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  1. #1
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    Default 3 point lift performance

    I have a kubota B3200, about 2 yrs. old. FEL and 72" Farm King finish mower on back. Just took unit in for warranty work prior to factory warranty expiration. Here's the deal, and my question. Both FEL and 3 point hydraulics "leak" and implements come down when unit sits. 3 point comes down when unit is running. I made about a 2 mile road trip the other day and about every 10 minutes had to pull the 3 point lever back and mower would come back to top position; had dropped 6-8" each time.

    When I talk to my Kubota dealer they sort of imply this is normal. The sag on the FEL is very slow when sitting, and is no big deal, but still seems to me a new unit should not do that. The 3 point is another matter; it comes down while sitting at nearly the same rate as my old Ford 9N. I excuse the 9N; it is older than I am. When I talk to the dealer and the young service tech who called me earlier today, it is as if no one really knows what the expected performance should be. They sometimes say I should crank the drop control valve shut (the one that controls the speed of drop of 3 point implement) when it sits, but that doesn't seem right either. Then I have to mess with it and reset it every time I mow. I also have a Kubota MX5100 and have left mowers hanging on the 3 point and they seem to stay right where I left them.

    So, what should I expect from these hydraulics on a nearly new (about 70 hrs.) B3200? Should my mower stay up, or is it "normal" or "acceptable" for it to be on the ground within about 30 min. of turning off the tractor?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 3 point lift performance

    Well, it is normal to have some creep even with a new machine. Machines with exceptionally tight seals and valves will stay put for a very long time, though it puts a lot of pressure on those seals and valves and can lead to an earlier failure than if you lower everything to the ground (so really it isn't advised to leave stuff up even without counting the safety factor). All that being said, I would consider having 1000 pounds on the 3 point ending up on the ground 30 minutes after shutting down more than just "a creep"... With 1000# on my 3 point raised, I have forgot it overnight and when I started the tractor it would jump up a couple inches where it had crept down some during the night. That seems to be typical to me for units I have been around. I would start by cleaning the tractor up really good around all the hydraulic stuff and parking it on a clean surface with the 3 point raised to see if any external leaks could be identified. If there are no external leaks present, I would suspect it is an internal seal or valve causing the issue.

    Errrrr, scratch all of the above... Listen to J_J, he knows his stuff.

    Welcome to TBN!
    Last edited by Sysop; 08-15-2014 at 04:42 PM. Reason: Someone with skill came along... :)

  3. #3
    Super Star Member J_J's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3 point lift performance

    When you do crank the descent knob closed, does the 3pt stay up with a load? The descent knob is a lock/descent speed device, and I believe the valve is not involved with the knob closed. So if the 3pt descends, the 3pt piston seals are leaking. That is assuming that the relief valve is good.

    Just about all hyd equipment will leak down, some more so than others.

    Are you sure you are putting the 3pt lever in neutral? That valve should lock the cyl.

    Your FEL drop is not normal. You have cyl bypass or valve spool leaking, and they surely can test for that. I think they are dragging you on about the problem.

    They should have fixed it before now.

    You might consider sending the district kubota rep some of your troubles, and let him know the local guys do not seem to be able or interested in fixing the problem. Do you have any documentation for past troubles.

    It does piss one off, knowing they have the equipment to do the test, and refuse to cooperate and satisfy the customer.
    J.J.

    When I works, I works hard. When I sits and thinks, I goes to sleep.

    Git er done.

  4. #4
    Super Star Member k0ua's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3 point lift performance

    Quote Originally Posted by Sysop View Post
    Well, it is normal to have some creep even with a new machine. Machines with exceptionally tight seals and valves will stay put for a very long time, though it puts a lot of pressure on those seals and valves and can lead to an earlier failure than if you lower everything to the ground (so really it isn't advised to leave stuff up even without counting the safety factor). All that being said, I would consider having 1000 pounds on the 3 point ending up on the ground 30 minutes after shutting down more than just "a creep"... With 1000# on my 3 point raised, I have forgot it overnight and when I started the tractor it would jump up a couple inches where it had crept down some during the night. That seems to be typical to me for units I have been around. I would start by cleaning the tractor up really good around all the hydraulic stuff and parking it on a clean surface with the 3 point raised to see if any external leaks could be identified. If there are no external leaks present, I would suspect it is an internal seal or valve causing the issue.
    This has been my experience also.. Keep in mind you don't have position control on the B3200 (or at least I don't think you do). so it will drift down with no mechanism other than your eyes to detect it, and your hands to correct it. But that does seem like an excessive amount of leak down. They all leak down some, but with position control, you won't notice it because it is always being corrected automatically by the feedback mechanism. On my old B7500,(no position control) I believed it leaked down about an inch or so in 15 minutes, so maybe 2 inches in 30 minutes. But certainly not all the way down in 30 minutes.
    James KUA

    Kioti DK35se hydrostat with 2 QA buckets, 48 inch. King Kutter Rotary Cutter. 750 lbs ballast box. Loaded tires, Construction Attachments SSQA Lightweight Pallet forks. EA 50 inch single lid "wicked" Grapple. Satisfied Everlast PA160 welder owner How to add a link to a post . Best way to search TBN


  5. #5
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    Default Re: 3 point lift performance

    Thanks, you've been helpful already. I did lock the descent knob once, a long time back when I first mentioned this to my sales rep and he suggested it, and as I recall the mower stayed up, but have not tried that recently. Regarding putting the 3 pt. lever in neutral, educate me more on that. What I normally do is, after I am done mowing and raise the mower all the way up in preparation for taking the air hose to it for clean up, just release the lever and let it slide forward to its normal stopping point, which I would say is somewhere between mid stroke and 2/3 of the way back. If I want to lower the mower on purpose, I have to push the 3 pt. lever ahead quite a ways from this stopping point. But if there is a true neutral position that should be attained at a specific spot I may not be there.

    And when I am all done using the tractor I always drop the mower to the ground and same with the FEL, in float position, both for safety and as was mentioned I assume it is always good for the life of valves and seals to have less pressure rather than more. When using my finish mower it rolls on wheels and the 3 pt. doesn't have to do anything, but if I want to use my rough cut mower with the B3200 (I haven't yet as it is up at my farm where I have the MX5100) the 3 pt. is critical to holding the height setting. But you guys know all that.

    I did jump on kubota web today looking for a number to call but maybe gave up too soon. J_J, you mentioned the district rep.; how would I find that number? Since the rig is in the shop now I will give them a chance but am expecting I may need to do more. I love my sales guy and he really know tractors and everything related and has lots of real experience. But this is a pretty good sized implement dealer in North Dakota and lots of the guys are buying the $400,000 tractors; maybe they get more attention. But every time I deal with "the shop" I come away feeling like they don't know much and don't really care that they don't know much. Not a feeling of comfort.

  6. #6
    Super Star Member k0ua's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3 point lift performance

    Quote Originally Posted by sycamore View Post
    Thanks, you've been helpful already. I did lock the descent knob once, a long time back when I first mentioned this to my sales rep and he suggested it, and as I recall the mower stayed up, but have not tried that recently. Regarding putting the 3 pt. lever in neutral, educate me more on that. What I normally do is, after I am done mowing and raise the mower all the way up in preparation for taking the air hose to it for clean up, just release the lever and let it slide forward to its normal stopping point, which I would say is somewhere between mid stroke and 2/3 of the way back. If I want to lower the mower on purpose, I have to push the 3 pt. lever ahead quite a ways from this stopping point. But if there is a true neutral position that should be attained at a specific spot I may not be there.

    And when I am all done using the tractor I always drop the mower to the ground and same with the FEL, in float position, both for safety and as was mentioned I assume it is always good for the life of valves and seals to have less pressure rather than more. When using my finish mower it rolls on wheels and the 3 pt. doesn't have to do anything, but if I want to use my rough cut mower with the B3200 (I haven't yet as it is up at my farm where I have the MX5100) the 3 pt. is critical to holding the height setting. But you guys know all that.

    I did jump on kubota web today looking for a number to call but maybe gave up too soon. J_J, you mentioned the district rep.; how would I find that number? Since the rig is in the shop now I will give them a chance but am expecting I may need to do more. I love my sales guy and he really know tractors and everything related and has lots of real experience. But this is a pretty good sized implement dealer in North Dakota and lots of the guys are buying the $400,000 tractors; maybe they get more attention. But every time I deal with "the shop" I come away feeling like they don't know much and don't really care that they don't know much. Not a feeling of comfort.
    The drop of a rotary cutter (no wheels) is a common problem on machines without position control on the 3pt. The centering of the control lever for the lift should occur naturally when you let go of it, but my B7500 did stick sometimes. Your MX5100 should have position control, and the mower should stay put where you put it.

    What a lot of guys do, is either buy one of the commercially sold chain harness's or build one that is nothing more than an adjustable set of chains that usually run from where the top link fastens to the lower link pins, so that they can set the length of the chains to their standard mowing height. Then you drop the lift so the weight is riding on the chains, and the hydraulics are not holding any weight at all. The mower is still free to ride up if it goes over an obstacle, and then drops back down to this pre adjusted height. There is no way for the cutter to drop any further over time, and the aggravation factor to the operator is solved.

    You might check with this outfit to see if they still make them,
    Zerco Manufacturing Company
    500 North Main
    Springfield MO 65806
    (417)866-2472
    James KUA

    Kioti DK35se hydrostat with 2 QA buckets, 48 inch. King Kutter Rotary Cutter. 750 lbs ballast box. Loaded tires, Construction Attachments SSQA Lightweight Pallet forks. EA 50 inch single lid "wicked" Grapple. Satisfied Everlast PA160 welder owner How to add a link to a post . Best way to search TBN


  7. #7
    Super Star Member J_J's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3 point lift performance

    The chain idea is a good thing, but he wants the tractor to operate as advertised.

    If the 3pt valve is a spring center valve, it will go to neutral when released if nothing is binding.

    On my B9200 the lever stays where I leave it.

    Neutral is that point in lever travel where there is no up or down.

    Just ask your dealer for the name and number to the district rep. That just might give him an incentive to look more closely at your complaints.

    The hyd shop at your dealer might not be all that qualified. Could have lost some of their good men and hired some marginal wanna be's.
    J.J.

    When I works, I works hard. When I sits and thinks, I goes to sleep.

    Git er done.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 3 point lift performance

    Quote Originally Posted by J_J View Post
    The chain idea is a good thing, but he wants the tractor to operate as advertised.

    If the 3pt valve is a spring center valve, it will go to neutral when released if nothing is binding.

    On my B9200 the lever stays where I leave it.

    Neutral is that point in lever travel where there is no up or down.

    Just ask your dealer for the name and number to the district rep. That just might give him an incentive to look more closely at your complaints.

    The hyd shop at your dealer might not be all that qualified. Could have lost some of their good men and hired some marginal wanna be's.


    Thanks again for all the help. I actually have a set of the commercially made chains suggested to "hang" a 3 pt. implement on (and thanks for the idea), but they are for my 1946 Ford 9N; I cut that old girl a lot of slack. But you are right J_J, I expect my 2012 nearly brand and pricey (by my standards) new tractor to keep the 3 pt. right where I put it. Thanks for the idea on how to locate the district rep. I'll let my dealership work on this and see how things turn out and be optimistic. But it really helps to have all your input to know that I'm right to expect much better performance than I'm getting, from the hydraulics and the dealer!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 3 point lift performance

    Quote Originally Posted by sycamore View Post
    Thanks again for all the help. I actually have a set of the commercially made chains suggested to "hang" a 3 pt. implement on (and thanks for the idea), but they are for my 1946 Ford 9N; I cut that old girl a lot of slack. But you are right J_J, I expect my 2012 nearly brand and pricey (by my standards) new tractor to keep the 3 pt. right where I put it. Thanks for the idea on how to locate the district rep. I'll let my dealership work on this and see how things turn out and be optimistic. But it really helps to have all your input to know that I'm right to expect much better performance than I'm getting, from the hydraulics and the dealer!

    So I've been very slow getting back since mid August 2014; here's what has happened so far. My dealer replaced a piece in the 3 pt. hydraulic system that they thought was "rough" and may not have been sealing properly; they really didn't seem too sure. The young technician who worked on it showed me the piece they replaced; it seemed to have some very minor roughness but I suppose when sealing hydraulic oil it would not take much to create a leak. He had tested things by leaving the mower up over night on a concrete surface. It has been awhile so I am a little fuzzy on exactly how he described it, but it stayed up much better according to him. I will test the unit myself in the spring, but it does sound like it will continue to creep down a bit and they seem to think that is normal and acceptable. Maybe not a big deal since, as I said, I really only leave the mower up for cleaning and put it on the ground when not in use. But still, a new unit and I expect it to work correctly. The young tech who worked on it was great; the dealership as a whole seemed confused and bordering on incompetent. It was under warranty, but when I picked it up one of the main contact people in the office said they'd let me know if there was a charge. I said "what do you mean, a charge?" It just got kind of quiet in the room and they all looked at each other. Finally the head service guy said he would take care of it. I didn't leave with a warm feeling. When I get some time I think I will still take J_J's advice and visit with the district kubota rep. I'd like to hear there perspective.

    I have another warranty/dealership issue with the hour meter on my MX5100. I'll find the right forum to ask that question; really need advice there too.

    Thanks so much everyone.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 3 point lift performance

    While I don't have a belly mower, I always have a counter weight of about 500 lbs on the 3PTH of my B3200. I do have to raise it two or three times a day. Never noticed my loader creep down. I am so used to my MF135 with box blade creeping and groaning its way down within 30 minutes of shut down that I guess I am satisfied with the B3200 and I du use the desent knob from time to time to keep the 3PTH stable.
    Unimogdave

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