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57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1968 Ford 5000. About a month ago, I was using the Boom Pole to move some fairly large logs around and suddenly I had a puddle forming under the front end. Sadly, it wasn't coolant, but rather Power Steering.

Since the steering cylinder is buried under the radiator and it only leaks when it's warm, you can't easily run it until it leaks and figure out what is going on. So, I decided it was time to pull the cylinder and hoses and just put new parts in. The cylinder can be rebuilt if it is in good shape. The hoses are mostly hard lines, but there are some flexible parts, and I was finding some cuts in the outer rubber, so I knew I needed to replace those.

Things started out really well. In the first day, I got the cowl off, radiator out, and while cleaning up the grease and dirt, replaced the water pump, Fuel lift pump, and the thermostat (all things that are cheap and easy to replace now because if I don't, you KNOW that one of these will fail in about a week after I get it all back together).

Then I began to remove the steering cylinder.

Three of the pins came out without much fuss. But the one where the cylinder attaches to the steering arm (red arrow) wasn't budging.

I tried everything in my bag of tricks. I even pulled out "The Bar". This is a 50+ lb 6' long breaker/pry bar that I only use when something MUST MOVE.

That bar is pivoting on some wood blocks with the end on the bottom of the pin.

I figure when my 240lb self is bouncing on that bar, I'm putting some 1000+ lbs onto that pin and it just sat there as if to say "that all you got?".

I tried other stuff, but nothing was moving this thing. I don't have a torch hot enough to do much good. The steering arm is such a huge casting it was sucking up as much heat as I could give.

I did manage to find a replacement, so I knew I could be destructive if need be. But I really wasn't thrilled with the $150 price tag to replace the pin and that cylinder is nearly impossible to replace.

Ultimately, I sprayed every known "make me loose" formula onto that thing. From Sea Foam Deep Creep and Kroil to a mixture of ATF and Acetone. Still would not budge. Running out of options, I ordered a heavy duty Crow Foot wrench to fit the flats on the top of the pin, attached an extension and an 18" breaker bar and then just for good measure I put a 4' fence pipe on the breaker bar and began to pull REALLY HARD.

And just when I was expecting something to break and me going butt over teakettle, it popped. And out came the pin and cylinder.

I began the disassembly and had most of the cleaning and parts replacement done on labor Day weekend. I just got the pin loose this afternoon when UPS dropped off the Crow Foot. That was some long 10 days of cussin' and fussin'.

I did have the hoses rebuilt:


Now I need to clean up the cylinder, replace all the seals, and then reassemble everything. I suspect getting some of the pins back in won't be easy, but nothing like getting this last one out.

Oh, speaking of pin, I do have some cleanup on that too. Seems that pry bar wasn't right for removal, but it sure did mess up the bottom threads:

I need to figure out how to restore that end so I can reinstall. Open to ideas.

Gotta love Old iron. Never a dull moment. Will post finished photos when complete.

Oh, about the yellow fan... So, I have 3 cans of the Ford Blue. All three of them decided to stop spraying while I was using them. I mean I was actively applying paint and the thing just stopped spraying. Plenty of paint in the cans. They just won't work. So, since my youngest likes yellow, he got a kick out of making the fan yellow. We'll see how it looks once it is all together.


1,119 Posts
Interesting post.
The 4400 Fords used the same power steering system as a 5000 did. I have been in to a couple of those so know about that tapered pin. I rebuilt one of the 4400s I had. The other I parted out the tractor and sold most of the PS parts to a guy to fix his 5000.
On both of mine I had the bolster off so I turned it over and slugged that pin out with an 8 lb sledge hammer.
Funny but I did the slugging on a gravel drive way and found the pin about 2 years later imbedded in the dirt. It's rusty and the threads are mashed a bit but I still saved it when I found it.
It would clean up okay.
Those are standard ANS threads and would not be hard to save.
First of all put it to a grinder and grind a chamfer on the end.
Then buy yourself a 3 cornered file and do a bit of filing to reshape the vees. The cost of a file and a bit of hand work would be a LOT cheaper than a new pin.


57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So, last weekend, I was able to put everything back together.

During the week, I rebuilt the cylinder. Sorry, no photos as my workbench is rather dark and I was trying to get the job done. Most of the assembly was straight forward, but there were two parts that really were harder than they needed to be.

First, in the valve at the top of the cylinder, you have a bunch of o-rings, seals, etc. There is also a spring that keeps the valve shaft centered. (moving it one way or the other is what operates the cylinder.) This spring is REALLY strong. While compressing it you have to get on a metal stop, an o-ring, a plastic seal/wiper, and another metal stop and then while holding all that against the compressed spring thread on the end that holds it all in place. I ended up having to compress the spring, jam a tiny "precision" screwdriver to hold it, and then install the parts. Naturally, the wedged driver didn't hold long and I had to make more than several attempts at it before I got the end threaded enough to hold.

The second "fun" part was the main piston inside the cylinder. The cylinder tube uses large o-rings at each end to seal. To hold the o-rings, there is a groove around both ends of the cylinder. This groove is just small enough that my ring compressor won't fit and just large enough that the piston ring will. Some engineer took great pleasure in this I'm sure. Ultimately I had both kids holding the ring with screwdrivers while I held a 5th and lightly tapped the piston home.

The only other snag I ran into is a wrong size o-ring in the kit. I had carefully laid out the parts on the bench as I took the cylinder apart so that I knew where everything originally came from. I then matched up the parts in the repair kit. Except that one o-ring didn't look right. It seemed too large. Oh well, maybe the old one was well worn.

Nope, it really was too big. So I had to run to a local hardware store and get a ring with the same inner diameter and a slightly smaller outer. That one looked more like the original and it installed without much grief.

Finally, I gave the whole thing a nice ghetto paint job to just protect everything. I did tape off the area where the hoses attach, the valve plunger goes and the shaft wiper to keep paint off those areas. It' s not pretty, but it's protected. (^_^)


As for the pin, the outer threads were really messed up. The metal had compressed and the thread pitch was all wrong. No matter what I did, the threads were not coming back. So, I used a grinding wheel to remove the damaged threads and cut down to where good threads were. Those then cleaned up nicely.



As for putting all the parts back into the tractor, that too went easy enough. The hardest part was getting cotter pins into the pivot pins. In the photo below, the pin that is at the lower part of the photo just right of center (just a blue circle) is a real bear. You have to start the cotter pin, rotate the pin about 60 degrees or so to push it partly through, rotate another 60 degrees and pull the legs put all the way, and then you can complete the 180 degree rotation to work on parting the legs to hold the pin. If you look carefully, you can see the black sharpie mark on the head that indicates where the head of the cotter pin is located. That one cotter pin took nearly an hour to get fully in place.


Thankfully the days are getting cool. I was able to fire up the tractor for like 30 seconds at a time over several hours and get the system purged of air and make sure there are no leaks. All I can say is the system is working even better than when I got the machine. Try as I could, I was unable to spin the steering wheel fast enough to outrun the cylinder.

We then reinstalled the radiator (boy are those nuts underneath a JOY to work on) got it all filled and then buttoned up the rest of the machine. Good as new!!



Super Moderator
9,743 Posts
Glad you had a successful ending.... and it seems you took it for a trip to the drive in movies there in your last photo!!
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