Hydraulic Issues Continued

   / Hydraulic Issues Continued #1  

Beaverplt

Bronze Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
81
Location
Sussex, WI
Tractor
Kubota L225
I've started threads about my issues with the hydraulics on my L225 before. Each time, with your help, I think I've solved it. Alas, I easily fool myself.

I have an L225 with an FEL that is an occasional use tractor for us. Mostly spring and fall when working on mulching or cleaning up gardens. Over the past few years, the hydraulics will simply stop working. It has happened during use and on startup. Because weeks or sometimes months can go by without use, I've never been able to pin down what was happening when they fail. When I started documenting it, I've found a pattern. Each time it has happened in the past two years, the tractor is parked on a hill with the frontend uphill. When I get it to a level surface, everything will eventually work again. I check the trans hydraulic fluid level every time and it's never low. Considering I live on a hill, I would like to solve this problem.
Something I am wondering about. The hydraulic pump is slightly forward of the center of the tractor on the right side. When on a hill it is higher than the transmission. Could the pump be too small or too weak to pull fluid through and end up sucking air? Any thoughts are appreciated.
 
   / Hydraulic Issues Continued #2  

rScotty

Super Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Messages
6,227
Location
Rural mountains - Colorado
Tractor
Kubota M59, JD530, JD310SG. Restoring Yanmar YM165D
I've started threads about my issues with the hydraulics on my L225 before. Each time, with your help, I think I've solved it. Alas, I easily fool myself.

I have an L225 with an FEL that is an occasional use tractor for us. Mostly spring and fall when working on mulching or cleaning up gardens. Over the past few years, the hydraulics will simply stop working. It has happened during use and on startup. Because weeks or sometimes months can go by without use, I've never been able to pin down what was happening when they fail. When I started documenting it, I've found a pattern. Each time it has happened in the past two years, the tractor is parked on a hill with the frontend uphill. When I get it to a level surface, everything will eventually work again. I check the trans hydraulic fluid level every time and it's never low. Considering I live on a hill, I would like to solve this problem.
Something I am wondering about. The hydraulic pump is slightly forward of the center of the tractor on the right side. When on a hill it is higher than the transmission. Could the pump be too small or too weak to pull fluid through and end up sucking air? Any thoughts are appreciated.

hose are both possibilities. The fluid could simply be low at some angles.
Or yes, the hydraulic pump could be too worn to put a enough vacuum on the intake line to pull in some fluid.

Though from what you are seeing it sounds to me like a simple case of "don't do that". Don't park on a hill with the nose uphill.

I'm thinking that when you do that, the fluid in the intake pipe from pump to transmission case is flowng back into the the transmission ..... leaving the pump no oil to use to seal its surfaces. Without having oil in the pump, that hydraulic pump isn't very efficient. I guess you could prime it and get it going that way....but otherwise the pump is just going to seem weak until it finally purges the air from the system and starts getting a reliable oil supply to the intake of the pump.

Here's another idea....along the same line. You may have a suction leak in the filter or intake line. Those won't leak when running, but will when parked.
Most all tractor hydraulic pumps pull their oil supply from the sump through a suction side hydraulic oil filter and from there through an intake line to the pressure pump. On some, that hydraulic oil filter is supposed to have an anti-drainback flapper valve. You may have a filter without a non-functional valve...or maybe an aftermarket filter without a valve at all. An airleak in that end connections on your steel intake line to the pump is a possibility too. Especially if it ever been off or had a section of intake pipe replaced.. Steel intake suction lines that have had a section of rubber hose added are always a problem.
good luck,
rScotty
 
   / Hydraulic Issues Continued #3  

loggin

Gold Member
Joined
May 3, 2012
Messages
308
Location
Canada
Tractor
MX4700
I've started threads about my issues with the hydraulics on my L225 before. Each time, with your help, I think I've solved it. Alas, I easily fool myself.

I have an L225 with an FEL that is an occasional use tractor for us. Mostly spring and fall when working on mulching or cleaning up gardens. Over the past few years, the hydraulics will simply stop working. It has happened during use and on startup. Because weeks or sometimes months can go by without use, I've never been able to pin down what was happening when they fail. When I started documenting it, I've found a pattern. Each time it has happened in the past two years, the tractor is parked on a hill with the frontend uphill. When I get it to a level surface, everything will eventually work again. I check the trans hydraulic fluid level every time and it's never low. Considering I live on a hill, I would like to solve this problem.
Something I am wondering about. The hydraulic pump is slightly forward of the center of the tractor on the right side. When on a hill it is higher than the transmission. Could the pump be too small or too weak to pull fluid through and end up sucking air? Any thoughts are appreciated.

I also operate on fairly steep slopes and have found that keeping the hydraulic fluid about a quarter inch above the full mark, or at least to the max height, helps to keep the pump fed with oil.
 
   / Hydraulic Issues Continued
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#4  
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Beaverplt

Bronze Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
81
Location
Sussex, WI
Tractor
Kubota L225
Once I got the tractor back to a level surface, the issue resolved itself. It took 24 hours, but at least I can get going again. Part of what baffles me is this only started happening about 6 years ago. I've owned the tractor for 28 years. (Good Lord, I guess that makes me old). I will look for leaks near the pump. I do have a small leak on one cylinder, but it's not enough to rebuild it, yet. I'll post back when and if I find anything. Thanks to all
 
   / Hydraulic Issues Continued
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#5  
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Beaverplt

Bronze Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
81
Location
Sussex, WI
Tractor
Kubota L225
Well, I tried the "don't do that" method and have had a great spring and summer with the tractor. I've needed more than ever with skidding out dead trees along with the usual garden duties that SWMBO puts me through. Today, however, the "don't do that" method didn't work. Parked with the front end facing slightly downhill the FEL would not work. I once again checked my fluid level and it's ok. I'll add some more trans hydraulic fluid to see if that helps. Plus, I'll take rScotty's advice and do some more thorough detective work.
 
   / Hydraulic Issues Continued #6  

rScotty

Super Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Messages
6,227
Location
Rural mountains - Colorado
Tractor
Kubota M59, JD530, JD310SG. Restoring Yanmar YM165D
Well, the L225 is getting back to the era where most Japanese Compacts had a cleanable screen filter and also a spin on filter. Both on the suction side between the sump and intake to the hydraulic pump.

Now I'm wondering if the L225 had a cleanable screen filter and if it needs attention. We keep seeing that the older ones with cleanable screens did tend to sludge up over time. Especially older manual transmission models with water entering past the floor-mounted shift levers.
 
   / Hydraulic Issues Continued
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#7  
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Beaverplt

Bronze Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
81
Location
Sussex, WI
Tractor
Kubota L225
I'll look into that. I have two filters that I switch back and forth. They are really easy to clean but having two lets me do each one very thoroughly. Usually I do that yearly, but now that I think about it, I didn't do it this past spring. The filter is never real dirty, but it's worth looking into. The only spin on filters are the oil and fuel filters.
 
   / Hydraulic Issues Continued #8  

rScotty

Super Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Messages
6,227
Location
Rural mountains - Colorado
Tractor
Kubota M59, JD530, JD310SG. Restoring Yanmar YM165D
Well, I tried the "don't do that" method and have had a great spring and summer with the tractor. I've needed more than ever with skidding out dead trees along with the usual garden duties that SWMBO puts me through. Today, however, the "don't do that" method didn't work. Parked with the front end facing slightly downhill the FEL would not work. I once again checked my fluid level and it's ok. I'll add some more trans hydraulic fluid to see if that helps. Plus, I'll take rScotty's advice and do some more thorough detective work.

. I've owned the tractor for 28 years. (Good Lord, I guess that makes me old). I will look for leaks near the pump. I do have a small leak on one cylinder, but it's not enough to rebuild it, yet. I'll post back when and if I find anything. Thanks to all

Shucks, it makes you nearly as old as the tractor. By now that's getting to be a bond. Sort of like our old JD. Have you decided that it is a keeper yet?

Just kicking around some ideas..... and thinking about pumps....

We've got one shallow well on our place that we use for some irrigation and a pump that the specs claim will pull water up from 17 feet or more. Or I guess to be technically correct I should say that pump lowers the air pressure enough within the pump rotor cavity enough so that atmospheric pressure PUSHES the water up from the well and into to the pump.....except it doesn't. It never did. Nice pump, but the advertising was optomistic.

So what I did was put a 6" standpipe on the "Tee" fitting there right at the inlet to the pump.To prime with the standpipe, unscrew the cap, pour in a pint of water, put the cap back on. Now start the pump and about half the time it is off and running. If not, repeat.

Of course a hydraulic pump shouldn't need a standpipe to prime it - although putting on a temporary standpipe fitting would be an intriguing way to trouble shoot a suction line leak in a tractor hydraulic system. If a standpipe worked, diagnosing tractor suction line leakage would jump to the head of the list.

Of course a tractor hydraulic pump - a young one anyway - ought to last forever and always have clearances and driving shaft seals that are tight enough to pull oil from the sump. But yours is pushing 50 years old and so there is at least a chance it is pulling in some suction line air past either through leak in the suction line itself - or possibly past it's internal pump drive shaft seal. That seal is a fairly common problem.

Either way I bet you can find it. And easier than a tractor with an glitch in the engine computer.

rScotty
 
   / Hydraulic Issues Continued
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#9  
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Beaverplt

Bronze Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
81
Location
Sussex, WI
Tractor
Kubota L225
"Shucks, it makes you nearly as old as the tractor. By now that's getting to be a bond. Sort of like our old JD. Have you decided that it is a keeper yet?

Thanks for the compliment. I'm 20 years older than the tractor. If I threw it away today, I got my money's worth out of it. I'm thinking (or hoping) there might be a rebuild kit for the pump. If I can rebuild a Honda small engine, a pump should be a piece of cake. If not, spending a few bucks on a used or new one, if I can find it, would be money well spent.
 
 
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