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Hydro operation questions


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Hi folks,

I've had an IH 70 Hydro for a year now and use it for general farm loader tractor tasks.  It is my first tractor, and I love it.  I had a few questions about the hydro operation/quirks that I was pondering as I was mowing the other day.  The hydro seems strong generally -- lots of power, seems to pick up fwd and reverse pretty fast.  It will easily overpower my brakes, but my brakes are moderately weak.

1) I don't find the "foot and inch" (clutch) pedal very useful.  When trying to do precise positioning if I push the clutch in the tractor just freewheels which since I don't have much flat ground means it usually starts to roll downhill which is a loss of control and almost never what I had in mind.  So even with some dancing with my other foot on the brake I don't use it much at all for fine positioning and just hold side pressure on the S-R lever to hold the tractor in position.  Am I missing something?

2) The tractor will hold in position (mostly) with the S-R lever held to one side or the other but not advanced.  Sometimes it will very slowly roll/lurch backwards even with the lever held hard over to the reverse side but not pulled back.  Occasionally when I release the lever and let it move back to the center (from either fwd or reverse side) the tractor will continue to hold position, but sometimes instead will start to freewheel -- and I haven't found an obvious pattern.  I assume there is an issue with a valve somewhere, or maybe I just don't know about the nuances of how to operate the machine.

3)  My hydro is way happier (less groans clicks and whines) when hytran is overfilled by several gallons.  Does this indicate a problem, and if so what?

Cheers and thanks.

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Question one. This usually sparks some controversy but the foot and inch is primarily for starter safety and as a panic button. The name says it was for inching. I have always found it easier with the S-R lever. If you find yours especially abrupt. You might check your dashpot. Just push pedal to the floor and slide foot off the side. If pedal slams to the platform. Dash pot is empty

Question two is covering some territory. Hydro will hold position as long as shuttle valve is shifted. That requires a pressure differential across the center section. As long as handle is held to side it will remain until load is removed. The question about reverse is harder to answer without more info. First inspect that lever moves same distance from neutral to start to move in both slots. The other concern was rapid lever movements and servo speed but I would expect it to lurch forward instead. 

Number three. Are checking level after running 3 minutes in neutral?

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On my 1026 Hydro, there's a procedure for checking the hydraulic oil, the tractor has to be running at 1800 RPM, and then check the dipstick to see if is at the proper level.  I would assume there is a similar procedure on a Hydro 70.  It is not like the gear drive tractors, where you can just pull the dipstick & check it while the tractor is sitting there & shut off.

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As a owner of a Hydro 70,(actually the 4th one built), 1026 and Hydro 100 the foot and inch pedal or valve doesn't exist in any operation.I find exactly the same issues as you and find it useless. So don't use it.The lurching of the tractor could be as simple as your shroud surrounding the forward/reverse lever.I first discovered how important and vital to the operation of the tractor when I painted the tractor and took all the tin work off.The tractor wouldn't back up without me holding the lever in tight,if I released it it would stop among other issues that it never had before I took ot apart. That cover is not just a shroud, you will see two small bolts that you can loosen to adjust side to side adjustment that moves that spool in and out and directs your forward and reverse movement.The shroud(technical term eludes me) should also be bolted tightly and correctly to your tractor,so check that first. As question number 3 my dipstick says 1200 rpm, transmission in neutral and yes I believe it's 3 minutes. That's just to make sure it's warm and circulated.My 1026 is a different rpm when being checked. 

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Yep, I have been checking the hydraulic oil the way that it is written on my dipstick, which is @ 1200 rpm in N after 3 minutes.  Some long forgotten owner made a hash mark with a file or grinder on the dipstick at an area well above the full mark, maybe they were trying to tell me something.  Or maybe a file just fell on it.  A mystery lost to time.

I should have been more clear, when the tractor still moves with the S-R lever all the way to one side, it doesn't surge and it doesn't even seem like it is going into gear, it is more like it holds the tractor in place for a few seconds then slips just a little and the tractor moves an inch downhill then it holds again, repeat.  Sometimes it doesn't do this.  It isn't actually much of an issue really because I can just use the brake to hold it in place if needed, but I suspect it indicates a problem.

The tractor did used to "surge" in and out of gear when I first purchased it, due to a busted and loose left cowling around the S-R lever.  The farm who had it last used a bungee run across the dash hooked to the S-R lever to hold the lever hard enough over to keep it in gear when running a harrow with it.  I replaced the missing bolts and added an assortment of washers around the cracked mounting holes of the cowling so now it no longer does this, but at some point I hope to repair the fiberglass properly.

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When backing up to something or coming to a stop I never use the inching valve . It's important to plan ahead and slowly slow the handle down and speed up slowly. Also very important to keep rpm of the engine up and not move around at low idle, I was told this was for lubing reasons

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1 hour ago, bitty said:

When backing up to something or coming to a stop I never use the inching valve . It's important to plan ahead and slowly slow the handle down and speed up slowly. Also very important to keep rpm of the engine up and not move around at low idle, I was told this was for lubing reasons

Had to think about this for a while.  Do need some rpm's to keep housing full. My understanding the housing full was more for cooling than lube. My reason for keeping r's up is to maintain servo response. Bad things can happen when you move the lever and the servos respond later.

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22 hours ago, bitty said:

keep rpm of the engine up and not move around at low idle, I was told this was for lubing reasons

This is something that makes me wonder why it is not preached more in any hydrostatic transmission operation.  Not so much just for lubes reasons but also cooling.  Any hydrostatic transmission from a tractor to a skid steer utilizes charge pump flow to fill the the closed loop and exit via a flushing valve (or whatever terms others use) to take that charge flow to the oil cooler.  Charge flow is directly proportional to engine rpm, so the faster the engine the more oil going to the cooler.  

In precise slow operations, sure keep rpms down but other than that, it's full operating rpm at all times.  That's the beauty of a hydro having infinite speeds independent if engine rpm.......use it.  

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On 6/20/2022 at 5:13 PM, snoshoe said:

The having to overfill indicates a suction leak.

The slipping you're describing is probably leakage at the motor valve plate. Other points possible. Anyway it's slipping one piston at a time

Thank you.  I understand the most common location to check for this is under the cover that contains the top link attachment point? And the motor valve plate would require breaking into the hydro to sort out which means I am likely to ignore this issue for the time being.

17 hours ago, Cdfarabaugh said:

This is something that makes me wonder why it is not preached more in any hydrostatic transmission operation.  Not so much just for lubes reasons but also cooling.  Any hydrostatic transmission from a tractor to a skid steer utilizes charge pump flow to fill the the closed loop and exit via a flushing valve (or whatever terms others use) to take that charge flow to the oil cooler.  Charge flow is directly proportional to engine rpm, so the faster the engine the more oil going to the cooler.  

In precise slow operations, sure keep rpms down but other than that, it's full operating rpm at all times.  That's the beauty of a hydro having infinite speeds independent if engine rpm.......use it.  

I assume the pressure to try to get away with low rpm operation when you don't need full power out the tractor is that even dyed diesel is over $5/gallon around here at the moment.

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I want John Deere and other hydros I have run I was always told to keep the RPMs up to keep the fluid cool. Running it without the proper RPMs will heat the fluid quickly. I would assume the IH is the same.

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On 6/20/2022 at 5:11 PM, snoshoe said:

Question one. This usually sparks some controversy but the foot and inch is primarily for starter safety and as a panic button. The name says it was for inching. I have always found it easier with the S-R lever. If you find yours especially abrupt. You might check your dashpot. Just push pedal to the floor and slide foot off the side. If pedal slams to the platform. Dash pot is empty

Question two is covering some territory. Hydro will hold position as long as shuttle valve is shifted. That requires a pressure differential across the center section. As long as handle is held to side it will remain until load is removed. The question about reverse is harder to answer without more info. First inspect that lever moves same distance from neutral to start to move in both slots. The other concern was rapid lever movements and servo speed but I would expect it to lurch forward instead. 

Number three. Are checking level after running 3 minutes in neutral?

One clarification, the small frame Hydros did not have the dashpot built into the foot and inch valve, the large frame Hydros do have the dashpot feature.

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