Lube advice for Swisher Ride King drive gearbox

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Hello I have two small vintage riding lawn mower called a Ride King. I currently have a gearbox open on one of them so I can replace the seals for the output with NOS parts I purchased off eBay. However, I believe that it will mostly likely still leak as the shaft seals this machine use are not spring loaded and therefore are meant for grease not oil. I run 140W gear oil (GL-4 Hypoid) you see not grease. Swisher once sold their own blend of gear lube (Part# TR124L) for these machines but is it no longer available. I emailed Swisher and was told it was a trade secret and that I could use 140W gear oil instead, but it wouldn’t be as good due to high operating temperatures caused by the small size of the gearbox. I had this gearbox open about a year ago to replace the worm and gear inside as they were badly worn due to lack of lube when I got the machine. This time when I opened it up I noticed the remaining oil that hadn’t leaked out from sitting in storage looked dirty and appeared to have very very fine metal particles mixed in but, the gears don’t appear to be badly worn. So, I’m not sure if that’s just the nature of this beast, my lube is inadequate or some kind of break-in from the NOS gears put in a year ago. In a pdf scan I found of the manual it states:
Quote:
The gear box must have an extreme pressure oil with a high lead content. Your gear box will normally run hot (100 degrees about surrounding temperatures).
I thought about packing it with corn head grease or graphite or mixing one of the two with half gear oil but, wasn’t sure if that was a good idea or not. On my other Ride King, it’s still running the lube it had when I bought it. I’m not sure what it is. It could be that Swisher stuff.. it could be just automotive grease. I’m not sure but, it’s black and goopy and doesn’t seem to leak out as fast. It also states:
Quote:
The gearbox on drive unit should be check- each twenty hours of operation.
I personally check everytime before I mow and I usually have to top it off every other week. So, there you have it. What would be best oil, grease, mixture? If anyone on this forum could make a suggestion on what lube would best fit this application I’d sure appreciate it. Thanks.
 

wrenchwarrior

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This is the gearbox. From the inside I measured the dimensions to be about 2" Width x 4.5" Length x 3.2 Depth. I have the two seals and needle bearing installed. I just need to pick a lube and seal it back up. This is a picture of the remaining gear oil that was drained when opened. A little over one year of use...
 
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wrenchwarrior

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Originally Posted By: HerrStig
Why would keep as a "trade secret" something you don't market any longer?
I have no idea. They don't even make the machine it was meant for.. I believe production stopped after 2003. Bother of mine are the 1960's model.
Originally Posted By: xxch4osxx
"The gear box must have an extreme pressure oil with a high lead content." What is up with that? Since when does gear lube have a high lead content?
I couldn't say. That manual is for the 1966 model I believe. Here is the link: http://www.wedophones.com/Manuals/LawnTractor/Swisher%20R-32%20Ride%20King%20ALL.pdf Page 3 it says
 
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You might want to look for a gear oil specially designed for worm gearboxes. If I recall they have an additive not usually contained in standard gear oils.
 
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discription of what you found in the gear box of your other ride king sounds alot like the stuff snapper uses in the diff's of their self propelled hi-vac mowers. I believe that is "OO" grease as well.
 

wrenchwarrior

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Thank you all for the replies. Based on your suggestions I've searched the Internet for different products. The idea of the extra additives for the worm gear is really tempting. I saw a product by Super-Lube that is listed for use with worm gearboxs and is ISO 680. I don't understand ISO ratings too well, but I assume the higher the number the thicker? The gear oil I'm using now is ISO 460 so, the worm oil should be much thicker stuff? But, I'm leaning more towards the 00 grease because I feel that would decrease the chances of there being a leak or at least slow it down. (The fact the manual tells you to check the lube every 20 hours is a good indication there is a problem.) The product I'm considering is Stens 770-123 "00" Grease. I'm having trouble finding the product datasheet but, the pictures of of the one quart bottle says it has EP additives. I'm still open to other suggestions. I'll probably look into actually ordering a product tomorrow.
 
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I remember Snapper having a OO grease for the self propel dif. It might be easier to find if its a similar product.
 
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