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Any thought on a "Steering Slop" of almost 90*, after checking Kingpins, Tie Rods etc? I suspect the Steering Control Unit. Don't know. Anyone been inside one? Is it a Repair or Rebuilt? Whole units got to be Pricey!! Thanks in Advance ~Scotty
 

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I don’t think a rebuild of the column is that difficult if you score the plates to keep order and orientation correct. I think kits are affordable, or I have a used 5 port I’d sell. It’s been out a year so the price would reflect the risk.


The most common cause is slop in the eyes of the steering cylinder, I’ve also seen the frame crack around the rear mount.
 

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There are several places that slop occurs in the steering, but rarely is it in the hydraulic side, unless your cylinder is leaking and bad or the steering valve itself is bad. Before you go into the hydraulic side, make sure you check both tie rod ends for tightness. There should obviously be no play there.
Then check the axle pivot. These wear fairly regularly, as they have no grease fitting.
Then check the axle adjustment bolts on each side. Most people overlook these. They are the main cause for slop that cant be found otherwise.
Deere makes a wear plate kit for these areas too, if yours is worn.
As mentioned, check the cylinder rod end too. Many times the grease fitting on these is neglected.
Sometimes, the splined adapter from the cylinder to the axle can come slightly loose and cause this too.
Most of this should be easy to see while you are on the tractor.
 
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Like Jim said above, Adjusting the axle stop bolts will reduce play in the steering. You can observe the axle when making small steering inputs to see of the axle moves forward/backward relative to the frame before any actual kingpin rotation begins. Many tractors with even moderate hours need an adjustment in this area (which is why the ability to adjust it exists...) If the tractor is operated in sandy soil and this area is over-lubricated with grease, then the abrasive action of the attracted dirt will cause accelerated wear of the bolt head and the mating wear plate. Early tractors do not have this wear plate, but you can certainly add it.

One additional caution: look for more wear at the 'level' axle position than at the extreme travel position as would be encountered on very uneven ground. Adjusting the axle stop bolts at the level position may cause the axle to "stick" in the deflected position or limit deflection such that the frame flexes instead. On a 322 I had, this frame deflection caused the fan to lighty contact the shroud such that there was a squealing sound on uneven ground -- quite a mystery until the axle stop channel tapered wear was found...

Here is the illustration from the manual on adjusting the axle stop bolts, and a snippet from the parts catalog on the part numbers for the wear plate and axle stop bolt and lock nut:

adjusting axle stops.jpg

axle stop wear plate part numbers.JPG

Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update!

First, I can't thank you Guys enough for your sage guidance! I have not fixed it yet, but learned a lot! I fired it up the other day to move it. My Sons was being conservative in his estimation of 90* slop, A 180* would have been closer!! I started to look more closely. When I turn the wheel, the ram extension reacts immediately, in both directions!! That indicates to me that the Hydro part or the equation is out of the picture. I watched the Ram extend until the Left Front Started to turn. "Play" everywhere!! Tie Rod ends, but mostly from the Front axle shifting as a result of, what appears to be a 1/4" gap at the adjusting bolts that was posted! I saw no 'wear-plate' that was mentioned. This is a late model 318, North of the Serial Number Break! So, at least it's mechanical Parts 'n Pieces, and not a Hydro problem! Thanks again to all! ~Scotty~
 

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First, I can't thank you Guys enough for your sage guidance! I have not fixed it yet, but learned a lot! I fired it up the other day to move it. My Sons was being conservative in his estimation of 90* slop, A 180* would have been closer!! I started to look more closely. When I turn the wheel, the ram extension reacts immediately, in both directions!! That indicates to me that the Hydro part or the equation is out of the picture. I watched the Ram extend until the Left Front Started to turn. "Play" everywhere!! Tie Rod ends, but mostly from the Front axle shifting as a result of, what appears to be a 1/4" gap at the adjusting bolts that was posted! I saw no 'wear-plate' that was mentioned. This is a late model 318, North of the Serial Number Break! So, at least it's mechanical Parts 'n Pieces, and not a Hydro problem! Thanks again to all! ~Scotty~
The wear plates are a repair item, not an as delivered part, but no drilling is required. It seems to take 1-2000 hours to wear out the surfaces but I have suspicions that Deere was aware it could happen over life.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Just a note for others:

Just a note for others. The Kit AM101198 is No Longer Available. But, The Parts are, probably just a bit more costly, 'piecemeal' !
 
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