Monday, April 18, 2022

Tractor Hydraulic Steering Actuator... Update..


Thanks for the comments and suggestions last week. 

The used unit arrived on Saturday and I was, for what ever reason, determined to get it done.

"HAhahahha".. laughed the ghost of the engineer who designed it for John Deere. 

I channeled my inner "Phil" and " Leigh" , both gluttons for punishment, and decided the 

tractor wasn't gonna win. 

The covers were off from when I diagnosed it on Tuesday a week ago.

It was leaking from this area under the tilt mechanism that is bolted to the actuator.

Starting at 3:30pm , It took about 4 hours to swap it out.  4 bolts and 4 hydraulic lines.

Now, mind you , I don't do this for a living so the tools I have are a good overall set

of mechanics tools to cover a lot of various projects but nothing specialty.

The tilt mechanism has to be disassembled so you can get to the aluminum block bolted on

top.  This went well as access was open.  After that it was a puzzle project.

Try some wrenches, English, nope, metric. Walk back to the tool box. Grab more stuff.

This thing is packed in there with the bolts going up through the weldment and the two back

ones,  were blocked from any access that was easy.  There are 4 hydraulic lines all coming out

of the bottom of the unit. They are packed into a 3.5 to 4 inch dia area and yes, I have big mitts.

Take out the front two bolts, closer to driver's seat. Remove the first two hydraulic lines that you 

can access. Snake a 1/4 drive with universal joint and 13 MM up through the remaining 

hydraulic lines, because you can't get a 7/8 wrench anywhere near the fittings. Curse a bit.

Finally loosen the back two bolts and remove. "Don't drop them into the nether regions" " How the 

fuck am I gonna get those back in?"  Pry the unit up with 2 stiff lines and attached. 

Ooops.. gotta remove the CPU it's in the way.  

Then get the last two lines off.

Reverse steps. 

As you can see, not much room:

Rear of gas tank is behind my hand:

Yup , fat Irish paws. Not much space to the weldment.

Oh, isn't that cute. All those lines nestled together:

Finally completed.

 I stopped at 7:30pm  and finished it up in the morning.  

A few years back I had purchased parts to rebuild the tilt.  No better time than now.   Got that 

all assembled, greased and mounted. Put the dash on, added the steering wheel and fired it up.

Yippee, no leaks, steering works good and .....

WTF? no gauges working.  Two plugs go into the gauge cluster. Unplug, replug, nope.

It lights up and turn signals work but no gas gauge, rpm or temp.

I had heard that these fail a lot but it was working, last week, other than the RPM would sometimes

stick at zero.  Onto the internet and yeah, lots of BS with this cluster.  I can get it repaired or 

buy an aftermarket unit. Not sure what I want to do just yet. 

The tractor is clean and a workhorse so I would like to have the cluster work as intended.

More later I guess......


So, What Is This New Non-Covid Sickness Going Around ?...


  With in the past week, my mother has gotten a bad "cold" that has knocked her down. Head, chest

vomiting, slight temp. She finally went to the quick care and negative test. She's starting to feel


Last Friday, I reached out to a buddy that I haven't heard from in a while and he's been down and out

recurring bouts for almost 3 weeks. Totally feels and sounds like shit. "5" negative covid tests

between home and clinic.  As an on the road salesman he is very cautious and takes care to 

avoid getting sick. Goes to the gym and eats healthy ( I told him that's the problem, he kinda laughed

then started coughing.)

Last night, I heard from another friend out near Tucson, he's been sick as a dog for 3-4 days. 

Feels like shit, and has tested negative.

Just something odd that all of a sudden that many people, in the small circle I maintain, are sick.

It's Monday... off to the salt mines.