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Pivot Brake or Steering Clutch Problem


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#1 Ironhorse68

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 08:18 PM

After a couple hours of clearing some trees, brush and rocks with my TD-340, I noticed smoke coming from the left rear pivot break housing. My best guess is that it was coming from the seal near the steering lever or brake rod area to the front of the housing. Smelled like brake disk. The housing was also hot to the touch. I immediately stopped and let it cool down for about an hour or so. I then ran it for about 30 minutes and didn't see any more smoke. Everything seemed to work fine. I replaced the finals 6 months ago and everything has been fine since.

I'm thinking all the heavy work and turning may have overheated the left side brakes. I checked the oil level in the final drive housing and it seemed ok. I'll need to back off and remember this machine was made in the late 60's, but it's a bull and really gets the job done. I've been very happy with it.

Anyone had a similar situation. I'm hoping I didn't do any damage. Any advice is welcomed.

(Pic attached - smoke coming from just behind lever to the right)

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#2 mmi

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 08:34 PM

1 chances are your brake and actuator are worn out and sticking
2 they are so worn out a spring rubbed and broke,and being nice and shiney it didn't over center and full lock yet
no big deal other than breaking it all down again and $250 /side


3 lever not set for free travel release sun pad before applying brake....adjust

4 bearing / seal issue what was replaced and was it done by the book and machined back to spec??

#3 Ironhorse68

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 07:47 AM

mmi - Good information, you've been right on the money with my other posts so I heed your advice. When I replaced my finals, I followed the manual and had help from a good neighbor who's good with heavy equipment. I even replaced the outer break disc, not to say something may have failed. I think now I may be have been pushing the machine with some heavy work....I sure hope it's not a pinion seal or roller bearing ..you know when they go and get grinded in the pinion and bull gear ....major damage. The problem is my machine is 2 hrs away and on the side of a mountain....I had to take the finals (sprocket drive carrier and all) back home in the back of my truck, order new parts and then take them back and re-assemble. Good exercise, but my fun meter's been pegged. The money and time I've put into this thing is too much to let it go.....i'm just hoping it doesn't come down to another tear down if at all possible.

I'll try adjusting the free travel release in the lever and keep an eye on it...sounds like it's break down time if this doesn't do it. I have a feeling how this is going to go.

Thanks again for your sound advice....

#4 mmi

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 06:43 PM

update ?
did you have the brakes out?replaced ?
do anything to the pinion brg? sure the lock pins mated correctly after preload set?

#5 Ironhorse68

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 08:27 PM

mmi: My machine is located about 100 miles from my home in the Blue Ridge Mtns, so I won't be able to get to it until the 14th. When I do, I plan on opening the sprocket housing cover and hope there's not metal shavings. That may be a good sign that the pinion oil seal and roller bearings didn't break from the heat.....Thats my main concern due to just replacing them a few month ago.

First thing is to try the foot pedal free travel adjustment. The book says to adjust for 2 inches of free travel before resistance. I do remember now hearing something rattle about center console, but looking around nothing was evident. Maybe your reference to a broken spring.....I did have a couple of wrenches under the seat and thought that could have been the noise.

If that doesn't work drop the tracks and replace the lft side brakes. I'm not too keen on driving something if there's a chance I could really mess something up. I really want to keep this machine up the best I can.....but that means a trip home, order the brakes, and a trip back ... aside from being a major pain in the butt it may have to be done.

The hot casing and smoke that came out of the brake rod enclosure boot really has me thinking that something is stuck or broken up near the top of the sprocket drive carrier. When the finals "blew up" last fall, the roller bearings (after getting grinded up in the bull and pinion grears) actually busted a hole in the bottom of the sprocket pan and oil was all over the place. Pretty evident what was happening.

This time, I just smelled brake and saw smoke, nothing else. After I stopped and felt the top cover and noticed how hot it was, a big concern was the heat from the brakes somehow distorting the pinion oil seal enough to have a major leak. Before I left I checked and no oil. Everything else looked good.

What do you think the odds are that the adjustment will correct the problem? I replaced the outside brake disk when I re-did the finals. I'm not sure when the brakes were done, but the old disk looked pretty good. It got damaged so I went ahead and replaced it. May be worth the time to just plan on replacing the brakes and anything else to be safe?

Thanks again.

#6 Ironhorse68

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 05:03 AM

Pics from last fall prior to replacing the finals - carrier and brake disk removed. After new finals, I cleaned up and replaced the outside disk and closed it back up. Should have taken the time to replace both. Is it possible for the heated brakes to caused the pinion gear oil seal to fail and let oil inside the housing and add to the problem? Or just the opposite...oil seal and bearing go due to wear letting crud into the brake housing gumming up the breaks..... Being new to this I failed to check the oil in the sprocket housing prior to running. There was a lot of grease in the housing and on both bull and pinion gears when I took everything apart so it wasn't bone dry.


I've ordered new disks and springs and plan on overhauling in a couple weeks. Anything I'm missing?

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#7 mmi

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 05:51 AM

Most commonly the brakes worn out.

Budget gets in the way you decide where to stop. there are ( 8 ) wear areas of that brake NOS IH ($22-28)or known quality for the disc's they are shot @ 7/16"
IH non china on actuator $175 if the disc is close to wearing head off spring they are shot.
pinion seal $40 L oring $25-(requires made up puller

now to the time and money
pinion brg if suspect at least check preload (procedure) and pins to correctly reset)
we are this far so....sun disc rebushed
hopefully pinion was ok and gears are still intact
move to opposite side as it needs attention
next obviously $400 for new sun pads.

obviously going this deep dragging into/close to a garage is needed

#8 Ironhorse68

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 07:03 PM

mmi: hope your reading...went to check out the machine today and ran it for about an hour with no issues. Brake housing cold, no smell, no smoke. I didn't have time to adjust anything, and left well enough alone......figure maybe what ever the problem, it fixed itself.

The only difference today ...I was easy on the turns... The day the smoke showed I was "tight" circling quit a bit.

Brakes on order....

#9 mmi

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 08:03 PM

That would tend to rule out brg/gear issues
may get the job done and bring to shop
still leaves wear on the 8 surfaces and a weak/broken spring.worn ball/sockets
you know the job involved consider a new actuator as well,if new disc is close to touching springs they are worn.

#10 Mouintainlion

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 11:28 AM

Found a site that sells parts for old equipment. It has copies of manuals online for lots of stuff. they have one for taking out steering clutrches.

http://www.tpaktopc....eringclutch.htm



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