Need info from a few 400 owners
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    Need info from a few 400 owners

    I'm in the process of several mods to a 317. Among them is installing the 400 power steering system. I have it installed on the frame and connected to the hydraulics using the 400 N3 controls. No engine yet. That will be a Kohler Command 20 HP.

    Just for test purposes, I have turned the Hydro input shaft with a drill motor which runs at approx. 700 RPM (nameplate) All the leaks have been taken care of using this method but it doesn't seem to produce a lot of assist effort to the steering. Never actually taken note of a 400 steering at idle speed, should I expect to see an appreciable amount of assist at that speed? I feel fairly confident I have bled the system adequately but intend to do it again after the engine is installed.

    Any info from experienced owners would be appreciated. Thanks.

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    Display Name: Kelvin Gebhard
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    Ryan214 installed 400 power steering on his 317. You may want to PM him if he does not reply.
    Currently in my garages/sheds: 1967 JD112 RF ... 1972 JD 112 SF ... 1973 140 H3 ... 1977 JD 300 ... 1979 JD 216
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    Display Name: Bob Meyer

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    Joe, just a dumb comment, but is drill motor running in correct direction...CCW? Bob
    '80 317 w/18hp B&S and divert valve for rear hydraulics, 3 pt hitch, 5' york rake
    '82 314 w/rear PTO for tiller
    33 tiller
    49 thrower
    54 4 way blade
    Mod 48 deck & Mod 462 TracVac

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  7. #4
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    Bob, Yup! it is. And yes, I tried it both ways. I thought the hoses may be backwards but I also tried every possible hose configuration. I know it's doing something as when I change the steering cylinder hoses it locked the steering tight. I did run across a post referring to lack of steering assist at idle but I can't find it again. If there is an issue, I'd like to address it before I install the engine. Everything is easy to get to now. Hope all is fine with you. Stay well.

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    A properly operating JD 400 power steering assist system works just fine at idle speed, but that idle speed is more than twice 700 rpm (1600-1800 rpm). So, I am not sure what to expect at 700 rpm. Has the power steering valve been serviced in the last few hundred hours? If not, the front end of the spool may be dirty/rusty, thus limiting valve action.
    Harold
    JD 400's, 420's, 425, 317's, 318's, 300, 112's, 110's; Brantly backhoe and loader on 400; 30 and 33 tillers; 49 and 50 blowers; 43, 54 and 56 blades; mower decks, cabs, etc.

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    Display Name: Bob Meyer

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    Sorry Joe, but I can't help too much. Is this a 4 port or a 5 port steering valve? Bob
    '80 317 w/18hp B&S and divert valve for rear hydraulics, 3 pt hitch, 5' york rake
    '82 314 w/rear PTO for tiller
    33 tiller
    49 thrower
    54 4 way blade
    Mod 48 deck & Mod 462 TracVac

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    Just to reiterate, I believe the 400 idle speed is around 1600 rpm. I haven't verified that on mine, but seems about right.

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    I just looked up the idle RPM for the engine I will be installing and that is 1200. Quite a bit higher than my drill motor and for sure much more torque behind it. I was thinking the idle speed would be close to a car. (For some reason, none of them logical I guess) I'm fairly comfortable with the system components and I think everything will be fine when engine power is applied. I've done similar things with a 318 steering systems and they performed quite differently than this using the same method. That's why I ask this question. As I mentioned to Bob, if it needed attention I would prefer to do it now before I assemble the entire tractor.

    So far, its looking good. I will be posting photos and a story line one of these days. I finished the fabrication of the driveshaft using new standard 1" u-joints and oil hardening steel shafting. Had to grind a few reliefs in frame gussets to clear the larger joints but nothing major. Certainly no worse than what John Deere calls for when installing a Onan in a 317.

    Thanks for the feed back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rwmeyer View Post
    Sorry Joe, but I can't help too much. Is this a 4 port or a 5 port steering valve? Bob
    It's arrangement is unique. Nothing like the 318/420.
    "Everybody is a genius.
    But if you judge a fish by it's ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid."
    Albert Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhager4692 View Post
    It's arrangement is unique. Nothing like the 318/420.
    Yes it is different but by no means original. In other posts both here and other sites, I mentioned my previous experience with both types. Back in the sixties, both of these systems were used in industrial fork lifts. At the time I worked in a paper plant and the fork lifts in those days didn't have any sort of power steering. So, we converted every one to either the type used in 318's or 400's. As hard as I try, I can't recall the company name that supplied these but we converted around twenty forklifts back then. Although neither of these tractors existed at the time. Deere simply adapted these systems to there tractors with the very same system when the time came. So I became quite familiar with both of them.

    The type used in 400's soon became preferred by the forklift operators as they demanded the direct connection with the steering tires. There being no such thing in the 318 type, the steering was always stopped in a different place which is a problem when one hand is operating lift controls in tight places. I've had two different 318's over the years and every time I got on it, it reminded me of those fork trucks. I have been told by several 318 owners that either this was not the case or they never noticed it. I did. I'm sure others will chime in with their opinions.

    Usually I like to leave these tractors as they were produced but I finally got the hankering to play around and I decided to go with the 400 system. It's just a project to keep me busy.

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