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416 steering journey

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I have seen many topics about poor mans power steering so I decided to give my 416 the once over. When I got the tractor this summer, you could turn the steering wheel about 7/8 of a turn before the front wheels would move. When you only have two turns to work with, thats a lot of slop.So, I put it up on blocks and pulled the gear out. Step one was to fix the broken weld on this bolt.....

416 steering 1.JPG

Then I took the gear apart and cleaned the rock hard grease out of it. It was so jammed in there I don't think the gear was going the full stroke.I also found a "Ross steering gear upgrade kit" on Ebay. I figured for $19.00 I would try it.

416 steering 3.JPG

You remove the two nuts and replace with the thrust bearing, which should reduce steering effort.

416 steering 2.JPG

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Next I moved to the pivot under the motor. It was well worn out and cobbled together with a hose clamp. I had a picture of it but it got deleted from the camera before I could save it. I replaced the bushing with a cross shaft bushing from a transmission. It measures 1" I.D., 1 1/8" O.D., by 1 1/2"long. I also drilled and installed a zerk here....

416 steering 4.JPG

The drag link and tie rod ends all have a little play in them, like usual. So, on to the wheels. I had to replace one bearing on each side, and put new seals in.

416 steering 6.JPG

I got this handy cart for doing some online training at work. Nice place to keep parts.Time to pack wheel bearings. Luckily some help arrived.

416 steering 7.JPG

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"This feels pretty good dad. I think this wheel can work."

416 steering 9.JPG

Next I got a set of Torrington bearings. I got them from Kelsey Bearing and Seal which used to be the local Allis Chalmers dealer. Funny side story- In 1948, my grandfather went to town to pick up a John Deere tractor that he had been waiting for and the dealer had sold it to someone else. Suffice it to say, my grandpa told him exactly where he could stick that tractor, drove across town to Kelseys, plunked the cash on the barrelhead and came home with a Allis model B. He probably never thought- "Someday, 50 years from now, my grandson will be getting bearings from here to make his garden tractor steer better." Or, "This Allis B is a good spot to take a break and eat a Twix Bar."

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At any rate, back to the project....

416 steering 10.JPG

I grooved the top washers for greasing.In this picture, you can see where the wheels have been rubbing on the spindles. I suspect its been driven with some awfully loose bearings or something.


I got new spindle bushings from Reid Supply. I thought they measured 3/4 inside and 7/8 outside, but once I got them they slid right in the tube with no interference. So, I had to peen the tubes with a center punch and then drive them in. I also took so 1" rubber hose to make dust boots for the bearings. You can't see it in the picture but I took a die grinder and ground a groove inside the hose so it would sit over the Torrington bearings.


I put the boots in hot water to make them pliable, them slipped them on the axle, assembled the spindles, and slid the boots down over the bearings. Worked out real nice.


So, thats my story. There is still some play in the steering, but not nearly as much. And it turns quite a bit easier, especially with the blade on the front.Thanks for looking!















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Yup. always a fun read with littlemarv.


Nice work on the steering. I'm reading all the steering stuff I see these days. I figure about 4 more articles and I'll be almost ready to do mine. It's called edgykation; and I always need more.Thanks for the tour, Ryan. sm03

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nice job... good to see the pics!!

the ross on my 314 was snapped off right where you fixed your weld... I put one from a homelite in but Ill get to fix the busted one someday...

so tell me,... was it fun getting the steering column out???

again, very nice!!

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Nice...you have a better grade of spindle bearing than I used. Yours has more rollers making it roll better. Can you post where you got 'em and the #'s...thanks and good job!!

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Sammiefish: The column came right out once I got the front end about 18" in the air. the steering wheel is held on with a pinch bolt which came right apart.

GLPointon: It came to $13.22 for one set of two bearings and four thrust washers. I will call and see if he takes orders over the phone or I could fit them into a small flat rate box easy enough.

goatfarmer: Santa could bring me tires for all my tractors with prices being what they are these days! They look terrible but they have tubes in them and hold air so good enough. If I put new tires on a garden tractor it would more than double the value!

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