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Case Tractors Discussion Forum
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311 Hydraulics Questions

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Mike in MD

03-25-2010 17:52:58




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I just purchased a 311 project tractor (running) and I have a couple of questions about how the hydraulics work.

1) I was surprised that I can't lower the 3pt hitch or the loader when the tractor is off. The manual mentions some kind of safety feature. How does this work and is there a way to override and lower if the tractor is off?

2) The loader was installed with a pair of one way cylinders connected in parallel to one port of the remote cylinder control valve. The other port is capped. When I lower the bucket, I can hear the engine labor a little, similar to when I raise it. I read that valve is for a two way cylinder. Is it damaging to leave it as is or is the pressure relief valve on the pump doing its job and not hurting anything? Is there a way I could uncap the second fitting and return that fluid somewhere without building pressure? And can the valve be converted for use with a one way cylinder?

Any help is appreciated.

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Joe (Wa)

03-25-2010 22:08:35




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 Re: 311 Hydraulics Questions in reply to Mike in MD, 03-25-2010 17:52:58  
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third party image

Both your questions are functions of the safety interlock assembly mounted on the side of the control valve.

Oil cannot pass through the interlock in either direction unless pressure is being developed in the system by the hydraulic pump. The purpose is to provide a hydraulic lock on hyd cylinders when the engine is not running to prevent accidental drop of the loader, hitch, etc.

The internal parts of the interlock consist of a plunger and 2 steel balls with springs which are moved off their seat under oil pressure depending on the direction the control is stroked to allow for flow of oil to or from the cylinder(s).

The control valve(s) are double acting. The same interlock is used for both double acting and single acting but must be setup for one or the other application not both simultaneously.

This modification is simply a 1/4" npt countersunk plug that is installed in the center port for DA or left out for SA. The interlock must be removed from the control valve to access the plug area.

Your interlock is obviously set up for SA, otherwise it would not function at all. The pump (thus the engine) is probably laboring due to excessive back pressure caused by the interlock plunger not fully uncovering the return port, restricting the oil flow.

To check the BP, connect a gauge to the opening that is presently plugged on the side of the interlock block adjacent to the hyd line to your cylinder. Normal BP is 0-25 psi for most applications but should not exceed 75 PSI.

There are several causes of high BP, including sticky plunger, worn internal parts, new style chamfered plunger installed backwards, incorrect clearances, etc. A clearance 0.020" - 0.050" between the seated balls and the plunger ends must be maintained for proper function. This can sometimes be corrected, trial & error, by adding another gasket or shimming one or the other, or both, end plugs on the block.

Other than that, it is teardown time. Read up on it in your service manual first.

You're probably using the upper control valve for the loader. Should be setup like the lower control valve in the 2nd pic.

If you live anywhere near Williamsport, you might want to contact Roger Hornbaker. He restores gauge clusters, fabricates other parts for 300. Nice guy, anything he doesn't know about 300's is not worth knowing. rogershornbaker@yahoo.com

Joe

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Adirondack case guy

03-27-2010 06:11:24




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 Re: 311 Hydraulics Questions in reply to Joe (Wa), 03-25-2010 22:08:35  
JOE your illustrated exlpinations of the how CASE small frame tractor hydraulics work over the last week have been great.Better than the service manual.

by the way are these pic of a 300? noticed the down swept exaust, complete with heat shield.



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Adirondack case guy

03-25-2010 18:14:08




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 Re: 311 Hydraulics Questions in reply to Mike in MD, 03-25-2010 17:52:58  
If you have a Case loader, the lift cylinders were normally operated by the 3pt control spool (single acting) with a manual diverter valve installed. This allowed the remote valve to operate the bucket cyl. which was double acting.



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Mike in MD

03-25-2010 18:18:19




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 Re: 311 Hydraulics Questions in reply to Adirondack case guy, 03-25-2010 18:14:08  
It's a New Idea loader. It's using the remote cylinder control valve.



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John Saeli

03-26-2010 06:28:50




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 Re: 311 Hydraulics Questions in reply to Mike in MD, 03-25-2010 18:18:19  
Doesn't sound as though you have hyd's to the bucket itself. How many hoses do you have hooked up to the remotes? Most loader set-up's on tractors like yours use the line going to the Eagle Hitch to run the loader itself, & the double acting cylinders for the bucket going to the remotes. We put a diverter valve in the line going to the Eagle Hitch so we can switch from the loader to the Hitch if we need to. If you have only one line coming into the remotes, over time you will cause damage to the pump.

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Mike in MD

03-26-2010 07:10:27




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 Re: 311 Hydraulics Questions in reply to John Saeli, 03-26-2010 06:28:50  
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I'm sorry I wasn't clear. The bucket is a manual dump so only lift cylinders. The remote valve is being used to control the lift. The eagle hitch lift is in tact and works.

There is only one line going from the pair of remotes to the remote valve. The second port of the remote valve is capped. My concern is that the pump might be pumping against a plugged output when lowering and the labored engine makes it seem that way. Joe doesn't seem to think that could be the case but I don't see why it wouldn't go up and down regardless of the second port.

It's not the best pic but it might show what I'm talking about.

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Joe (Wa)

03-26-2010 10:12:14




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 Re: 311 Hydraulics Questions in reply to Mike in MD, 03-26-2010 07:10:27  
I don't know if I can explain how this works w/o pictures but as briefly as I can here is a shot at it.

First of all the control valves are identical, the top control valve is simply turned upside down so the interlock block can be mounted on the opposite side.

The interlock block has 3 passages. The external side of the passage that your hyd hose fitting is presently connected to is correct for SA function. The other external passage is plugged off but is in communication with the center passage when the control valve spool is moved to the down position and directs pump pressure to that end of the interlock to move the interlock spool thus opening the passage where your hyd hose is connected to return, most of the pump output is relieved via the internal center port to return.

Originally the upper interlock was setup DA for remotes and the center internal passage was plugged. It is now being used for SA function and if the plug was not removed the pump is in full relief when the control valve spool is moved to what is now the down position.

If the center passage plug has been removed, the problem is the interlock spool is not moving far enough off the center passage opening to relieve the pump pressure enough in the down position and causes some laboring. That is the importance of having the interlock spool correctly positioned initially.

As stated before, the clearance between the spool ends and the balls is initially set by the number on gaskets used on the plugs at either end of the interlock block. The plugs are identical so if they have a different number of gaskets and are removed and reinstalled in opposite ends the clearance will be changed. If the interlock has the original spool that has a chamfer on one end is installed backward, the center port will be partially restricted even if the spool end clearances are correct. If a different spool is used in the original interlock block, it may not be possible to achieve the proper clearance with end plug gaskets. In this case, the spool end can be ground to fit and if turned over will be again out of position.

You may be able to somewhat determine if the center passage plug is still in place by raising the loader to full up and holding the control valve, the pump will be in full relief, is it ballpark the same laboring noise that you hear when lowering?

The pump will not likely be damaged by being in full relief the short time it takes to lower the loader but repeated relief lifting can weaken the spring over time causing it to relieve at a lower pressure.

Joe

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Mike in MD

03-26-2010 10:27:18




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 Re: 311 Hydraulics Questions in reply to Joe (Wa), 03-26-2010 10:12:14  
Joe and John, thanks for all the great information. I think I get the idea now. I like Joe's suggestion for a test. At the present, I believe the fluid level in the torque tube is the limit on how high the loader will raise so I need to get the level right. I didn't want to fill it until I had time to drain it first. BTW, how damaging can it be if the pump sucks air due to a low fluid level? I'm sure this has happened due to some oversights during initial startup and recovery of the tractor from the field.

I currently only have an operators manual for the tractor. Does the I&T shop manual (C-201) cover these components in detail? Is there a better shop manual out there?

I appreciate your help and patience.

Mike

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Joe (Wa)

03-26-2010 12:05:08




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 Re: 311 Hydraulics Questions in reply to Mike in MD, 03-26-2010 10:27:18  
Pump damage pends length of time run dry and the condition of the pump prior to running dry.

The torque tube holds about 3 gals. It would have to be way down to loose pump suction which is possible with an external leak plus lifting SA cylinders.

The fact that the pump labors the engine is somewhat a good sign, as it is still pumping something.

The chances are if the torque tube oil level is just down off the end of the dipstick it is an internal leak at the Eagle piston seals and/or drive shaft seals into the transmission. Leaking Eagle hitch piston seals can pass all the oil from the torque tube to the transmission until pump looses suction. Leaking drive shaft seals will gravitate oil into the transmission just down to the level of the seals but off the end of the dipstick.

Check the oil level in the transmission. It takes quite a lot of oil to raise the oil level on a 311 tractor since the axles are partially flooded and provide a large area for additional oil w/o a lot of rise on the dipstick. If it is a couple inches above the full mark the above internal leaks are probable. If higher than that, internal leakage was an ongoing problem and the previous owner was adding makeup oil to the torque tube that gradually ended up in the transmission.

Be aware that a tractor that is outside can leak rain water past a defective shifter boot or leaking cover gaskets into the transmissin also causing a high oil level. Some emulsion or discoloration of the oil is not a true indication after you have moved the tractor of how much water is present as some operational conditions promote condensation. Crack the drain plug after the tractor has sat for a few days, drain off the free water and gussimate if that plus some emulsion accounts for the elevated level. Also the transmission may have been overfilled in the first place.

Joe

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Mike in MD

03-26-2010 12:15:58




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 Re: 311 Hydraulics Questions in reply to Joe (Wa), 03-26-2010 12:05:08  
Thanks again. In fact the transmission is inches above the mark. The torque tube was just barely up to the bottom of the stick. I found this out by trying to raise or lower the loader while on an incline (rollback).

I'll drain off any water and see what I see. I presume the two oils mix so you can't tell what's what if you drain it?

If I stand on the eagle hitch and raise, it moves with strength but not entirely smoothly (sort of jumps a little). Maybe the cylinder is in need of care. I just lubed all the hitch points as well but I haven't checked to see if it helped. To get access to the eagle cylinder, you remove the cover under the seat, correct? I'll source a rebuild kit before I dig in.

Mike

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Joe (Wa)

03-26-2010 14:22:45




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 Re: 311 Hydraulics Questions in reply to Mike in MD, 03-26-2010 12:15:58  
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The present low level in the torque tube is not much of a concern as your SA cylinders are probably 2"/2-1/2" and the Eagle hitch piston doesn't take much either. Fill it up to be safe. The problem is the level is down and you probably don't know how low in the past. If you want to just drive the tractor to check the engine or other components, you can block up the loader and disengage the pump drive. You may have to use a drift and hammer to move the engagement plunger out as it probably hasn't been moved recently.

Yes, the oils mix, it's all one now.

Leaking Eagle hitch piston seals are very common on this model tractor. Note in the pic that the hyd fitting for the hitch on the control valve is capped. When I bought that 310 tractor the piston seals leaked pass about 1 gal an hour. I use this tractor for loader, fitting stayed capped off for 2 years or so before replacing the seals, 2 years later still have not put the draft arms back on. Drive shaft seals leak about 1 gal/year. Having done a shaft seal front and back replacement on the 311B, I can live with that on the 310. You don't know how much your piston seals are leaking, if at all, might be a gal a year and something you can live with. The front and/or back drive shaft seals may be leaking instead or also.

Yes on the cover lift, cylinder is integral with the cover. There are several different piston and seal arrangements that don't always concur with the parts manual for that model. So eyeball if you are going to order parts, better yet take the piston to a Case dealer and match. I have a 311B with a piston that does not match any Case 300 parts book. A hyd shop came up with a steel ring and o-ring replacement.

Best to have a service manual before you start on it. I & T manuals are not the best at including all details provided in the original 300 Case manual RAC 9-92002. The manual may be available from CaseIH and sometimes via Ebay.


Joe

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John Saeli

03-26-2010 10:08:48




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 Re: 311 Hydraulics Questions in reply to Mike in MD, 03-26-2010 07:10:27  
You are correct on both points. It will go up & down with that port capped, & yes, it will labor the engine when lowering. That is my concern about damaging the pump. You probably could tie the port that is capped into the other side of the cylinders & have down pressure.



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