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John Deere STX38 hydrostatic issues?


duigoose's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 306
FL

07-17-12, 07:50 AM   #1  
John Deere STX38 hydrostatic issues?

Hello everyone.
Neighbors John Deere STX38 black deck serial number M00STXJ299848 sat outside all winter. I offered to get it going for him so here goes:
I got it running but when I shifted the forward/reverse lever it moved fairly smoothly once or twice then became very stiff. I then remembered the freewheel lever under the axle was engaged so I dis-engaged the freewheel, started the motor again and tried to move the shifter. Again it would not move. I tried it with the brake pedal engaged, not engaged, engine on, engine off and it will just not move. I was able to really force the arm on top of the transaxle and get it to whine loudly and the wheels moved so I forced it back into neutral. The shift bracket thing broke (M118696)(my fault) so I stopped for the day.
Shouldnt that arm on top the transmission all the way back to the shifter move smoothly by hand?
I can't find anything physically blocking the movement.
I did find an oil check / fill spot there next to the battery. I removed the cap and stuck in a chopstick. There is 1 inch of fluid at the lowest point I could poke. I used my turkey baster and pulled out as much fluid as I could (not very much) and it looks quite thin although I have no idea what fluid is supposed to be in there. It is thinner than motor oil and quite dark, almost black. If this fluid became contanimated from sitting out in the weather would that cause my problem? Anyone know where the drain plug is, proper check procedure, fill procedure and what to fill it with?

Any ideas?

 
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cheese's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 16,567
GA

07-17-12, 09:49 AM   #2  
I believe that takes synthetic 20-50 oil and it should be clean and clear. The shifting problem is likely to be external, something like rusty pivot points or rust and dirt where the shaft enters the case. Spray it down and see if you can work it free.


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duigoose's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 306
FL

07-18-12, 09:34 AM   #3  
thanks cheese,
the binding has been narrowed down to a frozen bellcrank and I only broke one more part finding that out. It was REALLY frozen.
As far as the oil, I found what I think is the manufacturer of the hydro unit and it looks like it called for 10w-30 originally and now either 10w-40 or 5w-50 synthetic oil. I couldn't find any 5w-50 so I'm trying the 10w-40.
Thanks and if anything else strange (to me) goes on I'll be back.

 
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