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Hi, this is my first time posting here. I have a D125 riding mower with only about 70 hours on it. Won't turn right, sector plate pops, but will turn left just fine. I'm just not sure if a worn sector plate and/or pinion gear is the culprit. When I turn left, the sector plate seems to ride up the pinion gear and get a good bite. When I put the wheel to the right, the opposite happens, seems like the sector plate drops down the pinion and loses good bite. There's a whole lot of untouched pinion length as well that I wish I could put to use. I'm wondering if the geometry/setup of the whole system is correct, before I send it in for service. I don't have the means to fix myself. Below is a quick 30 second video of how the sector plate behaves when turning left vs. right while stopped.


If the answer is take it in for new pinion/plate, fine so be it, I just want to make sure I'm not missing something more obvious and/or inexpensive.

JAJ
 

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Welcome. The video is very helpful. It doesn't seem like the sector plate should have that much up-down play. Is it possible the retaining bolt/nut is loose? I've highlighted the suspect bolt/nut below. I would also check bolt #22.
 

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I have a D160. Slightly different machine but same steering setup.

Just went out and looked and while my plate has some up/down movement, it isn't anywhere near as much as you have. The wear line on my pinion gear is very distinct line about 1/8" wide and about 1/2" up the pinion gear from the bottom. My plate moves maybe 1/4" up and down.

I'd check bolt #23 (and the associated nut) in the diagram jgayman posted. If that's loose it will allow your plate to toggle up/down as your's is doing. (Bolt #22 only serves as a guide)
 
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Replace steering sector plate, pinion gear and 23,24,25. That should cure it.

Sent from my LGL52VL using Tapatalk
 

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Replace steering sector plate, pinion gear and 23,24,25. That should cure it.

Sent from my LGL52VL using Tapatalk
So no chance any of the bolts are loose? 70 hours seems a bit low to be having to replace $83 worth of steering gears.

At 70 hrs I would imagine it is still under warranty.
 
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So no chance any of the bolts are loose? 70 hours seems a bit low to be having to replace $83 worth of steering gears.

At 70 hrs I would imagine it is still under warranty.
I had done a precursory check of the various bolts that hold up the sector plate, but I'll have to check again per your suggestion. As I think about it, I think I did hit a fence post hard while in a sharp right turn (accidentally), this is why I was thinking some of the geometry or alignment of the plate became out of adjustment vs. simple wear and tear on the pinion/plate teeth. I'll ensure all bolts are tight as best I can. The warranty ended at the earlier of 24 months or 120 hours, and I got it 30 months ago :-(

JAJ
 

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So no chance any of the bolts are loose? 70 hours seems a bit low to be having to replace $83 worth of steering gears.
Bingo!!! Finally got out to mow today, but first tried to tighten the bolts in question as suggested. It's a little tricky tightening bolt 23 while holding nut 11, but I managed to tighten it maybe a half turn in total, and that was apparently enough since the sector plate no longer flops up and down quite as as dramatically. So it was apparently a geometry issue, as I did a complete mow of 15,000sqft with no steering issues at all. I appreciate the advice given here, as it saved me a lot of $$$ plus unplanned downtime on the machine right when the lawn is growing like crazy.

So thanks again to those users who recommended to tighten the bolts along with the helpful diagrams.

JAJ
Lees Summit, MO
 
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