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Maintenance Tips for Bobcat Final Drive Motors

Bobcat final drive motors are known for their durability and for standing up to the toughest challenges. However, just like any machine, they require regular maintenance to prevent expensive repairs. Following a few simple maintenance tips for Bobcat final drive motors can help save you money and avoid costly damage to your final drive motor.

Check for Leaks Every Day

The easiest thing you can do is walk around your machine and visibly inspect it for any leaks. Make this a daily habit.

There are two types of leaks that can occur on a final drive motor:

  1. Hydraulic leak. You’ll know it's a hydraulic leak when you see a thin fluid with similar viscosity as brake fluid in an automobile. This leak often occurs by a simple hose being loose, which is usually an easy fix, or a clogged case drain filter.
  2. Gear oil leak. A gear oil leak is often found by looking for oil behind the sprocket, although it can usually be seen dripping onto the tracks of your machine. Most gear oil leaks are related to the mechanical face seal, and they need expert repairs immediately.

During your daily examination, if there’s a leak, you’ll quickly know what type it is, and then you can act accordingly. Operating your final drive motor with either of these leaks can quickly lead to catastrophic damage.

Check the Gear Oil Level Every 100 Hours of Operation

Checking the gear oil level on Bobcat final drive motors is a bit more complicated than the easy dipstick found in automobiles. Here’s a quick overview of how to check your gear oil level:

  • Look at the cover plate of your final drive motor and align the final drive so that one plug is perfectly vertical and the other plug is perfectly horizontal.
  • Remove any dirt, mud, or debris from the plugs, so as to not contaminate the oil.
  • Remove the plugs slowly (they may need to be hit with a hammer to loosen them up).
  • The vertical plug is for venting while the center plug should be level with gear oil.
  • If your machine has enough oil, the oil level will be evenly between the two plugs, potentially with some oil draining out.
  • If needed, add more oil, then replace the plugs.

If your oil is at a sufficient level, then you’re ready for 100 more hours of operation.

Completely Change the Gear Oil Every Year or 200 Hours

Sometimes known as gear lube, the gear oil should be completely drained and replaced every year or 200 hours. It’s better to do so when the oil is warm as it will drain out much easier. You may want to consider having a specialist change your oil, as it is a little more complicated than checking the oil level.

Regular Maintenance Means a Long Life

Bobcat final drive motors have the potential to have a long life. However, all it takes is one leak or a missed oil change to have their lifespan decrease dramatically or end altogether. Make a habit of doing regular maintenance to get the most out of your Bobcat final drive motor.

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