I am continuing to upgrade my Bolens HT23, since it will be used to LIFT snow out of my driveway this winter, etc., plus normal tasks for a front end loader.
The steering is really stiff, even with a counterweight (heavy scraper blade), so I took off the 18 x 8.50 x 8.00 turf tires and wheels, and put on a set of 5.80 x 8 trailer tires and wheels. They're the same diameter, but have narrower tread and don't scuff near as much on concrete or asphalt.
The other, more complete solution is to install power steering. I've downloaded the instructions for the Bolens power steering, but of course finding a setup is near impossible, and expensive if I do find one.
I bought a PS setup for a JD400 several years ago, thinking to use it on my Ford LGT or Case 444. It is actually "power assist" steering, as it has a valve that is actuated by the draglink from the steering gear, which in turn sends fluid to a cylinder that turns the wheels. HOWEVER, it is different from most of these types of steering setups in that the cylinder and valve are separate, and only connected by hoses. On the JD 400s, the valve was on the left, and the cylinder on the right side of the frame IIRC, and hoses ran between.
(BTW, does anyone know how much the valve will depress when pushed?--These units had a problem with the valve spool freezing up, requiring a rebuild .Although it's under spring pressure, I can depress the end with the pitman arm on it about 1/2", then it stops as if it is hitting something... any input on this would be appreciated.)
On the Ford or the Case, I had just planned to make a mount under the frame, and run the cylinder to the tie rod between the two wheels. I can't do this on the Bolens, since the PTO pulleys and shaft are in the way.
So, assuming my valve works properly, I can see two options--
1. Mount the valve on the right side of the frame, where it will be pushed by the draglink, and run a rod to the RH pitman arm. Mount the cylinder on the LH side of the frame and find a way to connect it to the idler arm so it will turn the wheels--
2. Mount both the valve and the cylinder on the RH side of the frame, with one mounted above the other--This is the option I'm leaning towards--I've laid the items in roughly the area they would be mounted to try and represent this.
This is my first attempt at doing this, so I'm a babe in the woods..I want to do this in the next week or so. If it ends up I'd be better buying an orbital valve and using the cylinder I have, I'm willing to do so...
I know a lot of the GTT forum members have installed PS, and would appreciate any input on this
Edited by Utah Smitty, October 06, 2013 - 02:07 PM.