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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well my 990 Steering Ball Joint finally failed and now its time for the upgrade. I replaced the old style with new Rod Ends (Ball Joint Linkage) and I can see a Big inprovement in my steering.
 

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That would be my next upgrade. Nice looking too!
 

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Murray tractor owner
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I found the same as Blacksmith. Its a Studded Tie Rod 1/2-20 Female. The supplier was Fastenal. They do have a website and look under motor linkages.
 

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MTD 141-960
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My turn... My poor old 960 has been sitting in the woods for a week now with broken tierod ends. went and got a replacement, fixed it in the woods, moved 5 feet and the new one broke. ball pops right out of its socket...
also in the process, the steeringg shaft has come undone somewhere under the dash and is not spinning free. Ive got a heartbreaking mess. Cant even tow it out of the woods to my shop cuz the front wheels wont stay straight. Trying to find a sled of some sort to lift them onto to ger her out, but just had surgery on wednesday, so there she sits. Poor ol girl.

i think i may need to replace the part that the the tierods connect to and the hubs. i dunno the terminology but the tabs that the ends bolt into are bent down...

sigh...
 

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hay christopher i did the update on my steering 1978 990 a bit more then i wanted to spend but it was worth it im doing a ground up restore on it . how i need a steering wheel if you have any info on one plz let me no
 

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Barely Keepin' Up
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Since we are on the topic of front end upgrades, here is what I decided to do on mine after reading about so many spindle failures. I will post pics as soon as I can find the rims I need to fininsh the project.

I had (have) a JD 317 that I parted out due to a hole in the side of the block since the PO didn't know what oil was. I have a right front tire that is brand new but decideds to deflate itself after about 30 minutes of seat time. The rim is shot around the valve stem and rusted out, so I need a rim anyway.

I saw how flimsy looking the spindle is, so I figured I would rob the front axle of the 317 and take the 1" spindles out of it and put them into the 990. Unfortunatly the spindle is .75" all the way up through the axle so that wouldn't work. I measured the axle thickness at the center bolt and it is 2.5" just like the 990.

I unbolted the whole axle from the 317 and will install the whole assembly into the 990 when I locate some 1" rims (shouldn't have sold those I guess). The only thing I will have to fab is removing the steering flange from the 990 on the left side and welding it to the left side of the 317 axle for the steering shaft to mount to.

The thing I like about the axle is it is about 3" wider than the 990 and I have so bad hills so stability should be increased and also there is little to no camber prebuilt into the spindle like the 990 has.

Like I said, once I get the rims it should be a pretty painless swap.
 

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Barely Keepin' Up
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One other question for you owners of 990s is this. I haven't had time to do much at all to the tractor as of yet (routine maintenence) I have checked all fluids already but haven't drained and changed filters yet, nor have I greased anything, but I only has driven it 10 minutes since buying it.

Do these things steer like a tank? I have a 318 with power steering, but had a 316 without it as well and it didn't steer half as hard as this thing does. You really have to give it some grunt to turn the wheel even when moving. Are they notoriously difficult to turn or do I just need to really grease her up bad.
 

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MTD 141-960
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One other question for you owners of 990s is this. I haven't had time to do much at all to the tractor as of yet (routine maintenence) I have checked all fluids already but haven't drained and changed filters yet, nor have I greased anything, but I only has driven it 10 minutes since buying it.

Do these things steer like a tank? I have a 318 with power steering, but had a 316 without it as well and it didn't steer half as hard as this thing does. You really have to give it some grunt to turn the wheel even when moving. Are they notoriously difficult to turn or do I just need to really grease her up bad.
I am currently giving a fourteen hundred series 960 some new breath on life. If you are unfamiliar, the 960 differs from the 990 only in that the frame is deisgned a bit diff from the dash rearward and is about 5" shorter. Hydrostatic was not an option in lou of a belt driven transaxle. ...and naturally, more stylized fenders. :)

Anywho, the front ends are the same. mine did steer very easily. directional changes took little effort on the steering wheel. So, I think that yours may need a good lube-up or something. My problem was that the turning radious was greater then the Titanic. I got this old girl to chug along woodland trails dragging timber for my bon-fire pit. So, some twisty parts became multi-point turns.

:Stop:

Then, out in the woods, the tabs on the spindles that the tie rod ends bolt to decided to fold down under at extreme angles, causing the balls in the joints to pop out of their sockets. In the woods, i jaqcked er up and wailed on the tabs to bend them back up. they wouldnt budge. So i replaced the ties rod ends with brand new pieces that lasted 5 minutes before popping out just like the 40 year old originals. I gave up and dragged it out of the woods with a Fourtrax, forcing one hub and tire completely off, bending both spindle ends up and losing the tie rod completely. Now I am trying to find a beefier axel to swap out that has or will accept beefier spindles and tie rod ends. Anyone have any adice as to which direction that I should head? Ive taken all of the measurements to replace the whole axel with something more robust that woul dhave stronger spindles and steering tabs. Money is tight so I have also taken the measurements to replace just the spindles if i can find some that seem much stronger...
 

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It needs to be updated. I did mine a long time ago. I increased the rod to 5/8 dia. also. I changed it to add my loader.


i recently purchased a 990. currently does not run and does not steer. i do need a new tie rod and ball joints. i would like to know where to find the "new tie rod". any info would be apprecitated. thanks.
 

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Been there, done that. This is the upgrade I did on the frontend of my 990. Hasn't failed yet and I work mine. It also steers very easy. The upgrade I haven't did is the beefier tie rod. That is going to be done shorty because the tie rods are loose. There has been a discussion on my build thread.
http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=113946&page=2

Check it out.
 
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