Rainy Day Advice: How To Change Final Drive Oil In Bad Weather

  • Written by Luis
Heavu duty mechanic changing the final drive oil on a mini excavator in the rain

Sometimes you will need to change the final drive oil in the mini excavator when it is raining outside. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the rain can bring contaminants into the equipment such as gearboxes, filters, or the tanks.

It is best that you move the machine indoors. However, if that cannot be done, just be mindful of the environment and how you may move around in muddy conditions so as not to splash water, mud, or dirt into the work area. Here are the steps to use when changing the final drive oil.

We Did A Final Drive Oil Change In The POURING RAIN!
Step 1: Line Up the Plugs

There are three plugs that are a part of the final drive oil compartment. The top plug is for filling it with drive oil. The middle plug is for checking the oil level. The bottom plug is to drain out the oil. You want to align the plugs vertically with the fill plug at the top and the drain plug at the bottom. Turn the tracks on the excavator until the plugs line up.

Step 2: Open the Plugs

Excavators and other machines may have Allen key plugs. Remove any paint or dirt that has built up inside by tapping a hammer against them. Use a ratchet to crack the plugs loose by starting at the first top plug. You want to remove it to let any built-up pressure out. Next, remove the middle plug and lower plug.

Demonstration of final drive bolt removal by a heavy mechanic

If a little oil comes out of the middle plug, it means that it has a nice level. If a lot of oil comes out, this could be an indication that the oil levels are too high. If no oil comes out, this could be an indication that the final drive system has a leak. You will need to hire a mechanic to evaluate the problem.

Step 3: Drain the Oil and Fill the Final Drive

Use the drain pain to completely drain the oil out. Then re-insert the lower plug. Next, you want to move the excavator slightly so that the top fill plug is not right above the level check plug. This process will prevent you from getting a false reading if oil prematurely comes out. You only have to move the excavator forward a few inches.

Heavy mechanic demonstrates how to fill the final drive oil on a mini excavator

If you purchase oil in bulk, use a 1L, 80/90 container, or a pump to fill the final drive. Pump the new final drive oil into the mini excavator until you see the oil leaking from the level check plug. Remove the container and wipe off the fill plug and level check plug to remove any dirt before placing them back on. Now you can operate the mini excavator.

For more information about changing the final oil drive on a mini excavator (pouring rain or otherwise), contact Fortis HD.

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