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Greetings,

I performed a baseline maintenance on the 4020 I recently purchased and when I drained the differential oil I found it was contaminated with water (milky appearance). All other oils looked good though.

To remedy the situation I allowed it to drain thoroughly and then put fresh oil into the differential, drove it around for 15 minutes and drained it again. I did this a second time but have not yet drained it to check for contamination. I decided I should consult the members of this board before proceeding with the clean up.

What is the best way to remove the contamination? Should I assume there is a leak somewhere that allows water to seep into the differential? If so, how should I proceed to repair the leak?

Thanks,
Allen
 

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Allen,

If you have drained it a couple of times that should take care of the problem. The most likely source of the water is through the seam between the top cover plate and the transmission casting from rain or pressure washing. You could replace the gasket which will require removing the gas tank and seat or you could just leave it as is if you keep the tractor stored under cover.
 

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Allen,

If you have drained it a couple of times that should take care of the problem. The most likely source of the water is through the seam between the top cover plate and the transmission casting from rain or pressure washing. You could replace the gasket which will require removing the gas tank and seat or you could just leave it as is if you keep the tractor stored under cover.
Bart,

Thanks. I thought what I did would do the trick. I never pressure wash any vehicles and I always keep the tractor in the barn.
 

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The top cover is held down with 6 small bolts but in addition the frame bolts go through there as well and are open to the inside of the transaxle. Basically lots of ways for water to get in. Mine were all finger loose. I'd suggest at least checking the bolts for snungess as this is where your tractor connects to your transaxle. a missing or very loose bolt could allow moist air to be sucked in as your trany cools. Does'nt take many decades to fill with water >LOL

just to let you know the gasket is less then 20 bucks and easy to source.

On mine one of the bolts was a torx head bolt (same as connects the travel motor is this normal ? I know someone was in there before (they bent the cover:fing20: )
 

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Yeah, I've tried to mow the seaweed out of my pond too - it just doesn't work to well, and I can't ever find a decent fitting snorkel either. :D
 

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The top cover is held down with 6 small bolts but in addition the frame bolts go through there as well and are open to the inside of the transaxle. Basically lots of ways for water to get in. Mine were all finger loose. I'd suggest at least checking the bolts for snungess as this is where your tractor connects to your transaxle. a missing or very loose bolt could allow moist air to be sucked in as your trany cools. Does'nt take many decades to fill with water >LOL

just to let you know the gasket is less then 20 bucks and easy to source.

On mine one of the bolts was a torx head bolt (same as connects the travel motor is this normal ? I know someone was in there before (they bent the cover:fing20: )
Thanks David. I will check it out to make sure everything is in order.
 

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Yeah, I've tried to mow the seaweed out of my pond too - it just doesn't work to well, and I can't ever find a decent fitting snorkel either. :D
I bet a genuine US ARMY jeep snorkeling kit will do the trick. With the kit you can ford six feet of water. Trouble is... the driver drowns.
 

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LOL, as a fisheries biologist I am often asked about weeds and algae, glad I never made recomendations for mowing. If some one finds a way to make it work please let me know.
 

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There is a little breather on top of the plate under the tank that although not with rain but probably with pressure washing can also let in water. Sounds like you cleaned it up pretty well. I used diesel fuel to clean/flush out mine before I put the new oil in. The guys here are right to check the frame to transaxle bolts, especially if the tractor was used to plow or blow snow.

If you do happen to remove the seat/fenders/tank ***'y be careful not to lift/pull the tank to high untill you remove the fuel line (the line is probably old/hard as rock) as you can break the fitting to the tank. I actually found it easier to disconnect the fuel line from the carb/pump, this allows you to pull the tank/line ***'y up higher and disconnect the tank fitting with more control.
 

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There is a little breather on top of the plate under the tank that although not with rain but probably with pressure washing can also let in water. Sounds like you cleaned it up pretty well. I used diesel fuel to clean/flush out mine before I put the new oil in. The guys here are right to check the frame to transaxle bolts, especially if the tractor was used to plow or blow snow.

If you do happen to remove the seat/fenders/tank ***'y be careful not to lift/pull the tank to high untill you remove the fuel line (the line is probably old/hard as rock) as you can break the fitting to the tank. I actually found it easier to disconnect the fuel line from the carb/pump, this allows you to pull the tank/line ***'y up higher and disconnect the tank fitting with more control.
Thanks for the tips. I have decided to check the transaxle bolts and may go as far as replacing the gasket. Althought I don't pressure wash the tractor I will wash it once in a while.
 

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Just to second the breather cleaning it took alot to get mine to pass air it was frozen closed. I don't know what kind of pressure could build up in there but in the absence of a working breather it needs to find it's own way to atomosphere and that means axle seals or the top gasket must pass it.

I would be leary of flushing the transaxle with a fuel unless you are sure it wont harm the axle seals (I don't know if it will or not)
No matter as once the top is off it is easy enough to clean out.
One suggestion before removing the tin is to soak all fasteners with penetrating oil. After removing my tin I am shopping for one helicoil and it could have been more. bolt broke as they are very, very soft:crybaby: (as is a lot of CI iron).

Oh yeah I think one of the dealers has a set of fender bolts on sale for 4 bucks. Nice and shiney:thThumbsU
 

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Just an FYI, diesel fuel is an oil product not a gasoline product and can be used as a penetrant (blaster Wd etc.) with a lot of success (In 82 I used DF in the cyl of a seized 4 cyl IH engine from 60's and this engine freed up and ran after 4 days and is still running today!). But you are correct that gasoline will harm most seals.
As far as the gasket mine was gone so I used the sealant that MU used on his (former) tiller.
 
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