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Having to top up brake fluid reservoir on a 2009 Farmall 75C


jimb2
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I am asking this question for a friend that has a 2009 Farmall 75C with Cab and 4WD and about 3000 Hrs.
He has to keep topping up the hydraulic brake reservoir.
He doesn't see any obvious leaks.
He has a service manual and before doing any repair work he is wondering if this is a common problem on the Farmall 75C and the similar NH T4.75?
Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks
JimB
 

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Why does he need to keep topping it off? Is it because it looks low or because the brakes are not working?

Typically the brakes are part of the overall hydraulic system on the tractor, and the fluid level is maintained by the hydraulic system. It may be different on these tractors, I'm not an expert on them, that's just typical.

On the old 5xxx series Maxxum tractors, there is a standpipe in the bottom of the reservoir that slides down into the overflow hose and lets the level get too low. You have to periodically stuff that standpipe back up into the reservoir. I would be disappointed if they hadn't fixed that flaw by now on newer tractors, but then again it would not surprise me if it was still a problem.

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Matt, I have the service manual for the NH version and it appears that the brake reservoir is like a car, a stand-alone system but uses hydraulic oil instead of brake fluid. My friend never complained about loosing brakes just on regular checks the fluid level in the reservoir requires topping up. The actual brake disks appear to be in the rear axle similar to IH 74,84,85,95 series tractors.

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I don't know this tractor. It sounds like there are two possibles. Brakes are wearing down causeing pistons to move out requiring make up fluid. Or leak is internal to the axle. Does amount of use have anything to do with amount of fluid lost? Will it lose fluid during periods of non use?

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First off, is he using the proper brake fluid? It should be LHM fluid, which is mineral oil-based. DOT 3 and 4 brake fluids are glycol-based…they are not compatible with each other. 
Several European-built CNH tractors that were based on existing New  Holland products use this system, including Maxxums and smaller Pumas. They also have a grease zerk for the outer axle bearing because the brake prevents hydraulic oil from lubricating the bearing. Many operators neglect greasing this bearing. 

36DF3B61-638C-4D82-8D80-7F2A56277F21.jpeg

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Hopefully he hasn't been putting the wrong oil it, or he will be pulling it down to reseal brake pistons, hoses in brake circuit and master cylinders. Brake fluid makes the seals swell and get spongy. On those little tractors the brake lines run along top of transmission and rust out. I have been rerouting and running new lines along side of transmission case to keep from pulling cab or platform to replace those little buggers. 

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I asked a Titan partsman about getting a bottle of LHM for my Maxxum 125 in case I ever needed to add any and he said they basically hardly ever sell any, maybe some into their shop, not usually an issue unless you have damage or a major repair. And I don't have axle zerks. 

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Most Maxxums and small-chassis Pumas have a sensor in the master cylinder to turn on a warning light on the dash to warn the operator when the brake fluid level gets low. A fair percentage of small Pumas/Maxxums & New Holland T6 and T7 tractors that come in the shop have this warning light on. Usually it takes just a few ounces to raise the fluid level to turn the light off.  We probably do sell more to the shop than over the counter...but I have had customers and parts guys ask me which fluid those tractors take so that they get the right stuff.

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On 6/11/2021 at 9:17 PM, lightninboy said:

And I don't have axle zerks. 

With all due respect, you might want to look again to be sure. To my knowledge, all the Maxxums after the MX Maxxums, Pumas, and small-chassis Magnums have greaseable rear axle bearings. 
That’s the problem, these zerks aren’t listed in several operator’s manuals, and they can be hard to spot as some are in a recessed area on the housing. I looked at 3 different Maxxums/T6 New Holland’s in the shop this morning…they all have zerks. One of them was on the bottom of the axle housing where you wouldn’t expect to find them. Hate to see anybody spend $2-3000 on a repair that a few pumps of grease will take care of. 

516735CB-2FD0-412C-AE7B-CD5CED9F25FC.jpeg

F993EF0D-F13D-4392-8589-467E4E98B087.jpeg

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When I bought the tractor new, it was set up with the rear wheel weights on the inside, which would have made greasing axle zerks impossible anyway. I made Titan put the weights on the outside but I didn't see any zerks on top. I think I asked Titan if it had axle zerks and they said no. But now that you mention it there could be zerks under plastic covers or under the housing. I'll check. I don't see zerks in the parts diagram.

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Thanks for information everyone, I will pass it to my friend.
He purchased the correct hydraulic brake oil from the CIH dealer and is going to empty the reservoir and brake cylinders and replace with correct brake oil.
Thanks again for info
Jim

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The MXM190 either had a brake fluid reservoir which got taken off at the dealership in June 2013 or it never had one because the manual says MXM155 and smaller have it but the MXM175 and MXM190 don't have it. The MXM190 has axle zerks I grease moderately occasionally. Can you overgrease them? I don't see axle zerks on the MXM190 parts diagram either.

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MXM175 & 190s used brakes that were supplied by oil from the tractor's hydraulic system...like most modern tractors do. Large-chassis Pumas and Mid-Range Magnums use that system, too. MXM155s on down used the brakes that needed the special hydraulic oil, just like the newer Maxxums do.

As far as greasing intervals, keep doing what you are doing. I suppose you could get carried away and overgrease the wheel bearings, but I'm not aware of this ever being a problem on them. The biggest problem has been to get owners to recognize that there ARE zerks that need to be greased there. Doesn't help that the manufacturer hasn't been the clearest on making this information available to owners. I know of one Titan store that replaced several axle housings due to bearing failure from lack of grease. At the time, these zerks weren't even mentioned in the operators manual. It was only after that that people took notice about this.

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On 6/17/2021 at 10:44 PM, lightninboy said:

So...why would there be plugs instead of zerks if needed and what size would the zerks have to be?

I can't give you a good answer on that. Did some looking in the service manual and it talks about the possibility of plugs instead of zerks. It tells you to remove the plugs and installing zerks when servicing the axle assy. According to the parts book, its a metric M10 thread.

Maxxum 125 axle #2.PNG

Maxxum 125 axle #1.PNG

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On 6/11/2021 at 12:20 PM, SDman said:

Several European-built CNH tractors that were based on existing New  Holland products use this system, including Maxxums and smaller Pumas. They also have a grease zerk for the outer axle bearing because the brake prevents hydraulic oil from lubricating the bearing. Many operators neglect greasing this bearing. 

I emailed Titan about this and they never replied. Might ask the dealership sometime. They'd probably think I'm nuts for asking or never heard of it or want to stay away from any liability.

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On 6/17/2021 at 10:44 PM, lightninboy said:

So...why would there be plugs instead of zerks if needed and what size would the zerks have to be?

I have seen many, many tractors that have plugs in the axle housing. I have always just taken the plugs out and greased it. Is this tractor any different than that? I’m not familiar with this particular model. 

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I asked Case IH too.

Thank you for contacting Case IH Customer Relations.  For support, we recommend you work with the Case IH dealer in your area.  The dealership personnel are trained to work on our equipment and may need to see the equipment to fully understand what is needed. 

Please accept this invitation to complete a brief, online survey. 

How satisfied are you with Case IH Customer Relations?

I wanted to hear what Case IH has to say, not my local dealer! Case IH Customer Relations is not valuable to me at all!

Overall, how satisfied are you with Case IH?

I guess farming with Case IH is a little better than farming by hand or farming with horses.

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2 hours ago, Dirt_Floor_Poor said:

I have seen many, many tractors that have plugs in the axle housing. I have always just taken the plugs out and greased it. Is this tractor any different than that? I’m not familiar with this particular model. 

I'm not necessarily against taking plugs out and putting in zerks. The question is do I really have to and is there damage already done and if Case IH knew about it since at least 2002 why would they put in plugs?

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The reason I always heard for plugs in applications that did not require frequent lubrication was that contaminants could enter through the grease fitting, water mainly. I don’t know if this is what Case says or not. I have seen in some manuals where it says not to leave zerks in unless operating in very wet or muddy conditions which require more frequent greasing. Sounds like Case is unclear in this situation about what to do or why. 

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