Craftsman DGS6500 auto trans

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677
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USA
Hey fellow BITOG'ers, I have a Craftsman DGS6500 with a 26hp kohler engine, and 54 inch deck along with an auto transmission. Do these transmissions require servicing such as fluid/filter change and if so, at what intervals? I have 255 hours on mine now. Thanks for your help as my manual was destroyed in Hurricane Sandy
 
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630
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WV
There seems to be differing opinions on this, at least in some forums, but as for me, I believe you should change the fluid every other season. That's what I did with my expensive JD 318 and it's still going strong after 20 years and roughly 500 hours of rather heavy duty use. I now have a Husqvarna tractor w/ 27HP Briggs V-twin, and and HydroGear tranny, and it's getting the same every other year treatment and all is going well. Even if your tranny doesn't have an external filter, I would change the oil just to be on the safe side. It is rather small expense for the possible benefits of long life.
 
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NE,Ohio
I would every few years depending on how much use it gets. nothing is "lifetime fill" unless you want a short lifetime.
 

JTK

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13,461
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Buffalo, NY
Originally Posted By: lawman1909
Hey fellow BITOG'ers, I have a Craftsman DGS6500 with a 26hp kohler engine, and 54 inch deck along with an auto transmission. Do these transmissions require servicing such as fluid/filter change and if so, at what intervals? I have 255 hours on mine now. Thanks for your help as my manual was destroyed in Hurricane Sandy
I'm assuming by "auto transmission", you're referring to hydrostatic and not belt/variator drive. Most likely it's hydrostatic and you should have one of the 3: Hydro-Gear 310 series? Tufftorq K46 Peerless LTH 2000. None of them are readily serviceable, in terms of having an easy means of draining/filling and pretty much all of them require splitting the case to access an internal filter. That being said, the oil can be changed by removing the unit from your rider, removing the top vent, flipping it over and draining it out. Doing this will easily double the life of the unit. The peerless units are kind of cool, in that they hold gear oil in the differential housing and motor oil in the hydro drive. 2 separate units to drain/fill on those.
 
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lawman1909

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Wow, that's a bit of work. I know I don't have the resources to take the entire transmission off. I guess I will look into the specifics of which trans it is and then go by what you said! Thanks
 

JTK

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13,461
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Buffalo, NY
It sounds a lot worse than it actually is. Remove the drive belt, 1-2 linkages 4 bolts and it's off. You don't even need to take the rear wheels off if you don't want to (makes it easier with them off though).
 
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182
Location
Michigan
The K46 trans is easy to R&R. I can have one out in about 20 min. If you have a hilly yard it would be best to change the oil. The k46 trans is notorious for short life. Just refill with 2 quarts of Castrol 5w50. And you have to bleeed the air out after a re-fill, which is very simple process.
 
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Messages
182
Location
Michigan
Originally Posted By: lawman1909
How do I find out what particular trans I have?
Most K46's have a label on the underside of one of the axle tubes. It would have tuff Torq on it and it would say K46 on it, with a bar code. Post your model number of the tractor, also. I see that this model could also have a Hydrogear, which is a much better transaxle.
 
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lawman1909

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On the sticker it reads this : Hydro-gear *BAR CODE* 199651 *BAR CODE* 7213T50085 And I also could not find the model number, where would it be located? It was manufactured 9/07
 
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Michigan
Originally Posted By: lawman1909
model number is 917. 287461
It appears that yours has a Hydro gear. The case splits vertically. And the Tuff Torq's split horizontally. You can change the oil at some point, Hydro gear recomends 20w50. But its not as critical as with the Tuff torque axle.
 

JTK

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13,461
Location
Buffalo, NY
Originally Posted By: lawman1909
On the sticker it reads this : Hydro-gear *BAR CODE* 199651 *BAR CODE* 7213T50085 And I also could not find the model number, where would it be located? It was manufactured 9/07
I'm guessing it's this model: http://www.hydro-gear.com/main/products/hydrostatic-drives/transaxles-with-differentials/310-0510 Some Hydro-Gear models included a drain plug, but no means to re-fill other than remove the unit to refill, or remove the fender assembly to access a top port for refill.
 
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174
Location
Tennessee
Now is the time to change it. Mine started getting sluggish about 300 hours. It was not all at once but you would notice it slightly. I took off the back plate with only 4 bolts and could see the Hydro Gear unit easily. Look at the example in the post above. On top behind the fan is a gold color plug that you can remove with an allen wrench. Take it out and pump the old oil out with a suction gun. I bought one for about $20 and have used it for everything. When pumping the oil out wiggle the small hose around to make sure you get to the bottom to remove all the old oil. When you get it all out add 20w50 oil slowly through the same hole. My mower is nearly to 800 hours and going strong. I change the oil every couple of years. In all honesty it will take about an hour doing it the first time. My sister's mower completely quit and started working again after changing the oil. She was very lucky. I called Hydro-Gear and they said to use plain 20w50 for all their transmissions.
 

JTK

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13,461
Location
Buffalo, NY
Sweezy- Good to hear a pump-out worked! I've never had any luck trying that route. Couldn't get more than a cup or so of old oil out that way. You could probably flip the whole machine over provided you drained it of all it's gas and engine oil, pulled the battery and cutting deck. That's way more work then popping the arse-end out of it though. LOL. At the end of the day though, any means to change the oil once in a "sealed" hydrostats life will easily double it's lifespan.
 
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