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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone else find water in their XU gearbox when doing a gear oil change?

I am baffled as to how it gets in there. I've got 5 machines I've been involved with, 4 from our expedition last winter and one here at my work. They are all 2011-2013 SWT ACEs. Last season I found varying amounts of water in our gearboxes when doing an oil change mid-trip. The worst was my own machine, which had about a cup of water underneath the oil.

Yesterday I did my work machine, and it too had about a cup of water in it. Been using the BRP oil, Mobil 1, and Amsoil all with similar results. My own machine and my work machine both had adventures in deeper overflow with water up around the running boards, but I can't figure how water could get in if oil isn't leaking out. There is no sign of oil leaks, and neither machine has been submerged anywhere near the vent plug (if submerged that deep, water will cool the gearbox, causing it to suck water in through the hole).

Anyone else have a similar experience, or any ideas how to fix?
 

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Yep, I have seen water in my gearbox every time I have changed the oil. And as early as after one ride - I wanted to try a different weight of oil. I believe this was discussed some time back and the thought was that the water is from condensation.
 

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A friend if mine with a 2012 Expedition SE 600 Etec called me on this a few days ago and he was experiencing the same thing. About a cup of water in there with no submerging below the vent in any way shape or form. The only explanation I could give is that the vent is obstructed or that the thin sidewall sections were allowing condensation buildups (frost forming on gearbox inner walls) in times of varying temps.

Best I could come up with, without experiencing this myself. I will be keeping a close eye on this over the Winter.
 

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Plugged/restriced vent can do it.

As well, running the machine out in the cold/damp, and parking in a heated garage can cause condensation. The constant exposure from warm -> cold temps is a factor. Are they poorly vented?

It's also possible that the gearboxes do not produce enough heat to burn off any accumulated condensation and push it out the vent as steam. I can't say though, I have no idea what kind of temps they run at but if it's too low, this can be a factor.

Also some oil seals, depending on design, do the job of stopping oil from leaking out but can't quite stop water from seeping in if the machine gets submerged to that point. Everything is running at operating temp, and when it gets a quick dunk into ice cold water you get instant cooling and contraction of the metals in the gearbox housing and shaft. They'll contract at different rates and can allow the seal to distort enough to let some water in. The seal itself can also contract quick enough to let some water in.

Something I'll be checking out when my new WT gets here.
 

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It's usually the +5c to -5c temperature shifts that produce the most condensation. Storing in an unheated garage/shed with a cement floor is also a good way to get water or corrosion damage.

I ran a longer hose off the gearbox vent with a piece of scotch brite taped to the end as a filter on mine.

Plugged/restriced vent can do it.

As well, running the machine out in the cold/damp, and parking in a heated garage can cause condensation. The constant exposure from warm -> cold temps is a factor. Are they poorly vented?

It's also possible that the gearboxes do not produce enough heat to burn off any accumulated condensation and push it out the vent as steam. I can't say though, I have no idea what kind of temps they run at but if it's too low, this can be a factor.

Also some oil seals, depending on design, do the job of stopping oil from leaking out but can't quite stop water from seeping in if the machine gets submerged to that point. Everything is running at operating temp, and when it gets a quick dunk into ice cold water you get instant cooling and contraction of the metals in the gearbox housing and shaft. They'll contract at different rates and can allow the seal to distort enough to let some water in. The seal itself can also contract quick enough to let some water in.

Something I'll be checking out when my new WT gets here.
 

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I had the same problem last year.

I brought my Expediton in for a 100hr service last febuary, later that week I recieved the call about water in the gear box. the mechanics at the dealer informed me that the seal on the bearings were installed incorrectly and letting in water. In conclusion they replaced the entire gearbox on warranty and i never saw my sled until the middle of june because a new gearbox was not available. I was assured that this was a very very rare problem... I guess not

Now that i am equipped with a brand new gearbox I will keep a close eye on oil(hopefully not water) levels in this area.

 

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Checked something out last night. I noticed that the XU gearbox part numbers are the same for 2012 and 2013 and they change for 2014. The only reason I decided to check this is that I was looking at my gearbox last night and noticed it was made by AGCO. A friend and I were looking at the engine compartment last year(before the gearbox was replaced) and I distinctly remember him commenting on the manufacture of the gearbox and it was not AGCO.


Now are there 2 Suppliers for these grearboxes? Or am i going crazy. Could somebody check this on an older gearbox.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
In regards to your second post, I'm pretty sure in my research I did last winter that AGCO is the parent company of Sisu Diesel. My gearbox says Sisu on the side, pretty sure it's the same component as yours, although maybe they changed castings to reflect the parent name? I'd bu curious for sure if anything else changed. Sisu made the gearboxes for the older Skandics as well, don't remember what year they started using them. 98, 99 maybe?

Well shoot. That's not the news I was hoping for. Pretty sure I'm just out of warranty too, should have looked into it more in the spring. Sounds to me like I have two machines with the "extremely rare" issue of having the seal in wrong, they make a lot more water than the other three but do seem to be relative to how much water you play in, thus a seal issue does make sense.
 

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You are right AvalancheAK.

Quote from Agco's website: " In 2008 Sisu Diesel was branded AGCO SISU POWER and in 2012 company was renamed into AGCO Power."
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Did BRP change the oil reccomendation? I wasn't aware of that. They do seem to maybe be a tad quieter with the 140 in them..
 

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Looking at the manual for my '14 WT it is indeed recommended to use 75W140.
 

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In my mind there is just no way a cup of water can end up in the gearbox over the course of one season due to condensation. That is a lot of water!

Think about it: If condensation was the culprit on a gearbox this size, you would have a quart or more of water in your gas tank over the same period. Its just not possible.
 

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In my mind there is just no way a cup of water can end up in the gearbox over the course of one season due to condensation. That is a lot of water!

Think about it: If condensation was the culprit on a gearbox this size, you would have a quart or more of water in your gas tank over the same period. Its just not possible.
Dude's no dummy. He's right... but I am still suspecting that the vent is plugging up on the gearboxes that are accumulating water.

As for the heat comment, I am understanding that a well working XU gearbox sheds a fair amount of heat, if the vent is working that would allow the box to shed the moisture, if it's plugged, that unit will experience a big temperature swing when shut off.
 

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That's why i made an extension + filter for the vent. Get is as far away from crud as possible. The down side is that adding all the little fixes clutters up the engine compartment but in my opinion it's worth it.

It's funny but i don't recall much water in the 503 model skandics.

Dude's no dummy. He's right... but I am still suspecting that the vent is plugging up on the gearboxes that are accumulating water. As for the heat comment, I am understanding that a well working XU gearbox sheds a fair amount of heat, if the vent is working that would allow the box to shed the moisture, if it's plugged, that unit will experience a big temperature swing when shut off.
 

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What did you guys end up coming up with on this issue I changed fluid on my 2013 Swt etec last night and had water in there not a cup but enough and we're is this vent located at thanks and happy new year
 

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I believe a couple people are trying small Donaldson TRAP filters, base on the assumption that it is snow dust getting sucked in through the filter when the same snow dust and snow cools off the gearbox causing it to inhale. Extending the vent to somewhere no as susceptible to getting snow dust (like the intake airbox) would probably also work. There is another tread on it here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yep, LB, ST, and I are running the Donaldson trap filters. Mine are mounted directly on the gearbox, I think LB ran his on an extended vent up into the handlebar area. The idea isn't so much that snow dust is getting in, but just moisture in the air over dozens and dozens of warm/cool cycles. We won't really know until the end of the season if this will work or not, but it's worth a try. There are a couple other threads on the issue as well, around here somewhere...
 
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i just changed mine up before the season,

2014 WT, 1220 km on it when changed and no water at all.

i put 700 ml of 75w140 in the gearbox when i changed the oil, stored in heated garage.

ill check it up mid season and see.
 
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