Thanks for the reply.
What is this "coffee" you speak of? Is that the stuff they sip while administering my daily whipping to make me work faster? All I get is some treacle in an old tomato soap can...
Tach is busted (don't look at me, it was that way when I came in), but with the tractor sitting still at a moderate idle, the following happens when slowly turning the wheel right to left:
Right stop is the lowest point.
Turning makes the wheel climb, to a total of roughly 1/8" difference from the lowest where the wheel stiffens just before it "pops". Yes, 1/8", unfortunately not a typo.
When it "pops", the wheel drops back down to normal height.
Continuing turning to the left makes the wheel climb again. I didn't notice last night, but it refuses to go all the way to the left stop while sitting still. It just gets stiff to the point where I can't manhandle it further. I would guess this because the assist is no longer assisting at this point.
Left to right is the opposite; the wheel starts high on the left, drops all the way down, "pops" up around center, then goes back down as it approaches the right stop.
I can turn it stop to stop no problem while moving, but I suppose that's to be expected.
The nut under the center cover is tight (probably frozen, actually), not sure if this is the one you meant.
Looking at some schematics online (for manual steering, Google can't seem to find any for the hydraulic version), it seems to me that the top thrust bearing might be shot, causing excessive play in the shaft and thus the hydraulics to be actuated incorrectly or not at all, respectively...but you would know better than I.
Edit: Looking into what said bearing would cost, it seems like you've seen this sort of thing before. This post was edited by RandomEmployee at 14:33:19 02/12/13 3 times.