M5660 Third Function question

twozeroseven

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Kubota M5660
Sep 24, 2020
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Midcoast Maine
Long time lurker, first time poster now that I've traded up from a Deere to a M5660SUHD (on order/not delivered yet). Based on everyone's posts here, I feel pretty confident on the choice -- thanks.

The one major information gap I have regards third function valves. The OEM third function valve for the LA1154 loader is part no. M7949, according to my dealer. Dealer says (my translation) that it's not a true third function, in that it doesn't allow curl/dump simultaneously with third function (for me, grapple lid). That is, it sounds like it's a diverter valve.

Can anyone confirm this? Shockingly I'm not able to find any information about it at all, other than assembly instructions for the same loader on a different machine from 2013 (attached).

I assume that the OEM uses hard lines along the loader boom and may be a bit more tidy than say the WR Long kit (true third function) overall, but not sure how much that matters if the cost is a diverter rather than a true third function. On the other hand, maybe the diverter doesn't matter much? (My use will primarily brush work, and other realted chores). Price is the same to me (OEM vs WR Long).

Anyone have personal knowledge and/or feedback about the decision? Thanks!
 

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Dave_eng

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M7040, Nuffield 465
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You need to start with the basic fact that your tractor is by design an Open Center hydraulic system.

Contrast that with the hydraulic system used on excavators and industrial backhoes which are Closed Center systems.

The closed system utilizes a variable displacement pump which can adjust its output volume and pressure to meet the needs of many hydraulic systems.

The open Center system has a fixed displacement pump and oil is constantly flowing through the piping at low pressure until a control valve is moved to direct the flow into a cylinder(s).

The Open Center design is used for cost reasons.

On an open Center system, when you are using a loader joystick, it is possible to balance the flow so that some is used to lift the loader arms and the rest is used to articulate the bucket.

For most owners the difference in performance between the open Center and Closed center systems is negligible. However, there is a difference and this is what your dealer is trying to explain.

Your tractor will have a power beyond port on the loader valve now. This power beyond port feeds the 3 pt hitch and any rear remotes.

If you try and lift the 3 pt hitch while using the loader you will find situations where the two do not operate smoothly at the same time.

The Third Function is another circuit connected in series with the power beyond function of the loader valve.

You will not be unhappy with the third Function but, as part of an Open Center system, it has limitations.

Dave
 
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Orange4X4

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L2350DT with loader , 52" Taylor Way , Ratchet Rake , Land Pride post hole
Aug 12, 2018
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Thanks Dave, I've asked this before and you made it a lot simpler.
I'm just replying to your reply.
I was told if I added another valve to use one no bigger than 9GPM and make sure it has the power beyond. But I've only been able to find 11GPM minimum on Ebay.
I'd like to add Hyd connectors at the back, for say a log splitter, or a cylinder for the top link.
 

Dave_eng

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Oct 6, 2012
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Thanks Dave, I've asked this before and you made it a lot simpler.
I'm just replying to your reply.
I was told if I added another valve to use one no bigger than 9GPM and make sure it has the power beyond. But I've only been able to find 11GPM minimum on Ebay.
I'd like to add Hyd connectors at the back, for say a log splitter, or a cylinder for the top link.

Are you talking about a Third Function when you speak of adding another valve or is this a different scenario.

If you were talking about loader valves just to have an exact situation to refer to, then the common mistake most people make is to think buying a valve with a higher flow rating is the way to go thinking bigger is better. The flaw in this logic is that a loader valve is one where you are trying to make fine adjustments as you position the bucket. A valve rated for much high flows than your tractor is producing ends up being a valve with no fine motor control. A bit like trying to thread a needle when you have a hand tremor.

A valve with a smaller flow rating will give you the fine control.

A Third function valve is different because its control is like an ON-OFF switch so there is no fine control possible. In this case buying a valve with too high a flow rating is needlessly expensive and will have you using larger than necessary lines which are difficult to package with the rest of the tractor.

Most knowledgeable people will discourage using a tractor as a power source for a log splitter. Of course like any topic there are those who differ. Tractor hydraulics are not high flow systems when dealing with compact and mid sized machines. The result of this is slow cycle times with a splitter. A two stage splitter pump, as most gas engine units sold today are, provides fast cycle times as the pump moves a high volume of fluid at low pressures to bring the wedge into contact with the log or to retract the wedge after splitting. The pump only shifts to a low flow high pressure mode to do the actual splitting.

If you want hydraulic outlet(s) at the rear for top links etc, although it is expensive, having the genuine dealer product will turn out to be the best in the long term. Even in the dealer option, there are choices to be made about how the valve functions with respect to detents.

A detent is a feature which holds the valve control lever in a certain position until a condition is met. One example would be a float detent.
Another would be a detent which keeps the valve directing flow even after you release the control lever and until a cylinder reaches the end of its stroke and the pressure spikes. If you go the rear remote route, take the time to educate yourself about the different types of valve detents which are available.

Dave
 
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twozeroseven

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Kubota M5660
Sep 24, 2020
5
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Midcoast Maine
You need to start with the basic fact that your tractor is by design an Open Center hydraulic system.

...

The Third Function is another circuit connected in series with the power beyond function of the loader valve.

You will not be unhappy with the third Function but, as part of an Open Center system, it has limitations.
Thanks Dave, appreciate learning a bit more about hydraulics. I understand your point this way: the physical limitations of the hydraulic system on that machine mean that there may not be enough juice to run all three loader functions at once (in the same way the 3PH and the loader might not work simultaneously). Thus as a practical matter use of any valve or remote diverts flow from other potential uses and it's not a "true" third function in the way an excavator would be.

Do you also mean that the OEM Kubota third function kit is for sure this kind of setup -- ie., runs from the power beyond port of the loader valve?

My understanding is that there is a second type of kit available, and I don't think I was stating the question quite right. The alternative setup I'm thinking of does not run on the power beyond port. Instead, the it uses a diverter valve to split flow between two functions. That is, a button on the joystick switches the flow of the dump/curl circuit to the third function circuit via a splitter in the circuit controlled by the diverter valve. In such a setup it is physically impossible to run all three functions at once, whereas in the situation you describe above it is possible (but perhaps not optimal) to run all three at once.

The decision I'm looking at turns on the later distinction -- I'm trying to figure out what the Kubota kit M7949 actually does, run off the power beyond or use an electric diverter valve to split the dump/curl function. Perhaps what you're saying is there isn't much difference between the two setups because as a practical matter they function similarly?

Thanks again.
 

twozeroseven

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Kubota M5660
Sep 24, 2020
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Midcoast Maine
Most knowledgeable people will discourage using a tractor as a power source for a log splitter. Of course like any topic there are those who differ. Tractor hydraulics are not high flow systems when dealing with compact and mid sized machines. The result of this is slow cycle times with a splitter.
I have seen a 3PH splitter designed with a wedge on both sides of the ram, so it can split on the push or return stroke. Can't remember who makes it though -- a Canadian company I think. Anyway, never used one and I generally agree that a separate splitter is better but I could see how the two-way design would make the cycle time much less relevant.

ETA: The company I am thinking of is Split-Fire.
 
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Thunder chicken

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M7060
Dec 29, 2019
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Northern ontario
I’ll admit, I’m a bit on the ‘slow’ side, I was disappointed when I learned I couldn’t use my grapple and bucket curl together (aftermarket loader...Quicke/ALO brand) but to be honest it has never mattered in operation. I’m usually only smart and quick enough to make one movement at a time :)
 

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twozeroseven

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Kubota M5660
Sep 24, 2020
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Midcoast Maine
I’ll admit, I’m a bit on the ‘slow’ side, I was disappointed when I learned I couldn’t use my grapple and bucket curl together (aftermarket loader...Quicke/ALO brand) but to be honest it has never mattered in operation. I’m usually only smart and quick enough to make one movement at a time :)
Yeah thanks. Maybe we should play more video games to up the hand/eye coordination...

In any event, I'm not going to be doing production work with the grapple so maybe it doesn't matter much as you say. In fact, I assume that with the diverter type that you have you can feather the grapple? Ie., it's not just on/off like a third function on the power beyond port would be.
 

Thunder chicken

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M7060
Dec 29, 2019
222
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28
Northern ontario
Yeah thanks. Maybe we should play more video games to up the hand/eye coordination...

In any event, I'm not going to be doing production work with the grapple so maybe it doesn't matter much as you say. In fact, I assume that with the diverter type that you have you can feather the grapple? Ie., it's not just on/off like a third function on the power beyond port would be.
Exactly. The way mine is it’s an electric button on the joystick to activate the diverter then use the curl to operate the grapple. Feathering the grapple is easy, as is letting go of the button to curl a little then pushing the button to adjust the grapple. There’s a 4th function button to turn on/off a continuous flow function to operate, I presume something like a auger, spreader, maybe even a mower if the flow is enough.
 
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Dave_eng

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M7040, Nuffield 465
Oct 6, 2012
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Williamstown Ontario Canada
Thanks Dave, appreciate learning a bit more about hydraulics. I understand your point this way: the physical limitations of the hydraulic system on that machine mean that there may not be enough juice to run all three loader functions at once (in the same way the 3PH and the loader might not work simultaneously). Thus as a practical matter use of any valve or remote diverts flow from other potential uses and it's not a "true" third function in the way an excavator would be.

Do you also mean that the OEM Kubota third function kit is for sure this kind of setup -- ie., runs from the power beyond port of the loader valve?

My understanding is that there is a second type of kit available, and I don't think I was stating the question quite right. The alternative setup I'm thinking of does not run on the power beyond port. Instead, the it uses a diverter valve to split flow between two functions. That is, a button on the joystick switches the flow of the dump/curl circuit to the third function circuit via a splitter in the circuit controlled by the diverter valve. In such a setup it is physically impossible to run all three functions at once, whereas in the situation you describe above it is possible (but perhaps not optimal) to run all three at once.

The decision I'm looking at turns on the later distinction -- I'm trying to figure out what the Kubota kit M7949 actually does, run off the power beyond or use an electric diverter valve to split the dump/curl function. Perhaps what you're saying is there isn't much difference between the two setups because as a practical matter they function similarly?

Thanks again.
I do not think Kubota makes/sells a diverter valve.

I use a diverter valve on my 3 pt snow blower. The decision for me was one of cost, the diverter being cheaper.

The diverter does not split the hydraulic circuit instead, one circuit is dead and the other one works. The dead circuit is locked in that with no ability for any fluid flow the cylinder cannot move. Whatever control you have say over a bucket curl/dump, you transfer to the grapple open/close operation. With most 3rd function valves the control is ON or off not modulated but it usually does not matter in the grapple application.

The third function is more of a designed solution for a particular tractor with the joystick button being in design sync with the tractor interior.

Functionally, I do not see a big difference between the two.

Dave
 

Dave_eng

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M7040, Nuffield 465
Oct 6, 2012
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I have seen a 3PH splitter designed with a wedge on both sides of the ram, so it can split on the push or return stroke. Can't remember who makes it though -- a Canadian company I think. Anyway, never used one and I generally agree that a separate splitter is better but I could see how the two-way design would make the cycle time much less relevant.

ETA: The company I am thinking of is Split-Fire.
The point not highlighted with the double acting split fire is the difference in splitting force between the two strokes. Same as hydraulic cylinders being able to push more than they can pull because of the area of the cylinder push rod..

Dave
 

twozeroseven

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Kubota M5660
Sep 24, 2020
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Midcoast Maine
I do not think Kubota makes/sells a diverter valve.

I use a diverter valve on my 3 pt snow blower. The decision for me was one of cost, the diverter being cheaper.

...

The third function is more of a designed solution for a particular tractor with the joystick button being in design sync with the tractor interior.

Functionally, I do not see a big difference between the two.
Good deal. Spoke to dealer. Deleting the OEM kit in favor of an aftermarket option speeds up delivery by several weeks, so that seems like the right choice for me given there won't be much functional difference. Thanks.
 

Thunder chicken

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M7060
Dec 29, 2019
222
79
28
Northern ontario
I have seen a 3PH splitter designed with a wedge on both sides of the ram, so it can split on the push or return stroke. Can't remember who makes it though -- a Canadian company I think. Anyway, never used one and I generally agree that a separate splitter is better but I could see how the two-way design would make the cycle time much less relevant.

ETA: The company I am thinking of is Split-Fire.
I have the smallest Splitfire, 2260 I believe? Anyways, it has a tiny honda on it, and it’ll split most stuff I’ve tried (mind u we have crappy wood here.. pine, spruce and birch for hardwood). But it’s fast At 4 seconds per direction. I could see the 3ph model being waaay slower.
 

Eurocopter

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Kubota l5240 HSTC-3 4 X 4 with LA854 Loader, Rotary cutter, JD tiller...
Jan 18, 2020
3
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1
Holly Hill, South Carolina
Late to the party. I bought a new M4-071 last year and ordered the factory 3rd function valve which I received much later. My dealer stated the tractor was * third function ready*
After my install, (instructions not very clear)
I realized that the things that made tractor *3rd function ready* were pretty good. Hard lines bolt to loader arms, replacement joystick has wires inside and buttons already there, on/off switch mounts where a rubber plug comes out, mounting position for 3rd function already prepared etc. Totally professional! I can use all loader functions and grapple open/close at the same time. When I'm filling cylinders on grapple (closing) it slows down bucket rollback and lift. However, when opening grapple (emptying cylinders) there is no noticeable effect. I really like/appreciate the system. I paid an additional $1300. for kit and I'm pleased with money well spent. The couplers I put on at first I realized was a poor choice. I added flat face no leak couplers at final. They are more expensive but so is fully synthetic hydraulic oil.
20210826_175941.jpg
20210923_192815.jpg
20210826_180106.jpg
 

taylo54034

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L3560 LE, Box Blade, Finish Mower
Oct 20, 2021
5
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Tontitown, AR
You need to start with the basic fact that your tractor is by design an Open Center hydraulic system.

Contrast that with the hydraulic system used on excavators and industrial backhoes which are Closed Center systems.

The closed system utilizes a variable displacement pump which can adjust its output volume and pressure to meet the needs of many hydraulic systems.

The open Center system has a fixed displacement pump and oil is constantly flowing through the piping at low pressure until a control valve is moved to direct the flow into a cylinder(s).

The Open Center design is used for cost reasons.

On an open Center system, when you are using a loader joystick, it is possible to balance the flow so that some is used to lift the loader arms and the rest is used to articulate the bucket.

For most owners the difference in performance between the open Center and Closed center systems is negligible. However, there is a difference and this is what your dealer is trying to explain.

Your tractor will have a power beyond port on the loader valve now. This power beyond port feeds the 3 pt hitch and any rear remotes.

If you try and lift the 3 pt hitch while using the loader you will find situations where the two do not operate smoothly at the same time.

The Third Function is another circuit connected in series with the power beyond function of the loader valve.

You will not be unhappy with the third Function but, as part of an Open Center system, it has limitations.

Dave
I have a similar question. I own a Kubota l3560 and I had the dealer install the third function on the loader (LA 805). I did not have the dealer install rear remotes when I bought it, which I now regret. My question is this: can I use the third function hydraulic circuit to power a rear remote (to power a hydraulic top link) by running hydraulic lines from the third function connection point? I am thinking that I can disconnect the third function hydraulic lines when not in use and connect hydraulic lines that run to the back of the tractor? From my limited understanding of hydraulics (very, very, limited) such a rube goldberg design should work.
 

TheOldHokie

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L3901/LA525, B7200DT/B1630, G2160/RCK60, G2460/RCK60
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I have a similar question. I own a Kubota l3560 and I had the dealer install the third function on the loader (LA 805). I did not have the dealer install rear remotes when I bought it, which I now regret. My question is this: can I use the third function hydraulic circuit to power a rear remote (to power a hydraulic top link) by running hydraulic lines from the third function connection point? I am thinking that I can disconnect the third function hydraulic lines when not in use and connect hydraulic lines that run to the back of the tractor? From my limited understanding of hydraulics (very, very, limited) such a rube goldberg design should work.
Yes it will work. But I think you would be happier just installing a cheap ($150) valve for the rear remote(s).

Dan
 
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taylo54034

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L3560 LE, Box Blade, Finish Mower
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Yes it will work. But I think you would be happier just installing a cheap ($150) valve for the rear remote(s).

Dan
Thanks, Dan! The prospect of installing a valve (remove the rear tire, attach to the beyond fitting, anchor the valve, etc) is just really intimidating to me. By using the existing third function all I have to do is route some hydraulic lines from the cockpit area to the 3 point area and install an appropriate hydraulic cylinder. If I gather up courage afterward I might tackle the additional valve scenario, and nothing is lost.

One thing that surprised me is that the dealer installed third function supposedly connects to the beyond fitting. I haven't looked to verify that but other stuff I have read says that is the way the dealer does it.
 

TheOldHokie

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Thanks, Dan! The prospect of installing a valve (remove the rear tire, attach to the beyond fitting, anchor the valve, etc) is just really intimidating to me. By using the existing third function all I have to do is route some hydraulic lines from the cockpit area to the 3 point area and install an appropriate hydraulic cylinder. If I gather up courage afterward I might tackle the additional valve scenario, and nothing is lost.

One thing that surprised me is that the dealer installed third function supposedly connects to the beyond fitting. I haven't looked to verify that but other stuff I have read says that is the way the dealer does it.
The third function is installed in the power beyond circuit. It is fed from the loader valve and returns to the tractor.

To add another valve you disconnect the hose on the tank port of the third function valve and run a new hose from third function tank port to IN on the new valve. You then connect PB on the new valve to the hose you disconnected from the third function valve. Lastly you add a tee to the tank return hose on the loader valve and connect it to the tank return port on the new valve. Pretty simple and you may not need to remove that tire..

Dan
 
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taylo54034

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L3560 LE, Box Blade, Finish Mower
Oct 20, 2021
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Tontitown, AR
The third function is installed in the power beyond circuit. It is fed from the loader valve and returns to the tractor.

To add another valve you disconnect the hose on the tank port of the third function valve and run a new hose from third function tank port to IN on the new valve. You then connect PB on the new valve to the hose you disconnected from the third function valve. Lastly you add a tee to the tank return hose on the loader valve and connect it to the tank return port on the new valve. Pretty simple and you may not need to remove that tire..

Dan

Awesome! Thanks, Dan. I really appreciate you taking the time to give advice. I will eye ball the existing connections to assess whether I can do it. You are right, I would be happier with a couple (or three) dedicated remotes at the 3 point area.

Now I need to get busy putting together a list of hydraulic cylinders, hoses, valves, etc. to see what it will all cost me. Awfully hot right now where I live (NW Arkansas) so I will wait for a cool spell before I get very busy.

Thanks again, Dan. If I can figure out how I will post some before and after pictures of the project, but that will be a while.

Wayne