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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Jun 2017
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    Dayton, Ohio
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    1947 Ford 2N

    Default Woods 84" Finish Mower Catastrophic Fluid Leak

    I was mowing with my Ford 2N pulling my PTO-driven Woods 84" finish mower when I drove off the driveway into the grass (which I have done hundreds of times before) when the blades hit the gravel hard and labored for a few seconds. The normal low-tone sound then became a higher-pitched whine so I turned off the PTO. Right away I noticed a large amount of fluid coming from the gear box on the Woods deck, running across the top under the belt. It must have blown a seal or worse. I have not been able to take it apart yet. Does this seem like an unusual failure, or does this sound expected? The driveway and grass are almost level, with maybe a 4-6" gradual drop from gravel to grass. It's been dry for over a week, so maybe the dry grass allowed the deck casters to drop too far, and the blades bottomed out on the gravel (which usually doesn't happen like that). Is this an easy repair? Just a replacement seal, or did I ruin the gear box? Thanks for your help!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Woods 84" Finish Mower Catastrophic Fluid Leak-img_20170607_195302_840-jpg   Woods 84" Finish Mower Catastrophic Fluid Leak-img_20170607_195349_456-jpg  

  2. #2
    Elite Member zzvyb6's Avatar
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    michigan
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    jd 1070

    Default Re: Woods 84" Finish Mower Catastrophic Fluid Leak

    with that much fluid purge, I'd look for a hole in the casting or a missing seal. Maybe too much pressure in the gearcase from a plugged air vent ??? If so, then maybe just a seal blew out ? maybe the pinion bearing went south (caused the whine, ruptured the seal ???

    I have an FDR2584 and I've hit a lot worse (stumps) all mine does is stall the belt (blue smoke, not oil (yet)).
    There is no "I" in team, but there is a "Me" if you want to jumble it up a bit...

  3. #3
    Silver Member
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    Feb 2017
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    Marshall, Va
    Tractor
    1952 Ford 8n

    Default Re: Woods 84" Finish Mower Catastrophic Fluid Leak

    Ouch! You're going to have to pull the gearbox assembly, remove the main pulley and inspect the lower seal and bearing. The main pulley should be keyed and with a little heat from a propane torch it should slide off. At least that's how it was on my Bush Hog RDTH72 finish mower.

  4. #4
    New Member
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    Jun 2017
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    Richmond, VA
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    Everride, Dixie, Toro

    Default Re: Woods 84" Finish Mower Catastrophic Fluid Leak

    No telling, long story short I'm afraid you're going to have to sit down and spend some quality time with that there mechanism.

  5. #5
    Gold Member
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    Feb 2013
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    Pennsylvania
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    Kubota L4200GST John Deere X758 Previously owned: J.D. 318, I.H. 354, J.D. 2350

    Default

    No, it is not common to loose that amount of oil all at once. Like a catastrophic seal failure. The higher-pitched whine most likely came from the gears not having the lubricating oil they needed.

    What you did while operating the mower, that alone shouldn't have caused such a failure. I would guess something was on the verge of failing and that little glitch just pushed it over the edge.

  6. #6
    Elite Member sandman2234's Avatar
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    Jacksonville, Florida
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    JD2555 and a few Allis Chalmers and now one Kubota

    Default Re: Woods 84" Finish Mower Catastrophic Fluid Leak

    I really hate to say this, but this is typical of a lot of Woods gearboxes from the horror stories, I have read over the past few years. The belts slinging the oil all over the deck probably made it look worse than had it been a brush hog, but I fear that the gearbox is pretty much toast.
    The good thing (it looks like from Florida) is that another gearbox (as in a "used" gearbox) may be easy to adapt.
    David from jax
    A serious accident is one that money won't fix.

  7. #7
    Gold Member
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    Feb 2013
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    426
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    Pennsylvania
    Tractor
    Kubota L4200GST John Deere X758 Previously owned: J.D. 318, I.H. 354, J.D. 2350

    Default Re: Woods 84" Finish Mower Catastrophic Fluid Leak

    First I ever heard that. The gear box on my Woods 72" RDM finishing mower has given me "0" problems since I purchased it back in May of 1997.

    Edited to correct the purchase date after checking the date on the receipt stapled inside of my owners manual.
    Last edited by Oldoak; 06-14-2017 at 02:57 PM.

  8. #8
    Elite Member sandman2234's Avatar
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    Jacksonville, Florida
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    JD2555 and a few Allis Chalmers and now one Kubota

    Default Re: Woods 84" Finish Mower Catastrophic Fluid Leak

    There are a lot of threads on "other" boards where nobody will recommend a Woods due to previous gearbox headaches. I personally have only owned one, and really never used it, (got it used in a combined deal).
    I do have several rusted out brush hog decks that are rusted out, and I am pretty sure they aren't the only ones on the planet. Find one, modify to work, and put that finish mower back into service!!
    David from jax
    A serious accident is one that money won't fix.

  9. #9
    Gold Member
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    Pennsylvania
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    Kubota L4200GST John Deere X758 Previously owned: J.D. 318, I.H. 354, J.D. 2350

    Default Re: Woods 84" Finish Mower Catastrophic Fluid Leak

    I wonder if some of those failures were do to abuse (using finishing mowers on brush where a rotary brush cutter should have been used).

  10. #10
    New Member
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    Dayton, Ohio
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    1947 Ford 2N

    Default Re: Woods 84" Finish Mower Catastrophic Fluid Leak

    Thanks everyone for the comments and insight. Here's an update: I took the gearbox to my local Woods dealer. The service manager called me back a few days later and simply said that the gearbox was "locked up" and I should get a new one. He gave me a price of $457 for a new one. I asked him if he looked inside and he said no. I told him to take it apart and see if it could be repaired as I was hoping it was just a bearing or seal. He then called back a few days later and said the gear box was shot and I'd have to get a new one. I told him to stand by and I would come pick up my gearbox. When I got there, he pointed to some loose ball bearing rolling around inside, showed me some metal shavings here and there, and said the gears were shot and still locked up. I paid the service charge and took the box of parts home. On my workbench, I took it apart as far as I could, not having the proper tools for removing the snap rings, etc. I should have just done it myself the first time. What I found was that the gears were only stuck from the bearing straps which came apart. I fished out all of the random pieces of bearing strap, and all of the loose balls. The gears themselves look fine, with only minor wear on the teeth. Of the four bearings, three still look good, just the one was destroyed. I am going to buy the new bearing and put it all back together myself. Any advice for a novice with a gear box? I am decent with car/tractor repairs but have no experience working on the inside of a transmission or gearbox etc. Any good advice would be appreciated.

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