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Thread: ford 4500 steering problems

  1. #1
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    ford 4500 steering problems

    I have a ford 4500 backhoe. The power steering pump has enough fluid. When turning, it has power steering when turning right, but is hard to steer when turning left.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
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    You need to adjust the linkage (like a turnbuckle) that operates the valve on the steering cylinder. It is down low in front of the radiator. This a normal problem for these old girls.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Mitch,

    What exactly am I adjusting & how?

    John

  4. #4
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    You're adjusting the linkage that opens the valve (on the cylinder itself) that sends oil to the steering cylinder. If I remember when I get to the shop I'll scan the instructions for you.

  5. #5
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    Thanks Mitch - you are a great resource!

  6. #6
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    When I looked at this picture I remembered that if the cylinder anchor pin nut gets loose it will cause this too. It is under the front end casting. I can't remember if there is a way to hold the pin and tighten the nut or if the pin is locked, but I'm sure you can tighten this nut from outside. I would have looked to see but it was pouring rain when I left the shop.

    Good Luck, Mitch

    I scanned the instructions for adjusting the valve and have tried everything but hanging from the chandelier to post it. I tried it as a pdf and a bmp and couldn't get it to a size the forum would take. Send me an email at
    natural_nutrients@msn.com and I'll email it back to you.

  7. #7
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    Shop project on 4500 steering

    Here are some pictures of the steering cylinder with the valve on top. I replaced the center arm assembly pivot pin and the lower bushing on mine to get rid of a bunch of slack. I found that the A&I part they sell for the replacement won't work. I lucked out and found a retired Ford dealer in Kansas who had a new OEM part he couldn't wait to get rid of. I also replaced the bushing where the cylinder attaches to the center arm. The entire mess is a lot easier to work on if you take the radiator shield off and pull the radiator.
    I tried adjusting everything after I got it all back together but if I want it to turn both ways, I have to leave it where it wants to pull to the left all the time. I guess there must be a leak in the valve body. At $600 plus for a new cylinder I wasn't about to go there.

    I had to grind relief in the frame casting for the new hydraulic fittings which I used into the valve body or they hit. After some tweeking it works OK. I also found that the steering valve actuator arm has a pin and socket which engages the center arm casting and when it gets worn I figure that it allows to much movement to work perfectly. So mine works slightly imperfectly but it's 100% better than no power steering at all.

    Another reason to remove the radiator is that the right inner tie rod ball joint nut was loose and I had to remove everything to get at it. Oh and the radiator fins were completely plugged with old oil and dirt which required a lot of work with oven cleaner to get clean. The radiator shop spent 2 hours patching holes but couldn't get the dirt out. I had to do that myself.

    One other thing. When I reinstalled the new hydraulic pump I shimmed the mounting bracket up so the driveshaft wouldn't hit the pivot pin cover plate.
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  8. #8
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    Anchor pin issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitch504 View Post
    When I looked at this picture I remembered that if the cylinder anchor pin nut gets loose it will cause this too. It is under the front end casting. I can't remember if there is a way to hold the pin and tighten the nut or if the pin is locked, but I'm sure you can tighten this nut from outside. I would have looked to see but it was pouring rain when I left the shop.

    Good Luck, Mitch

    I scanned the instructions for adjusting the valve and have tried everything but hanging from the chandelier to post it. I tried it as a pdf and a bmp and couldn't get it to a size the forum would take. Send me an email at
    natural_nutrients@msn.com and I'll email it back to you.
    PLEASE do not try to tighten the anchor pin. A new one costs $100 plus. The nut and keeper gizmo that is OEM is crap. It took a 10 foot cheater, a 3/4 drive socket and an adaptor I fabricated out of two 1 1/2 inch nuts to back the one I had out of the stripped hole in my front casting. Once I got the old anchor pin out I chased what was left of the threads in the casting. The pin is so hard that threads don't strip they break off like glass.
    To lock the readjusted pin in it's proper location, I drilled and tapped two 1/2 threads to intersect the harded anchor pin through the casting and ground 2 flats on the pin to recieve the grade 8 set screws. I used JB weld as a thread locker on the set screws.
    I found that the pin will bind the power assist cylinder rod pivot unless care is taken to insert the correct shims under the pivot head to line it up with the cylinder. There is shoulder on the pin that will jam the pivot if you aren't aware of it.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the info and pictures. It has been so hot that I have not had a chance to tackle this project. The tractor runs and steers, but the power steering is hard in one direction.

    Thanks again,
    John

  10. #10
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    I have what I think is a ford 4500 back hoe. It's older than dirt and wore out, but runs great. I recently have started losing gears. I've lost all but 4th. I can still get it into 2nd, but as soon as I put it in forward or reverse it grinds and kicks out of gear. I can't even find 1st or 3rd. Any help would be appreciated. The beast isn't worth a plug nickel, but it's invaluable to me.
    Thanks.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jigger View Post
    I have what I think is a ford 4500 back hoe. It's older than dirt and wore out, but runs great. I recently have started losing gears. I've lost all but 4th. I can still get it into 2nd, but as soon as I put it in forward or reverse it grinds and kicks out of gear. I can't even find 1st or 3rd. Any help would be appreciated. The beast isn't worth a plug nickel, but it's invaluable to me.
    Thanks.
    Jigger
    Above your battery on the inside of the hood there may be a name plate with tractor, transmission, rear end and engine numbers on it.
    Ford serial #'s for the 2000 thru 9000 series 3 cylinders according to yesterday tractor antique tractor guide are as follows
    65.............C100000
    66.............C124200
    67.............C161300
    68.............C190200
    69.............C226000
    70.............C257600
    71.............C292100
    72.............C327200
    73.............C367300
    74.............C405200
    75.............C450700

    If it was me and I was unable to shift, the first thing I would do was pop the top off the transmission carefully and check to see if I had all my shifter forks in the right place.
    If you don't have the service manual on it you can get one on EBAY for under 10 dollars on a CD. The one I got wasn't perfect but it has quite a bit of information about the variuos transmissions used in that series.
    Here are severeal pages out of the 4 speed trany section

    Name:  4500 transmission_shifter_0001small.JPG
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    Forks can be fabricated and or fixed if they are worn thru and I'll bet you can still get various parts from Ford/New Holland if you can't find them at the salvage yards. Try asking on Tractor House parts search. A number of New Holland dealers have excellant parts diagrams on their web sites if you can figure out what your tractor is so you can look it up.

    Try reading up on Yesterday Tractor web site. There are a number of Ford mechanics there willing to help. I am sure that others out there have been deep into thier transmissions and can help you more than I. As luck would have it my old gal still shifts into all gears. It's the planitaries that I'm worried about on mine. Guy who had it before me ran it with low oil in the rearend and it's noisy. Ouch!
    If your old gal begins to loose it's value to you and you are close enough geographically perhaps I could talk you into selling it to me CHEAP.
    John

  12. #12
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    I have a '72 Ford 4500 with a leaking steering cylinder. Any info on removing the cylinder would be appreciated. Thanx

  13. #13
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    From what I can see on mine, it appears you need to remove the radiator and front cowl. The cowl is heavy but can be lifted easily with an engine hoist.

  14. #14
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    Leaking Steering Cylinder

    Thanks for the reply. I already have the hood, radiator, and hydraulic pump off. I'm having a problem getting the steering linkage off so I can get the cylinder out.

  15. #15
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    I have a 550 that the power steering hoses are leaking, but upon closer inspection they are rubbing on the tie bar. I don't think the bar is bent. Anyone had this problem? Could it be because the bushings are worn and there is too much play? I just bought this machine and want to fix it right. Any thoughts?

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