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Hydrostatic Trans Fluid question #4436462
06/20/17 06:58 AM
06/20/17 06:58 AM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 3
SoMD
73Chall Offline OP
73Chall  Offline OP

Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 3
SoMD
Greetings, all!

I am new to the boards here and found these forums in my search for an answer to my question:

Is it normal for hydrostatic transaxle fluid to "darken" in a brand new transaxle?

Background: I have a brand new John Deere X580 lawn/garden tractor Riding Mower and, upon delivery, the low viscosity transaxle fluid was the typical "honey" but, almost "clear" color. (The fluid reservoir container is translucent and you can easily see the fluid level and color in the rear of the machine.) Anyhoo, I have 2.2 hours on the tractor now, after 3 mowings with it, I notice the transaxle fluid is now a medium shade of gray ... is this normal?

I intend to contact the dealer where I purchased the unit; however; I also want to pick the experience of those of you here who might have a lot of experience with the hydrostatic transmissions in the John Deere Select Series riding mowers (first because I typically "leave no stone unturned" in my search for answers and secondly, I anticipate responses here will be entirely objective).

Thanks in advance -- the only thing that exceeds my anxiety I may have a major problem with a brand new purchase that represents and incr double investment for my wife and I is my appreciation for any feedback , based on actual experience.

Re: Hydrostatic Trans Fluid question [Re: 73Chall] #4436496
06/20/17 07:48 AM
06/20/17 07:48 AM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 957
NY
joegreen Offline
joegreen  Offline

Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 957
NY
I cant say about the new stuff but I have a 1986 jd330 and I use hygard in it. It has about 1200 hours on it and the fluid has never gotten grey. It might darken a little but barely any by the time mowing season is over. I use the tractor for at least 3 hours every time I mow.


1978 Chevrolet k20
Engine: Delo 10w30xle
Transmission: Castrol transmax dex/merc

1984 Mercedes-Benz 300 turbo diesel
Engine: Delo 400 15w40le
Re: Hydrostatic Trans Fluid question [Re: 73Chall] #4436498
06/20/17 07:53 AM
06/20/17 07:53 AM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 9,249
Ontario, Canada
IndyIan Offline
IndyIan  Offline

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 9,249
Ontario, Canada
Some degree of darkening is normal, how much is normal for your trans I don't know. Is there a HST filter and what's the trans fluid change interval? Don't go crazy worrying about it anyways, hopefully you bought from a good dealer, so keep them informed and the warranty is there if you need it. Doing an early change is never a bad idea either, just for your piece of mind if nothing else.


07 Focus ZXW, 5spd manual, 230km M1 5W30
18 Outback 2.5 CVT 22km 0W20
Re: Hydrostatic Trans Fluid question [Re: 73Chall] #4436558
06/20/17 09:06 AM
06/20/17 09:06 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,559
Malaysia
zeng Offline
zeng  Offline

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,559
Malaysia
Originally Posted By: 73Chall
Is it normal for hydrostatic transaxle fluid to "darken" in a brand new transaxle?

Darken in reasonably long use is normal.

Quote:
Anyhoo, I have 2.2 hours on the tractor now, after 3 mowings with it, I notice the transaxle fluid is now a medium shade of gray ... is this normal?

In 2.2 hours, that is abnormal.

Quote:
........the low viscosity transaxle fluid was the typical "honey" but, almost "clear" color.

This may be the problem.

Btw, what's the viscosity and specs of oils in use ?

Re: Hydrostatic Trans Fluid question [Re: 73Chall] #4436751
06/20/17 12:53 PM
06/20/17 12:53 PM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 6,614
MI
doitmyself Offline
doitmyself  Offline

Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 6,614
MI
Here's the owners/maintenance manual for that machine if anyone is interested: https://www.google.com/search?q=John+Deere+X580&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8#q=John+Deere+X580+manual

There is a 50 hour break-in service interval tranny fluid/filter change for the 580.

I operate quite a bit of JD equipment at my workplace and am familiar with their Hy Gard and Low Viscosity Hy Gard fluids. I have NEVER had the fluid turn gray, even after 6 years and 600+ hours of service. It tends to stay clear and darkens only a small amount. I have seen the fluid sometimes get whipped up a bit with tiny air bubbles that makes it look a bit cloudy, but this goes away. After 6 years or so of use, I have also seen it start to turn just a tad cloudy from imbibing a bit of moisture condensation off the tranny walls.

Pull a sample out and see how it looks in a clear glass container.

Here's a pic of new Hygard vs. 6 year old: less than 1/8" of sediment settled in the 2 right bottles.



Re: Hydrostatic Trans Fluid question [Re: 73Chall] #4436765
06/20/17 01:11 PM
06/20/17 01:11 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 106
iowa
earthbound Offline
earthbound  Offline

Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 106
iowa
not at all normal...I have the x590 with 8hrs on the clock and it's still the same honey color as when I picked it up. sounds like it's definitely collecting some significant amount of shavings from that k72 transaxle..


17' Honda Civic 1.5T
16' Toyota Highlander 3.5L
Re: Hydrostatic Trans Fluid question [Re: 73Chall] #4436963
06/20/17 05:40 PM
06/20/17 05:40 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 279
Sav ga
NStuart Offline
NStuart  Offline

Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 279
Sav ga
In for update


Detroit14l 1m75k mi bp schaffer9k 30k oil
96 ram 5.9 gas 80k built tranny 5k m1
85 cj7 4.2 performance build. Schaeffer 9000
08 cbr600rr graffiti. T6
08 husky sm610 t6
Re: Hydrostatic Trans Fluid question [Re: 73Chall] #4437074
06/20/17 08:20 PM
06/20/17 08:20 PM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 3
SoMD
73Chall Offline OP
73Chall  Offline OP

Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 3
SoMD
Howdy fellas!

First of all, THANK YOU each for your time, both in replying as well as sharing your direct experience(s)

As soon as our visiting relatives are outta here, I am definitely taking the photos I snapped to the dealer (I am without a trailer)

I am hoping they have some kind of loaner they can drop off when they pick this unit up (or else I'll be "up the creek," so to speak)

(Also, I apologize for the all day lag in replying but, I was in the midst of labor that precluded me from having my phone down in the hole, with me!)

Re: Hydrostatic Trans Fluid question [Re: 73Chall] #4437452
06/21/17 10:21 AM
06/21/17 10:21 AM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 11,238
Buffalo, NY
JTK Online content
JTK  Online Content

Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 11,238
Buffalo, NY
I had some grayish streaks in the drained oil from the arse-end of my 2005 model year Cub Cadet 2544 back when I drained the 6qts of factory "Cub Cadet Drive System Fluid Plus" from it. Different setup though. These units have a cast iron (Chinese) transaxle assembly with a HydroGear BDU series drive coupled to the input.


2017 Ram 1500 4x4, 3.6L. 2016 Nissan Quest SV (Babe magnet IV)
Re: Hydrostatic Trans Fluid question [Re: 73Chall] #4488734
08/14/17 08:36 PM
08/14/17 08:36 PM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 3
SoMD
73Chall Offline OP
73Chall  Offline OP

Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 3
SoMD
Greetings, all!

I just wanted to followup (I HATE it when OP's never come back and followup!) and update: I took advice here, made dealer aware of it and I am having THEM change the transaxle fluid at the 6.5 hour mark. I figure having them do it, I have documentation of it 3-1/2 years from now (the "bumper-to-bumper" warranty is for 4 years).

If it darkens again I won't fret (but, I will hold onto that documentation! Hopefully, I will never need it!)

Also, since my OP I reached out tonTuffTorque directly and they suggested same thing: change fluid and both filters and monitoring it thereafter.

And, I just wanted to say a big Thank You to all -- have a great and safe Autumn!!!

Re: Hydrostatic Trans Fluid question [Re: 73Chall] #4488753
08/14/17 08:57 PM
08/14/17 08:57 PM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,827
Virginia
mattwithcats Offline
mattwithcats  Offline

Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,827
Virginia
I thought ToughTorque changed the oil specification from 5W-30 to 5W-50?

Factory fill was still 5W-30....


2009 Smart Pure
Pennzoil Platinum Euro 0W-40, Purolator Synthetic PSL 14610, 45 mpg...
185/55R15 General HP tires, "H" speed rated, 44 psi (300 kpa)
Re: Hydrostatic Trans Fluid question [Re: mattwithcats] #4489287
08/15/17 01:32 PM
08/15/17 01:32 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 4,739
Storrs, Connecticut
jeepman3071 Offline
jeepman3071  Offline

Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 4,739
Storrs, Connecticut
Originally Posted By: mattwithcats
I thought ToughTorque changed the oil specification from 5W-30 to 5W-50?

Factory fill was still 5W-30....


They did, according to the customer support. 5w50 Castrol made the trans in my Deere MUCH quieter, and maybe a tad bit more responsive in reverse.


2000 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L (181k) - Pennzoil 10w30, Napa Gold 1516, Magnefine trans filter
2009 BMW 328i (38k) - Castrol Edge Euro 0w40, MANN HU816X
Re: Hydrostatic Trans Fluid question [Re: 73Chall] #4489501
08/15/17 05:05 PM
08/15/17 05:05 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,485
N.C.
gman2304 Offline
gman2304  Offline

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,485
N.C.
Originally Posted By: 73Chall
Greetings, all!

I just wanted to followup (I HATE it when OP's never come back and followup!) and update: I took advice here, made dealer aware of it and I am having THEM change the transaxle fluid at the 6.5 hour mark. I figure having them do it, I have documentation of it 3-1/2 years from now (the "bumper-to-bumper" warranty is for 4 years).

If it darkens again I won't fret (but, I will hold onto that documentation! Hopefully, I will never need it!)

Also, since my OP I reached out tonTuffTorque directly and they suggested same thing: change fluid and both filters and monitoring it thereafter.

And, I just wanted to say a big Thank You to all -- have a great and safe Autumn!!!



^^^ Good on you... thumbsup

Re: Hydrostatic Trans Fluid question [Re: 73Chall] #4490499
08/16/17 07:59 PM
08/16/17 07:59 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,386
Watertown, New York
cronk Offline
cronk  Offline

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,386
Watertown, New York
Being this is a new unit I wonder if there is assembly lube in the unit that is mixing with the oil and causing it to darken.

Either way, safe bet to change it out, then at least you know.


2008 Ford F350
2003 Chevy Cavalier
2011 Nissan Quest
1986 Pontiac Trans Am
1940 Ford 9N Tractor
Amsoil lubes and filters!
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