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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Starting to get front wheel wobble in hi range.
Need to know what typically causes that.

1. Checked toe-in
2. Checked steering wheel free-play
3. Read the steering and axle service manual front to back - twice. (I know how to adjust everything but not why to adjust anything)
4. Did a forum search on "wheel wobble"

I obviously need to either adjust something or replace something that is worn.

I would be humbly appreciative of a hint or two.

John
 

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Hi John and group,
Bear in mind that the steering manual covers many models and the 200, 400, 3000, and 4000 series models have the tie bar forward of the axle.
Front wheel bearing condition and a bent tie rod will factor into the wobble problem along with front axle play in the tractor frame.
Positioning the front wheels to measure and make toe in adjustments is not an easy task. I use a 1/2" dowel that I drilled a hole in one end and threaded it with a tap and installed a 1/4" bolt the position of which I can change as I get closer to the correct toe in adjustment. The other somewhat critical area is the steering gear and pinion gear clearance and centering of the steering gear.
Also a bent front axle will not let you make correct center and toe in adjustments. I had to replace the front axle on my former 448 before I could get the correct steering system adjustments.
All this said, these tractors do have a tendancy to have front wheel wobble at full throttle in high gear. Newer 3000 and 4000 series tractors have slower ground speed high range gearing which reduces the ground speed from 9 MPH to 7 MPH and thereby reducing the wobble problem.
Mad Mackie in Taxonnecticut :mrgreen: :mowlawn:
 

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As others have said, make sure all play is removed from tie rods and wheel bearings. Then add some toe in. I just ignore the recommendations and add a little at a time. At GT speed on grass/dirt, there is no worry of tire wear. Nearly always that will stop it.

I think the vertical alignment of the king pins on our machines causes this. If there was a little front to rear inclination, like almost all road vehicles, they would be more stable. Then again, the design parameters don't likely include 'high' speeds.
 

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If the wheels are, in fact, wobbling then the bearings are shot or the wheels are bent. I would jack up the front of the tractor and spin the wheels by hand to see which is the case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Bart said:
If the wheels are, in fact, wobbling then the bearings are shot or the wheels are bent. I would jack up the front of the tractor and spin the wheels by hand to see which is the case.
All bearings are good, all rod ends (ball joints) are good. :thumbup:

Perhaps wobble is the wrong term. :wtf:
What they do is 'jitterbug' left and right, in harmony, with perhaps 5 degrees of sweep, and the steering wheel can't be turned fast enough to correct that.
(Anyone need to see a video? I could make one.)

I am gonna try a little more toe-in as Kenc suggested. :fingerscrossed:
It's not a really big deal because I hardly ever use Hi range, but untreated symptoms tend to develop into more serious problems. :thumbsup:
 

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For Bob MacGregor et al....I'm just curious about the "bent axle". The axle looks like cast iron to me. Wouldn't it break before it would bend? In either case, it would take a heck of a hit to bend or break it wouldn't it? My '83 Case 448 was whipping along full throttle in high gear just yesterday as it pulled a wagon of tree limbs to the dump site. No serious wobble was noted crossing the field. Cheers.
 

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The cast front axle can get bent by running into a tree with one wheel, I think that it is made of cast steel and not cast iron. The axle on my former 448 was bent badly on the right side to the extent that the tire would drag on the mower deck in right hand turns. Actually many 400 and 4000 series tractors that have have any amount of use have bent front axles to varying degrees. I have straightened several on my 30 ton open sided press. None of the three axles that I have purchased from parting out dealers although advertised as straight were straight.
When I did snow removal I used to run on the street with my 4018/SB48 or my 448/54" blade to close by customers and I would periodically get wheel wobble as I traveled at WOT in high range and then needed to do some steering adjustments.

Mad Mackie in Taxonnecticut :mrgreen: :mowlawn:
 

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HI group I posted a few months ago that after adding lead to my from wheels for weight I had a wobble and drifting in my steering. The problem turned out to be the tire air pressure was way to high. When installing new tires I inflated them to 32 psi off the tractor. Then I put them on the tractor between the wheel weights, the lead and the tractor weight (Plus the Harbour Freight $1.99 gauge was way off) the front wheel was jerking back and forth when driving across the lawn. When I let the air out and set my compressor to 32psi and refilled the tires the problem went away completely.
Mark
BTW: properly inflated tires is USA's entire energy policy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil
 

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markgru02919 said:
BTW: properly inflated tires is USA's entire energy policy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil
Not true! The most effective energy policy is to eliminate as many companies and jobs as possible which will eliminate most of the oil consumption. This seems to cause other difficulties for some people who desire to work but that is not a concern of the current administration.
 

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My 444's front axle is bent quite badly. Used to have a FEL mounted on it an I'm sure someone rammed into curb or rr-tie or something with it. Easy to see how these can get bent.

It has welded up and the LH side castor is so far off the kingpin leans forward very much and the LH tire hits the deck in a LH turn. This causes the centering moment to be different between the two sides which causes them to fight your steering input as far as centering goes.

The 'jitterbugging' you described sounds like a well-known condition on Jeeps and other 'brand D' products known as 'Death Wobble'. Basically the entire front suspension gets excited when hitting a particular type of 'bump'. I'd check the castor angles on the axle then tighten-up your front end (including the axle/pin/frame) including steering and lower the air pressure to the point the tires wont 'bounce' when dropped (spec is 8 psi isnt it?).
 

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Rockdog said:
lower the air pressure to the point the tires wont 'bounce' when dropped (spec is 8 psi isnt it?).
If it only recommends 8psi I am still over inflated on my tires at 32 psi, I was probally up around 50-60psi when I first mounted them and it wobbled and jerked the wheel quite a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Set the front tires to the correct PSI using a bicycle pump - reads much more accurately at low pressure. :thumbsup:

Added a little toe-in - about 1 threads worth on the rod. :thumbup:

Eureka! Houston, we are go for launch.

Ran it about 1/2 mile over bumpy pavement WOT to test.

Thank you to everyone who posted. :clap:

John
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hydriv said:
So.................it's off to the local drag strip this weekend, is it???

:sidelaugh: :sidelaugh:
you betcha!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
New update to very old thread.

Another cause that was not mentioned, but in retrospect was a significant contributing factor, was a worn front axel pin. I installed a GEP special and things are really tight now. I never knew how good the steering could be.


Sent from Tapatalk
 
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