Riding lawn mower transaxle grease

Riding lawn mower transaxle grease DEFAULT

AggielandMy 22 year old cub cadet has gotten so hard to shift lately that I broke the shift lever trying to get it out of a gear. I took the tranny apart this weekend to see if it was something obvious as I am no transmission mechanic. All the gears look great but the shift linkage that slides into the gears is pretty tough to slide into the gears. There wasnt a lot of grease in the transmission and what is in there is black and has the consistency of tar! Is that normal? Im wondering if its not that nasty grease thats making it hard to shift. Like I said I dont know squat about transmissions so it could be that collar on the shift linkage and the shift pins bad but how can I be for sure. Parts are getting harder to find so Id like to get what I can done now while Ive got it open. Also if you can answer what kind of grease should go back in it and how much? Thanks in advance,

"tar" is not what it should be like

try and clean up as best you can and replace with gear lube

here I would take to a Trans shop and "boil" the parts clean

Hagen Brothers farms,Goodrich NDMany of those little lawn mower transmissions are packed with a light grease when new. Might pay to use something like corn head grease, thin enough to flow , yet not prone to leak too much.

Eastern North CarolinaWhat model Cub Cadet...? Old manual 3 speed cub trans ran 90wt, hydros ran Hytran. You're probably looking at the remnants of the factory fill which has over time transformed into goo....

Edited by retento 7/10/2011 17:03

AggielandYea ive never seens grease this nasty in my short life before. Its a 1015 10ho 32inch cut with a five speed techumseh transmission. Tonight Im gonna give it a shot cleaning it but I will call the local trans shop and see if theyll do that for me.


S.E. Sask.

Jon Hagen - 7/11/2011 14:07

Many of those little lawn mower transmissions are packed with a light grease when new. Might pay to use something like corn head grease, thin enough to flow , yet not prone to leak too much.

Yes, corn head grease is what I re filled my John Deere 111 with a few years ago when I had it apart to replace an axle. This was a 5 speed Peerless transmission. It has worked well ever since.

Embarrass WI

I'd bet a couple cans of brake cleaner would make a noticeable difference. Just need to get it tipped up, or have a place to drain off to.

Mid MichiganThats transaxle grease and it is supposed to look like thick nasty black goo. You can buy more of it in a very expensive tube at the small engine shops. The transmisson you are most likely talking about is the aluminum two piece transaxle trans. They are a piece of junk and will eventually shell their guts out the bottom of the case. I had a 1315 that I parted out because of this and it turns out you can't even find a trans because most of them broke.
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MTD transmission lube

Daniel DuarteI have a 18hp 46" cut MTD 14 speed rider

Model: 144P849H205

Serial: 2G054B10135

I need to know what kind of lubrication that I should be using in this transmission. When I took it apart it had a real soft looking grease. I have talked to two different persons about this. One said to use a regular grease and the other said to use a regular 60-80W gear oil. The last person said that the grease was a result of the gear oil breaking down. I have seen gear oil break down but not to the extent where the whole case was full of nothing but grease.

Thanks for any help you can offer.


OllieI think you should contact MTD and ask them for the proper lubricant.

Gear oil, mixed with even a little water, emulsifies and the result is something that looks like light grease.

CCUse 20-50(40) gear oil in your transaxle. I believe what you were seing is a mixture of both the old gear oil and the grease that is located on each on of the drive wheel. A small amount of this is essentual for lubricating both ends of the wheel rods. Look at the plate closely you can see where the gasket holds in the gear oil. On the oposite sides is where the grease will go. The gear oil even mixing with the grease will not break down. The gear oil will sit atop the grease. Use general axle grease. Good luck.CC
Daniel DuarteThis is the response I got from MTD:

The transmission that you have is greased. It is factory filled with approximately 32 oz. of Shell Darina grease. The parts in this transmission are designed to use and perform properly with this grease.

I thank you for all your help.

Daniel Duarte

RonGlad you didn't take the advice that was given here!
RonGlad you didn't take the advice that was given here!
CCMTD is a joke! They have NO CLUE what belongs in the transmission because they DO NOT make them. Maybe RON knows best!
Daniel DuarteI thought I would add this for just informational purposes. The reason why you should not use a general purpose grease in this application is because most greases are soap based. Which means that they can break down easier than the micro gel based that you are suppose to use. I have read a number of people recomending using general purpose grease or just puttin gear oil in. I have also read where people of had problems with their transmissions overheating. Not necessarily on this web site, since I had done allot of searching.

Well this is just for informational purposes and I would recommend always checking the manual or contacting the manufacture to make sure that you are using the right stuff when repairing your equipment. I have received all kinds of wrong advice even from repair shops that where suppose to be MTD certificied.

Well thanks again everyone.

jim kWHATEVER you do...DO NOT use general purpose grease!!! Like an idiot, I knew better, being an automotive mechanic most of my life. BUT, it did look like a light form of grease, when I tore mine down. I cleaned and checked everything and set it back to specs. Right!!! I used light grease! I ran it in 1st gear, on stands, for about 15 minutes at idle. It made it about 40 yards across the yard in 3rd gear before the ring gear assy. blew out the back of the case. After a few flashbacks from my drag racing days...I began checking my scrap pile for a reasonable replacement. REMEMBER.....NO GREASE!!!!!
Daniel DuarteWell I will have to disagree with the comment of no-grease. Many of the older riding mowers used a special type of grease in the transmission. It is generally known as 00 (double aught) grease. Sometimes even called 000 (triple aught) grease. This kind of grease would be called EP 0 grease. This grease is very thin in comparison to other grease than you buy in the stores. If you read the back of most greases, many times you will see something that says EP 2. That is the grade level of the grease. The higher the number the thicker the grease the lower the number the thinner the grease.

The reason why EP 2 grease or general grease does not work is because under high pressure and heat that kind of grease thickens up too much and then will not lubricate the gears. The EP 0 grease, which is something like really thick oil, has the ability to stay soft enough under high heat and keep the gears lubricated.

DaveI just tore the transmission apart on my MTD and was wondering the same thing about the grease. Just a note the transmission is actually the rear differential. There is no way any type of "oil" could be used because it would leak out. There is no seal or gasket on these tractors.

Sours: http://www.ssbtractor.com/wwwboard/view_all.cgi?bd=lawn&msg=6206
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MTD 13ag675g033
serial 1j246c50147

transmission model 618-0163a

The bolt that holds the differential gears together broke and busted up the aluminum case. I was able to come up with a grade 8 bolt that I cut down lengthwise to fit, that works well thanks to mownie for suggesting I use a grade 8 bolt. I also patched up the case with JB weld, aluminum scrap and fiberglass. I cleaned out much of the existing grease that was in there except for inside the differential.

I didn't take the steel cover off the differential partly because there isn't a parts diagram available and because so far I didn't need to.

I wanted to put the recommended grease back into it but MTD lists their Bentonite type 0 for $20 for 8oz and they don't have any in stock. The manual suggests using Shell grease which with a little research I found to be Shell Darina type 0 clay based. Apparently they don't make it anymore and nobody makes clay based at all anymore. The closest I found was Shell Gladus type 0.5 $6 for 14oz from Mcmaster Carr.

Here's my question: If I'm going to switch grease, should I open up the differential so I can clean out the old grease in there? I'm not sure I want them to mix but they likely will a little, maybe not? I was thinking I should pack more grease into the differential, maybe I shouldn't? Anybody have experience opening one of these up?

A related question is: how tight should I make the bolt that holds the spider gears together? If I make it too tight the axles don't move smoothly, I can feel each tooth engaging as the axles turn. I'm thinking of locktiting the nut on just barely hand tight. Any thoughts?

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Lawn transaxle riding grease mower

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MTD Transaxle Basic Rebuild (Replacing all Bearings) Part 2 of 2

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