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Discussion Starter #1
I'm about to reassembly my JD400 with refurbished hydraulic system: new hoses all around, new fittings, new front PTO pump, control valves and cylinders flushed.

What hydraulic fluid can I use other than the Daddy Deere $brand$ ? There has to be a good mainstream brand which works.

I flushed the FEL arm reservoir, but am wondering if I need an auxiliary tank for the backhoe, which I've seen others fabricate. The previous owner was not 'mechanical' and had a goofy breather extension on top of the arm which looked as if he wanted room for extra fluid - or a problem. For all I know it's a Tiki Torch....

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The backhoe is a Brantley, which is an OEM attachment so not cobbled on.

2455121
 

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Any hydraulic fluid will suffice, multi-grade engine oil, ATF, hydrostatic transmission fluid, hydraulic oil. To keep things simple and inventory reasonable, I use the same fluid for my stand alone loader auxiliary system as for my hydro.

The hoe doesn't need any more reservoir space than the loader. I personally think that the reservoir space available in just one loader post (about 3 quarts) is just a tad less than good sense should allow. It doesn't factor in small, unnoticed leaks that appear from time to time that can easily dump 3 quarts worth of oil on the ground over the course of a couple of hours of focused operation.

My GT uses both posts as the reservoir with a 3/4" pressure hose between them. That gives me a bit over 6 quarts. The pump draws from one post and the return goes in the other.

In the event that the pump does run low of fluid, raise the stabilizers and boom to push extra fluid back to tank and take it back to the shop for repair and replenishment. It will let you know that it's running low with jerky hydraulics. Actually, any cylinder(s), loader or hoe, that can be retracted will push fluid back to tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have all new fittings and hoses, so leaks should be nada. However, one of the stabalizer cylinders is/was weeping and haven't repaired.

Thinking about a length of box steel on the back side of the arm which connects to the return fitting. Then just put a return fitting on the other side so there are two vertical tanks together. The box steel would be plenty thick to withstand impact and no seams to leak. Just weld end caps on the top and bottom with fill/drain holes.

It would add a couple quarts, depending on height and size. I'm thinking the shorter, but wider box would be better.

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Discussion Starter #4
Here's the arm to visualize fitment. It could also go on the inside, which might provide better access to fittings.

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Don't overthink! I suggest cautionary issues based on personal experience, but I also generally include the warning signs of impending problems if the additional cautions aren't addressed.

Your existing reservoir capacity will work just fine with the provision that there are no slow leaks, just as the tires on your car will work fine if there are no slow leaks. The difference is that your car can travel at 60+ mph and tires at low pressure will heat up and blow out with no warning. A hydraulic system will give warning for low fluid level well before disaster occurs.

An additional reservoir installed on a loader arm is not a good plan. The arm angle in relation to the pull of gravity changes drastically during operation. How do you plan to move fluid from the reservoir on the arm back to the main reservoir? An add-on reservoir needs two points for transferring fluid back and forth between it and the main reservoir, one at the bottom for improving pump supply, and one at the top for venting heated fluid or air.

The structure of your loader consists of 1/8" wall tubing. A side impact that is hard enough to cause damage to the posts or arms is also going to place the attached cylinder in jeopardy. The wall strength of an add-on reservoir would be the least of my concerns.

Try 4" ABS or PVC pipe if you really want to add to the capacity. Tee the bottom to the pump supply port, and the same for the top to the fill/vent tube.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention in my previous post, the odd contraption for filling the reservoir on top of your post is to create a funnel to fill the reservoir. It won't really help limit splash back when filling due to the small diameter fill tube and no vent to allow displaced air to escape. The vent is in the cap that is removed for filling the reservoir. Pour slowly!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info. Not interested in solving a problem which doesn't exist. If the existing reservoir will support both attachments - that's the answer.

Just to clarify - I used the wrong terminology for describing where the tank will be located. Would mount the box beam on the inside of the stationary support reservoir (not arm) where the existing return spigot on the reservoir would be connected to the box reservoir welded on it. Then have another, higher, return line from the backhoe on the new reservoir. It would be two parallel tower tanks connected at the bottom. Would I need another vent in the incoming tank? The filter is going to be relocated and rerouted so it's in-line between the reservoir and pump.

Here's a better photo and drawing.

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2455225
 

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That will work if you also Tee the loader and back hoe lines together so the add-on can vent. Loaders see more duty than back hoes and you want the fluid to circulate within the reservoirs to some extent.

Alternatively, Tee both returns together at the add-on, and plug the existing loader return port on the main reservoir. Not the most optimal solution, but it will work.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
OK - need to narrow down the choices for H-fluid.
  • For these old machines is Dyno better than Synth?
  • What AW? Seeing 24 thru 68
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This came out of the FEL reservoir return spigot going to pump. Parts list says 'screen filter'. At one time it had some kind of fuzz or flocking on it, which has long since rotted into mush. I don't know how any fluid was pulled through it.

This is beyond cleaning. Someone have an idea of replacement? Remove it?
The canister oil filter will be on return line between reservoir and pump.

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AW 32 for all season. AW 68 for summer only. ATF (Type F and Dexron), motor oil (single and multi-grade), brand name hydro fluids, and hydraulic fluids are acceptable. Do not mix types of fluids. The additive packages may not be compatible and can possibly gum up the works.

FEL/Back hoe systems do not require frequent fluid changes to get rid of contaminents. Excess water in the system is one reason for a fluid change, otherwise fluid change intervals are several hundred hours (several years of service). In industry, the interval is actually several thousand hours between fluid changes.

The pic is of a strainer. Normal construction is a stainless steel wire cloth in a tube form with a closed end. There is no fuzz. There are several sizes of wire cloth available, depending on the wire count per inch and the diameter of the wire.

This is the site of one manufacturer.


This is a size chart from the above site.


Industrial supply houses should have various sizes in stock. A strainer is often assembled, and breaks in it are usually repaired, using silver solder.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
What is the total volume of hydraulic fluid needed to fill the JD-400 system with backhoe and FEL? I can't find where it can be added up using the attachment info. I can look up the tractor itself.
 

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What is the total volume of hydraulic fluid needed to fill the JD-400 system with backhoe and FEL? I can't find where it can be added up using the attachment info. I can look up the tractor itself.
Total the volume of all cylinders (area of the bore times the stroke length), then divide by 231 for the number of gallons. Add the volume of the reservoir and call it done.

It won't be 100% accurate, but it will be close enough for planning purposes. Missing are the volumes of the lines, the pump, the filter, and the cylinder rods, the combination of which more or less cancel each other out of the equation.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Geeez Tudor..... not sure I have enough fingers and toes to do that math.

There are 3 kinds of people in this world: those who can count - and those who can't.
 

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You gonna play with hydraulics, you gonna crunch numberz!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm about to start assembly of the backhoe and want to configure the hydraulic lines. The existing system is depicted in the drawing below, which includes the filter relocation between the tank / pump and the added auxiliary tank. As you can see - the system is a big loop which goes through the FEL control valve and on to the backhoe, then returns to the tank.

From what Tudor commented, the system would benefit from a couple more quarts of fluid. Going ahead with welding a parallel auxiliary tank on the existing FEL tower tank as shown in the drawing below. The system return line goes into the auxiliary tank, which is connected to the main tank at the bottom. The lines will be 1/2".

** The auxiliary tank is not vented, but the main tank is.The rationale is the smaller tank sits BELOW the main tank volume, which would tend to keep it filled to the top. I will mount the inlet on TOP of the tank instead of the side. Will there be a problem with this design?

** I would like quick connects on the IN and OUT of the BH control so it can be removed from the tractor without capping lines. I recall it was said a connecting line should run between them which can be opened/closed. Why can't I simply plug the two lines together by having male/female connectors?

** Still trying to understand the Power Beyond concept and what is needed in the system to address this function.

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** The auxiliary tank is not vented, but the main tank is.The rationale is the smaller tank sits BELOW the main tank volume, which would tend to keep it filled to the top. I will mount the inlet on TOP of the tank instead of the side. Will there be a problem with this design?

** I would like quick connects on the IN and OUT of the BH control so it can be removed from the tractor without capping lines. I recall it was said a connecting line should run between them which can be opened/closed. Why can't I simply plug the two lines together by having male/female connectors?

** Still trying to understand the Power Beyond concept and what is needed in the system to address this function.

View attachment 2458197
The fluid returning will be warmer than what is in the main tank. It would be better to discharge it in the side of the auxiliary reservoir for circulating and cooling. In addition, the auxiliary tank should be mounted as high as it can go to the side of the main tank so the pump doesn't draw the warm fluid exiting from the auxiliary tank before it has a chance to mix with the cooler fluid in the main tank.

If there was a baffle in the main tank directing the outflow from the auxiliary tank upwards, this wouldn't of any concern. When I built the tanks for my loader, I put considerable thought into the flow pattern and how it would affect cooling and installed baffles in both so that either could serve as the pump supply and the other as the return tank.

As you are thinking, my SCUT has matching male/female connectors on the tractor side and on the hoe side for that purpose. Just make sure the engine is off when you disconnect them to save dumping the flow over the relief valve and making heat.

Power Beyond

The return chamber of a valve that can make use of a power beyond kit has two ports. The kit separates that large chamber into two smaller chambers, one for the return line to tank for when the relief valve pops and the other to continue on forming the continuous loop to the valve(s) for the next implement, back hoe in this case.

Relief valves need a safe routing to dump fluid flow back to tank when actuated and form their own loop, Tank > Pump > Relief valve > Tank. No stops along the way, not even to collect $200 when passing GO! lol

If you switch the two lines, the hoe won't work, and bad things will happen to the pump if you do figure out how to make the hoe work. Recently, a member did just that on a larger tractor and fortunately only blew the pump seals. He could have cracked the pump casing.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Did not think about temperature... which is why I'm on this forum.
OK - revised design moves the tank up and connects in top 1/3 of main reservoir. This should allow adequate mixing/cooling before the draw at the bottom. The drawing is not to scale as the auxiliary tank will be < 2 quarts. I dug in my steel pile and found a thinner walled square tube which will work well.

Power Beyond: I will ponder the system design and see how it can be incorporated. I'm not inclined to buy a $200 - $300 PB kit if it can be accomplished with less expensive hardware.


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Discussion Starter #18
Picked up a 5 gal bucket of NAPA-32 hydraulic oil. Drained the hydrostatic transmission last night while engine idled and turned steering to collapse cylinder and push as much as possible out of system. Going to fill about halfway and run the engine/pump for 10 minutes - then drain again to flush as much as I can of the old stuff. Once refilled with new filter the on-board system should be ready. However, the PTO controls (three levers) seem to be frozen in place. I suspect it's due to never being used as FEL/BH have their own systems. I'm hoping they free up once the new fluid circulates.

Also found one of the lines to the front quick-connects has been cut and capped (center of valve). I'm guessing it leaked and that was their solution. Shouldn't be a big deal to replace line and connector so system is complete.

** Are there other theroies to why someone would do this? Valve issue? **

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Drain the rear end and change the filter and call it done. What doesn't get changed is the fluid in the hydro (just over 2 cu-in), the fluid in the mower lift cylinder (12.57 cu-in less the volume of the rod), the fluid in the p/s cylinder (about the same as the mower lift cylinder), and the fluid in the lines @ 1 cu-in per 15" of 3/8 steel tube. The total is less than one quart (57.75 cu-in) for all.

Trying to drain a p/s (or any) cylinder by cycling it while draining the system is a lost cause. If the pump isn't putting any fluid in at the one end, nothing will come out of the other. A line has to be broken to allow air in in order to force drain the cylinder by hand. Not worth the time and effort to drain an extra cup and a half of fluid, IMO.

Running the engine in attempt to get more fluid out is a waste of gas. The same can be said for running it with a half load of fluid afterward, except that there is some risk of starving the hydro charge pump and causing damage to it and the hydro pump and motor. You can't change the fluid in the lines without cycling the cylinders that are connected to those lines and your controls are seized.(The linkages are seized by the way, not the spools. Spools rarely seize, but JD linkages that are unused for extensive time periods have a tendency to stiffen up considerably.)

The cut off and capped line was probably due to corroded tubing springing a leak. Cheap fix that could have been cheaper by disconnecting the line at the valve and plugging the port. It may have been easier to do it the way it was done, and that counts as well. When it come to cost vs easy on a circuit that is not going to be used in the foreseeable future, my vote goes to easy every time when the cost difference is less than the cost of the gas to get the cost effective part. In this case, the plug is worth about $2 and it would cost me $6 for the gas to get it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Too late! In my compulsive obsessive mode and wanted to do it right the first - and last time. The manual says to idle the engine while filling the trans slowly, which I did. The old fluid was red, which told me it's transmission fluid. I filled with 3+ quarts, where full is 5.5 qts. Wanted to be sure it was purged as much as reasonable. I just turned the steering so the piston was compressed and flushed until the color changed to golden. I feel better the residual amount is small and the good stuff won't be affected. May have cost a few bucks more, but prefer to have confidence it's done well.

Glad to hear the PTO is more likely the control linkage than the valve. I'll take a closer look at freeing them up. Tubing is cheap and will replace the capped one. I have benders so can form them pretty close to original. Will rummage around in the fittings bin to see if there's a new coupler, but may try this one first. The good news with this tractor is the owner was not much of a wrench so had things done. There's no bad ham-fisted repairs or kluges that have to be reworked. However, he also wasn't big on general maintenance. I think he sold it so cheap because it had so many things which were a little out of whack it caused the whole tractor to feel burnt out. Once the details were worked it has fallen nicely into spec.... and amazingly good condition in spite of appearance.

** Side Note: I'm finding the manual has to be read front to back to get the whole picture. There are procedures in more than one place which don't match in completeness. Example: steering alignment in General category does not show the hydrostatic control linkage as part of the process as shown in the Power Train section.

Also found this note in the tune up section. My readings of 21-25 psi were done cold, where warm readings tend to be lower. Going to do a warm test and see if the heads should come off. Bought a full gasket kit so have what is needed for it.

4. Clean Carbon from Cylinder Head
NOTE: Carbon must be removed from cylinder heads
if compression reading is above 120 psi (827 kPa), if
engine knocks or pings or if engine lacks power under
load. When performing this procedure, always clean
both cylinder heads.
Remove cylinder heads (refer to Section 20).
Clean carbon from cylinder head using wood or plastic
scraper.
H16208Hy
Fig. 8-Removing Carbon
Install cylinder heads (refer to Section 20)
 
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