Jump to content

Unofficial Home of Old Simplicity & Allis-Chalmers Garden Tractors

Sign in to follow this  
tripleguy

Symptoms of a worn hydro?

Recommended Posts

tripleguy

Working on my 5216H to get an oil leak repaired (crank seal). The bad seal coated the underside of the tractor with oil, dirt, crud, etc. It had been leaking slowly for a while but the pace accelerated and it's time to repair. The last couple times I mowed with it, the tractor seemed to be losing power going up a rather steep bank at a roadside drainage ditch. I'm hoping it's just the oil on the belt and pulleys but the belt didn't look too bad, however there was oil in the v section of the pulleys so I know there is some lube that got on it. I changed hydro fluid and transmission fluid (gear oil). When I fix the leak, I'll either replace the belt or clean it up good along with the pulleys and put some belt dressing on it. The hydro engages just fine and is responsive - goes from forward to reverse with zero hesitation. Would you suspect the belt is slipping or could the hydro be getting weak? I got stuck going up the hill - stayed on one place. I backed off on the hydro and climbed slowly up the hill. After that mess, I parked it and started working on it. At this point, I just want some opinions. I could switch to some 15w40 synthetic oil in the hydro and coax a few more years out of it I suppose. Opinions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Brettw

I think I would clean up the belt and pulleys so as to be clean enough to eliminate any possibility of slippage, check idler for tension, etc.  See what the results are and go from there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kent
17 hours ago, tripleguy said:

. I could switch to some 15w40 synthetic oil in the hydro and coax a few more years out of it I suppose. Opinions?

Should you decide to do this, do NOT skimp on $$, and do a bit of research first.  The key factor in using motor oil in a hydrostatic drive is the Viscosity Sheer Rating, assuming the Foaming level is acceptable.  Be prepared to pay for Mobil 1 pure synthetic, Amsoil, Royal Purple or other motorcycle synthetic. You want the highest sheer rating possible/affordable - this determines how the oil stands up to the sheer of being pressed/pushed through the gears and/or swash plates of hydraulic pumps/motors at high pressures without damaging its molecular structure,  Don't go through the cost and hassle, and then skimp to save $5-10 on the oil. 

My two cents from running a Power Trac fully hydraulic/hydrostatic 4wd tractor for 10+ years.  My old one used 10 gallons of 10w40, while my new-to-me old diesel-powered one uses 15 gallons. Changing to a quality full-synthetic WILL make a noticeable difference, but only you can determine if it was worth it... I changed my old PT-425 from 10w40 to 15w40 Amsoil, and could really tell the difference, especially on steep hillsides when the oil was hot. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tripleguy

Doesn't hold that much fluid so that should not be a problem. If I need to go that route, I know it's only a 2-3 year temp fix. I'm hoping it's the belt slipping. I'll see once I get it back together. I pressure washed the bottom of the tractor ahead of pulling the motor. Once the oil leak is fixed, we'll see. Most likely, it will be spring before I test it thoroughly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tarheel

 As Kent said, hydro's weaken as they heat and the oil expands. So as such, the more they warm up, the weaker they get (in a way). A hydro with a problem / pressure leak somewhere will show this readily.

 What I have read of your problem doesn't quite seem to meet that. (You didn't mention warming up that I saw) So I'm thinking clean up the belts and pulleys and head straight for the hill you stalled on before. If there is a marked improvement, I'd say you have found your problem. Either way, I'd go right back and check for oil again. If the parts are oily once again, you can't really be sure (about the oil being a problem) if it failed to climb. But I wouldn't expect it to leak that much in so short a time.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tripleguy

Thanks - good to know. I'll clean it up and make sure to drive it for a while before tackling the hill again. I'm hoping it's not the hydro because I like the little tractor but if it is, I'll switch out the fluid for some 15w40 synthetic and hopefully get a couple more years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×