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Kamatsu d21 left steering clutch will not disengage. Where…

Kamatsu d21 left steering clutch...
Kamatsu d21 left steering clutch will not disengage. Where is the adjustment loaction. The machine has sat idle for some time. The right side was stuck but started to work fine, jus tthe left side is no functioning.
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Answered in 1 hour by:
11/14/2013
Mechanic: Fieldtech59, Shop manager replied 8 years ago
Fieldtech59
Fieldtech59, Shop manager
Category: Construction and Road Equipment
Satisfied Customers: 201
Experience: Construction equipment repair technician since 1986, JLG certified, Shop manager since 2006.
Verified
It's been a while since I've worked on a D20 or a D21 Komatsu, but the D21 is a powershift transmission with hydraulic controlled steering clutches. Being hydraulic pilot controlled steering clutches, I'm near certain they don't have an adjustment because it's not necessary. They do have a brake band adjustment. However, I don't think either is your problem. A very common problem for D20 and D21 is the steering clutches sticking because they don't have wet clutches, they have a dry housing. In my humble opinion, Komatsu should have put a warning label on the dash of these machines informing the owner to avoid extended periods of no operation to prevent steering clutches from sticking, that's how common this problem is.

But you need a solution. That's the other rub, sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don't, there's no guarantee of success getting them to pop loose. It was a little better on the D20 because they were direct drive with a driveline clutch, you could dump the clutch in fwd and rev and have decent success popping the steer clutches loose. Not so with the D21. Being powershift with torque converter, you just don't get the impact on the steer clutches like dumping a driveline clutch. You could try full throttle in fwd, hold the left steering lever back, then shift to reverse, then back to forward, then back to reverse, anything you can do to put some impact load on the left steering clutch to knock it loose. I've even drove into a firm tree with the steering lever pulled back to pop them loose.

Again, sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don't, let's hope you can pop it loose because alternative is pulling the steering clutch, not a 1/2 hour job. Under the circumstances of the fellow in poor health and needing to sell the machine I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX manage to get that steering clutch loose. And if you do, really work both steer clutches for a good bit to burn the crap off of them that causes them to stick. Cheers
Fieldtech59
Fieldtech59, Shop manager
Category: Construction and Road Equipment
Satisfied Customers: 201
Experience: Construction equipment repair technician since 1986, JLG certified, Shop manager since 2006.
Verified
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

I was hoping you had another suggestion. An older cat man suggests I fill the clutch cavity with diesel then try the shock loading. Then drain when loosened, then refill will solvent ro remove diesel.

Mechanic: Fieldtech59, Shop manager replied 8 years ago
Yes, diesel fuel, kerosene, mineral spirits, I've heard of others fill the steering clutch housing with these with mixed results, it just depends on how stuck the clutch plates and disks are. In any case, it generally takes a good soaking. It's just an inherent problem with these machines with the dry steering clutch housing. Back in the old days there were a number of machines that had dry housing, like the older Allis Chalmers, but they also had manual control, the type of steering clutch levers that made your arms look like Popeye after using them for a long time, and you could put some muscle against the clutch fork to pop stuck clutches loose. When they started using hyd pilot operated clutches, they just don't put enough power on the clutch fork to force things loose. I wish Komatsu had put a warning on the dash of these machines to not let them rest for extended periods, so many owners of these machines encounter this very same problem.

And I would like to thank you very much for the positive rating. I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX get those clutches loose without a terrible amount of grief.
Fieldtech59
Fieldtech59, Shop manager
Category: Construction and Road Equipment
Satisfied Customers: 201
Experience: Construction equipment repair technician since 1986, JLG certified, Shop manager since 2006.
Verified
Fieldtech59 and 87 other Construction and Road Equipment Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

I wa able to loosen the steering clutch. The problen turned out to be a stuck slave cylinder for the clutch. Moisture had entered the clutch housing around the slave cylinder area. A brief session with a small hammer to the piston to lossen, then removal of such. A brake hone to the cylinder and emory to the piston. All works well. I did remove the bottom plug from both steer clutches to check for moisture. I installed plugs after a brief run to test. Now back in action.

Mechanic: Fieldtech59, Shop manager replied 8 years ago
Woo Hoo!!!! That's awesome x2! That will definitely improve the selling value of the machine. Great work bro!
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Fieldtech59
Fieldtech59
Fieldtech59, Shop manager
Category: Construction and Road Equipment
Satisfied Customers: 201
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Experience: Construction equipment repair technician since 1986, JLG certified, Shop manager since 2006.

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