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Great story Dennis! To answer your questions:

1 - Is the stick supposed to stay forward when in float, or is the operation I experienced tonight normal for the 4600? (Valve stays in float mode, but stick returns to center.)
The stick should stay forward while it's in the float position.

2 - Do you have any idea what could have caused the valve to stick? The previous owner said that the fluids had been changed by a JD dealer at 400 hrs. I'm at 512 now. I hope I don't have an issue with contamination in the fluid.
The spools are honed and lapped to fit into the valve body bore (that's why you can't get replacements), there is a incredibly tight tolerance here. Just the slightest corrosion on the spool will cause sticking. Moisture in the fluid is the way is usually happens, and since your machine had such low hours that's what I would suspect.

I would suggest you remove the spools again, and polish them with oil and #0000 steel wool or Krokus cloth soaked in oil.

3 - Any other comments?
Don't forget the linkages from the joystick to the valve, make sure they are clean and well lubricated...I like to use Fluid Film.
 

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I would not even think about a new valve at this point. I suspect the moisture was there before you bought the machine, and since you changed the oil it should be OK. Running the machine hard and getting it up to full operating temperature frequently will help keep it a bay.

I do agree that you should just run it like you stole it for a while and see what happens, no harm can be done.


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Thanks for the update Dennis, good luck:thumbup1gif:
 
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