Tech Tips – Residential IHT (w/ External Expansion Tank) Oil Maintenance

Oil Maintenance Procedures for Residential IHT units with External Expansion Tank

Designed to be trouble-free

Normally the Residential IHT (K46), that is featured in many tractor & rider models, does not require any servicing for the life of the vehicle. However, if there is a desire to check or replace oil, it may be necessary to remove the transaxle from the vehicle to access the black cap located under the pulley & fan. Due to the design of our units,

Maintenance Overview

First, remove the transaxle from the vehicle following OEM instructions. After placing the transaxle on a bench surface remove the fan & pulley and pry open the black cap and remove magnet (see Fig #1). Invert transaxle to allow oil to drain from case through the port under black cap.

Tuff Torq K46 Oil Maintenance - Figure 1

Tuff Torq K46 Oil Maintenance – Figure 1

Refill transmission case with oil through same port to near top of case. Tuff Torq® recommends refilling transmission with Tuff Torq® hydrostatic oil, available from our service and aftermarket department.

Reinstall magnet & cap. While reinstalling the fan & pulley on drive shaft be sure to place all components in the same order as they were removed.

In heavy usage applications oil changing is recommended after the 1st 50 hours of operation and every 200 hours, thereafter. The filter should never require changing unless the transaxle is removed from the tractor or rider and opened for repairs.

Finally, after purging the transaxle of air, add additional oil through tank opening (under vent valve) to recommended oil level. (see Figure #2 below for recommended oil level).

For more information, or to order your service parts and accessories, please visit our service website here.  For technical support, you can call our service team at (866) 572-3441.

Tuff Torq K46 Oil Maintenance - Figure 2

Tuff Torq K46 Oil Maintenance – Figure 2

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  • David Boothe says:

    Has anyone tried washing out the K46 with gasoline to get more of the old oil and metal residue out?

    Is that a good idea or not?

    • ggraham says:

      Hello, I am not sure how gas and the seals would react. best to use cheap 10W-30 and flush out the transmission with that.

  • David Morieson says:

    I have a k46; is there a torque setting for the bolts that hold the bottom sump on. My bolts were loosened with the intent to drop the sump but this was not required so the sump was not removed or the seal broken.

    • ggraham says:

      The tightening spec for the center case bolts (M10) is 33~47 Case bolts (M8) are 16~18 I would tend to stay to the lower end of the spec as the case is an aluminum alloy and soft compared to the bolts.

  • ronnie says:

    is the magnet that goes under fill cap available by itself–I’m changing oil an mine is broken in pieces–k46 transaxle

  • Troy Lynds says:

    In a K46 rear end you are saying to refill with 5w50 synthetic, right? Could you at lucas oil stabilize as well? Also have automatic hydrostatic oil 56 would this be any better to help the rear end from heating up?

    • ggraham says:

      I am sorry but I do not have any test data to provide an answer. So I am unable to tell you if it will work or not.

  • Steven Carey says:

    I have a k46. I had to cut out the fill cap to remove it . I see there is a steel cap. Would that replace the rubber one?

  • Clyde Snow says:

    I have a K46 in a D130 that is gets hot and slows down and blowing oil out the fill plug what can cause this

    • ggraham says:

      That sounds like you are either overheating that transmission or there is damage to the hydraulic parts. Since that unit is a John Deere you would need to contact a local dealer for help. I am no longer able to offer assistance because John Deere wants to service their own transmissions.

  • Tom Craig says:

    I replaced the original k46 transmission in my x300 which wouldn’t move once it warmed up with a new replacement k46br from john deere. I now have 15 hours on the new transmission, how often should I change the oil in it so it doesn’t do the same as the first one? What is the best way to drain the oil out and where do I get new oil for it?

  • C.L. says:

    Why does tuff torq recommend 5w50 over the original 10w30 for most applications? That is a significant viscosity change, I could understand switching from the original 10w30 conventional to synthetic 10w30. But why to 5w50? Thanks for your time.

    • ggraham says:

      That is the oil that we test exclusively. It is a good catch-all for hot weather applications as well as cold weather applications.

  • Jeremy Wajer says:

    I have a K46 transmission (I believe) without reservoir that is in my John Deere L130 S/N GXL130A117878. I know it should take 2.4 its, but how high after purging air should i have the level? Up to where the magnet sets so once it heats up it runs past or all the way to the top with magnet installed? Thank you!

  • ron Ehman says:

    what is best way to purge a K46DM on a cub cadet?

    • ggraham says:

      You need to put the tractor up on jack stands and with the engine at a low idle you engage the forward pedal and leave it on till you see the wheels start to move strongly and then do the same for reverse. If you have help, a second person can open and close the free-wheeling lever in the back of the tractor to get the air out a little faster.

  • Newton Foster says:

    Hi there, is it possible to reinstall the same cap after removing? I removed the upper plug and drained mine after I had a main drive gear failure. I’m about to install it and reassemble my mower, thanks in advance

  • Joshua Wilfong says:

    I have a husqvarna yth24v42ls and I recently noticed the k46cr to be leaking fluid. Is it possible that changing the fluid would resolve the issue? Thanks so much.
    Have a great day.

    • ggraham says:

      I would not think changing the oil will help unless the oil is coming from the vent valve. If that is the case then the oil must really be getting hot. the oil is probably spent then so you would want to remove the sealing cap and flip the transmission over to drain the oil and fill it through the same orifice. You would put the oil level about halfway up the magnet that is under the sealing cap and that is a good level.

  • Kurt snell says:

    I have a k46v how much oil it take to fill

  • what is the total amount of hydrostatic oil do fill a tuff torq K46 transmission?

    • ggraham says:

      It all depends on which one you have and it if it has an external reservoir or an internal reservoir. External is around 2 quarts and internal is 2.4 quarts.

  • Robert Garrett says:

    If the Tuff-Torq 918-07009 rear end is completely empty how much fluid should it take to fill it ?

  • bruce f says:

    ive got a tuff torq 46c the only thing i see is a side screw port is this where i check the fluid level and also fill it also axle seal is leaking how do i get it out and install new one do i need to remove axle and split it thanks very much for any accurate advice

    • ggraham says:

      That side screw is the cam that sets the neutral for the control lever spring. You check the oil level at the sealing cap under the fan and pully near the front of the transmission. There is a magnet under it and you should have oil about a third of the way up the magnet. On the website there is a “need help” tab and in there you can find the procedure for changing the axle seals.

  • J.L. Forge says:

    I have a 2016 Cub Cadet XT2 Enduro Series GX54 (26 hp Kohler/54″deck). It just started leaking oil from the left rear wheel seal area. I thought about replacing the seal and have been advised there is a cap on the top side under the seat/battery area to top off the oil. I have not checked this yet but if so, what would be the best oil (10w40?) to use to top off? Thanks a lot!

    • ggraham says:

      you can use a 10W-30 or 5W-50 synthetic motor oil. Our Tuff Tech Oil is best and you can order it right off the website using the part number 187Q0899000.

  • Wayne Martin says:

    How much oil does this K46 require?

  • Mike says:

    I have d160 2011 does it have the k46 . I want to upgrade to the k66 can it be done and fit

    • ggraham says:

      It can be done but you would need to contact RJR Tractors at (877) 333-8811 because they have developed a KIt to upgrade your K46 to a K66.

  • John says:

    I have a lhusqvarna 24 48 with a k 46 transmission worse good forwards and reverse but is freewheeling going down hills and can be pushed without pulling release wire will oil change help this

    • ggraham says:

      You might want to open this up and inspect the internal parts. There could be wear on the hydraulic parts causing that problem.

  • Danny Levengood ii says:

    What fuild should be in a k46bt

    • ggraham says:

      If you are going to just top off the fluid the oil is a 10W-40. If you are changing you should use 5W-50 synthetic oil.

  • Alan Johnson says:

    what is the recommended procedure for purging the K46BR after replacing the oil?

  • Serge says:

    Tuff Torq K62G-0004340(For Countax).
    What should be the cold oil level in the external expansion tank ? Currently this level is very low and I don’t know if it’s normal
    Thanks for your response

  • Trent Wilson says:

    Good Morning
    can you change an Axle bearing from the outside.
    regards Trent

  • I have a Simplicity Broadmore 44 with a K57 in it. Sticker says K57 only. No R, A etc. Will a K57R fit it?

    • ggraham says:

      The transmissions are built specifically for the tractor that they are installed in. So swapping is fraught with issues the least of which is the height of the fan and pulley stack up. if it is a K57 than it is either a K57A or a K57K.

  • William Talley says:

    I have a John Deere L130 it has k46 rear end in it I’m fixing to change the oil how many quarts of oil does it take and what kind oil ?

  • Kathy says:

    I have a k46 AW what does the AW mean

  • Al greco says:

    How effective is syphoning out oil and just add new oil.?

    • ggraham says:

      Hello, it is not very effective since there are two chambers, hydro and gear. you need to make sure you can get into both. Your best bet is to just flip it over and drain the oil. That way you are ensured to have most of the oil out of the unit.

  • Jonesy says:

    Hi, My K46 is still jerking for about 5-10 minutes from cold, after which it is fine. If I pre-heat the gearbox to say 85F, it runs fine out of the garage.As the oil has been changed for a 5W-30 does this suggest that there is internal damage? Thank you.

    • scott tanner says:

      Dear Sirs, I have a 2554 Husqvarna lawn tractor. I had a problem with it when it gets warmed up it doesn”t want to go up hills. I took the transaxle out and disassembled it. the only thing I seen any wear was the springs in the motor and pump. All pistons and cylinders looked very clean with almost play or wear on the chrome of the pistons. I replaced the springs with new ones, put it back together. and it goes forward in reverse. and backs up in forward. Can you tell me what I may have done to cause this? Should I have replaced the pump and motor?

  • Don Morgan says:

    Hi, Recently (for the 2nd time) the left rear axle on my Craftsman mower broke at the point it enters the transaxle housing. I mow about 1 acre on flat ground and am wondering if this is a weak point on the axle. This K46 is about 6 years old – the first one was about 3 years old when it broke. The first time the dealer sold me a new transaxle and what I have for numbers are K46BN 7A646084160 468N0046861 – The numbers are coming from my paperwork because the units do not have the sticker on them. I kept the original transaxle and am debating on attempting to just replace the broken axle or replacing the mower. If I opt to repair either or both units is that doable for someone with fairly good mechanical abilities or does it get technical? Also are there repair parts available?
    Thank you for your time……..

  • Artur says:

    HI, I’m looking for a specification of the transmission my CastelGarden tuff torq PIN 18400965 s/n 7A646024410 46T 0644136.
    I appreciate if U would help me in.

  • Jonesy says:

    My K46 has started hesitating/slipping and growling when cold, forward or reverse. Cold here is say 5 celcius. After about 10 minutes of use, I get full power no problem. In the summer it’s fine all the time. Belts , pulleys and linkages are good.
    I topped up the oil last year and it seemed better, but it seems much worse this winter.
    Any ideas?
    Thank you

    • ggraham says:

      I believe that it is the oil being too thick at startup since it is cold. you could try a 5W-50 synthetic oil and see if that helps.

      • Jonesy says:

        Thank you for the suggestion. I ran the mower last night, it was around 20 celcius. The K46 was hesitating/slipping for around 10 minutes until warm. I drained the oil last night and re-filled this morning with 5w-50 100% synthetic. It’s the same from cold, probably around 15 celcius hesitating/slipping a little, but after less than 5 minutes it was running fine. I’d say there is no change in the power available. The K46 has approx 120 hours, and this is the first oil change. I bought the mower at 80 hours.
        I’m thinking that maybe this is normal behaviour and I’m over-sensitive to the growling/hesitation. I’m used to a gear-shift!
        Thank you

  • Joshua Thompson says:

    What replacement sizes will bolt up to the husqvarna LGT2654. Came installed with the k46.

  • elbert freeman says:

    recently parched a used D110 John Deere. want to service transaxle. need diagram/parts list. new oil type and viscosity. have watched videos and will tackle trans axel soon. need a good exploded diagram of Axel.

  • Michael says:

    What is the difference between a k46c and a k46a? Thank you

    • ggraham says:

      Those are both K46’s but the differences are significant. The “A” is configured with an external reservoir and IDS system and the “C” has an internal reservoir but no IDS.

  • mack says:

    I have a 2018 John Deere E140 with K46.
    If I press the foreward pedal harder I go faster. If I press less I go slower.
    Am I riding a clutch to go slower ? Will this damage the K46 ?
    Should I always press the foreward pedal fully ?

    -curious in Crescent City…



    • ggraham says:

      How the transaxle works is that the control lever that is hooked to the pedal moves a part known as a swashplate. That swash plat squeezes pistons in a pump that force oil through an orifice which pressurizes the oil and that oil pressure is what drives the tractor. if you push down real far on the pedal then the swash plate really squeezes the pistons and you get more pressure and go faster. If you only press the pedal halfway, the swashplate will put less oil through the orifice and give you less pressure which will give you less speed. It is perfectly all right to run the pedal wherever you need the speed to be. For instance, in turning you might want to go slower around an obstacle. The transaxle is designed to do this and you are not hurting the it at all.

  • John Melcalf says:

    I am looking for T40J hydraulic pump maximum PSI. I could not find anywhere in either tufftorq nor kansaki web site. Do you know where to find it?

  • Michael says:

    Hi, will any k46 fit a John Deere Lt180

    • ggraham says:

      According to the John Deere website that tractor had a K46C installed in it. That is the transmission you would need to purchase or get parts for.

  • Grant Simmons says:

    Sorry, one more thing. I assume the transaxle is a K46.

  • Grant Simmons says:

    I have a Tuff Torq transaxle and the following information is listed on its ID tag:

    TUFF TORQ 7A646084321
    S/N: 46CR0090284
    HOP PN: 426121

    I obtained it from an older gentleman who liked working on lawn and garden equipment. For health reasons, he reluctantly had to stop. He had this transaxle, but couldn’t remember what model or brand of equipment it fit. Very clean unit. Drained the oil (only 1/2 quart approximately) but it was pretty clean and contained no metallic particles. Magnet under fill plug had a slight grey film – appeared to be from normal wear and tear. If you could tell me what equipment it would fit and whether or not it appears to be ok based on the oil and magnetic observations, it would be much appreciated. Thank you.

    • ggraham says:

      The K46CR is a Husqvarna transmission. I do not have great tractor information but I do know it was used in these tractors: YT42XLS, YT48XLS, YTH24V54XLS. Other than filling it with oil and trying it you will not know if it is working or not. To be really sure it is good you would need to open it up and inspecting the hydraulic parts. The oil you would want to use is 5W-50 synthetic motor oil. Our Tuff tech oil is best (187Q0899000) but to try to see if it will run any will do.

  • Charles Everhart says:

    Will k46 hydrostatica axle work in a L LT155 deere

    • ggraham says:

      I am sorry but a K51 is installed in the LT155 and a K46 does not have the same bolt in pattern nor does it have the same linkage hookups as a K51. So, without lots of modification to the tractor, it is not possible to substitute a K46 for a K51.

  • Jack clifford says:

    I re did the seals in my tuff torq k46s transmission. Now when I press the forward pedal it goes backwards and the reverse petal it goes forwards. Anyone come across this before?

    • ggraham says:

      You have installed the wedge-shaped motor housing in wrong. It needs to be flipped 180 degrees and it will fix that issue.

  • Mike Vandam says:

    Hello, changing my fluid, can you tell me the capacity for my k46 please.
    7a646084321. S/n 46cr0078626. Thank you!

    • ggraham says:

      The K46CR holds 2.3 litres or 2.4 quarts. The best measure is to fill the transmission until the oil level stabilizes at 1/2 way up the magnet that sits under the sealing cap. That is a good level.

  • Mark lambert says:

    Hi I have a k46 bt what is the adjuster and lock nut on the right side for and how to set it. How much oil does it take.

    • ggraham says:

      That nut is the cam that sets the neutral on the control lever spring. The transaxle holds 2.3 litres which are 2.4 quarts.

  • Nolan says:

    Hello. I have a k46bn on my husqvarna gth2654, i recently broke the left axle somehow and i am trying to figure out what axle repair kit i need for this transmission. Thank you

  • Bobby Ball says:

    Hi. I have a countax with a K46E .
    On start up the mower will not move but if you give it a push and drive it for 50 yards it is then fine..
    The mower is 15 years old and had moderate use
    Can you help?

    • ggraham says:

      It would be a good Idea to try to change the oil in the unit. That is a great first troubleshooting step to take. You can check all the externals and make sure they are working correctly. If it gets better than it was the oil if not then you know that the hydraulic parts are probably worn.

  • Shannon Heaverin says:

    Can I use 15w-50 in the transmission. I have 3 quarts of it already.

    • ggraham says:

      Though it is easy to think other oil types will work in replacement of the recommended oil, our oil is actually a very special blend designed to be used in Tuff Torq transmissions. Even the 10W-30 we have is not normal motor oil. these are specially blended to be used in these transmissions. So though you can use whatever you would like the recommended oil, as I stated before, is designed to be in the transmission.

  • Justin says:

    Sorry one more question…. The sticker on my JD D160 K46 says 7A646084121. Can you tell me the oil capacity?

  • Justin says:

    How can you “purge the air” with the transaxle on the bench? I’ve read the procedure to do it with the transaxle installed, but on a John Deere D160, I’d then have to pull it back out to top off the oil since there is no access to the top of the transaxle.

    • ggraham says:

      Purging air on the bench does not get the build-up of RPMs to make the transaxle run strongly. Typically a drill will not get you the power you need to do this quickly. It is best to install the transmission back into the tractor and purge it up on jack stands. Filling the typical K46 with oil halfway up the magnet is a good level for the oil to be at pre-air purge.

  • Benjamin R says:

    Also transmission has to come out doesn’t it?

  • Benjamin R says:

    I have an lt 166 j.d. and have noticed a little oil on the back of the gas tank. I’m guessing it’s from the transmission and seems like it’s lost a Little pulling power. Do you have an idea on fluid capacity and fluid type? Any help would be appreciated

    • ggraham says:

      Thank you for your inquiry,
      Capacity is approximately 2.4 quarts. I am including an image of where the oil level should be.

  • Glenn MacNeil says:

    We have a Cub Cadet ride on the mower will work for awhile then starts slowing down going up hill. Oil was never changed in it. Can it be low on oil or has the oil broken down so badly it has ruined the transmission? There is 220 hrs on the machine but we cut hilly terrain . Thanks Glenn.

  • Eddie Lambert says:

    Pulled transmission apart changed oil put back together/ now mower goes forward on reverse pedal and forward on reverse pedal, what hav we done wrong.

    • ggraham says:

      You have installed the wedge-shaped motor housing upside down. Flip it around 180 degrees and it will fix the issue. So if the wide side is towards you put it down so that the thin side is towards you. Or vice versa.

  • Jack Mendelsohn says:

    I have been readng all of the Q & A and will be draining the trasmission and changing the oil and am considering adding Lucas transmission additve. I would appreciate your input on this.

    • ggraham says:

      Tuff Torq has not done any testing on the additive you mentioned. Therefore, I cannot give advice on whether you could use it or the safety or efficacy of the additive. You can add it if you would like but I cannot give advice to do it.

  • AR Warren says:

    Husqvarna YTH24K48 I understand it uses a K46BT transaxle. When stepping on peddle for forward motion there is a long delay, tractor starts to move slowly until getting to normal speed. If stopped it restarts just as slowly. In reverse no dely at all. Engine runs fine, rpms remain constant. 144 hrs on tractor about 5 years old

  • Stephen says:

    Hello I have a K46A transaxle and I took it off the unit as it would run for 20 minutes and then stop moving. I let it rest for 20 minutes after the oil cooled down and then the unit would run for another 20 minutes. I just saw a video that showed how to drain the oil from it and noticed that there was hardly any oil in the unit, and whatever I was adding thru the air vent would come out after it heated up. Could it just be that I need to add oil to the unit and put it back together instead of rebuilding it? The unit does not whine or make noises when it moves but after 20 minutes it stops. Thanks for your advice!

    • ggraham says:

      the best first step is changing the oil in the transmission. Getting fresh viscosity in the unit will help determine if it was just the oil or there are some other issues. Use a 5w-50 synthetic, our tuff Tech oil is best but you can try what you can find. Most K46’s hold 2.4 quarts. As always if you have other questions you can contact the Service Department at 866.572.3441 or email at

  • Bobby shepherd says:

    1870 Christopher Trace Is the center section on a John Deere what makes in go in forward and reverse ?

    • ggraham says:

      The control lever makes the transmission go forward and back with the swash plate squeezing the pistons of the pump cylinder block. The motor housing determines if the control lever going towards the front of the transmission makes the transmission go forward or backwards.

  • Justin says:

    Will 20w50 work in a k46

    • ggraham says:

      I do not have any testing data on that weight of oil. We only test with the oil that is installed in the unit or our recommended oil. You can try using anything but officially I cannot say if it will work or not. Of course, as a recommendation, the superior oil to use would be our premium Tuff tech oil part number 187Q0899000 and it is $28.50 for a 3 liter bottle.

  • D. Konze says:

    I have a K46BE in my JD L130. I changed the filter and oil using Tuff Tech recommended oil. The trans drive belt started to slip badly. I replaced the belt and much improvement. But, it still slips going up a grade, even with a helper spring on the tensioner. Do I need to go to a lighter weight oil? I read that JD uses 30 weight.


    I HAVE A TUFF TORQ K46DM HAS RED FLUID LEAKING FROM BOTH AXELS. JUST WONDERING WHAT TYPE OF FLUID SHOULD BE IN THIS? This tractor is 2015 with 90 hours on it… not sure if I should change the seals or the fluid?

    • ggraham says:

      There should not be “red” liquid leaking from the transmission. We install 10W-30 in the K46DM. Unless someone changed the fluid it should be a motor oil in the unit.

  • Rexford Parrish says:

    What about the second black cap that is not under the cooling fan assembly. Do I drain that as well and what type and how much fluid goes back in the unit?

    • ggraham says:

      That is the vent valve and when you drain the oil it will also drain the chamber (gear chamber) under that cap. Filling at the sealing cap under fan and pulley stack up will also fill the gear chamber. So the same oil goes in both chambers.

  • Ken Smith says:

    Thank you, ggraham. I will save this information. My searches today suggest going stronger may be more important than just pursuing a locking option.
    I found a reference to updating the K46 with K57 internals. Do you have any knowledge of this?

    • ggraham says:

      It is unfortunate but we no longer offer that as a service. The Engineer who kept up with all the parts changes has retired and no one has taken up that mantle.

  • Ken Smith says:

    I forgot to add the K62 is available on this tractor as an option with the large deck. The linkage could possibly be sourced from Cub Cadet.

    • ggraham says:

      I think that would be a question for Cub Cadet. Since we do not see the transmissions in the tractors it is hard to say what would work.

  • Ken Smith says:

    Greetings. My 2018 Cub Cadet XT2 came with a K46 transmission. Due to the terrain on my property I am compelled to use tire chains even in good weather. Is there a transmission (K 62 perhaps?) with a locker option that I can swap in easily?

    • ggraham says:

      There is not an easy swap between transmissions due to the fact that these transmissions are built for the specific tractors that they are installed in. That being said there is a company in Washington, not affiliated with Tuff Torq that has a K66 upgrade. His contact information is below.
      Roger Daisley
      R J Ranch
      142 Hatley Rd
      Pullman, WA 99163
      (877) 333-8811

  • Luis says:

    Hello. My husqvarna k46 is not driving. I noticed that a rear tire has bluish oil all over it. I believe an axle seal is blown and lost oil from here. Do I need to open the transmission to replace this or does it seat itself from the outside? Also I read about using 5w50 syn. Oil. Does this seem correct.
    Thank you

    • ggraham says:

      You can change the seal from the outside without splitting the case. look at this link for more information:Axle seal replacement As to the oil we do recommend a 5W-50 synthetic oil if you are doing an oil change.

  • Montri Chaisakul says:

    I have a Craftsman Garden Tractor. It works fine for the last 10 seasons. It started to stop and transaxle winning before it climbed the hill but it cut grasses fine in flat area in 11st season. I removed the transaxle from the tractor today. This is the info from the transaxle:
    TUFF TORQ 7A632084620 S/N: 66Y – 0002589
    HOP PN: 199973
    The reservoir has only small oil left in the tank. However, I have not drain the oil from the transaxle yet. There is no leak (as far as I can see from the housing. I would like to change and refill the transaxle fluid. What type of fluid it uses and how much? The reservoir has marks and show the level of fluid. However, there is no dip stick on the transaxle housing. How do I know that it is the right amount of fluid?

    I will greatly appreciate any info that you can provide.

    Best regards,

  • Tyrone Moore says:

    this Transaxle is loosing oil by spacer split how to stop it or how can i find a Transaxle

    • ggraham says:

      Which transaxle is it that you have? If I know that I can help pinpoint parts or a replacement. There should be a barcode sticker containing the serial number of the transmission on the case close to one of the axles. Get that number and call the helpful techs at the Service Department at 866.572.3441 and they will help you.

  • John Hawes says:

    I followed your instructions for oil change and bleeding air.
    I have a Husqvarna YTH24V48LS
    Refilled with 10W50 synthetic oil but now it loses all drive after approx an hours operation.
    Any suggestions?

    • ggraham says:

      It would seem that the oil is not able to make up the difference for the wear on the hydraulic parts. You would need a repair kit which is a complete hydraulic rebuild. You can contact the helpful techs in the Service Department at or call at 866.572.3441.

  • Mike Ormord says:

    I just received my new transmission and noticed it was full of oil. Do I have to drain the oil out and put new oil in or is it good to go?

  • Jason Chlebowski says:

    My LTX1045 is leaking oil from the vent valve. I have added oil to the transmission several times and it continues to lead from the vent valve. I do have 125 hrs on it. How do I eliminate this problem?

    • ggraham says:

      If oil is coming out of the vent valve then the transmission must be experiencing some rather rough treatment to make the oil heat up and expand that much that it is leaking from the vent valve. You might want to check to see if the fan is intact. Otherwise, I would change the oil and see if that helps.

  • Garnet Luick says:

    2004 LTR180 with K46A external expansion tank. How do I check the trans oil level? Can I simply top up the oil in the expansion tank to keep the trans oil level at the correct level or or I have to add oil in the oil port under the fan?

  • rusver briceño says:

    hola tengo una husqvarna con k46 y el problema en esta es que después de 20 minutos de trabajo pierde toda la fuerza y ya cambie el aceite y el problema persiste 🙁 ¿que es lo que estara pasando?

    • ggraham says:

      Hello Mr Briceno,
      It sounds like there could be wear on the internal hydraulic parts. The oil is using this to escape pressure especially after it warms up and thins out. After checking everything externally like the pulleys and the linkage your best option would be to rebuild the hydraulic system or replace the transmission. You can order parts right off of the website: And as always you can call the helpful service techs in the Service Department at 866.572.3441.

      Parece que podría haber desgaste en las piezas hidráulicas internas. El aceite lo usa para escapar de la presión, especialmente después de que se calienta y se adelgaza. Después de revisar todo externamente, como las poleas y el enlace, su mejor opción sería reconstruir el sistema hidráulico o reemplazar la transmisión. Puede solicitar piezas directamente desde el sitio web: . Y como siempre, puede llamar a los técnicos de servicio útiles en el Departamento de Servicio al 866.572.3441.

  • John A DuBan says:

    I have a 2007 Craftsman MTS 5500 tractor with a K46 transmission. The number on the axle appears to be 7A646084161 SN#468N806013. The transmission quit working while vaccuming leaves and going up a small grade. It has some power going on level ground but will not climb a hill. The case is clean as there are no signs of oil leaking. What should I be looking for?

    • ggraham says:

      Hello Mr DuBan,
      It sounds like you need an oil change in your transmission to be sure of what you are dealing with. It can make the transmission run again but it is not a guarantee to fix the issue. But it is a great first step in finding the problem. When removing the transmission from the tractor you want to pay particular attention to the linkage, fan, and all the pulleys on the tractor. By checking these external issues you are making sure that they get eliminated from the list of possible issues. If all is well with the externals, change the oil and see if it helps. If it does, Great, then you had an issue with oil viscosity. If it does not get better or only slightly then you have wear on the internal hydraulic parts that the oil cannot make up for and a repair kit is what you need to replace the worn parts to get your transmission running like new again. You can always contact the service departments friendly service techs at 866.572.3441 or email at

  • Tyesen Robbins says:

    How much fluid does the K46 tranny hold?

    • ggraham says:

      Hello Mr Robbins,
      Most K46s hold 2.4 Quarts, however, there are a few that only hold 2 Quarts. It depends on whether or not the K46 in question has an external reservoir or an internal one. The internal reservoir units hold more oil.the rule of thumb is that the sealing cap with the magnet underneath of it is the easiest thing to look at for oil level. Keep the oil level at 1/3 to 1/2 up the magnet and that will be a good level for the transmission. And as always, if you have more questions you can contact the helpful techs in the service department by phone or email at or 866.572.3441.

  • do you offer a k46 with drain plugs?for a deere L120

    • ggraham says:

      Adding drain bolts to K46s that do not have them can be a problem waiting to happen and in reality not save you much time at all. The problem is having to pull off the lower case off to drill and tap for the drain bolt holes and now you have introduced a new way for the transmission to leak oil. Time is not really saved due to the fact you would have to still have to remove the transmission from the tractor to put the oil in the unit. We try to talk owners out of doing it for those reasons. However, you can always contact the friendly techs in the Tuff Torq Service Department by Phone: 866.572.3441 and if you have any further questions or for more clarity.

  • Sophia says:

    Thanks for sharing the information. i really enjoyed your blog article. and you’r writing a good point.

  • Frank Sherman says:

    Hi Guys,
    I have an L110 John Deere and had a leaking seal on the input shaft . I removed the trans-axle and brought it to my local dealer for replacement. After installing it there is no grunt in the machine. It cannot even climb a small hill. I removed it again and found the oil level a bit low so I topped it up with about a cup of suitable oil. Could this be the problem, ie. low oil? If I need to rebuild the pump assembly/motor can you supply a rebuild kit? I am in Australia and find the John Deere people here only want to sell a complete trans-axle.

  • arnold says:

    i like your page but dont go far enough some these tractors work all year round so the oil spec declare what type of oil


    Good evening. I own a John Deere L130 lawn tractor. Manufactured date 05/12. It doesn’t move at all. Raised rear wheels off ground tires do turn slowly,but I can stop simply by touching wheel. I understand their maybe a problem with K46 trans. What is my best option for the money to repair or replace.

    • ggraham says:

      Hello Mr. McCallum,
      You should check all the external things first. Making sure the control lever is being pushed and pulled through the whole arc that it can travel. Also, you should check the input shaft and the pulley making sure that the pulley is turning the input shaft. After that, you should check all the pulleys from the engine on to make sure you do not have a problem that way. If those things are all good then you might want to open the transmission and check the machined faces of the center case. Paying particular attention to the areas between the ports. that is where the oil can escape and not hold pressure and that loss of pressure is the reason you could be experiencing low power. As always, you can call the service department to talk to the friendly techs at 866.572.3441 and see if they can help troubleshoot your issue.

  • Johnny Williams says:

    I have a craftsman riding mower model 917 288561 with 150 hrs. The k46 transaxle went out and have a new one coming soon.Do i need to purge it after installing and do oil changes every 200 hrs. or so with 5w50 synthetic.I mow normal with it at home but yard has some hills and is sloped for the most part.

    • ggraham says:

      Hello Mr. Williams,
      Our Transmissions are tested at the end of the assembly line to ensure that they are meeting certain standards. So your transmission that is coming is purged, tested, and ready to drop in your tractor.

  • Steve Kariker says:

    I just inherited an 02 John Deere LTR 180 with a tuff torq K46 transaxle. Everything is working fine but there is a little humming noise when I engage the transaxle. The article above seems to contradict itself in regards to an oil change. First paragraph says “Normally the Strider™ transaxle (K46), that is featured in many tractor & rider models, does not require any servicing for the life of the vehicle.” Then “In heavy usage applications oil changing is recommended after the 1st 50 hours of operation and every 200 hours, thereafter.” What is “heavy usage?” and should I take the transaxle out and change the fluid? Thank you so much!

  • James French says:

    I have a 11 yr. old, 400 hrs. K46 in John Deere LT160, should I remove it and change fluid and was told to use 5w50 synthetic motor oil if I do !!

    • arnold says:

      what type oil for al,winter ,summerl year

    • ggraham says:

      Hello Mr. French,
      Yes, changing the oil is a good idea. The oil in the transmission will breakdown over time and keeping fresh oil in the transmission will definitely help it run. We do recommend 5W-50 synthetic oil for your change and have an excellent blend that will help the unit run longer. You can always contact the helpful techs at the Service Department if you have any further questions.

  • Tim says:

    La 165..ive drained the oil…how much is required on the refill.

  • Tim says:

    How much oil is required for the transmission oil change

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  • Wayne Elliott says:

    Is there an upgrade kit for the k46 transaxle? I plan on buying a Cub Cadet LT with a 42″ wide mower deck. I plan on using it to mow and pull a 15gal. trailer type sprayer. Will the K46 ever need servicing if I use it as stated? If there is an upgrade kit, what does it consist of and what is the cost?

    • ggraham says:

      Hello, Mr. Elliott,
      I am sorry but we do not have upgrade kits. If you need to talk with a service rep, however, you can call at 866.572.3441

  • RL Golden says:

    I own the John Deere L-120 and the transmission has failed. Imagine that? Any design that requires you to have to remove the transmission to replace the fluid is pure BS. The John Deere Manual says, “The transmission is a sealed unit that requires no maintenance” To add insult to injury they want to charge me more for a replacement than the mower is worth, knowing it won’t last either? Last John Deere anything I will ever own.

    • ggraham says:

      Hello Mr. Golden,

      We will be happy to help with your question about our oil. Please contact our professional service team and they will assist you in finding the information you require. They can be reached at (866) 572-3441 or my email at Have a great day!

  • joseph john says:

    hai dear,which oil using K46 gear box.(grade) .equipment using in gulf contry.

  • Richard says:

    Gentelmen…good mornin…heres the prob.John Deere l 118 2006 year mod…..mower working fine…needed to replace cooling fan…so i did according to procedure…mission acomplished…hoped on mower , and now no forward or reverse…replaced drive belt and drive idler ,and tension pulley asembley….no change…Now i did jack up and purge system and got slight movement but no torque…pullin my hair out in Texas…!!!!!!

  • Larry Conley says:

    I am having problems with my John Deere L130 tractor transmission slipping. Belt and pulleys are new. My tractor is a 2004 and is in very good condition. If I remove the transmission and change the oil can I drain most of the old oil from the top plug. I have observed someone trying to suck out the oil but he only got about a pint out. I may end up rebuilding or replacing the transmission but I would like to try oil first . If I have to replace the transmission should I upgrade to a k66 or another k46. If I have to replace the transmission I will contact you for what transmission will fit my tractor.

    • Hello Mr. Conley. Thanks for your message. While I am happy to help any way I can, you have several questions here that would be best answers by one of our service professionals. You can reach them at or toll-free at (866) 572-3441. They can give you recommendations on how to properly do an effective oil change and/or what would be best to check in the unit to see if repair or replacement is recommended. I hope this is helpful. Please let us know if you need anything further. Have a great day!

      • Keith says:

        Oil for pump tank 214 t mower drives power pump type of oil

        • ggraham says:

          I would need a little more information to help you. I need the serial number of the pump to know which one it is so I can get you the information on oil.

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