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post #1 of 9 Old 05-17-2019, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
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How slack is your steering?

Hi, was out on my 2007 X300R last week and the steering kept clicking when turning, then after 30mins it completely went. Turns out the gear on the bottom (part 18) has worn away a couple of the teeth, which meant it wasn't engaging (photo attached). Doesn't look too bad in the photo but a few mm of missing material is all it took!

Bought a new part from local JD dealer for 77 ($98 to a lot of you guys) and fitted it. However, the steering still feels pretty loose. When stationary I can move the steering wheel by 2-3inches before there is resistance and the wheels start to turn. Is this similar for other people? I've done 500hours on it and the pinion gear (part 29) which is attached to the bottom of the steering shaft looked pretty good (very little wear).

What I don't want to happen is to wreck another 77 gear because there is another underlying problem! I checked the diagram and all the correct washers/spacers etc. were in the right place.

BTW - I will probably try to get some weld put onto the old gear and grind it back so it will hopefully be a usable spare, don't think my stick welding will be very good but might be able to find someone to do a better job with a MIG or TIG? Comments welcomed!

Thanks!
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post #2 of 9 Old 05-17-2019, 07:58 AM
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Re: How slack is your steering?

All those #20 bushings are probably worn allowing too much distance between the two gears. To do a proper job you probably needed to replace both of the gears. The lowline JDs have a steering design that is optimized for cheap production not long life. The big box store JDs use a similar design and also suffer from the same problems you are having. I'm sure you don't want to hear this but it's the facts. The highline JDs use a gear that is cast from steel and the part is 3/4 to 1 inch thick [ 19mm to 25mm ] instead of the 1/4" of the lowline units. I've never seen a highline JD with noticible wear on the steering gears.
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post #3 of 9 Old 05-17-2019, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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Re: How slack is your steering?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayjay View Post
All those #20 bushings are probably worn allowing too much distance between the two gears. To do a proper job you probably needed to replace both of the gears. The lowline JDs have a steering design that is optimized for cheap production not long life. The big box store JDs use a similar design and also suffer from the same problems you are having. I'm sure you don't want to hear this but it's the facts. The highline JDs use a gear that is cast from steel and the part is 3/4 to 1 inch thick [ 19mm to 25mm ] instead of the 1/4" of the lowline units. I've never seen a highline JD with noticible wear on the steering gears.
Hi, thanks for the input. I was looking at the part and thinking it could easily have been twice as thick because the gear on the steering shaft is deep enough to accommodate it! I looked at both the #20 parts when removed and there didn't seem to be much wear in them, and the shaft felt pretty tight, but I guess I don't know how tight it was 500hours ago!

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post #4 of 9 Old 05-17-2019, 10:56 AM
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Re: How slack is your steering?

Could also be the tie rod ends (#14,17, & 30). They tend to get worn and sloppy over time, especially since they can't be greased/lubricated.

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post #5 of 9 Old 05-17-2019, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How slack is your steering?

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Originally Posted by lt230s View Post
Could also be the tie rod ends (#14,17, & 30). They tend to get worn and sloppy over time, especially since they can't be greased/lubricated.
Thanks, I'll check those out over the weekend and see how they look. Haven't actually driven it since the repair, my observations about the sloppiness is just from sitting on it in the garage!

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post #6 of 9 Old 05-17-2019, 05:08 PM
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Re: How slack is your steering?

The way to get the final slop is to set the front wheels straight ahead and then slowly turn the wheel and watch the steering arm movement. If you can go 2 inches before the arm begins to move then it is in the column. If the arm starts to move right away but the front wheels don't then it is in the tie rods and the joint of the arm to tie rod. If the arm moves right away and the tie rod moves with it then it is in the front wheel bearings and front spindle bearings. Most likely it is a little in all of them and you will just have to live with it.
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post #7 of 9 Old 05-17-2019, 05:50 PM
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Re: How slack is your steering?

Quote:
Originally Posted by inspectorudy View Post
The way to get the final slop is to set the front wheels straight ahead and then slowly turn the wheel and watch the steering arm movement. If you can go 2 inches before the arm begins to move then it is in the column. If the arm starts to move right away but the front wheels don't then it is in the tie rods and the joint of the arm to tie rod. If the arm moves right away and the tie rod moves with it then it is in the front wheel bearings and front spindle bearings. Most likely it is a little in all of them and you will just have to live with it.
Thats solid troubleshooting advice there.

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post #8 of 9 Old 05-20-2019, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How slack is your steering?

Hi, thanks to all for the advice, looks like my last post didn't work, so shortened version here:

All the movements looks to be in part 18, bushings were ok but maybe the whole thing is just a bit worn, or, the amount of movement is pretty normal for JD mowers! My LT166 was also pretty loose but it was 20 years old and had done a hard life, so I don't have a lot to compare with....

However the steering does feel a bit tighter compared to when I changed the part out, which is no big surprise.

How much movement does everyone else have on their steering wheel, when parked, before the wheels start to turn (or you start to feel resistance). I just did a bit more of a scientific test, with one finger I can move the wheel 2.5inches without any real effort before it starts to engage!

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post #9 of 9 Old 05-20-2019, 03:04 PM
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Re: How slack is your steering?

On those gears, I alway dip my finger in the heavy grease and smear it all over the gears.

In the past:
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