John Deere 200, 210, 212, 214 Axle Seal Replacement

The John Deere 214 Garden Tractor that I recently converted to electricity ( ) developped a leak in one of the rear axles. Was making quite a mess and was getting worse, fast!

It was time to replace the seals at the transaxle with new ones…..

Here’s how I did it.

I removed the rear body pan to allow easier access

Once that was done, both rear wheels and tires were removed

A jack was placed under the transaxle and 5 bolts holding it up were removed.

There are two on each axle stub and one holding the transaxle to a cross member

(Notice….This picture might be slightly different to what you see on your 200 series John Deere. This area was modified on my tractor to carry the third battery for the electric conversion)

The inside bolts are quite easy to remove…..The outside bolts…Not So Much! There is no way to get a ratchet in there. I used a stubby open ended wrench. Engage the head, turn wrench about 10 degrees, flip wrench over , engage the head and turn bolt about 3 degrees….Repeat dozens of times until bolt is out. And, the inside bolts need to be out first so the transaxle can drop down enough to allow this bolt to be removed! UGH!

Be sure to remove the bolt from the top of the transaxle affixed to a cross member.

I removed the large pulley on the side of the transaxle as it is only three bolts and makes the job of removing the axle stubs easier.

Lower the transaxle down a couple inches with the jack you placed under it.

Next remove the C-Clip from the axle ends which holds the hubs on the spline and remove the hub.

One of mine slid right off and the other had some rust and needed to be pried a little bit. If your hubs are on tight, you might want to use a gear puller rather than beating on the back of the hub with a hammer. That can’t do good things for the internals of the transmission.

Whip off the spline and remove the four bolts that secure the axle tubes to the transaxle. Then slide the axle tubes off.

Here is what you will see

The BLUE arrow is an O-Ring seal and the ORANGE arrow is the axle seal

The two parts you will need are:


O-Rings (Come two in a pack)

Remove the O-Ring with a little hook tool

Then using a small screw driver, pry out the axle seal……Don’t worry about damaging it, you will be throwing it away.

Once the O-Ring and the Axle seal is out, clean everything up real good and be sure the splines are cleaned.

FYI….When I was cleaning out the recess that the new seal will occupy, I found a tiny round spring. This had fallen out of the old seal. If I had not noticed it it would have impeded the insertion of the new seal! Clean this area out carefully!

Using electrical tape, wrap the splines to protect the new seal as it is slid on the axle

Slide the new seal onto the axle. Coat the outside of the seal with a little grease to let it slide into the boss a little easier.

Cut a piece of 1″ (ID) PVC pipe to about 12″. Try to get the cut end as square as possible.

Slide the PVC pipe onto the axle and very gently, tap the end with a hammer to seat the new seal.

Keep tapping until the seal is just about flush with the transaxle

Install the new O-Ring

Remove the electrical tape and inspect the bearings on the end of the axle tube. Mine were in perfect condition so I did not replace them. If you did, here is the part you would need

You would need some type of press to install the new bearings. Or a certain size socket and a Big Hammer…..I’m sure there are YouTube videos showing both ways of doing this.

Time to slide the axle tubes back on and bolt them up

Apply a thin coating of grease to the spline

Install the hub and the C Clip

Reattach the transaxle to the chassis. Have fun with those outside bolts! Attach the bolt at the top of the transaxle first. Leave it hanging down about 1/2″…….Screw in both outside bolts first. Do not tighten them yet. Now install the two inside bolts and tighten everything up.

Install the drive pulley…..

Install the wheels…..

Install the body panel…..


A few notes…..

On one side of my tractor, the boss that holds the seal came out when I tried to just remove the old seal. This actually made removing this seal very easy as I was able to tap it out from the back side. I’m not sure if this piece is easily removed or not. I did the other side first and thought the seal recess was a part of the transaxle itself. If it is removable, I’d remove it and proceed to remove the seal from the rear.

On my tractor, one axle has a washer/spacer (the item on the left above)….the other axle didn’t. This side had less play , side to side, than the other side. I made a spacer/ washer for the other side that allowed the same amount of play…..about a 1/32″….I’m not sure if this is necessary, but I have a lathe and it was easy enough to do.

You can do this without removing the body panel……But it would be a bear! Much easier to just remove the pan.

That’s it! Hope it was helpfull

Be sure to check out all the other stuff I’ve been know to do on my web page

Share this Article:

6 comments on “John Deere 200, 210, 212, 214 Axle Seal Replacement”

  1. Kayle Benedix Reply

    Thank You VERY MUCH for taking the time to create and post this file. This will save me a lot of time and headaches when I have to do mine. I’m currently doing a complete restoration on an 84 214 and I think I’m going to do the seals while I have it torn down so I won’t have to go back and do it later when they start leaking.

  2. Frici Reply

    Fits John Deere – A, AO, AR, B, BO, BR, D, G, R, 50, 520, 530, 60, 620, 630, 70, 720, 730, 80, 820 2 cylinder, 830 2 cylinder, 840; Replaces: AB4748R, AF4748R, RE29790 * Non-asbestos lining with countersunk brass rivets

  3. Jordan Mastera Reply

    This was extremely helpful – thanks for putting this together. A few thoughts from my install:

    I struggled mightily getting the seal itself into the retainer (which came off very easily). Not sure if others experienced the same but if mine is a good example, a press (bench vise with wood sandwiching the seal/retainer should work) will be necessary. I tapped mine in with a rubber mallet before I realized that was probably very dumb. I probably scraped and bent these seals. Lessons learned and next time this project will be easier.

    I switched those outside (axle tube – frame) bolts (which were missing on my new-to-me machine) to a grade 8 allen-head bolt. Same thread and everything but a smaller head, plus the tool goes into the middle of the bolt which alleviates the headaches with the frame clearances. So these are 3/8 thread 16 1″ bolts – I might shorten to 3/4″ if I were doing it again given the shape of the axle tube, but the spec shows 1″. The normal cap screws I was trying to install were literally scraping against the frame – the allen head fits great and I could easily ratchet it in. Highly recommend.

    For the most part the hardware is all 5/16″ 18 1″ and 3/8″ 16 1″, in case it’s helpful. 4x of the 5/16″ bolts on each axle tube, then 3/8″ to bolt the trans to the frame. I got a couple packs of both sizes with locking and normal washers and just went from there. From what I could find in a service manual online, seems the torque specs are 30 ftlbs for 5/16″, and 50 ftlbs for 3/8″. I’d be cautious especially with the 5/16″ – one of my brand new grade 8 bolts sheared off like butter before I even got to 30 ft-lbs. Luckily enough of a stud left to unscrew with vise grips but maybe it’s worth limiting to 25 lb-lbs with a generous helping of blue threadlocker.

    Also a prior owner apparently struggled removing one of the axle tubes. They had drilled out one of the bolt holes to 3/8 and put in a heli-coil, but apparently did so without tapping. The bolt was also stripped. I think it was probably already stripped and they just put it back in. Presumably the same person who struggled with the frame bolts and decided to just not install them. Anyway I cleaned up the bore, grabbed a 3/8″ thread repair kit (with tap and coil) and installed that with red threadlocker. Drilled out the hole on the axle tube to 3/8″. Seemed to work well and I would recommend that process for anyone who strips threads or shears a bolt etc.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.