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Restoration & Repair Tips Board

IH 350 utility steering gear issue

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Posted by Stevewatr on August 08, 2012 at 07:19:03 from (

I've come to a crossroads with my 350U project. Bought this as a non runner, rebuilt the head, and got the motor running sweet only to find the power steering gear is broken. Tore the box down and found 2 issues. A small toothed bar called the rack is broken. Apparently a common issue because these are being sold aftermarket on a couple sites. the bigger problem is the special roller bearing that was used in this short lived configuration. this bearing does not exist in the manual steering gear box, and it cannot, I repeat cannot be crossed to any major bearing manufacturers. It is specially made to be install in sections so it can use the shaft as the inner race for the rollers, and the outer race just clears sector gears on both sides of the shaft. Might sound weird, but if you've ever seen one, you'd know what I mean. The only source for this part, are companies/ salvage yards that have a steering box, but they do not want to sell the bearing, only the complete box, and a refurbished box was offered to me for $1000, plus a core charge (they want my box). I wanted the tractor for loader work, and the loader, and truck tires up front is rough on these steering setups, so I am not confident in sinking that much more into it. I currently have it up for sale AS IS, but the current state of dis-assemblly makes it look un attractive to many who are not comfortable with working on machines. My current options are; 1) sell it AS IS, but with the rebuilt head, I won't take less than $2000, and I'm in Massachusetts, so most locals are scared away by the photos. 2) Part it out, with a good motor, hydraulic system, PTO, and tranny, and scrap metal value of what remains, I could do nicely, but that takes time, and I hate to see the old girl chopped up. 3) Have a machine shop make a new bearing ($$$??), then look into installing a bolt on power steering upgrade to take the force off the steering gear (jackson power steering system), again, more $$$ than I want to spend. 4) Install a completely differant steering system, somthing more conventional, with a sigle steering cylinder, and a tie rod. Problem is the way the front axle sits up into the front bolster to keep the front end low, creates problems with any tie rod setup I can think of. So I made this post, and look forward to any comments, and words of wisdom some mat have for me on the subject.


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