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Tips for rebuilding zero-turn hydraulics

dgeesaman

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I have a Ferris IS3100z. It started to show metal shavings in the oil last summer, so I picked up rebuild kits for the hydro motors and pumps. Hopefully there won't be too many more parts to replace than that.

Now it's time for me to pull it all apart and see what's left of the internals. I just know that keeping things clean is paramount. Any suggestions for how to get this done properly will be helpful.
 

backhoelover

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the plate that the pump rides on can not have not one small scratch in it. check it with you finger nail or a razor!!! good luck, have rebuilt many. some run strong and last and some last 6 months. they have a mind of there own. also they started having problems when they started taking the zinc out of the oil now they want you to run a full synthetic oil. i get the oil from the local toro dealer.
 

backhoelover

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if you can find out what pump is on there let me know i send you the servie manual
 

Marshy

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I have some manuals that might help you. I believer they are service manuals for Parker. I'll let you know tomorrow.
 

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The Ferris 3100Z and all the smaller models are known to tear up hydro's very quickly. Ferris used the wrong quality oil along with systems that ran very hot.

We had tons of hydro issues with the 1500, 2000, 3100 series. The oil can get so hot that it melts the hydro tanks.
 

dgeesaman

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My hydro tank is in good shape, but it can get pretty hot. I noticed that the newer models have a cooler in the circuit. On that note, does anyone know the proper oil level for these? The label on mine is gone so I keep it 3/4 full.

I have rebuild manuals for both the motors and pumps. Since replacing any of them costs $500/ea, I'm willing to try and rebuild each one.

Ferris recommends M1 15w-50. Unfortunately, the AW additives (ZDDP) are less punchy than they used to be so I bought some of the Mobil1 motorcycle oil (same viscosity) that has more zinc in it.
 

Marshy

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You might want to check for a rebuild video on youtube. It always helps to see it in a video first.
 

dgeesaman

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So I pulled both hydro motors (mildly annoying with the double-wishbone suspension parts) and found that both bearings are very lightly worn and the shaft has polish marks but no wear. So I need to decide whether or not to pull and replace those bearings.

But the bigger question: I picked up a pair of rebuild kits (SK000092) for my hydro motors. When I got into them, I see now all the original seals are Viton and my rebuild kits are Buna-N (Nitrile). Viton rebuild kit is SK000093. The viton square o-rings have some compression set so I want to replace them. I'm reluctant to use these rebuild kits now because they might not hold up as well. Thoughts?

hydro-motor.jpg
 
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Marshy

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So I pulled both hydro motors (mildly annoying with the double-wishbone suspension parts) and found that both bearings are very lightly worn and the shaft has polish marks but no wear. So I need to decide whether or not to pull and replace those bearings.

But the bigger question: I picked up a pair of rebuild kits (SK000092) for my hydro motors. When I got into them, I see now all the original seals are Viton and my rebuild kits are Buna-N (Nitrile). Viton rebuild kit is SK000093. The viton square o-rings have some compression set so I want to replace them. I'm reluctant to use these rebuild kits now because they might not hold up as well. Thoughts?

View attachment 15182

Do you know the manufacture of the motor? I would try to find a contact number for them and ask them directly if the Buna-N can be use in place of the Viton. They might tell you it will work fine for about 10 hours before it blows a seal. To my knowledge Viton is a more stable elastomer at higher temperatures.

http://www.humphrey-products.com/content/viton-vs-buna-which-seal-for-your-applications

Viton vs. Buna: Which seal for your applications?
Submitted by administrator on Mon, 11/10/2014 - 15:04

Viton and Buna are two of the most commonly used elastomers for sealing applications and for good reason. Both of these rubbers serve as great general purpose sealing options. These seals offer excellent compression set resistance, and both options are designed to resist most oils and lubricants, especially petroleum based lubricants. Additionally, moderate temperature applications between 5°F and 250°F are served by both seals, making either seal a perfect choice for general industrial use. However, for more specific applications the decision becomes much more important.

Viton and Buna seals have several very crucial differences that make them especially well suited to certain applications. While both Viton and Buna seals both serve as great sealing options at moderate temperatures, Viton is far superior to Buna for high temperature applications. Viton seals provide an indefinite seal for temperatures up to 400°F, and for temperatures up to 600°F they offer an excellent seal for more than 48 hours. Buna on the other hand is only effective up to 250°F. However, Buna seals provide a low temperature sealing option with effective sealing down to temperatures of –22°F, while temperatures below 5°F render Viton seals ineffective as they become quite hard and inflexible.

Along with temperature, other environmental conditions differentiate these two seals. An exceptionally broad range of chemical resistances make Viton seals a perfect option for most applications involving oils, fuels, and mineral acids, and these seals also boast excellent resistances to oxidation, ozone, UV exposure, weather, fungus, and mold. While also boasting some chemical resistances, Buna is much less universally resistant than its Viton counterpart suffering degradation from weather and ozone exposure. For most circumstances, however, this is not an issue, and Buna seals also offer the benefit of superior abrasion and tear resistance making them more suitable for more heavy duty industrial applications.

Both of these sealing options offer an extensive list of diverse applications, and they both serve as excellent general purpose seals. Nevertheless, to optimize your choice in seals be sure to consider the advantages and disadvantages of these two exceptional seals.

Don't take that article as gospel though, the allowable temperatures of the two materials can vary a little bit. http://www.thomasnet.com/articles/hardware/o-rings-material-makeup
 

dgeesaman

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The hydro motor is a Parker. Per the Parker rebuild manual, the Viton is used in applications with "flame retardant fluids".

It's well known that Viton can handle higher temps than Buna-N, and also handles more corrosive chemicals than Buna-N.

I have since figured out that Ferris will sell a seal kit for these hydro motors, and it's Viton. So I've decided to order the Viton kits.

First though I need to get the pumps out and determine their condition. I don't want to get too far ahead on the hydro motors when I think it's my pumps that need more serious service. I spent an hour last night struggling with the **&#)@*(&)#$ sheave bushings. Hopefully an overnight soak of AeroKroil has made this task easier today.
 

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I assume you don't have the tools to diagnose your pumps? Like I said I'm kind of in the same boat, have a weak motor/pump on one side of my mower and will need to do some maintenance on it. The manual tells me how to diagnose the pump but it takes some special tools that have pressure/flow gauges and needle valves. I'm afraid what it would cost if I take the mower to a shop. Its getting stupid expensive to take anything to a shop anymore.
 

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Subbed here, I am getting ready to take an Eaton 771 from my grasshopper apart as we speak, I know absolutely nothing about em, I hope I learn from this thread. :)
 

Marshy

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I just called all around my local area asking for quotes to diagnose my issue and see if its a pump vs drive motor issue and what I could expect, ball park, to repair one or both. Its fair to say that it would cost just a $100 to diagnose and an additional $400-$1K to repair. All the shops I've talked with said they will not rebuild pumps or motors.

While calling around and talking to people my coworker has a vendor visiting with him and the vendor overheard me talking to these shops. He said he's serviced commercial Toro hydrostatic systems for years. He said the wheel motors are not serviceable because of the fit-up of all the parts and once its opened up its all lost. He strongly recommended replacing wheel motors. He said the pumps can be rebuilt and are easy, takes about an hour. He said you can get everything you need for the pumps except the barrel cap and if they are bad then you'll need a new pump.

The issue with my mower is once it gets warmed up the one side becomes weak. He suggested that I change my fluid and swap the wheel drives. If the issue follows the wheel drive then I have a drive motor issue. If the issue remains on the same side I have a pump issue.

Take his advice for what its worth but it seems all the service places don't rebuild for a reason...
 

dgeesaman

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My symptom is a bit of fine metal started to appear in my reservoir. I'm "going in" because if rebuilding is possible, it's only possible when the damage is minor and before the loose metal starts taking out other components.

With two pumps and two hydro motors that cost $800/each, I have little to lose if I spend a few hundred on rebuild kits that don't hold up.

I don't know what brand/design of hydro units Toro uses. I am working with HydroGear pumps and Parker hydro motors. Both have rebuild manuals available and neither indicate a rebuild is a bad idea.

If you read the commercial mower discussions, they all run it till it dies. Then they replace the whole hydraulic system or the mower. Given that this is what goes on, its' no shock that service centers don't attempt rebuilds. Oh, and the mower manufacturers don't include the component rebuild manuals. It's easier and more profitable for the mower mfr to sell entire pumps and motors.
 
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Marshy

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My Toro mower uses the same 2 pump, 2 wheel motor setup. I recall one or the other is made by Parker, not sure of the other. I will be getting the info tonight off the machine so I can start putting together the cost for rebuilds kits.

Everything you said rings true with me and I take the same approach and have the same overall opinion.
 

dgeesaman

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On mine, you can read the model and serial tags on the hydro motor facing inward, opposite the wheel. Just need to peek underneath. They are TF series by Parker.

The pump data could be read by looking at labels on the side of the pumps facing the back. Didn't take long. They are PJ series by Hydro-Gear.

Then a touch of google revealed the factory rebuild instructions.
 
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Marshy

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On mine, you can read the model and serial tags on the hydro motor facing inward, opposite the wheel. Just need to peek underneath. They are TF series by Parker.

The pump data could be read by pulling the pump fans and fan covers, since the labels were on top. Didn't take long. They are PF series by Hydro-Gear.

Then a touch of google revealed the factory rebuild instructions.
Mine might be even easier, I have no fans on my pumps. It's been a few years since I've looked closely at mine but I did that once already hence why I have the manuals for them... I will check tonight that they are the correct ones though. The way the season is going I will need this mower soon. I'll share some pics of my machine.
 

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The manuals I printed out a few years ago were for Hydro-Gear BDP-10L pumps and Parker TC, TS, TB, TE, TJ, TF, TG, TH and TL Series Low Speed, High Torque Torqmotors.

I'm not exactly sure what I have in my mower, I'll have to clean things up some and double check.

IMG_20160317_194821577.jpg IMG_20160317_194732214.jpg
 
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dgeesaman

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...and... I'm in.

Definitely leave the pumps bolted in until you loosen and remove the hydraulic hoses. This gives you more leverage to wrestle them loose.

I took apart the pump on the left side and found some moderate wear of the end plate and cylinder. There were some metal flakes in the end of the cylinder.

The good news is that it appears the worn component is the end plate, which is aluminum. Aluminum flakes in the oil tend to do less damage than steel.

IMG_20160317_184438.jpg IMG_20160317_190817.jpg IMG_20160317_190832.jpg IMG_20160317_201459.jpg IMG_20160317_201505.jpg
 
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dgeesaman

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Here is the worn end cap. I'm told I can get a new one for $190/ea (vs the whole pump for $600-800). Add $120 for the rebuild kit and I'm inclined to try rebuilding.

The trick for me is getting these parts absolutely spotlessly clean. I might need to buy a proper parts washer.

IMG_20160317_201626.jpg
 
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