Changing Hydro OIl 2014 Craftsman GT FYI
Have read many, many posts here on changing hydro oil, with drain plugs and without, etc. Also the theories why the manufacturer's don't provide them. I think it's agreed that changing fluid is a necessary if not crucial part of maintenance.
I just purchased a 2014 Craftsman Pro Series Garden Riding Mower 98645. 917.986450, Kohler 26HP KT745-3012, Hydro Gear G7-BCBB-1XDC-1FCA trans.
BTW, my GT5000 is still running strong and will be with me forever, however, the hydro and step through body seemed like it would be better for my abused body. Too much fun in VietNam in my youth. :-)
Anyway, prior to purchasing, downloaded the hydro gear G730 Service and Repair manual. It provides very clear info on changing the oil and filter at 40 hours and 400 thereafter. Based on it being "servicable" or at least "maintainable," decided to buy it.
Quoting from the Sears Operator's Manual for this tractor:
"TRANSAXLE PUMP FLUID
The transaxle was sealed at the factory and fluid maintenance is not required for the life of the transaxle. Should the transaxle ever leak or require servicing, contact your nearest Sears or other qualified service center."
The manual also does not provide any info for checking trans fluid or the type to add if required. The manual does, however, clearly show the fill plug and filter for the trans, and oil 20W-50 including Sears part numbers.
I'd like to think that this is an oversight on Sear's part and not a deliberate attempt to fry the tranny to get you to buy a new tractor in a couple of years. I'd also like to think that with Sears being as "stretched" as they currently are, the folks don't have time to do what they're supposed to.
Prior to purchase, I looked at "equivalent" JD, Snapper, Kubota, etc. Prices ranged from $4800 to over $6,000. I paid $2700, including taxes. Admittedly, not truly "equivalent," but for cutting grass on four very hilly acres, think it'll do nicely. I'll keep the GT for the heavy work, plowing snow, etc. Also, have Ag tires, weights, chains, etc. for it.