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Nubian

Sunstar Power steering- pix's added

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Nubian
There is a lot of play in the steering of my D/A Ultima. There was play before but now it'a a lot worse since I was maneuvering it with engine off. How do I repair /tighten steering. Will post parts manual pictures asap. ]


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[br here is the breakdown of the steering unit





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Nubian
My friend thinks the easiest way to go to start with would be to replace the power steering cylinder. I doubt the trouble is there. But I am not looking forward to having to replace the power steering unit.

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BLT
Are you sure the problem is not not with the steering pins and bushings? I read here where that was kind of an 'Achilles heel". Mine is a tad bit loose, but not to the point where I zig zag down the road.

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mwells
Start by jacking up the front end of the tractor, this will take all the weight off and make it easy to turn the steering wheel. If you have someone to help you it will work better too. Turn the steering wheel back and forth really slow, observe all the bushings/piviot points to see where the play is coming from. Move the spindle up and down, and side to side to check for play, also move 1 spindle right to left and see if it takes a little movement before the other spindle starts to move. Majorty of the time this is were most of you play occurs. If all that looks good, you can disassemble your steering unit and check for worn gears/bushings/plates/ect. If you don't feel comfortalbe doing that I would recomend taking it into your dealer. Like I said before majority of the time most of your play is in the front end. I've rebuilt a loose front end before, and that fixed the loose steering. Hope this helps, and good luck!

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Al
Hi, Particularly check the arm on the spindle where that the cylinder operates, often they have play at the spindle. Also check the banjo joints for wear. When there is not power, there is no pump pressure and they barely will turn the front wheels. This is normal on all of these systems. Basically you have little more than NO steering with no power. Al Eden

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Al
Hi, If you tear the "hydrostatic" control unit apart, I recommend taking an air cut off wheel and make a diagonal mark, "cut" on one side and a diagonal X on an adjacent side so each layer of plates is marked. Then if you tear this apart and lay the parts out in sequence you can still figure out what sequence and the orientation of each level (plate) when you reassemble it. If you turn some of these plates 90 degrees, which you can easily do, you have a nightmare. Also you can assemble them in the wrong sequence. Grinding these marks on the edges of the plates makes it easy to assure you have the stack right or the lines you ground won't be straight. I have put seals in these, and trust me this marking is worth doing. Al Eden

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D-17_Dave
Al is very correct about keeping the unit assembled correctly. IF you decide to tear into the unit make sure you have a very clean work area and have swept up loose debris close by as the "C" parts(2sets)of these springs will most likely vacate the housing as soon as you remove the pressure holding the stack together. These springs may become broken during use and won't return the metering valve to true center causing rough or stiff power steering. But this is a rare thing. These units are very dependable and rarely give any problems. I would do a thorough inspection of all the linkage before tearing this apart.

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DMedal
With the help of a co-conspirator it should be fairly straight forward to troubleshoot this, yes? If you move the wheel through the "excess play" area and the hyd cylinder doesn't move at all, the problem is in the control valve, the part they smart guys are saying don't take apart til you've eliminated everything else. If (as I suspect) the power steering cylinder moves a bit but the wheels don't move yet, the problem is in linkage and doesn't take a precision mechanic to fix. Let us know tho. This started suddenly? Al, et al, how would this system give ANY steering with the engine off? I don't understand that part. Or does the steering valve assy function as a sort of pump in that instance? -Don

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ambler
Hey Eddie, My play was in the front cylinder attachment point. Usually the steering control will leak (spray) up toward the steering wheel and have to be rebuilt. steering cylinder when it leaks will have to be replaced.

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D-17_Dave
Don, with the steering cyl. pushing oil back into the control valve the rotor assembly acts like a pump rotor and will push the oil and still control the cyl. It just doesn't have any power assist and is very slow.

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Nubian
OK what's a Banjo joint? Is that at either end of the power steering cylinder?
the following are pix's with the wheels straight






the wheels were moved with no play from the steering wheel. when I did engage the steering wheel the power steering cylinder moved about 3/4" before any reaction from the wheels
these pix's show the play (from the straight wheel position)in the steering before any reaction from the steering wheel







right turn had significantly less play than the left turn


and both spindles reacted immediately to each other's movement

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comet66
I have both styles on my tractors. The one pictured in your exploded view, and the one on your tractor. The only excess play I have had a problem with is where the steering arm ataches to the top of the spindle. I have experienced this with both types of connection. Titened them up and excess play went away. That would be part 18 in your exploded view, and the part in the center of your second picture.

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Nubian
Can you damage it by forcefully turning the steering wheel to turn when there is no power?
quote:
Originally posted by Al
Hi, Particularly check the arm on the spindle where that the cylinder operates, often they have play at the spindle. Also check the banjo joints for wear. When there is not power, there is no pump pressure and they barely will turn the front wheels. This is normal on all of these systems. Basically you have little more than NO steering with no power. Al Eden

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DMedal
quote:
Originally posted by Nubian when I did engage the steering wheel the power steering cylinder moved about 3/4" before any reaction from the wheels

ok. The steering cylinder moves 3/4" more or less with no movement in the wheels. It's not in your valve but in the front end linkage as others have predicted. Now look at the linkage while moving the steering back and forth the 3/4". Does the cylinder move some before the arm (#18 in drawing) moves? Does the arm move some before the spindle starts to move? Ideally each of these should be snug, in the real world there's a tiny amount of play. The cylinder shouldn't be free to move without moving the arm, the arm shouldn't be free to move without moving the spindle and the left side shouldn't be free to move without moving the right side. I think if you watch it during that 3/4" play, back and forth, you're going to see something moving without moving what it is attached to. The only thing that I can think of that would happen suddenly is the set screws that keep the arm solidly on the spindle let loose, so look there. I thought by as late as Sunstar that this would have been fixed. How'd you manage to put that much force on it without engine power assist? LOL -Don

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stevenj
Check the back side of the steering cylinder and see if there is slop in that pivot joint. That will cause the cylinder to move but the wheels won't turn until the rear attachment bottoms out.

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Nubian
I now need a starter. Anyway when I previously stated it moved 3/4" it was from the extreme right turn position, when I center the wheels they move almost instantly when the steering wheel is turned. From the extreme left turn position it moves instantly when steering wheel is turned. When the wheels reach their extreme positions right or left, the steering wheel turns one complete turn after the wheel stops, before it stops turning.
quote:
Originally posted by duckman
quote:
Originally posted by Nubian when I did engage the steering wheel the power steering cylinder moved about 3/4" before any reaction from the wheels

ok. The steering cylinder moves 3/4" more or less with no movement in the wheels. It's not in your valve but in the front end linkage as others have predicted. Now look at the linkage while moving the steering back and forth the 3/4". Does the cylinder move some before the arm (#18 in drawing) moves? Does the arm move some before the spindle starts to move? Ideally each of these should be snug, in the real world there's a tiny amount of play. The cylinder shouldn't be free to move without moving the arm, the arm shouldn't be free to move without moving the spindle and the left side shouldn't be free to move without moving the right side. I think if you watch it during that 3/4" play, back and forth, you're going to see something moving without moving what it is attached to. The only thing that I can think of that would happen suddenly is the set screws that keep the arm solidly on the spindle let loose, so look there. I thought by as late as Sunstar that this would have been fixed. How'd you manage to put that much force on it without engine power assist? LOL -Don

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comet66
quote:
Originally posted by Nubian
I now need a starter. Anyway when I previously stated it moved 3/4" it was from the extreme right turn position, when I center the wheels they move almost instantly when the steering wheel is turned. From the extreme left turn position it moves instantly when steering wheel is turned.
Sounds like it is loose at the spindle attachment point. Before you buy a starter make sure all connections to the battery are good and the battery is up to charge. If not it will act just like the starter has failed. If you have been starting and stopping the engine while trouble shooting the steering problem, without letting it run long enough to charge back up, the battery could be low on charge.

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quantico
I thought that I had a starter issue with an 18hp sunstar... you would turn the key and wait a second or two for anything to happen... ususlly slowly by the way.. I replaced the ground cable and all is working a lot better... . However this past winter I went to start my deutz 1816 ( simplicity 6500 series ) with a vertical 16 hp briggs... and smoke came out of the lower connection a LOT. I ended up trying to repair it , but later decided to just replace the starter which was pretty expensive... So I thought I needed a starter... and did not....Then I had no idea that there was a starter problem... and suprise roasted dead starter... By the way thanks to everyone that gave me the heads up on the snap-on tool to get access to the hidden bolts on the starter on the vertical briggs.... without that tool I would have still been in the garage.. Scott So I would check the connections and even clean them.... and check the battery voltage and cables before getting into expensive parts... As for the slop in the steering... I am reading and watching this post carefully... I have some slop in a couple sunstars and one that has manual steering with lots of slop... so I am trying to learn from your project and excellent pictures... it makes sense that any play is amplified and in series with every other part and other side... so I understand the theory of tighten up all slop until you are happy... taking apart the power steering box / modulator box looks like it would require some time and a really clear schedule for a week or two... plus a clean work area and digital camera... I have the digital camera... am working on the clean work area... :O

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Nubian
My apologies sm02 I read your reply but it did not sink in until I took my spindle apart and saw different parts. So,I replaced the pix's with the correct one's matching my tractor.
quote:
Originally posted by comet66
I have both styles on my tractors. The one pictured in your exploded view, and the one on your tractor. The only excess play I have had a problem with is where the steering arm ataches to the top of the spindle. I have experienced this with both types of connection. Titened them up and excess play went away. That would be part 18 in your exploded view, and the part in the center of your second picture.

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Nubian
I took my spindle apart to clean up and look around. Had an idea of putting the set screws into the groove where the key goes but it won't fit in. I'm cleaning the area up and was wondering should I do any adjustments to the length of the power steering rod while it was apart.








Comet66 and Quantico, did as you suggested removed starter rechecked connections and Big Daddy started right up. Checked it a few times no problem. You saved me at least $100. :) Thanks BTW to those of you that don't have an air compressor you don't know what your missing, I thought I did a pretty good job of brushing parts and areas off my tractor until I put the air hose to it, you would not believe the stuff that comes flying out of those grooves etc.....

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Nubian
I would like to thank everybody for the help provided. The steering still has some play but there was a big improvement after cleaning and tightening the set screws. I guess I'll tackle it again when I have more time for now Big Daddy is workable^. The problem I discovered with my starter was the engine shield got loose and was grounding the starter.

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