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  1. #1
    Silver Member century3045's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    125
    Location
    Westminster, SC
    Tractor
    century/A/C 616

    Default STEERING ROD LINK FAILURE, CENTURY/BRANSON

    How many of you have had to replace the tie-rod ends on your tractor due to them breaking? I noticed the things break right where the threads start and they are only about 5/16 0r 3/8 max. They should be 5/8 or 3/4 with a 4wd and fel. I have went through 3 in 2 1/2 years. One was under warranty, the others, 127.22 each. I am thinking of getting a local machine shop to modify the thing for a larger tie-rod end. I drive mytractor on the highway a lot and have the fear of one breaking and throwing me in the ditch or on coming traffic. The older century's were made bigger. Why the made those smaller is a mystery to me but this is the only major complaint I have with the tractor. One other complaint I have is the Forward/Reverse lever being so spongy. You have to snap it into gear with a quick jerk or sometimes it fails to engage and you have gears grinding or you just plain don't go anywhere. I feel this lever needs to work as smoothly as the throttle lever or any other lever. The PTO lever works great, the 4wd lever is a little tricky, most of the time I have to put mine in reverse and rock it to disengage 4wd. Anyone having these kind of problems? Your input will be greatly appreciated

  2. #2
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    18
    Location
    Winchester Va.
    Tractor
    Branson 4020

    Default Re: STEERING ROD LINK FAILURE, CENTURY/BRANSON

    my left front tie rod end has the same problem. i have complained to my dealer about it and he only tries to tightin the nut down tighter i wonder if there are others with the same problem. my only other nuisance to me is trying to keep lug nuts tight.

  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    7
    Location
    Statesville, NC
    Tractor
    Branson 3510

    Default Re: STEERING ROD LINK FAILURE, CENTURY/BRANSON

    Ditto on the shifter with my 3510. Dealer said it would smooth out over time. My biggest complaint is that the shifter is too low. I hit my knee when I'm working the BB and looking over my right shoulder. I'm only 5'8". I'm going to look at raising it up this winter.

  4. #4
    Bronze Member kongs3510's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    60
    Location
    Pendleton, Indiana
    Tractor
    Branson 3510

    Default Re: STEERING ROD LINK FAILURE, CENTURY/BRANSON

    I've not had the tie rod problems yet (knock on wood) but I have found that the best way to get the tractor out of 4x4 is to use the fel to lift the front end a bit. that relieves the drivetrain from any binding issues, and it comes out of 4x4 very easy. give it a try.....Brian
    Branson 3510, FEL, 6ft. RFM, 6ft. BB, 6ft. RB, and a disc, you guessed it, 6 ft.

  5. #5
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    56
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Tractor
    Century 2535

    Default Re: STEERING ROD LINK FAILURE, CENTURY/BRANSON

    Another easy way to take the 4wd out of gear is to push the clutch in while rolling and then the strain usually lets up, usually it freely disengages. Otherwise you have to move in the opposite direction before it will easily disengage. But you know, that is a small inconvenience when compared to the beauty of the 4wd.

    With the shuttle lever I had to train myself not to push as hard as I used to on the older tractors. It will engage faster for me that way. Now the problem is that I sometimes do not quite engage the gear, but I can tell almost immediately when I start letting the clutch out.

    I have had no problems with the tie rods on my 2535.

    Love the tractor

    wejones

  6. #6
    Platinum Member Zork's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    724
    Location
    Virginia
    Tractor
    '04 Branson 3520, '51 Fergy, '96 MTD 18/46, '02 Craftsman GT5000/48

    Default Re: STEERING ROD LINK FAILURE, CENTURY/BRANSON

    I found that if I keep my tires inflated to the recommended pressure my 4wd will release (for the most part) with ease. The tire pressure at recommended pressure seems to reduce extra torque.
    He who is full loathes honey, but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.

  7. #7
    Silver Member century3045's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    125
    Location
    Westminster, SC
    Tractor
    century/A/C 616

    Default Re: STEERING ROD LINK FAILURE, CENTURY/BRANSON

    I never have checked my tire pressure. I have water/anti freeze in my rear tires. I have had both front tires off and back to the tire station repaired for flats so I figured they inflated them correctly. The shifter is not a real big deal , its's just a matter of putting the gearshift in reverse and rocking the clutch out while pulling up on it. Fairly easy unless I'm on a steep place, then I just wait till I get more level to take it out. No it's not a big deal at all considering the luxury of 4wd. The F/R lever works fine as long as I use it with a quick snapping motion. Sometimes I forget and it won't engage all the way and I have some gear grinding, not a major thing either. The tie rods on the other hand is a major deal. If you haven't had one to break yet, I'd say you will. One of the mechanics asked me if I was using my tractor on uneven ground and I reminded him where we live, the mountains of S.C. not the coastal plains. Besides he didn't ask me where I was gonna use it before I bought it. The salesman had a drawer full of tie rods, steering rods whatever you call them and he had many broke ones also. He commented on them not being made very well and that he has had to replace a lot of them. I use my front end loader a lot and I pick up and carry a lot of heavy things, such as large round bales. I think this attributes to the things breaking but what really scared me was when one broke while I was driving without even using the loader. Had I been on the highway going full throttle it wouldn't have been nice. I am gonna persue a redesign for these things. I figure I have broke 3 at less than 250 hrs. so I can count on breaking more.

  8. #8
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    2,900
    Location
    Red Bluff, CA
    Tractor
    Changes often!

    Default Re: STEERING ROD LINK FAILURE, CENTURY/BRANSON

    Branson will very soon have available to the dealers a larger tie rod end. We have a few on order, but they have not yet arrived in the Georgia parts warehouse. This isn't real common, but we do see it occasionally on guys that are constantly at full capacity with the loader, especially if the tires are all loaded and/or running chains on all fours. These are heavy tractors with high lift capacities, and let's face it, we use them hard. Even so, I'd like to see overkill in this area, perhaps twice the size and we would never see the failures.
    Dave
    Red Bluff, California

  9. #9
    Silver Member century3045's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    125
    Location
    Westminster, SC
    Tractor
    century/A/C 616

    Default Re: STEERING ROD LINK FAILURE, CENTURY/BRANSON

    That is wonderful news, I'd love to see overkill there myself. I'll be waiting for them to become available. Thanks for your Reply

  10. #10
    Platinum Member Zork's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    724
    Location
    Virginia
    Tractor
    '04 Branson 3520, '51 Fergy, '96 MTD 18/46, '02 Craftsman GT5000/48

    Default Re: STEERING ROD LINK FAILURE, CENTURY/BRANSON

    Hi, where do they break? At the tie rod end (ball and nut area) or at the threaded portion that is connected to the steering cylinder? Mine look pretty beefy; however, there is some play at the tie rod end. And there WAS some play where the stem of the tie rod went into the steering hub flange. It looked like there was paint at the mating surface, and it was never cleaned off properly. I thought that the paint wore off and it loosened up, and all I did was tighten the nut up. Don't think its moved again, I'll check shortly. I have been pretty thorough about checking things. I haven't gone to the dealer to compare tie rod ends yet. What is the difference in the size of the newer tie rod end? I'll keep an eye on this since my warranty will run out this January. Also at the high price of the tie rod, I'd think that one could be easily found and modified for almost a tenth of what the asking price was (if it was out of warranty). I still do not regret buying it. I think it was a great investment and better than some. I have had a little trouble with it, but nothing major.
    He who is full loathes honey, but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.

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