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Thread: Weird MF168 hydraulics: ff was right!

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Weird MF168 hydraulics: ff was right!

    To recap: Venerable MF168 Multipower, total hours unknown, suddenly developed a weird hydraulics problem. On a cold start, the auxiliary pump supplying the externals would make a nasty noise. The externals (loader, backhoe) worked normally, the linkage did not. If I feathered the clutch, the linkage (loaded with the backhoe) would lift slowly, but as soon as the clutch was engaged fully, the linkage would drop. After about 5 minutes both systems operated normally.

    Ff suggested a blocked inlet strainer, but I was loathe to accept that, assuming it was a problem exclusive to the linkage system, since both systems drew oil through the same inlet strainer.

    To complicate the matter, I discovered a white gel resting on horizontal surfaces inside the response control cover - not the same as the normal "cream" produced by water in the oil.

    Eventually I decided that the lift cover had to come off, a job I was not looking forward to.

    Turns out ff was correct; the inlet strainer feeding all three pumps was well blocked with general rubbish, (5 years since it was last cleaned) and the gel was the final straw. Curiously, it seems like the gel is the result of a fungus or bacterial growth in the presence of water (condensation plus rain down a split gear lever boot). My cousin, an engineer with a mining support company in PNG, on hearing my problem wrote:
    "This problem has been an intermittent bugbear (groan!) for xxxxxx in the
    wet tropics.
    The bugs won't grow in clean diesel - water is required, and we have water
    traps on the fuel filters but it can still get in as vapour etc.
    Sometimes a fuel tank has been taken off one of the big shovels, the whole
    side cut out, interior blasted with steam cleaner, side welded back in.
    Not small tanks, not a small job."

    What puzzles me is why the linkage would drop when the aux. gear pumps cut in. Were they sucking oil from the lift cylinder via the control valve? Is that possible, Agrimax or MF Andy?

    Clean oil through a clean strainer and all is well.

    Last edited by john maddock; 10-05-19 at 12:37 PM. Reason: Clarity
    Agtronix - the home of the Weedswiper

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