Hydro-gear 331-3000 transaxle servicing - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 11-07-2006, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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Hydro-gear 331-3000 transaxle servicing

My 2004 GT5000 tractor was running slow and jerking while backing out of the shed last week, so I decided to check the transaxle fluid level. Contrary to the instructions, you don't need to remove the draw bar to check the fluid. I used an allen wrench to remove the plug on the right side and fluid came out, indicating a sufficient fluid level.

The problem is that the fluid looked like runny butterscotch pudding. The consistancy seemed right, but the color is not what I expected. I was expecting the look of standard 20w-50 oil, which is what's supposed to be put in. Can any one that's done a fluid change tell me if that's what's in there from the factory?
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post #2 of 14 Old 11-07-2006, 05:00 PM
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Re: Hydro-gear 331-3000 transaxle servicing

20W-50 is what mine looked like and thats what I filled it with when I was all done. I used synthetic as I remember.



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post #3 of 14 Old 11-08-2006, 02:24 PM
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Re: Hydro-gear 331-3000 transaxle servicing

Sorry, I wasnt very clear on my answer. The trans came full of 20W-50 as far as I could tell and it looked fine, not like you describe. It sounds like you might have got a little water in there.

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post #4 of 14 Old 11-08-2006, 02:38 PM
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Re: Hydro-gear 331-3000 transaxle servicing

Here is the thread that talks about my adventure with this transmission and if you look there are two pictures of the oil that came out.

https://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=4738

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post #5 of 14 Old 11-09-2006, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Hydro-gear 331-3000 transaxle servicing

Thanks for the replies. I'm not sure how water can get into the transaxle, but it sure sounds like that's what happened to mine. I guess it's time to try the suction pump to get that nasty fluid out. I can't remember the brand, but I have one that connects to my air compressor that works great for bleeding brakes.
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post #6 of 14 Old 11-09-2006, 05:12 PM
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Re: Hydro-gear 331-3000 transaxle servicing

i recently had to replace a part in my hydro gear transaxle, and had to take it apart to do so, but the oil in mine was reasonably clean considering it was in there for 8 years or so, and i wash the grass from the fins after every use. i replaced the oil and filter while i was at it anyways. mine has a drain plug, and an oil level plug, but the only way to get oil in is through the vent tube, and it takes two quarts of 20w50. my hydro gear model is 218-3010L. the part that broke was the brake shaft assembly.
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post #7 of 14 Old 12-07-2006, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Hydro-gear 331-3000 transaxle servicing

I finally had time to drain the milky oil out of my 331-3000 transaxle. I found an easy way to drain the fluid that's almost as good as a drain plug. According to the parts breakdown, there's a pump mounted externally on the bottom of the transaxle. Sure enough, there's a black oval piece that's held on by 2 allen-head screws. I removed it and all the old oil drained out. It actually took some time because it's in the 30's at the moment and oil is noticeably thicker at that temp.

I refilled through the vent hole in top until oil came out the check hole on the side. It takes about 3 and 1/4 quarts of 20w-50. I noticed a lot of air bubbles going down the tube as the oil slowly flowed into the transaxle. This project has been going on for about a week now because I often only have a short period of time available. Last night I finally started the tractor and attempted to purge the transaxle. No luck because the tractor won't move. I'm thinking it's too **** cold to get the air out? My plan is to try heating the fluid so it'll be easier to purge the air out. I'm hoping a 100watt light bulb under the transaxle should warm it up enough? I recall someone else mentioning difficulty in purging after an oil change. Is this a common problem?

I'm out of town for a few days, so it'll be next week before I get another chance to work on the tractor. I'll be sure and report back how I fared, but I'd sure like to hear anyone else's experiences in the meantime.
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post #8 of 14 Old 12-07-2006, 11:49 AM
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Re: Hydro-gear 331-3000 transaxle servicing

It could be that your tranny is out of adjustment too. Here is a link with some good info I posted last year. As long as you went to the trouble to change out your tranny fluid you may as well take a little more time and verify the adjustments. Follow the steps in the exact order and you should have no problems.

https://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=6450

The first procedure should take care of any minor adjustments and the second detailed one should take care of any major adjustment. The "puck" is the key adjustment.

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post #9 of 14 Old 12-07-2006, 05:50 PM
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Re: Hydro-gear 331-3000 transaxle servicing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mowerharald
Thanks for the replies. I'm not sure how water can get into the transaxle, but it sure sounds like that's what happened to mine.
Water can easily get into the transaxle when you wash your tractor. If the transaxle breather tube is not positioned properly or if the breather tube isn't connected to the transaxle properly, water can enter the transaxle via the breather tube or breather tube connector. Same thing can happen if you run through water and if you leave yer tractor out in the rain.

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post #10 of 14 Old 12-13-2006, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Hydro-gear 331-3000 transaxle servicing

Thanks for the replies Ed. I think you are correct in your idea for how water got in the oil. The vent is in place, but I can see how water could get in when using a pressure washer or garden hose directed in that area.

Last night I drained the plain oil I had put in so that I can get more of the water out of the transaxle. I'm glad I did because it was still slightly milky. I filled with Amsoil 20w-50, accomplished the standard purge procedure and everything works great now. One caution for anyone changing their fluid: after draining I filled until oil came out the hole in the side, yet after purging I still had to add approximately 1/4 qt oil to get the level back up again. So make to recheck your oil level after running the tractor around.

BTW, no adjustments needed on the drive system. The return to neutral works just fine.

-------------------------------------------------
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post #11 of 14 Old 12-13-2006, 11:43 AM
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Re: Hydro-gear 331-3000 transaxle servicing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mowerharald
One caution for anyone changing their fluid: after draining I filled until oil came out the hole in the side, yet after purging I still had to add approximately 1/4 qt oil to get the level back up again. So make to recheck your oil level after running the tractor around.
Very good point and great tip.

ED

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post #12 of 14 Old 12-13-2006, 11:54 AM
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Re: Hydro-gear 331-3000 transaxle servicing

Does anyone think this would make a good sticky? I've seen this come up from time to time...

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post #13 of 14 Old 01-12-2007, 10:24 AM
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Re: Hydro-gear 331-3000 transaxle servicing

DYT4000,

I think this would make a good "sticky", whatever that is, assume it is an archive for useful information...how does one locate useful information? Is there a search engine on MTF? Remember the (good) old iV has a search for key words, that would be nice here too...maybe MTF has and I haven't seen it.

This may not be the place to ask, but it is a question that comes to my mind.
As it turns out my only hydro tractor is a DYT4000, which doesn't provide a means for draining/adding transmission "fluid", seems it is a sealed unit.
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post #14 of 14 Old 01-12-2007, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hydro-gear 331-3000 transaxle servicing

You have a different transaxle than the one in my GT5000, but mine is also supposedly "sealed" and "no service required for the life of the unit". But as I outlined in previous posts, mine got water in it and it definitely needed service. And contrary to Sear's claims of sealed, I had no trouble unbolting the gerotor pump off the bottom of it to drain all the contaminated oil out. I was also able to refill through the vent hole ontop and now the tractor runs great.

-------------------------------------------------
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