The Fluid Specifications of John Deere 4X2 Trail Gators


The John Deere Trail Gator 4x2 is a two-seat, two-wheel drive utility vehicle designed for off-road transport when hunting, fishing or camping. The Trail Gator is powered by a single-cylinder, 4-stroke, 10 horsepower Kawasaki engine. A continuously variable transmission eliminates shifting and provides forward speeds up to 18 mph. High flotation tires improve mud traction and minimize ground compaction. The Trail Gator will fit in the bed of most full-size pickups.

Fluid Capacities

  • The 4 x 2 Trail Gator holds 1.67 quarts of engine oil and 4.8 quarts of transaxle oil.

Fluid Service Schedule

  • John Deere recommends changing the engine oil after the first 20 hours of operation and every 50 hours of operation thereafter. Transaxle oil should be changed every 800 hours or 24 months, whichever comes first. Frequent operation in dusty or muddy trail environments makes observance of the fluid change schedule essential. In an air-cooled model such as the Gator 4 x 2, engine and transaxle oils play an important role in cooling as well as lubrication.

Engine Oil Specifications

  • The preferred engine oil for use in the 4 x 2 Trail Gator is John Deere Plus-4 SAE 10W-40 when anticipated operating temperatures are above 4 F. For operation in temperatures to -22 F, the preferred engine oil is John Deere Torq-Gard Supreme SAE 5W-30. John Deere states that other major name brands of oil in the above viscosities are acceptable provided they meet or exceed API Service Classifications SG.

    Synthetic oils such as John Deere Plus-50 or other major brand-name equivalents, are also John Deere recommendations as long as they are appropriate to the anticipated operating temperature range. The manufacturer does not advise mixing different brands or viscosities. A full crankcase drain is recommended before switching to other brands or viscosities or when making a transition from conventional oil to synthetic.

Transaxle Oil Specifications

  • John Deere low viscosity Hy-Gard J20D is recommended for use in the Trail Gator transaxle. The manufacturer specifically advises against the use of engine oil or automatic transmission fluid as less-expensive substitutes in this transaxle.

    An industry-wide standard for hydraulic/transmission tractor oils does not exist and John Deere notes in technical bulletins that the company does not evaluate competitive brands. However, the Gator 4 x 2 owner's manual states that you may substitute other transaxle hydraulic oils where John Deere J20D is not available, as long as they meet J20D specifications. Shell's Donax TD Low Viscosity Universal Tractor Fluid is a widely available brand which has published specifications equivalent to Hy-Gard J20D.

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