Ford 555D rear differential


New User
I have a Ford 555D backhoe/loader. It does not get used much, probably a couple times a month, maybe for an hour or so, sometimes more. It is used just for personal use. No public work. I recently started to use the unit and it was going to only be for a few minutes. I drove it about 100 yards and stopped for a few minutes and when I tried to start moving again the tractor would not move. The left rear wheel was locked. Thinking maybe the brake was stuck I shifted in reverse to try to rock the tractor. The left rear wheel would not turn. But I heard a loud noise coming from the rear end … sort of a loud clunk then a ratcheting sound. I used the hoe to get it back to the shed. I checked the fluids and found the transmission over full considerably and the rear end severely low. I’m not sure where to start looking for the problem. Any thoughts or ideas are greatly appreciated.
Sounds like the planetary gears have gone out in that final drive. It needs to be taken out and opened up to find what carnage is in there. Is the axle loose enough to leak out all the rear section oil ? OR , did the rear housing go low on oil causing the planetary and axle bearings to depart.
I haven’t done anything as far as troubleshooting goes. I would guess the low oil level caused the problem. I can’t figure out why the oil level is extremely high in the transmission and extremely low in the rear end. It’s almost as if the oil from the rear end moved to the transmission. I suppose I need to remove the complete rear end assembly to be able to access it for repairs. It doesn’t seem feasible to repair it in place. I don’t know if there are options on how to remove the complete assembly. Do you know if the hoe has to be removed? Can the ROPS stay in place or does it have to come off? I’m just not sure where to begin.
Thanks for your reply
I have removed earlier final drives without removing the entire rear housing. Support the machine on wooden blocks after removing the rear wheels. Block the front wheels so it doesn't move. With a jack under the rear housing, remove the axle to loader frame bolts and lower the the rear assembly enough to clear final drive removal. Then block the rear housing in case the jack leaks down while supporting the weight of the trans and rear section. A transmission jack works well for lowering the final drive here. You may need to get creative for this part. Dump out the pieces parts that are loose in there. You don't need to remove the backhoe for this.
Thanks again. I have been looking at this and reading what info I can find online. I have the service manual for the tractor. It says to remove the hoe. I didn’t want to remove it if not necessary. I was thinking that I could pull the left axle housing without removing the hoe. Thanks for confirming this. Like you say I will need to get creative on how to handle axle housing since I don’t have a transmission jack. I may can fabricate something to help handle it.
I finally got the rearend torn down. Found all 3 planetary gears broken in several pieces. The short shaft has damaged teeth. Cost from New Holland for parts is $3184. I found a complete rearend from a salvage yard for $1750. Looks like that’s the way I will go.

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