Hard steering

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  #1  
Old 05-04-18, 10:23 AM
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Hard steering

Craftsman 917.288092 parked for winter covered with a trap. Started to use a couple of weeks ago. and it takes 2 hands to turn. Think I have located the problem but would like some confirmation before I order part or is there some way to lube it. I can't see any way and it looks like a hard part to change, Part # 175146 # 71 under steering. Here is diagram.
https://www.searspartsdirect.com/mod...erm=917.288092
Any tricks to replacing? I see if bolts from under engine frame.
 
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Old 05-04-18, 11:18 AM
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A direct link to the exploded parts view. Click on diagram for larger view.
sears parts direct/PLDM/P0807016-00005.png
 
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Old 05-04-18, 12:16 PM
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Lift the front of the tractor up, remove the drag link and make sure both spindles turn freely. Most times that is what needs to be cleaned up. Remove, clean oil and wipe dry, then reinstall. It could be the plastic bushings in there too are worn or gone. #9
 
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Old 05-04-18, 01:10 PM
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Unfortunately not the problem. jacked up and disconnected drag link and front wheels turn freely. With drag link disconnected steering wheel still hard to turn.
 
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Old 05-04-18, 06:41 PM
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It can come apart for lubing but normally I would say get a can of PBlaster and spray the steering column, letting it run down the column shaft and into the bushing area of the steering "block" while turning the wheel back and forth. It should free up fairly quickly.
 
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Old 05-05-18, 05:16 AM
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Have been spraying for a couple of weeks. Has freed up a little but not much. Will keep trying as it looks like a real pisser to get out.
 
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Old 05-05-18, 05:45 AM
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It's not exactly identical, and I'm not seeing the part that I am thinking of on any of the schematics, but the symptom and general parts layout are similar enough that I'm going to mention this, and maybe Cheese or BFH can confirm or deny if it might be a factor. A couple of years ago I replaced a bronze bushing that holds the lower end of the steering shaft in place on a neighbor's Cub Cadet, because the bushing was wobbled out, which allowed the gear on the bottom of the shaft to walk away from the sector. From the way he described it to me, the symptoms were the same. He's a younger guy, not much hands on experience, so I give him credit for at least trying, but it was one of those things that I wished he would have asked before he started taking parts off because I would have most likely said that we'd put it on the lift in order to work on it easier. But even then, you are absolutely right; it was a pisser.
 
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Old 05-05-18, 06:49 AM
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I've had problems with that MTD Sector Gear/Steering Pinion; but mine has been because it has become too loose with wear . . . . but yours is binding.

I would loosen the bolt (#88) holding the Sector Gear and see if a build-up of dead grass has accumulated below it, and causing the binding that you are experiencing.
 
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Old 05-05-18, 01:09 PM
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Also spray the shaft that the sector gear is on from the underside so that it can get into the bushing area for it.
 
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Old 05-07-18, 04:15 AM
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Nothing I do seems to free it up. How hard is it to get out and does it come apart to lube or should I just get a new one. Found one at sears for around 25$
 
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Old 05-07-18, 04:36 AM
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Before disassembling the Steering Gear apart, I would check for binding in the Ball Joints of the Drag Link or the Tie Rod ends. You don't want to just start throwing new parts at it when we don't know what's causing the binding.
 
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Old 05-08-18, 12:30 AM
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It can come apart. Remove the assembly and you can remove the steering column and clean and lube the parts.
 
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Old 05-08-18, 05:57 AM
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As my arms were complaining after my first mowing yesterday this thread gives me new hope that maybe it wasn't the affects of old age and a long winter. I will be checking my Husqvarna today and hopefully make my arms feel better.

Thanks, Bud
 
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Old 05-08-18, 01:02 PM
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Let me know what you find I haven't had time to dig into this yet. All I know is the spray didnot work yet.
 
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Old 05-08-18, 05:42 PM
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I understand lubrication and freeing up frozen components with "magic spray", but if the spray's not working (and I sort of thought it might be more than that), I would take the doggone thing apart, part by part, inspecting as you go, and see what needs to be replaced. I mentioned a possible bushing earlier, and doubt that any of the components are that precision fit, but something, whether that bushing or something else, is wobbled, worn, fatigued, or what have you, and it will most likely be clearly visible when you get there. It's sort of like reinventing the wheel I suppose, except that you don't have to re-engineer the whole thing; you just need to see what does what and whether each component is doing its' job.
 
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Old 05-09-18, 11:40 AM
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Hope to get to this the weekend or next. Had triple bypass in March and lot of catching up do do.
 
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Old 05-09-18, 12:27 PM
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Over 90% of the time the "magic spray" works. So much that I'm betting the binding parts haven't been lubed yet. It's not a gimmick, it's penetrating lubricant.
 
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Old 05-09-18, 05:52 PM
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Yeah, the way of typed communications, words aren't always sent or received exactly as intended. I have and use my share of PB Blaster, Break-Away, Liquid Wrench, etc., and generally even know which one I want to try first based on the task at hand, so didn't mean to discredit any of them by tossing out "magic spray". But it was stated that it has been sprayed for several weeks, with apparently minimal results, so at some point it's not working. On the other hand, maybe it's not getting where it needs to. Pugs, I remember now that you mentioned health issues before, and I certainly empathize with that and with the limitations it can provide (more and more each year), so maybe you could get a younger person to get down there for you and see if they can get the spray in some places that you can't. It might be worth it.
 
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Old 05-09-18, 10:19 PM
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Gotcha. Yeah, I think the spray has to come from the underside to get in contact with the pivot point for the sector gear shaft if I recall correctly. If that doesn't work, I'd take it off and apart, clean and lube.
 
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Old 05-10-18, 02:07 PM
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I discussed this binding today with my small engine Mechanic and he immediately said that you should look at the bushings in the steering gear, specifically those that would be at the upper and lower ends of what I refer to as the King Pins (the vertical portions of parts #3 and #4).

He said this is quite typical for machines that have sat outside in the weather without grease.
 

Last edited by Vermont; 05-10-18 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 05-10-18, 03:46 PM
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unfortunately I have already disconnected drag link and wheels turn freely.
 
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Old 05-10-18, 04:14 PM
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I discussed this binding today with my small engine Mechanic and he immediately said
Lift the front of the tractor up, remove the drag link and make sure both spindles turn freely. Most times that is what needs to be cleaned up. Remove, clean oil and wipe dry, then reinstall. It could be the plastic bushings in there too are worn or gone. #9

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I guess working on OPE specifically for the last 22 years doesn't qualify me as a mechanic.

 
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Old 05-10-18, 05:01 PM
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since I quit cars 18 years ago.

I was a front end mechanic for 20 years. I followed your directions the other day. Wheels turn free after drag link disconnected and steering still hard with link disconnected. I really hate to work on mechanical stuff any more. Will be tackling soon. Thanks for the help. I see you have to take tank out and deck off, steering wheel out.
 
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