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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 400 isn't moving well or lifting the deck...I hear the pump straining? to find fluid. no problem--I add some (figured it was low from adding the different attachments off and on). at low idel speed it seems to be better than at higher engine speed. Air in system??? not even sure I added it correctly. I'm sure there is a topic here that will tell me the way I should have done it...but i'm not finding it.

reason I think it was probably air in the system is I removed the fill cap after adding and trying it and got a small shower of oil (no need to oil the 3pt joints now).

can someone direct me in a direction to find the solution? better search term, link, lesson on hydro systems...?

Thanks in advance from frustrated user.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
did a bit more searching and not finding what I'm looking for.

missed out on a couple repair manuals for the 400 on ebay:banghead3

anyway..drained the rear end and started over to make sure I didn't have too much oil in the system. John deere dealer tells me there is approx. 5 qts to fill the system back up...I drained out a tad over 3.5qts. My sight tube (and newly added dipstick) show me where I think its in a safe operation range when I added 5 qts back into it. Still it doesn't work right. Struggles to lift the 3pt arms slowly when at a slow idle. Full wide open --- you can forget it. Nothing happens when the joy stick is operated.

I added fluid back to the system with it running in low idle, is this proper? My fluid was changed last summer or fall and now its not nearly as clean as it was then. Contaminated fluid?? Time to change the filter and fluid again? Something wrong with my pump? I double checked every fitting for being tight...seems ok there. No hoses look like they are damaged.

Anyone have a direction to point me toward...my lawns are getting rather out of control while its down for repair.
 

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Sounds like you are still low on fluid. Looking at the rear of the machine you should have a fill plug and a "sight tube" The fluid should be at the top of that fill plug and be showing in the sight tube. I drained mine and changed the filter and filled mine to the top of the fill hole and the ran the machine for a little bit, working all of the controls and driving it around the yard, After all of that I had to add more fluid to get it back up to the full level and have been cruising right along since.

Hope that helps and that you get it figured out.
 

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You should add all the oil before you start it. That could be a problem. Does your sight tube come from a fitting at about the top of the hitch plate? If you have this you dont need a dipstick. The dipstick looks like a pain, plus with the sight tube it takes a second to check the level.
 

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Change the filter. It sounds like it's plugged.

Pour some of the used fluid from the filter onto a paper towel. If silver metal particles show up, it's time to tear down the rear end. If brass shows, look for a fresh hydro.

I'll bet silver (aluminum) caused by loose/ broken bolts that hold the final drive/differential together chewing up the inside of the case. Been there, done that, same symptoms, same rear end, on my MF1655 many years ago.

I hope that it's just dirt, but given a choice of the other two options, silver is cheaper than gold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well that is my next step then...change fluid and filter. worst that can happen is nothing will change. Bought 2 gallons of fluid for $20 at my local Runnings. little cheaper than NAPA. I'll get a filter tommorrow and go to town on it.

Best way to get all the old fluid out?

I finally found 2 threads here that are also helpful along the hydro issues....
 

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Well that is my next step then...change fluid and filter. worst that can happen is nothing will change. Bought 2 gallons of fluid for $20 at my local Runnings. little cheaper than NAPA. I'll get a filter tommorrow and go to town on it.

Best way to get all the old fluid out?

I finally found 2 threads here that are also helpful along the hydro issues....
Some questions for ya:

So how did the old Hydro fluid look? Dark? Black? Burnt? Check as suggested..

You say it whined.. Has there been any extra hard workload been put on this tractor? Sheared key could cause the Hydro drive to slip..

*Use the correct type filter- no imitations or flow interruption possible..

Many 'Deere folks' recommend using the Hytran ($$) as it is especially designed for Deere hydros..

Jack the tractor up safely on stands after refilling and cycle the hydro in both froward and reverse to blead any air out of the circuit and filter.. Once things are bled & working well, lower and fill the rest of the way..

If it still slips or is sluggish / whiny.. Rebuild or replace the tranny.. I've seen a bunch on the web.. Do a search..

Just some ideas / thoughts..


:goodl:
 

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Best way to get all the old fluid out?

I finally found 2 threads here that are also helpful along the hydro issues....
Drain plug is in the bottom. Anything in the system has been through the filter, no bypass.

Check for particles before you put in fresh fluid. If they show up, you'll have to tear it down anyway and can save the fluid for after repairs.

If you have a funnel with a filter sceen in it, drain the rear end through that. Any particles should show up, but they may have mostly gone with the previous oil change. It's worth a try. Cutting open the filter is the best chance to check for particles.

What threads?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the replies and for the info. been push mowing the lawns and didnt get to the tractor to this AM. have photos and links that I will provide when I can get on the other computer. response is quick here cause I dont always get signal here at home on the laptop.
will continue when I get to my folks.

fluid looks sorta dark. no particles save for one small silver one...everything else was dirt I suppose.

Dad is wanting to get a summer only/back up machine LT140 JD today. We'll see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·


heres the color of the fluid....looks dark to me. almost like my morning coffee.


http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=182087&highlight=jd+400+hydraulic+system

http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=175604&highlight=jd+400+hydraulic+system&page=2

These are the 2 threads I finally found that sound like sorta what I'm dealing with.

Thanks again everyone....
Feel free to comment further....lots of rain comming my way the next 4-5 days so there is time to work on the beast. :trink39:
 

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The JD manual calls for only using the Hygard low viscosity hydraulic fluid or Type F transmission fluid on JD 400's. If the fluid in there is one or the other stick with it and do not change types. JD claims not all hydraulic fluids are not created equal so that maybe part of the problem. I have not challenged that claim with my 400 and buy the hygard. It's probably a little more expensive but...I have learned the hard way over the years not to cheat on stuff like that. The book also calls for checking the hydraulic pressure the hydro pump should be putting out. I can't remember exactly the PSI but it should be around 800. If you have a hydraulic pressure gauge put it on one of the front ports and get a reading. If the pressure is low then your pump maybe the problem. I know a Parker Hydraulic store will sell the gauge but have no idea on price.
 

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The JD400 uses a Sundstrand Series 15 hydrostatic transmission coupled to a Peerless 2500 reduction/ differential rear end. Sundstrand states that "most quality hydraulic fluids can be used". Massey Ferguson recommends Dexron for the same unit. Several other fluids are also acceptable.

The Allison C-3 Specification is what Sundstrand used for a measuring stick. That spec has been upgraded to C-4 sometime since 1978. If the fluid has that spec on the container, you're good.

Here's the service manual for the hydro.

http://www.sauer-danfoss.com/stellent/groups/publications/documents/product_literature/bln-9646.pdf

The Peerless manual seems to have been pulled from the net. We used to have the link in the Small Engines and Repair section under Tecumseh Engines. Last time I checked, the link didn't work, and neither did a direct access to the source of the link. Hopefully that gets changed soon.
 

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So I guesss JD is looking for extra money when they only recommend their hygard? I have no idea what is so different (if there is any) between the JD Hygard low vis versus any other hydraulic fluid out there on the market so I just stick what the JD books say since that is all I have. I just assume there is a difference in fluids, much like back in the day you were only supposed to use Type F transmission fluid in Fords and Dexron in GM's.

Anyway, you slice it though Locopny needs to use a good fluid. The picture of the brown mess he posted appears to be in desparate need of changing. I am guessing a fair amount of contamination and water is what in that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yes I agree that it needs changing as a minimum. I don't know how it got so bad looking so fast unless it came in with the extra cylinder on that front bucket.


between the weather and a trip out to the cemetary with Grandma to place a flag on Grandpas grave...I didn't get anything done on the tractor. I'll let ya know how it goes as I get at it on Tuesday.

Thanks for all the assistance on this machine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
update on this thread....
after an extensive flush of the hydro system and a long battle with a broken elbow I got the machine working. really dirty fluid. Must have gotten in when the "new" clyinders got plugged into the system. lesson learned well.

Made for perfect timing to use the new model 50 snow thrower and enjoy the cozy cab I bought for it while I was recovering/rehab. So fun that it works nicely now as I still cant do too much shoveling yet.
 

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Good deal.


I went through similar troubles and replaced the pump and tranny only to find out I had a cut in the suction hose.:banghead3
 
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