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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all! I am experiencing what I expect is a failing steering cylinder but would like some feedback. When driving on our local dirt road (significant crown) and FEL loaded and ballast box on 3 pt, I have to continue to dial in steering towards crown of road to keep tractor going straight. I am a complete rookie when it comes to tractor service but have worked on cars extensively.

1/ Does this sound like a steering cylinder issue?
2/ How difficult would the repair be if I chose to take this on myself?

Thanks in advance for any help!
 

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I would think, just like a vehicle, the crown in the road would have negative affect to the steering, not being a flat surface.
This causes the tire surface of each wheel, to support the load differently. Which I think would react as you have experienced.
Does the steering react the same way on flat ground?
If yes, I would look at the tie-rod ends for looseness.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I would think, just like a vehicle, the crown in the road would have negative affect to the steering, not being a flat surface.
This causes the tire surface of each wheel, to support the load differently. Which I think would react as you have experienced.
Does the steering react the same way on flat ground?
If yes, I would look at the tie-rod ends for looseness.
I didn't do a good job at describing issue. I have to continue steering into crown to keep tractor going straight. Meaning, not just one steering adjustment to compensate for the unlevel road, but continuously steering into crown of road as I drive. If the tractor had mechanical linkage, I would have been doing circles with the amount of steering I am putting in. Tractor tracks straight on level ground without need for steering.
 

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How is the front tire pressures? Does it do the same with the bucket empty?

Sounds about normal with hydrostatic steering to me....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
How is the front tire pressures? Does it do the same with the bucket empty?

Sounds about normal with hydrostatic steering to me....
Tire pressures good. This is first this has happened to me and I have owned tractor for 6 years. Also, if the tractor is off, I am able to rotate steering wheel infinitely or at lease a full circle without tires moving. I pulled off steering wheel cover to see if splined was spinning on steering wheel.... not the case.
 

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Put a piece of tape on the wheel, note where it is when you start, and note where it is when you stop.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Put a piece of tape on the wheel, note where it is when you start, and note where it is when you stop.
If you are asking that I put tape on, then drive down road to see how far tape rotates, then I can tell you without doing exercise that tape will rotate greater than 360 degrees during my drive. I have continuously to turn wheel into crown of road to remain straight.
 

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With these hydrostatic steering valves, there is no center position, and they don't behave like a mechanical linkage style steering system, like you'd find on an automobile. Add in the fact that the front wheels aren't precisionally aligned like you'd find on a car. It's not uncommon to have to tweak the steering wheel constantly toward the crown to keep going straight, and the steering wheel will do a 360 in time. When you turn the steering wheel, it opens valves to allow fluid to pressurize one side and relief the other of the steering cylinder. When you stop turning, the steering wheel stays where you stopped. It doesn't return to center, because there is no center. Does that help?
 
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Discussion Starter #9
With these hydrostatic steering valves, there is no center position, and they don't behave like a mechanical linkage style steering system, like you'd find on an automobile. Add in the fact that the front wheels aren't precisionally aligned like you'd find on a car. It's not uncommon to have to tweak the steering wheel constantly toward the crown to keep going straight, and the steering wheel will do a 360 in time. When you turn the steering wheel, it opens valves to allow fluid to pressurize one side and relief the other of the steering cylinder. When you stop turning, the steering wheel stays where you stopped. It doesn't return to center, because there is no center. Does that help?
Thank you for the explanation. It's quite possible the crown on our road is more pronounced than in prior times that I drove the tractor on it and only now noticing how much continous input is necessary to compensate. However, I can say that I am more than "tweaking" the steering wheel. I can almost say I am steadily turning into the crown the entire drive. Not intermittent adjustments
 

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With these hydrostatic steering valves, there is no center position, and they don't behave like a mechanical linkage style steering system, like you'd find on an automobile. Add in the fact that the front wheels aren't precisionally aligned like you'd find on a car. It's not uncommon to have to tweak the steering wheel constantly toward the crown to keep going straight, and the steering wheel will do a 360 in time. When you turn the steering wheel, it opens valves to allow fluid to pressurize one side and relief the other of the steering cylinder. When you stop turning, the steering wheel stays where you stopped. It doesn't return to center, because there is no center. Does that help?
Great explanation Kyle, and 100% correct. This is the same reason the spinner's some people like to use is never in the same place LOL
 
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Tire pressures good
What does "good" mean? What pressures?

The crown of the road of course makes the effect worse with hydrostatic steering but when carrying full loader bucket loads it really helps if you have the front tires at maximum pressure.

So what's the pressure in your front tires?
 

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With these hydrostatic steering valves, there is no center position, and they don't behave like a mechanical linkage style steering system, like you'd find on an automobile. Add in the fact that the front wheels aren't precisionally aligned like you'd find on a car. It's not uncommon to have to tweak the steering wheel constantly toward the crown to keep going straight, and the steering wheel will do a 360 in time. When you turn the steering wheel, it opens valves to allow fluid to pressurize one side and relief the other of the steering cylinder. When you stop turning, the steering wheel stays where you stopped. It doesn't return to center, because there is no center. Does that help?
Great explanation Kyle, and 100% correct. This is the same reason the spinner's some people like to use is never in the same place LOL

and the OE posted one thing I think we are missing

Also, if the tractor is off, I am able to rotate steering wheel infinitely or at lease a full circle without tires moving. I pulled off steering wheel cover to see if splined was spinning on steering wheel.... not the case.

You pulled the wheel, and not the case of the splined on the steering wheel. But I'm wondering if the steering shaft splines at the control valve or box is connected is bad. or it the control valve is defective before connecting to the steering cylinder

Just my 2 cents. steering wheel shouldn't turn 360° or less with engine turned off.. or I don't think my will. on the 1025.
 
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I had a Kubota where the steering cylinder had a seal that was going bad, the symptoms were the steering not responding to turning the wheel. About the time you would start to panic and turn it a little sharper, it would respond. The seal would let fluid slip by until you gave the steering a little sharper turn. Yours sounds more like it just isn’t tracking well, which to me sounds normal at road speeds.
 

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Missed that Gene. I just went out to my 1025 and with the engine off, I can turn the steering wheel and the tires turn, to the point that when I hit wheel lock the steering wheel won't turn any more.

Dodgeman makes a good point about seals leaking. Possibly in the steering valve or cylinder.
 
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Hope....that its the cyl and not the part the Steering Wheel is hooked to ( control Valve or whatever)

Besides being a pita to change......I think they are quite spendy
 

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The OP definitely has an steering problem .
Engine off...turn the wheel the tires should imediately turn too.
He should not have to continually turn up towards the crown of the road...turning the wheel a full turn say going 500 feet down the road.
He also stated he's had the tractor for 6 years and this issue is new.
Sounds like a hydraulic issue?
Flow diverter?
Trans fluid at the full mark?
I see the need for the factory service manual.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I had a Kubota where the steering cylinder had a seal that was going bad, the symptoms were the steering not responding to turning the wheel. About the time you would start to panic and turn it a little sharper, it would respond. The seal would let fluid slip by until you gave the steering a little sharper turn. Yours sounds more like it just isn’t tracking well, which to me sounds normal at road speeds.
The situation you describe is exactly what I am experiencing. So question would be, how do you finally confirm it was steering cylinder or do I replace and cross my fingers?
 

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The only idea I would have is to "test" the cylinder. Turn steering wheel in one direction, let's say clockwise for a right turn, until front wheels no longer turn to the right. I believe this will fully extend the cylinder rod. Remove hose from rod end of cylinder and place a catch/drip can under cylinder. Turn steering wheel clockwise again (If rod continues to extend, disregard initial oil flow). If a stream of oil comes out, cylinder is bypassing inside. If no oil, or maybe a dribble due to normal seal wear, steering valve is bypassing inside. 'Bout all I've got! Bob
 

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I don’t know what JD cylinders look like inside but my Kubota could rebuilt. There was a single seal in the middle that needed replaced but the lit came with a bunch of seals. The Kubota BX I had was a known issue for the steering cylinder, so on the Internet forums it came up a lot. I think it took me about four hours or so to remove, fix and reinstall on the Kubota.
 
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