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7117 Hydro fluid level check

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I've looked through the Sovereign Series Operator's Manual for the 7117 and I’ve used the simpletractors search function looking for specific information on Hydro servicing.   After my search, I still had questions so I'll ask them here.

-- When draining, filling and checking the hydro fluid do you cycle the hydraulic lift and what position should the lift cylinder be in when you're doing a fluid check (up, down or at mid-stroke)?

-- In the "Change Transmission Fluid & Filter" in the "Normal Care" section of the manual Step 7, it describes how to check the fluid level.  With the transmission release lever depressed to "disengage the hydro pump" you run the engine for at least 5 minutes to warm the hydro.  After it is at temperature, you stop the engine and immediately lift the relief valve and remove the fill cap.  At this point, you add fluid until it reaches the "run-over" point of the tube.  To finish the procedure, you install the fill tube cap.  Should the transmission level remain in the depressed position, disengaging the hydro pump, during the fluid level check step?

The other issue I run into is, while checking the fluid level at the fill tube hydro fluid starts to drain back into the hydro (I can hear it draining back).  This drain back seems to raise the fluid level which starts to come out the fill tube, as if the hydro is over filled.  If I let the fluid continue to drain, the amount of fluid in the hydro is much less than it would be if I capped the fill tube immediately.  So the question is, should I tighten the fill cap immediately after I fill the hydro to the over flow point and not worry about fluid drain back into the hydro (the drain back would drain out of the fill tube if it was allowed too).  I'm worried that I'm either over or under filling the hydro which could lead to low fluid or over-heating.



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Always have the tractor on a level surface and always check level with the vent pin raised.

I have always checked level after driving the tractor so the fluid is warm.  Make sure the fill tube is in the specified location ( I believe is 1/2" from the back plate).  Lift the vent pin,  and remove the cap on the fill tube, and fill to overflowing.

On a fluid/filter replacement, vent pin lifted, fill to overflowing, drive the tractor (or raise rearend and cycle through full forward to full reverse several times.  Shut off tractor lower back end down to level and recheck fluid level.

On the remote filter units I pre-fill the filter with fluid before screwing it on.

Here is an easy way to keep the vent pin up while checking level.



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I have a similar routine as Mike described, but not as "safe" I guess. 

For the final check after the tractor has been driven some to warm the fluid and the hydraulic lift has been "exercised" several times ending with the cylinder fully extended, I leave the tractor at idle in neutral and fill to overflowing. 


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Hi MikeES and PhanDad--

Thanks for the reply's.  I've been using most of your fill methods over the years and used them again this fill.  I guess the shop manual forgot to mention raise the transmission release lever before filling.  For the record after I lifted the level I was able to add several more ounces of fluid before it reached the top of the stand pipe.  the hydro unit responded normally and I've used it all year using the fill method described.



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