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Discussion Starter #1
Here's the age old question again. Before anyone recommends searching the archives, please know that I've been lurking around here for about a year now collecting information so I have a little bit of an idea on what to look for, but admittedly not much.

Before I go into much detail, let me just summerize it all up to begin with and ask what are some good compact (or even sub-compact) tractors to look at for the purpose of having a small loader installed?

Here's my delima. I currently have a White Fieldboss 16 4wd. It's somewhere between a small compact and a big subcompact. It's a decent tractor and fits the bill of what I originally bought it for wich was plowing the garden and food plots with a singel bottom plow and cultivator, as well as plowing snow. Unfortunately the 3ph (Cat 1) stopped working on me. I'm putting it back together now, and I hope to have it fixed. If not, I will put it up for sale and buy something else. I only gave $1200 for it, so I should be able to get my money back out of it even though it doesn't have any accessories. Even if I do get it working, I'm considering getting something different anyway which is why I'm now asking for some advise.

I'm not quite 40, and I've always been a hard worker. I've also always done a decent job of watching and listening to those who have gone before me and I've noticed that over time all this hard work takes its toll on the body. Since I do things like work the garden (which includes getting manure from local sources and trucking it back home) and heat with firewood, I've come to the conclusion that a loader would be very handy, and could pay for itself (within reason) in the reduced time for certian chores, and the reduced wear and tare on my body. Last year, for example, I wound up with walking pneumonia which most likely resulted from inhailing a face full of dust as I was "fertalizing" the garden. This nearly took me completely out of deer season which would have been very costly for me and my family in terms of meat in the freezer. I've been lucky so far in that I haven't injured my back loading large (20"+ across and 22" long) pieces of firewood (oak and hickory) into the truck to haul home. When I was younger I watched these activites take their toll on others over time, and I'm thinking it would be a good idea to invest in some used equipment that would reduce future medical bills.

Back to my point. I've noticed that the split frame design of my Iseki made field boss doesn't lend itself real well to long term usage with a loader. With a blade on the front, it can be hard to get into or even out of gear. I've also noticed that most of the loaders that would fit my tractor would have a hard time clearing the side of the truck bed on my '93 F250, let alone be able to pile material into the bed well above the sides. This has me thinking that I might need to get something a little bigger, or at least something where the frame is not split with the rear section being the transmission. On the other hand, I don't live on a farm so I don't have a barn to store a full size utility tractor. I have room in my shop (which currently houses an ATV, Dixie Chopper w/60" deck, and my tractor) for something a little bigger but I'm not sure how much bigger as it can be a little tricky moving around in there now depending on what kind of project I'm working on. Storing the tractor outside is out of the question because the wife is all over me now about having things behind the shop, or infront of the garage :dunno: Then of course there's the money issue. I'd really like to keep the price tag under $5K, and even that would be hard for me to spend. I'd really rather keep it under $3K even though it's hard to find a decent tractor for that price. I'm pretty sure that either way I will have to find the loader later and add it. I've thought about building a loader, but by the time I buy the steel, welding rod, cylinders, valves, and have the cables made I'm not convinced that I'm saving all that much. That's a whole other story though.

So if anyone has any recomendations for an older, smaller 4x4 compact tractor that handles a loader well, I would love to hear about it.
 

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So if anyone has any recomendations for an older, smaller 4x4 compact tractor that handles a loader well, I would love to hear about it.
Hope you got your 3pt lift working on your tractor.

As for a recommendation, I can only refer you to Kubota B7100 or a Ford 4000 or a Yanmar 2610 (aka John Deere 850 CUT). These I have some experience with as these can use FELs (front equiped loaders). These would start at 31Hp and upward.

The Yanmars have the PowerShift on some of the models. It's like an automatic, not a hydrostatic for shifiting. Any model above the YM2610 I would highly recommend.

There are many dealers this side of the Mississippi in Gray tractor market. A few in WA and OR too. Nothing in the mid-west nor southwest USA.

NAPA carries many of the tune-up items as needed. There is a larger parts and supply base too here in the US.
 

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Your White Field Boss may be listed as a compact tractor, but it's the same size as a GT. The new Sub Compact Utility tractors (SCUTs) are also very close to the same physical size as the large GT's and their loaders have the same reach, ie. a bit short on reach to pile stuff in the bed of a pickup, especially if you want it above the sides.

Your looking for a CUT, and a Kubota B7100 is the same size as your Field Boss. The Ford 4000 or the Yanmar YM2610 are better sized for your tasks. Reach out front is going to be your yardstick, and that takes some serious weight at the rear of the tractor.

Whatever you get that will handle your tasks is going to tax your available shop space. My GT with the FEL and 3PH is about 10' long and 4' wide. You want something that is at least 2 or 3' longer and up to a foot wider in the same configuration.

A home made FEL will cost over $1000 for the hydraulics and the better part of another $1000 for the steel.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, my hitch still isn't working. I'm down to replacing the pump now. I've pulled it off, and taken it appart, and can't find anything obvious, but I don't think normal signs of wear would be easy to see with the naked eye. It does apear to be nice and tight (as in not leaking anywhere) but since I've had everything else appart, it's the only thing I have left to work on or change. I just know that I'm getting air in the system somewhere. Prior to having any foaming issues, everything worked well. Once the foaming started, the problems started with the hitch. I've had everything appart, cleaned it all, and put it all back together again with no improvement. Hydraulics generate 1800 PSI when I dead head the Aux line (live system). I would have thought that meant the pump was fine, but I don't know where else too look.

As far as the tractors go, I wouldn't say that these (FB16, ISEKI, Kubota B6XXX/7XXX/8XXX) are the same as a GT. I would agree that tractors like the Kubota BX series are
Garden Tractors, and that the SCUT tractors certainly are not a true utility tractor. However, I've seen and used several real GT over the years (as upposed to the lawn mowers they sell now adays), and they are a LOT smaller than a SCUT. For the most part, while a real GT is pretty tough, they are still noticably weaker than these tractors. At the same time, while these tractors may have a Cat 1 hitch; it's a weak Cat 1. Noticably stronger than most Cat 0 equipment found on a GT, but substantially weaker than the Cat 1 hitches that are on a CUT. They fit a good nitch for a home owner, someone with only a few acrers to deal with, or someone who has a specific need for a machine that is physically smaller than a normal CUT. However, after doing a fair amount of research I would also agree that finding a FEL that would fit such a tractor (including the Kubota B6,7, and 8 series) and have reach that I want is difficult. There are a few out there, but they are generally speced for tractors that are +20hp. A few of the specs go as low as 18 or even 15 hp, but it's pretty inconsistant and I suspect that using them on a SCUT needs to be done with a bit of caution.

So where I'm at right now is trying to get the FB16 back into good running condition. My funds have me limited to this option for now. Down the road, if I can get this machine to where it should be, I may look for a used FEL for it. That may not have the reach to load the back of the truck the way I would like, but it will load a trailer up nicely, and I am in need of a good HD tandem trailer anyway. The used trailer is cheaper than getting another machine, and a whole lot easier to find. Heck, if I'm just loading a trailer or moving dirt around the property, I could probably get by with a small make shift loader that would meet my needs. I'm thinking something like a slip scoop or an Auto Dump. Realisticly, if I find that I need more than that, I really need to be looking at a CUT in the 25~35hp range. It would appear that well used machines like this equiped with an FEL are only marginally more expensive than a similarly equiped SCUT. So if I'm going to break down and spend a noticable amount of money, I might as well get something that can do some real work. It would still fit in my shop, and it would probalby be good that I have to start it from time to time to move it out of my way :) Going to be a few years before I can really think about that though.
 

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Whats the system pressure suppose to be? System pressure is likely to be greater than 1800 but probably not by much,, I wouldn't be doing much "deadheading" of the system most hyd pumps are aluminum and will crack. You said something about an Aux loop? if that means you can run a cylinder apart from the 3pth and the Aux works then the pump is likely fine. Those 3pth valves are a booger, I never had any luck with fixing them myself. If you haven't done so already pull the strainer out of the sump (if equipped) and make sure its not plugged up.

If all else fails,,,, a lot of manufacturers are running 0% money, cant beat that with a stick, course that 2 hundy or so nut a month can be hard to chew but it gets you out of the "stone age" machines. I bought a machine new 30 yrs ago had to finance the purchase, still have the machine, near lifetime purchase if you take care of it.
 

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Any air leakage into the system can only come from the supply line between the reservoir fluid level and the intake side of the pump.

I didn't say that the FB16 and the Kubotas were the same as GT's, I said they were the same size as GT's. Check http://www.tractordata.com/

White FB16 ....... 1188 lb ......... 50.4" wheel base ......... 16 hp ...... SCUT

Bolens HT23 ...... 1100 lb ......... 52" wheelbase .............. 23 hp ...... GT

JD X595 ............. 1113 lb .......... 55.7" wheelbase .......... 24 HP ...... GT

JD X758 ............. 1258 lb .......... 54.5 " wheelbase ......... 24 hp ...... GT

MF 1855 ............ 1044 lb .......... 52" wheelbase ............. 18 hp ....... GT

MF GC 2310 ....... 1389 lb .......... 57" wheelbase................ 22.5 hp ... SCUT

Kubota B6000 .... 1050 lb ......... ??? wheeelbase ............. 13 hp ...... SCUT

Kubota B7000 .... 1050 lb ......... 48.4" wheelbase ............ 14 hp ...... SCUT

Kubota B8200 .... 1565 lb ......... 60.4" wheelbase ............ 19 hp ..... SCUT

Kubota BX2350 .. 1322 lb ......... 55.1" wheelbase ............ 23 hp ..... SCUT

Ford 4000 ........... 3400 lb ......... 84.5" wheelbase ............ 55 hp ..... CUT

Of the 6 SCUTS listed, 4 have shorter wheel bases than the 4 GT's listed, 3 are lighter than the heaviest GT, and none have more horsepowerr than 3 of the 4 GT's listed.

Are the SCUT's more capable? Of course, for most tasks, but they take up pretty much the same amount of real estate as the GT's.

On the left is a MF1655 GT. On the right is a MF GC2310 SCUT.

 

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Well, that leaves the Ford 3000/4000 and the Yanmar YM2500 and upward CUTs in a good range since they are 30Hp or better.

The SCUTs are not only small, but the power is less than my Craftsman riding mower with a V-twin Kohler engine. haha If I have acreage to just mow, a zero-turn would do very well over a SCUT too. I do understand that there was a day when SCUTs were popular prior to the V-twin mowers and zero-turns.
 

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It seems to me that there should be a few more parameters in defining the difference between GT, SCUT and CUT.

Tire size would be one.

Frame construction would be another.

Certainly fuel type should be considered.

Even the era of the machine is a factor IMO. 10HP in the 50's seems to be different than 10HP today.

;)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Whats the system pressure suppose to be? System pressure is likely to be greater than 1800 but probably not by much,, I wouldn't be doing much "deadheading" of the system most hyd pumps are aluminum and will crack. You said something about an Aux loop? if that means you can run a cylinder apart from the 3pth and the Aux works then the pump is likely fine. Those 3pth valves are a booger, I never had any luck with fixing them myself. If you haven't done so already pull the strainer out of the sump (if equipped) and make sure its not plugged up..
My service manual listes the pressure at 1900 PSI, so it's pretty darn close. I don't like deadheading the system either, but it was the only way I had to test the pressure as I don't have any other hydraulic systems that I can hook up to it. I'm aware of the strain that it causes, and I make a habit of NOT doing it. The first place I checked was the suction strainer, and the housing that holds the strainer was cracked. It has sence been replaced. I thought for sure that was the problem, but apparently not. Like a dummy, I started working on the rear end next instead of checking hoses and clamps. I have since done that as well with no luck. I'm half tempted to try to take it to a shop to have it worked on, but I have no idea where to even try.

If all else fails,,,, a lot of manufacturers are running 0% money, cant beat that with a stick, course that 2 hundy or so nut a month can be hard to chew but it gets you out of the "stone age" machines. I bought a machine new 30 yrs ago had to finance the purchase, still have the machine, near lifetime purchase if you take care of it.
I've got a sure fire way to beat 0%. Fold my money in half and put it back in my pocket :) I don't finance anything. The only debt I've carried in the last 20 years is my house which I'm 9 years into and will be finished in 5 more, possibly less. If the machine made me money, that would be a different story. Then it becomes an investment, and can be worth the monthly payment. As of right now, it's a convienance that I can do with out if I have to (which is a good thing since it's broke). I do have over an acre to mow, but I use a ZTR for that, and it does better than any tractor will do with the possible exception of the Kubota F series which is pretty much a dedicated mower instead of a tractor. What I wanted this machine for was mostly dirt work. Plowing the garden, prepping small food plots. I was looking for an old GT at the time, but I stumbled across this thing for $1200 and couldn't pass it up for the price. I still don't regret it, but would like to get it working so I can use it again.... Now I'm just finding other things that it could be useful for if it were working correctly and had the correct attachments.

TUDOR - My bad. You are correct. I put words into your mouth and then didn't agree 100% with them. Sorry.
 

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It seems to me that there should be a few more parameters in defining the difference between GT, SCUT and CUT.

Tire size would be one.

Frame construction would be another.

Certainly fuel type should be considered.

Even the era of the machine is a factor IMO. 10HP in the 50's seems to be different than 10HP today.

;)
Setting parameters for determining where the line is drawn between GT's and SCUT's is futile. Every option available on a SCUT can also be found on some brand of GT, including most of the parameters that you listed. The only one that some SCUT's have that GT's do not is a frame that is integral with the engine, transmission, and rear end. To my (limited ) knowledge, every GT has some sort of frame separate from the driveline components. Both the GT and the SCUT pictured above have the same type of separate perimeter frame. There are several GT's with larger diameter rear wheels than the normal 12", while others have diesel engines and/or 4wd. Front, mid and rear PTO's are available on GT's. I'm not sure if all 3 are available on SCUT's. Some GT's have 540 rpm PTO's and others have multispeed rear PTO's. Steering brakes are available on some GT's but not on others. Ditto for SCUT's. Locking diffs are available on both.

Again with my knowledge limitations, ROPS are not a factory item for any GT, and 4 wheel steering is not a factory item for SCUT's. That's a very limited base for differentiating between the two classes, especially since not all SCUT's have ROPS and not all GT's have 4 wheel steering.

After 8 years with a SCUT and 24 years with a heavy GT, my opinion is that SCUT's are nothing more than heavy GT's with an attitude, and enough options to back it up. Something like the difference between a junior high school left guard and a linebacker, they're both football players, but not ready for the big leagues.


My service manual listes the pressure at 1900 PSI, so it's pretty darn close. I don't like deadheading the system either, but it was the only way I had to test the pressure as I don't have any other hydraulic systems that I can hook up to it. I'm aware of the strain that it causes, and I make a habit of NOT doing it. The first place I checked was the suction strainer, and the housing that holds the strainer was cracked. It has sence been replaced. I thought for sure that was the problem, but apparently not. Like a dummy, I started working on the rear end next instead of checking hoses and clamps. I have since done that as well with no luck. I'm half tempted to try to take it to a shop to have it worked on, but I have no idea where to even try.
There is no other way to find the system pressure, or more correctly the system relief pressure, in an open circuit hydraulic system. The primary purpose of a relief valve is to protect the pump from overpressure. The secondary purpose is to limit the potential for overloading the machine that has the hydraulic system. All parts of a factory built hydraulic system will have rated pressure capabilities in excess of the relief setting.

You won't hurt anything unless it's faulty and will fail shortly in any event.

Remove the supply hose and check the inside for possible collapse under negative pressure. If it has been replaced at some point with a hose that isn't rated for negative pressure, the pump may be cavitating which will also cause foaming . . . and severe pump damage.

The linings of hoses have been known to collapse without any visual indications of that problem on the exterior.

TUDOR - My bad. You are correct. I put words into your mouth and then didn't agree 100% with them. Sorry.
Don't sweat it. You managed to push one of my "time to clarify my comments" buttons and I went into lecture mode. Sorry 'bout that. :hide:

I don't know about you, but I did find the results interesting. :fing32:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
No harm no fowl My skin is a lot thicker than anything on the internet can penetrate 

I tend to agree. While it's possible to find a GT that has the same options as a SCUT, the SCUT does seem to be more easy to find with these features as standard. Honestly, for me when I hear the words Garden Tractor in reference to anything made in the last 20 years, I tend to think of the MTD versions, or even the JD versions available at the box stores. I don't tend to think of the Kubota BX series, or the MF or Cub/Yanmar equivalents. Those are actual tractors that can do some good old fashion work. Until I found this website, I didn't even know that machines like this were still produced. I have yet to figure out how the box stores can label anything they have as a garden tractor??? I guess those machines could be used to pull a small wagon load of leaves/grass clippings over to the garden to be dumped on for compost, but that's about as close as they can get to any kind of dirt work. If you remove these machines from the equation, and stick to stuff made in the not too distant past, then I would say that your analogy is right on the money. They could probably do away with the GT label all together and call them all SCUTs. At least that would keep anyone from confusing a good machine with something the might be able to purchase from Sears.

As far as my machine goes, there should be a bypass valve built into the pump that protects it from damage should the system dead head. With the pump apart, I’m not really seeing that anywhere, but I don’t have it completely torn down, nor do I plan on it. There’s nothing obviously broken or leaking on it, there’s no signs of excessive wear, and even if there were it’s not like I can replace just one component. I would have to drop $350-$500 on a new pump. Since I’m not seeing any damage/wear, and it generates 1800PSI, I’m going to call the pump good.

I had been leaning towards cavitation for some time, but hadn’t been able to come up with a good reason why. I hadn’t thought of the ID of a hose collapsing. What I’m getting isn’t instantaneous foam. There are just very small bubbles in the fluid that make it look cloudy. I’m not sure if it was this way when I started working on it or not. At that point, I had been running the tractor for a few hours, and the hitch had become less and less responsive. When I parked it, I checked the Hyd fluid level, and it the foam came spewing out the top. The Hitch hasn’t really worked since then. As I mentioned, I did find a crack in the housing for the suction filter and I suspected that was the cause of my problems. A replacement doesn’t exist, so I had to make do with more commonly available components like elbows, Y fittings, hose barbs/clamps, and some hydraulic hose. I don’t like the way it fits together, but I’m not sure what else I can do with it at this point. If I ever get it working again, I will plumb a screw on filter and head into the Aux line, but I’m not going to bother with that until it can lift the hitch with a plow on it. Even in its current condition, with the oil quickly taking on a cloudy appearance during operation, I know the pump is generating very close to the specified pressure, and yet the hitch won’t lift under any kind of load. In my simple brain, foam or no foam; air or no air, if I generate the required pressure, the hitch should lift just fine. The air/foam should cause a problem up at the gear pump by reducing or even eliminating its ability to generate pressure. So long as the gear pump is generating pressure, and that pressure is reaching the control valve, and the control valve is fine, then the hitch should work correctly. I know the pressure is reaching the Aux line because that’s where I have the gauge. From there it goes to the control valve for the hitch. With the Aux line intact, the system only shows a slight amount of pressure, so there’s no indication that the pressure isn’t making it to the control valve. This has me right back at the control valve again. If the bypass on the cylinder had a problem, I would think that the hitch would drop with a load on it, but it doesn’t. Even with the engine off, the hitch holds position great which tells me that everything on the cylinder is working good. Once again, that only leaves the control valve. I’ve had the control valve off and apart and everything on it looks nice and tight. It does appear that there’s another relief system built into the valve. I don’t know what this system does. I need to study it more to find out. If this relief is not sealing correctly and allowing the pressure to bleed by instead of sending it to the cylinder that could cause this problem. Either that or the bypass is stuck/clogged inside and not allowing enough flow to get by to generate the pressure needed to lift the cylinder. As I’m sitting here remembering the valve, I’m thinking this might be more the case.

I was planning on putting a new pump on the tractor just to rule the pump out completely, but I can’t bring myself to spend the money given the evidence that I have that would indicate that it’s fine. I need to put it back on and get the control valve back out and start going over it in a LOT more detail. Worse case I’m thinking about getting a piece of steel and machining it to match up the valve so that I can stick it all in a bucket and put pressure on it and see where the pressure goes and when.
 

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As far as my machine goes, there should be a bypass valve built into the pump that protects it from damage should the system dead head. With the pump apart, I’m not really seeing that anywhere, but I don’t have it completely torn down, nor do I plan on it. There’s nothing obviously broken or leaking on it, there’s no signs of excessive wear, and even if there were it’s not like I can replace just one component. I would have to drop $350-$500 on a new pump. Since I’m not seeing any damage/wear, and it generates 1800PSI, I’m going to call the pump good.

I had been leaning towards cavitation for some time, but hadn’t been able to come up with a good reason why. I hadn’t thought of the ID of a hose collapsing. What I’m getting isn’t instantaneous foam. There are just very small bubbles in the fluid that make it look cloudy. I’m not sure if it was this way when I started working on it or not. At that point, I had been running the tractor for a few hours, and the hitch had become less and less responsive. When I parked it, I checked the Hyd fluid level, and it the foam came spewing out the top. The Hitch hasn’t really worked since then. As I mentioned, I did find a crack in the housing for the suction filter and I suspected that was the cause of my problems. A replacement doesn’t exist, so I had to make do with more commonly available components like elbows, Y fittings, hose barbs/clamps, and some hydraulic hose. I don’t like the way it fits together, but I’m not sure what else I can do with it at this point. If I ever get it working again, I will plumb a screw on filter and head into the Aux line, but I’m not going to bother with that until it can lift the hitch with a plow on it. Even in its current condition, with the oil quickly taking on a cloudy appearance during operation, I know the pump is generating very close to the specified pressure, and yet the hitch won’t lift under any kind of load. In my simple brain, foam or no foam; air or no air, if I generate the required pressure, the hitch should lift just fine. The air/foam should cause a problem up at the gear pump by reducing or even eliminating its ability to generate pressure. So long as the gear pump is generating pressure, and that pressure is reaching the control valve, and the control valve is fine, then the hitch should work correctly. I know the pressure is reaching the Aux line because that’s where I have the gauge. From there it goes to the control valve for the hitch. With the Aux line intact, the system only shows a slight amount of pressure, so there’s no indication that the pressure isn’t making it to the control valve. This has me right back at the control valve again. If the bypass on the cylinder had a problem, I would think that the hitch would drop with a load on it, but it doesn’t. Even with the engine off, the hitch holds position great which tells me that everything on the cylinder is working good. Once again, that only leaves the control valve. I’ve had the control valve off and apart and everything on it looks nice and tight. It does appear that there’s another relief system built into the valve. I don’t know what this system does. I need to study it more to find out. If this relief is not sealing correctly and allowing the pressure to bleed by instead of sending it to the cylinder that could cause this problem. Either that or the bypass is stuck/clogged inside and not allowing enough flow to get by to generate the pressure needed to lift the cylinder. As I’m sitting here remembering the valve, I’m thinking this might be more the case.

I was planning on putting a new pump on the tractor just to rule the pump out completely, but I can’t bring myself to spend the money given the evidence that I have that would indicate that it’s fine. I need to put it back on and get the control valve back out and start going over it in a LOT more detail. Worse case I’m thinking about getting a piece of steel and machining it to match up the valve so that I can stick it all in a bucket and put pressure on it and see where the pressure goes and when.
There is. It's called a relief valve and is the first component that fluid passes through after leaving the pump. It is a built-in part of many hydros that also supply hydraulics for implement lifting, or it is a separate component immediately after an auxilliary pump, or it is built into the inlet side of the first control valve after the pump. It is rare to find them as a built-in for the pump itself.

Relief valves fail in the open position. If the system can make relief pressure, the relief valve is fine.

Be aware, air can leak into the negative pressure zone within the suction line with no corresponding leak of fluid when the pressure is equalized. If you pressurized the reservoir, you might be able to find a leak, but you're more likely to damage the reservoir.

If there is a crack in the suction filter housing, that is a highly likely source of air ingestion. Either repair it or replace it somehow. If neither can be done, bypass it altogether.

If, by auxilliary line, you mean a pressure line after the pump, DO NOT install a filter mount and screw on filter. It will not stand up to 1900 psi! Those are for use in the suction and low pressure return lines only.

Your pump seems to be performing as advertised. The fault is more likely intermal in the suction line or possibly, specifically for the 3PH, internal to the line feeding the hitch cylinder. Pressure lines can also fail internally and act as a check valve, stopping or limiting flow on one direction. BUT, that won't draw air into the system, which seems to be the major problem at the moment.

The fact that the 3PH valve holds a load indicates that it is fine. The same can not necessarily be said for the seals in the cylinder.

Pumps create flow. Pressure is created by the resistance to flow, ie. work being done. Pressure does not make the trip from the pump to the cylinder. It goes from the cylinder back to the pump in the opposite direction to flow.

Once a cylinder has lifted a load, fluid must be released to lower the load, even if additional load is applied. That will only happen if the control valve is cycled to lower it, or something fails. There is no bypass (relief valve ) between a control valve and the cylinder that it operates.

Go to the Hydraulics forum by clicking the link in my signature. At the top of the page are some stickies, including one that leads to several tutorials on hydraulics. I would suggest that you spend some time reviewing them to improve your understanding of the subject. There are better explanations of some of the necessary concepts there than what I can produce in a reasonable amount of time.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the info. I've already read the stickies. My wording is poor, but I do understand how the system works, and I agree with everything you're saying. On my machine the system goes from the pump to a triangular shaped block. The block has the Aux lines on it, so the pressure (flow) goes out to whatever system I'm trying to operate (none) and then comes back to the block. From that point it is sent directly into the control valve for the hitch. The cylinder for the hitch has a relieve valve in the top of it. For the hitch to drop, the oil has to flow somewhere. Either out the control valve, out the bypass, or around the seals on the piston. Since it stays put, that tells me that the seals on the piston and the relieve valve on the cylinder are not leaking. The fact that the hitch doesn't drop does not ensure that the valve is working correctly. The valve has multiple ports, and this only assures that a portion of them are working correctly. If memory serves (kind of foggy, and I didn't dig real deep when I had it apart) the spring system inside the valve must be overcome in order to send flow to the port for the cylinder. I know I had to remove that assembly and then plug the hole that was left in order to get any air flow to come out of the correct port on the valve. The spindle on the valve looked great. Mirror finish, no dirt or corrosion, nice and snug. I know that I'm being the typical know it all here. Guy with little experience ignoring the seasoned experts guidance. I'm just trying to logically reason my way through it. Hydraulics really aren't any different than the pneumatic and electrical systems that I've spent the last 15 years troubleshooting, but this one has me flustered. I mean no disrespect by my stubbornness.
 

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What is that component's (triangular shaped block) purpose?

Where do the lines come from and go to?

Are there any adjustment mechanisms on it?

How many ports on the 3PH control valve?

Depending on design, a cylinder with no seals will hold a load, but it will have a tough time lifting the load. A cylinder with badly worn seals will lift a load slowly and still hold it once the valve is centered.

Pictures would be an immense help.

I haven't noticed any disrespect, only a less than thorough understanding. You should have been in class with me while the instructor went to great lengths to :00000060: some of the concepts. :hide:

While pneumatics is related in general concepts to hydraulics, there are some substantial differences in application and operation. Hydraulic cylinders don't bounce. The whole machine bounces if it's on rubber tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
What is that component's (triangular shaped block) purpose?

Where do the lines come from and go to?

Are there any adjustment mechanisms on it?

How many ports on the 3PH control valve?

Depending on design, a cylinder with no seals will hold a load, but it will have a tough time lifting the load. A cylinder with badly worn seals will lift a load slowly and still hold it once the valve is centered.

Pictures would be an immense help.

I haven't noticed any disrespect, only a less than thorough understanding. You should have been in class with me while the instructor went to great lengths to :00000060: some of the concepts. :hide:

While pneumatics is related in general concepts to hydraulics, there are some substantial differences in application and operation. Hydraulic cylinders don't bounce. The whole machine bounces if it's on rubber tires.
I've tried to take pics, but all I have is my cheap trac phone, and the White tractors were dark grey (go figure) so nothing ever shows up worth a darn.

The high pressure line goes from the pump, to the triangular shaped block. The block doesn't have any moving parts in it. It just serves as a manifold of sorts. From there the flow goes out through what I would call the Aux loop and returns to the triangular shaped block on a different port. The function of the triangular block is to provide a means of sending flow to the Aux loop, and then feeding the return side of that loop to the control valve for the 3PH. The Aux loop has a set of quick connects to hook up to what ever implement control that I want to run. This is where I currently have a Tee plumed in with a gauge on it. From the triangular shaped block the flow goes through the side of the case and into the control valve. IIRC, the valve has three ports on the top of it. One for the incoming flow, one for flow out to the cylinder, and the other ends up dumping to the reservoir. That's all a bit fuzzy though, which is why I want to pull the top off the reservoir and take the control valve back off. I don't think that I actually pulled the piston out of the cylinder. I can't remember now. I do remember that the machine had been sitting there for several months and when I took the top cover off the cylinder, it was still full of oil. It hadn't leaked past and down into the reservoir, but it also hadn't been under any significant pressure.

I can see where the seals on the piston would be more prone to leak under pressure when the system is trying to lift the hitch, but I would have thought that adding significant weight to the hitch while trying to lift it would cause it to drift back down. The system acts like it's just able to get very much flow to the cylinder. I need to take it back out, and take and then print out a few pictures of it and start writing notes on the picture. I didn't do that last time. I was just trying to clean everything up/out. I need to spend more time on it and try to figure out a way to bench test it without hosing my entire shop down with hydraulic fluid.

I know what you mean about instructors. I've studied fluid dynamics, thermo dynamics, and advanced gas dynamics (pneumatics at mach 1~mach 3 ish). My fluids class was taught by a guy from Syria who worked on the Russian's MIG program. As I understand it he was wanted by their Gov. for treason because he defected to the states. He was a real JERK, and was extremely difficult to understand. He was fired a year later. The other classes were taught by a prof from West Point who had developed the new tracking system for the M1A2 Abrams tanks (on his own none the less). He replaced their multimillion $$ system with one that cost $40K, was 2.5X more accurate and required calibration less than half as often. Since he was on Uncle Sam's time at that point, he didn't make a nickle from it. Needless to say he didn't re-up after that. He was a MUCH better instructor than his commie counter part.
 

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A cylinder with seals and sealing surfaces in excellent condition will support its rated load capacity for an extended period of time. With hydraulics, there is always a clearance to allow lubrication of sliding surfaces of the valve spool. These clearances will result in some leakage from the cylinder which will result in it s-l-o-w-l-y settling over a period of time that could be as little as few minutes if there is excessive wear, to as long as several days, if everything is up to design specs.

Depending on the amount of seal wear in the cylinder, some of the flow will pass through to drain back to the reservoir and the cylinder will raise the load slower in direct proportion to the % of leakage. It will also lower at a finite rate consistant with that leakage once the control is centered.

If it won't raise and the pressure indicates that it should, there is a mechanical fault stopping it. Without diagrams, I can't even make a guess as to what that fault might be.

I'm a retired industrial maintenance mechanical technician (millwright) with a couple of hydraulics courses under my belt. The instructor that I mentioned was also a retired IMMT with extensive experience with steel mill hydraulics systems and had taken several hydraulics courses over the years. It took some effort on his part to instill certain aspects of the systems into my thick skull. Those lessons, I learned very well. A lot of my hands on experience was acquired while working on my GT and its relatively simple hydraulics systems. Your knowledge base is much more exotic and theory intensive, and way beyond my pay grade.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
That's the odd thing. Before I started having the severe foaming issue, I would leave the hitch up with the rear blade on and it would remain up for at least a couple of days. Given, my rear blade is pretty light weight, and nothing like the heavier store bought units, so it wasn't generating all that much pressure, but it held either way. That's what has me thinking that the seals on the cylinder are fine, or at least in good enough shape that the hitch should be able to raise at a decent rate without any load on it. The other thing that had me thinking this was that if the seals were getting worn, I would have expected a consistent gradual decrease in the performance of the hitch. The last few times I used it, I had been working on and off with both the rear blade, and a 4’ chisel plow that I made for it. The rear blade probably weighs around 75 lbs, but the chisel plow weighs over 200 lbs. It was lifting both of them just fine with no noticeable differences between the two. Once the snow hit, I used the rear blade about 3 times before any issues started. The hitch went from working fine to its current condition over the course of about 2 hours. It started getting slow at the end, and finally got to where it wouldn't raise at all. When I got it back in the shop, that's when I noticed the foaming issue. I came back the next day and topped off the fluid and tried to use it again. It worked intermittently and then quit again. I parked it, and it was foaming again. That's when I found the crack in the suction housing, which I have since removed and replaced with something else. The hitch hasn't worked since. It's almost like the foam was able to pick up some debris and carry it into the control valve where it's now causing me problems. That's what I was looking for on the first go round. I cleaned everything as best I could, but never really found anything that really stood out as being the culprit. Since the hitch will raise slowly (takes about 15 sec to raise all the way) with absolutely no load on it (not even the lower arms), I know that the oil CAN flow into the cylinder. It just can’t seem to build enough pressure to overcome any load that the cylinder might see. Somewhere, there’s an easier path that the flow can follow. That has me focused on the control valve. There has to be something in there somewhere that’s allowing the flow to go back to the reservoir. Just not sure where or why yet…

You are exactly right on the theoretical part of my education. Not much use for it either, but it was fun learning about stuff like hypersonic flight. We asked the one prof how fast the SR-71 could actually fly, but he wouldn't say. He simply replied that there's not a bullet in the world that can catch it. I've spent the last 17 years working as a manufacturing engineer in the automotive industry which has normally translated to some kind of super maintenance position. I've spent the majority of my time working on or otherwise modifying automated assembly equipment of various types. I've got some exposure to hydraulics, but not a lot. Most of my exposure is on the mechanical and electrical side of things, but I have had a few machines that required hydraulics, or at least air over oil which is different yet. They were all small presses or punches. The tractor is the first time I've had to deal with any kind of positional control, but so far it doesn't seem to complicated.

I've got a hydraulic schematic in the service manual, but IMHO, it really doesn't show enough detail to be useful. I've also learned not to trust the manual all that much. This section of the manual is absolutely identical to that of several Bolens tractors, and that of a TX2160 tractor even though there are some components that are different. So now I've got a few of the components for the suction line that will fit a G174, but don't even come close to fitting my machine....
 

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Okay. Seals are fine. Spool valve is fine. Foaming fluid is the culprit.

Find the source of the air ingestion, fix it, change the fluid, and try again. Air entrainment of hydraulic fluid is not a good thing, or easy to eliminate. By comparison, water is much easier to eliminate from hydraulic fluid. How much fluid does the reservoir hold? Is the pump part of the transmission or a separate entity? There may be a better (cheaper) option than multiple fluid changes to clear the foam out of the system. A separate reservoir comes to mind if the cracked filter mount is part of the transmission housing, depending on plumbing considerations and as a temporary measure to find the fix. I'm not familiar with your tractor other than what is on tractordata.com.
 

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Aside from fixing your hydraulics, which doesn't fix your possible loader needs, and while it sounds like a newer machine isn't in budget, have you considered hiring out the times when you do have loader needs? I've seen ads for this service and have used it myself prior to buying a loader for my Cub Cadet which was sold when I bought my 1025R. The guy I used charges about 50 dollars per hour, but with a little planning, you'd be surprised what can be done in that time. I had him move, spread, level and compact about 6 yards of crushed concrete and it didn't take him much more than an hour. Dunno, just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
have you considered hiring out the times when you do have loader needs?
I always try to keep things like that in mind. Most of the time it's worth the $$ to either have it done or rent the equipment. What I'm wanting the FEL for is mostly loading/unloading manure for the garden, and to help with the firewood chores. These are things that I generally spend several days a year on, but would only be using the equipment for a few hours each of those days, and having to pay some one would largely defeat the purpose. On that note, I have steped back to re-evaluate my needs and desided that I would be well suited with a tandom trailer and some kind of rear mounted slip scoop for the 3PH. A FEL really would be nicer, but I don't really need it. A used 8x14ish trailer with 5K axles can be had for a pretty reasonable price, and I already have multiple uses for it. I will need the trailer anyway if I'm going to transport the machine, and something like a slip scoop or Auto-Dump would be able to load a trailer up pretty well. I also have the means and ability to build one of these devices, or modify a used one to fit my machine and my needs. So all in all I think its a better fit for me than an FEL. Having said that, I need a functioning 3PH for it.... :praying:
 
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