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Flushing transaxles Vs. Not?


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#1 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted December 02, 2011 - 04:36 PM

Ok, I have a question that has been plaguing me since I first read of this on a garden tractor forum. To flush, or not to flush, that is the question, and it has many answers.

I read that most are draining the old gear oil, refilling with kerosene, running it for a couple laps or so around the yard, and then draining it out and pouring in the correct gear oil. Is this procedure worth it, and would diesel fuel yield the same results?

Are the benefits as I would expect?
All old oil, water, and other contaminants are thoroughly flushed out. The bearings, gears, and sliding components are thoroughly cleaned and polished up during the flushing stage.

I have normally just drained the old gear oil and refilled the transaxles with the correct new gear oil. I have only done this when transaxles have water contaminated oil. But recently I have dumped brand new 5w-20 straight through into the drain pan to flush out some, but should I consider a real flushing with a fuel such as diesel?

Any opinions on this one guys?

Edited by wvbuzzmaster, December 02, 2011 - 05:13 PM.


#2 Amigatec OFFLINE  

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Posted December 02, 2011 - 04:47 PM

This is a good topic, my MF10 has water in the transaxle as well.
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#3 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  

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Posted December 02, 2011 - 05:50 PM

Casey,

I flush my trannies with the diesel fuel. One of the reasons I use the fuel is, it will collect any water droplets still left in the tranny after the old oil is drained. I don't fill the tranny all the way full though. I usually try and fill the tranny only about 3/4 full, and block the tranny with wood, so that the tranny will lean back. I'll let it sit this way for a day or two, then adjust the wood blocks so that the tranny will now sit slightly forward. Again, a day or two of sitting this way, and then I'll spend about 10 minutes just rocking the tranny back and forth, just to help splash the fuel up and over the gears that might not have been submerged in the fuel. Also, while rocking the tranny back in forth, try and shift the tranny through all the gears, and turn the hubs every once and while, to help coat everything and to help knock off any rust build up inside the housing.

When the tranny is done sitting for about a week, I drain the fuel, and refill the tranny with gear oil. Reinstall the tranny to the tractor and run it around the yard (swerving) for a little while (10-20 minutes). Drain the gear oil, carefully watching to see how much, if any, rust pieces or chunks is possibly being drained. If it seems like you're not getting a lot of rust residue, then go ahead and refill the tranny with new gear oil again, and you should be good to go. If however, you still see a lot of rust and residue after draining, then refill the tranny again with gear oil and drain again after running another 10-20 minutes, or repeat the diesel fuel technique again. You want to remove as much rust and water as possible

Good luck, have fun, and enjoy your freshly cleaned rearend!

Troy
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#4 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted December 02, 2011 - 06:17 PM

Troy, first I have to laugh at the "freshly cleaned rearend" LOL.

Secondly, would just filling the transaxle with diesel fuel while still in the tractor (through shifter opening) and then driving it around a few laps do anything? I mean I am talking about transaxles I am currently using that had water in them. I mean I could leave it parked for a week too after driving. Any thoughts on that?

#5 DH1 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 02, 2011 - 06:18 PM

What I've done is when the trany oil is first drained, if it's a grayish, rusty colour, or has water, rust anything other than oil in it.
Put the rear end on jack-stands, drain the trany, put in diesel fuel, start the tractor and run it though the gears for 5 to 10 minutes stopping 1 wheel from turning then the other, then drain and refill with diesel, again run it though the gears, drain again and see what comes out, when it's clean the inside of the trany is clean.

2 or 3 times usually gets it pretty close and you could even do it with thin motor oil 1 time just before you refill with the proper gear oil.
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#6 GTTinkerer OFFLINE  

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Posted December 02, 2011 - 06:22 PM

Casey,
I have done this numerous times and have never had a problem. No matter how long you allow the gear oil to drain out of the transmission a certain amount will remain, flushing with the kerosene or diesel fuel will dilute the gear oil and since it is thinner more of it will drain off and out.

Like Troy I only fill it half to three fourths full but then I run the tractor on jack stands for five or so minutes going through all the gears. Then drain and refill with the proper gear lube.

I have also done this with gasoline and diesel engines that have became contaminated but I only run them at an idle for 20 or 30 seconds before draining and refilling.
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#7 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted December 02, 2011 - 06:30 PM

Never thought of just running it in place on jack stands. That is probably the best way because it puts minimal load on the gears.

#8 DH1 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 02, 2011 - 06:34 PM

Never thought of just running it in place on jack stands. That is probably the best way because it puts minimal load on the gears.


I just try to slosh the diesel around inside the trany to clean it out, basically the same as what the others have said.
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#9 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted December 02, 2011 - 09:47 PM

Gear oil is really hard to dilute easily, but sloshing diesel in there does help. What I've found that does really good is an engine cleaning suction blowgun. I use gasoline with the blowgun & it blasts the gear oil right off the insides if there is access to do it.

Engine Cleaning Gun

image_14019.jpg

If there is a cover or shift plate you can remove, then these guns will blast all the crud out of there with ease. Just be extra careful if using any flammable liquid of course! Diesel fuel should work also, but the gasoline works faster I'm sure.
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#10 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted December 02, 2011 - 09:57 PM

Engine cleaning gun is interesting Dan. Personally I like something simple and effective that does a decent job, and since I am not in a hurry most the time, just letting the diesel work itself throughout the transaxle in between the first oil change should be sufficient over my current methods.

#11 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  

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Posted December 02, 2011 - 10:24 PM

Casey, you can leave the tranny attached. It won't hurt anything. I like to drop mine from the frame, only because 1) to presure wash the outside real good, and clean it off before I unscrew the filler and drain plus so no exterior dirt accidently gets down in the tranny, and 2) it's a lot easier getting the proper amount of gear oil in the filler hole when refilling. It's also easier access to see down in the shifter opening with a flashlight, to see how well things are cleaning up. You can do it anyway you want to, or how ever it's easier for you.

I don't know what you guys use to refill the tranny with oil, but I had my wife pick me up a turkey baster. Boy is it nice! Best choice I ever made. Just an idea for you guys that are looking for helpful, but cheap tools.
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#12 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted December 02, 2011 - 10:28 PM

Well, on a restoration I will pull the trans, but on a repair I won't lol.

I just pull the shifter to refill and use a funnel down thru the shift forks.

#13 Sparky OFFLINE  

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Posted December 02, 2011 - 10:50 PM

Casey , i agree with DH1. You are trying to prevent future damage . Severe contamination means damage is already there. Either way it pays to know the difference . Flush well and hope the seals dont mind the change in ph content of fluids . Have fun with the clean you know what .
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#14 Sparky OFFLINE  

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Posted December 04, 2011 - 05:44 PM

Olcowhand is far more experienced than I in these matters . The only problem with completely degreasing gears is that they must be properly regreased especially to prevent oxidation in high humidity environments . Learned this early on . I felt I must add this. Adding this note: probably the reason for any controversy. Olcowhand still has more of the better answers. :D :wave:

Edited by Sparky, December 04, 2011 - 09:03 PM.


#15 Sparky OFFLINE  

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Posted December 04, 2011 - 09:37 PM

My worst experience is a 1963 J.D.2010 that by the time we knew we had problems the oil looked like sewage - suspect it started with contamination from a borrowed implement with remote cylinder. The power steering will starve the transmission of oil if need be to boot . The good engine is in process of being transplanted to good transaxle unit with no power steering . No cotamination in replacement transaxle. It pays to check oil often and change it . As a neighbor used to say - grease ( and oil ) is the cheapest repair you can make. Three or four cents worth .




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