Smoked my hydro

1111GD1111September 15, 2012

16 yr old Simplicity Broadmoor w/14 hp v-twin. Was pulling an aerator and with the gradual slopes I have, I pretty much did a number on the tranny. I emailed the place in Hastings, MN that I read about here. Maybe they can help.

Beware all pulling big stuff with older tractors with hydro's.

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grass1950

Sorry to hear that. Rental aerator with the water filled weights? The Broadmore is a nice lawn tractor and probably worth repair, but now you've got a good excuse to rationalize getting a Legacy. At least it's an argument to present to the better half.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 1:39PM
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rcbe(6)

OP - before you write off that broadmoor, might try an hydro oil change (and filter, if so equipped)... may just revive the old girl.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 1:59PM
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1111GD1111

1950 - yep..water filler aerator. Tractor is in GREAT shape....wish I could find a used hydro for it! Any help on sources?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 4:01PM
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chrisr316

Try Craigslist..I found a complete Murray mower for a tranny donor cheap. Just have to wait it out sometimes..

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 7:55PM
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twelvegauge(8)

1111, before you do anything else, invest a couple of hours and a few bucks in a transaxle oil change. Just today I did an oil change in a Hydro Gear transaxle that a repair tech said needed a complete rebuild. Oil change, purge twice = back to normal operation.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 8:23PM
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grass1950

1111GD1111, Doing a tranny oil change is a good idea. Do you know if it is a sealed unit or if there is a drain and refil plug?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 5:03PM
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dr_mike

before you do anything...stop! not all hydro axles are the same. some units are truely sealed and cannot be messed with. if the unit was working and then it stopped after doing so heavy work, the center section and block assemblies are probably shot. again, depending upon the unit, they can be repairable. if you can do it yourself it is cheap..maybe $250 worth of parts. again depends upon the unit.
look on the t-taxle for a model number and the manufacture of the unit. post it and i can tell the route you need to go. i have taught this subject to service dealers for over 15 years.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 4:54PM
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twelvegauge(8)

dr mike is correct in saying that some transaxles are sealed units, and no provision is made to change the oil. That said, I have personally done an oil change on the TuffTorq K46 and the Hydro Gear 310-3000, both of which are "sealed," and said to be not serviceable; in both cases, the oil change restored the transaxle to operation. There are work-arounds, and you can find them on youtube and some of the lawn tractor forums. The K46 has to be removed from the tractor and inverted to drain the oil; on the 310-3000 (which is garden-tractor-rated) requires removing the gerotor off the bottom of the unit to drain it. An oil change on some of these sealed units will cost you a few hours of labor and $25 or so for fresh oil.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 6:17PM
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1111GD1111

First...many thanks to all that have replied here! My tranny is a Hydro Gear for sure but I do not know the model. I removed it from the tractor today. It is not a completely sealed unit. There is a hose on the top of the unit connected to a plastic fitting that can be removed. I removed then fitting and have drained out all the oil that will come out. I have not yet measured the amount that has come out but will tomorrow.

So where do I go from here? Refill with 80 some odd oz's of 20W-50 Mobil 1 as I have read on another site? One poster here suggested purging 2X?

Thoughts?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 11:13PM
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rcbe(6)

measure amount of drained fluid. use that as a guide as how much new fluid to refill tranny. the mobil 20-50 is fine.
Work clean. can't afford to get dirt/trash inside tranny. oil will go in slow - allow time for air to escape - patience.
When done and tranny re-installed, purge hydro system by cycling full forward to0 full reverse with rear wheels off ground. good luck

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 1:15AM
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twelvegauge(8)

Wow, it's really hard to say without knowing for sure which transaxle it is. I'm going to tell you how the job is done on the 310-3000 Hydro Gear, but you might have something completely different.

Is there a more-or-less oval, black metal thing (about 2x3" & a half-inch thick) on the bottom of the case, held in by two set screws? If so, that's the gerotor, which can be removed to drain the oil out - FIRST, mark the gerotor somehow so that you don't install it backwards (this is important!)

Look on the right side of the case (standing behind the tractor), near the top for a set screw that's probably about 1/4 to 3/8" in diameter. If you find it, that will probably be the "fill level" hole.

Once you've drained all the oil, remove the fill-level plug, put the gerotor back on (properly oriented), then slowly add oil through the tube until it begins to run out of the hole. I don't know what oil your transmission needs, but the 310-3000 that I just worked on required 20W50 motor oil (121.6 oz.) We didn't know if fresh oil was going to fix the problem, so we did not invest in synthetic.

Once oil begins seeping out of the hole, replace the plug, and also put the plastic plug back into the filler hose. Now you're ready to purge the transmission (this is kinda like bleeding brakes to get air out of the system.)

Disable the transaxle - this is usually done by pulling out a rod on the back of the tractor, something you do so that the wheels free-wheel so you can push the tractor by hand. Start the tractor. Very slowly move the lever forward (or push on the foot control) all the way to max speed - of course, the tractor isn't going to move. Gradually return the lever (foot control) to the neutral (stopped) position, then gradually go to full reverse speed. Do this cycle 5 or 6 times.

Now re-engage the transaxle. Start the engine, and go through the same procedure of gradually moving to full speed ahead, back to reverse. THE TRACTOR MAY OR MAY NOT MOVE, BUT BE SURE YOU'RE CLEAR IF AND WHEN IT DOES. Go through the steps 5 - 6 times.

Most likely the tractor will begin to move sometime during this cycle. If not, disengage the transaxle and go through the whole procedure again. Once the tractor will move back and forth, remove the fill-level plug and add oil until it runs out. Install both plugs. I would do one more purge cycle.

If your tractor is moving as it should, you've just saved yourself a bundle of money.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 1:35AM
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twelvegauge(8)

rcbe is right. Purging should be done with rear wheels off the ground.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 1:42AM
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1111GD1111

12gauge - I can say with certainty that I do not have the tranny you are talking about. It only has the fitting with the tube on it. No plates to remove or anything else.

The info sticker is still on the tranny. Would any of that info help?

Also - as to quantity of oil. I THINK I might have a SLIGHT LH axle seal leak. If I do the amount of oil coming out wouldn't equal how much to put it.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 9:00AM
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rcbe(6)

using the numbers from the info sticker and knowing the tranny mfgr, there's a good chance you can chase down tech diagrams on the internet that will also tell you the average fluid capacity - compare that number to what you drained out of your unit.... if there is a big difference, that "slight" seal leak may be what caused your tranny to get messed up to start with.
A new seal and you may be in tall clover...

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 11:18AM
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1111GD1111

It is a Hydro Gear and the numbers on it are 6066T2247 and 1715070

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 11:54AM
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1111GD1111

I did find a parts diagram and it says 81 oz of 20W-50 oil. I'm not going to split the case yet (good winter project). Hopefully I'll find that oil loss over time has contributed to my problem. If I can get the tranny back to 75% of new with a fluid change (wishfull thinking!) I'll be a happy camper!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 12:10PM
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mownie(7)

You do not need to "split the case".
In the parts list, item # 113 is the vent.
Remove that vent and invert the transaxle assemble over a suitable catch container. Let it drain upside down for a day or 2 (good winter project).
By the way, the illustrated parts list might make it seem as if the vent is located on the bottom of the case. It is on the top when the trans is in the tractor.
Hydro gear just turned the image on its side.
And it is not "oil lost" (as in volume) that causes the problems.
It is that the oil in there has become so degraded and contaminated that it hardly resembles what it was when new (regarding its hydraulic capabilities).

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 12:26PM
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1111GD1111

mownie - when I said to split the case I mean to change the seals. I've had the case turned so that the oil will drain since yesterday late afternoon. I'm gonna go to Wally World and get some 20W-50 Mobil 1 and start adding oil back later today.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 12:34PM
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1111GD1111

OK now I need help!

I refilled the case and put everything back together now the wheels don't turn at all. I do have it off the ground. I'm seeing fluid slowly coming out of the poppet valve in the vent tube.

Is the system purging itself? Do I just keep it running until the wheels start to turn? Full speed on the motor and full forward/reverse?

HELP!!!!!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 5:54PM
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1111GD1111

D'oh!!!! I forgot to re-engage the lever that aloows you to roll the tractor. RH wheel spins FW and BW now. Going to finish the job after dinner.

How the "brake plate" goes on to the tranny and how much to tighten the castle nut is a bit of a mystery to me, but I guess I'll figure it out.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 6:46PM
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exmar

FWIW, I was given a '88 Roper LT 120 which the PO said was "toast," it would run (kinda) but the trans wouldn't do anything. The briggs just needed a little "talking to," disassemble and clean carb, new fuel lines, plug, air cleaner, and oil change. Hydro needed to be drained, new oil added, purged, and it's been running for the past 5 years. The PO was an "add" and not a "change" kind of guy when it came to fluids....:-)

Good luck,

Ev

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 3:14PM
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1111GD1111

Mine seems to be running really good. The real test will be when I mow with the turbo bagger.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 8:05AM
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twelvegauge(8)

Glad to hear that your hydro wasn't smoked after all.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 11:40PM
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