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Curious, is the sector gear worn or the pinion gear on the steering column that is worn? Due to me leaving the snow plow rock shaft arms in place that rubbed on the steering during left hand turns, mine wore the sector gear where the steering was impacted by that rubbing. My pinion was in like new shape luckily.
 

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Agree 100% with you. Glad to see you survived and are recovering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I checked both the sector gear and the pinion gear and the pinon looks almost new with no visible wear, but the sector was very shiny on a few teeth right in the center and the steering wheel would rotate back and forth about 10 or 15 degrees without moving the sector gear. I've got the new sector and will put it in when I get over the removal of the steering wheel and taking off the 54" deck. That took all day after going to HF for the bearing splitter. BTW, as some of you know, on the later models of the 500, the pinion is part of the steering shaft and cannot be removed. A new shaft is $219 from JD! It also means that the sector gear cannot be replaced without taking the steering wheel off, removing the center panel, and removing the cotter pin to allow the shaft to drop down. This setup must have been designed by the guy who made the center panel useless when a one-inch plastic tab breaks. If he got fired, I'm sure he is now a weatherman on TV because they are always wrong and never get fired.
 

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rudy, I'm a little late to the party, but
I tend to agree with blkwtr, the tires may make a big difference. Have you tried airing yours up a bit above normal to see if that is the problem? The ribbed tires look like they'd help alot with steering. Even tho' my 345 has power steering, it still seems harder to steer than one might think, unless I keep the tires fully inflated. It's also a bit wore.

The wheel on my 345 was a real bear to get off. I hung the tractor by using ratchet straps tied to the steering wheel until the whole thing was picked up off the floor; then smacked the steering shaft with a brass drift and hammer. It popped off with a bang. (the nut was put in place to keep it from flying). Been trying to figure out a method to attach a puller to it, but if it's only once in 20 years, guess I'll live with it. That guy you mentioned should have been forced to leave the company years ago.
It would have so easy to include threaded inserts for removal when molding the wheel; or design the hub for same.

And, I gotta agree about the "meteorologists". With all their charts and graphs, they still get paid too much whether they're right or wrong.
 

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Good to hear from a recovering stroke victim. I am also coming back from a stroke. Hard on a guy who works with his hands.
I have a Honda tractor that I had to remove the steering wheel. I tried a lot of things many of what has been mentioned. Mine was fastened with a pin. I had to drill a small hole in the seam between the shaft and the wheel hub. That released the pressure between the two. A little blaster and viola! Anti seize to go back on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
If you have a gear puller, mine is a two-jaw about 8-inches long and a bearing separator, the separator has to be a larger diameter than the hub on the wheel, then the gear puller jaws can grab onto the separator, and off it comes. The big issue is having something for the puller to grab onto. I made a steel plate with a 1/2 slot for the shaft to fit in but it bent as I tried to pull it off. Once I put the bearing separator on that was it.
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Hello from the world of stroke recovery! I've had a rough time of it but am almost back to normal. I just bought an X500 that is hard to steer and it appears to be the gear. The pinion looks good with no apparent wear but with the front end off of the ground, I can turn the steering wheel with one finger. Both front wheels turn freely left and right. Have any of you found this issue? I tried to find a video of the replacement but I could only find the cheaper models like the L, D. models. One documented repair took the entire steering system apart including the instrument island. I was hoping that wasn't necessary. Any help would be appreciated.
Is there any way to check the center distance between the gear and pinion? they should bow be able to move apart when the machine is lifted. So it sounds like right bow they are are in a bind condition. Whatever supports the gear is moving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
The pinion and the sector gears are mated now but I can see that the teeth on the sector gear are not sharp and pointed like the new gear I bought. Unfortunately, when JD went with the new pinion that is part of the steering shaft, the steering shaft has to be released from the top because the sector gear will not come off unless the pinion is released due to an edge on the pinion. I see no purpose for the edge and without it, the sector gear would just be a nut removal job. So by making the pinion part of the shaft, the job goes from about one to two hours to about four or five depending on getting the steering wheel off.
 

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I don't know which steering system your X 500 uses but I replaced mine a few of years ago. Stupidly I didn't take pics but kept some notes on what I did to remove and replace the steering quadrant assembly. Not sure if anything in this attachment will help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Ok, problem #2. I got the big 22 mm nut off of the sector gear shaft and now I can't get the shaft out of the bracket. I've hammered it pretty hard and no movement at all. I have sprayed PB all over it and will wait for a while but I can't see any other approach to this problem because of its location. I am not going to reuse the gear so any damage to it is not an issue. Any ideas? Here is a picture of the gear and the shaft that won't come out. I see nothing that would keep it in place other than rust.
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Discussion Starter · #32 · (Edited)
I got it out! Guess what the universal magic that works on most JD parts is? Heat. It was the bottom ball bearing that was rusted into the lower frame bracket. A lot of PB Blaster and pounding and then heat. I felt it start to inch its way out after the heat and finally bang! Obviously, I will need new bearings. The lower bearing support is part of a larger piece that is mostly
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closed except facing the front, which is wide open and the sector gear bearings fit into the top and bottom of this piece. Unfortunately, it is full of grass and dirt and since it is not very open in the back, it is almost impossible to clean out with a hose or pressure washer. I am going to put a cover on the front to keep the debris out. Man, for my first tractor back, this one has been a doozy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
I got the new sector gear on and reassembled the whole thing and now it turns with one hand, not finger but hand. I found an easier way to take the sector off and that is to leave the two steering rods attached to the gear and then when it comes off, the two nuts are easy to remove from the gear. Then BEFORE reinstalling the new gear, attach the two rods to it. I found it to be easier than some of the other ways I read about. One of the toughest jobs with the whole thing was holding the new gear up into the new bearing and then reaching over the motor to put the nut, bearing, and washers on. I used a little scissor jack to hold the gear in place. BTW, I had to add one more washer on the top of the gear because the new gear threads ran out before it tightened up. Be sure and move the gear ends, where the rods attach, up and down to see if there is any play. If there is you will need another washer or two. Not a really hard job if rust isn't your issue. The steering wheel and then the sector gear shaft were both rusted into their mates and that was the only difficult job.
 

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Man, I must have done something wrong in my life to have this many issues with one mower. I got the steering issue all closed up and decided to take it around to my wash area and pressure wash the frame and engine and it started right up but as soon as I released the parking brake it quit. I bypassed the seat switch because I put a new seat on it and know that is in the safety circuit. I tried it again and the same thing happened. I checked all of the wirings that I had moved during the gear swap and it was ok. I tried again but no go. So I taped the brake switch to the "IN" or "On" position and it started and ran normally. Do any of you know a simple test for the brake switch? I have the schematic but it is so involved. It appears that the brake switch controls two items, starter actuation and ignition. The starter part is working but the ignition is turning off after the brake is released. I also read that the fuel cut-off solenoid is controlled by this switch, ie, if there is a safety issue it cuts the fuel off immediately. Any help with this?
 

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I believe the parking break only affects the cranking circuit! once it's running the brake switch is out of the equation! I'd be looking at the seat switch wiring!maybe applying the brake is making you push back harder on the seat moving the seat wiring!if it only cranks with the brake applied the switch is fine imo! taping up the switch would allow it to start without applying the brake or not crank at all with the pedal applied[not familiar with the no/nc switch wiring]
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
I know about the starting circuit but from the wiring, it also allows the ignition circuit to be energized. When the brake pedal is released, the starter circuit is de-energized and the ignition circuit is routed through some other devices like the fuel solenoid. I think it is probably a relay but I haven't looked for it.
 
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