For KbuMech or any one else that wants to comment.

I have a B7200HST purchased used in Oct 2000 with 365 hrs, and currently has 490hrs. Its strictly 2WD with manual steering.

The other day I broke the steering assembly for the second time in exactly the same place. First time was back in July 2001 and I am getting concerned. The part that breaks is what I beleive is called the 'sector gear shaft'. The part of the steering linkage that protrudes from the casting surounding the steering wheel shaft just beneath the fuel tank. The shaft breaks clean flush with the body of the casting. It is apparently due to excessive torque on the shaft, not from bending.

The break ocurrs when the left front wheel hits an obstacle, which causes the wheel to turn toward the left almost to the 90 degree point. It does this whole thing FAST! Fortunately I have learned to keep my thumbs out of the steering wheel! The noise when the break ocurs sounds like a pistol shot. In both cases, I was using the front end loader. But the first time I was simply pushing large rocks along, and a smaller one caught the wheel. The second time I had just a of cubic foot of mud, no more than a 5 gal pail worth in the bucket, and a rut caught the wheel.

Last time I got it fixed at the local kubota dealer, but at a cost of about $450 for parts and labor. This time I would like to do it myself if thats practical since $450 bills aren't found under leaves around here. Is this a reasoable task to consider?

I'd also like to understand something of the steering system.
- Are there suposed to be any physical stops in the front end of these machines to prevent the wheels from turning so far that the sector gear takes the strain.
- Are tractor front ends designed like cars so that they should straighten out on reasonably smooth ground? This machine tends to oversteer in my opinion - slightest bump pulls it right or left.
- Is a failure of this sort common on manual steering tractors?
- Is this the kind of problem best corrected by driving a new 4WD machine w/PS under the fuel filler cap?

Thanks for any response,
Fred