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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I was tired of spilling hydraulic fluid while filling up the 400, so I ran to the big box store and picked up an airline swivel, brass adapter, some hose and a funnel. I flared the end of the hose so it fits on the funnel by heating up the end of a tapered pry bar and pushing the tube on it until it was large enough to fit the funnel. Press fit works good enough on the funnel. Then I hang the funnel from the seat with a scrap piece electrical wire. Maybe there's a tool for this but for a few bucks, it's done, it works and no more spilling hydraulic fluid. Hope you like!
 

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What a pain in the arse 400's are to add fluid. Great minds think alike though. I made up a filler hose similar to yours years ago after I bought my first 400. I used a brass pipe fitting with a nipple on one end, slid a transparent tube on it and put a small funnel on the other end. My 1975 400 has a dipstick tube on the back instead of the clear sight tube but it isn't any better for adding fluid.

On a side note.. the square head on the drain plug on my '75 is rounded off. Won't come out and I tried every trick there is. So to drain the hydro fluid I have to stand the tractor on its tail and drain it through the dipstick tube.
 

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I see you have the toplink cutout cover on your 400. They're hard to find. I'll trade you a 6 pack of hand sanitizer for it. Don't try to dicker with me on it. I know what I have :D
 

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You could probably make a cover that looks as good if not better than the original.
 

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Alright. Here's my tip for the day.

Run to the auto store and purchase one of these pumps. Make sure the ty-gon hose is long enough to reach all the way into the axle case. The hose needs to be below the end of the tractor fill tube. You can pump fluid to your hearts content and never spill a drop.

266134
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Army, I almost rounded my drain plug last year. Fortunately I was able to put some heat on it to get it out. The cool thing was there was a magnet embedded into the plug. I think it's original.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the tip jetjoe that will be handy tool. I'll keep an eye out for one of those on my next trip.
 

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That's actually a really good tip Joe (y). Very handy but I'm not sure if I'd want to use it to fill a 400 transaxle. The hole the fluid has to get through is really small. Probably take lots of slow pumps. The way JD54Plow and I do it we can pour some fluid in the funnel and come back later. I did that one time and misjudged how much fluid needed to be added and ended up with the funnel still half full because there was no room left. Lost some valuable Hy-Gard :cry: taking the tube/funnel off and also had to drain some out of the transaxle.

Alright. Here's my tip for the day.

Run to the auto store and purchase one of these pumps. Make sure the ty-gon hose is long enough to reach all the way into the axle case. The hose needs to be below the end of the tractor fill tube. You can pump fluid to your hearts content and never spill a drop.

View attachment 266134
Yah yer right. After looking at it again I'm not sure it's actually an original one either.
You could probably make a cover that looks as good if not better than the original.
 

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Had a pesky hydraulic leak for a while so I took the funnel off but left the filler hose on. You can see it snaked around the rockshaft out of the way. Haven't gotten around to it but I want to make a permanent fill tube like the 420's for 2 of my 400's. The third one has a dipstick/tube on the back and I can't thread a fitting on it.
266141
 

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Mine had been previously rounded off. Only way I know to get it out now is drill a hole in it and Easy Out the rest of the plug. Probably have to get pretty close to the threads drilling it too. I did that with a spark plug that broke off on a 5.0 V8 one day while the engine was still in my Mustang. I got it out with no damage to the threads but man oh man it was aggravating.

Army, I almost rounded my drain plug last year. Fortunately I was able to put some heat on it to get it out. The cool thing was there was a magnet embedded into the plug. I think it's original.
 

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That's actually a really good tip Joe (y). Very handy but I'm not sure if I'd want to use it to fill a 400 transaxle. The hole the fluid has to get through is really small. Probably take lots of slow pumps. The way JD54Plow and I do it we can pour some fluid in the funnel and come back later. I did that one time and misjudged how much fluid needed to be added and ended up with the funnel still half full because there was no room left. Lost some valuable Hy-Gard :cry: taking the tube/funnel off and also had to drain some out of the transaxle.



Yah yer right. After looking at it again I'm not sure it's actually an original one either.
The last time I used this, a couple of months ago one of the quick couplers stuck open and I lost about a gallon of fluid before I noticed the train of oil following me around. Yuk! what a mess that was.

Anyway, I mentioned the hose needs to be inserted all the way into the axle case. The problem with filling these axles is there is no place for the trapped air to vent out as you filling it. And the oil is thick enough to more or less plug the pipe keeping the oil from flowing down into the case.

With the hose inserted all the way past the end of the fill pipe, air is allowed to vent out eliminating the bubbling and slow flow it causes. I obviously have never put a stop watch to it, but I had no problem pumping it as fast as the pump would allow. I would guess it took around five minutes to empty the gallon bottle at the most.

Think about it. The millions of these tractors John Deere produced, do you think they had some dude filling these cases with a funnel? Not likely.
 

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There is a teeny weeny vent hole in the thing that looks like a mini fuel filter toward the top of the sight tube.
 

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Alright. Here's my tip for the day.

Run to the auto store and purchase one of these pumps. Make sure the ty-gon hose is long enough to reach all the way into the axle case. The hose needs to be below the end of the tractor fill tube. You can pump fluid to your hearts content and never spill a drop.

View attachment 266134
Haha. I just used the same exact setup in mine this weekend! When I first changed my fluid upon buying this 400, I had to use a little heat and vise grips. I also have a magnet on my drain plug. Now they comeout easy with only a 7/16 wrench. Last time I used Type F ATF, this time I switched to LowVis Hygard and the red dye.

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well shoot now I'm just embarrassed of my scratched, dented, twisted, missing tail lights fender, and Merc1973 is showing pictures of his show room floor model! I need to step up my game. I just double checked that I was using the same trans fluid. What's the red dye for?
 

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Well shoot now I'm just embarrassed of my scratched, dented, twisted, missing tail lights fender, and Merc1973 is showing pictures of his show room floor model! I need to step up my game. I just double checked that I was using the same trans fluid. What's the red dye for?
Just so you can see it in the sight tube.
 

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There is a teeny weeny vent hole in the thing that looks like a mini fuel filter toward the top of the sight tube.
And that teeny weeny vent hole is the main reason the fluid won't flow through the fill pipe. Those vents are getting more and more rare as many just poke a small hole in the top of the sight line. Accomplishes the same thing without the Deere prices.
 

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As always, "mountains out of molehills" is my preferred tactic. Tired of the fill issue and others requiring the standard Olympics level wrestling match to get the seat pan off, I split the pan and made it tilt up. The funnel is kinda visible over the back fill location. This also reveals the secret location of the hydraulic tank for the aux. pump.

266163
 

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As always, "mountains out of molehills" is my preferred tactic. Tired of the fill issue and others requiring the standard Olympics level wrestling match to get the seat pan off, I split the pan and made it tilt up. The funnel is kinda visible over the back fill location. This also reveals the secret location of the hydraulic tank for the aux. pump.

View attachment 266163
You could put a funnel the size of a fifty gallon barrel in that hole and it won't flow down that pipe any faster. But if you're content with your solution, that's all that counts. Nice work. But I don't think many folks remove the pan to put fluid in. I may be misunderstanding the reason for the tilt mechanism but I can surely see the value in it. Wish Deere would have thought of that. Did you ever post how this was accomplished? If not, would you?
 

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Just so you can see it in the sight tube.
Also so I can differentiate an engine oil leak versus a hydro static fluid leak. It seems to be working since my steering cylinder seals are likely toast I have a quarter sized puddle underneath the engine of red fluid. I'm not sure what leaks worse? a Harley-Davidson or an old John Deere?
 
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