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Just completed my 50hr oil/filter change and I wanted to post some thoughts/advise for anyone looking to do this for your first time. IT'S EASY!! I was really nervous about doing this because I was afraid I was going to break something or do something wrong. I read up on how to do it and I watched videos on how to do it so I gave it a shot. If you have any basic mechanical skills there is nothing to worry about. The only tool I didn't already have was a 10mm square drive bit..I had a 3/8 square drive which got the front axle fill plug out but I went to Homey and for less than $3 I got the right size. Question: Is there a better tool for this? The socket and ratchet combined is kind of tall making it hard to get a good seat in this bolt/cap. Curious what others have done.

Just a couple basic tips for the first time doer.. There is a lot of fluid coming out of several places. To me the key was to control the flow so it doesn't get all over the place. To make it easy you will need several containers. You can do it with less but I was going for easy. What I did was place a 4 gal oil pan under the rear axle. I took out the drain plug BUT left in the dip stick. This allowed the oil to drain slowly while I moved to the front axle. I placed another 4 gal oil pan under the front axle and removed that drain plug. Yes I purchased a second oil drain pan. For a few bucks it made sense to me. Oil drained slowly when I removed the front drain plug.. I then SLOWLY opened the fill plug in the front axle. That relieved some of the vacuum and allowed the front axle to drain where I wanted. I then went to the rear and SLOWLY removed the dip stick. This allowed the oil to flow more freely and where I wanted. My thinking was to drain together to split the amount of oil that could end up in just one oil pan. When the front axle drain slowed to a drip I used another smaller plastic container, about a gal size, to drain each wheel drive unit. I wanted to let the axle drain continue to drip. With the front of the tractor on jack stands I wasn't be able to slide the oil catch pan where I wanted. I was concerned that the drive unit drains would miss the catch pan. Saw that happen to a guy on a Utube video. I did one side at a time. I loosened both the drain plug at the bottom as well as the vet plug at the top. JUST LOOSEN!! I then held the gal container under and in front of the bottom drain plug and removed the plug. As oil came out I slowly removed the vent plug which allowed oil to flow more freely. As it got to a drip I placed a pint size Chinese food container under the drip, emptied the gal container into the bigger oil pan and repeated the work on the other side drive unit. I let everything keep dripping until it was dripping no more.
Reinstalled the bottom drive unit plugs as well as the front axle and rear transaxle drain plugs. Leave the top wheel drive unit vent plugs and axle fill plug off.

Filling the system is where I learned a lesson. It states to fill the front axle first and it should accept the specified amount.. 5.0L or 5.3 qt.. The oil comes in a 3.78 L container. I had an opened container with 2 L in it from when I added the plow unit. I did some quick math 2L + 3.78L = 5.0L. Of course I was then wrong and made a mess when it overflowed. I also was watching the axle fill plug side drive unit vent (left side) to know when it was full BUT my tractor was sitting/leaning a bit to the right side which of course filled up first and overflowed. Next time I'll place the two oil drain pans under each drive unit. It's going to overflow out the vent plug before you can put the plug back in. The trick is to catch it before it makes too much of a mess. Next time I'll put in the 3.78L first and then SLOWLY add the remaining amount. I installed the vent plug on the right side and then continued SLOWLY filling until the left vent leaked fluid. Closed up the left vent and the axle fill plug. I wanted to make sure I didn't overfill the transaxle so I used one of the empty container to measure out 3L. Basically took out the .78 from a new container using the guide on the container. Put in a full 3.78L container and then almost all of the 3L container. Started the tractor and moved it back and forth several times. Let the tractor sit while I cleaned up the mess. Checked the dipstick 15mins later and topped off as needed. I also used a silver permanent marker to mark the filter with date and hours on engine for future reference.

I know for those of you that have done this before this isn't telling you anything you didn't already know. My intent is to help the first time doer feel more comfortable doing this maintenance. Other than being a bit messy because of my mistakes it really is a fun maintenance task to do.
 

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Well, I am a first timer and thank you for your input. I too watched YouTube videos.

Oil and filter are due next week. After hearing on YouTube that it might cost $400 with pick up and delivery, I decided to call my local dealer to see what it would cost. They said it would be $180-$200, if I brought the tractor in. Variation based on model (amount of oil). They said it could be done in about an hour. I checked oil and filter prices on Amazon (oil - 3+ gals, ordered 2 gal + 2 gal @$45.73 (x2) $91.46 total; filter - $15.92). Could have ordered 3 gal, but thought I only needed 2, my mistake. Now I will have some extra. Wondered why the oil change was every 200 hrs, but now realize the PTO clutch is in the transaxle.

After reading your input, I decided to save the $100+/- and to do it myself. Only question I have is about getting the transaxle fill cap off under the seat. Does it screw in or just press in? When I looked before, it didn’t look like the cap was uncovered with the seat slid ahead. Any insight that can be shared will be greatly appreciated. Otherwise I may have to remove the seat pan. Now just waiting on the oil and filter to arrive. I’ll post results as well when I finish.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You can do this. It’s actually a fun thing to do. You need to slide the seat all the way forward and then tilt the seat up. Can is screwed in. Just remember when you check the fluid unscrew the cap and pull out the dipstick and wipe off the stick. Then just put back but don’t screw it in. Pull out check and add accordingly. Good luck.
 

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Yes according to the manual online. Section 40. It may depend on serial number, but here’s what I found. When I bought mine, it had just under 100 so I called the dealer service and they said not to worry if it hadn’t been done.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Is there supposed to be a 50 hr oil change. I can only find the 200 hr requirement in the manuals.
Online manual says to change after the first 8 hours. The manual that came with my tractor doesn't list that. Says after first 50 hours and then yearly or every 100hrs afterwards.
 

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Online manual says to change after the first 8 hours. The manual that came with my tractor doesn't list that. Says after first 50 hours and then yearly or every 100hrs afterwards.
Accord to online manual:
And my hard copy Issue 4
8 hrs Engine Oil
50 hrs Transaxle Oil & Filter
every 200 hrs thereafter Transaxle Oil & Filter
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Maybe, but it reads the same as mine and the online manuals for transaxle service, 50; 200 - upper right on page (not 200 or annual - lower right on page).
Correct. Where does it state oil change at 8 hours? Mine doesn’t state that.
 

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Correct. Where does it state oil change at 8 hours? Mine doesn’t state that.
[/QUOTE
My tractor came with Operator's Manual OMUC23069 issue G9 It shows first service at 50 hours for engine oil & filter, transaxle oil & filter. No mention of 8 hr service. I know my X540 had an 8 hr engine iol change.
Purchased the unit in Dec 2019.
 

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Steve, nice writeup. Agree, its a straightforward job, but a bit intimidating the first time. Yep, lots of drain pans are good.
One tip for everyone - wipe all the dust/grass/crud from around the hydro filter base before taking it off. There's all kinds of crap back there - you know how I found out. :(
And I take notes on most tasks so I know how to do it next time. I write it out in a word doc, and review it for the task. Taking off and installing my cab is easy, if I follow my notes.
 

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My JD dealer gave me a hard time about recycling oil and not having a separate pan for the coolant. I still dont have a second pan but at least wipe the pan out after doing a coolant change. It would be a good thing to tell people when they are buying oil. Also, take your serial number with you as filters sometimes change at serial number breaks within a model run.
 

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You can do this. It’s actually a fun thing to do. You need to slide the seat all the way forward and then tilt the seat up. Can is screwed in. Just remember when you check the fluid unscrew the cap and pull out the dipstick and wipe off the stick. Then just put back but don’t screw it in. Pull out check and add accordingly. Good luck.
Okay, today was the day. It took me a lot longer than most. Only partly because it was my first time. When I got to the filter, I couldn’t turn it. The filter wrenches weren’t the right size or robust enough. I had to order one from the dealer. My wife had to get home, so I didn’t even look at what they gave me. Of course it was way too small. I called them back and they said they had the right one and would exchange the first one for the right one. I took along the filter to make sure when I went back. They said Deere doesn’t have one of the filter wrenches that fit a ratchet. What they gave me was a heavy duty automotive filter wrench.
====== I took a few notes ======
Front Axle:
  • Wheel lugs - 16 mm socket
  • Drain plugs - 14 mm socket
  • Wheel vents - 12 mm socket
  • Axle vent/fill - 10 mm allen
  • Jack up front axle
  • Remove Front wheels
  • Remove vents
  • Remove center drain plug - let most of the oil drain before removing hub drain plugs
  • Remove hub drain plugs
  • After oil quits dripping, insert all drain plugs
  • Lower front axle
  • Using a long neck funnel, put in 4 quarts, can be done fairly quickly-
  • Put in another quart slowing towards the end until you see oil come oil at fill or at vents.
  • Install vent plugs to stop oil overflow
  • Fill to top of axle vent
  • Install axle vent plug
Rear Axle:
  • Unscrew dipstick
  • Remove Drain plug - 15 mm socket
  • Replace filter - about 3.5” filter wrench; put oil on seal before installing it
  • Tighten filter .75 - 1 turn after making contact
  • Install drain plug
  • Fill axle about 7 quarts
  • Cycle forward - then reverse pedals three times
  • Cycle steering right left
  • let sit to cool
  • top off oil level
All in all, it went fairly well and I’m glad I did it. I did find that I could have gotten the oil and filter from the dealer at a fair amount of $$$ less than Amazon. They did show up at my doorstep though. I too oiled the floor a couple of places and found the bag of cat litter worked pretty well as oil absorbent. Good luck to others trying this.
 

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Hey RT3360, get yourself a strap wrench. The kind with a rubber strap that loops back around through the handle. I have a couple in different sizes and they fit just about any filter. In a pinch though, just take a beefy screwdriver and hammer it all the way through the filter near the base (don't hit the threaded nipple) and use the screwdriver as leverage to get the filter loose. It's worked for me several times, but it makes a mess which is why I say only do it in a pinch.
 

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I have one, but it wouldn’t budge the filter. Got a metal one and it worked, but I could feel the can starting to collapse just before it turned. Wasn’t likely that it had been changed at 50 hrs. So does anyone know if there is a filter wrench for the top/end of the filter that uses a 1/2” ratchet and where to get one? The filter is about 3 1/2”. Just curious.
 
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