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372 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've just finished replacing the four hydraulic power steering hoses on my 2000 4020PS.
Only one was leaking, but since it's such a pain to do, I followed everyone's advice and replaced all 4.
I'm glad that I did, because another of the hoses was chafing, and would soon have begun leaking as well.

The total process took me about 5 hours, which wasn't quite as bad as I feared. It could have been completed in less than 3 hours if I'd known in advance the exact procedure to follow.

So, since it's fresh on my mind, I thought I'd document the procedure based on my lessons learned.

Tools you'll need:
Socket set (to remove belly pan)
#3 phillips screwdriver
11/16 open end wrench
11/16 open end wrench cut in half (shortened handle/length)
11/16 narrow modified wrench (See instructions)

Parts you'll need:
Hydraulic fluid filter
1.5 to 2 gallons hydraulic system oil (I used 15w-40)
4 replacement PS hydraulic hoses

The precise length of the hoses are critical, so I heartily recommend buying the correct Ingersoll replacements. The original hoses all had 11/16 nuts to screw them on. The Ingersoll replacement hoses I bought also had 11/16 nuts, with the exception of the longest hose, the one that goes to the front port of of the PS hydraulic cylinder. It has 3/4" nuts, necessitating 3/4" wrenches.

If you do elect to buy non-Ingersoll hoses, just be sure that you don't buy all 4 hoses with 3/4" nuts. They just won't physically fit. But the longest hose (labelled "1st" below) is the easiest nut to access, and it does ok with 3/4" nuts. Anyway, if one of your replacement hoses has 3/4" nuts, then you'll need a 3/4 open end wrench and a 3/4 open end wrench cut in half (shortened handle/length).

Narrow/modified wrench instructions:
I found that I needed a wrench that is both skinnier than a standard wrench and is a slightly different angle. By having the angle different, it allows you to tag-team two different wrenches, and you can turn a nut in very small increments, even through a very narrow access.

To make this "skinnier and more angled" wrench, I started with a 5/8 wrench and, using a 4" angle grinder with a friction cutoff wheel, I widened the 5/8" slot up to 11/16", while changing the angle of the face/facet. Like in this *not to scale* illustration:
Slope Gesture Font Parallel Circle

The best way to judge when the opening is wide enough is to find an 11/16 nut and test-fit it as you go.


1. Remove the mower deck
I didn't remove the deck, but in hindsight I could have saved time and frustration if I had.
2. Remove the plastic belly pan.
6 bolts with washers hold it on.
3. Remove the oil filter access panel
4ea. #3 phillips screws
In order to access the front bottom screw, the lift cylinder needs to be moved to a certain position, so that the notch in the right side lifting plate allows access to the screw.
4. Remove the front tower access panel
3ea. #3 phillips screws
5. Drain the hydraulic reservoir
6. Remove the hydraulic filter.
I drained the reservoir by removing the filter.

7. Remove the hose nuts from the power steering valve body in the order of this diagram:
Product Font Rectangle Parallel Slope

Note that I've presented the same information looked at from two different directions. Use whichever one works mentally for you.

The order of the nuts is important because, due to the very cramped space, some nuts simply cannot be accessed with the other nuts installed. In particular the nut labelled "4th" just cannot be accessed with "3rd" installed.

The fact that you need to have multiple hoses removed all at once increases the likelihood of getting things mixed up. For my tractor, and I suspect for most late model Ingersoll's, here are the proper port labels:
Product Rectangle Slope Font Parallel
Product Font Household hardware Poster Automotive tire

Another good strategy would be to attach labels to them as you disconnect them.

8. Working one hose at a time, remove the remote end nut, then remove the hose, carefully noting its routing path.
9. Find the matching length replacement hose and route it exactly the same as the original
10. Install and tighten the remote end, leaving the valve end floating free
11. After all 4 replacement hoses are in place, connect and tighten the 4 valve-end nuts in reverse order (4 then 3 then 2 then 1)
12. Evaluate and address any hose routing chafing/abrasion issues, using zip ties to secure the hoses in their desired positions.
13. Install a new hydraulic filter.
14. Add about 1 gallon of oil to the hydraulic reservoir.
15. Start the tractor and perform a leak and steering function check. Address any issues you find.
16. Finish filling the hydraulic reservoir.
17. Reinstall the front tower access panel
3ea. (longer) #3 phillips screws
18. Reinstall the oil filter access panel
4ea. (shorter) #3 phillips screws
19. Reinstall the plastic belly pan.
6 bolts with washers hold it on.
20. Reinstall the mower deck.
21. Enjoy a cold beverage of your choice.

1,780 Posts
That routing with the hoses has confused a few of us. Thanks for your step by step guide. You has just dipped your toe in working on an "All Hydraulic" tractor! You should now be ready to go to the next step!!

Good Job!

Bill Moyer

Premium Member
3,857 Posts
Nice write up. I found I needed a lot more room than you did but you managed so ...

You're absolutely right about the order due to space the requirements. I do have a few quibbles though. I would always recommend removing the easiest end first and replacing the hardest end first. The less hose bind there is, the less chance of cross threading. You do not want to do that, as the fittings on the bottom of the power steering unit, at least on mine, are not replaceable.

Another thing, would be that a leaker tends to get gunked up with grass and dirt. I spent a good deal of time cleaning, before I cracked anything in the hydraulic system open. On mine, there was a literal bucket full and took several power washings. Obviously, that is easier done with the deck, belly pan and inspection covers already removed.

Pulling the filter, without already largely draining the system, will result in a significant amount of oil, draining from an area I found difficult to control.

And lastly, perhaps your new hoses had covers on the ends. Mine did not, so I taped the ends closed so they stayed clean during the rerouting.

372 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Those are good points, especially the power washing. I can respect your choice as per which hose end to do first. It's not bad advice at all. It does seem like the fittings at the pump end simply "must" be installed in the order I indicated. You might be able to switch 2 & 3, but 4 has to be installed first and 1 has to be installed last.

I learned long ago when working with any kind of flare or compression fitting that the nut MUST be finger-spun for at least the first 2 or 3 full turns, because the price of cross-threading is a ruined fitting, and as you point out, the fittings on that steering valve are not replaceable.

Thanks for your input.
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