Changing Hydro OIl 2014 Craftsman GT FYI

exmarJuly 20, 2014

Hi Folks,

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:


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.

Just sharing,


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Maybe they use the same owner's manual for all of their tractors (LT thru GT), and just change the pictures? That wouldn't surprise me, looking at their online specs for many of their tractors.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 9:51AM
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grass, could be, the drawings, etc. are specific and the "words" could be generic.

I also linked this post to a couple other websites and got comments from folks who had the same issue. They've got drain plugs with or without filters and the "words" are the same, "no maintenance for the life of the transaxle."

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 11:56AM
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That would be typical of Sears. I maintain that their tractors are great bargains if you do your own maintenance and repairs. I've not had good luck w/ their service dept.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 12:27PM
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