Any easy (cost effective) way to add pilots or are they just for bigger machines?Yeah, that valve has just over 2000 PSI on it, so moving the spool ain't gonna be easy. Once the flow starts though, and the pressure is equalized on both sides of the spool, it'll move quite easy. That's built-in stiction from pressure differential that can only be overcome with a pilot. It isn't as bad with hydraulics as it is with air because of obvious lubrication differences, but the principle is the same. The big difference is hydraulic oil doesn't compress, air does.
It's kinda hard to see how much the stick is flexing before movement starts, because you're normally watching the bucket so you don't hit something with it or to make sure you're filling it up. You'd need the eyes of a chameleon lizard to do that, be from a particular state that I kid my sister-in-law about, or maybe two or three cameras so you could synch up the video. You and I have the same valve, same tractor basically, but yours just has a bigger engine. Pretty sure the pressure specs are the same, though. I've locked the gimble to see how much movement there is, and while it restricts movement enough to prevent valve operation, there's still a little wobble at the gimble. Has to be, or it would constantly bind up or jam because of dirt. 3 feet away, that translates to a lot of movement.