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Discussion Starter #1
As you know from my recent posts, I just bought a 1994 5300 with a Bush Hog brand FEL. The tractor has only 1100 hours, but needs a seal kit for the steering cylinder. A steady drip is leaking from both ends. What difficulty level would that seal kit replacement be? I have average skills and tools, but not many specialty items. I'm going to order the kit today, but with you guys advice and or help, I'll decide whether to take the cylinder to my JD dealer or try it on my own. there is some rusting on the shaft near the outer end of travel, but not too bad. I'm more concerned how difficult it will be to get the cylinder apart after 20 years. Thanks, Steve
 

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Is this your baby?

LVP283_________UN01JAN94.jpg
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Yes Keith, that looks like the one. Can the seals be put in with the cylinder housing still on the tractor? Just disconnect the tie rods and the joint (I think JD calls them ball joints) from the shaft maybe?? and dissemble the ends??
 

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I believe they can be done with the cylinder on the tractor, looks like it on mine anyway. The inner tie rod ends can be a pain to get loose, I had to make a 1 1/16" wrench out of some 1/8" plate. Regular wrench was too fat to fit.
 

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I believe they can be done with the cylinder on the tractor, looks like it on mine anyway. The inner tie rod ends can be a pain to get loose, I had to make a 1 1/16" wrench out of some 1/8" plate. Regular wrench was too fat to fit.
I've ground down many a wrenches in my day.
 
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I would remove the cylinder.
Turn the wheels all the way to the right.
Loosen the four bolts two turns.
Turn the wheels left. This should "break the cylinder loose.
Disconnect tie rod ends.
Remove tie rod ends from cylinder; have a helper hold the nut of tie rod end by the cylinder shaft. Loosen the opposite side.
Install a bolt with a nut into cylinder shaft (in place of the tie rode end). Hold head of bolt, tighten the nut.
Hold bolt and nut with wrenches have helper loosen and remove his tie rod end.
Remove cylinder hoses and cap the fittings.
Remove four bolts and remove cylinder.
 

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Hey Steve, I have same problem, similar skills to what you describe. Did this fix the leaks? Did you replace anything besides the seals?


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Tie rod end removal suggestion....

I would remove the cylinder.
Turn the wheels all the way to the right.
Loosen the four bolts two turns.
Turn the wheels left. This should "break the cylinder loose.
Disconnect tie rod ends.
Remove tie rod ends from cylinder; have a helper hold the nut of tie rod end by the cylinder shaft. Loosen the opposite side.
Install a bolt with a nut into cylinder shaft (in place of the tie rode end). Hold head of bolt, tighten the nut.
Hold bolt and nut with wrenches have helper loosen and remove his tie rod end.
Remove cylinder hoses and cap the fittings.
Remove four bolts and remove cylinder.
I used the John Deere Seal Kit - RE54761, the installation went ok, but the removal of the tie rod ends wasn't quite as easy as it could have been, the kit was complete and an exact replacement for front MFWD steering axle hydraulic cylinder seals. Follow the above instructions from the JD manual but when removing the tie rod ends, to get the FIRST cylinder end loose, use two pipe wrenches (one on each side, two people recommended). To remove the SECOND cylinder end, use a pipe wrench on the end that hasn't broken loose and take a 1-1/16 open end onto the slot on the other end of the cylinder. The open end wrench will ONLY fit after you have backed the knuckle off by several turns, then snug the knuckle onto the wrench and you can break loose the opposite tie rod end. Another alternative is to grind down a wrench or make one from 1/8 plate, but I think my recommendation is easier....

Good luck
Aimless

Installing the kit stopped the leaking, took about 4 hours - most of which was struggling with the tie rod end and then getting the silly seals into the groves.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm the original poster on this thread and am finally ready to tackle this leaking cylinder. The leaking has gotten worse and must be addressed. Thanks to all for the tips and advice. How much missing chrome plating is acceptable? I thought I'd smooth the edges where the plating is gone with some emery cloth or similar to maybe extend the life of the new seals. Any tips for smoothing the rod? Since I have the seal kit in hand, I'd only be out of my time by installing the seals if the leaks persist. Would my $$$ be better spent on a new cylinder from JD? I don't use the 5300 to make my living, so it does not get a lot of use, but the leak must be stopped. Thanks, Steve
 

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I'm the original poster on this thread and am finally ready to tackle this leaking cylinder. The leaking has gotten worse and must be addressed. Thanks to all for the tips and advice. How much missing chrome plating is acceptable? I thought I'd smooth the edges where the plating is gone with some emery cloth or similar to maybe extend the life of the new seals. Any tips for smoothing the rod? Since I have the seal kit in hand, I'd only be out of my time by installing the seals if the leaks persist. Would my $$$ be better spent on a new cylinder from JD? I don't use the 5300 to make my living, so it does not get a lot of use, but the leak must be stopped. Thanks, Steve
IMO and without seeing it I'd say none.
 
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I'm the original poster on this thread and am finally ready to tackle this leaking cylinder. The leaking has gotten worse and must be addressed. Thanks to all for the tips and advice. How much missing chrome plating is acceptable? I thought I'd smooth the edges where the plating is gone with some emery cloth or similar to maybe extend the life of the new seals. Any tips for smoothing the rod? Since I have the seal kit in hand, I'd only be out of my time by installing the seals if the leaks persist. Would my $$$ be better spent on a new cylinder from JD? I don't use the 5300 to make my living, so it does not get a lot of use, but the leak must be stopped. Thanks, Steve
I guess it depends how bad the missing chrome is. Can you polish the rod to as smooth as the chrome? Then store tractor in such a way the bad part of the rod stays in the cylinder to prevent rust?

Have you considered having your rod rechromed? New cylinder is over $1300
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I guess it depends how bad the missing chrome is. Can you polish the rod to as smooth as the chrome? Then store tractor in such a way the bad part of the rod stays in the cylinder to prevent rust?

Have you considered having your rod rechromed? New cylinder is over $1300
I have considered re chroming or HVOF resurfacing and am looking for a company that could do that. Does anyone have any contact info for such? I'd rather deal with the actual folks that would do the job instead of a middleman who would mark up the price for their efforts. I'm in central Virginia, but would send the rod anywhere.
After reading the replies above, I'm sure that a smooth finish is the best and only real cure other than a new cylinder.
Using the suggested procedure to loosen the cylinder in the MFWD housing was not successful yesterday. I turned the wheels to the right, backed the bolts out 2 turns, moved the steering wheel back to the left which loosened the left (4 bolt) end of the cylinder, but the cylinder itself is firmly seated (stuck) in the housing. I soaked it in penetrating oil and will try again tonight.
Oh, I did notice that the wiper (outermost) seal on both ends of the cylinder is protruding from the end in one spot like it is about to blow out. Is that typical? I don't think it can blow now since so much fluid is leaking out.
 

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Check with some hydraulic shops in your area, I'm sure they could recommend someone to re chrome it. I know a place in middle TN that can do it, but their turn around time can be excruciatingly slow.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Steering cylinder repairs complete!! OP

Thanks to all for the tips and advice about my 5300 steering cylinder. I talked to Lester at Bo's Hydraulics in South Boston, VA (about 50 miles from me) about rechroming my rusted, flaking rod. He recommended that I have him make a new rod from their rod stock and transfer the piston to the new rod. His estimated cost was $150. I told him that I'd bring the old rod to him ASAP. After looking at the rod, Lester said that for a few more $$ the piston should be machined where it contacts the rod on both sides and welded to the new rod so that it couldn't move. I gave the green light.
I bought the seal kit from JD and installed the parts in the cylinder housing while it was still on the tractor. I was not able to remove the cylinder even after applying some heat and gentle tapping with a piece of flat plate and a machinist's hammer. I didn't want to break anything that wasn't already bad. Also, thanks to Chris at Phillips Equipment (my local John Deere dealer) I had the boots for both the tie rods and the ball joints. JD's website shows 2 part numbers for the tie rod boots like one is for the left and one for the right. Actually, the 2 boots (TCU30232-ball joint $11.59 and TCU30233- tie rod $12.70) are for one side. You'll need two of each to do both sides. Save the retaining rings from the old ball joint boots as new ones are not included.
When I started replacing the boots, I decide to drill and tap the tie rod ends and install zerk fittings. Then I filled the end with grease and filled the boots as well. I filled the boots for the ball joints before installing them as well.
When I picked up the new rod, the bill was $186.34. Yay!! An O ring fits in the center of the piston and is covered by a fiber wiper. Fiber split rings in groves on both sides of the center hold the rod in the center of the cylinder diameter. I had to use a exhaust pipe expander and warm the wiper with a torch to soften the center wiper enough to go over the piston. The problem is that the piston won't go in the cylinder with the expanded wiper. A 2 1/2 " stainless steel band clamp compressed the wiper enough to gently tap the rod into the cylinder. Whew!!
I installed the cylinder end, the hydraulic hoses, crossed my fingers and cranked the 5300. No leaks and the rod moved as it should. I installed the ball joint/tie rods, adjusted the toe-in, steering stops and declared the project a success!! Again, Thanks to all.
Steve
 
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