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MysTiK

Hydro Stick Bust - Reverse Only - THE FIX + PIX

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MysTiK
Hi, First time my 716H let me down. Halfway through mowing. I had noticed a funny feeling in my Hydro Stick for a while, and I was watching it for months. Push it forward, sometimes normal response, other times laggy response, or tractor go slow. Kind of like unpredictable speed. While mowing today it seemed worse. I thought maybe it was heat related - until suddenly I had zero response, noticed the Stick would full travel from full forward to full reverse, and nothing. I tried it again forward nothing - and then zoom full reverse! Do Sundstrands default to full reverse?? Anyway I ripped off the deck and crawled underneath, saw nothing - until I moved the stick - then I noticed the hydro stick itself had a pin on the bottom, which goes through the frame, connects to a bracket that's about 5" tall, vertical - and that bracket attaches to the hydro control rod, which runs back to the C-shape assembly that makes forward, reverse, neutral, etc. All of that linkage stuff is ok, except the pin in the bottom of the Hydro Stick Assembly. The pin is wallowed out, and so it cannot grab when the stick is moved. Also, in typical neutral setting - the hydro only moves the tractor in REVERSE. QUESTIONS - Do I need to replace the hydro stick assembly? Or can this be fixed somehow. The stick looks like maybe aluminum? Is welding an option? Is a used part a good idea? Is the stick assembly expensive? Are they still available? What else do I have to do - setup the entire linkage again? and deal with reverse creep again? I don't have a parts manual for this tractor. I have a 6-speed parts manual, and the lever is similar MAYBE? I also have a [716 6-speed parts tractor] - would that work on my hydro? (I haven't even looked at it yet. This just happened.) MY TRACTOR MFR = 1690211 = 716H = 1979 (late model 700series) Kohler 16hp K341, Sundstrand Hydro, w remote filter. He's a boy tractor; and he tried to warn me; I was listening; but I did not quite get the message. B) dz This is a blessing in disguise cos I think it's fairly minor, and should clear up little mysteries re performance of my hydro. Any info/help much appreciated. sm03 Thanks Graham .

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SmilinSam
The ones I have had to deal with like this have had the square sided hole worn on the bracket inside the frame that the lever pin goes into. I have on two occasions done one of two things. I have welded on the bracket and filed it back down to fit the pin back in so its tight and wont rock or slip in the hole. I have also taken a center punch and peened it in the corners on both sides, adjusting by lightly filing if I peen too much. However, this is only a temporary fix until replacement parts can be found. Usually the corners are whats wallered a little, but never had to deal with one that is apparently as far gone as yours. When the corners are wallered out you end up getting excess lever movement before the transmission actually starts to move the tractor one way or the other. Until the slop in the lever is fixed, trying to adjust the nuetral wont be very succesful. My experience anyhow with what you describe.

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MysTiK
thx SSam definitely excess movement before response. I think it's on the outer piece, the wallered out part - but I should look again on the inside bracket like you mentioned. I managed the reverse creep like a year ago, and also custom bolted the 'handle' for play. I also was used to the play in it. But today it just quit. Like I said, it's a good thing in disguise. Now I know what was weird about it, and it's minor. And I am looking forward to the solution. I don't weld. Thought maybe epoxy. Didn't have that, as a temp. I thought it was control rods or spring cages; tried cleaning those, no improvement. I'm leaving it until tomorrow morning anyway - too many buggy critters and the tractors on the trailer, which is awkward under the circumstances - had to back it on the trailer - getting it off w no controls? Priceless. Don't wanna do the Darwin award either. My inspection was done on the lawn. I really need to see if the 6-speed has the same shifter assembly. That would be nice. That parts tractor needs to earn it's place in the cozy garage. If not, it's call the dealer, or some friends, or some used parts guy. In the meantime, I am Pacer WalkBehind mowing. I prefer seat time to feet time.

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MysTiK
UPDATE Been looking at a Simp equivalent parts manual MFR 1690427 = LATE model 1978-79 (7016). (same dates as my AC) It seems pretty simple to disassemble, replace, and then setup linkage again w neutral adjust, creep adjust. Basically it's a nut and a cotter pin. Disassembly will show any wear on the inner bracket. The stick is definitely slightly wallered; and I expect the inner bracket too. that could be worse, can't see yet. But it's probly only those 2 parts cos the rest is simple connections only. Called dealer. He has no parts. Can order, overnight if local supplier, otherwise 2 weeks to order thru Briggs. I need to get it into garage and disassemble. - dealer said "not expensive". Dealer was impressed I had parts manual in front of me - I guess I must have learned a few things from hanging out here.

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MysTiK
Update - disassembly and inspection. Bunch of pix also. This is the problem. [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/001.jpg[/IMG] At the bottom end of the hydro stick, there is a "permanently attached large pin". The pin has broken free after 33 years and so the hydro is uncontrolled, the stick does nothing. [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/002.jpg[/IMG] The hydro settles into a "full time reverse" position, by default. Note the C-shaped bracket on hydro. The red nylon roller indicates neutral when in the center of the slightly S-shaped channel in the C-shaped bracket. Instead it is at the high end = full reverse. [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/003.jpg[/IMG] The worn out problematic pin goes through the frame, and attaches to a bracket via an exactly mated "keyhole". At that point, the bracket normally becomes the real functioning business end of the hydro stick; because it is the direct connection to the control rod that extends rearward to control the hydro. [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/005.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/006.jpg[/IMG] The bracket is never seen unless you crawl beneath the tractor and look under the tunnel. After disassembly, I roughly replaced this bracket and shot these pix to show the details. [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/007.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/008.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/009.jpg[/IMG] The bracket is held on to the (broken) permanent pin via one nut and washers; and then two large convex spring washers add tension and smooth rotation, giving the operator a sense of feel. [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/011.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/012.jpg[/IMG] The bracket is in mint condition. The hydrostick+pin assembly needs replaced - welding might be possible. The operator handle is optional; but it is ok. [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/014.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/016.jpg[/IMG] A few more pix. [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/018.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/021.jpg[/IMG] The small hole where the pin fits through to the bracket. [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/025.jpg[/IMG] 2 screws removes hydro stick. Tap the pin out. A view of the starting nanny - the only safety switch. [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/026.jpg[/IMG] My "boy tractor" resting. He likes the attention. He tried to tell me about this problem for months. Lots of warning. Didn't know what it was. [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/027.jpg[/IMG]

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Kent
You MIGHT be able to have it welded, but just brazing won't work... I'm not sure what kind of metal that "hydro-stick handle" is made of, but it is some VERY hard stuff, impossible to drill with normal tools. When I converted my B-210 to a Sundstrand, after trying to drill the handle and bolt something on, I had my neighbor try to weld/braze on a "rubbing block" to contact the neutral safety switch. The braze did not hold. Upon inspection, the block we tried to weld on had melted fine, but the hydrostick handle had not melted at all, and the weld got zeno penetration to bond the two pieces together. I'd take it to a welding shop where they can MIG or TIG it for you...

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PhanDad
I agree with Kent, get it welded. The other option would be to get a used lever; there should be many available since all Sundstrands used the same lever and many have been parted out. The issue would be the condition of the other end. I've seen the rectangular "key" wore down as well as the control link "keyhole" wallered out as Sam discussed. I've also seen the threaded section broken off or stripped. That end of your lever appears to be in excellent shape, that's why I'd get it welded.

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SmilinSam
I weld on mine when needed with a flux core wire feed. Never a problem. Now that you showed pictures I do remember having one broke like that once, but it never broke all the way loose on mine.

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MysTiK
Thank you for sharing your experiences. The dealer says the assembly is available - no price - he says "not expensive" but it might be a 2 week order; and he won't take an order over the phone. I have a friend who mentioned he was parting out a AC416 Hydro - but I don't know if a 416 uses the same Hydro Stick Assembly. ? Now that I have it apart, I can email him pictures to further investigate that possibility. There is a local welding shop I could try. I don't know how they could refit the PIN, the damaged end is kinda messed up. Some of the mess is probably old weld. But that's their thing, maybe they can work some magic. If so, that might be the fast option. I think they would have to grind it, maybe ream it, to clean it up first. If they have computer I could bring them here to show them pix. 8D And since it lasted 33 years, I can't really complain. sm03 Even "built to last" has it's limits, huh. Really I just view this as a minor disturbance - there are several possible solutions. And that's "built to last". Occasional maintenance may be required, of course. Thanks for the help so far. Further comments welcome, of course. sm01 I gotta say that I really enjoyed doing the "photo op". Lot of work, but also a lot of fun. I took probably 60 pix, a lot of repeats due to position and lighting, and then, when I looked at them all, I rearranged the order to tell the story. I tried to clearly present the info, and show stuff in place. I kinda read some talk about this before. It's about communicating w pix; and knowing how to shoot the right pix, when and where, is everything. So that was a gas, even though it took a lot of time. I only wish I had started with a pix of the problem, fully assembled; but no big deal for this. Anyway, thanx for that opportunity. dOd I plan on being a club member real soon here. And when I can post pix here, I want to edit + repost these pix, so they are permanent record here. I hate when pix links don't work - so eventually the photobucket IMG links will be replaced with the real thing. It's all about preserving and restoring. :D Graham .

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MysTiK
quote:
Originally posted by PhanDad
I agree with Kent, get it welded. The other option would be to get a used lever; there should be many available since all Sundstrands used the same lever and many have been parted out. The issue would be the condition of the other end. I've seen the rectangular "key" wore down as well as the control link "keyhole" wallered out as Sam discussed. I've also seen the threaded section broken off or stripped. That end of your lever appears to be in excellent shape, that's why I'd get it welded.
I described that end as "mint" - it's like new - it shows a lot of dirt and grease; but the metal looks like it's ALL THERE. What looks like wear marks, are merely grease patterns; no problems. The suggestions to weld here have me thinking that's a good idea.

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MysTiK
quote:
Originally posted by SmilinSam
I weld on mine when needed with a flux core wire feed. Never a problem. Now that you showed pictures I do remember having one broke like that once, but it never broke all the way loose on mine.
Right on, Sam. And your original comments took me right into this. thx. This problem was showing for a long time as a "hydro feels vague" problem. I thought it was just old - I should have known better.

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HubbardRA
The shuttle shift lever on my 713S did nearly the same thing. The levers are very similar, except the shuttle lever is shorter. The weld on mine started cracking. It would still shift the tranny to forward and reverse, but would not hold sufficient side to side tension for the lever to stay in the forward position. It would slip out of forward while I was mowing the lawn. I had to hold in forward position till I was done with the lawn. I finally hooked up the welder and put my own weld on it, and now it works like it should. Guess those welds tend to crack after about 40 years.

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MysTiK
quote:
Originally posted by HubbardRA
The shuttle shift lever on my 713S did nearly the same thing. The levers are very similar, except the shuttle lever is shorter. The weld on mine started cracking. It would still shift the tranny to forward and reverse, but would not hold sufficient side to side tension for the lever to stay in the forward position. It would slip out of forward while I was mowing the lawn. I had to hold in forward position till I was done with the lawn. I finally hooked up the welder and put my own weld on it, and now it works like it should. Guess those welds tend to crack after about 40 years.
Thanks Rod, I also looked at some shuttle manuals I had, can't remember which ones, and they looked similar and shorter - but under the tunnel, the bracket piece was also shorter. While crawling under the tractor, I noticed that won't work; the "hydro control rod" is high up in the tunnel (see pix), and what doesn't show in pix is that the only way through to the hydro area is within an inch of the top of the tunnel - so a short bracket is simply too short to reach the height requirement. Bracket on mine is roughly 6" long. Shuttle brackets, from manual 'explosive' diagrams, might be roughly 4" inches long. From the manual diagrams, they are too short. My 716 "6-speed" Parts tractor also has a short shifter much like the shuttles. I did not crawl under to see other details. The stick is what I need. But I also thought that a guy could make his own bracket out of good steel. And fit the "keyhole". (some nice tools would help also). sm01. Just thinking how I hated (a short course) welding class in high school. B) Most of that was about an out of control environment. Imagine me with an arc welder. :D

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HubbardRA
I looked at the pictures you posted and it looks like the shaft and lever can easily be realigned and welded. Welding the lever was my point when I was talking about my shuttle. I was not suggesting the use of a shuttle lever on a hydro.

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MysTiK
quote:
Originally posted by CVSB10JCS
I welded my uncles but it is hard to get it exactly right and he had more reverse than forward. He used to mow for money and ended up getting a new lever.
The hydro stick and the bracket in the tunnel do not mount on the same angle - there's about a 30* difference. Perhaps that was the problem. When I first saw this, I thought it was all wrong; but then I thought there's no reason to think they should be on the same angle. In neutral the inner bracket is roughly vertical while the hydro stick is slanted towards the operator. (see pix below - just uploading now). The Fix.

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Al
Hi, I would order the arm and the lever. Something you can do if it wasn't as bad as yours, and I sometimes do it anyway is to remove the outside bushing when the lever is removed and use a large counterbore, (but a grinder would do) and remove about 3/32 from the outside of the tube welded in the frame. This lets the lever go deeper into the arm and it will go a lot longer due to the increased penetration into the arm. DO NOT REMOVE TOO MUCH OR THE ARM GOES IN TOO DEEP AND THE FRICTION DISK WON'T WORK. This makes the arms last a lot longer. If you over do it, you can ad a shim between the lever and the bushing oudt side the frame. A; Eden

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MysTiK
I went with the suggestions here, from several members, to weld the broken pin back onto the original hydro stick. A trip to the local welding shop. The man took one look at it and said he could see exactly where it broke. During the next minute or two, I heard a couple of sharp hammer blows (presumably to reset the pin in position), and then the sound of a MIG welder in action. He returned to show me, and said "Careful, it's pretty hot". What I saw looked like a button or a bolt; but no, that was one clean weld; and the errant pin was secured. Hot - wow - the thing took a good half hour to cool. Later, back in my garage, it was time for another quick photo op. I was pretty excited. For one thing, the fix only cost $10. And the idea of solving this little dilemma was one big smiley face.! :D Here's the tour of THE FIX. The pin secured. [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/Fix001.jpg[/IMG] A view of the really pretty MIG weld - I thought it was a bolt at first. The man said he just went around it and then gave it a shot in the middle. I was really impressed. It was interesting - I couldn't watch; but the other guys in the fab shop gathered around while he did this repair - maybe they were just shielding me. This same shop built my 5x10 trailer. They are called L&B Welding, just west of Brighton, ON. Their latest creation of interest to me is a 5x15 trailer, which would be real handy on a traxtor shopping spree. 8D [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/Fix002.jpg[/IMG] In my previous post I mentioned the angle difference between the hydro stick and the inner bracket. I was kinda worried, thought it was all wrong; and then just went with it. I think if this angle is not maintained during welding, it could affect available forward and reverse speeds with the hydro. Mine seems ok so far. Haven't mowed it yet. I would guess this at about 30-35* angle. [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/Fix003.jpg[/IMG] Ready to install. In the hole the pin fits through, there are 2 nylon bushings, one from the inside also, slightly shorter. These were hidden by old grease during disassembly. btw I greased everything that originally had grease on it - the pin, the bushings, and the 2 spring steel washers, and the 1"x1/4" 'ring' they ride on, which is mounted on the tube inside the tunnel. You can barely see the edge of that 'ring' in the next pix, hidden by the spring steel washers. The edge of the ring is a bearing surface to the spring steel washers. (think 'inner bearing surface like a 1-inch donut hole in the spring washers). (this makes sense if you look back to the pix of the spring washers in the Disassembly section). [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/Fix004.jpg[/IMG] Zap. It's done. There's only one nut. But it is no picnic getting those 2 convex-concave washers to line up due to tension created by them - the trick is to push the pin through the frame with your third hand while using your fourth hand to barely get a few threads on the nut - nothing to it really. OO I torqued it pretty good; it is NOT coming apart.8) And the Key end of the Pin is fully engaged in the Keyhole of the Bracket. (so that should not wear). I found it simply impossible to get the original cotter pin back in, way at the top of the tunnel, due to location, plus the cotter is pretty darn stiff. I grabbed a spring clip and used that to secure the 'pin' that holds the 'bracket' to the 'clevis' on the 'hydro control rod'. I checked for clearance or interference, and it seems ok - but the original cotter was stronger, hard metal. It was a bear to remove also. [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/Fix006.jpg[/IMG] In this pix of the C-shaped bracket of the hydro, you can see the red nylon pivot has moved more to the center. With nothing holding it when it broke, it moved to the top, full reverse position. I thought it looked a little off center; but the hydro stick in neutral is in neutral. There is a bit of play in the neutral slot, and if I pull the stick back I get a very slight reverse creep, if I push forward I get clean neutral. I might try to tweek this later; but for now, it's cool. [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/Fix008.jpg[/IMG] Mission Accomplished sm03 I think I bent the hydro stick a little. I now can start the tractor without the requirement to push the stick a little to the left while starting - this normally satisfies the only safety switch requirement on this tractor. Now, it's turn the key only, to start. I don't think this is too serious since sometimes the tractor would ignore the nanny anyway. And I really do not want to undo the pin again. [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/Fix009.jpg[/IMG] Seat Time / Road Test / on the trails my tractor made in my little backyard forest. These trails were made to haul firewood out of the little forest using tractor and dump trailer. They are kinda overgrown; but they get a rough mow once a month. Nice place to go for a short walk and listen to the birdeez sing. Yes, I have ordered a new gas cap btw. :D [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/Fix010.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/Fix011.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/Fix012.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/Fix014.jpg[/IMG] Back in the garage, tractor is a happy boy once again. Time for an oil change, and then some more regular maintenance is also scheduled. [IMG]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy125/11Gray11/MysTiKpiX/Fix016.jpg[/IMG] It's nice to have my tractor back. Mowing, at 4" mowing height, with the Simp Pacer Walkbehind, was fun - for a while. Mowing while riding is more relaxing and more enjoyable. Seat time is another world. dOd Thanks much to all for recommendations dOd shared experiences. These little mechanical journeys are big experiences to me. Thanks also for the chance to do a photo op - I hope others enjoy that as much as I have. And I hope this helps someone deal with their "hydro feels vague" problem - there can be other causes of that; this is just one. And I am not the first to go through this process. I always wondered what was hiding beyond the bottom of the hydro stick - maybe I'm not alone there either. Thanks again for all the help. sm01

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