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Hydrostatic Trans Fluid Change on GT235


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#1 SkaneatelesGT235 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 20, 2011 - 01:07 AM

The old girl has reached that 250 hour milepost and it's time to change the trans fluid. The manual says fill with 4.6 quarts of J-D Low-Viscosity HY-GARD (J20D) from the dealer. Naturally, it's only stocked in gallons, so I picked up two for the job. Drained the tranny from the two low-point drain locations, and got about 4.4-4.5 quarts (OK, it was a little low). I've never done this before, and was surprised at the long time, and the bloop-bloop-bloop nature, of the rear-most drain. When I attempt to replenish the new fluid at the designated fill point (under the seat), it only wants to take about 2.5-2.6 quarts. I followed the manual's recommended procedure of starting up, and slowly moving forward and backward three times. No improvement. I called the dealer's service dept., they tell me I have a trapped air bubble, and suggest elevating the rear so the wheels don't touch the ground, start 'er up, and rock forward and reverse again, to work out the air bubble. I've tried this for about a half-hour, the small white plastic upper reservoir (holds about a pint or so) is still full up to the cap, and no luck so far. I'm running out of ideas. Any suggestions ? Anyone been there before? :wallbanging:

#2 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted July 20, 2011 - 05:43 AM

Welcome to the forum. Is there a vent in the hydro system. On the older 300 series there is what looks like a fuel filter which is vented. I'm not familiar with your tractor. If the vent is plugged it may cause the problem. I am surprised that it wouldn't take more fluid after a brief run as you described. I would try running the tractor a bit longer to allow it to heat up a bit. The fluid will become thinner as it heats up and this change may help it burp out the air. When you run it with the wheels in the air are you leaving the filler port open or loose so that air can escape?
If it's still a no go I would insert a plastic tube in the filler and draw out some of the fluid. If the reservoir is at the fluid fill port I would empty that. I would then run it again and try to fill it.
On my 314 it takes 5 quarts, It will only take about 3 and then it takes about 3 sessions of running for a while to get all the air out and get the 5 quarts into it. Let us know how you make out with it.

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#3 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted July 20, 2011 - 05:45 AM

Welcome to GTtalk , never worked on that model tractor , but have at times run into the same type of problems , sometime had to remove or crack a line to bleed the air out . Maybe someone will be able to give you better ideas on what to do next , Al
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#4 SkaneatelesGT235 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 21, 2011 - 11:53 AM

OK, guys, here's the scoop - J-D's manual # OMM148971-I2 gives the procedure for changing the transmission fluid by the owner. On page 34, it says "do not remove sealed black cap ©. Fill only at reservoir bottle". This suggests that, for some reason, it's "sealed", and I'll be in a "heapa trubble" if I do something to it. On my GT235, it's a black threaded cap on the left rear (looking forward) of the transmission. It's oriented vertically, and removes upward. Another conversation with the dealer and his mechanics suggests that it's OK to crack this threaded cap (don't remove it) - just back off a half turn, or one turn - and it'll vent the air bubble. Which is what I did as soon as I got home, and lo and behold, the air bubble vented as expected, and the level of fluid in the small plastic fluid reservoir drained into the transmission's casing. I was able to get all 4.6 quarts in, it filled up like it was supposed to. After snugging up the sealed black cap (C in the picture), and replacing the filter and fill cap (on the plastic fill reservoir - D in the picture), it works like a charm. Everybody's happy. I would expect John Deere to be a little more accurate in its description of the correct procedure.

#5 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted July 22, 2011 - 07:37 AM

Glad to hear you got it sorted out. I agree that sometimes the owners manuals don't give you all the info. you need. I had trouble finding out if my hydro venting was done properly. It wasn't vented due to work done by a previous owner. I got it sorted out eventually but better info in the manual would have helped.

#6 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted July 22, 2011 - 07:56 AM

It was nice that the JD mechanic gave you some tips , glad everything is running again, Al




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