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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,

I just changed my Toro 826's gear oil (late 1970's model). I recently acquired this machine from someone who supposedly took good care of it, so initially I debated whether or not to do it. As I've later found out by examining what came out of the gearbox, it's a good thing I did!

Required materials:

80W90 gear oil, non-synthetic ($7 / Quart at a local auto parts store)
Ratchet or wrench
Fluid collection container (an old cottage cheese container in my case) ;)
Paper towel



Picture 1: Taking off the drain / refill plug. One of the previous owners had evidently welded a nut to the tip of mine so that it can be taken off with a wrench or ratchet. I took it off with one of my Gearwrench ratcheting wrenches (worked, although it was a tight squeeze).


Picture 2:
Drain plug is off. Now is a good time to clean the fill hole area a little bit, because even if debris falls inside the gear box, you'll be draining it anyway in a minute.


Picture 3: Preparing to drain the old fluid into a container placed under the auger. The whole machine will have be tilted up and stand vertically on the auger housing to drain the old fluid, so make sure the container is placed roughly in the right spot! Then lift the machine by the handles and stand it up on the auger housing for a minute or so. Toro recommends draining the gasoline and engine oil before you do such a procedure, but I didn't.


Picture 4: Old (thick and disgusting!) fluid was drained and almost all of it made it into the container. Now a little clean-up with a bit of paper towel and the gearbox is ready to be refilled with fresh gear oil!


Picture 5: Close-up on the old fluid. I have no clue what it is, but it was very thick, light brown / rusty color and there was very little of it... probably just at the very bottom of the gearbox. I wonder how long it sat there...? (I guess we'll never know, but good riddance!)

Note:
I believe the bit of water you can see in the old fluid dripped out from inside the auger drum (recently melted snow) and didn't originate from inside the gearbox itself.


Picture 6: Place the auger on automotive axle stands (or other type of support) in order to have the machine tilt backwards a little bit to facilitate refilling procedure and slowly fill the gearbox with new fluid until it overflows. I managed to pour in about 140-150 ml of new fluid before it overflowed. Placing a bit of paper towel inside the auger drum below the fill hole, as pictured, will prevent oil drips/leaks onto the garage floor.


Picture 7: Once the fluid overflows and starts coming out of the drain / fill hole, the gearbox is full. Reinstall the drain plug and tighten it, while being careful not to over-tighten (or you might strip the threads!). I added some anti-seize on the drain plug threads to help with future servicing (optional). Note that this time I used a regular ratchet with a shallow socket and an extension to reinstall the plug, as it worked better than the wrench in this confined space.



There you go, all done in less than 15 minutes... I'm no Toro expert, but this procedure worked like a charm and is pretty much the same as changing differential fluid on a car or truck. I blew some snow with the machine the next day and the auger actually seemed to engage and run a little smoother!

:)
 

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good work and nice " how to "
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! It's my way of giving back a little to the community that has helped me. I'll have more coming as I correct or service different issues.

(next write up will probably be about changing the gasoline filter -- I have it on order from eBay as we speak)
 

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That's a funny place to put peanut butter.... Good write up!
 

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Thanks! It's my way of giving back a little to the community that has helped me. I'll have more coming as I correct or service different issues.
On your gear oil change when seeing its bad color like this I would have use a similar full glass of gasoline to mix well the interior of the gear case as the most dirty remnants is still in the gear case but it is now too late and not enough to harm it more though I would check for any leaks since oil doesn't evaporate. Good Luck
 

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Nicely documented, thanks for sharing. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
On your gear oil change when seeing its bad color like this I would have use a similar full glass of gasoline to mix well the interior of the gear case as the most dirty remnants is still in the gear case but it is now too late and not enough to harm it more though I would check for any leaks since oil doesn't evaporate. Good Luck
Yup, the thought of "washing it out" did occur to me... but I figured I'd just drain it again next year and add fresh gear oil then, thus completing a flush that way. I didn't want to put anything too strong in the gearbox, because I didn't want to risk it eating at the old seals (possibly), thus making things much worse. If the machine operated for years with that peanut butter stuff in it, leaving a small amount of it along with the new gear fluid shouldn't matter.

As for the possible leak, it is a maybe... although I haven't seen any drips so far and logic would dictate that the gearbox would go bone dry at some point if there was a leak. I figured that either the fluid turned into sludge after a very long time (no idea on what kind of fluid this was to begin with) or that perhaps the previous owner didn't put enough on the last fluid change to begin with. Maybe this was some cheap grease that he pumped in there with a grease gun and figured that there must've been enough? Who knows... I am amazed though that the gearbox didn't get damaged all these years with that stuff being the only thing "lubing" it. Goes to prove that the Toros are tough beasts, I suppose.


An anecdote: I once bought a vintage (1950's) Snap On ratchet on eBay, which was cheap because it was "hard to turn and wouldn't click", according to the seller. When I got it in the mail, I took it apart and found that the old oil/lube inside the ratchet had solidified and filled all teeth on the gears solid... it was like having a piece of melted tire inside the thing! After a little soaking and cleaning, I managed to get it all out and re-oiled the gears with new oil. Ratchet worked like new again. :)

So perhaps some oils / lubes DO evaporate (reduce in volume) by slowly solidifying... I'm hoping I'm right in my Toro's case, lol!

:D
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks, good tutorial for those in need. It actually reminded me I was going t do my own, so I'll get it done now :)
No problem, glad I could help. My gearbox is still leak-free after the fluid change and I've blown snow a few times with the Toro since. I still have no clue why so little fluid came out of mine (looked more like a thick grease, actually). Someone must've put some funky stuff in there at some point, lol.

Anyway, all is good now. My 1975-77 Toro has brand new 2015 fluid cooling and lubricating its' gears and blows snow like a champ. That's all that counts in the end.

:)
 
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