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I have a Cub Cadet XT1 46 with the K46. It is about a year old now and coming up on 50hrs on it. Part of me really wants to drop the K46 and do a drain a fill, as I do work it a little, but the other part of me says that I shouldn't touch it, as I still have 2 yrs unlimited hours of warranty coverage, and I'm afraid that doing maintenance on a "sealed unit" may void my warranty.

From what I understand the first fluid change is usually the most important, and something that I would want to do early on. I could wait until my warranty is up, but at that point I feel like it may have taken a lot of extra wear while still "'surviving."

FWIW, I usually try to mow the steepest part of my yard first, then move on to the flat section to give it some time to cool before finishing with the lesser sloped area. I also use it to maintain my gravel drive which is also quite steep. This usually requires my leaning and working to manage wheel spin (open diff) when pulling the loaded drag up the hill, but not sure how hard this is on it. I try not to "beat on it, and if it starts to get too hot to the touch while working on the drive I give it a rest or park over a sprinkler for a few before continuing.

I know I am probably pushing it a little beyond what it was designed for, but I really like the tractor and want it to last as long as possible. What would you do?
 

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I've seen the XT1 at the local CC dealer/farm center I frequent for other items, but I'm unfamiliar with its capabilities and build.

If this model does have a sealed unit, don't touch it as for sure it could very well void the warranty, depending on how the warranty is written. It might void the mower as a whole, or just the part that you worked on that wasn't designed to be a maintained item.

If it is sealed, how by dropping the transaxle would you be replacing the fluid? Is there a plug on the top, or go through some cover you've been told about? Is the fluid something you can even get at your local dealer? I'd start there first, because if its' not available and you put in something that the bearings/seals aren't designed for, or a different viscosity than found at a local automotive store, it could spell even bigger problems later on.

OTOH, If it did have a fill/drain plug for doing what you want, that'd be a different story as then the factory would be saying that this unit needs maintenance to do the job over time and has a certain schedule to maintain. Then you could get the proper fluid, or a fluid that's comparable to the factory fluid specs, and do the drain/fill routine, but keeping the receipt and make a log as to the maintenance/date and you'd be covered according to the Magnason-Moss Act.

Del
 

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Pose the question to the dealer. How he answers may drop the ball back into your court and you'll have a decision to make at that time. Especially so with the work that you're doing with the K46.
 

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Pose the question to the dealer. How he answers may drop the ball back into your court and you'll have a decision to make at that time. Especially so with the work that you're doing with the K46.
:ditto: This one for sure....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've seen the XT1 at the local CC dealer/farm center I frequent for other items, but I'm unfamiliar with its capabilities and build.

If this model does have a sealed unit, don't touch it as for sure it could very well void the warranty, depending on how the warranty is written. It might void the mower as a whole, or just the part that you worked on that wasn't designed to be a maintained item.

If it is sealed, how by dropping the transaxle would you be replacing the fluid? Is there a plug on the top, or go through some cover you've been told about? Is the fluid something you can even get at your local dealer? I'd start there first, because if its' not available and you put in something that the bearings/seals aren't designed for, or a different viscosity than found at a local automotive store, it could spell even bigger problems later on.

OTOH, If it did have a fill/drain plug for doing what you want, that'd be a different story as then the factory would be saying that this unit needs maintenance to do the job over time and has a certain schedule to maintain. Then you could get the proper fluid, or a fluid that's comparable to the factory fluid specs, and do the drain/fill routine, but keeping the receipt and make a log as to the maintenance/date and you'd be covered according to the Magnason-Moss Act.

Del
This unit does not have a drain plug, but from what I have read I can drop/remove the trans axle and drain/fill through the fill hole which should be accessible from the top once removed. I also read to refill with 5w50 synthetic motor oil. This is going based on what I have read on this forum and is hopefully correct.

Pose the question to the dealer. How he answers may drop the ball back into your court and you'll have a decision to make at that time. Especially so with the work that you're doing with the K46.
This is a good idea. I did not even think of calling a dealer for their input, as I had purchased from a "Box Store," but if I had a problem they would be the ones to see it anyways.

Thanks to all for the replies.
 

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If the transmissions fails Under the warranty Period MTD will replace it . There Not Like Husqvarna They will actually handle the warranty In House . I have a friend with a XT2 GX54D He hasn't Touch the transmission but as soon as the warranty is over He will start doing Maintenance On it. The dealer was fine with Him changing out the fluid if He wanted to do it before the 3 year Unlimited Hr warranty was Up:thThumbsU
 

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I also read to refill with 5w50 synthetic motor oil.
You have some great advice already, I just want to weigh in on the oil if you choose this route and make sure the wrong oil advice isn't followed:tango_face_wink:

The 5w50 is right but it is crucial that it meet JASO MA2 standards according to Tuff Torq.

It should say on the bottle that it is formulated for "Wet Clutch" applications, such as ATV/UTV oil. The K46 has a wet brake.

Most oil for our cars have friction modifiers for enhanced fuel economy and such, this would or could cause harm in the K46. I have left you with all the official documentation I have on checking the oil/ kind/ and maintenance of the K46 from Tuff Torq. I hope this helps.

By the way, the lawn tractor chassis in your XT1 is a very tough/ durable chassis and is also in the Cub Cadet Yard Tractors (XT2). A good tractor.

I left a picture of what I use in my K66 on the Tuff Torq Maintenance schedule. I'll leave a copy of that too.

:tango_face_smile:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just wanted to take minute to update this thread with the input I received from my local Cub dealer.

Basically, I was told that a "sealed" trans axle is not meant to be serviced, and for that reason, any work done, even it was maintenance, would void my warranty on the unit.

I could hear the person I spoke with asking some of the other employees, and to be honest, I was not impressed with the dialog I overheard. They could not understand/comprehend the logic behind servicing the unit, and kept asking why I would want to do maintenance on a maintenance free unit. I tried to explain that just because it is not a simple task to perform without a drain plug, it doesn't mean that the unit would not benefit from some fresh fluid, kind of like the Briggs no oil change system. This kept going in a circle back to the "It's a sealed unit that's not meant to be serviced, so why would you want to do that." The conversation pretty much ended with them saying when they die they die, and that's all there is to it :(

That said, I am not sure how I am going to proceed with this. The options I am seeing are...

1. Take my chances, drop the unit and change the fluid and hope I don't have any warranty issues

2. Use it as I have been, allowing time to cool in between working it hard and change the fluid as soon as my warranty coverage is up

3. Use it as I would a larger machine without taking breaks, get stuff done faster, just use the warranty if needed and sell/replace the tractor with something beefier after the warranty expires
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You have some great advice already, I just want to weigh in on the oil if you choose this route and make sure the wrong oil advice isn't followed:tango_face_wink:

The 5w50 is right but it is crucial that it meet JASO MA2 standards according to Tuff Torq.

It should say on the bottle that it is formulated for "Wet Clutch" applications, such as ATV/UTV oil. The K46 has a wet brake.

Most oil for our cars have friction modifiers for enhanced fuel economy and such, this would or could cause harm in the K46. I have left you with all the official documentation I have on checking the oil/ kind/ and maintenance of the K46 from Tuff Torq. I hope this helps.

By the way, the lawn tractor chassis in your XT1 is a very tough/ durable chassis and is also in the Cub Cadet Yard Tractors (XT2). A good tractor.

I left a picture of what I use in my K66 on the Tuff Torq Maintenance schedule. I'll leave a copy of that too.

:tango_face_smile:
Thanks FLH for the wealth of great information! The bit about the JASO MA2 standard makes a lot of sense and was not something I was aware of or had considered.

I have bookmarked for reference.
 

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You may want to bring up TuffTorq's own website in conversation with the dealer, as much good as that may do.
On this page of Oil Maintenance for the K46:

https://www.tufftorq.com/tuff-torq-k46-oil-maintenance/

There are also numerous videos on Youtube regarding oil changes for the supposedly unserviceable K46.
 

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People have been using Mobil 1 5w-50 or 15w-50 for a LONG time with great results. The wet clutch in a motorcycle motor is a completely different animal than the wet brake in the K46. The motorcycle clutch has fiber faces plates bearing against metal plates. It's the fiber plates that need the "protection" of special oils. The K46 brake is a metal disc and metal pucks. No type of oil is going to give this brake progressive action. It's mostly a parking brake.

BTW, I used Mobil 1 car oil in my last 4 stroke road racing bike. It's use was almost universal.
 

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Simple solution; 2 year warranty at 50 hours per year equals 100 hours at the end of warranty. After the warranty is up, change the fluid.

When you drain the fluid, evaluate it's condition and make your decision on whether to buy a new tractor with a better hydro or keep that one.

The hardest task for the hydro that you mentioned is mowing the steepest slope, but you're doing it while the hydro is relatively cool. Pulling the drag is not quite as hard unless you are applying ballast for improved traction.
 

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"if it starts to get too hot to the touch while working on the drive I give it a rest or park over a sprinkler for a few before continuing."

Not sure applying cold water to a hot transmission is a very good idea.
 

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Sell it ans buy one with a filter and drain plug.

Or do what you want( I would not bother) If it does fail under warranty..(which it wont)
MTD will have you take it to a service center. They will never know you touched it if you don't tell them.
How many people do this????? Less than 1% so there is no reason to suspect you have messed with it.

Now....quit buying anything with a K46 in it and the world will be a better place.
 

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I have the dreaded K46 in my Craftsman G5100 with 100 hrs on it. Despite reading the TT website, MTF, and similar sites I did not pick up on the JASO MA2 requirement till I saw this thread. THANK YOU - You guys and gals are my heros!! for sharing this piecve of critical info - it makes all the difference to use a JASO MA fluid versus a friction-reduced fluid, e.g. "standard" Mobil 1 5W50.
 

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You get what you pay for.. If you want something with a tougher tranny than the k46 you will have to go older or fork over more $ . John deere x350 I believe is the cheapest with a tougher tranny at better than $3k. I use a deere LX 178 with a k64 that was about $3500 in 1994. Still runs perfect.
 

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People have been using Mobil 1 5w-50 or 15w-50 for a LONG time with great results. The wet clutch in a motorcycle motor is a completely different animal than the wet brake in the K46. The motorcycle clutch has fiber faces plates bearing against metal plates. It's the fiber plates that need the "protection" of special oils. The K46 brake is a metal disc and metal pucks. No type of oil is going to give this brake progressive action. It's mostly a parking brake.

BTW, I used Mobil 1 car oil in my last 4 stroke road racing bike. It's use was almost universal.
I was reviewing this and thought I should point out a few things for those asking the question or on the fence with a decision that could cost them more than they are willing to risk on an attempt to do a good thing by maintaining their transaxle.

1) I passed on safe information, not experimental. I encourage people to confirm with the manufacturer such as I did, in this case it's not Husqvarna but Tuff Torq.

When you recommend mobile 1 such as I use in my vehicles, you may be right in your experience. Nothing wrong with this. You also have made the decision to use an oil outside the recommendation of the manufacturer. When a person alters what the manufacturer has engineered, you now become the engineer. Again all good, I have many builds of this nature, I enjoy it. When it comes to a safe recommendation I will refer to the manufacturer, they designed it, they know whats in it, they know what it needs.

2) Tuff torq says the proper oil to use must meet JASO M2, specifically because of the wet brake. Not my opinion.

When addressing the fiber brake on metal you brought up, this school of thought as a side note has been incomplete, not that it's wrong, but incomplete.

BRP (SeaDoo/Rotax) ran into this issue and solved it in 2006 when they had clutch washers failing on their superchargers because of owners using full synthetic oil that was not JASO M2 compliant, even though the oil changes were made by their Dealers with BRP oil. the ceramic on ceramic and then later metal on metal had not been considered to need an oil free of vehicle friction modifiers. (BRP actually lab tested all oils when $4K was on the line, that's how they knew).

This was a very expensive lesson for all involved and the research showed the metal on metal clutch washers, with friction modifiers would actually get hotter for longer, burning the viscosity out of the oil. This caused excessive wear on the gears and clutch washers causing the washers to become brittle in a short time and fail, causing catastrophic engine failure.

BRP (SeaDoo/Rotax) came out with a fully revised maintenance schedule (increase supercharger clutch washer rebuild from 100hrs to 200hrs, materials used (steel clutch washers only), and JASO M2 oil only in both a dino and semi-synthetic, but still not full synthetic. They still won't back full synthetic JASO M2, but it's their $4K motor when you follow their plan. Safe!

This discussion was for the K46, for the K66 it would be easier to ignore the recommendation for JASO M2 because the gear chamber and the hydro chamber are completely sealed from each other but I still won't, costs me nothing to follow Tuff Torq, and I still have a healthy K66 with over 200hrs on it and most of that time is Ground Engagement work from a JBJR and box blade. Recommending what is safer for others helps ensure I don't cause harm to someone else.:tango_face_smile:
 

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I also called Tuff Torq and asked what to run on my Deere LX as I knew they had changed some of the original oil , believe it was 5-50 also , it is still nice and responsive and quiet. I am around 700 hrs .
 

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I also called Tuff Torq and asked what to run on my Deere LX as I knew they had changed some of the original oil , believe it was 5-50 also , it is still nice and responsive and quiet. I am around 700 hrs .
That's a good report. I'm glad to hear you maintain it, I'm curious how long it will last with that attention. :tango_face_smile:
 
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