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I have a cat 311 trackhoe that does not want to steer. Have…

I have a cat 311...
I have a cat 311 trackhoe that does not want to steer. Have changed the fluid, replaced with 68 weight fluid. Also changed the filter. Goes forward and backward but does not want to turn. Worked good before changing fluid. Whats theproblem?
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Answered in 9 hours by:
8/17/2012
Mechanic: catmastertech, Technician replied 10 years ago
catmastertech
catmastertech, Technician
Category: Construction and Road Equipment
Satisfied Customers: 4,040
Experience: Field service technician for CAT 19 years.
Verified
I have seen this issue with these machines when they pass 6000 hours. It is common to have trouble with the swivel joint (or rotary joint) seals. This is the round assembly in the center of the machine next to the swing drive. It will have four large hoses (travel lines) and two smaller lines (the smallest is the speed change line, other is case drain from the motors).
The typical complaint is, tracks turn either direction when the machine is first started. Once the oil gets warm the machine will not turn either direction but, straight travel is fine.
These machines are great little machines but, they get walked too much. The heat from the constant traveling destroys the seals and the fluid will bypass in the swivel joint.
The layout of the ports in the joint is in such a manner that straight travel will not be a problem but, the higher pressure needed to turn the machine will be too weak.
The seals are not expensive. $250 to $350 USD. The labor is the higher cost. You can do this job if you are comfortable marking the lines and the joint so no lines will get crossed. Trust me, even the best have done this.
The joint should be removed from the machine and cleaned. If deep scratches are felt, have it honed or replace the assembly. New joints are over $3000 now. Used will likely have the same problem you have now. If you locate a rebuilt one, make sure they will warranty it. It is not available as a Reman from CAT.
Let me know if you need anything else and thanks for using JustAnswer! Donnie
catmastertech
catmastertech, Technician
Category: Construction and Road Equipment
Satisfied Customers: 4,040
Experience: Field service technician for CAT 19 years.
Verified
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catmastertech
catmastertech
catmastertech, Technician
Category: Construction and Road Equipment
Satisfied Customers: 4,040
4,040 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Field service technician for CAT 19 years.

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