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4115 Hydraulics or HST Transmission Problem

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pathway
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 14 Tennessee
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2010-09-03          173702


I own a JD 4115 that I mainly use for mowing with a 60" mid mount mower deck. Today, it suddenly started leaking fluid, dumping red colored oil on the mower deck. As soon as I noticed the problem, I cut the mower off and headed for the my storage shed. This was a massive leak, fluid covered the deck and the sight glass for checking hydraulic fluid was completely dry. It left a stream of oil accross my blacktop driveway.
Checking from underneath the tractor, the mid and rear PTO shafts were dry, so the seals are OK, but the 4" square plate on the bottom of the transmission and the underside of the tractor (directly above the mower deck) was drenched with oil and dripping this red fluid. Also, the two hydraulic lines going to the power steering were very wet and dripping oil from their lowest point. Anybody have any idea as to what is causing the leaking? I haven't attempted to add more trans fluid, but I'm guessing the transmission fluid has to be near empty. The transmission and the three point hitch lift still worked fine. Do I have a bad Hydro Transmission or is this probably a hydraulic line failure? I bought the tractor new and it only has 180 hours. Please advise.

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4115 Hydraulics or HST Transmission Problem

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2010-09-04          173706


Without seeing the tractor I'd guess you have a broken line or a spin on filter that burst or came loose. Starting the tractor very briefly and watching where the fluid comes from would be the easiest way to find the leak. One caution, don't use your bare hand to feel along a line for the leak, high pressure fluid leaks can penetarte the skin with nasty consequences.
Your comment about "Red" fluid. Your tractor must have something other than Deere Hy-Gard fluid. Unless they have changed lately Hy-Gard has never been red. I doubt the use of an approved non Deere fluid would have caused the leak tho.
Frank. ....

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4115 Hydraulics or HST Transmission Problem

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pathway
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 14 Tennessee
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2010-09-05          173737


It is JD Hy-Gard oil in the tractor. It just appeared to have a red/brownish tint when I viewed it in the bright sunlight. Have not yet attempted to start the engine and search for a leak, but will do that. Does anyone know what hydraulic lines/connections are hidden behind the panel between the instrument panel and the floor pannels? If there are fluid lines hidden in there, maybe I should remove the panels first. ....

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4115 Hydraulics or HST Transmission Problem

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2010-09-05          173740


I haven't been under the hood of a 4115, but I'm sure there are steering lines and perhaps others behind the dash.
Maybe start it for a bit to see if anything does come from under there. If nothing is coming from there then probably no need to remove the panels.
Frank. ....

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4115 Hydraulics or HST Transmission Problem

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 5111 Northern Nevada
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2010-09-06          173768


You will have to remove the mower deck to get to the bottom of this problem.

There are at least 7 metal hydraulic lines under there plus 2 flex hoses for the steering and a filter canister that could be leaking.

That said, odds are that a fitting has come loose and just need tightening. The only oil leak I have had with mine was last winter on the snow plow and I fixed it with a wrench.

Also, your tranny sump holds about 4 gallons. That would be a BIG puddle. ....

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4115 Hydraulics or HST Transmission Problem

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KevPH
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 18 Vermilion, Ohio
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2010-09-11          173965


I also own A JD4115. The first thing I would check would be the transmission filter. When I first mounted my 72" mmm, I had to adjust mower deck lift linkages to not contact the trans. filter. If, per say, the mower deck was raised/forced up by an obstruction. The filter may have be damaged and leaking. I hope this helps. Let us know what you find. ....

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4115 Hydraulics or HST Transmission Problem

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pathway
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 14 Tennessee
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2010-09-11          173968


Thanks for the suggestions. I have been out of pocket for a few days, but will check out the lines and filter next week, and let everyone know what I find.
....

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4115 Hydraulics or HST Transmission Problem

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pathway
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 14 Tennessee
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2010-09-13          174005


I removed the cover below the instrument panel and discovered the leak after starting the engine and moving the lever to raise and lower the three point hitch. Hydraulic oil started leaking from one of the two lines going to the power steering. Two hydraulic fittings attach to a casting and the inner line fitting was the leaker. I did tighten the fitting (at the end of the hose, but it still leaked when I restarted the engine and cycled the three point hitch again. I probably could have accomplished the same by turning the steering wheel, but did not think to do that. I did not want to overtorque the fitting, so I am seeking info on how to seal this leak. Any suggestions?
Fortunately, it is only a hydraulic line and not the transmission. ....

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4115 Hydraulics or HST Transmission Problem

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2010-09-13          174007


Assuming it's a typical JIC-type fitting, it could be a bad line fitting or it could be the nipple that the line connects to that is in the steering unit. Typically they use an o-ring type of seal on the base of the nipple which can blow out or if the nipple has a jamb nut and washer which presses down on the o-ring, the nut could have backed off and the o-ring moved. A lot of times the machining of the hydraulic unit's orifice was shoddy and has burrs. If the burrs are not smoothed or removed, the new o-ring will be destroyed in no time and repeat the leak. ....

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4115 Hydraulics or HST Transmission Problem

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pathway
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 14 Tennessee
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2010-09-14          174013


Thanks for the input. I examined the hose fitting connection and there is no O ring. The nipple has a deep recess to receive a boss that is seated at the bottom of the hose nut. I'm thinking 37 degree JIC, but there are so many variations of these things, I'm not sure.
I guess it is time to take this hose to a NAPA or JD dealer and see what they recommend. I was attempting to avoid paying a small fortune for the parts at the JD dealer. ....

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4115 Hydraulics or HST Transmission Problem

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5230 South Carolina
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2010-09-14          174017


If it was fine and then all of sudden began to leak so heavy look for a cracked fitting. It could be factory joint is also leaking right at fitting. If a flex hose many parts stores make those up. If tubing at least here not many options on those. If you know the joint is leaking and there is no "O" ring then it must be metal surface to metal surface. You probably have nothing to loose to try tightening it more. ....

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4115 Hydraulics or HST Transmission Problem

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2010-09-14          174018


A lot of Deere stuff has a nipple threaded into the casting/housing with an "O" ring under the flange of the nipple between the base of the fitting where the hex portion is and the housing/casting. The threads are normally not pipe thread on the end of the fitting that goes into the casting/housing. Then your hose nut screws onto this nipple. If yours has the nipple with a the "O" ring under the flange of the nipple sealing it to the casting this "O" ring may have failed. Sometimes this "O" ring is not readily visible. If the nipple has a hex portion between where your hose flange screwed on and the casting try taking the fitting form the casting, I'm betting the "O" ring under the hex part of the fitting has failed.
Frank. ....

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4115 Hydraulics or HST Transmission Problem

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2010-09-14          174019


Franky that's what I said; maybe you put it better. ....

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4115 Hydraulics or HST Transmission Problem

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pathway
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 14 Tennessee
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2010-09-14          174020


I really appreciate all the input from everybody. It is not leaking where the fitting screws into the power steering box, but is leaking where the hose screws onto the fitting. I removed the hose and took it to the local NAPA dealer today. He says this hose has British Standard Parallel threads. He is making up a new hose and I should have it tomorrow. The replacement hose will have an O-ring on the boss in the bottom of the nut, which is something the original did not have. He claims this will help insure proper sealing (Gates brand). After searching for some time online, I located what I believe is a fitting with the correct geometry (but not the Gates brand). See attached below. I will keep everybody up to date on the outcome.
http://www.malonespecialtyinc.com/MaloneCatalog/Hose_Couplings/FBPS.HTM ....

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4115 Hydraulics or HST Transmission Problem

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pathway
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 14 Tennessee
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2010-09-14          174022


Yes, the NAPA guy mentioned that my problem might be the mating fitting and not the hose. He suggested that I remove the fitting that mounts on the power steering unit and let him inspect it carefully for cracks. I went back home to remove it and discovered that all four of the hydraulic fittings mounted on the power steering unit must be removed in sequence to get to the leaker. I returned to NAPA and told him I did not want to create more leaks by removing more of these things. We agreed to try the new hose first and see what happens. However, I did take a jewelers lens and closely inspect the questionable fitting. There were no visible cracks, but they can be difficult to detect. Maybe the new hose will fix this thing. This is becomming much like my plumbing projects in the house; a dozen trips to Home Depot before I'm done repairing everything (there always are surprises). ....

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4115 Hydraulics or HST Transmission Problem

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2010-09-15          174036


Path;
I've dealt with the situations simalar to your delema about removing all the fittings to get to the suspect one. It seems it it is always the back one that is a problem. There is really nothing to fear about removing the other three, the chances of you ending up with a leak on good sound fittings isn't that much of a risk. At worst the "O" rings can sometimes "Squirm" and break but they are pretty cheap. Likely the "O" rings will be a Deere specific size that only you know whos sells.
I've been as price shy of Deere parts as anyone, but I've found that to not always be true, hoses are a prime example.
There have been times that going to a hydraulic specialty place cost more than the Deere hose, so don't be afraid to call and check the prices.
Frank. ....

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4115 Hydraulics or HST Transmission Problem

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pathway
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 14 Tennessee
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2010-09-16          174051


Well, the new hydraulic steering hose did not solve the problem. I now have to remove all four of the fittings at the power steering casting and replace one of them. Will see if this gets me back in operation. ....

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4115 Hydraulics or HST Transmission Problem

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2010-09-16          174052


If it's not an o-ring under the nipple in unit then I suspect it's a gasket or large o-ring between the top and mid section, or the bottom and mid section. Try tightening the several bolts that hold it together.

Or it's a seal at the steering shaft that is dribbling down onto the suspect fitting. My backhoe's unit did this. One day it dribbled so much and for so long that it dribbled oil into the starter switch. One time it tried to start on its own as the oil made contact inside the switch. And I was away from it when it happened!

To mae diagnosis easier, degrease the unit and nearby hoses. I use starting fluid--it's quicker and evaporates quickly. And it doesn't peel paint like carb cleaner does. Then lightly dust the unit with powder--baby powder, flour, talc---whatever. Then run the machine until you see a leak. VOILA! There it is!
....

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4115 Hydraulics or HST Transmission Problem

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5230 South Carolina
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2010-09-16          174060


The hoses built while you wait are not reasonable price if premade are available. They become best options due to availability of the premade hoses.

Following Jeff suggestion on cleaning, you probably need a person you can really trust to let you be in place to watch for leak before the tractor is cranked as you want to see it begin the seeping and not when all is wet. ....

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4115 Hydraulics or HST Transmission Problem

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 5111 Northern Nevada
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2010-09-17          174072


A bit of info: Maybe you already know this, but unlike other 4000 series tractors sold by Deere, your 4115 was completely designed and assembled in Japan.

You might not be dealing with SAE compatible fittings………….





....

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4115 Hydraulics or HST Transmission Problem

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pathway
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 14 Tennessee
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2010-09-17          174085


I just assumed that a NAPA hydraulic hose would cost less vs. one from Deere. I paid $47 for the small diameter NAPA hose (only about 30" long). It actually might have been lower priced from Deere, but that mistake is history. I now know to check at several places before making a decision.

I am certain about the location of the leak. But, was not sure if the faulty part was the nut end of the hose or the fitting it screws onto. As it turns out, I have eliminated the hose as the problem, so it has to be the fitting.

Yes, the 4115 is manufactured in Japan. The engine is Yanmar, so Yanmar may have built the entire tractor to Deere's specifications. Fortunately, the reviews I have read indicate it is a good unit and is relatively trouble free.

It will be a few days before I get time to remove all four of the fittings from the power steering casting to replace the one that is faulty. I will update everyone. ....

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4115 Hydraulics or HST Transmission Problem

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 5111 Northern Nevada
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2010-09-18          174098


Quote:
Originally Posted by pathway | view 174085
The engine is Yanmar, so Yanmar may have built the entire tractor to Deere's specifications.


Yanmar made the entire tractor. ....

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4115 Hydraulics or HST Transmission Problem

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pathway
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 14 Tennessee
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2010-10-01          174304


It has been almost a month and I still haven't solved this leak in the power steering system. Thus far, I have purchased and installed a new hydraulic steering hose from NAPA, but did not fix the leak. Next, I ordered a new fitting from John Deere, installed it and attached the new NAPA hose, but the leak continued. Since it appears the original hose was not the problem, I removed the NAPA hose and installed the original hose, but still had a leak. When attaching the hose, I was told to snug it up, then torque another 1/8 turn. I have attempted to adhere to this advice to avoid cracking the fitting. Anybody have any advice on torquing this fitting? Does Loc Tite make a sealing compound that I could apply to the threads that would stop this leak?
....

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4115 Hydraulics or HST Transmission Problem

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2010-10-01          174306


PW; I'm not familliar with what type fitting you are dealing with between the hose and the fitting on the power steering housing. Deere has a history of using some odd ball things only availabe at their parts counter. The only threads I'm famillair with that actually are the sealing factor are "national pipe thread" type. I doubt that pipe threads are used in your application so the Loc Tite probably wouldn't help.
Frank. ....

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4115 Hydraulics or HST Transmission Problem

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pathway
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 14 Tennessee
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2010-10-01          174308


Although the tractor has been down for a month, I have to admit that I have only been working on it part time. Today I made a trip back to the JD dealer and the tech said I would be wasting my time to use any Locktite product on the fitting. He suggested I purchase a JD hose. But, the parts counter say they are on back order. In short, I'm not getting anywhere with JD.
I later went back to the NAPA dealer with the hose he made for me and he examined it closely under a scope and could find nothing wrong. But, he went ahead and changed out the o-rings to be safe. I will give it another shot and see what happens.
If this does not work out, he suggested we change the fitting to a more widespread standard and change the hose end to match. I have to say, JD really designed an oddball fitting with 3/8 SAE pipe threads to engage into the power steering box and British National Parallel Pipe threads on the opposite end (hose end).
I just want this thing fixed and it appears that NAPA is the only near term solution. Wish I could attach some pictures, but I haven't figured out how to paste them in this forum.
Again, thanks to everyone for their input thus far. ....

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4115 Hydraulics or HST Transmission Problem

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2010-10-02          174312


Just the fact that the hoses are on backorder leads me to believe JD knows there is a problem---typically in the automotive world if parts are used on the production line and those same parts are used for service parts, they will sweep out all the parts from the system. Then the new good ones get sent to the line and service parts suffer.

I would get your ducks in a row and calla dealer and see if the system shows how many are backordered. Then call JD Customer Service and complain to them. Also, google the hose part number and see if someone makes a replacement. Google the issue for problems others may have. ....

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4115 Hydraulics or HST Transmission Problem

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pathway
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 14 Tennessee
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2010-10-14          174588


It took several weeks of part time work on the tractor to stop the hydraulic leak. Because there are four fittings mounted very close together on the power steering casting, I had to remove all of them at least three times in my effort to get to the leaker and test to see if the problem was resolved. Unfortunately, the process of removing and remounting all of these, I fixed the original leak but created another leaker in another fitting. Finally, after replacing some of the fittings, I now have a dry tractor.

I have to mention, the guys at NAPA did a great job in supporting me and working through all of this. They talked me into switching away from the British Parallel Standard Thread fittings, replacing them with conventional, more reliable, and more durable 37 degree flair fittings. The 37 degree flair fittings are much easier to work with and less succeptible to cracking when attaching hoses and tubing. I have a list of all the Gates fittings that were used to replace the OEM parts, so I know where to get them, should the need arise in the future. Also, the new fittings are designed to permit removal any one of them from the power steering casting without having to remove ajacent fittings, should I have any future problems with leaks. I'm much happier with the improvements we made to the original design.

It sure is good to be back on a great little tractor and back to catching up on chores.
Thanks for all the suggestions and support. ....

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