I've just been through a very involved evolution of fixing a steering
problem in an 809 series TroyBilt garden tractor. These are the units with
hi-lo range hydros, and 48" decks. If you have one of these type garden
tractors and do your own maintenance, give me a shout at rbig at bellsouth
dot net, and I'll send an account of what we've learned and done.
Just finished having more fun than I can stand. Anyone with one of the 809h
type Troys with hydro and hi/lo range can have fun too. All you have to do
is have your sector gear steering go bad. The symptoms are gnashing and
jumping noises and no response when you turn the steering wheel. The sector
gear is sort of wide piece of pie shaped thing with teeth along the radial
edge; sometimes called a fan gear. Anyway, it's the thing your wheel tie
rods bolt onto.
The small wheel gear (pinion gear) on the end of the steering mast mates to
and drives the sector gear. To figure out what to do, pull the deck first.
Then, get under the tractor with a strong light source. I honk the front end
up with a chain hoist to get it up to where I can see stuff.
Chances are the pinion gear will be chewed up and need replacing. A big, top
secret thing no one will tell you is that the primary cause may not be a
failed pinion gear. You need to look beyond just the pinion gear.
It's easy to tell if the sector gear teeth are bad. Chances are they aren't.
More on that later.
To fix things, you need to pull the gas tank out. Then, get an impact wrench
on the steering mast nut. Should zip right off, without much pounding. Then,
the pinion gear should almost fall off. Once this happens, you're ready for
the big secret. Turns out there's a bushing just above the hole you can look
up at where the steering mast comes through the plates/deck. This bushing is
held in place by a sort of octagon shaped hole in the plate it rests in. You
want to get that bushing out and put a new one in. There's bound to be wear
on the old one, regardless of how much wear. Chances are good it's real
worn, and that was what gave you pinion gear enough wobble to chew it's
teeth slipping against the sector gear.
Pull your steering mast straight up. That's right, just pull it up to get it
out of the holes it goes through. Once it's out, you can then have fun
getting the bushing out. And, it's a frustrating challenge. It is doable,
however. Putting the new one in is even more fun. That's where I really
learned how to swear and cuss.
By the way, there's an MTD metal bushing replacement available for changing
from the nylon. I used the metal one, and hope it lasts better/longer.
When the bushing finally falls into place, then just slide the steering mast
back down through it. Then put the pinion gear and nut back on the end of
the steering shaft, put the gas tank in, the side panels back on -- and
VOILA. You've done it!
OK. Back to the "what if your sector gear is bad". Slit your wrists! This is
the worst thing that could happen to you. Pulling the engine would be easier
than getting the old sector gear out. Seriously. This thing is so buried
What you have to do is all the above, and then take the plate of that's
sandwiched under the deck. I have no idea how to get that plate off/loose.
It looks like you might have to pull the engine to get to the two bolts.
Don't know, don't want to know. Just don't let your sector gear be bad!!!!!
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