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