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LX-5 gear box oil leak

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clydelover
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4 N. Florida
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2010-07-18          172364


I have a John Deere LX-5 pasture mower - Today while mowing, oil starting coming out of the gear box pressure valve on top. Filled gear box 2 1/2 weeks ago to proper level. Been using regularly for the last two weeks during the day. Pressure valve top is loose and am able to screw it back down. Any ideas? Do I need to replace relief valve?

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LX-5 gear box oil leak

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2010-07-18          172376


Clyde;
Has the mower sat out thru several rainy spells?
Does the oil look milky when it comes out the vent?

If both answers are yes then I'd say that water has leaked thru the vent into the gear box. When the oil warmd up during use the water was probably not boiling but hot enough that it was evaporating rapidly causing pressure in the gearbox then taking some oil out the vent with it.
Frank. ....

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LX-5 gear box oil leak

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clydelover
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4 N. Florida
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2010-07-19          172382


Frank,

Thank you for replying. The answer is yes to both of those questions. When I went to check the oil last night it was very milky. I'm quite surprised. I've had my equipment for five years outdoors and this had never happened before.

I presume I'll have to drain and refill and replace the pressure valve? It that correct?

clydelover a/k/a Karen ....

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LX-5 gear box oil leak

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2010-07-19          172383


Yes, the gear oil should be drained and replaced.
In your first post you said that you had topped off the oil before the leakage. This has me wondering a bit about where the original oil went. If there isn'nt a leak that is visible from above then I'd be suspicious of a bad seal or seal and bearing on the shaft under the deck.
My MX 5 has the "Stump Jumper", a circular disc that fastenes to the shaft under the gearbox with the blades connected to outer part of it. The Stump Jumper makes the bottom of the shaft from the gearbos impossible to see. I don't know if thge LX 5 has the stump jumper disc or if the blades are fastened to a hub on the shaft, that would make it easier to see if the seal is leaking. Be extra carefull looking under the deck, do not get under it withut some good blocking to prevent it from falling on you.
Now so far as the fill plug you mention, I don't remember what's on my MX5, but some have a fill plug with a loose feeling "cap" that lets the pressure in and out of the gearbox.
Frank. ....

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LX-5 gear box oil leak

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
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2010-07-19          172393


Liquids expand when hot. Not as much as gases, but gases expand/contract with pressure changes whereas a liquid doesn't, so when pressure goes up it will make room for itself. The hotter you expect it to get, the more headspace you should leave. ....

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LX-5 gear box oil leak

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clydelover
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4 N. Florida
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2010-07-19          172413


Frank,

My LX-5 has a circular disc much like your MX-5, so it is as difficult to see as yours. The topping off of the oil was minimal, I haven't had to put any in it for over two years and have never seen any pooling or leakage when I have the mower lifted to sharpen the blade. But I will keep an eye on my seals, that will be a repair I hope is a long way off!

I picked up a suction gun today and ordered the replacement valve which John Deere refers to as the vent, I must admit the manuals are horrible, but for a couple of bucks should be able to fix my first weird catastrophe in a few days and get back to pasture mowing.

Again thanks to you and Auerbach for responding, it is much appreciated.

Karen ....

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LX-5 gear box oil leak

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2010-07-19          172415


Karen;
Glad to help. Yes if the amount added was minimal then I'd agree that a failed seal didn't happen.
I don't know if the LX and the MX use the same gearbox, but I don't recall ever seeing a drain plug on mine, so other than dismantiling the gearbox a suction gun is the only way to drain it.
Being we're not talking much oil to fill the gearbox, I'd drain, refill, then use it a couple times and repeat draining and refilling it, just to more completely get the water out. Oil cost's nothing compared to repair parts.
Frank. ....

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LX-5 gear box oil leak

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clydelover
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4 N. Florida
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2010-07-20          172422


Appreciate the support - I was curious and went and looked at your schematic - my drain plug is at the lower right hand corner of the box looking from the back - just to the right of what appears is your cap on the back - I have to open it to check for oil, if it seeps it's okay - I like yours, according to the specs all the MX-5's have a dipstick. That would have been nice. You also don't have the pressure plug on top. Interesting! I only have 10 acres to mow for horse pasture so I have to admit the LX has been good to me, only thing besides this is my stockpile of shear bolts(grins). Thanks again, I will definitely keep an eye on it and do as you suggest - oil is definitely cheaper.
Karen ....

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LX-5 gear box oil leak

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2010-07-20          172425


Vastly overfilling the gear oil can lead to blown seals. As Auerbach pointed out the expanding the oil will not escape out the vent cap as fast as it will explain and can blow a seal. Also if vent gets clogged same thing. Been there done that. ....

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