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GT3000 Won't turn left, steering wheel slips

3129 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  valhalla3
My GT3000 Graden Tractor has something wrong with the steering. I am guessing it is some combination of worn steering column bushings, the sector gear and the steering column gear. It will turn right and sometimes I can fool with it and get it to go left. It gets bound up to sometimes and you get turn the steering wheel at all. But it always lets go at some point. I sense that the gear is not meshing with the sector gear. Can you guys tell me if this is a fairly straight forward job to take out the steering column and the sector gear or the entire assembly? Are there any caveats? Any thing I should know to make it an easier job? And what do you think is the problem just from what I described?


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The lower bushing is likely worn out. It is not a difficult job, remove the sector and steering wheel then pull the shaft out the bottom. The front end will have to be high to do this. The gear is not replaceable, you need to order a new shaft. Replace the top bushing while you are at it.
Should go to Sears and find owners manual and/or illustrated parts book. Enter your 7 digit model number. Then download the book.
Should also post your 7 digit model number here. Knowing it is a GT3000 is really not enough info to go on. Sears no longer has books for certain machines. Only on line pictures of the parts section. With the model number here someone may have a copy they can post, or there may be copy in the MTF manual section.

Will show detailed drawing of the unit. Helps in taking apart and putting it back together. Plus gives you the part numbers for the bushings.
Some are easier to work on than others.
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Thanks for the response... I meant to put the model number in my post but apparently I forgot. The model number is Model: 917.273030 Yes I have the pdf manual with the parts break down and pictures. Are there any known issues in trying to get the parts off or back on?
Roy M.... thanks I did not see your reply before sending my last post... I plan on taking the deck off and putting the front end up on some car ramps or jack stands. Do you have to take off the entire assembly that is mounted to each side of the frame or can you get the sector gear off and on easily without doing that? If the teeth do not look worn do you think just replacing the bushings might fix it? Also where do you think the free play is coming from in the steering wheel? Could that just be missing or worn teeth on the gears? Thanks!
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You are probably going to want to take the whole assembly out, it's going to make things much easier in the long run. The play in the steering wheel is probably cause by the brass bushing being worn. If it got bad enough that the steering started to bind you should also check that the sector gear didn't elongate the hole it mounts into. Count on all 4 bushings needing to be replaced and maybe the sector gear and support. The gear on the steering shaft is usually fine since it's made of harder metal than the sector gear.

Just remove the steering wheel and the adapter. Followed by the e-clip in the steering shaft. The shaft will drop down and you can jack the front of the tractor up and remove it out the bottom. If you can't get high enough you can unbolt the support and shift the whole assembly forward. After that you can wiggle the whole assembly out, which will take some trial and error. It seems like I might have had to remove a belt guide or something to finally get it out but I can't remember for sure.
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Thanks HughDaHand! I took the deck off today and siphoned some gas out of the tank so it won't spill out the back when I put it on ramps. I was able to see clearly the steering shaft and sector gear. From what I could see it looked like the teeth on both the steering shaft gear and the sector gear were ok. The steering shaft seemed very solid with no wobble, or looseness at all. But the sector gear was wobbling on it's pivot or swivel connection. It seemed like it was not tight and staying in place to make a tight mesh with the steering shaft gear. So I am assuming that taking off that whole "box" / framework to which the sector gear is connected would be the best way to see exactly what is going on (like you suggested). Maybe, and I realize a big maybe, it is just tightening (wishful thinking) or replacing the sector gear bearing or the whole sector gear. What do you think?

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I took the battery and frame it sits on off so I could see better. New models have the gas tank in this location but mine is about a 1998. I took off the sector gear today and it looks like the hole in the assembly in which the sector gear shaft goes might be a bit oval shaped from wear. The teeth on the sector gear and the steering shaft gear looked good. I held the sector gear up in place and it seemed to mesh with the steering gear fine. Even the plastic bushings were not broken. I'm assuming that with the hole being worn like that there is no other fix other than replacing the assembly frame. Yes? No? What a bad design! Just having one drag link on one side probably put uneven stress on the sector gear shaft.
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