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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    111
    Location
    Weems, Virginia
    Tractor
    John Deere 4110

    Default Power steering loosing power

    The steering on my new 4110 has recently started to quit when I have even just a modest load in the FEL. With a small load the steering works fine half a turn either side of center but fails when turning further. Attemping to turn the wheels when stopped on my concrete pad with a light load fails. The steering wheel becomes nearly impossible to turn. Moving the tractor may then instanly return the steering to its normal effortlessness. It seems there is definite point of torque needed to turn the wheels where the power steering fails, like maybe a relief valve opening.

    This seems to have started after changing the hydraulic fluid at 50 hours. I used the recommend low viscousity Hy-Gard and the level is correct. All the other hydraulics seems to be working normally. I will take the tractor back to the dealer next week but I would like to have a clue before I do. Anyone have an idea?

    Jeff

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    111
    Location
    Weems, Virginia
    Tractor
    John Deere 4110

    Default Re: Power steering loosing power

    Update:

    The 4110 has been at the dealer a couple days but they have not found the cause. According to the service manager John Deere told them that I should not expect to be able to operate the bucket and steer and the same time. The hydraulic pump is not big enought to supply power to the steering cylinder and the bucket cylinders at the same time. Makes sense, it is only 17hp.

    Since I am not really coordinated enough to operate the steering wheel and the SCV concurrently in a safe manner this is probably not a big deal. Although I wonder why it used to work just fine.

    I explained to them again the steering loss happens even when the bucket is not in operation. They said they would reopen the case and take it up with the TAM. I will wait this out but I am expecting to be blown off again with some excuse. Maybe I need an attitude adjustment. Let me find that bottle of Jack Daniels.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    1,187
    Location
    Delaware
    Tractor
    JD 4110 HST w/410 Loader and 60

    Default Re: Power steering loosing power

    The Jack won't fix your tractor's problem, but it won't hurt it either [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

    My 2210 has an even lower GPM flow rate than the 4110, but I have not experienced what you have described. The key point in your story to me is that it began after the tranny oil change.

    I noticed within hours of delivery of my tractor that it is important to keep the RPMs up during any load tasks, and especially if maneuvering the tractor's steering...I'm sure you know that already. I have no experience diagnosing hydraulic problems but my common mechanical sense would lead me to ask about possible constriction of hydraulic flow to the power steering cylinder or a possible diversion from that cylinder.

    Based on what you have written here, it doesn't sound like you are asking more of the hydraulic system than it is capable of delivering.

    Seems to me that a static load (held in the bucket) requires higher pressure in the loader cylinders but it shouldn't detract substantially from the flow rate required to fill up the power steering cylinder. However, asking the pump to fill cylinders simultaneously might cause the condition you describe, but only until you stop one of the functions. If there are any mechanics or experts out there, please feel free to straighten out my thinking.

    Be persistent with your dealer. It would be worth it to show them the condition first hand at the dealership if need be. A few months ago I insisted my dealer use my box blade to grade part of their gravel lot to verify a leak from the toplink hinge plate. Very few tractors malfunction when they are sitting still in a warm shop.

    Good luck.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    111
    Location
    Weems, Virginia
    Tractor
    John Deere 4110

    Default Re: Power steering loosing power

    Persistence and patience both, I think. The service manager called yesterday to say he tried the tractor out and while he experienced the steering problem while picking up some dirt he had no trouble steering while going straight. OOH-kay. He then gave me an extended lecture on the inadequacy of using the 5' box blade as ballast. Apparently I need at least 765 lbs of ballast for proper operation. At the end he said they would do some more checking and get back to me.

    I put 50 hours on this tractor hauling dirt, stone and sand around my lots with no trouble. After Isabel I moved 30 12' long, 16 -24" diameter pine logs into a large stack with the FEL and never had any trouble steering.

    My point to the dealer is if there is nothing wrong with it now why did it work so much better before? And I should be able to sell it or trade it in, maybe even to them?

    Time will tell.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    111
    Location
    Weems, Virginia
    Tractor
    John Deere 4110

    Default Re: Power steering loosing power

    Update:

    Went by the dealer this afternoon. The service manager said he could find nothing wrong with the tractor and suggested that if I had anymore trouble with it I should call him. I told him I would check it one more time before I left in case it had cured itself. The problem is easy to demonstrate: start engine, lift bucket, try to steer. After checking it I found him in the owner's office and they both came out to try it. I stood in the bucket while each one tried to steer it. The steering wheel would move only one half turn in either direction. Still not convinced the service manager raised the front wheels off the ground, turns the wheel lock to lock and states: "John Deere says it's O.K. it you can do that."

    At this point the owner sees the absurdity in the situation. He doesn't want to spend money trying to fix it because he doesn't think John Deere will honor it as warranty work. I impressed on him that the tractor performed well for 60 hours before this and I only wanted them to make it work like it used too. Repeated this a couple more times and we all agreed they would "research" it some more.

    I honestly don't expect any satisfaction at this point. Is John Deere really that cheap about warranty claims? I'll give it another week but I really haven't figured out my next move. Any suggestions?

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    264
    Location
    Rocky Mountains
    Tractor
    JD790

    Default Re: Power steering loosing power

    I don't know much about the JD warranty escalation process (bought my JD well out of warranty), but it sounds to me like it's time to bring the issue to the JD regional management or higher. I find it difficult to believe that the dealer says being unable to steer with a bucket loaded is normal [img]/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    34
    Location
    Putnam, CT
    Tractor
    Century

    Default Re: Power steering loosing power

    I am following this thread with intrest. My Century 3045 has the exact same problem. Unaffected by RPM or bucket weight. Not happening as often though. I going to have my dealer look at it, if he has any ideas I'll let you know. Started at about 35 hrs, fine until then. I would second the idea of moving up the ranks at JD. Please keep us informed!
    jh

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Posts
    58
    Location
    Queenstown, MD
    Tractor
    JD4710

    Default Re: Power steering loosing power

    JClark:

    I agree with Mt. Man -- get in touch with JD Regional Mgmt. -- since I don't know your dealer, I won't go there, BUT a few years ago I had a 4400 with the now famous steering problem, and my dealer (who is great, BTW) and the Regional Mgr. combined to replace my year old tractor (150 hrs.) with a new one. I guess what I'm saying is that a good dealer, coupled with a good R.M. will fix your problem. Also, I guess you're aware JD has an 800 number....Good luck.

    JackD

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    1,187
    Location
    Delaware
    Tractor
    JD 4110 HST w/410 Loader and 60

    Default Re: Power steering loosing power

    Your warranty describes the specific path for problem resolution. Once you have reached the point where your dealer cannot provide you with any satisfaction, contact JD Customer Complaint Center at 1-800-537-8233. They will facilitate the problem from there. First, you will receive a "Case" number for your formal complaint. Make a few notes and tell the JD C.C.C rep the chronolgy of events. Clearly state what resolution you expect and make yourself available for any disucssion, e.g. work number, fax number, etc. The next step will involve a Regional Manager speaking with the dealer to determine what has been done. Sometome dealers get a little cranky about this step. Your hope is that the regional technical manager challenges the dealer's diagnosis and insists upon seeing the tractor himself. You should ask for this in your phone call. Lifting up the front wheels and turning the without load sounds like a brush-off. Let the CCC folks know that and you will probably start to get some action.

    Time to make the call.... [img]/forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img]

  10. #10
    Gold Member JASTN70D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    407
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Tractor
    T4020 Deluxe

    Default Re: Power steering loosing power

    I had a similar problem on my 4100 After 50 hour service It turned out to be air in the hydraulics. Not sure how to bleed it though. It was fixed by a friend with experience in such things. In fact the dealer did not have an answer but the friend did.! When I first got the tractor it was hard to steer eventually the steering hydraulic shaft broke. It turned out it was put on backwards at the factory.

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