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  #1  
Old 07-16-2021, 02:42 PM
ColoradoGuy ColoradoGuy is offline
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Default How Long is Your Dipstick?

Actually, it’s a legitimate question. I’m referring to the hydro dipstick in my 1990 Cub Cadet garden tractor, model 1862. It has the Sunstrand hydrostatic transmission common to many of our Cubs. The tractor’s serial number is 810,743 (in the lowest range of serial numbers). I’m the third owner.

Recently, I changed the hydraulic fluid, filter, and cover gasket. Everything I’ve read says the hydraulic system’s capacity is 7 quarts. When I drained mine on a level surface, I got just over 5 quarts. It had no sludge and was only slightly discolored (kind of light brown). When I refilled it with new fluid, it took just over 5 quarts again before the dipstick showed ‘Full’.

My recollection is that the last time I changed the hydro fluid, the same thing happened. Mighty curious.

On both occasions, I did not specifically drain fluid from the power steering system, implement lift, or axle tubes – only the differential.

I’m not much of a mechanic, but two possible causes come to mind:
1. Almost two quarts of fluid are ‘hiding’ outside of the main fluid reservoir (differential).
2. The dipstick is lying to me.

Or, a combination of both of the above.

Note that my dipstick is 12 ¾” long.

Why do I suspect the dipstick? Because Cub Cadet has issued two service bulletins having to do with dipsticks:

CC-291, dated February 1, 1991
This one describes dipsticks used in 1991 garden tractors having serial numbers above 811,501 and 11 ½” long from the bottom of the plastic cap to the end of the dipstick. The problem was that the fluid level was inaccurate. The solution was to cut about 1” off the end of the dipstick and center-punch a new ‘Full’ mark at 10 ½” from the cap.

Since my Cub is a 1990 model with a lower serial number, it doesn’t seem to apply.

CC-148, dated December 2, 1987
This bulletin concerns incorrect dipsticks that were used on ten garden tractor models. The only model listed with a 12 ¾” dipstick is the 1806 (previously 1606 and 582).

None of the models listed include the 1862, which weren’t manufactured until 1990 – at least two years after the service bulletin was issued! Again, it doesn’t seem to apply.

A PartsTree lookup shows the dipstick blade for my transmission as Part # 703-0911 (superseded to 903-0911P), but the length is not specified and the part number is not stamped on my dipstick (unusual for any genuine CC part). According to the CC-148 service bulletin, the length of the older 703-0911 dipstick is 11 ½”.

Another thing: on my dipstick, the ‘Full’ mark is only ¼” from the end. That’s the first and only fluid dipstick I’ve ever seen with the ‘Full’ mark that close to the end! Otherwise, the dipstick appears to be ‘stock’ and unmodified due to its appearance. I’m just not sure it is the correct dipstick for this tractor.

Here are photos of my hydro dipstick, the 2nd one showing the ‘Full’ mark.

Cub Cadet - Dipstick Full (stock), 07-07-21.jpg

Cub Cadet - Dipstick End (stock), 07-07-21, Cropped.jpg

As you can see, I’ve center-punched a mark and scratched a line across my dipstick to show where the ‘Full’ point should be, if you believe the more recent CC-291 service bulletin (10 ½” from the cap). At this time, I have not tried to fill the fluid level in the tractor to this higher point.

If the dipstick is indeed too long, it would mean that I’ve been running the tractor with too little hydraulic fluid in the system.

So if you’re the proud owner of a Cub 1862, here are my questions:
1. How long is your hydro dipstick from the bottom of the plastic cap to the end of the dipstick?
2. What is the distance from the bottom of the plastic cap to the ‘Full’ mark?

Any help or ideas would be deeply appreciated!

Thanks –

Jon
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Old 07-16-2021, 05:55 PM
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darkminion_17 darkminion_17 is offline
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The 903-0911P is 11 1/2" long.
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Old 07-16-2021, 10:41 PM
ColoradoGuy ColoradoGuy is offline
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Thanks, Lew -

I'm really looking for help from an 1862 owner who is willing to measure the hydro dipstick in his Cub.

Jon
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Old 07-17-2021, 08:42 AM
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ol'George ol'George is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoradoGuy View Post
Thanks, Lew -

I'm really looking for help from an 1862 owner who is willing to measure the hydro dipstick in his Cub.

Jon
I don't have your answer, but I ASSUME the quarts listed would be for a fill of a dry unit, as first manufactured
The filter would be about a pint as would both the pump and motor of the hydro.
Then add some additional in piping/plumbing.
I could see where 2 quarts could be used up
But again that is an assumption on my part.
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Old 07-17-2021, 08:52 AM
West Valley G West Valley G is offline
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Hey Jon Measured the 1862. The Blade on it is 11.5 and the
FULL mark is 15/16ths from the bottom of the blade.

Ken
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Old 07-17-2021, 09:22 AM
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ol'George ol'George is offline
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I just went out and measured my CCC-782, and the metal stick part is 11.5" total, with the full mark @ 10.5" ---- Irrelevant I guess
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Old 07-17-2021, 10:23 AM
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darkminion_17 darkminion_17 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoradoGuy View Post
Thanks, Lew -

I'm really looking for help from an 1862 owner who is willing to measure the hydro dipstick in his Cub.

Jon
I was a 1862 owner at one time and I measured it as I had a few dipsticks laying around and wanted to know what they fit..
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Old 07-20-2021, 10:05 PM
ColoradoGuy ColoradoGuy is offline
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Thanks a whole bunch to you guys!

It sounds like your consensus is that the correct hydro dipstick for my Cub 1862 should be 11 1/2" long, with the 'Full' mark about 10 1/2" from the cap and about one inch from the bottom. That's where I center-punched and scratched the line across it (2nd photo above). And that's gonna be the new 'Full' mark.

I'll never know how the wrong dipstick got into that tractor in the first place. But it sure ain't gonna keep me awake (unless I find a puddle of hydro fluid on the garage floor after I add more).

Once again, thanks for your help!

Jon
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Old 07-21-2021, 10:16 PM
ColoradoGuy ColoradoGuy is offline
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Well, I filled 'er up to the new 'Full' mark today -- it took about a quart and a half. Drove it around slowly for ten minutes. So far, no sign of leaks.

My Cub and I both thank you for your expert guidance.

Jon
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