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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Nov 2012
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    11
    Location
    West Fargo, ND
    Tractor
    John Deere 3720

    Default 350 IHC water in transmission

    Hello all,

    I am up here in ND, temps in the single digits to teens recently. I have to fix an oil leak from the filter canister, that's how my adventure started. I have to get the tractor going because I traded it on a JD 3720. The dealer could have gotten it in October, but no!

    The 350 has a loader that's on the ground so hard to pull onto a trailer. I tried to start it and thought I had an issue with the starter/solenoid/battery but now I think it is the transmission stuck. It was left in gear and I pulled it out of gear but later when I tried to get it in gear I couldn't. I ended up starting with the battery when I had trouble jumping it. Turns out one connection came loose on the alligator clamp, which I didn't see til later! My super heavy 4 gauge 20' cables I spent good money for....If it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all... The starter solenoid makes a strong click, turns out I think it is the starter engaging but can't turn. I did try jumping across the solenoid and then direct to the starter, nothing. (Bad jumper cables, remember?)

    So, I pulled the trans cover and sure enough, I pulled out some ice between the gears. The shifter and gears moved some but when I got the ice out I figured there was too much in there to move it cold. I got things to move a little more than when I started but I don't think I can get it free as things stand now. I did jerk it a few times with my pickup (not hard with the ice and snow giving little traction) thinking I might break it free, no luck.

    This is my dad's tractor, I have already put money into it, I don't want to buy all 80w-90 or whatever it takes...it would take at least 13 gallons(that is what an M takes). So I have a magnetic heater we used to use on the loader reservoir...was thinking if I put that on the bottom of the transmission I could warm up the oil and melt the ice. Probably take quite a while...But then what? If I can get it going and drive it a bit, mix up the oil, then let it sit a while so as to let the oil and water separate, I wonder if I can drain out most of the water, leaving most of the old oil? At least so the dealer won't have exactly the same problem when it cools off?

    What would be your strategy? I hope I didn't bore you so much you didn't make it to the end of this post! Help!

  2. #2
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
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    17,254
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    Kioti DK-40, MF-135, Ventrac 4500Y

    Default Re: 350 IHC water in transmission

    Are you Irish?
    Murph ------------

  3. #3
    New Member
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    Nov 2012
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    Location
    West Fargo, ND
    Tractor
    John Deere 3720

    Default Re: 350 IHC water in transmission

    not enough, apparently

  4. #4
    Platinum Member nspec's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
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    606
    Location
    Southern Rhode Island
    Tractor
    Kubota B2630, '53 Farmall Super H, '47 Farmall AI, '44 Farmall A

    Default Re: 350 IHC water in transmission

    My money says the water/ice is not your problem. A very common problem on these tractors is getting stuck in 2 gears at once. The end of the shifter becomes worn over the years and when you go to disengage one gear, the lever moves but the gears stays engaged. You then engage another gear and voila! You've now got two gears engaged at once. The tractor will stall itself when you let out the clutch. Happened to me on my Super H.

    Very easy fix. Pull the shifter lever off, reach in with a large screwdriver, and align the shift forks. Problem solved. The permanent solution is to build up the end of the shifter with weld and grind it into proper shape. Also easy. I did mine and she shifted like new. I wouldn't bother if you're getting rid of the tractor. Just be careful and shift slowly so you can feel and be sure the gears are disengaging. Stop in neutral and let the clutch out before engaging a new gear so you are sure.

    Try aligning the shift forks first before you go much farther with something else. Very common to get water in gearbox, but I doubt you have enough to freeze the gears so solid the tractor won't move. You would have had to be very low on oil to allow enough water in for that to happen.

  5. #5
    Elite Member
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    Sep 2010
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    4,088
    Location
    Canada
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    MF

    Default

    Nspec has got it right. Opening it will also give you the chance to inspect all the components inside.

  6. #6
    New Member
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    Nov 2012
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    11
    Location
    West Fargo, ND
    Tractor
    John Deere 3720

    Default Re: 350 IHC water in transmission

    Ok, I have the answer now... my uncle came to help me try to get it going, we thought it was stuck between two gears...still didnt explain why it wouldnt start. I don't think the forks are a problem, my uncle said on their 400 they used to take off the gearbox cover and pry the gears apart. we tried but the cover is very small, the hydraulic reservoir takes up a lot of space on the 350(smaller tractor). Anyway, long story short, we were ready to give up and you can't see in there because it is so small...I pushed and wiggled til I got my hand down beside/under the gears....solid ice! The grease was rock hard...no wonder the starter couldn't turn. Guess it is a lost cause until spring!

  7. #7
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    239
    Tractor
    Homemade

    Default Re: 350 IHC water in transmission

    If you can get hold of a kerosene or propane torpedo heater you can thaw it out. If you don't want to buy new oil you can get the water out by boiling it. I used a 1500 watt electric hot plate and a 2 gallon stainless pot to save 10 gallons of hydraulic oil that got water in it. Do it outdoors for safety. The cold weather now might require more heat.

  8. #8
    New Member
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    Nov 2012
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    Location
    West Fargo, ND
    Tractor
    John Deere 3720

    Default Re: 350 IHC water in transmission

    There is a 100k btu heater but it is sitting outside in northern ND in sub zero weather...it would take several tarps and days of running the heater constantly...even then I have my doubts. I had thought of using a magnetic heater we used to heat up the loader oil reservoir with but I think it would take half a dozen or more on that cold cast iron.

    Boiling off the water in the oil...that intrigues me...sounds like an idea. I would try it except if it has to sit til spring, I will let John Deere worry about it! I also thought if it was mixed up it should separate out...like I said, I am thinking the dealer will have to change.

    I have spent enough time, money and energy on it, I don't feel sorry for the dealership anymore...

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