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Wood Rotary Cutter Oil leak Question

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sprobst
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 17 Indiana
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2008-06-08          154393


I have a Woods Rotary Cutter that has a recurring problem and I'm not sure how to handle it. The lower oil seal fails ever few hours of use. This has happened twice. The dealer replaced the seal about 6 mowings ago (2 years ago) and now the seal is bad again because the gearbox oil gushes out of the bottom of the mower. This isn't a small leak but a complete seal failure because the oil leaks out of the bottom as you are filling the gearbox at the top.

Can anyone tell me why this seal would be failing multiple times? Is it being installed incorrectly or could there be something involving the drive shaft that would cause it to fail? I am not hitting fencing or wire so I do not think that is the cause.

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Wood Rotary Cutter Oil leak Question

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candoarms
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1932 North Dakota
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2008-06-08          154399


Sprobst,

I believe the seal is only a small part of the overall problem.

Your bearing is probably bad. While you're checking and replacing the bearing, be sure to check your blade for correct balance. An unbalanced blade can quickly destroy the bearing. Finally, use some fine grit sandpaper to polish up the shaft before inserting the new seal.

Joel ....

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Wood Rotary Cutter Oil leak Question

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2008-06-08          154402


I'd check the shaft for run-out--a bent shaft would cause premature seal failure. Also, verify that the gearbox vent is free to atmosphere--a clogged vent would prevent trapped air to expand and possibly pop the seal lip enough to allow the drip-through you speak of. ....

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Wood Rotary Cutter Oil leak Question

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2008-06-09          154414


Quote:
Originally Posted by earthwrks | view 154402
I'd check the shaft for run-out--a bent shaft would cause premature seal failure. Also, verify that the gearbox vent is free to atmosphere--a clogged vent would prevent trapped air to expand and possibly pop the seal lip enough to allow the drip-through you speak of.


If you way over fill the greabox the oil when heated will not run out the vent as air can and also blow the seal. As the saying goes...been there on that one. kt ....

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Wood Rotary Cutter Oil leak Question

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2008-06-09          154416


Kenny I'm sending you a box of commas and a spellchecker. IgottareadyourpostsaboutfourtimesbeforeIgittherealmeaning.

EXACTLY! LOL You ole redneck ....

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Wood Rotary Cutter Oil leak Question

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2008-06-09          154429


Jeff, I do what I can fer you ole boy. Glad to lighten your day. kt ....

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Wood Rotary Cutter Oil leak Question

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sprobst
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 17 Indiana
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2008-06-09          154430


Thanks for the great replies. I will let you know if it's one of these underlying problems. ....

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Wood Rotary Cutter Oil leak Question

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7147 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2008-06-09          154432


Quote:
Originally Posted by kthompson | view 154429
Jeff, I do what I can fer you ole boy.


I can hear Charlie Daniels playing just reading that sentence. LOL ....

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Wood Rotary Cutter Oil leak Question

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sprobst
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 17 Indiana
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2008-06-10          154468


I believe I am going to attempt this oil seal replacement myself (if I can get the crossbar and stumpjumper off). I will likely replace the oil seal and the bearings (just to be sure).

How can I tell if the blades and stump jumper are in proper balance? I do know (that during operation) the deck shakes very slightly but not much. I considered that normal. I assume that buying new blades would ensure proper balance, unless the stump jumper has some deformity to it. ....

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Wood Rotary Cutter Oil leak Question

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2008-06-11          154492


Looking at the design of the stump jumpers I have seen there is no way I would expect them to be perfectly balanced. Never have noticed a balance weight on one either. But have not seen all brands by any measure.
Same for blades, if they were to be balanced would they not have to sell them in pairs?

If you don't notice one blade being broken or two different sizes or the stump jumper being damaged to me it probably is going to be something else. Of course you could remove the baldes, run the cutter, and if it still vibrates then the stump jumper. Howeve just because the vibration were to stopped does not totally mean it is not a bad bearing which stopped due to load being off of it or a bent shaft. Also it could be your PTO shaft.

Then the most simple, you don't have a pile of dirt on one side of the stump jumper top (if the dished type) or wire wrapped around a blade? Do realize you have this to happen twice so doubt this.

Another simple problem for vibration at load RPMs could be your blades are requiring full rpms to spin out in the full cutting position. Wire or sting or even rust can cause this. kt ....

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Wood Rotary Cutter Oil leak Question

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2008-06-11          154500


Ol' Kenny a.k.a "Fat Fingers" what kind of bugs do you have there that they can "sting" a metal blade? ....

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Wood Rotary Cutter Oil leak Question

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2008-06-11          154502


Quote:
Originally Posted by earthwrks | view 154500
Ol' Kenny a.k.a "Fat Fingers" what kind of bugs do youhave there that they can "sting" a metal blade?


Boy, you tell us all you were down on the Gulf Coast after the blow and you now ask what kind of bugs...so did you not visit those swamps? It appears all you did was hear them at night and got back home to Mama!

Jeff, I am thankful that God has given you good eyesight and the ability to spell. He gave me other talents such as good looks, brains and a sense of humor. Love it! ....

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Wood Rotary Cutter Oil leak Question

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2008-06-11          154513


Kenny---I got nuthin' ....

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Wood Rotary Cutter Oil leak Question

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Banditos
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 2 America
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2009-03-16          161144


I ran JohnDeere cornhead grease(gl#0) in leaky gearboxs before. Old bushhogs are prone to leaking and this grease mixed 50/50 with gear oil is usually thick enough to not leak out.  If the 50/50 mix leaks you can run it 100 percent but a little gear oil makes it more fluid.  If you have a bushhog that is new or under warrenty,I would fix the seal the proper way.  But in a pinch and on older equipment that sits for most of the time, grease it up.   ....

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Wood Rotary Cutter Oil leak Question

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batman
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 19 Illinois
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2009-04-14          162019


I have alot of experience with Woods rotary cutters and the bottom seals on the old Woods cutters are difficult. The problem is the blade crossbar sets the gearbox vertical shaft preload and if the amount of spacers is not correct you will quickly ruin the seal because the vertical shaft moves up and down when cutting. You can run cornhead grease in the old boxes if you just run an hour or two at a time. If you run it all day it will run out too. What model do you have? I have some old manuals and I can dig up the instructions. The new Woods cutter have solved this problem and they offer warranty of 8 years to prove it. I know of several old Woods cutter that have run for years with grease in the box instead of oil. ....

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Wood Rotary Cutter Oil leak Question

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stonehands
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 8 Michigan
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2013-06-17          187362


New member here. I just picked up an as is Woods M5-4 rotary cutter. Could not check the gearbox before I bought. Paid $450.00 for it. It was low on gear oil so I put some in and hand spun the pto to see how it all moves. No noise and turns free but as soon as I I moved it and it sat overnight the oil leaked out onto the ground and stump jumper. I assume bottom seal. I am prone to buy a complete kit with bearings and seal and do the entire assembly to be safe but I am tempted to use the heavy grease solution as I am told getting the blade bar is a real nasty job. Am I foolish for taking the short cut? The cutter is old and was sitting unused for a couple of years I am told. ....

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Wood Rotary Cutter Oil leak Question

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stonehands
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 8 Michigan
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2013-06-17          187363


If the vent on the crankcase is the issue,, can the seal be pushed or pressed back in without damage? Or if you get to that point of repair you are better off replacing the seal and bearings anyway to be sure?

My old M5-4 Woods cutter has a solid square bolt for the top vent so I know it was run without any venting. ....

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Wood Rotary Cutter Oil leak Question

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batman
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 19 Illinois
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2013-06-17          187364


Since you said it leaked out overnight I would try cornhead grease or 00 grease. If gear oil ran straight thru I would take time to replace the lower seal. You should have a free flow vent on this box. It is worth checking to make sure air passes thru it. It you replace the seal make sure you shim the crossbar properly or you will have trouble again. ....

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Wood Rotary Cutter Oil leak Question

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stonehands
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 8 Michigan
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2013-06-17          187365


Good advise Batman. I will try the cornhead grease first. Mix it 50/50 with the 90wt gear oil to start?

....

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Wood Rotary Cutter Oil leak Question

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batman
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 19 Illinois
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2013-06-17          187366


I would start with straight heavy grease. Once the gearbox heats up grease will start to flow like oil. Just make sure the lower part of horizontal shaft bearings are sitting in grease at all times. The gearbox should be 1/2 full. There is an oil level plug the side. Too full is as bad as too empty. You can check the gearbox temp ever so often. Hot to the touch is ok but if you spit on it and it sizzles it is too hot. ....

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Wood Rotary Cutter Oil leak Question

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stonehands
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 8 Michigan
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2013-06-17          187367


Worth trying this first I think. Will let you know how it goes. If I still see leaking or levels going down I will pull the gearbox and replace the bearings and seal on the vertical shaft. Thanks for the advice. ....

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Wood Rotary Cutter Oil leak Question

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stonehands
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 8 Michigan
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2013-06-19          187394


Still on my Woods cutter. A couple of questions.

1. Can a blown seal be pushed back in without taking off the blade bar? I have established my crankcase did not have a vent plug but a solid bolt in its place.

2. If I have to take off the blade bar,, how bad does it suck and any helpful hints when I tackle it? Any special tools? My intention is that when and if I do it, I will lay cutter on its side to be able to get at it better and safer. ....

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