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Tractor Repair : How To Repair or Replace a Massey Ferguson Hydraulic Power Steering Pump

Updated on March 20, 2016
Randy Godwin profile image

Randy has years of experience dealing with all sorts of hydraulic repairs around the farm and on many types of industrial equipment.

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Small Tractor Steering Problems

If you have a small farm or ranch, you probably own a small tractor of some sort. Eventually, the power steering pump will need servicing or repairing and this article will help you make the necessary repairs. A tractor power steering pump is simply a hydraulic pump which forces oil under high pressure into a hydraulic cylinder to aid in steering the wheels of the tractor.

The particular model of tractor used in the how-to photos in this article is a Massey Ferguson 245. It has a 3 cylinder Perkins diesel engine and was manufactured in 1981. This is the second pump to be replaced in its almost 30 year existence and the engine is basically untouched since it was new. This is not unusual as these great little tractors last and last.

As in most cases, do not order this part from the tractor dealership unless you cannot find it online. You will always pay much more for original parts and in my experience, they are no better and in some cases, come from the same source as the aftermarket tractor parts. This can mean a great deal of savings for you.

Massey Ferguson 245 Steering Pump Repair

Old steering Pump is simply worn out
Old steering Pump is simply worn out | Source
Hydraulic lines, steel and flexible types
Hydraulic lines, steel and flexible types | Source

Obtaining the New Power Steering Pump

Replacing the power steering pump on this tractor, and other models, is a fairly simple chore if you take your time and order the right parts before you begin.  We ordered this new pump online for about $250 and it arrived in a few days.   We first compared the new power steering pump with the one on the 245 and were sure it was the correct replacement pump. 

It was slightly different in appearance with an additional air vent, but the power steering drive gear and retaining bolt holes matched perfectly.  We would need to use the two hydraulic line connection fittings from the old pump because the new pump did not come with these flared connections.  In most cases, the old gasket is fine as there is no pressure on the pump from the engine crankcase.

You are now ready to begin the power steering pump replacement process.  Have a good oil pan to drain the old oil into and somewhere to dispose of, or store, the old power steering fluid.  Do not reuse this oil because it may have bits of metal in it from the old power steering pump.  It’s better to be safe than ruin the new pump by reusing the old power steering fluid.

Removing The Tractor Steering Pump

Comparing the old and new tractor steering pumps
Comparing the old and new tractor steering pumps | Source
The old hydraulic line fittings.  Reuse or replace with new ones
The old hydraulic line fittings. Reuse or replace with new ones | Source
Reattaching the hydraulic pressure lines
Reattaching the hydraulic pressure lines | Source

Removing The Tractor Steering Pump

Start by removing the oil lines from the old power steering pump. Some of the power steering oil will drain out at this time but the majority will remain inside the old tractor power steering pump. Notice in the photo that one of the oil pressure lines connected to the MF 245 power steering pump is made of flexible steel reinforced rubber and the other of steel. This is because the original steel oil line broke and it was much cheaper to replace it with the flexible line. Yours may be either type.

The Massey Ferguson 245 power steering pump uses only 2 bolts to connect it to the engine block. The top bolt runs through the alternator bracket, into the power steering pump, and further into the threaded hole into the engine block. The bottom bolt only goes through the tractor power steering pump into the threaded hole in the block. These retaining bolts should remove quite easily.

Gently tap the pump to dislodge it from its seating and pull it from the gear hole in the engine block. At this point it should be completely loose and can be emptied of all of the power steering fluid remaining in the old reservoir. Position the old tractor power steering pump next to the new one and compare them one last time before starting the reassembly process.

Bleeding the hydraulic steering system

Air bubbles during the steering pump bleeding process
Air bubbles during the steering pump bleeding process | Source
Good as..not quite new!  for another 15 years, at least!
Good as..not quite new! for another 15 years, at least! | Source

Replacing the Steering Pump and Bleeding the System

At this point you must decide whether you wish to use the old flared oil line fiitngs from the old tractor power steering pump or replace them with new ones. If the old lines tended to leak any at all it is better to go ahead and replace them. This will only cost a couple of bucks in most cases and may prevent future leaks. You make the call.

The rest of the process is just the reverse of the removal process, making sure everything fits together smoothly and the bolts are tightened snugly into the engine block. You may have to retighten the fan belt because of the top bolt being used as an alternator bracket bolt too. When finished with this segment, refill the new tractor power steering pump reservoir with new clean power steering fluid.

Replace the fluid cap on the reservoir and crank the engine. Listen for any odd noises and begin turning the steering wheel to allow the lines and hydraulic steering cylinder to fill with oil. At first, the steering may be very hard to turn in one direction and easy in the other. This is because of air being in the lines and the cylinder. After a few turns shut off the engine and remove the fill cap from the reservoir.

You will need to add more fluid because some has gone to refill the lines and steering hydraulic cylinder. Normally, air bubbles will flow out when the reservoir is completely full. Continue to bleed the system in this manner by repeated filling, running the engine, turning the steering wheel, and topping off the fluid until the steering works normally.

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    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      Another wonderful lesson for my son. He loves learning about anything to do with vehicles. Thank you.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks for reading, as always Hello, Hello!

      Randy

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Straightforward, easy to follow and understand directions. Thanks for sharing.

    • bileygur profile image

      bileygur 6 years ago from Reykjavik

      The Massey is great tractor, looking at the photo you would think that it was 1940's model but not 1981.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Glad you think so, dallas! Thank you!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Ha ha! This old girl has been through many seasons of tobacco patch hell down here in the Georgia summertime, bileygur!

      She still runs like a sewing machine, though! Thanks for your time!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

      If I had a tractor, I'd try this! Very nicely presented though and well done....I have to keep closing my eyes because of your avatar (sorry)...I will just cross them and then I will think it is a pencil or something!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Sorry my king snake bothers you, AK! I think it is a very beautiful creature myself. I suppose because it eats rattlesnakes! LOL! Thanks for the visit!

    • profile image

      williamg 5 years ago

      I have a massey 245 and have been trying to find the hydrolic hoses going from the ram to the steering wheel..everyone I call wants to sell me the whole kit and all I need is the two hoses.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello William! I had my hoses made up at an auto parts supplier. I never buy anything at a tractor company because it will usually cost you at least double the price.

      Call around to machine shops if you can't find an auto parts dealer who makes up these type hoses. I always replace steel lines with these hoses too.

      Good luck!

      Randy

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Just checking out your hubs.

      This is a pretty good one. I have a friend who has a tractor that looks like this. If you don't mind, can I show this hub to her and her husband? I will cut off the people's comments, so no one will have their IDs seen.

      They have horses, and we ride a lot. So, it is pretty fun, but the tractor... that is a story in itself.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks for checking out my hubs, Michele. Sure feel free to copy this in its entirety as the comments are already available to the public anyway.

      I've enjoyed talking with you on the forums and I hope you don't misunderstand my purpose. Here, if you're gonna read something try this one:

      http://randygodwin.hubpages.com/hub/Tale-Of-A-Sout...

    • profile image

      Hattrik 3 years ago

      Hi Randy...I have another question....I have a 255 and need to remove the orbital steering motor at the bottom of the steering column but cannot get it lose....can you help!...thanks for any information.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Sorry Hattrik, I've no experience with that particular part. Wish I could advise you.

    • profile image

      Hattrik 3 years ago

      Thanks Randy...it's been very hard to find anything on this...the search continues.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Sorry I couldn't help you, Hattrik. Good luck with your search! :)

    • profile image

      Hattrik 3 years ago

      No problem my friend...if I get to the bottom of this would you like me to pass to you what I found out?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      That would be great, Hattrik! Perhaps someone else may have the same problem. Thanks for the question and your time. :)

      --RG

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      dobbinite 3 years ago

      Randy, glad to see you are still here. You helped me a lot on Hydralic cylinders. Now I just ran into a a steering problem on my old Case 580C backhoe-loader .

      While digging away into the mountain for 3 days, Saturday afternoon the steering column started leaking. After a while, oil was pouring out at the top of the column just below the steering wheel all over the cockpit deck, ugh !

      I managed to remove the steering column, shaft and wheel without too much trouble and found the seal at the top of column had deteriorated. I went on line and ordered some replacement parts for a reasonable price. Meanwhile, monday I started cleaning up and inspecting the shaft and parts and reading the manual. It does not appear like there should have been fluid in that column after all. Now I am looking at this control valve at the bottom of the column, still in the tractor. There are seals inside of there that are not so easy to find. Does not look easy to get out so maybe I can replace those seals while still in the tractor.

      Any advice in this area ? Dobbs

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Dobbs, great to hear from you again. :) Sorry to have taken so long to respond, but I've broken my foot rather severely and have been in such pain as to be in no shape to help anyone much at all. Thankfully, I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel as far as recuperation is concerned.

      As far as your present problem is concerned, I fear I can offer no advice on this repair as I've never had occasion to repair the power steering components in my own 580C. Other model tractors yes, just not this one.

      Sorry to be of no help to you Dobbs and feel free to stop by anytime.

      Randy

    • profile image

      dobbinite 3 years ago

      In an opportunity of rare luck, the parts I ordered from EPS store not only had the right parts but also a service bulletin on how to replace the steering control valve input seals! It only took about an hour and I did not have to remove that valve from the tractor. I cannot say enough good stuff about this site for parts and service. http://www.epsstore.com/ I received the right parts in two days by mail. The price was most reasonable. The Service Bulletin was an absolute must have for this job. I scanned it in to a pdf and I would like to attach it but I don't know how on this blog.

      Dobbs

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Great news, Dobbs. Glad you posted the link to the site here as it may well help others with similar problems. Thanks again for returning and telling what you found out, Dobbs!

    • profile image

      Abel 2 months ago

      Hi Randy,

      I have just replaced a double hydraulic pump of 399 but steering works only for a while and stops. Could you help with diagnosing the problem.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Abel--sometimes it's difficult to get the air out of the system and the results can be what you are experiencing.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Dave 8 weeks ago

      How do u get steering off a 255 Massey ferguson. Mine leaks & wont come off thanks

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 8 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Dave, what part of the steering won't come off, the steering wheel, the seal, or something else? Need a bit more info to assist you with the problem.

      Randy

    • profile image

      JIMMIE CLOPTON 5 weeks ago

      I HAVE A 393 MASSEY FERGUSON AND TRYING TO REMOVE THE POWER STEERING CYLINDER PUMP. HAVE EVERYTHING DISCONNECTED EXCEPT THE CENTER PART OF THE CYLINDER

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Jimmy, I'm not familiar with the 393 pump. Sorry!

    • profile image

      Michael 2 weeks ago

      I removed and rebuilt the power steering unit on my Ford 555 Backhoe. Now I need to replace it; however, in order to do so, I need to raise the bucket to it's highest point in order to be able to access the side of the engine and put the pump back in. Needless to say, I'll need to start the engine in order to raise the bucket. This raises an interesting question; can I start the engine with the Power steering pump detached from the engine block; or, is engine oil going to come shooting out of the hole where the pump was? (I assume so...).

      In order to remove the pump, I raised the bucket, shut off the motor and removed the pump. I then lowered the bucket without thinking about how I was going to get it back up! Very foolish, but now I have a dilemma, if I cannot start the engine.

      Any insight on this would be greatly appreciated.

      Michael

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Michael, I don't believe much oil will be lost if you cover the hole with something long enough to raise the bucket. Kinda like trial and error, of course.

      Randy

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