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I've been lurking here for awhile and learned somethings so I thought I would return the favor and share.

I just bought this tractor and had to rebuild the bucket tilt actuators. Deere calls it the bucket cylinder but old habits... The cylinder end cap comes off by removing the circlip you can see and tapping the end cap into the cylinder until you can see the internal groove. Tapping might not be the best word but start there and gently go up. The orange plastic ring in your o-ring kit goes into that groove small end first so it will slide under the end cap as it comes back out. That ring keeps a giant spring from stopping in that groove to lock it into place. Sorry I wasn't quick enough with the camera to get that picture but if you put the plastic ring in the wrong way it will not slide under the end cap and you will not get it apart. At this point you "just pull" the actuator end and it will come out. Yea right. It takes a large puller to get it. I've seen people just power on the hydraulics and use hydraulic pressure to pop it out. At that point you have a missile with 3000 psi behind it. Do it the manual way, its far safer.


Crank on the puller and the rod will slowly come out. If you have to move the truck to persuade the actuator to come out it's still safer than powering the hydraulics.

When it comes out, you take it apart one ring at a time or take pictures so you can remember how it came apart. The nuts on the actuator rod should be very tight but mine had backed off two threads and were loose. You should have to put something like a large chisel into a vise to slip the rod end over for stability and use great big tools to take that nut off. Locktite goes on when it goes back together. I cleaned and polished everything shiny, then used a cylinder hone on the internal openings and brass brush on my bench grinder for the external spots. Those big back up rings were stiffer than I expected but a brass scribe or gentle use with a pick will get them out. To reinstall use a big round smooth socket to help them spread out and go over the cap and piston.

actautor apart.jpg

Putting it back together is reverse of taking it apart. Not all that difficult. But at this point you have to compress that giant spring that you needed the orange bit to get out. That's actually the easiest part of the whole operation. Put the external spring on and then put a hose clamp around the internal spring and compress that spring so it will go into the cylinder, then lightly tap the end cap until it goes all the way into the cylinder. The external spring keeps the cap from going too far in. Once you tap it until the hose clamp touches the end of the cylinder and the external spring at the same time take the hose clamp off and tap the end cap in until it won't go any farther. If you don't do that the end cap big spring wont seat and it will come back out at you once you power it up.

clamp on cap.jpg

Clean repaint and reinstall. Once I lubed it all up and replaced some external hardware it was amazing the difference in how it worked. Don't forget to replace the little O-rings under the hose end connection too. They don't come in the kit.

But neither do the two big black zip-ties, four cotter pins, one actuator pin safety retainer pin, grease fitting, grease, paint, half gallon of hyd fluid, hood decals and other things that you have to have too.

This is a one beer job but I still had two.


17,067 Posts
Nice writeup, thanks :good2:

FYI I moved this to the Hydraulics forum as it’s the same basic process for many sizes of tractors.
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