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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1989 John Deere 165 Hydro, and it's hydrostatic transmission is really loud and makes a groaning sound, it also goes really slow. I can't find anything on it, and I was wondering if you guys know what might be wrong with it.
 

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i would start by checking that your trans has the correct amount of oil in it, if you remove the reservoir cap (under the seat) you should either have a dipstick to check, or you will need to measure the oil level. it should be approx. 5.5" from the top of the reservoir. past that, the trans may be toast.
 

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SOME groaning is normal with all hydros. Sometimes it’s excessive and there’s a potential issue.
Have you ever serviced it (changed fluid changed belt, etc)?
You mentioned it’s slow. Does it have much torque or is it fading? Worse when warmed up or cold? Lose power as it warms up? Hours on machine? Operating terrain (flat, hills, etc)? Pull heavy loads?
Sorry for the questions, but more info is good.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
1. I don't think that it has ever had a fluid change, I know the belt is new.

I don't know what you mean by fading, but after a while of driving it it stalls out.

2. I use it on a mix of hills and flat ground, and I don't pull heavy loads with it. I don't know where to check the hours on that type of tractor.
 

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"Fading" is when you first start out everything seems fine. As you continue maybe 20 minutes, maybe an hour, the engine rpm stays the same but tractor slows down. Eventually, it'll get to a point where it doesn't move...period!

I'm not familiar with the 165, so can't help with changing oil. There may be a drain plug or you may have to split the hydro. Either way, identify the transmission and find out the CORRECT lubricant for it! Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Bob, I have located the drain plug, is there anything that I need to do when filling or draining a Hydrostatic?
 

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As bogieboy stated, look under seat pan for cap and fill to correct level there. Start engine, warm, and drive forward & back 50 feet (more or less), operate hydraulic lever several times. Shut down, let sit for 10-20 minutes, and recheck level. Top of if needed. Bob
 

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according to that, yeah... according to any hydro manufacturer, you are supposed to drain and flush around every 200 hrs. i would drain it and start fresh.
 
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I disagree 110% (maybe 125%!) with the manual in this case. Oil contains additives which break down with time and use. I would clean, as best as you can around the drain plug and the cap for the reservoir. Start tractor and run for 10-15 minutes to warm and circulate oil & possible sediment. Remove drain, catch oil, and inspect for metal particles. You may find some, but hopefully not a lot...and this is a judgement call as to some and a lot! Let sit for a day (is best) to allow thorough draining. If doing this outside where wind/breeze can blow debris into hydro, replace plug and then remove the next day. Remove plud and drain any residual oil. Replace plug. Use a liquid/paste pipe sealant on drain plug threads, do NOT use teflon tape!!! Remove cap & refill system. Start, warm, drive, recheck level. Bob
 

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If a LOT of metal in oil, hydro needs to come apart for inspection. Drain oil, post pictures, and don't worry about something that may not be! We're here to help. Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for everything, I will go out and buy the oil and take pictures. I don't know when I will get to it, but here in the next few days.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I am going to drain it today and into tomorrow, and can I use SAE 10w-30 instead of SAE 30?
 

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i am going to say yes, as the 185 calls for it, and both tractors use the same eaton pump and the same peerless 1319-b differential.
 
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