Ford Tractor Hydraulic System Troubleshooting

by Wesley Tucker

Ford tractors use hydraulic assist systems to raise, lower or move a variety of lifts, loaders and earth-moving tools. All Ford tractors have the same hydraulic components: a pump, reservoir, high-pressure filter, hoses and fittings and hydraulic pistons. Having "inline hydraulic systems” means that an operational problem with any of the components will affect all the systems. It's import to know about these vital parts of the Ford tractor hydraulic system when trying to resolve problems.

Controls

Check all the connections and control valves operating the system if the control reaction is slow. Inspect all the valves opening and closing within the system for full actuation. Slow valves mean that fluid doesn’t get to the system and will not respond to control inputs. All valves need to be properly seated with tight fittings and seals. Direct cabling or motorized actuators operate the valves, depending on your Ford tractor model. Make sure the cables are tight and the motors perform to specifications.

Fluid

Check all the fittings attached to the pump, reservoir, filter housing, hoses and pistons if the system often needs more fluid, or you see fluid puddles of fluid around or on the Ford tractor. Check for pinhole leaks in the rubber hoses. Hoses can leak a lot of fluid through small holes under pressure. Don’t repair, but replace damaged high-pressure hoses. The reservoir drain plug needs to be tight. Inspect all the seals on the pump assembly for any leaks, and tighten, repair or replace if necessary.

Vibration

Check all the clamps and mounts if your Ford tractor is vibrating too much when using the hydraulics. Go around and tighten all the plastic and stainless steel clamps and brackets. Always check these clamps when the system is pressurized. When the system is not operating, loose brackets or clamps night not be apparent.

Power

Check the pump and the fluid pressure if the hydraulic-powered apparatus appears weak and is not moving properly. Inspect the power supply for the hydraulic pump and drive belt to make sure both perform to specifications. Pumps will not achieve full pressure with a slipping belt. Check the reservoir and add fluid to correct levels. Do not overfill. Hydraulic systems work best with exact fluid levels. More fluid will not mean more power. Replace the filter regularly to avoid problems with accumulated contamination. If the filter is dirty or clogged, it will prevent the fluid from freely going from the reservoir to the pump and returning. Check the hydraulic pistons. Any dents or wearing can cause the pistons to bind and not move freely when pressurized.

About the Author

Wesley Tucker is a lifelong southerner whose politics are objective, whose sports are many and whose avocations range from aviation to anthropology to history and all forms of media. With a master's degree in mass communications from the University of South Carolina College of Journalism, Tucker has been a writer for more than 30 years, with work ranging from news reports to feature stories.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images