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Oil leak in rear axle of 20hp Sears Craftsman Lawn Tractor

Hello - We have a sears craftman lawn tractor Model # 917.28813 I noticed there was oil coming out of the right back wheel. I chatted online with a representative from Sears and they said that the back axle has 3 seals - #29 part 407123, #4 part 407114, #47 part 407129 - so I purchased all three. I also purchase gear oil. I asked if they came with instructions and the guy told me they did but now that I have received 2 of the seals (3rd one on backorder) - I didn't get any instructions. My husband is handy and I don't think we will have a problem but we are questioning the three seals that we purchased. Here are my questions -
1. How would you go about fixing this problem? - We thought change all seals but I don't know if I got all the correct seals and parts for the job.
2. Can we try changing the gear oil and see if it happens again. The tractor isn't leaking any more but it may be out of gear oil - we don't know.
3. Where and how do you add the gear oil?
4. Do you have instructions on fixing this issue?
5. Anything else you can think of that I didn't ask?
Thank you very much.

Craftsman , Lawn Tractors , Lawn Mowers
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4 Answers from these members:
Mark T
Thank you for your question.


I am sorry you are having a problem with the tractor. If the transaxle was leaking near the wheels I suspect the axle seals are the problem. If you would like to be sure you can add some 80W90 weight oil to the transaxle and see if it starts leaking again. The image below shows the oil fill plug on the top of the transaxle. You may be able to access the plug by removing the battery and battery box. Then clean the top of the transaxle before removing the plug. The transaxle should be roughly half full of oil. If it is low go ahead and add more. Then replace the plug, battery and check for leaks. It could a while for it to leak because the gear oil is thick. If you do find that the axle seals are leaking you can continue to add oil or replace the seals. To replace the seals the transaxle has to be removed from the tractor first. Then you have to remove all the bolts hold the two halves together. Next separate the case and remove the seals. Finally slide the new seals on and reseal the case with silicone sealer.


If you do not feel confident repairing this problem yourself, then you can have it repaired at your home by a


Sears technician.


Here is a link for the website:


Sears Home Services.



I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you need further assistance.


by Mark T Earned 1,649 community points in Craftsman
June 13th, 2013
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