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Discussion Starter #1
1. Added 49 snow blower today
2. Inside Hyd lever very difficult to move. Initially, a half dozen times, I was able to lift and drop snow blower. Then the inside lever became stiff and is now locked in what appears to be the center position.
3. Steering went away. Wheel turns, front end does not.
4. Sounds like air in the hyd system at the pump.

How to eliminate air? Im soaking the hyd lever where it meets the block with PB blaster. Added more hyd fluid to cover what volume increased with the snow blower lines. Sight gauge is normal. Still no steering.
Anyone have an idea? More than one idea?
Thanks,
Lou (two 318s)
 

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Sounds like hyd oil might be going straight to tank for some reason . Would explain why no pressure for steering?
 

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I believe there is a breather hole in the fill tube fitting at the transmission. This breather hole should be open to relieve the air lock.

Also breather is needed to ventilate transmission sump so correct oil level is showing in tube.
 

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Try disconnecting the front hydraulics, see if steering comes back and the lever frees up. That will help locate the problem. If it returns to normal, the problem lies in the hoses and the front lift cylinder on the blower. Keep working the steering back and forth and the front hydraulic lift. That is the only way to purge the lines. You way have to jack the front off the ground so you don't wear the tread off the tires.
 

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Or you may need to remove and clean the control valve ... page 5 ... 1983 JD 318 Cleanup ... Southwest Wisconsin

Oil and working the lever back and forth may work. It did on my 314 but offering this if you need to go into the valve.
 

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If the hyd lines are long enough to reach the other quick connects, maybe try hooking them to those ones. If it works it may be an inside control valve problem.
 

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One of the valves I cleaned up in the link I posted had sat for some time and chrome peeled off the spool. This is the first time I went into a valve so only saw this event one time. Biggest issue is gunk buildup in the detent area of the valve needs clean up. Good luck ... Gabby
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the input. One of the questions I have is where is the fluid going if it doesnt register on the sight tube when I significantly increase the fluid amount. Regarding the breather hole on the fill tube, it seems that if the cap is off while its running then it should equalize with the atmosphere. I'll try switching to the other set of hookups and report back.
 

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I am more familiar with the closed frame 3XX tractors that use a breather located in hose just above where you check fluid level. Without that breather the hose gets a vapor lock and correct level does not show in tube. Since your tractor still uses a tube with sight gauge it must still vapor lock. Looking for breather hole location. I may need to go to garage to look at my project 318.
 

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If the line going from the sight glass to the upper part of the trans has a belly in it with fluid you will get an innacurate reading.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Follow up: Based upon your recommendations, and reviewing as many relevant posts as I could, I disconnected the starboard side connections and switched to the port side connections. Function good. After many cycles of both the port side hyd lever, thereby raising and lowering the snow blower, and turning the steering wheel (nothing), I was able to narrow the problems down to the starboard side (inboard) hyd lever/valve. Took an amazing amount of disassembly to get to the valve, but just tapped firmly on the rod, but without too much force, and after several minutes of tapping, the valve started to move. Once it did, many cycles. Then replaced the hyd to the correct side and cycled under load many more times. Once it started to work normally, I decided the hydraulic valve was mostly normal and assume with use it will free up more. I did jack up the front end as suggested. After many cycles of the steering and more of the hydraulics to raise and lower the SB, everything seems normal. There is still a whine like a power steering pump thats going out on a car, but I hope that is attributable to air in the system and will continue to hope it will go away with frequent use and cycling of components. I call this a big success and thank you guys for your expertise. Until next time, Im having a cold one in your respective honors.
Lou
 

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That whine is the hydraulic pump, it does make noise that slow disappears as the fluid is warmed up from use usually moving/driving the tractor over time. The warming drives moisture out of the fluid and use drives the air out also. Mine makes noise for the first 10-15 minutes then it is quiet.

As for the lever lock up, sounds like it got stuck in the detente (float position) which allows the blower or plow to lightly float (no downward pressure applied which will lift the front end off the ground otherwise).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Good to know re noise. No idea where actually the valve stuck. Seems to be normal now. I'll go drive it 15 mins or so and see if the noise decreases. My other 318 does not make that noise. BTW, I dont intend to keep both 318s. This is a temporary double but it allows some comparison.
 
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