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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an old 160 Rider from i'm guessing the late 80's with a couple odd issue's i'm hoping for some advice.

1. All of a sudden, the steering is way off......meaning it now barely turns right (maybe about 10 degrees off center) and way too far left almost like something jumped gears or something a few notches. As best we can tell the gears for the steering look like the teeth are in good shape so no idea what happened or how to tackle this

2. Starting cold turning the key all we get are clicks for probably the first 20-30 tries and then finally starts to turn and then goes. Once it starts and is run, if i stop and then fire it up again warm it starts immediately. (this one isnt as critical as it does eventually start but figured it could continue to get worse)

thanks for any advice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for the quick reply! so is this just a replacement part for the stock part or maybe fixes a known issue w/ the stock relay?
 

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thanks for the quick reply! so is this just a replacement part for the stock part or maybe fixes a known issue w/ the stock relay?
helps the relay, the directions should tell you how to install.............it was a while ago I did my 160..........if I remember right you take nothing off the existing tractor. You just add this part to the tractor, unpluging some wires and run it through this kit............and you screw it to the side of your tractor.


as far as the steering issue, check under the tractor where gears align with each other and see if they are lined up correctly. Look atthe ending of steering rod from the steering wheel and go from there.........Should be a spring there and cotter pin at the end of the shaft, make sure that is there and gears are lined up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
helps the relay, the directions should tell you how to install.............it was a while ago I did my 160..........if I remember right you take nothing off the existing tractor. You just add this part to the tractor, unpluging some wires and run it through this kit............and you screw it to the side of your tractor.


as far as the steering issue, check under the tractor where gears align with each other and see if they are lined up correctly. Look atthe ending of steering rod from the steering wheel and go from there.........Should be a spring there and cotter pin at the end of the shaft, make sure that is there and gears are lined up.
great thanks for your help here! relay seems like a pretty simple fix so i'll add that to the list!

for the steering i'll take a look but might be a little out of my realm of expertise but any idea if i had to take it into a shop how big a job that might be? thats a pretty vague question i know since every place will charge different but worth a shot
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
alright i got a chance to look a little closer.....so when i took these pictures, you can see the wheels are straight, steering wheel does not look to be straight (off to the right), and the gears underneath do not appear to be even close to centered like i'd think they would be when the wheels are straight. Please correct me if i'm off on any of that but curious what anyone thinks....my best guess is maybe the gears jumped maybe somehow (not sure how that could happen). and would it be as simple as removing that bottom/smaller gear, straighten the wheel and reconnect that smaller gear so that its centered?
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I would guess that your bushing on the steering wheel shaft and the large gear have a significant amount of wear that is allowing the teeth to jump. You should be able to verify that by having someone steer the mower while you watch from below. The bushings aren't expensive and shouldn't be hard to remove.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
so you're saying i'd just need to possibly replace the bushing? or one of the gears as well? also thank you!
 

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From your picture the gears "appear" to be serviceable so I wouldn't replace them unless during disassembly you find more wear. Part #17 is the bushing
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
yup i gotcha! i agree they look ok but would have to look closer......so i see theres a bushing on both gears.....ya think just this one is needed a replacement on? (maybe both are easy to replace). i'm assuming however i get that clip off to get to it, i'd have to do that, take the gear off to realign things as well right?

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I'd guess the one on the steering wheel shaft would be more worn just due to the amount of turning it does vs the large gear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
that makes sense! i'll have to see if i can get under to get a better look at that gear to see how to remove it.....doesnt look like a hex bolt like the parts diagram indicates
 

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Don't get too carried away. Your steering gears look fine. What happens on these machines is the front axle anchors fall apart. They loose the bolts or strip out on the axle and cause this steering issue. Look at part number 7 and 8 on your tractor. There's one in the front and the rear of the the axle pivot.
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
hmm thats interesting so hard to see on mine but we DID already look at an issue w/ a curved metal piece that we found just sort of floating on one bolt inside the front hood/ventand missing a bolt (i'm thinking thats what #7 is maybe?). we were able to retrofit it so it holds tight now so not totally sure if thats good or not. but like you can see in my pictures it looks to me like the steering gear / pinion gear are not lined up like they should based on the steering wheel and wheels right? so if we have that front tied up now would it maybe just be as simple as taking the pinion gear off, realign and pop 'er back on? i might pick up that bushing for the steering column anyways since its cheap enough too
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
well i had some time to dig into this today but not having much luck.......i was able to get the pinion gear off and replace the bushing under it. However it still has issues when turning right.....if i have the pinion gear off and manually move the tires i can turn left and right w/out an issue. once i put the gear back on and turn w/ the steering wheel, left is fine (although a bit too far) but right i can feel a spot where the wheel keeps turning but the wheels pause and then start moving again a tiny bit more but then stops. it SEEMS like something where i could see a worn down gear or something but as far as i can tell all looks ok. i did get a video from underneath as i turned the wheel but nothing jumps out.

Video
 

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It looks like the large gear isn't quite centered though I don't think that would cause the pause your describing. I'd look forward and see if the whole front axle is shifting as Dave Wells talked about in his post. Maybe prop the phone up looking forward while turning . BTW That was a good shot with the video to see the action of the main gears.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
thanks! got lucky w/ setting my phone on the ground pointed up while i turned the wheel :)

So a couple of things on this....

1.) thanks to everyone thats responded here! i appreciate your help! i'm an IT guy so good w/ diagrams and visualizing but the actual mechanical part of things i'm still getting used to so thanks for the patience!

2.). Thats a good point about Dave's suggestion......i lost track of that a bit. So i think i mentioned it in one of my replies but when the steering issue started i THINK thats when we started to notice the guard thats behind the grill was way loose.....without taking the whole top off we couldnt really get in there to see what that attached to (or how important it was) so we blindly reached behind and got a bolt that we had and nut and reattached to something to secure it. does this maybe connect into that part 7 / 8 that you mention and an indicator of that stripped behavior you talked about? (cant be a coincidence i thought).

3.). carrying on from question #2, i'm assuming my best approach is to somehow take apart the whole top hood and frame/ cover as much as i can to expose that front axle (please correct me if i'm wrong here). my question here is in this diagram where does bolt #7 attach to? (hard to tell from the diagram but i'd assume into the front axle?) and then is that open spot on part #8 is that what the guard from question #2 attaches to maybe? (not sure when you talked about this known issue which part is what usually fails , leading to the steering issue

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
one more question from my last reply here.....that anchor (#8)....should it be orientated w/ 1 hole on top, 1 on bottom or left and right? only ask because i see that guard in the front has the 2 holes so if the anchor is meant to be Left/Right i would assume that the bolts would go through those 2 holes then and be good? when we noticed the guard was loose in there there was nothing in the left hole so maybe thats what happened i wonder
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
in case i'm not making sense i added a symbol of that anchor (#8 from the one diagram) into the one w/ the guard.....i noticed that IS in there behind where the guard attaches but its sort of on a 45 degree angle (not up/down or left/right) and thats where we rigged up a bolt on the left hole of the guard to hold it tight (working on getting that out now). wondering if i just then re-align that anchor so its sideways and throw a bolt from the guard side into the other side of the anchor and good? (like in the picture below....really hard to get my hands in that narrow opening)

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