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Service Transmission


Transmission and Hydraulic Oil

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Use recommended oil only. Do not use engine oil or “Type F” automatic transmission fluid.




Choose oil viscosity based on the expected air temperature range during the period between oil changes.

John Deere Low Viscosity HY-GARD™ transmission/hydraulic fluid is recommended. John Deere HY-GARD transmission/hydraulic fluid may also be used for temperatures above -18? C (0? F).

Other oils may be used if they meet John Deere standard JDM J20C or J20D.

Checking the Hydraulic Oil Level

Check the oil level before you start the engine.

1. Park machine safely. (See Parking Safely in the SAFETY section.)

2. Open the engine cover.


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3. Remove oil fill cap (A) on hydraulic reservoir (B).


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4. Check the oil level on the dipstick indicator (C). Oil level should be between the FULL and ADD marks on the indicator when machine is cold.

5. Install reservoir cap and close engine cover.

Checking the Transmission Oil Level

1. Park machine safely. (See Parking Safely in the SAFETY section.)

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Hot hydraulic oil will expand and show incorrect oil level. Check reservoir tank:

• When oil is cold.

• Engine not running.


NOTE: The hydrostatic transmission oil is separate from the hydraulic system oil and has an oil filler cap/dipstick located under the operator’s seat platform.


MX0476

Picture Note: Seat platform removed for photo.

2. Lift operator’s seat platform and locate the yellow oil filler cap (A) on top of transmission.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Dirt and debris in oil may cause damage to the transaxle. Clean area around opening before removing dipstick.



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3. Unscrew the oil filler cap and wipe the dipstick (B) off with a clean shop towel.

4. Insert the dipstick until the cap contacts the transmission housing and remove again.


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5. Oil level should be in XXX range on dipstick. Add oil to transmission if level does not show on dipstick.

6. Install dipstick and lower seat platform. If oil was added, check oil level after driving machine.

Changing the Hydraulic Oil and Filter

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Escaping fluid under pressure can penetrate the skin causing serious injury. Avoid the hazard by relieving pressure before disconnecting hydraulic or other lines. Tighten all connections before applying pressure. Search for leaks with a piece of cardboard. Protect hands and body from high pressure fluids.

Use caution when filling and draining hydraulic oil. During periods of machine operation the hydraulic oil reservoir can get hot. Allow engine and oil reservoir to cool before servicing.

1. Lower all mower decks to ground.

2. Park machine safely. (See Parking Safely in the SAFETY section.)

3. Wait until the engine and the transmission are cool before beginning service.


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A - Hydraulic Reservoir

B - Right Side Reservoir Drain

4. Drain the hydraulic reservoir (A) using a siphon pump and the drain plug (B) on the right side rear corner of reservoir.

5. Install drain plug.


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6. Clean debris from around hydraulic oil filter base (C) on left side of machine.

7. Use a filter wrench to turn the filter (D) counter clockwise. Remove the filter and drain the remaining hydraulic oil.

8. Clean the filter base and put a film of clean transmission oil on the seal of the new filter.

9. Install the hydraulic oil filter. Turn it clockwise until it contacts the mounting surface, then 1/2 turn more.

10. Fill the hydraulic reservoir until up to FULL COLD mark on sight tube.

11. Run the engine a short time while checking for leaks. Stop the engine.

12. Check that the hydraulic oil level has remained up to the FULL COLD mark on the sight tube. Add oil if necessary.

Changing the Transmission Oil

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Escaping fluid under pressure can penetrate the skin causing serious injury. Avoid the hazard by relieving pressure before disconnecting hydraulic or other lines. Tighten all connections before applying pressure. Search for leaks with a piece of cardboard. Protect hands and body from high pressure fluids.

Use caution when filling and draining hydraulic oil. During periods of machine operation the hydraulic oil reservoir can get hot. Allow engine and oil reservoir to cool before servicing.

1. Lower all mower decks to ground.

2. Park machine safely. (See Parking Safely in the SAFETY section.)


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3. Remove the front deck from the lift arms, and move deck to the left to gain access to the right front side of the transmission.


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4. Remove drain plug (A) and allow transmission to drain. Replace plug.

5. Install front mower deck.


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Picture Note: Seat platform removed for photo.

6. Raise and lock seat platform.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Dirt and debris in oil may cause damage to the transaxle. Clean area around opening before removing plug or dipstick.

Be sure dipstick is installed before removing drain plug. Slowly remove dipstick after plug is removed to control rate of oil flow draining into drain pan.


7. Unscrew oil filler cap and dipstick (B).

8. Fill transmission with hydraulic oil until level is up to top of XXX marks on dipstick. Transmission capacity is 13.3 L (3.5 gal) when dry, but may take less when performing oil change. Do not overfill.

9. Run machine, cycling hydrostatic pedals to purge air from transmission. Recheck transmission oil level.

Adjusting Transmission Neutral

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Do not attempt this adjustment unless you are a qualified and properly trained technician. Improper adjustment can result in an unsafe machine.

Adjust transmission neutral to assure that machine does not creep forward or rearward when pedals are in the neutral position.

1. Park machine on a firm, level surface. Place controls in following position:

• Park brake unlocked.

• Side decks raised and transport locks engaged.

• Engine off.

• PTO disengaged.

• Differential lock disengaged.

• Four wheel drive disengaged.

• Range shift lever not in neutral.

2. Jack up front of machine. Place hardwood blocks under front sub frame so front tires are off of ground.

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! The machine can fall or slip from an unsafe lifting device or supports.

• Use a safe lifting device rated for the load to be lifted.

• Lower machine onto jack stands or other stable supports and block wheels before servicing.

3. Jack up rear of machine. Place jack stands under rear axle so rear tires are off of ground.

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Do not raise or lower decks, engage four wheel drive or differential lock, or turn PTO switch on during adjustment. Keep people clear of machine while running.

Always jack all four wheels off of ground. Four wheel drive is always engaged and will push machine off jack stands if any tires get traction.

Stay away from tires while making adjustments.

4. Sit in operator’s seat and start engine.

5. Watch front tires for forward or rearward rotation.

6. Cycle forward and reverse hydrostatic pedals and allow to return to centered, neutral position. Check again for tire rotation while in neutral, indicating a neutral adjustment is necessary.


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7. Locate neutral adjuster cam (A) on right side of machine, under right mower deck (B), behind deck subframe (C).


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8. Loosen locknut (D).

9. Rotate cam (E) until front drive wheels do not spin.

10. Tighten locknut. Cycle hydrostatic drive pedals and allow to return to neutral. Readjust cam if necessary.

Mechanical Four Wheel Drive (MFWD) Oil



• John Deere GL-5 Gear Lubricant is recommended.

• Other oils may be used provided they meet the following specifications:

• API Class GL-5.

Checking the Mechanical Four Wheel Drive (MFWD) Oil Level

1. Park machine safely. (See Parking Safely in the SAFELY section.)


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2. Locate filler cap (A) on right rear side of rear axle.

3. Unscrew filler cap and wipe dipstick clean.

4. Install filler cap back into axle housing but do not turn threads back in.

5. Remove dipstick and check oil level on it. Oil should be in XXX area on dipstick but not above top mark.

6. Add oil if needed. Do not overfill.

Changing the Mechanical Four Wheel Drive (MFWD) Oil Level

1. Park machine safely. (See Parking Safely in the SAFELY section.)


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2. Place drain pan under center of rear axle housing and remove center drain plug (A).

3. Install center drain plug.


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4. Remove left side final drive housing drain plug (B), and allow to drain.

5. Install drain plug.

6. Repeat for right side housing (C).

7. Fill rear axle housing with 4.7 L (5 qt) of oil. Do not overfill.