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Discussion Starter #1
I had picked up this tractor cheap with a bad engine and just got finished re-powering it. I dont have the 917 # handy, but its an Lt1000 17hp with a Hydro Gear 322-0510. The problem is that it barely goes in reverse, and when you are going forward, you have to push the lever all the way for it to move, and its not moving that fast. When I first got it running it wouldnt move either way no mastter how far the lever was moved. I did the purging procedure outlined in the manual and it moves now, but if you go up the slightest incline, the tractor either comes to a stop or slowly climbs up it. Reverse seems to work when it wants to. Is this one of those un-serviceable axles, or can I actually check/add fluid to it? What type of oil does it use? Thanks!
 

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It takes 20W50 motor oil. There is a plug at the top where you can check the level. Fill it as full as you can. It has a separate expansion tank with vent cap so it cannot be overfilled. You would be best off replacing all the oil.
 

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They say it is un-serviceable but...

The tranny in my Husqvarna (same Hydro Gear transaxle) did the same thing. I pulled the tranny from the tractor, drained the old fluid, and replaced it with new. Put it back in and went through the purge procedure, and everything was/is fine.
It takes 78.8 oz of 20w-50 oil
 

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Discussion Starter #4
How do I drain the fluid out? Just pour it out of the fill hole on top or do I have to split the axel open?
 

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Drain it out through the fill hole
 

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But you don’t want to break it down.

You just want to remove the fill plug (#109 in the diagram) and drain the fluid from there. Then refill
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Bad news, I drained the fluid through the plug on top, and put in the fresh stuff (about 2 1/4 qts). I ran it through the purging procedure again, several times, and its a no go. It wouldnt move either way at all at first, then I got off the tractor and while it was in gear (while pushing on the seat) I moved the tractor forward by hand and after about 8 feet it started moving on its own. I tried purging it again, but all I could get it to do was move as if it was in slow when the engine is full throtte and the lever forward all the way. No reverse at all. I checked the belt, its ok and not slipping, the brake is not locked, and the wheel keys are good. When it does decide to move, there is a lot of groaning coming from the rear end too. After I spent about 20 min purging/slowly driving it, I felt the axle housing and it was warm, so something is happening. What else to try or is it time for a tare down?
 

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Your lucky to have a hydro gear tranny, the parts are one third the price of the tuff torq's. How did the original fluid look, silvery? Any metal particals?

You can rebuild the Hydro Gear trannys for around $300 in parts. Usually the center section and cylinder assemblies receive the most wear and fluid starts leaking by especially when the oil gets hot and loses some of it vicosity.

You can do the rebuild for about $200 if you resurface the cylinder body faces yourself by using a nice flat surface(thick glass or table saw top) and decreasing the grits of sandpaper used until you acheive a highly polished finish.
:goodl:
 

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I copied this from one of my old post on this same topic. It takes quite a while to get it purged.

You will probably have to do them several times (I had to do it 4). Also the section about “after the tractor moves approximately five 5 feet”, the first attempt this took quite a while. I was sitting there for about 20 minutes before the tractor started to creep forward. And it still took several minutes for it to move those 5 feet. Each attempt thereafter took less & less time to complete. After you complete one purge, let the tractor set for about 10 minutes before another attempt.

After your done the tractor should feel a little faster, and also the hydro should feel a little more responsive.

•Place tractor safely on level surface with engine off and
parking brake set.
• Disengage transmission by placing freewheel control
in freewheeling position.
• Sitting in the tractor seat, start engine. After the engine
is running, move throttle control to slow position.
With motion control lever in neutral position, slowly
disengage clutch/brake pedal.
• Move motion control lever to full forward position and
hold for five 5 seconds. Move lever to full reverse
position and hold for five 5 seconds. Repeat this
procedure three 3 times.
NOTE: During this procedure there will be no movement of
drive wheels. The air is being removed from hydraulic drive
system.
• Move motion control lever to neutral position. Shutoff
engine and set parking brake.
• Engage transmission by placing freewheel control in
driving position.
• Sitting in the tractor seat, start engine. After the engine
is running, move throttle control to half speed.
With motion control lever in neutral position, slowly
disengage clutch/brake pedal.
• Slowly move motion control lever forward, after the
tractor moves approximately five 5 feet, slowly move
motion control lever to reverse position. After the
tractor moves approximately five 5 feet return the
motion control lever to the neutral position. Repeat
this procedure with the motion control lever three 3
times.
• Your tractor is now purged and now ready for normal
operation.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The oil didn't look that bad really, just looked a little grey, no metal particles from what I saw. I'll have to give purging another shot tomorrow, maybe it will behave better after sitting overnight.
 

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It took me about 2 hours to get it purged and moving normally
 

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Discussion Starter #15
by the way, is this one of the cheap light duty hydros or a better one? I was thinking about pulling a leaf vac with it this fall, the vac it self is from the 70s and is all steel, weighing about 200lbs empty
 

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They are more of a medium duty.
You should be fine pulling the lawn vac.
I pull a 400lb lawn roller without any problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the help everyone, I finally got it going after about an hour of purging. She goes up hills at all speeds and reverse just fine now. Thanks!
 

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I wonder how many tractors I see on CL (or in the metal piles at landfills and scrapyards!) with "blown tranny" in the ad really IS "blown" or worn out..I bet many would come back to life if they changed the oil and purged them!..a shame so many are too hasty to scrap something..
I recently got a call from a friend--said someone he knew was thinking of "junking" a 6 year old Craftsman 19 hp tractor,because " the engine seized up"...I got to his house just as he was backing out of his driveway,with it in his truck--guy said "well,I think its junk,but if you have an engine that'll fit it,I'll buy it off you--or maybe I'll just drop it in YOUR yard instead!..I already have another tractor to use.."

I looked at the tractor,and the drive belt for the hydro had broke,and wound up TIGHT around the crank pulley!..nothing was wrong with the engine!..when I pointed that out to him,he said "well,I guess I'll keep it then--I'll give you 75 bucks to put a new belt on it,if you want"..I didn't really need another tractor and was glad to get some cash,so I got a new belt and installed it--it ran fine afterwards..never did figure out why the belt broke though,maybe just decided to snap?..another one saved from the junkpile!..:)
 
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