Hydraulics and Power Steering (again)

Although the hood had not yet been painted, it was time to check out all the mechanics.  I drove it out of the garage.  Power steering – check, PTO – check, 3-point hydraulics – oh, oh!  The hydraulics will only lift a little.  If I manually lift the arms, they will remain up, but won’t lift on their own.  My joy is short-lived.  I drive it back into the garage and shut it down.  At this point I’m not ready to tackle the delicacies of the hydraulic mechanism with all its valves and springs and opt to remove the lift cover completely and take it in to the local New Holland/Ford tractor shop for them to have a look-see.  Their mechanic is an older gentleman who has seen many of these units.  His preliminary diagnosis is a stuck valve from years of sitting unused.  He doesn’t have time to dig into it right then so I leave it.  Next day the shop calls me to tell me its ready.  They’ve buffed and polished, replace O-rings and gaskets and worn parts and it’s ready to go.  I get it back home and, with the assistance of my hydraulic lift, once again install it.  It now performs perfectly.


I also discover that it’s leaking power steering fluid, both from the ends of the cylinders and from somewhere in the steering sector.  Both leaks are not unexpected, but disappointing.  The replacement seals for the power steering pistons are only available from the dealer.  They’re just a couple of O-rings, some snap rings, and a special insert, but they’re priced as if they’re made of solid gold.  I don’t want power steering fluid dripping from the cylinders so I purchase two sets of those seals.


I also don't know why I’m leaking power steering fluid in the steering sector.  The only answer is another disassembly to replace that seal above the power steering valve that I thought would be OK. 

Dumb decision to not replace it when I first assembled it and it was easy to get at.  Its probably lucky I don’t have the hood on yet.  I remove all the electronics under the steering panel assembly, disconnect all hydraulic lines and remove the valve assembly from the steering column.  This seal is inexpensive and relatively easy to replace, but the labor to get at it takes the most time.  No wonder the shops charge so much for these seemingly easy jobs.  I also have to open the steering sector and remove the fluid that has accumulated there.  Fortunately, it’s floating on top of the synthetic grease I used to fill this cavity and easy to remove.

Completion seems to be in sight.
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