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Kent

Lessons learned on a Sunday afternoon...

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Kent
Ever have one of those days? Yesterday afternoon, in the midst of other spring projects, such as prepping my trim mower, I decided to swap out the steering gear/sector on my 2012 with one from an older 9HP Landlord with the full, cast-iron gear. Though I'd replaced the original "stripped, totally shot one" in the 2012 with a different used one that I'd pieced together, I wasn't satisfied with the 2" or so of slop in it, due to wear. Being too cheap to spend right at $100 to rebuild it, I decided to replace it with the full-round cast-iron type from the 9HP Landlord frame that I also got from Sam... It had minimal slop in the gear lash, and just seemed to be "beefier" to handle the loader, plus they have grease zerks on them... I was thinking maybe a 45-60 minute project, since I'd already replaced the steering gear on it once and knew the drill.... Right! The used gear and sector came out of the 9HP Landlord quickly, since it's a bare frame with only the front axle, bulkhead and dash on it. No problem! Both parts were stiff with rust and crud, but loosened up nicely with PB Blaster, though I had to replace both grease zerks to get them to take grease. So, I go remove the gear and sector from the 2012. Again, no problem, since I put this used one on there only a few weeks back.... Now to put the cast-iron one in. Well, I found that I couldn't drop the attached arm on the steering gear down through the hole in the frame with the arm attached to the gear -- the large gear was hitting the driveshaft and wouldn't allow enough "wiggle room." I do this all the time on the later "pie-shaped" ones, and it came right out of the 9HP Landlord -- but it didn't have a driveshaft in it. So, I look closely and someone had spot welded the arm onto the shaft. So, do I grind that spot weld off and try to disassemble it and put the shaft on once I've installed the gear. I decide against that, since the weld is an extra "guarantee" that it won't develop slop under the stress of a heavily loaded front end, from using the loader. So, I loosen the front of the driveshaft to try to get enough room to wiggle it down through... Still no go, without risking breaking the rear flex disk! So, it's onto unbolting the rear end of the driveshaft -- which of course means pulling the steering wheel, dashboard, and the little cover for the tunnel. OK, another half-hour, and I finally get the driveshaft moved aside enough to drop the gear in. Now it's time to install the steering sector that attaches to the steering column. That dropped right in, once I loosened the steering gear and I got almost all the slop out of the backlash... I was thinking, well it only took twice as long as I'd planned, but I can still get some chores done.... Wrong! When I went to attach the steering shaft, I found out that the mounts for the pivoting block are exactly the opposite from one tractor to the other. In the newer tractor, the little ears on the sector are the wide ones, which take an insert bushing similar to those used in the tie rod ends. Well the ears on the sector for the old 9HP were narrow, and there was no way to attach the pivoting block that I could see. So, that requires swapping out the steering shafts themselves.... Well, that required removing the steering wheel from the old 9HP Landlord. That was a chore in itself, and one that Sam had given up on earlier. Someone had filed an extra keyway into the steering wheel so they could reverse the wheel, perhaps, and the set screw was now 180-degrees off from the key. The setscrew was in so far, and so rusted that it took quite a while with PB Blaster and a probe to dig out enough rust to get an Allen wrench in there. Then, thanks to ksever's trick of using a gear puller without the arms on it, putting the bolts through underneath the spokes on the steering wheel I was finally able to get the wheel off. Now, to get the collar and rubber bushing off, so the shaft will go down through the steering tube. I had a heck of a time getting the half-moon key out, and finally ended up using a hammer and chisel to drive it up and out. Then, remove the bulkhead and pull the shaft out, and go repeat the process on the 2012. Luckily I'd already pulled the steering wheel once on the 2012, so it came off easily, but once again Vice Grips wouldn't pull the half-moon key out so I could remove the collar and rubber bushing, so I had to also drive it out with a chisel. Then remove the bolts and carefully lift the bulkhead up (gas tank was still installed) and remove the steering shaft and replace it with the one from the 9HP Landlord. Then, take the half-moon key that was in the best condition (I had no spares) and clean it up with a file, and start the reassembly process.... Bottom line, one hour turned into five, before I was done, because (1) I was overly optimistic and didn't allow for a Murphy factor, and (2) I didn't thoroughly check out the differences in my planned swap before I started.... Just thought I'd pass this lesson learned along just in case someone else tries to swap steering gears! :D P.S. I'm very pleased with the results, though! I dramatically reduced the slop in the steering and I think I have a stronger, more maintainable (since it has two grease zerks) setup than before...

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Kent
I doubt it would have made a meaningful movie -- either too many words would have been "bleeped out" or it would have gotten an "X" rating due to language... ;)

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nighteye
I know how it is Kent. Saterday, I decided to do a little maintenance on a couple tractors. My 9020 needed an oil change and my buddies MTD, needed a coil. I got the 9020 good and warm and pulled the plug, and then went to work on that piece of %$#@ MTD. To change the coil on one of them you have to take apart the whole front end of the tractor. Meanwhile a couple neighbors came over needing a little help. I cant say no. Now Im getting in a hurry cause the lawn needs cutting, and I'm racin daylight. The MTD is done, I put 3 quarts of oil in the 9020, Put in the dipstick and see nothing. I guess it would help if a guy would put the plug back on before he put in the oil huh. My lessons, 1) Do not hurry on Saterday 2) If you do this, tell people your flushing the oil pan 3) Dont hurry on Saterday

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GregB
Your afternoon project sounds all to familiar. Most of my projects end up that way, enough that my wife knows if I say it will take 2 hours she should allow for 4-5 hours til I'm done. And also figures on at least one more band-aid gone from the first aid kit. GregB

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