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Discussion Starter #1
Hi My John Deere 50 is a hard steering tractor, with an extra hard spot about half way through a full turn when turning left. I took off the front nose hood cover and checked the oil level in top steering gear box - it has plenty of oil in it. that's as far as I have gotten. I plan on blocking up the front end of tractor and checking the steering effort required that way. Do any of you have any experience in the repairing a 50 steering system. My 50 does not have power steering. when turning right the steering effort is less. I know old tractors steer hard, and I'm comparing the JD 50 to my Farmall H steering turning effort, which is nice. Any help is welcome.
 

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How much free play is in the steering wheel?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Pixs of JD 50 steering

IMG_2943.JPG There is very little free play in the steering wheel - there is .050" end play in front vertical pedestal steering shaft - book says should have .040" max - I took the steering wheel worm shaft out of front right angle gearbox - there is some wear on front worm bearing inner race. With the worm shaft out of g-box the front wheels turn right and left with no sticking or hard spots. Attached is a pix. if you look at end of worm shaft you will see the inner race defect. I don't know if that is the total steering problem or not.
 

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I'm sure the worn race isn't helping thing. Whether or not it is the cause is hard to determine from here. Is there a way to adjust the gear lash in in the steering box? It may be a bit too tight. I know my M steers a lot easier with a little bit of slop in the steering wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
still on the job

I'm doing parts availability - also I will drop out the pedestal shaft out and see if the main bottom bearing is defective in any way. And yes the top sector gear can be rotated 180 degrees. I'm torn down this far, may as well do the whole thing from one end to the other. I need to have an easier steering JD 50 tractor.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I attached more pics to show my slow progress on removing all parts. Currently, I have all the parts that I think I need to complete the repair of hard steering. I found a worn out & torn up spacer washer under the top sector gear.
Klink
 

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Discussion Starter #7
IMG_2964.JPG IMG_2970.JPG IMG_2969.JPG IMG_2965.JPG I'm currently waiting on all my parts that I have ordered. I got the vertical column shaft back together and tried to install it back into the front pedestal. When I went to install it, it would not go through the top bushing. after measuring both the shaft and bushing. I found the new top bushing to be .007" to tight. The inside diameter of the new top bushing tightened after being installed into pedestal. I don't have an 1-1/2" reamer - So I have one on order. I hope to ream out .007" - .010" inside the bushing. That should allow the shaft to fit back into the pedestal with the proper clearance. I will keep you updated as I slowly put steering back together. See attached pics
 

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View attachment 177498 View attachment 177474 View attachment 177482 View attachment 177490 I'm currently waiting on all my parts that I have ordered. I got the vertical column shaft back together and tried to install it back into the front pedestal. When I went to install it, it would not go through the top bushing. after measuring both the shaft and bushing. I found the new top bushing to be .007" to tight. The inside diameter of the new top bushing tightened after being installed into pedestal. I don't have an 1-1/2" reamer - So I have one on order. I hope to ream out .007" - .010" inside the bushing. That should allow the shaft to fit back into the pedestal with the proper clearance. I will keep you updated as I slowly put steering back together. See attached pics
now i know why as a kid when u jumped a dead furrow, and the steering wheel half broke ur wrist, why i did that. I have never seen that shaft out of a steering tower before. a real chunk of steel-huh. my seal leaked a little bit back when i first got it, and my uncle pulled the plug on the tower, and we pumped about a half tube of grease in there. he said i didn't want to change out that seal.:dunno: well now i know why he told me to do what he did-RIP . i have changed out my roller-matic bearings as they have needed over the yrs, not the spring loaded ones, just the outer wheel ones. good pics for information. thanks and good luck on the finish product-will be wwaiting for end results:thumbup1gif:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Big Jim55

Thanks Big Jim55 - that was an interesting story - While I'm waiting for my 1-1/2 inch adjustable reamer, a few things I learned working on this repair is, Tractors that have the Roll-O-Matic feature have the 2 piece pedestal, which is what I have. The old 2 cylinder tractors that do not have the Roll-O-Matic feature, have the long one piece pedestal. Unless you have a floor pit or over hang floor of some kind. you have to lift the front end very high up off the floor to remove the long front wheel shaft down and out from under the tractor. Also you would need a heavy duty overhead lift to safely lift front of tractor up that high of an angle. I don't see how a floor jack could safely do that.
Also the steering wheel shaft is all one piece on my 50, which surprised me. I thought it would be a 2 piece. I am thinking about making my steering shaft a 2 piece. That way, you would not have to remove the steering shaft out of the front top gearbox just to remove the main hood off the tractor. They may have changed to a 2 piece shaft on later number series tractors. I hope so. Maybe some one knows
klink
 

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Discussion Starter #10
finished JD 50 steering job

I finally got the steering system back together, the steering is working better than before and there no sticking or extra hard turning area. I think the rollomatic front end makes the tractor steer harder than the traditional row crop front end.
I changed the bottom pedestal thrust bearing and the top bushing. I finally got the reamer delivered and reamed out the top bushing, then i used a Flexhone to smooth the id of top bushing.
Klink
 
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