PLZ Help! l3901 Power Steering Assembly Problems

GeoNLR

New member
May 23, 2019
12
1
3
Bryant, AR
I was using the tractor and lost steering. Noticed it was leaking fluid from the input shaft (?) on the right hand side of the tractor. Took it to the shop and they said Kubota didn't offer a rebuild kit on the power steering assembly (PN TC220-37005) and a new one (with new pitman arm PN TC220-17140) was going to be $4,000 +. Is there anyone that has a lead on someone that can rebuild? 600 hrs on the machine total. Looking for any and all options. Thanks- Geo
 

lugbolt

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Equipment
ZG127S-54
Oct 15, 2015
4,890
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Mid, South, USA
go to the parts diagrams, look at diagram number G11200. Shows all of the parts for the steering box. I suspect that they don't want to rebuild it, for whatever reason(s). Oftentimes it's a matter of labor + parts being nearly the cost of replacement of the unit assembly but not always. Sometimes it's just laziness. Sometimes it has to do with how much money is made on repairing. Or maybe the shop is busy and don't want to mess with rebuilding it.

or maybe I'm just wrong?
 
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North Idaho Wolfman

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I was using the tractor and lost steering. Noticed it was leaking fluid from the input shaft (?) on the right hand side of the tractor. Took it to the shop and they said Kubota didn't offer a rebuild kit on the power steering assembly (PN TC220-37005) and a new one (with new pitman arm PN TC220-17140) was going to be $4,000 +. Is there anyone that has a lead on someone that can rebuild? 600 hrs on the machine total. Looking for any and all options. Thanks- Geo
Some dealers talk out an orifice that's not the mouth!

1684456103773.png

New part:

Used part:

If you want it rebuilt, any competent shop should be able to do it.
Use a different dealer?
Try a local hydraulic shop.
 
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GeoNLR

New member
May 23, 2019
12
1
3
Bryant, AR
Some dealers talk out an orifice that's not the mouth!

View attachment 102843
New part:

Used part:

If you want it rebuilt, any competent shop should be able to do it.
Use a different dealer?
Try a local hydraulic shop.
Much appreciated!!!!

Can you send me the link to the diagram you took a screen shot of? I'm looking through my WSM and having a problem finding it.

Should I just order these (4) kits highlighted and take to another shop?

Or would it be worth my time to try and DIY, take the pump off and diagnose what I need, then order it?

At the advice posted here, I went to another shop, not a Dealership, just a tractor mechanic (descent sized operation) and they said they had NO PROBLEM taking it apart rebuilding it. I'm thinking that would be the best bet, as I'm sure there could be volumes written about what I DON'T know! haha

Thanks again - Geo
 

North Idaho Wolfman

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L3450DT-GST, Woods FEL, B7100 HSD, FEL, 60" SB, 743 Bobcat with V2203, and more
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If you give me the complete model and serial number.
I can tell you the exact kit you need.
And if the Ball nut assembly ( input shaft) is damaged I can give you that part number too.
 

GeoNLR

New member
May 23, 2019
12
1
3
Bryant, AR
If you give me the complete model and serial number.
I can tell you the exact kit you need.
And if the Ball nut assembly ( input shaft) is damaged I can give you that part number too.
PLEASE! haha - I have moved the tractor to another shop and they said the input shaft is badly damaged.

L3901D (3901 HST 4x4)
SN 57929

Info off box - 120C11501 KOYO MADE IN JAPAN

I'll owe you a beer or 12 if this works out.
 

MapleLeafFarmer

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Lots incl. B and L kubotas
Dec 2, 2019
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I was using the tractor and lost steering. Noticed it was leaking fluid from the input shaft (?) on the right hand side of the tractor. Took it to the shop and they said Kubota didn't offer a rebuild kit on the power steering assembly (PN TC220-37005) and a new one (with new pitman arm PN TC220-17140) was going to be $4,000 +. Is there anyone that has a lead on someone that can rebuild? 600 hrs on the machine total. Looking for any and all options. Thanks- Geo
in this day and age where its impossible to find staff and really really difficult to find good mechanics maybe they just don't have the people / expertise / time in their shop to do the work so only replacements available no rebuilds??

thankfully we are really lucky to have a large philipino population and immigration. Without, we would be really pouched for not having good up and coming mechanics in our area. I know not the case in the province over from us.

1684964633005.png
 

North Idaho Wolfman

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Equipment
L3450DT-GST, Woods FEL, B7100 HSD, FEL, 60" SB, 743 Bobcat with V2203, and more
Jun 9, 2013
29,043
5,357
113
Sandpoint, ID
Here is the ball screw assembly, that will replace what you have there.

1684981751370.png
 

GeoNLR

New member
May 23, 2019
12
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3
Bryant, AR
Got out the WSM and did some digging ... I'm assuming the 'worm shaft' is what's bent... and hopefully it's part of the 'ball nut'? Looking at the 'Axial Play of Ball Nut Assembly, it would appear so! With an allowable limit of 0.001 inch... may be a gamble to try and just replace this part as opposed to the gear box assembly???
 

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cthomas

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A lot of it is warranty reasons, if it leaks 9 months down the road you would want it fixed free of charge right? Does not matter why it was leaking or what abuse it has taken. Therefore as a dealership tech(or anyone paid by the job) would you take a chance rebuilding it with the risk of having to do it again for free(with having to buy new parts to resolve the concern). It is a sad story but, we live in a replace it world. Case in point just replaced a rear diff. in a 2008 Polaris Ranger as the shim kit to adjust preload has been discontinued, the original had a broken(crack case). So I could spend $900 on a case half, bearings, and seals. And then if the preload was incorrect I would have to find a way to correct it(with parts not available) or quote the customer $2200 and know it would be correct(and if not Polaris would have to warranty it). And yes a lot of it is staffing issues and the willingness of the shop to pay a living wage. I.E. Polaris dealership charges $130 per hour yet the top tech in the shop makes $26 per hour and has to buy his/her own tools after they pay for schooling.
 

lugbolt

Well-known member

Equipment
ZG127S-54
Oct 15, 2015
4,890
1,624
113
Mid, South, USA
A lot of it is warranty reasons, if it leaks 9 months down the road you would want it fixed free of charge right? Does not matter why it was leaking or what abuse it has taken. Therefore as a dealership tech(or anyone paid by the job) would you take a chance rebuilding it with the risk of having to do it again for free(with having to buy new parts to resolve the concern). It is a sad story but, we live in a replace it world. Case in point just replaced a rear diff. in a 2008 Polaris Ranger as the shim kit to adjust preload has been discontinued, the original had a broken(crack case). So I could spend $900 on a case half, bearings, and seals. And then if the preload was incorrect I would have to find a way to correct it(with parts not available) or quote the customer $2200 and know it would be correct(and if not Polaris would have to warranty it). And yes a lot of it is staffing issues and the willingness of the shop to pay a living wage. I.E. Polaris dealership charges $130 per hour yet the top tech in the shop makes $26 per hour and has to buy his/her own tools after they pay for schooling.

well said. The industry (kubota, automotive, powersports, etc in general) has gone that way because of a lot of things, and you've touched on a few of them. It's certainly unfortunate.

I used to work at a kubota dealer as a tech. They didn't pay anything given the amount of volume and type of work that is expected out of a tech. I had about $50,000 worth of tools-that is over a year's salary, for the record. But my bills was paid, and $43,000 a year was acceptable, and I made a career out of it. What always bothered me is how customer expectations combined with a poor management "team" would get together. For instance, if I had to do a transmission replacement on a ZG127, and let's say the owner takes it home, then it starts missing on one cylinder. Coil goes bad (Kohler...that's a normal thing on Kohlers). I (tech) had absolutely nothing to do with that coil. Yet, that customer shows back up, goes to the manager and the manager bends over to keep the customer happy. Now, me, the tech, has to eat an hour's labor, the shop has to eat the cost of a coil, and we still lose the customer's confidence. We had nothing to do with it! But in the customer's eyes, it doesn't matter. He wants free stuff, and that is all. "I just spent $1500 on a lawn mower repair and now this other problem shows up, what did y'all do to my mower??" Or, guy has his tractor in for an oil change, gets it home and starts doing tractor work normally-all is well, for months. 4,5,6 months later he calls griping because he's got a flat tire. Boss says go get in the truck, pick it up, bring it back and FIX that tire. And I did, for free. Fixing a tractor tire is not as easy as a car tire, so there goes a few hours' of my time that I should have been billing for. But the customer is always right. Right? I got so sick of that stuff.

But we as a society have become conditioned to the fact that, well, the customer IS in fact always right. There needs to be a balance, an agreement on what is and what isn't. I always said that a shop should have a labor warranty statement. Maybe, say, have a 60 day guarantee on the repairs completed, and stating that if a problem presents itself that is out of the scope of the original repair, it is not a warrantable repair unless the manufacturer's warranty applies.

shop labor. We are getting into $130-$150/hr labor rates nowadays. When I started, it was $18/hr. Now that $150 is high-I agree with that. And customers see that and they automatically expect higher quality of service, which in most cases, they actually get that. But techs are also not paid what they should be. If labor rate went from $18 to $150 in 30 years, that's an 833% increase. My wage was $4.25 when I started in 1992. 833% increase would be a little over $35 an hour. I don't make $35/hr. Nowhere close and neither do any of the techs where I was at (the kubota dealer). Wages don't keep up, ever. I'm not saying they "should" but I am saying that they don't, and in the case of where I used to work, it was management saying that we were paid too much given the work we put out. I was billing over 100% monthly for 9 months out of the year. The highest of all 11 of the stores in that chain. Yet when i mention a pay raise for myself and the rest of the guys? "We can't afford it". In 2020, I could no longer afford to work there either so go find yourself a flunky to replace me--and they did--15 of them since 2020. Finding help is tough. Finding GOOD help is tough AND expensive. Techs have to buy their own tools, pay for their own schooling, pay for this, pay for that....taxes...insurance...after it's all said and done, a $25.00/hr tech is making about $9/hr once all the costs are figured in (you get the idea, that is not exact, but close). And they keep wondering why few want to enter the trade/field....
 

GeoNLR

New member
May 23, 2019
12
1
3
Bryant, AR
well said. The industry (kubota, automotive, powersports, etc in general) has gone that way because of a lot of things, and you've touched on a few of them. It's certainly unfortunate.

I used to work at a kubota dealer as a tech. They didn't pay anything given the amount of volume and type of work that is expected out of a tech. I had about $50,000 worth of tools-that is over a year's salary, for the record. But my bills was paid, and $43,000 a year was acceptable, and I made a career out of it. What always bothered me is how customer expectations combined with a poor management "team" would get together. For instance, if I had to do a transmission replacement on a ZG127, and let's say the owner takes it home, then it starts missing on one cylinder. Coil goes bad (Kohler...that's a normal thing on Kohlers). I (tech) had absolutely nothing to do with that coil. Yet, that customer shows back up, goes to the manager and the manager bends over to keep the customer happy. Now, me, the tech, has to eat an hour's labor, the shop has to eat the cost of a coil, and we still lose the customer's confidence. We had nothing to do with it! But in the customer's eyes, it doesn't matter. He wants free stuff, and that is all. "I just spent $1500 on a lawn mower repair and now this other problem shows up, what did y'all do to my mower??" Or, guy has his tractor in for an oil change, gets it home and starts doing tractor work normally-all is well, for months. 4,5,6 months later he calls griping because he's got a flat tire. Boss says go get in the truck, pick it up, bring it back and FIX that tire. And I did, for free. Fixing a tractor tire is not as easy as a car tire, so there goes a few hours' of my time that I should have been billing for. But the customer is always right. Right? I got so sick of that stuff.

But we as a society have become conditioned to the fact that, well, the customer IS in fact always right. There needs to be a balance, an agreement on what is and what isn't. I always said that a shop should have a labor warranty statement. Maybe, say, have a 60 day guarantee on the repairs completed, and stating that if a problem presents itself that is out of the scope of the original repair, it is not a warrantable repair unless the manufacturer's warranty applies.

shop labor. We are getting into $130-$150/hr labor rates nowadays. When I started, it was $18/hr. Now that $150 is high-I agree with that. And customers see that and they automatically expect higher quality of service, which in most cases, they actually get that. But techs are also not paid what they should be. If labor rate went from $18 to $150 in 30 years, that's an 833% increase. My wage was $4.25 when I started in 1992. 833% increase would be a little over $35 an hour. I don't make $35/hr. Nowhere close and neither do any of the techs where I was at (the kubota dealer). Wages don't keep up, ever. I'm not saying they "should" but I am saying that they don't, and in the case of where I used to work, it was management saying that we were paid too much given the work we put out. I was billing over 100% monthly for 9 months out of the year. The highest of all 11 of the stores in that chain. Yet when i mention a pay raise for myself and the rest of the guys? "We can't afford it". In 2020, I could no longer afford to work there either so go find yourself a flunky to replace me--and they did--15 of them since 2020. Finding help is tough. Finding GOOD help is tough AND expensive. Techs have to buy their own tools, pay for their own schooling, pay for this, pay for that....taxes...insurance...after it's all said and done, a $25.00/hr tech is making about $9/hr once all the costs are figured in (you get the idea, that is not exact, but close). And they keep wondering why few want to enter the trade/field....
Thanks - Makes total sense. Especially reading the WSM on Backlash, clearances, and axial play max of 0.001" (factory 0.0008). I guess it's time tp bite the bullet! Who's going to tell the dealer they were right??? HAHA -Ouch-
 

North Idaho Wolfman

Moderator
Staff member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
L3450DT-GST, Woods FEL, B7100 HSD, FEL, 60" SB, 743 Bobcat with V2203, and more
Jun 9, 2013
29,043
5,357
113
Sandpoint, ID
Thanks - Makes total sense. Especially reading the WSM on Backlash, clearances, and axial play max of 0.001" (factory 0.0008). I guess it's time tp bite the bullet! Who's going to tell the dealer they were right??? HAHA -Ouch-
You can buy the box yourself and save a ton!