View Full Version : Peerless hydrostatic problem

11-03-2001, 06:33 AM
Hi there,

This is my first post here. I hope someone can help me. I have a 1994 Murray 18/46 with a Peerless hydrostatic transmission. (I think it's a VST 250). I've had it from new.
This week I had the mower deck off for a repair, and took the opportunity to replace the motion drive belt. Keen to do a good job, I also drained the oil from the hydro to replace it. Big mistake! I'm now unable to find out what type of oil it is. The dealer here (I'm in New Zealand) said he puts Mobil 1 in but he didn't know which viscosity, which made me suspicious about his knowledge. I've emailed Murray and and had no reply. In desperation (I need this machine going as it's Spring down here!) I decided to put the old oil back in for now as I drained it to a clean container. The trouble is, it won't go in! It fills the filler reservoir and that's it, as though there's an air lock stopping it. I removed the level plug but it made no difference, and I also started the engine and ran it for a few seconds in the hope it would be drawn in by the pump. Any suggestions regarding oil, or how to get it back in there would be very much appreciated.

Thanks for any help,

11-03-2001, 03:06 PM
You sure it's a Peerless hydrostatic transaxle? It's probably a Tufftorq or Hydro-gear tranny. I think they just come out with one and is in prototype testing. Anyway you can run Mobil synthetic 10/30 in it without any harm. Don't put the old oil back in. As far as where to fill it - are you filling it through the right hole? Are you filling it too fast?

11-03-2001, 09:31 PM
Thanks for your reply khouse.

I'm confused about this tranny. It has one of those 'foil' type stickers on it which says Spicer, but when I emailed Murray they said contact Peerless. I found a picture of a tranny which looks very much like mine on the Peerless website, so I presumed it was a Peerless???

Anyway, thanks for the reassurance about the oil. I'll get some Mobil 1 10/30. I'm trying to fill it through what 'looks like' a filler. It's very similar to the clutch or brake fluid filler you'd find on a car. Transparent plastic with a screw on lid about 2" in diameter. If it's not the the tranny filler I can't imagine what else it could be. It's bolted to the top of the tranny case. The position of it under a metal chasis plate makes it very dificult to see what's going on in there. I hoped it might have trickled down into the tranny over night, but it hasn't.

I'm off to the shed for more frustration...

Thanks again for your help,

11-04-2001, 12:11 AM
Dana/Spicer has a hydrostatic transaxle. I think it's realitively new also. I have asked for literature from them 2 times and got none. I have went to thier web site and can't bring it up either. But it sounds like you are filling it through the right place. Good luck and let me know how it comes out.

11-04-2001, 12:36 AM
If I got the correct picture in my head, I'm thinking of something similar. Plastic container? Is there a rubber nipple looking gasket inside? If so, you will never be able to fill the tranny through this opening. There is a plug next to this. The plug takes an approx. wrench size of 7/8. Fill to top. The resivour is only good for topping off but is mainly there to allow the tranny to breath without gettting debris in it. Good luck

11-04-2001, 12:51 AM
Maybe you can get a manual from here?


11-04-2001, 02:47 AM
Well I'm making progress!

Highpoint: You're pretty close to the mark there. I've discovered that there is a plastic, cup shaped insert in the filler bowl which prevents any oil poured in the top from running down into the tranny. It just fills this "cup" and that's it. There isn't even a breather hole in it. (I can't look down on this filler because of it's position under the chassis and I have to use a mirror). I don't understand why there is a filler fitted which is then totally blocked off(?). Anyway, I managed to get hold of the cup and lift it out, and I now think oil will flow down into the tranny. It's Sunday here and I'm in a rural area so I can't get the 10w30 synthetic till tomorrow. Actually I'm not sure Mobil market 10w30 here - because it doesn't get really cold (only a couple of ground frosts a year and 50-60F winter day temps) most oils tend to be a little thicker than that. Would a 15w50 synthetic be too thick?

khouse: I'll check out that manual possibilty. Thanks for that. I bought my mower in July 94 and the Spicer sticker on the tranny has a manufacture date of March 94 so if they've only just started making small hyrdostatics it can't be one of theirs. It's very confusing. At least it looks like I'll have it going again tomorrow when I get some new oil.

Thanks to both you guys for taking an interest in my problem and offering your experience to help.


11-04-2001, 10:56 PM
I was wrong about the Dana/Spicer transaxle being a new product. But the Peerless hydrotransaxle is. If it was mine I would have no problem putting 10-50 in it. You can use other 100% synthetic oil such as Valvoline ect. It sounds like you were filling it through the expansion tank - that's fine but I wasn't aware of the cup inside. I don't do much work on the light residential mowers. Good luck!

11-05-2001, 03:08 PM
It's all fixed!

I ended up having to put a 15w50 synthetic in the transaxle because all the other full synthetics I could get were 5w/something and I thought it might ffect the drive when hot. Cold weather isn't a consideration here so I decided a 15w50 made sense. It goes well now. In fact it climbs hills with a heavy trailer behind much better than it did before although I don't know if that's the new drive belt or the (presumably) slightly thicker oil in the tranny.

Well I'll know how to change the tranny oil next time!

Thanks for all the help. This is a great forum.

11-05-2001, 09:34 PM
It was the belt. But the oil will give your hydro more longevity.
Glad you got it done.