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Thread: Stiff steering International 956XL.

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    Senior Member robbie956xl's Avatar
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    Stiff steering International 956XL.

    I have an International 956XL "B" reg, Red and cream colour scheme. The tractor is in great order for it's age, has 6700 hours which I cannot verify of course, as I bought her many years ago from a small time dealer. The power steering becomes very slow/stiff when the engine RPM is low, and the hotter the weather/engine the stiffer the steering becomes. When I bought the tractor, it was like this, and I mentioned this to the seller and he aggreed with me that there was something amiss, but he also told me that a brand new hydraulic pump had been fitted, and no improvement had occurred to the steering. I do not disbelieve the sellers story as the pump certainly appeared new to me. The other hydraulic functions all work exceptionally well even at tickover speeds. I use this tractor to operate a hydraulic boat trailer moving motor cruisers up to 20 tons in weight. There is a small leak from the orbital unit behind the dashboard, and someone has made a little funnell arrangement so that this small leakage drains to an old brake fluid bottle rather than dripping over the foot pedals and cab mat. I can live with the tractor as it is, but I would also like to have it operate as it should do if it is not too involved expence wise. Perhaps some forumites have experience of what is the likely cause of the trouble.

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    Senior Member Gapples's Avatar
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    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.

    The way you describe it it sounds very like the pump, but its a dual pump & they wear out as a pair too.
    There is a priority flow divider which is worth a look at & have the steering rv preasure tested.

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    Senior Member robbie956xl's Avatar
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    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gapples View Post
    The way you describe it it sounds very like the pump, but its a dual pump & they wear out as a pair too.
    There is a priority flow divider which is worth a look at & have the steering rv preasure tested.
    Thank you for reply "Gapples"

    Not sure what exactly you mean when you say "Its a dual pump and they wear out as a pair too", Also, the priority flow divider, how can this be checked ?. Sorry, but I do not understand what the "steering rv" is ?.

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    Senior Member Gapples's Avatar
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    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.

    The dual pump means that the main hydraulic pump & the steering pump are bolted together, in this case on the r/h/s of the engine & have a common oil supply, one does not wear out without the other.
    The rv is the relief valve, the steering rv is in the obitrol, the steering unit that you turn with the steering wheel.
    The flow divider is either on the right side of the engine beind the dual pump or just behind the engine above the clutch housing.
    You have to strip it & check its clean plus moves freely.

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    Senior Member robbie956xl's Avatar
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    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.

    Thank you for quick reply Gapples.

    So is it possible that the pump which serves the power steering is faulty and the one which serves the hydraulic lift/spool valves is good, or is that not possible because as you say, both pumps fail together at the same time. The other hydraulic functions on my tractor are perfect.

    Can I simply swap the orbitol unit in my tractor for another one or do they have to be zeroed in or timed or whatever ?.

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    Senior Member Gapples's Avatar
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    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.

    Both pumps draw the same oil & come as one unit anyway. I've only ever fitted a dual pump, you say the hydraulics work ok but I would still suggest having a flow test done as unless you are doing serious hydraulic work the power steering may well be where you feel a failing pump at first.
    Yes you can simply change over a steering unit for one off the same tractor, no timing to do unless you strip them down.

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    Senior Member robbie956xl's Avatar
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    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.



    Was trying to post picture but can only get tiny image.

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    Senior Member robbie956xl's Avatar
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    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.


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    Senior Member robbie956xl's Avatar
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    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.


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    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.

    I had this on my 956XL, it was a worn hydraulic pump.....................

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    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.

    Two very well turned out tractors.

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    Senior Member robbie956xl's Avatar
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    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.

    Quote Originally Posted by powerontheland View Post
    I had this on my 956XL, it was a worn hydraulic pump.....................
    Yes this is what most people are suggesting. Did your tractor have good lift at the spools and lift arms when the steering was very stiff due to a failing pump ?.

    I'm still a little confused because the man who sold me the tractor told me that a new pump had just been fitted and the pump certainly had the appearance of a new part at that time. Of course. the seller may have been fibbing but I have a feeling (going purely on the pumps appearance) that he was being truthful.

    Also, what should I expect a new pump to cost ?.

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    Senior Member robbie956xl's Avatar
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    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maico490 View Post
    Two very well turned out tractors.
    Thank you maico 490. The Leyland 154 is a 1972/73 tractor, which I aquired in a rather shabby state, but which had a genuine 1640 hours. I gave it the works including a full repaint in two pack. I have it for a working tractor in my boatyard business, mainly driving a pto driven pressure washer, but also for shunting smaller speedboats/ cruisers about the place. It attracts an awful lot of attention from just about everyone, not just farming types.

    The 956xl is a work in progress, and is always far too busy to be properly stripped down for a proper paint job to get completed. I would just love to give the 956xl the works as well but paying jobs always seem to be a priority, and being self employed, well you know how it is !!. That said, the 956xl is in great shape for its age, with the only faults being the stiff steering issue, and the 1st speed of the heater fan does not work. Speeds 2 and 3 are fine, and the heater is wonderful. Every light, dial, warning light, horn wiper/washer, locking doors etc etc are completely perfect. Not many tractors of this age can say that in my opinion.

  14. #14

    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.

    Quote Originally Posted by robbie956xl View Post
    Yes this is what most people are suggesting. Did your tractor have good lift at the spools and lift arms when the steering was very stiff due to a failing pump ?.

    I'm still a little confused because the man who sold me the tractor told me that a new pump had just been fitted and the pump certainly had the appearance of a new part at that time. Of course. the seller may have been fibbing but I have a feeling (going purely on the pumps appearance) that he was being truthful.

    Also, what should I expect a new pump to cost ?.
    Yes, it still had a good lift, steering was first to go, the main problem here was that the hydraulic filter was very very small for the size of the tractor. A great many in this area had the system modified to accept a large spin on type filter, so its quite possible that your tractor has had a new pump and due to oil contamination is worn again.

    Pumps are about 500-600 from a good hydraulic specialist rather than main dealer

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    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.

    if you find 'ih685xl' on here . he will be able to fix you up with a pump for sensible money

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    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.

    I'm still on here, just send me a pm and I can get sort you a quote for a pump

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    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.

    I know that it sounds crazy, but the stiff power steering could be a symptom that the brakes are worn out. I used to investigate warranty problems for IH in their product Engineering Centre in Doncaster and this was one of the first problems I looked at. When the friction faces on the wet brake discs are worn, the steel rotating disc rubs against a pair of stationery cast iron rings. This produces fine iron dust that forms a sludge with the transmission oil and it blocks the filters and the orbitrol steering valve. The previous owner may have fitted a new pump in an attempt to solve the problem, but if he didn't clean out the system and replace the brake discs it won't be any good. The cure is to replace the brake discs and clean out the whole transmission and hydraulic system.

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    Senior Member robbie956xl's Avatar
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    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.

    Thank you all for your ideas so far. I have some more questions for you experts on these tractors.
    I presume from looking at the tractor, the brakes are somewhere inside the axle trumpets. Is it possible to dismantle these axel trumpets to access the brakes without removing the cab ?.
    Also, am I correct in thinking that there are three separate hydraulic oil filters on the right hand side of the engine, and is it possible that these are blocked up ?.
    I know that the hydraulic fluid that comes out of the spool valves looks clean to me (red in colour). I was told that it is called hytrans fluid.
    Are there any magnetic traps fitted anywhere on the system ?.
    I presume I am looking at a very substantial bill to replace the brakes, the hydraulic pumps, the hydraulic oils, the filters, the steering orbital unit, in order to have this machine correct again. Can any of you give me a accurate figure as to what this will cost ?.
    It almost sounds that I would be better off exchanging this tidy old 956xl for something else.
    By the way, the brakes are excellent as is the handbrake.

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    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.

    Quote Originally Posted by PostHarvest View Post
    I know that it sounds crazy, but the stiff power steering could be a symptom that the brakes are worn out. I used to investigate warranty problems for IH in their product Engineering Centre in Doncaster and this was one of the first problems I looked at. When the friction faces on the wet brake discs are worn, the steel rotating disc rubs against a pair of stationery cast iron rings. This produces fine iron dust that forms a sludge with the transmission oil and it blocks the filters and the orbitrol steering valve. The previous owner may have fitted a new pump in an attempt to solve the problem, but if he didn't clean out the system and replace the brake discs it won't be any good. The cure is to replace the brake discs and clean out the whole transmission and hydraulic system.
    postharvest, maybe you are not familiar with the 956etc but the brakes are sealed seperate compartment on the 55/56 series tractors , hydraulic and steering system also completley seperate from transmission system in everyway , very good for stopping cross contamination, your doncaster built tractors shared the back end oil for all hydraulic services and as you say could cause the problem

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    Senior Member Gapples's Avatar
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    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.

    Very diplomaticly put John ;-)

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    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gapples View Post
    Very diplomaticly put John ;-)
    i did try

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    Senior Member robbie956xl's Avatar
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    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.

    Quote Originally Posted by john8210 View Post
    i did try
    I replied straight away to those who were kind enough to try and help, but for whatever reason, posts to this forum seem to take days to appear on here, hence everything gets out of sync, and I presume folk simply get fed up and don't bother to post any longer. Questions that have been asked then are never answered. Really dissappointing how this forum performs. Other forums that I am involved with post comments immediately, rather than days later !!. And I thought the steering on my 956xl was slow !!. Now I know the real meaning of SLOW.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Gapples's Avatar
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    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.

    Robbie

    Your brakes are no doubt fine, they nothing to do with your power steering fault as they run in their own oil. The hydraulic system on a 956 has its own seperate tank, this is accessed at l/h/s from the back of the tractor. The drain bung on this tank has a magnet on it.
    99% of tight steering faults on 956 tractors are caused by worn pumps, rarely it will be the flow divider or relief valve.
    I can't comment on how long your post took to appear Robbie as any i've put up go straight on.
    Oh & John & I were simply having a light hearted dig at the pist saying it was the brakes as the guy was obviously getting mixed up with another series of tractor where brakes do run in the oil.

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    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.

    just one more thing came to mind this morning, I had a 1056 and that developed stiff steering and it turned out to be a guide plate had dropped off the hydraulic dipstick and blocked the hole.

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    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.

    Quote Originally Posted by ih685xl View Post
    just one more thing came to mind this morning, I had a 1056 and that developed stiff steering and it turned out to be a guide plate had dropped off the hydraulic dipstick and blocked the hole.
    Ah there's 2 mudguard type washers which can often go amiss, good point.

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    Senior Member robbie956xl's Avatar
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    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.

    Quote Originally Posted by mac956 View Post
    Ah there's 2 mudguard type washers which can often go amiss, good point.
    You have just answered my next question "mac956", because today I checked and there are two large guide washers on the dipstick of the hyd oil tank on my 956. So the conclusion is that the pump is the most likely source of the trouble. Is there a way I can check the pump, or is this a specialized job ?.

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    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.

    Sorry, the IH models I was thinking of were the *74, *84 and *85 series. I dealt with quite a number of those where brake wear caused the power steering to lock-up. There was talk of a recall because of it, but it never came to anything.

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    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.

    Hello from Finland!
    Does anyone know what was wrong with robbie956xl's tractor? I bought an International 1055, model year 1979, with 9700 hours on it, and I have the same kind of problem as robbie. With low rews steering is like "rockhard".
    I've changed the hydraulic pump, checked the flow divider, and tried the flow divider with more and less pretension shims, and lifted the front axle up and taken the hoses of from the steering ram and checked that there is no mechanical problem with the steering system.
    Does anyone have any suggestions what I could try?

    Best Regards

    Risto

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    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.

    On the early 955/1055 there is an orifice in the flow divider that if blocked causes weak steering

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    Re: Stiff steering International 956XL.

    Thank you for your answer IH574!

    I took the flow divider apart, and in deed there were a few small orfices. They all were open. From one groove I found what seemed to me as a part of an o-ring. Could the problem be in orbitrol, there are O-rings, right?

    Best Regards

    Risto

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