K46 1st oil Change Question

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Hello all. I have a Husqvarna TS142 with 50 hours on it. I am religious on maintenance like engine oil changes and plugs filters and such. I am new to the Tuff Torq K46 axles and have been reading all kinds of stories on longevity with some doing just fine others failing. My yard is 3/4 acre and flat. The factory fill is a 10w30 std oil and TT suggests going to a 5w50 syn (winter/summer blend?). Therein lies my question.... I will never use the mower during winter months (below 50 degrees) so can I use a 10w50 syn instead of the 5w50 or go to a 15w50 syn? Looking for a high shear numbered oil.... like what's used in a motorcycle shared engine / trans. The trans works fine now and I know "if it ain't broke don't fix it" but don't want to be stuck in the middle if a hot summer and the trans begins to act up. Or do I have the heebie jeebies over a nothing burger? Recommendations please?
 
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A 10W-40 would work. Motorcycle oil is often suggested.
But 50 hours is way to early to worry about changing the transmission oil.
IIRC, 250 hours is a reasonable guess about change interval.

My 2¢
 

Paul B

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A 10W-40 would work. Motorcycle oil is often suggested.
But 50 hours is way to early to worry about changing the transmission oil.
IIRC, 250 hours is a reasonable guess about change interval.

My 2¢
Reason for the early oil change is that I'm not a spring chicken anymore and should I have a trans problem in 5 years won't be able to do that sort of work. Looking at this as putting in the good stuff now rather than later. Makes me wonder why they use standard 10w30 oil at the factory fill but recommend the synthetic stuff with a different weight rating for maintenance?
 
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Reason for the early oil change is that I'm not a spring chicken anymore and should I have a trans problem in 5 years won't be able to do that sort of work. Looking at this as putting in the good stuff now rather than later. Makes me wonder why they use standard 10w30 oil at the factory fill but recommend the synthetic stuff with a different weight rating for maintenance?
Probably because they have determined that both will work.

What was that shear number you were mentioning before?
 
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I just did the first K46 oil change last week in my Cub. I was going to do it at 100 hours as my 1 acre yard is a real dirt/dust bowl but it ended up with 170 hours by the time I got motivated. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was super clean inside with very little wear metal in the oil. I did drill, tap and install the drain plugs while I was at it so it'll be easier next time. I don't know what the manufacturer's fill was, but I replaced it with Valvoline 5w-50 synthetic and noticed the cold whine it originally had was gone.
 

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Paul B

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Joined
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Rochester Hills
I just did the first K46 oil change last week in my Cub. I was going to do it at 100 hours as my 1 acre yard is a real dirt/dust bowl but it ended up with 170 hours by the time I got motivated. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was super clean inside with very little wear metal in the oil. I did drill, tap and install the drain plugs while I was at it so it'll be easier next time. I don't know what the manufacturer's fill was, but I replaced it with Valvoline 5w-50 synthetic and noticed the cold whine it originally had was gone.
funflyer, The inside looks pretty clean, good picts. What was your motivation to do the oil change? Was it a cold whine as you state and what were the outside temps when you heard the noise?
 
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funflyer, The inside looks pretty clean, good picts. What was your motivation to do the oil change? Was it a cold whine as you state and what were the outside temps when you heard the noise?

My motivation to change the oil was the environment I operate the mower in. I've got an acre and it's pretty much wild grass, weeds and lots of loose dirt so after an afternoon of mowing it's completely covered in dirt. Also, temps in the summer are well above 90 so I figured the original fill had probably lost some viscosity. Cold whine was anytime after it sat for more than a day and the oil cooled to ambient temp. It didn't matter whether it was 30 degrees or 90+, it still whined for the first 30 seconds or so when stepping on the pedal, either reverse or forward.
 

Paul B

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Was in the low 50's yesterday so decided to pull the rear axle. I pulled the mower deck for more working room and both were not that bad to remove, kind of surprised. My motorcycle lift worked perfect. Drained the trans for about a half hour, fluid was good color, magnet clean as can be expected given the low hours / miles. I put in the correct fill of M1 5w50 (2qts) and top up with some 15w50 (.4qts). Bleeding the axle on the bench was quite easy to do. Axle is quieter now and response is faster. I did this for peace of mind and preventative maintenance. (I liken it to building a brand new SBC engine and running the break in oil for only a few hundred miles then change it out). I did find a large idler pulley on the deck that was shot making a lot of rumble noise so that is being replaced. Ready now for the summer and both repairs should be good for a few years easily.
 
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The 3400s in my ZTR and the divorced pump/motor setup on my Wright stander both get M1 15W50. The stander specs that oil, the 3400s call for 20-50 but get 15-50
 
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From what I have read, Tuff Torq says the K46 is a light duty trans axle. Unfortunately the people with bad experiences had bought machines with large decks, tow heavy loads and or have hills to go up and down. Unfortunately, TT can not tell an OEM what they can rate their tractor to do. But they can put in Drain plugs and have a maintenance schedule which they do not do across the board. On many of these they say the oil fill is for life and there is no to easy way to measure the oil, inspect it or change it. If there is a drop in replacement for the TT K46 that is more robust, I would like to know.
 
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But 50 hours is way to early to worry about changing the transmission oil.
My 2¢

Oil Maintenance Frequency for Tuff Torq Transaxles

"For consumer use and in light duty applications or in units that may not have drain bolts, Oil changing may not be emphasized as most homeowners are not equipped or in the habit of changing their transaxle’s Oil. For most residential cases the transaxle will outlast the life of the machine. However, changing the Oil in your sealed transaxle will extend the life of the unit and greatly improve performance. If you have decided to change the oil then follow the 1st 50 hour initial oil change {Unless doing so will void your warranty (check with your tractors OEM or your tractor’s manual)} and then every 250 hours of normal use, thereafter. You may want to lower this oil change threshold if you are using your tractor or Zero Turn in extreme conditions that will put an extraordinary strain on the installed oil."
 

Paul B

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As stated in original post in this topic, changed at 50 hours and job was easier that thought. Did it as peace of mind and the old adage my grandfather would say..., pay me now or pay a lot more when it breaks. After the change from the "factory stuff" to 5w50 topped up with 15w50 synthetics I will say the forward / rearward response is greatly improved and noise almost eliminated.
 
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