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#2560644 - 03/07/12 10:23 PM Hydrogear oil change
Chevys_n_Hawgs Offline


Registered: 02/17/12
Posts: 260
Loc: OKC
Hi guys. I have a 2006 Cub Cadet RZT50, with the Hydrogear hydrostat transmissions. It has about 275 hours on it. Anyways, I pulled one of the hydros to drain the oil. I pulled the fill plug, turned it upside down, and it is draining as I type. I'm going to pick up some fresh oil for it tomorrow. My question is, I've seen recommendations anywhere from 10w-30 to 15w-40 HDEO to 20w-50 MC oil. I'm asking for your "professional" opinions on what to put back in there. It gets hot here, in the summer. Up to 105F, on occasion. I mow about 2 acres, and it takes about 1 1/2 hours. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.

Almost forgot, when I get this one back on, I plan on doing the other side. Thanks.





Edited by Chevys_n_Hawgs (03/07/12 10:24 PM)

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#2560733 - 03/08/12 12:37 AM Re: Hydrogear oil change [Re: Chevys_n_Hawgs]
jetmech1 Offline


Registered: 12/27/11
Posts: 130
Loc: SW Missouri
Please don't guess or go by "opinions". Opinions are just that, opinions. Email or call HydroGear corporate and talk to an engineer or tech services. Here is a link:

Hydrogear contact page

I've worked on TuffTorq hydrostats. Their tech told me to use 5w50 synthetic. The K46 on the JD LA series doesn't even provide for a change or have a filter. It's no wonder the average lifespan of that unit is about 250 Hrs. But that's TuffTorq, not Hydrogear.

While you are talking with them, ask if there is a filter kit that can be added to your unit. They even may be able to tell you if and/or how a drain plug can be installed. Hydrostats must have very clean oil. If those slipper feet or swash plates becomes scored, it's bye-bye hydrostat as it will self destruct quickly.


Edited by jetmech1 (03/08/12 12:44 AM)
Edit Reason: additional thought

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#2560935 - 03/08/12 09:11 AM Re: Hydrogear oil change [Re: Chevys_n_Hawgs]
clarklawnscape Offline


Registered: 02/03/12
Posts: 292
Loc: Indiana, USA
jetmech has given great advice, most mower manufactures (Cub) offer "their" recommendation, but cud doesnt make it, hydrogear does, so use their recs as jetmech said.

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#2560945 - 03/08/12 09:18 AM Re: Hydrogear oil change [Re: Chevys_n_Hawgs]
lexus114 Offline


Registered: 05/12/08
Posts: 6221
Loc: Easton, PA
20W-50 regular Dino such as GTX is what they recommend. At least on my LT-1046 anyway.
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2012 Mercedes-Benz C300 4matic
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#2561259 - 03/08/12 01:53 PM Re: Hydrogear oil change [Re: Chevys_n_Hawgs]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 9589
Loc: Buffalo, NY
Your Cub RZT50 uses 2 Hydro-Gear EZT integrated transaxles. Hydro-Gear specifically recommends 20w50 engine oil for refill of the EZTs (as Lexus114 said). They hold 52.4 ounces of oil each, a bit over a quart and a half.

Unfortunately like you found, the only way to drain/refill these is to remove, invert and drain out the top vent. You did good!

Given the PITA nature of the beast, I'd use a synthetic 20w50.

There's no external filtration options available for the EZTs. You have to bump up to the better ZT-2800 or beyond for spin-on filters.

For what ever reason on EZT equipped zero-turns, the left-hand drive tends to fail first- and early on some, like around 100-150hrs. I know some of the earlier models had issues with moisture building up in the oil and destroying the unit- so it's good to service them. Keep those drives free of debris so they can cool themselves and keep them dry if you can. You'll get good service out of them.

If you want a *.pdf copy of the service manual for these, PM me an email address and I'll sent it to you.

Joel


Edited by JTK (03/08/12 01:55 PM)
_________________________
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#2561329 - 03/08/12 02:51 PM Re: Hydrogear oil change [Re: JTK]
jetmech1 Offline


Registered: 12/27/11
Posts: 130
Loc: SW Missouri
Quote:
For what ever reason on EZT equipped zero-turns, the left-hand drive tends to fail first- and early on some, like around 100-150hrs. I know some of the earlier models had issues with moisture building up in the oil and destroying the unit- so it's good to service them. Keep those drives free of debris so they can cool themselves and keep them dry if you can. You'll get good service out of them.


+1!

Looks as if JTK has been to a few of these "rodeos". JTK, do you know if this a an MTD manufactured unit? Sounds as if it is. I was a Cub Cadet Tech in the early '70's. The IH manufactured units were nearly industructable! Even the 12 HP model hydrostats had filters and changing oil was a snap!

Man, this "planned obsolence" garbage gripes me beyond belief! Spend thousands of dollars on a machine to only get the equivelent of about 6000 to 9000 vehicle miles equivlent (100-150 hrs. x 60 mph) before a major component failure happens is inexcusiable. Others may disagree, but MTD is the Yugo of lawn equipment IMHO.

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#2561353 - 03/08/12 03:11 PM Re: Hydrogear oil change [Re: Chevys_n_Hawgs]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 9589
Loc: Buffalo, NY
Yessir, MTD owns all of Cub and builds everything but some of the commercial and farm grade stuff.

The specific zero-turn mower in this thread is sold under several brand-names. Not necessarily a bad thing given today's price-point. You have to jump up to a Z-Force (or beyond) to get one unique to Cub.

You gotta remember, the old iron from decades ago sold for the equivalent of what ~$8-12K would buy today.

Joel
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2016 Subaru Forester 2.5, CVT. 2016 Nissan Quest SV (Babe magnet IV)

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#2561377 - 03/08/12 03:27 PM Re: Hydrogear oil change [Re: JTK]
jetmech1 Offline


Registered: 12/27/11
Posts: 130
Loc: SW Missouri
Quote:
You gotta remember, the old iron from decades ago sold for the equivalent of what ~$8-12K would buy today.


Yeah, I know, but it's still pitifull. Still, how much more would it cost per unit to add a drain plug and a spin-on filter? I'll bet it wouldn't be over $100.00-$150.00 at best. Just that alone would provide many hours of of additional service (provided the owner actually has it serviced).

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#2561388 - 03/08/12 03:37 PM Re: Hydrogear oil change [Re: jetmech1]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 9589
Loc: Buffalo, NY
Originally Posted By: jetmech1
..how much more would it cost per unit to add a drain plug and a spin-on filter? I'll bet it wouldn't be over $100.00-$150.00 at best.


I hear you. Unfortunately you have to bump up to a higher price-range machine to get higher-end Hydro-Gear drives that are fully serviceable w/ spin on filters.

Lots of owners have no idea what they're buying. They rarely think about the drive system on their riding mowers, which is the most important thing. More important than the engine IMO.

Joel


Edited by JTK (03/08/12 03:38 PM)
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#2561406 - 03/08/12 03:51 PM Re: Hydrogear oil change [Re: JTK]
jetmech1 Offline


Registered: 12/27/11
Posts: 130
Loc: SW Missouri
Agreed! Simpler to R&R an engine than the drive units. Have a Great Day!


Edited by jetmech1 (03/08/12 03:51 PM)

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#2561719 - 03/08/12 08:36 PM Re: Hydrogear oil change [Re: jetmech1]
gner Offline


Registered: 02/26/04
Posts: 54
Loc: Seaford, DE>
I have a Hydro-Gear # 310-2200 EZT and was wondering if there
is enough clearance to put a thin hose down the breather tube
to vacuum out a partial amount of oil. It appears to me to be more than a notion to take each unit off. Has anyone ever heard of vacuum the unit out. Thank You.

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#2562000 - 03/09/12 05:45 AM Re: Hydrogear oil change [Re: gner]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 9589
Loc: Buffalo, NY
gner, I've never heard of it done, but it's worth a try. It may not be a clear shot right down into the oil though.

You'd need something like a Mityvac.

Joel
_________________________
2016 Subaru Forester 2.5, CVT. 2016 Nissan Quest SV (Babe magnet IV)

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#2562338 - 03/09/12 01:06 PM Re: Hydrogear oil change [Re: jetmech1]
lexus114 Offline


Registered: 05/12/08
Posts: 6221
Loc: Easton, PA
Originally Posted By: jetmech1
Quote:
You gotta remember, the old iron from decades ago sold for the equivalent of what ~$8-12K would buy today.


Yeah, I know, but it's still pitifull. Still, how much more would it cost per unit to add a drain plug and a spin-on filter? I'll bet it wouldn't be over $100.00-$150.00 at best. Just that alone would provide many hours of of additional service (provided the owner actually has it serviced).



I`v got a fill plug and a drain plug (no filter though) what gripes me is I cant get to the fill plug.
_________________________
2012 Mercedes-Benz C300 4matic
2015 Lexus RX350 AWD

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#2562362 - 03/09/12 01:29 PM Re: Hydrogear oil change [Re: lexus114]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 9589
Loc: Buffalo, NY
Originally Posted By: lexus114

I`v got a fill plug and a drain plug (no filter though) what gripes me is I cant get to the fill plug.


That's the nice thing about some of Hydro-Gear's conventional lawn/garden tractor transaxles. Some have a means to drain/fill. Their top of the line G730 has a spin-on filter as well- although you can't see it in this pic. It's on the other side.



Joel
_________________________
2016 Subaru Forester 2.5, CVT. 2016 Nissan Quest SV (Babe magnet IV)

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#2881668 - 01/23/13 04:02 PM Re: Hydrogear oil change [Re: JTK]
Wazza123 Offline


Registered: 01/02/13
Posts: 1
Loc: NSW, Australai
Hi JTK,
I'd appreciate your advice here.
Hydro-Gear EZT drive units fitted to my Hustler - I've got just over 1000 hours up, the LHS unit is "doughy". I hve removed both units and drained them, I have refilled with fully synthetic 5W-40.
2 questions:
Do I fill the breathing chamber or leave it empty - I think it should be empty but not sure.
How do I go about bleeding the units ?
Regards,
Warren,
email: [email protected]
(I live in Australia)

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