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MF 30B No Steering

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01-11-2021 12:27:27

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I recently purchased a MF 30B industrial L/BH that does not steer. The steering wheel turns freely in both directions. I don't have an operator's manual yet and the shop manual only instructs on Remove, Repair and Replace. No troubleshooting.

Can anyone guide me on the steps to take until I can get an operators manual?


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01-17-2021 09:21:43

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 Re: MF 30B No Steering in reply to easter32, 01-11-2021 12:27:27  
Went to work on the steering and raised the wheels off the gound. Was putting in fluid, working out the air and was finally getting a response at the steering wheel when the engine just died. No funny noises. Nothing just dead and after several attempts to start it where I could hear the bump of the starter and then a low grade buzz. I felt it best to come back to you guys. Obviously, I am NOT a diesel mechanic!

Any help/guidance would be appreciated. The engine has oil/antifreeze in it. I'm not sure the oil is at the proper level. The previous owner lost the dipstick and was using a screwdriver to cover the hole. Its about a ten inch driver which held beside the engine goes well down into the reservoir and has about an inch of oil on the stick

New stick should be in this Wed.

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01-18-2021 07:58:05

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 Re: MF 30B No Steering in reply to easter32, 01-17-2021 09:21:43  
Most likely it ran out of fuel, either completely out, low enough to suck trash into the tank outlet or filters plugged. Sounds like it may also need a starter or battery, if the engine's not stuck. You could check if it's free by turning the fan. Won't be easy or turn far, but should move a bit to give an indication. If not stuck, best to change the fuel filter and clean the cup under tank if one there, put in some fresh fuel after making sure no trash in tank. Be prepared, they can be a pain to prime fuel system after running out, or servicing.

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01-12-2021 12:20:59

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 Re: MF 30B No Steering in reply to easter32, 01-11-2021 12:27:27  

I'll try that next time I go up there. Hopefully it is just drained real low and has air in the system.

I'll keep all of you posted but it will be a few days before I can get back there.

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01-12-2021 10:17:31

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 Re: MF 30B No Steering in reply to easter32, 01-11-2021 12:27:27  
the owner has ahlzeimers and the son doesn't know a thing about it except his dad had spent a lot of money on the hydraulics a couple years ago.
No. The steering didn't work when I bought it. The sterring wheel just turns freely. I topped off the main hydraulic fluid and the fluid in the pump.
I'm thinking now that it's probably in the connection between the Steering wheel and what the book calls the steering control unit or steering hand pump under the dash.

Do I need a puller for the steering wheel?

It's a diesel engine.

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01-12-2021 11:24:08

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 Re: MF 30B No Steering in reply to easter32, 01-12-2021 10:17:31  
Our 30B has hydraulic steering, no mechanical link. The hydraulic steering is separate from the main hydraulic system with it's own reservoir in the pump, albeit a small one. Permatran is suggested per the manual. Most likely low oil. Takes a lot more oil than just fill the pump if the system has bled way down. Start the engine, lift the front wheels off the ground, remove plug on top of pump reservoir and fill, then cycle wheel back and forth to get air out. If it's really down, you'll have to refill and repeat till all the air is out. Don't put wheel all the way to one stop or the other or you'll just foam the fluid as the relief blows. See if that helps. If still no joy, then it could be really badly failed steering cylinder seals, incorrectly hooked lines, or a problem with the control unit under the wheel, which I think very unlikely unless rusted out or the system got contaminated, or the top seal (under wheel) blew. Very common is for those pumps to leak all the system oil into the crankcase through the pump drive shaft seal. If the level get's low and no visible leaks, does the crankcase oil level rise? To pull the wheel you'll definitely need a puller but it won't come easy.

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Richard G.

01-12-2021 06:07:14

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 Re: MF 30B No Steering in reply to easter32, 01-11-2021 12:27:27  
I had a 30 B with a loader.
Seems like I was always working on the power steering.
Had to replace pump.
Had to rebuild the little cylinder in front several times.
Broke the main shaft going down through the front casting and welded it back after grinding it to a point.
Worst steering setup I have ever seen.
Great when they work.
A B---h when they don't.

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01-11-2021 15:59:52

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 Re: MF 30B No Steering in reply to easter32, 01-11-2021 12:27:27  
What is the whole story? Did it steer when you bought it, but not now? Or did you get a deal because it didn't at time of purchase? Any background on the steering from the previous owner?
Gas or diesel engine? There are some differences it the steering on the two. Mostly just the pump and lines, I believe, but it will be best to know which you have.

Does the power steering pump have oil in it? If it is empty, I believe there may be a filling and air bleeding section in the manual, there is in a couple manuals I have for other tractors.

Is the pump working, making pressure?

I think you may be disappointed if you are expecting the Operator's manual to give you step by step trouble shooting, it is geared more to the normal maintenance an owner/operator would do.

Do you have the actual MF30B service manual or a different one? Trouble shooting is not much in some MF manuals I have. There were often other system fundamental manuals available to dealer mechanics to support the service manuals (which are written for mechanics and usually don't go into DIY level instructions).

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