Steering Sector

While the front wheels were painted with the tires removed, the rear tires, although worn, were not weather checked and in good enough shape that I decided they still had several years of service left in them.  With no leaks around the valve stems I didn’t see any good reason to remove the tires from the rims. 
Since this tractor had at one time supported a loader, it was not a surprise to find that the rear tires had added fluid as additional ballast to stabilize the rear.  This made them unwieldy, but not impossible, for one person to move. 
As long as I was careful to not let them become over balanced, I could roll them and position them for temporary storage.  The rims were in very good shape with only surface rust. When it was time to clean them up for painting I first removed the dish from each and them rolled them onto my driveway pad and laid them flat with one edge propped up.  A wire wheel chucked into my electric drill did most of the work cleaning them up.  Extra wide masking tape around the edge of the rim on each side then cut with a razor blade made it possible for me to paint the rims with the tires still intact.  A first coat with RUST-OLEUM’s® brown “Rusty Metal Primer” was followed by several coats of their Dull Aluminum paint resulting in a finish similar to the original factory product.  The pans were treated in a similar fashion except finished with several coats of Tisco’s Ford Gray paint.


One of the last major pieces tackled was the steering sector.  The complete housing had been removed from the transmission section very early in the process and set aside.  The power steering valve had been disassembled weeks before and had been cleaned and also set aside until the complete steering sector could be examined, disassembled, cleaned, and re-assembled.  The valve had had its own problem with one of the pressure lines broken off flush with the valve and the nut all but gone from a failed attempt to remove it.  Tracy had to weld a nut to the end to get it out.


Knowing that, at a minimum, gaskets would have to be replaced, I removed the steering gear housing side covers and pulled out the steering gears.  Would the problems never end?  Three of the teeth on the gear on the right side were badly chipped or broken.  How could that have happened?  I took it to Tracy to see if there was any hope of a repair.  He generously offered to build up the broken teeth by welding, using a special rod and wet towels to keep the rest of the gear relatively cool.  When I returned to pick up the gear the welding was complete.  His expertise as a welder was evident with this repair.


Once back home, a flat file was used to cut down the welding build-up to the same contour and angles of the good part of each tooth.  The welding material was very hard; not as hard as the original gear teeth, but with the minimal demands that would be placed on this tractor for the foreseeable future, it would suffice.


Mr. Kingland had advised me that, rather than refilling the reassembled sector housing with gear oil, synthetic grease would be a better choice.  To facilitate this, the oil plug was drilled and tapped for a grease zirk.  After reassembling the pitman gears with new seals, one full tube of this grease was pumped into the housing before power steering valve assembly was attached.


As I was working on the re-assembly of the power steering valve I discovered the true value of the digital photos I had taken during disassembly.  The valve itself has a thin groove around the circumference at one end.  The directions call for the valve to be re-inserted into the housing in the same position as it was removed.  Since removal had been several weeks earlier, I had no clue as to which end to insert first.  Luckily, one of my photos clearly showed the position of this groove relative to the housing.  After priming and painting, the steering gear housing, power steering control valve assembly, and steering shaft were now completely re-assembled and ready for their role in the final assembly.  Unfortunately for me, I also later learned the value of not trying to save a couple of bucks by re-using an old oil seal (but it looked OK!). 

The home stretch is ahead. 

Subpages (1): Final Assembly