Monday, January 28, 2013


I noticed a leaky hose on the tractor a few months ago. I called the guy we’d used for service, but he wasn’t thrilled about making a trip to change a hose. It wouldn’t be worth much, getting new hoses is a pain, and he said it was “easy”. Not having ever worked on one, I didn’t quite believe him, but he told me to give it a try.

I’ve been slowly watching the fluid leak out over months, but haven’t been too worried. A little, but things have been working, and I’ve been watching the level at the back of the tractor. Things have been working OK, but the other day when the tractor was in the driveway for a couple days, I saw this:

Photo Jan 28, 3 21 19 PM

Not a good sign, and apparently I’m losing fluid faster than I expected. I was worried about how to handle this, so I posted a question over at TractorByNet. I got a reply from someone that helped explain what I needed to do and what problems. It didn’t sound too bad, so after moving 6 bales into the barn to buy myself a couple weeks if I needed it, I took a picture of my hose.

Photo Jan 25, 12 51 08 PM

I roughly measured it attached, and it seemed to be 30” or longer. Mistake #1: measure it exactly.

I searched on the Internet, but I couldn’t find a pre-made hose that looked close and decided I needed to take it off. With a oil drain pan below, I unscrewed the hose and got it off. To my surprise, it was male on one end and female on the other. No pre-made ones were spec’d like that. On top of that, it was around 24”, not 36”, so glad I didn’t order anything.

This morning after dropping the kids off, I headed to the local ranch supply. They had pre-made male-male hoses, but no female to female adapters to get what I needed. To top it off, as I checked the various options, I found the female connection was 1/4”, not 3/8” (as the male was).

Mistake #2 avoided.

The salesperson recommended the NAPA store, so I headed over there. Sure enough, they made hoses, and the guy measured my hose (25 1/2”) and then cut hose to spec and used a machine to crimp on the connectors I needed. It was pretty cool and I now have a new go-to place for hydraulics.

A busy day, but this afternoon I went out and got ready to attach things. No hose as you can see here on the bottom.

Photo Jan 28, 3 19 12 PM

First I walked back in and grabbed plumber’s tape and then went back out. I got the quick connect screwed on and plugged one end of my hose in into the controls. Then I screwed the other end into the metal tube along the arm. Hose connected.

Photo Jan 28, 3 29 41 PM

I was low on hydraulic fluid/transmission fluid, so I opened up the orange fill hole here. I started pouring in fluid.

Photo Jan 28, 3 19 02 PM

Nearly a gallon went in, with a little spillage, before the bubble below was a little above halfway between H and L.

Photo Jan 28, 3 19 06 PM

Just in time. It started hailing and snowing, so I ran back inside. No time to check it out today, but I’ll try tomorrow.

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