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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Knew there was something wrong when we bought the tractor but it drove out fine and previous owner said he had the tractor for over two years and it was that way when he bought it...course he also said the pedal was that way because the tractor has the Reverser...didn't believe that but didn't argue with him. We are waiting on the tech manuals but would like to proceed with some maintenance issues if we can. The illustration in JDParts shows the handle which is clearly broken off on our tractor. We tried to gently lift the pedal but it doesn't move easily, so we have left it alone pending repair decision. We will not be using the tractor for any serious ground engaging work so the loss of the differential lock should never be a problem... at least it wasn't with my old Massey 65. My concern is that there could be something broken internally that could cause a real disaster if we don't address it right away. I have attached photos to show the problem. Any insight into this will be greatly appreciated.
 

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It shouldn't need the lever to work. It was designed to engage when the operator stepped on the pedal or pushed the lever outward. It would release when the tractive effort became equal. If it is engaged fully you should notice difficulty steering because the rear differential is locked. If you cannot move the pedal by hand, I would try soaking it with some good penetrating oil for a time. The diff lock on the Dubuque tractors is quite simple. The pedal/lever moves a collar that locks both rear axles together.
 
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The differential lock pedal looks to down, locking the differential. Driving the tractor does it act like the differential is locked? It should be noticeable when turning real tight.
My guess is the shaft is rusted and stuck in the differential case. I would remove the pedal and clean around the shaft and use a penetrating oil, Kroil, PB blaster, etc. and see if it frees up. You will probably have to reinstall the pedal to "work" the shaft and get it free.

The other thing it could be is the key that "keys" the pedal to the shaft is sheared and the pedal is down, but the differential is not locked, new key, easy fix.

You are correct, not related to the fact the tractor has reverser.

Some model JDs (my 2030 anyway) do not have the hand lever for the differential lock, only a foot lever. I never miss it not having a hand lever.

I would also consider a 2440 a Utility Tractor, not MCUT
 

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It shouldn't need the lever to work. It was designed to engage when the operator stepped on the pedal or pushed the lever outward. It would release when the tractive effort became equal. If it is engaged fully you should notice difficulty steering because the rear differential is locked. If you cannot move the pedal by hand, I would try soaking it with some good penetrating oil for a time. The diff lock on the Dubuque tractors is quite simple. The pedal/lever moves a collar that locks both rear axles together.
My slow typing is showing again! I thought I was the first to post :flag_of_truce:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies...

The tractor turns easily in both directions...I haven't observed each wheel to see if the outer one rolls faster as I turn..didn't think about that initially...but I have turned it pretty sharply in about an hour of brush-hogging. It overheated and I shut it down to fix that...which is the subject of another post. In the diagram I can see a lot of pieces that may have broken and fallen into the gears...not a pleasant thought. Should I bite the bullet and pull the rockshaft cover to check it out??...or am I concerned over nothing serious.??
 

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You will need to be on hard surface to determine if the differential lock is always engaged.
I would check the key for the pedal to shaft first. Then see if the shaft turns, if not free it up before opening the tractor.

You need to pull the left rear axle housing, not the rockshaft housing to repair.
 

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As stated the broken part is just the hand lever, not necessary for operation.

Can you lift up on the pedal? Does it move easily or is there some resistance there?
Check the linkage to be sure everything is connected and actually actuating before you start pulling everything apart.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks again for the replies

Thank you Zebrafive, I would have started at the wrong place for sure...the axle housing is an even bigger job. I sure need those manuals I am waiting on. Tires have calcium (so I was told) and thumping on them the sound does change as I go up the tire. Tractor is waiting on radiator and a couple of hoses right now. Will try to drive it on driveway when we get it back to running.

Than you Cutty72, yes, the foot pedal is really hard to move. Didn't want to move it much in case something was just hanging on inside. The actuating shaft could be "frozen" in the case or the keys/pins are sheared which would be best case I suppose. Worst case is the yoke or shoes on the collar could be broken, necessitating removal of the axle housing as Zebrafive said.

I don't mind the lock being non-working. But I am worried about driving the tractor if some internal broken part is likely to fall into the gears and send the repair cost through the roof. Does anyone have any suggestions/experience on that score? And could I see the internal diff lock parts if I pulled the rockshaft cover?? If it looked OK, I would just leave it alone, at least for a while.
 

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Here is a picture from the 2030 tech manual (should be the same for 2440), picture is with left axle housing removed.
I do not think you will see anything removing the rockshaft housing.
 

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Zebrafive
I disagree I think if diff lock is engaged tractor operator can feel resistance when turning even on grass or dirt.
I agree with Jim.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you all for the input...

Thank you, Zebrafive, the picture you posted gives me some sense of relief...it appears that if anything is actually broken, the pieces would wind up in the axle housing and not the transmission. I am supposing the left wheel brake is also in the housing, outboard from the diff lock. Any chance there is an inspection plate/plug to look inside that area?

Thanks to Tx Jim and DRobinson also. I didn't notice any front wheel "plowing" or difficulty in turning in the short time I was able to use the tractor before it overheated while brush-hogging. But then, my multi-tasking skills seem to diminish with each birthday.

All things considered, it is beginning to look like less of a potential disaster and more like a nagging headache.
 

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Thank you, Zebrafive, the picture you posted gives me some sense of relief...it appears that if anything is actually broken, the pieces would wind up in the axle housing and not the transmission. I am supposing the left wheel brake is also in the housing, outboard from the diff lock. Any chance there is an inspection plate/plug to look inside that area?

Thanks to Tx Jim and DRobinson also. I didn't notice any front wheel "plowing" or difficulty in turning in the short time I was able to use the tractor before it overheated while brush-hogging. But then, my multi-tasking skills seem to diminish with each birthday.

All things considered, it is beginning to look like less of a potential disaster and more like a nagging headache.
Brake disk key 1, should stay on the inboard axle stub when the axle housing is pulled. Outboard axle shaft and planetary gears will stay with the axle housing. So brake disk will be what you will see. You might (never had one apart) be able to see/fix the differential lock with out disturbing the plate, key 2, and it's sealing washers key 3 & 4.

No inspection plug I am aware of.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the reply

Thanks Zebrafive for the reply and diagrams...guess I'll have to decide whether to pull the axle housing or trust that if it hasn't caused any problem so far, maybe it won't. My old Massey 65 was a lot less intimidating....and less capable.
 

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For intimidating, try a new tractor with electronics, emission controls, common rail injection, latest transmission and advanced hydraulics :mocking: to name a few.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yeah, no kidding.

I used to be able to stand on the ground inside the engine compartment of my 65 Ford 150 to clean/change the plugs. Now, I can't even see the ground past the engine on my 2011 Chevy 1500. Kinda relates to my question "Is all this stuff necessary?" when I started the thread on the radiator foam pads.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Manuals finally arrived...

Got the Tech Manual Thursday. Picture of Diff Lock is just like the one posted by Zebrafive...and any view of it would be obscured by the brake disk. Need to finish with new radiator install and check out how it drives to see if diff lock is actually engaged. If it isn't engaged then most likely one of the shaft keys has sheared rendering it inoperable so a repair of that isn't needed right away..he says hopefully.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Tested Diff Lock

Well, sort of. Perhaps being overly cautious, we didn't actually move the handle or pedal. Son was moving some dirt with loader and noticed rear wheels started to lose traction. He "feathered" the brakes, alternating from left to right and managed to get moving. Tractor also turns easily in both directions so looks like the diff lock is not permanently engaged.
 

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Have you checked the key, shaft to pedal? It might be missing or sheared.
 
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