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Discussion Starter #1
Good morning fellow John Deere fans!

I have had my 455 for a few weeks now, after a lot of cleaning and fluid changes I got to get some seat time yesterday.

My task yesterday was pulling a large lawn roller, the roller weighed about 1200 pounds and rolled pretty easy. I did not feel like the tractor had any trouble with it.

After pulling it for an hour or so I noticed the transaxle had a little more of whining noise, nothing obnoxious or noticeable by anyone else. I got off the tractor and felt the transaxle, geez it was hot. It would not burn your hand but you would not leave your finger on it long at all a few seconds at best.

Is that normal?

How hot does your transaxle get when you are working your 4xx....

I looked at the hydro plumbing schematic and wondered if anyone had ever plumbed in an additional hydro cooler?

Thank you for any insight you can provide.

Brad
 

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My advice is get a laser temp gun and find out how hot is really is. I'll bet it's ok since it is cooled by the radiator fluid. Hyd fluid doesn't like to be over 180-90deg which is about the lower temp in the radiator but that feels hot to a human!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi guys, so I pulled the roller around for about an hour again, the rear cover was 189 - 196 degrees.......

Given this is right around the radiator water temperature the temp is ok? What do you think?

Has anyone else ever checked your transaxle temps after working the tractor?
 

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You're at the limit for max operating temperature. For hydros, and hydraulic systems in general, normal recommended max operating temp is 180°. Max temp is 192-195°. Above this temp, the fluid begins to lose its ability to transmit power due to reduced viscosity. At 225°, the fluid begins to carbonize (burn) and the carbon particles cause accelerated wear. This is where the killer for the much maligned K46 resides.

Periodic 'rest' times are indicated to keep the temperature under control for that particular task. A 'rest' of a few minutes at high idle with the drive in neutral should lower the temp to a safer level if it gets any higher.

Ensure that your radiator fins are clear and the fan is in good condition for maximum cooling. There may be debris build-up in the fins or the rad prescreen inhibiting air flow. My understanding from previous threads is that the normal fluid temperature is about 177° +/- for the liquid cooled tractors with an oil cooler in the rad. Work that is harder will, of course, raise the temperature of the coolant with a corresponding rise of the hydro fluid temperature. If the hydro is at 196°, you can be assured that the engine temperature is even higher.

Keep in mind that only the fluid from the 4.6 gpm auxiliary pump goes through the cooler. The hydro pump recirculates up to 3 times as much fluid and that is where most of the heat is made. High hydro pressure is what develops heat in quantity.

WOT will help keep the temperature in check with sustained heavy load work. That delivers max flow from the auxiliary pump to the oil cooler, and max engine coolant and air flow to the rad.
 

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I agree with Bob, that seems a little warm. I'll try and grab some data tonight off my 455. Couple questions:

What fluid did you use?
What was the ambient temp?
Where did you measure the temps?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am starting to question my cheap thermal gun, the engine runs nice and cool and the radiator is whistle clean.

I am going to bring home a better Fluke thermal gun from work to take these readings again.

I used JD Hy- Gard and JD #AM116156 Filter

Ambient temp was 78 and the engine temp was on the cool side.

I marked a picture to show you where I shot the temps.

If the weather holds out I will do this test again soon and post new numbers.

Do you have any recommendation on where to check the temps?

Thanks Guys!
 

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Enginerd - DieselDork
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There are a few other things you should check:

1. Coolant temperature and level. Since (as someone else pointed out) the transaxle is cooled by the radiator, transaxle temps are going to get pretty close to coolant temps. Make sure you aren't also overheating your engine due to low fluid levels and/or defective radiator cap or thermostat.

2. Double-check this measurement with your coolant temp gauge. These gauges are notorious for getting "sticky" in the older clusters. If your coolant temperature gauge doesn't return to "low" when you key off, this may be a sign that the gauge is sticky.

3. Hydro fluid level. Make sure you've got plenty of "mass" in the system... a full transaxle reservoir will take longer to heat up than an "empty" one.

4. Hydro fluid filter. If it's not flowing well, fluid can't get through the system as quickly and your cooling will be affected.
 

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I'd check the temp at the radiator top tank, bottom tank and fluid return line to the transaxle. That will tell you the engine operating temp(top tank), radiator temp drop(bottom tank) and the temp of the fluid being returned to the transaxle. compare those readings to the rear cover temps you take. Also check the filter temp, as that is the temp of the fluid being returned to the reservoir.
 

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I'd check the temp at the radiator top tank, bottom tank and fluid return line to the transaxle. That will tell you the engine operating temp(top tank), radiator temp drop(bottom tank) and the temp of the fluid being returned to the transaxle. compare those readings to the rear cover temps you take. Also check the filter temp, as that is the temp of the fluid being returned to the reservoir.
On a hydro, the filter is on the supply side. The filter temperature reading will be the temperature of the fluid entering the hydro.

That is the one that counts. Ideally, it should be lower than 180°.
 

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Here is a little info from my 455.... took the liberty of borrowing a FLIR Camera from work (with permission of course). Ambient temp was about 65. Keep in mind the scale is not constant across the images.

Before mowing....


After about 3 minutes of run time.


After about 7 mins of mowing the front ditch.


Peak temp after mowing for ~25 minutes. I took the temp gun and got a few readings in the 175 range but most all were in the low to mid 160's.


I'll try to get some better pictures this weekend. I was running out of light (the camera also takes a light image with the thermal image) and the camera emissivity settings were not 100% correct for aluminum.

EDIT*** Forgot this image. Radiator was about 150F after mowing.


For those of you that wonder about spindle temps... these are freshly rebuilt spindles with less than 10 hours on them.
 

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I am starting to question my cheap thermal gun, the engine runs nice and cool and the radiator is whistle clean.

I am going to bring home a better Fluke thermal gun from work to take these readings again.

I used JD Hy- Gard and JD #AM116156 Filter

Ambient temp was 78 and the engine temp was on the cool side.

I marked a picture to show you where I shot the temps.

If the weather holds out I will do this test again soon and post new numbers.

Do you have any recommendation on where to check the temps?

Thanks Guys!

Low Vis Hygard is the preferred fluid from Deere.... Granted lots of folks run other oils in the K series transaxles just fine... But I am wondering if the Hygard is a little too thick compared to LV Hygard and other recommended oils.... I would have to dig around for the ISO rating of other oils.

The machine looks nice and clean but is the top of the hydro clean as well? Build up of oil and grime can cause heat retention.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
MrBeef

Very nice thermal pictures, I had to laugh at the fact you beat me to the punch. I have a Flir camera sitting on my desk and didn’t take it home yesterday because of the rain. I will take it today so I can compare our pictures and temps.

I will try to keep my pictures in the same time frames so we have an accurate comparison.

I will get as many shots from various angles as I can.

This forum community is so amazing, no have cocked answers here. People are lazy and rarely put any effort into helping someone, this group is a breath of fresh air! I am glad I picked up this 455 a few weeks ago, I would of never found this site!

Thanks again!
Brad
 

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On a hydro, the filter is on the supply side. The filter temperature reading will be the temperature of the fluid entering the hydro.

That is the one that counts. Ideally, it should be lower than 180°.
e

You're right of course. I intended to type 'from the reseroir'.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well I think I can throw away my cheap temp gun, I started a thread for no reason.....:tango_face_plain:

I pulled the same very heavy roller again today that I thought got my transaxle too hot. I pulled it for 30 minutes fast and without stopping. I was about 3/4 throttle right in the sweet smooth spot. This thing is clearly not even being worked hard, I am very happy with how strong and willing it is.

These pictures were taken immediately after I stopped. The temps seem to be perfect!

Thank you for all the help with my question.
 

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No problem there!

Happy tractoring!
 

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Enginerd - DieselDork
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Looks good.

Keep in mind for the future that 3/4 throttle means you're not getting the full cooling effect of the fan. Obviously not a problem in this case, but if you upgrade to a 3,000 lb lawn roller you might want to consider it! :)
 

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Looks good.

Keep in mind for the future that 3/4 throttle means you're not getting the full cooling effect of the fan. Obviously not a problem in this case, but if you upgrade to a 3,000 lb lawn roller you might want to consider it! :)
That's really not a big load for a heavy GT. Most any LT can pull a 2000 lb cart with it's two 6" wide tires across the lawn.

Keep in mind that the GT in question weighs about 1000 lb with no attachments or added ballast. Fully loaded with a loader, all up ballast, and an operator, it can weigh well over 2500 lb all by itself. The footprint of a typical 5000 lb pickup truck is less than 3' wide compared to a 4' wide roller, and a heavy GT with that much ballast can pull a 6000 lb truck out of a 1' deep ditch at 3/4 throttle.

With a rolling load, the engine and hydro only work hard when getting the load moving. Once in motion, the load on both is surprisingly light to keep it in motion.
 
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