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Discussion Starter #1
Will be buying a 4300 from a family friend. I have run it a good bit but I’m not sure of the hours or age. It is having hydraulic problems. Power steering, loader and hitch are all weak and sluggish. Also, noticed the return line on top of the pumps will collapse. I’m thinking restriction somewhere. I didn’t see any crushed lines. I’ve read about a possible screen somewhere. Where is this? What else could cause the probs. Last time I saw it the fluid was cloudy. The owner had just paid to have the clutch replaced.
 

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That hose should be replaced, and you need to change all filters and the oil. It shouldn't be cloudy. If the clutch was replaced, this may be part or all of the reason why. I believe the screen is on the passenger side of the transmission case, behind the wheel underneath the tractor.
 

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Get a users manual

The users manual will show you where all the filters/screens are.

In addition to the filter under the tractor, there are two items that will need regular service:
  1. There is a screen where the suction line attaches to the oil sump. It is recommended this be cleaned when the fluid is changed. A new gasket is required when cleaning it. Easy to do, but the sump needs to be drained first.
  2. There is a filter/screen on the line betwen the loader SCV and the rockshaft control valve. On older tractors, this is a screen on the hard where it attaches to the rockshaft valve. You will need to remove the seat and left cover to access it. On newer models, there's an inline filter that can be serviced without removing the seat.
I would imagine either of these being plugged could create problems

I would also point out there are two filters for this tractor - the one for the HST model is much larger. Both will fit but I imagine the larger one makes a difference the HST model. My 4200 was noticeably quieter when I replaced the small filter with the larger one.

Another source of lack of hydraulic performance on these tractors is a leaky suction line. This is an easy repair if that line is cracked.

PM me if you need access to a service manual.
 

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Welcome to GTT.

Yes those hoses are well known for failure on these models, they only cost about $30 as I recall.

Here is a link to the owners manual: Introduction

Cloudy fluid is could be water intrusion (maybe whey the clutch's failed?) or that hose is leaking and allowing the system to suck air. Worst case you could have a bad pump now because of the contaminated fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the info. I will check everything out. So, should the hose not collapse regardless of a restriction?
 
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