Great Dane HG hydro weak - Hydro Fluid Level?

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by abardz, May 31, 2007.

  1. abardz

    abardz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    I just picked up a GD HG from an auction and got everything going pretty good, but the left hydro motor was moaning, groaning, squeeling and crying along with not pulling very well. Once the machine warms up it gets better but still not pulling really great. I had it on a very steep incline and some fluid leaked from the same hydro that I am having problems with, now it is even worse. SO - I think it may be low on fluid, but here is the challenge. The hydros are self contained and do not have a resevior that I can check the fluid level in.

    So here is what I need help with.
    1. how can I check the fluid level?
    2a. is there a way to get more fluid in? (there is a vent tube at the top, can I try filling from there?)
    2b. can you overfill the hydro?
    3. what type of fluid is in there? (i see some call for specific hydraulic fluid whereas many only require 10w-30 oil)

    Any and all help will be much appreciated.

    Thanks!
    Alex
    Cleveland, OH
    http://landscape.bardz.com
     
  2. mini14

    mini14 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 236

    i only use mobil 1 15-50 in my hydros, even when they recommend another brand, 7 years on my z master, no hydro probs., 3 month on my lesco hydro wb. oil expands when heated, overfilling will just cauz it to leak out and seek its proper level...messy if u overfill but shouldn't harm anything.mobil 1 ,amsoil, royal purple are true synthetic oils. most others can claim to be synthetic, but are actually highly refined group IV dino oils (castrol, penzoil).there should be a reservoir with a fill height indicator
     
  3. abardz

    abardz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    Mini14,
    thanks a bunch for your reply and guidance. My Great Dane is unique in that it has self-contained and appears to be sealed hydro motors. I have read other posts that tell me that in general this design is poor and that there are many problems, but no specifics unfortunately. I have attached a link to both the Parts and Operators manual. The Operator's Manual, which I have a paper copy of is somewhat contradictory. In a few places it tells me to check the hydro fluid, but then says that I need to contact the dealer since the units are "maintenance free".

    Parts Manual -
    http://www.greatdanemowers.com/pdf/scamperhg_partscat.pdf

    Have a super day,
    Alex
     
  4. cranesrule

    cranesrule LawnSite Member
    Posts: 104

    Your hydros appear to be HydroGear IZT units. The corect fill level is between 1 1/2 and 1 7/8 inches below the top of the fill hole. If you have a Hustler dealer close by they make a dipstick for them, PN 396242. Fill with
    20w50 motor oil or 15w50 synthetic. Be sure to purge the air out of the units as that can cause the symptoms you describe also.
     
  5. cranesrule

    cranesrule LawnSite Member
    Posts: 104

    I forgot to add, yes you do fill thru the hole that the vent tube comes out of. Unscrew the nipple and use a funnel to get the fluid in there.
     
  6. abardz

    abardz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    Cranserule,
    YOU RULE. Thanks much for the guidance. I will be working on this today and will post my results later this afternoon/evening.
     
  7. abardz

    abardz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    I filled up the left hydro through the vent tube and BINGO! I bent the clamp that was on there to loosen it up. Used some channel locks to grab the plastic vent being careful. I used my handy pocket knive to cut a hole in the top of some oil of choice 5W-30 (not sure about this part). Put a piece of aquairium air hose in the hole and squirted the oil into the vent tube until it came back out. Now I think my right hydro is jealous and wants topped off as well.

    Thanks everyone! This is how it is supposed to work! Special thanks to Trae for helping support lawnsite as well.
     
  8. cranesrule

    cranesrule LawnSite Member
    Posts: 104

    Not sure what you're doing...
    You asked for the proper oil, then you put in 5w30 anyway.
    You asked for the proper fill level, then just filled it til it overflowed.
    Obviously it's your machine and you can do what you want, but why wouldn't you use the correct weight fluid? Also, when the hydro warms up, it will push more fluid out the vent hose as it expands. This will cover the hydro, and dirt and grass will stick to it causing a nasty mess and a potential cooling issue. Definitely look at the purging procedure and get the air out of the fluid also.
     
  9. abardz

    abardz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    Exactly, not sure what I was doing, but the guidance from you and others was what I acted on. The oil, does it really matter? I saw a fine quart of 5w-30 sitting there all alone, so I saved myself a trip to the store. Hopefully my laziness does not cost me in the end. I see your point about filling too much and making a mess, but I was very limited with accessing the hydro pump/motor. I did not want to take it off of the machine and make it a weekend project, so just filled until it was full. I will clean up the underneath after my mow today to ensure no cooling problems. I will let you know if I messed anything up with the different oil as well. Again - Thank you.
     
  10. mini14

    mini14 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 236

    does the oil matter ? of course it does....if u havent allready done it, try touching one after 15 min. of usage, u cant cauz they get so hot. your 5w30 has no vescosity and u will wear out those expensive izts..spend a little to get a lot.....get the synthetic .
     

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