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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
This was probably discussed in the original post, but just in case... I believe this transaxle has two drain plugs and two fill ports. I'm guessing that you knew that, but I wanted to be sure.
2 drains yes, but only 1 fill port as far as I can see...
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From another forum:

  • Jul 25, 2015
  • K71 has 2 fill points.
    One is through the yellow fill plug where the diff is.
    The 2nd is through the reservoir.
    Remove the reservoir by undoing the 12mm bolt on top of the transmission which is in front of the reservoir.
    The 12mm is connected to a pipe which goes in the gearbox.
    remove and with a pipe fill up the level until it is topped up.
    Then fit the reservoir and fill up. While filling oil engage hand brake and turn white fan on gearbox.
    Fill up diff side.
    Now you need to purge air.
    Jack rear wheels. Add weight to seat switch. Start engine at low idle with dump valve pulled out. Disengage handbrake to allow gearbox pulley to turn. Push and pull forward pedal then push dump valve
    In and push pull forward pedal and keep repeating until wheels move.
    Increase rpm and that should be it.
    Turn steering couple times for power steering.
    Use a 5 or 10/50 fully synthetic oil for long life instead of a 10w40.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
were you able to fit the proper amount of fluid back in ?
Yeah it took about 5 quarts. I've read you can get a little more of the old oil out if you rock it back and forth, which I didn't at the time, but it's not low on trans oil.
 

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I'm still thinking it will turn out to be something silly. I can't imagine anyone that beats on their equipment worse than I do. I was mowing my 7 acre field of 3-4' high grass this weekend. When I had my 12'X40' garage brought in, I had to clear that last 100 yards of overhanging tree limbs. It was easier to just cut the whole tree down and use my F150 4X4 to drag the whole tree up into the field. it's been two years and every chance I get I'll drag a tree up to our burn pit and let the young guys cut and burn it. This weekend, every time I came to a tree grown over with weeds and vines, I put a choker on it, and drug it back to the burn pit. AND, I was still mowing as I drug the trees back. My X540 has 1050+ hours on it. I was talking to our JD dealer last week about my X500 I bought for my daughter. I bought it at auction, so anything they say, can not be taken for gospel. They said it had a brand new engine with 4 hours on it. As far as I know, it has a brand new meter with 4 hours on it. She said, bring in the serial number and she can tell me any work done by any JD dealer anywhere. If a dealer put a new engine in it, it will be listed.

So, take the serial number to any dealer and ask them to run it for service performed. If the original owner had service performed at the dealer you bought it from, before he traded it in, it's on file. Might not fix anything, but, it will tell you what service was done by a dealer, and it's free.
 

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I confess I didn't quite follow the parking brake comment. I get tying it, and checking if it will spin a tire, but that was while flooring the pedal.

I'm not sure how you check the parking brake, as it relates to this.

Also, davescarp, in the other thread, you had mentioned that you were going to get the different (higher viscosity) transmission fluid. Did that fluid change anything?
Slack or disconnected brake linkages can potentially apply some brake, especially with the tractor heading up slope.

The average hours of service for most GTs is somewhere between 25 and 100 hours per year. At 12 years, 384 hours falls within that range of average hours (300 - 1200).

A tractor that has been abused or brutalized to the point that the hydro needs a rebuild, will also show significant wear or damage in other places, specifically, the steering linkage and the transaxle to frame mounts. The chance of such being the case are somewhere between slim and none at such low hours on an intermediate grade GT hydro. The hydro pressures to induce such wear are intense, which also means that torque generation is high in the extreme. The only way to generate such pressures to cause significant wear in so few hours is by pulling significant loads up long, high angle, grades where wheel weights and/or liquid ballast would be required for traction just to get the load moving.

Things that will cause a hydro to under-perform while climbing a slope::
  • Less than necessary belt tension. This may or may not include belt squeal.
  • Worn splines or sheared keys. There is a time factor involved that will bring the tractor to a halt in short order. There is also a noise factor with splines. They will make a buzzing sound. Climbing slopes is not likely to happen in either case.
  • Plugged filter. Usually accompanied by heat.
  • Wear due to manufacturer's defective parts, spinning the hydro with no fluid in it, or excessive high pressures over extended time as mentioned above. This will also be accompanied by heat in quantity. Normal service life expectancy with reasonable (not necessarily by-the-book) maintenance should be well above 3000 hours.

Note that low fluid level is not included. If there is enough fluid in the reservoir to keep the supply intake flooded, a hydro will operate normally. If the intake is not flooded, the hydro will stop working. There is no slow down involved. A low fluid level and slope climbing will result in a stop.

My best guess, belt tension or filter.

Hydros are torque generators.They produce axle torque all out of proportion to engine torque. Tie a tractor to a tree and ramp up to full throttle. When the GO pedal is pushed, either the wheels spin, or they don't. If they spin, the hydro, belt tension, keys, and splines are fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Funny thing just happened as I'm sitting in my home office, my cell rings and it's the Deere dealer in my driveway looking to pick up my x500 that I called about. My 13 yr old lab was welcoming the visitor when I walked out there. A week ago they told me 4-6 weeks minimum which is why I've been looking at doing the rebuild myself. Poor guy had a BIG trailer and had to back down my 600ish foot driveway with a couple of curves. I told them sorry but I'm not going to have them take it at this point.
 

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I'm hoping you didn't stick a filter in the x500 it doesn't require one! just thought if you did who knows what that might do to oil flow!
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
I'm hoping you didn't stick a filter in the x500 it doesn't require one! just thought if you did who knows what that might do to oil flow!
haha nope, no filter on the x500's. no external hydros. kind of like everything being manual but it's all I've been used to. manual deck lift is easy with the assist spring set correctly, and honestly the manual steering is a piece of cake too, but I can see where power steering would be nice.
 

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I won't do anything to the flow. It just sits there submerged in fluid.
I've never opened one of these units up or looked at flow schematics [if there is one},but I assume the charge pump is what pushs the fluid through the filter! I was thinking without a charge pump in the unit and putting a filter in the hole might allow the filter to travel where it "would" impede flow!
 

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Most hydros have a filter. Some are internal and not accessible without disassembling the hydro, and some are external for regular filter changes.

The charge pump draws fluid from the reservoir (rear end or transaxle case), through the filter, and then to the hydro. For those systems that include hydraulics, any fluid flow not being used as make-up fluid for the hydro continues to the power steering and/or implement lift before returning to the reservoir.

Filters that can stand up to even charge pump pressures get expensive very quickly.
 
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Detailed in another thread, but I have a x500 with <400 hrs that is exhibiting all the signs of a bad transaxle. I've replaced the fluid, drive belt, pulleys etc. with no change. I bought it used from an older gentleman who bought it used so not sure what's it's been through in life but it has 386 hrs so not too impressed either way. I mow my semi hilly yard, move a little snow (do most with my truck), haul some mulch, your everyday suburban ****.

My options are wait 4-6 weeks for my Deere dealer to tell me they need to replace it for >$2000 (yes 4-6 weeks), buy a used K72 with unknown history for $8-900 on ebay and strap it on, or drop $400 on the rebuild kit do it myself. I just watched 12 hrs of youtube videos and it's not as daunting as I thought, but haven't seen a video or tutorial on a k72 proper. This would be the first transaxle I've worked on, but am reasonably good at following directions and can read and follow a schematic well.

So, should I do the rebuild??? or just sell it as is and recoup as much as I can out of it? I have the 48" front blade/plow and a power flow for it, so have a bunch in vested in the x5xx series platform right now... Here's a pic of the offender, because pics make every thread better.

View attachment 2511065
Check the linkages and connection to the transaxle. My 345 was doing the same thing and I found a roll pin about to twist in two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
Repair kit finally secured, didn't order it directly from TT but they drop ship it. took 3 weeks to get here. I might be tackling this project this weekend. hope to take a few photos along the way. I haven't found a video on YouTube of a rebuild specifically on a K72, and I"m not going to be the first but looking at the parts diagrams and watching the other videos tells me they are all more similar than different. Hope if works or I wasted a lot of time and $$$
 

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A little relief knowing the kits are available! does the kit come with any instruction to rebuild or measurement check on reused parts! I'd certainly be examining every piece I took off relating to power transfer! hopefully you find the reason it's not working. i find it very frustrating when you can't really pinpoint the reason an engine or trans. is acting up and after reassembly works fine!
I know one thing I would be doing, the k72 has a relief port in the reverse circuit that iliminates creep, I'd be looking carefully how this was done. I find the 72b gives less wheel torque in reverse than forward and I might be tempted to reduce that port size! since new my x500 would pull my 21' boat trailer up over a small curb into the shop but wouldn't back it up to the same spot. If you could post a pic. of the how that relief port is designed it would be appreciated!
 

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I tried to switch the motor mount in a k57.. Did not go well. There was a vidoe posted on a rebuild K 48 I think, tried to follow it. Be careful a lot of little pins like to fall out and all. Of course, I have found my mechanical expertise is more self imposed than what happens in reality. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 · (Edited)
Well, cracked it open this evening. pretty straight forward, sort of. pretty much no instructions to go on so you have to follow the schematic, there are only a handful of parts that include the pump and motor assembly and the center housing. Youtube's been my friend so far, the rebuilds of the other models I watched are very similar. Couple of tricky parts are adding the spring to inside the pump and motor assemblies and securing with a snap ring, remembering which assembly goes where (they are different sized), then it's real tricky getting the whole center housing assembly back in place and bolted down. I ran out of carb cleaner so I had to quit here for tonight. It's a bear removing all the old sealant and I definitely want to make sure the seal is good.

Hopefully I can get it all back together and on the tractor by the end of the weekend. Did a dry run of putting the cover back on and that isn't exactly simple either, but with some patience it's manageable. Now, I have no idea if this will actually solve the problems I was having but feels like progress. The magnets had some metal "flour" on them but everything looks more or less pretty good. Bearings spin without any issue or play, gears seem like there is barely any wear. Hope it works!!!!

Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive exterior Hood Tire
 

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Cool, good luck! Remind me, the other thread that was mentioned, was that a discussion about it (suddenly?) being unable to climb hills? I'm not sure if I'm thinking of the correct thread.

What have you found so far? Any "smoking guns", of stuff that seems worn or damaged? Just for curiosity, can I ask roughly what the repair/rebuild kit cost?

I'm a bit envious of you Tuff Torq folks :) Searching YouTube, etc, for hydro rebuilds shows quite a bit of Tuff Torq results, and very little for Hydro Gear, unfortunately. But even this one picture is interesting, thanks. I presume the canister in the upper center is an internal oil filter?
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
Cool, good luck! Remind me, the other thread that was mentioned, was that a discussion about it (suddenly?) being unable to climb hills? I'm not sure if I'm thinking of the correct thread.

What have you found so far? Any "smoking guns", of stuff that seems worn or damaged? Just for curiosity, can I ask roughly what the repair/rebuild kit cost?

I'm a bit envious of you Tuff Torq folks :) Searching YouTube, etc, for hydro rebuilds shows quite a bit of Tuff Torq results, and very little for Hydro Gear, unfortunately. But even this one picture is interesting, thanks. I presume the canister in the upper center is an internal oil filter?
So yeah this trans gradually started losing power going up a moderate hill, and would make excessive noise in doing so. Conditions got worse as the unit heated up. Has 375 hrs on it but I suspect that may not be entirely accurate.

I paid $400 for the rebuild kit, it took 3 weeks to ship to me. Yes that an internal oil filter, the K72B doesn't have any other filter elements unlike some other models because the x500 doesn't have power steering or deck lift. For what they give you, $400 feels like a premium but much better than buying a used or god forbid a new trans. gotta pay to play, right?

Honestly not really any smoking guns, but "feels" like the tolerances of the motor and pump assemblies are tighter than the ones I took out. My rudimentary understanding of how these guys work would indicate that very small variations in the tolerances can make a huge difference. so we all will see if I'm a $400 dollar guinea pig. the motor on this machine runs flawlessly so to me it was a reasonable investment, and with some better preventative maintenance should last a real long time after the repair. IF IT WORKS lol! ;)
 
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