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Discussion Starter #1
Thank you for allowing me to join the group. I've read many posts over the years but haven't joined until tonight. I hope that everyone is having a great weekend!

I recently purchased a 3720 from a friend of mine. That tractor has sat outside for all of it's life. The lift and lower function for the FEL work fine. But the left to right movement of the joystick for the curl function is very stiff. Like it almost took two arms to move it. It would function though, just very very hard to move.

I took off the seat and blew that area by the manifold out with some air pressure and then hit it lightly with a pressure washer. Then I tried to spray some Fluid Film where I could get it, but it's pretty tight access and I can't see much.

At this point, it definitely has freed up tremendously. It's just about as easy to move side to side as it is up and down, but not quite.

The problem is that although the movement is freed up significantly, it doesn't ever return to center when it's released, from either side. I was hoping that since it was out in the weather for so many years that cleaning and lubing it up would solve that problem. And it has made it much better, but still doesn't return to center....would this point to something internal instead?

Hydraulics are not really my strength.

I have been doing all of this without the tractor running, by the way, just exercising the joystick while it's parked.

Thanks for any input/info and for the membership to the forum.

Chris
 

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Chris, welcome to GTT.

I'm betting this is a mechanical issue, not a hydraulic issue. I assume it's an open station model?

There are quite a few linkages connecting the joystick to the valve body, so are you sure you got to them all with the Fluid Film (great choice BTW)?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Chris, welcome to GTT.

I'm betting this is a mechanical issue, not a hydraulic issue. I assume it's an open station model?

There are quite a few linkages connecting the joystick to the valve body, so are you sure you got to them all with the Fluid Film (great choice BTW)?
Hi Kenny,
Thanks for taking the time to reply, I appreciate it. Yes sir, it is an open station model. Thanks so much for the schematic, that's extremely helpful. I couldn't see much, and what I could see I wasn't sure what I was looking at.

I only removed the seat. I unbolted the black plastic cowling that covers everything below the seat, but it was stubborn to remove and I was loosing daylight. I wasn't sure how much more access it would afford me if I removed it? I was wondering if I had to remove the fender possibly?

I got under the tractor and could see some additional linkage but wasn't able to reach it or spray upward with the Fluid Film.

I actually only recently discovered Fluid Film and I have become a big fan quickly. I think that it was on here that I saw someone mention it...I had never heard of it.

It definitely has loosened up considerably. When I push it in one direction, it comes so close to wanting to spring back, but it just doesn't. Like it moves back out maybe 1/8" or 1/16". In the other direction, it doesn't move back out at all. I'm not sure of the terminology, but I'm referring to the slotted spool/plunger/piston when I'm talking about it wanting to barely spring back out. But it is just a tiny bit.

Would operating it under pressure make a difference?

I will give the schematic a good hard look and try to figure out what else I have to disassemble to get better access to the linkage.

Thanks again Kenny!
 

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You will probably need to take the right rear wheel off to get to it, and you can also pull the rubber boot on the joystick up. Operating the valve "under pressure" should not make a real difference if it's mechanically binding.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You will probably need to take the right rear wheel off to get to it, and you can also pull the rubber boot on the joystick up. Operating the valve "under pressure" should not make a real difference if it's mechanically binding.
Thanks Kenny, I appreciate the info, although I was hoping not to hear that lol. I have an old flail mower hooked up to it on jackstands that I'm trying to restore and paint and didn't want to unhook, but it sounds like I'll have to in order to get the rear wheel off.

Do you know any tips/trick to get that black cover/cowling off? It almost seems like I need to take the rubber floor mat off in order for there to be clearance?

Thanks again for the input, I appreciate it.
Chris
 

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Remove the rear wheel and fender and you should be able to spray everything down from the side without pulling the seat pan or as John Deere calls it "seat closeout".
 

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I am thinking the spool is sticking in the valve. That's what I would concentrate on. The curl spool.

It looks like eric102 has a tech manual. :bigthumb:

eric102 does the tech manual have anything on the valve? JD parts did not have an exploded view :nunu:
 
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Remove the rear wheel and fender and you should be able to spray everything down from the side without pulling the seat pan or as John Deere calls it "seat closeout".
Hi Eric, wow, thanks so much for the instructions, that was awesome of you! I wish that I had seen them before I continued on with the work lol. It's late night here and I'm just getting on my laptop.

Long story short, after looking things over more carefully, I felt pretty sure that I could sufficiently access the linkage if I just removed the seat pan/closeout, which was a better option to me than trying to jack up the tractor and remove the wheel since I have an old flail mower hooked up on the back that I am in the process of restoring and didn't want to unhook it at this point.

Well, let me say that so far I love this tractor, but that seat closeout is the most ridiculously engineered thing that I've ever seen on a tractor lol. If it were clamshelled into two pieces it would have been a much easier removal. I literally have removed the radiator from my truck in less time that it took to get the closeout off lol.

It's just a handful of bolts fastening it to the tractor. But between all of the levers passing through it, the thick rubber floor mat, the fenders, etc. it seemed to just be binding on something every step of the way. I was so afraid about 100 different times that I was about to crack it, it was bending so badly.

I have a decent amount of patience and I don't mind having to take a ton of stuff off to get to a part, but to spend that much time and effort just to remove basically a piece of trim in order to get to the meat of the matter was so frustrating.

Maybe it was just me and this particular tractor, but it was just one of those things that fought you the entire way. The cap on the gear range selector was snapped on so hard. I was prying and prying with all of my might....when it finally popped off it flew about 30 feet in the air and across the fence into my neighbor's pasture lol. Had to walk around in there for a bit to find it:)

I am dreading putting this thing back on. I haven't looked thoroughly at your instructions yet Eric, but hopefully I was just doing something wrong and it will go back on much more easily after I view the instructions.

Maybe I was just overly frustrated because the day before I had a similar experience trying to remove a fender liner from a Toyota truck...it just took forever and felt like "busy work" that you give to a kid to do in school lol....trying not to break it or the gazillion clips etc.


Well Kenny you were exactly right, it was just mechanical thankfully. It was grimed up pretty badly, but I wouldn't have thought it would have caused that much friction, but I guess it did. I blew it out with air, hit it with some degreaser and a brush, then a pressure washer and now it is smooth as silk. Returns to center super quick and easy, I didn't realize it but even the up and down motions for the loader were binding also, even that is much more smooth now. I'll spray it with some Fluid Film before I reassemble.

I just have to put it all back together now, which hopefully will go much smoother due to the instructions...thanks for taking the time to do that Eric.

I also found the bottom of a depth "stop" like that is used on the rockshaft lever etc. It was just sitting loose on top of the hydraulic manifold. But the one on mine is still intact? Unless it had two at some point for some reason, like an up and lower depth stop?

On a side note, I was trying to remove the rubber floor mat, but I was sure how to do it...it felt like the push clips were going to break so I just let it be. Are those clips pretty much the kind that self destruct when you remove them or are they supposed to be reusable?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I am thinking the spool is sticking in the valve. That's what I would concentrate on. The curl spool.

It looks like eric102 has a tech manual. :bigthumb:

eric102 does the tech manual have anything on the valve? JD parts did not have an exploded view :nunu:

Hi Zebrafive, thanks for the input. My fear is that is was sticking in the valve, it just had a weird feel to it. I really wasn't looking forward to trying to troubleshoot that. But thank God it did turn out to just be mechanical and hopefully I'll have it back together soon.

This tractor is new to me and it does have some minor issues, but is only has about 300 hours on it and I am really looking forward to getting it back in close to tip top shape. So thank you all for taking the time to offer help and advice.

The next thing that I want to address is an leak in the curl cylinder that I apparently caused. I have a lot of downed trees around here that I need to clear, so I bit the bullet and bought some pallet forks. Well, the day that put them on, it started to rain and I left the FEL up and the forks curled up.

I never do this if I can avoid it, I always lower implements etc to take the strain off of the hydraulic system.
Well, the next morning, the loader and forks were on the ground and there was a good bit of leakage coming from the curl cylinders.

They had been bone dry up until that point and I feel stupid for not lower the loader before I went inside. Things break enough on their own, I can't stand it when I cause it myself.

Anyway, that is the next thing that I want to look at.

Thanks again to everyone, I'll post some more pics tomorrow of what it looks like cleaned up. Very happy that it was not a major hydraulic issue.

I'm not familiar with FEL's, my main tractor has been an old Yanmar 195 from the 70's and it has limited hydraulics.
 

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In a case like this I would have hit all the rusty stuff (linkage) with PB Blaster, let it soak, get it moving, blow it off and then hit it with Fluid Film.
 

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These linkages are quite often neglected during routine lubing and greasing routines, that's why I felt positive it was binding there. Glad it was a simple fix, once you got to it anyway LOL.
 

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Kennyd, Looks like you're back "on a roll" :bigthumb:
 
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Hi Zebrafive, thanks for the input. My fear is that is was sticking in the valve, it just had a weird feel to it. I really wasn't looking forward to trying to troubleshoot that. But thank God it did turn out to just be mechanical and hopefully I'll have it back together soon.

This tractor is new to me and it does have some minor issues, but is only has about 300 hours on it and I am really looking forward to getting it back in close to tip top shape. So thank you all for taking the time to offer help and advice.

The next thing that I want to address is an leak in the curl cylinder that I apparently caused. I have a lot of downed trees around here that I need to clear, so I bit the bullet and bought some pallet forks. Well, the day that put them on, it started to rain and I left the FEL up and the forks curled up.

I never do this if I can avoid it, I always lower implements etc to take the strain off of the hydraulic system.
Well, the next morning, the loader and forks were on the ground and there was a good bit of leakage coming from the curl cylinders.

They had been bone dry up until that point and I feel stupid for not lower the loader before I went inside. Things break enough on their own, I can't stand it when I cause it myself.

Anyway, that is the next thing that I want to look at.

Thanks again to everyone, I'll post some more pics tomorrow of what it looks like cleaned up. Very happy that it was not a major hydraulic issue.

I'm not familiar with FEL's, my main tractor has been an old Yanmar 195 from the 70's and it has limited hydraulics.
I am glad it was not the valve. The spools "live" in oil, but the detent caps with all the springs and balls inside can get "cruded" up.

I doubt you caused the seals to leak. It sounds like they were ready to fail at any time.
 

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I just have to put it all back together now, which hopefully will go much smoother due to the instructions...thanks for taking the time to do that Eric.

I also found the bottom of a depth "stop" like that is used on the rockshaft lever etc. It was just sitting loose on top of the hydraulic manifold. But the one on mine is still intact? Unless it had two at some point for some reason, like an up and lower depth stop?

On a side note, I was trying to remove the rubber floor mat, but I was sure how to do it...it felt like the push clips were going to break so I just let it be. Are those clips pretty much the kind that self destruct when you remove them or are they supposed to be reusable?
That's amazing you got the seat closeout off without removing the fenders and some of the levers, got to be a first! I remember it being a pain even with them off when I installed my 3rd function kit. It was mainly getting those dang knobs off that was hard part, the closeout itself came off pretty easy without fenders.

That depth stop is probably just one that fell off and then was replaced with the existing, should only be one that I know of.

The floor mat clips are reusable, I've had my mat off a couple times and haven't broke any yet.

Good luck on the reinstall!
 

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I am thinking the spool is sticking in the valve. That's what I would concentrate on. The curl spool.

It looks like eric102 has a tech manual. :bigthumb:

eric102 does the tech manual have anything on the valve? JD parts did not have an exploded view :nunu:
Here's an exploded view, haven't checked out the repair or trouble shooting (if any) of it yet.
 

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In a case like this I would have hit all the rusty stuff (linkage) with PB Blaster, let it soak, get it moving, blow it off and then hit it with Fluid Film.
Hey Gizmo,
That's pretty much the procedure that I followed. It cleaned up really well. I'm just surprised that the crud could have made it bind so much, it wasn't like it was coated in mud or anything....just a film of dirt/dust but it was pretty thick. But now that it's cleaned up, it's moving 100% freely.

There is a part of the linkage that locks out the joystick that was rusted pretty bad. I doubt that I would ever use that function, but I took that piece out to wire brush it and spray paint it. I'm going to rattle can a few of the other rusty spots while the seat closeout is off.
 

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These linkages are quite often neglected during routine lubing and greasing routines, that's why I felt positive it was binding there. Glad it was a simple fix, once you got to it anyway LOL.
Thanks so much for pointing me in the right direction Kenny! It's often easy to overlook the simple things and I'm guilty of that many times, I was getting close to tearing into the hydraulics, so thank you for sparing me that, it would have been a lot of extra trouble and wouldn't have solved the problem.
 
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