LA175 John Deere transaxle seal is leaking

Joe53April 25, 2013

do any of you know if I can replace an axle seal on an LA175 without pulling the K46 apart?
sure would be nice if I could do that.


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Looking at the parts illustration it appears that it can be done.

You'd need to jack up the side of the axle that is leaking higher than the other side so oil loss is at a minimum.

Remove the axle clip paying attention to how it is installed (which side is out). You may want to mark the clip. Remove the wheel and remove the key from the keyway.

Clean the axle thoroughly (looking for burrs that can damage the new seal's sealing lip) all the way to the seal.

Looking at the seal you should be able to see the size... it will be three numbers like xx xx x. You can go to a Japanese motorcycle shop or a seal & bearing supply and get the seal for cheap.

I looked up the seal and it is 19 x 32 x 8

Note how far the seal is installed in the housing. Probably flush with the outside edge of the housing.

Using one thin dental style probe or small screw driver on each side the seal can be CAREFULLY levered out. DO NOT NICK OR SCRATCH THE AXLE.

Clean the axle inside where the seal was. Use a pencil magnet to be sure there are no metal filings behind the seal.

Lube the outer diameter and the lip of the new seal with silicone grease or white lithium grease and carefully slide it down the axle facing the correct way and use a wooden dowel or the like to carefully tap each side in a little at a time. Alternative is to find a piece of PVC tubing that has big enough OD and is long enough to go over the axle and is the same diameter as the seal and carefully tap the seal in place to the same position as noted earlier.

Put the key back in the keyway. Install the wheel and the clip.

Cleanliness, patience, and attention to detail are the keys to success. Top flight motorcycle techs have been replacing seals like this for many decades.

This post was edited by justalurker on Fri, Apr 26, 13 at 19:19

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 10:29PM
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Thanks Lurker.....I was hoping it could be pried out from the outside.....yeah a dental type pik would work well....

Got the seal already.....biggest issue will be re-filling the tranny....I don't wanna pull the whole thing....I'm hoping I can pry the flat seal off the top of the tranny and pump the 5W50 back in, but I'll have to see if there's room.

Appreciate the good advice.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 10:11PM
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Two dental style picks have worked well for me for over 30 years.

Did you miss "You'd need to jack up the side of the axle that is leaking higher than the other side so oil loss is at a minimum"?

There no reason to re-fill the tranny cause the drip was minimal and the loss replacing the seal might be none if you do it right.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 10:38PM
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well the issue was that the bad seal caused the fluid to leak out over the winter....the owner found a big puddle under it on the right side when he went to start it up this year.

I bought it...and am trying to resurrect it.

So I know at least part of the fluid was wont move much under its own that tells me it lost maybe half....but no way to know for sure since Deere seemed determined to keep folks from trying to maintain these trannys.

I'll just be cautious in how much I put back in.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 7:13PM
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Then best to pull the trans and completely drain it. Then fill with synthetic.

Google around. There are lots of step-by-step how to R&R K46 trans and change the oil.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 7:22PM
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