines the tranny took over 5 quarts of fluid to fill.

I have to differ with you on your comments. Some 14 years ago I went to the dealer where I bought my 1999 345 to get some ideas on how to drain the fluid and make a filter(s) change. The salesman took me out into the shop where one repair person was doing just that...replacing some parts and doing a fluid change on a K70A transmission. The dealer shop has a Tuff Torg transmission stand that they remove the unit from the tractor and bolt it down to the stand. They flip (bottom side up) and train the fluid from the fill tube. Remove the hydraulic lines from the rear and remove the lower (bottom case) with air tool. They pop the bottom (lower case) part from the top case cover and make the repair(s) and do this much faster and cheaper than removing the seat, fender/seat panel. They remove the "Magnets" holder and replace with new magnet, and wash the insides of the transmission and air blow the complete unit before replacing the bottom case.

I have a transmission stand...not a Tuff Torg one but that does the same, and this is how I do my K70A transmission. Of course, I don't have any metal shavings or other items to clean from the inside case. I have a spare K70A that is already clean inside...no filter but full of Diesel fuel to keep it from rusting inside. I drain the diesel fuel and add the Low Viscocity HyGuard oil and filer after I install the unit to the tractor. Takes me about one hour to complete the change-over.
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post #14 of 15 Old 04-01-2016, 07:46 PM
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Re: HELP 345 Hydralic fluid change

Stuff above aside, the best advice I ever got was to remove the seat pan. It's like six bolts, and you can get to EVERYTHING really easy on the tractor's transaxle. Especially if you're removing the inline filter and it's the original.

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post #15 of 15 Old 04-01-2016, 07:53 PM
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Re: HELP 345 Hydralic fluid change

The inline filter is very easy to change from below with the mower deck removed. To have a spare tranny to me is absolutely overkill. If they can last 2900 hours with little maintenance like my 345 looked like I see everything else beyond a fluid drop and filter change a waste of energy and resources. Good luck with the return and fluid/ filter change.


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75# wheel weights and chains
John Deere 40" Front Mount Thatcher w/hydraulic lift
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