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The Magnificent
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Discussion Starter #1
Work in progress, but I am getting so many requests for it, I'll try to update this sticky as I go.

1. Drain approximately 6 ounces of hydro fluid from the transmission. Add 6 ounces of Seafoam Transtune to the transmission.

2. Drain approximately 2 ounces of engine oil if the dipstick indicate the oil level is already full. Add 2 ounces of SeaFoam motor treatment.

3. Remove air cleaner cover, and with the engine running ¾ throttle, slowly pour SeaFoam motor treatment down the throat of the carburetor until the engine almost chokes out. Switch engine off. Allow engine to sit for 30 minutes then restart and run until all the smoke clears.

4. Drive tractor for about 2 hours, making lock to lock turns, and forward a reverse high speed runs.

5. Remove gas cap - check vent for obstructions.

6. Remove fender pan.

7. Jack tractor up and support on jack stands.

8. Remove side engine covers.

9. Remove belly screen. Clean and repair as necessary. Baling wire or small nylon zip ties work very well.

10. Drain hydro fluid into a pan of 2 or more gallons capacity. Drain bolt is at the lowest point of the transmission. Remove transmission filter. Allow transmission to drain while proceeding with the checklist.

11. Operate inner and outer hydraulic lift levers and rotate steering wheel back and forth lock to lock until steering stops working (we are doing this to drain the system as completely as possible).

12. With a clean rag over the tip of a 1/8” flat tipped round punch, depress the valve in each of the 4 front hydraulic outlets.

13. Replace front hydraulic outlet o-rings if there was previously any sign of leakage.

14. Install new hydraulic outlet plugs if the old ones are deteriorated.

15. Remove gas tank and fuel lines. On tractors with tanks under seatpan remove seatpan to access fuel tank and lines.

16. Dump old gas and trash. Rinse tank with clean fuel.

17. Clean trash from fuel tank pickups.

18. Replace fuel tank pickup grommets.

19. Replace fuel lines: from tank to fuel valve; fuel valve to new fuel filter; new fuel filter to fuel pump; fuel pump to carburetor (do not connect to carburetor yet).

20. Replace vacuum line to fuel pump.

21. Verify proper fuel flow.

22. Remove carburetor top, clean out bowl, clean needle and seat. Using a pipe cleaner and being careful make sure all orifices are open. Reassemble carburetor.

23. Pull the intake manifold (get your new gaskets and other Onan goodies from, and adjust the valves. Replacing the intake gaskets will let you ensure there are no leaks as well.

24. Remove cylinder heads, decarbon the heads and piston. Again, head gaskets are readily available from

25. Clean/replace crankcase breather filter.

26. Drip exactly 2 drops oil down on the starter drive. This will fix a lot of starter engagement issues.

27. Unbolt as much engine tin as you can without pulling the engine and clean the heck out of the fins. Replace engine tin.

28. Clean the flywheel fins.

29. Replace air filter and pre-filter (oiling pre-filter).

30. Change oil and oil filter with 10w30 (switching to 30wt in the summer).

31. Replace or clean, and adjust points (where applicable) Change spark plug wires, gap and install spark plugs.

32. Remove battery.

33. Visually inspect all wiring, cleaning each and every connection - especially grounds. Use a bit of dielectric grease on each connection to ward off future corrosion.

34. Ensure battery plates are covered with electrolyte – add distilled water if needed.

35. Charge battery

36. Load test your battery.

37. Clean the oil and hydraulic fluid coolers using a soft brush and compressed air. If you have a fin straightening tool uses by air conditioning technicians, straighten any bent fins.

38. Install transmission drain plug.

39. Fill transmission filter approx ½ full of fresh fluid. Coat filter’s gasket with fresh fluid, install transmission filter, tightening quickly.

40. Covering carburetor, coil, and time delay module with plastic bags, soak the tractor with degreaser. An old toilet brush is a handy tool to scrub those hard to reach places.

41. After the degreaser has had time to work, pressure wash the tractor.

42. Remove plastic covers from the carb, coil, and time delay module.

43. Sprinkle some baking soda on the battery tray and replace the battery.

44. Grease every grease fitting - there are 3 on the drive shaft, 2 on the front axle, one on the brake arm pivot, one on the steering ram. Also one on the mule drive.

45. Adjust the front axle play with the two huge bolts on either side of the front axle. Grease the contact points well.

46. Adjust your toe-in.

47. Inspect deck and deck drive belts, replacing as necessary. Buy new belts anyway as the old ones always break on Sunday

48. Inspect mule drive pulleys.

49. Inspect deck spindles. Grease all zerks you see and turn deck over and check for grease zerk under the spindle. Grease if present.

50. Slowly fill the transmission with 5 quarts of JD Hygard Low Viscosity fluid. Proper level is indicated when fluid is visible in the middle of the site glass on the rear of the transmission.

51. Inspect tires for severe cracking. Check and adjust air pressure. Repair or replace tires as necessary.

52. Inspect and grease front wheel bearing, replacing as necessary.

53. Set Front and rear (if equipped) PTO gaps to 0.018”.

54. Change rear PTO transmission fluid (if equipped)

55. Adjust brakes.

56. Set parking brake.

57. Add fresh fuel with 1 ounce of Seafoam Motor Treatment per gallon.

58. Prior to connecting the new fuel line to the carburetor, put it into small can or jar and crank engine for 10 seconds. Wait 20 seconds, and crank again for 10 seconds. Repeat until you have a decent fuel flow into your container. This purges any trash which may have gotten into the fuel line during replacement as well as verifies fuel flow.

59. Connect fuel line to carburetor.

60. Reinstall battery.

61. Start engine, allow to warm up at 1/4" throttle for about 4-5 minutes. Check for hydraulic fluid, engine oil, and fuel leaks.

62. Advance engine speed to ½ throttle.

63. Operate steering wheel lock to lock until front wheels move smoothly.

64. Operate inner and outer hydraulic control levers repeatedly. Observe smooth operation of the deck lift or rockshaft while operating the outer lever. Shoot some WD 40 into the shaft going into the pedestal to ensure smooth operation and displace any water collected there during washing.

65. Place a weight of approximately 40 lbs in the seat.

66. Release parking brake and operate the motion control lever forward to neutral then to reverse (repeatedly), watching for smooth operation of the rear wheels.

67. Observe whether the tires continue to turn with the motion control lever in neutral.

68. Stop engine.

69. Set parking brake.

70. Top up transmission fluid if necessary. Fluid should be halfway up sight glass when engine not running.

71. Remove tractor from jackstands.

72. Replace fender pan.

73. Replace belly screen.

74. Using caution if you observed creep previously, start the engine.

75. With your foot on the brake, release parking brake.

76. Purge the hydraulic system by driving the tractor backward and forward quickly, making a series of sharp left and right turns, raising and lowering the deck or raising/lowering/angling the front blade if you have one.

77. Bring the tractor to a stop on level ground. Observe whether or not the tractor creeps either forward or reverse with the hydrostatic control lever in neutral.

78. Research adjustment appropriate to your tractor’s serial numbers and perform adjustment. If unable to adjust the creep out, inspect the hydro linkages for wear.

79. Check engine compression. Squirt a bit of engine oil into the cylinder and retest.

80. With engine at ¾ throttle, test DC output of voltage regulator.

81. Check headlights and taillights.

82. Check operation of seat, PTO, and Neutral safety switches.

83. Check operation of all dash lights.

84. Replace side covers.

85. Securely fasten John Deere emblem to front grill if not present.

86. When shutting your tractor down for the day, get in the habit of closing the fuel valve, and lowering the deck/implement.

87. Check oil and hydro fluid before each use. Document oil consumption.

88. Perform your scheduled maintenance on time.

89. 10 hours from having completed the tranny fluid change, drain approximately 8 ounces of transmission fluid into a clear glass jar. Allow to settle and check for water, discoloration or contaminants. Perform another fluid and filter change if required. Otherwise, top up transmission fluid with fresh fluid.
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