Bad Hydraulic Leak in 2003 250A Series 2 Skidsteer
I have a 2003 250A Series 2 that I bought used in mid-2007; it had 850 hrs on it when I got it and only has 1010 hrs on it now - hadn't exactly been overworked since I got it. Replaced the battery in June 2013 and it was parked shortly thereafter for almost two years. When it was parked, I filled the fuel tank, greased it good and checked the anti-freeze.
Cranked it up the other evening (getting dark). Battery was still good and the motor fired up immediately. Let the motor warm up a bit, then moved the unit back/forth a couple of times - no problem. Moved the boom and bucket a couple of times - bucket squeaked a bit at full tilt but not too bad.
Then I drove it around a circle (est 100 yds) back to the parking spot - seemed ok while moving. Was trying to back it into the park spot and noticed that the levers were getting hard to move. Managed to get it almost back where it was parked and then nothing moved - no boom or bucket action, no unit movement. What the Heck? It had been raining so the grass, etc was wet and shiney.
Got out, checked the hydraulic tank level - slam Ass empty! Wiped the stick, came out bone dry - 4-6 gal of fluid gone! Well, @#$%! Dark by then, so didn't do anything more.
Note that this steer has an enclosed cab, so you can't raise the ROPS with the boom down. Went back out yesterday, poured 2 gal of Plus 50 in the reservoir. Started the motor, moved the unit out so I could drop the bucket, and backed it up so I could get access to the front. While raising the boom to engage the boom locks, the boom was shuddering on the way up but got it the locks. Shut the motor down.
Got out, looked under the unit and saw a stream of fluid coming down from the area in line with the right rear tire. Raised the ROPS and saw that the pumps, hoses and the pan under the pumps had a coating of oil on them. Looking from the front the right hand side of the pan area had a bit more oil there than the left side but certainly not much of a puddle. I had never seen any oil on that area before, although it has been some years since I had the ROPS up. Out of time then, so didn't do anything else.
One fact to get on the table now ... I can do some work on cars and trucks but when it comes to this type of equipment, I am green as grass other than some abilities on electrical issues, etc. So I need to ask some basic questions ...
1. It is my understanding that the pan area below the pumps is pretty much a sealed bottom chamber. I have seen a plug in the bottom of that area which to me would seem to be a drain plug but never tried to remove it. I had previously asked a Tech about that, and he said didn't know about it. I found that odd. Makes sense tho since that would allow an easy way to clean out dirt, etc from that area for maintenance.
So, is that really just a drain plug, and not something holding up the pump assembly?
2. Given that there was limited oil in the pan area, relatively speaking, then it would seem that the major leak would be to the rear of that area above the rear pan cover. I haven't had time to remove the cover yet & inspect the area. That is the next step.
What are the most likely leak points there other than the oil cooler connections?
3. As soon as the motor is shut down, is there any residual pressure in the hydraulic system that takes a while to dissipate? Given the stream of oil I saw coming down after the motor was shut off, I need to know if the source of the leak may still be releasing fluid under pressure.
4. When the ROPS is raised, obviously both levers fall forward. I have never needed to or tried to start the motor with the ROPS raised. If the motor was started with the ROPS up, and the levers forward, is there ANY chance that the steer could lurch forward?
I wouldn't think so due to the brake switch still being off (brake should be engaged), and nobody sitting in the seat - but I still need to ask this question!
5. The repair manual cautions against running it without fluid - Duh - but I sure didn't do it intentionally.
I think this is unit has a Sauer-Danfoss system in it, based on the pictures in the repair CD. It didn't move after the fluid ran out and I shut the motor down promptly. At least it did move more-or-less normally after adding the two gals of Plus 50 to it so I could drop the bucket and raise the boom.
Given that it ran out of fluid, what is the probability of residual damage to the pumps, motors and/or valve assemblies?
6. Speaking of brakes, the instrument panel park brake led going out became intermittent not too long after I got the machine, and now stays on all the time even tho the brakes do release.
I haven't been able to find the adjustment in the repair manual for this. Doesn't really bother me - as long as the brakes are fully retracting - but it obviously should go off.
Anybody know how to do this?
I will appreciate any insight and advice on this problem.