Just as with any vehicle, good steering is essential for drivers of Kubota understanding what problems could arise and how to deal with them is imperative for a Kubota owner. Simply put, it’s best to be prepared.
Owners of Kubota early B and L Series tractors experienced some common problems with their machines concerning the steering box early on around 2009. Thanks to the help of Orangetractortalks.com, we are able to discuss what those problems were and how to diagnose them.
Signs Of Steering Box Problems
Those of you who own an early 2000s L or B Series Kubota tractor and experience very loose steering, as well as wobble and oscillation of the front wheels, may be facing a major symptom of steering box failure. What’s causing the issue is that the internal parts of the steering box are not connected properly and are not tight. Other symptoms that announce the problem include grinding or resistance when turning wheels from lock-to-lock and a steering wheel that shakes and feels like its loose and ready to come out of the tractor.
Upper steering column bushing wear is more than likely the cause of the problem. It is possible that water in the steering box could be the reason for the failure. The water gets into the box through a faulty, missing or worn bushing located at the top of the steering column. Made of thick rubber, the bushing centers the steering shaft in the steering tube. The bushing can wear out after several years of operating the tractor. The result is that the steering column is loose within the steering shaft.
The water could be present because your tractor is left outside where it is vulnerable to the rain, which could trickle down into the steering shaft.
Included in the bottom of the steering column where the metal tube mates to the cast iron housing of the steering box is a so-called weep hole. The hole is plugged. Unplugging that hole will permit water that could be caught in the shaft to drain out.
If not allowed to drain out of the shaft, the water will move into the steering box. The result is that the steering shaft cannot get lubrication because oil floats on water and thus suffers severe wear. The bearings fail and fall apart and the steering shaft wobbles.
In addition, once the weather gets cold and temperatures drop below zero, the water in the steering box can freeze causing the box to crack.
Preventing Failure Of the Steering Box
This problem can easily be prevented. Simply unplug the weep hole regularly so that trapped water can drain out of the steering shaft. Be sure to regularly clean dirt and debris off the plug so that the water can drain. Don’t park your tractor outside in the rain and inspect and replace the upper steering column bushing when it wears out.
(Source and photo courtesy of Orangetractortalks.com)