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I have a 1980's Ford Gilson LGT18H that I dearly love and which has served me well mowing a friend's 3 acre yard every 5 days or so. Steering has been very stiff since we acquired it three years ago. Yesterday, while making a sharp turn the steering gear skipped a tooth 3-4 times so I immediately parked it for tear down and repair. Therein starts the nightmare with I will outline in steps:

1. The steering wheel came off with ease but the column cannot be pulled out as it is blocked by a cup-like arrangement around the shaft inside the rear housing (which includes the instrument panel). Nor can I remove the rear housing as the steering shaft protective bellows has a cap on top to small for the column to pass through when trying to lift the rear housing off.

2. The fan shaped steering gear cannot be reached because the debris cover cannot be removed with the rear housing and fuel tank in place.

3. How the fuel tank is held in is also a mystery as the drive shaft runs through a channel in the side of the tank so that also prevents access to the steering gears for examination and/or replacement.

4. While under the tractor I noted that the transmission cooling fan has 2 blades missing and have no idea how to remove the drive shaft to replace the fan.

5. Anyone know how to remove the play between the two steering gear components?

I'm sure I have missed another point or two but this at lease a starting place.

This is our only lawn mower and we definitely cannot afford to go out and buy another, so any help you can offer would be a God send.
 

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I have a 1980's Ford Gilson LGT18H that I dearly love and which has served me well mowing a friend's 3 acre yard every 5 days or so. Steering has been very stiff since we acquired it three years ago. Yesterday, while making a sharp turn the steering gear skipped a tooth 3-4 times so I immediately parked it for tear down and repair. Therein starts the nightmare with I will outline in steps:

1. The steering wheel came off with ease but the column cannot be pulled out as it is blocked by a cup-like arrangement around the shaft inside the rear housing (which includes the instrument panel). Nor can I remove the rear housing as the steering shaft protective bellows has a cap on top to small for the column to pass through when trying to lift the rear housing off.

2. The fan shaped steering gear cannot be reached because the debris cover cannot be removed with the rear housing and fuel tank in place.

3. How the fuel tank is held in is also a mystery as the drive shaft runs through a channel in the side of the tank so that also prevents access to the steering gears for examination and/or replacement.

4. While under the tractor I noted that the transmission cooling fan has 2 blades missing and have no idea how to remove the drive shaft to replace the fan.

5. Anyone know how to remove the play between the two steering gear components?

I'm sure I have missed another point or two but this at lease a starting place.

This is our only lawn mower and we definitely cannot afford to go out and buy another, so any help you can offer would be a God send.
I am in the process of re-doing a 1986 Gilson had problems also steering was very loose, from the factory they used nylon bushings I had to cut off shaft that the half gear attached to making my own bushings then welded a new shaft back on.
 
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