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cat 325C excavator 5500hrs right side track is slower than…

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cat 325C excavator 5500hrs right...
cat 325C excavator 5500hrs right side track is slower than left track. slower both forward and reverse. when boom is all the way up and against relief, both pumps achieve same relief pressure on monitor 33000 kpa. if you drive it holding lift over relief, it tracks straight, when you release lift while driving, left track speeds up, right track stays slower. Tried switching sensors on pumps, same results. Has foot pedal for both tracks, travel is slow on right track with foot pedal and hand travel levers. Condition is more noticeable at low rpm than high rpm. All other functions seem ok other than travel.
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Construction and Road Equipment
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12/28/2013
Mechanic: catmastertech, Technician replied 8 years ago
catmastertech
catmastertech, Technician
Category: Construction and Road Equipment
Satisfied Customers: 3,966
Experience: Field service technician for CAT 19 years.
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Hello Customer,

Sounds like you have a pump problem with the right side pump. When you are holding the lift at relief, the straight travel valve spool is shifted and one pump is for implement control and the other is for travel. This is why the machine slows when operating a function while traveling.

How is the bucket cycle times? If it is slower than specifications, this would indicate the problem is in the right pump.

What are all the cycle times?

Have you tried testing with the Negative Flow Control (NFC) lines disconnected? This can tell if you have signal loss from the control valve.

Have you inspected the filters for metal? Always cut open your old filters when servicing to seen if and where metal is coming from. Note if metal is in the pilot filter, case drain filter or the return filter. Pouring out the oil from the filter will miss debris stuck in the media.

 

Do not forget some simple things that can cause issues like frozen or seized track pins. Track that is too tight or packed full of mud or debris binding the track.

A bad idler that is dragging can also cause problems. When you are moving at low engine speeds, the pump flow and pressure is lower and would normally be effected by track problems. At higher speeds the pump output could be overcoming some of this. Generally speaking, this would only account for small traveling problems. You are allowed a three foot deviation when traveling over a 100 foot, smooth and flat test course with hard ground.

 

Let me know what you find testing and please post the full serial number with your reply.

 

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I unplugged the pressure reducing solenoid on the side of the pump assy. Travel is perfect and as expected, the pump drags down the engine too much. Does this indicate anything? The bucket cycle is very slow at an idle also when solenoid is plugged in.
Mechanic: catmastertech, Technician replied 8 years ago

That would indicate the pressure reducing solenoid is working.

Are you planning to perform the cycle time test today?

Do you have the serial number?

Have you performed a straight travel test over a set course?

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Ser-cat0325chbfe01632 Bucket in-4.3 sec. Bucket out 3.0 sec arm in 3.3 sec arm out 3.0 sec. No test needed for travel, it pretty much will go in a big circle over any length of travel. Is there any chance that pressure reducing solenoid could have a bad o ring or coil? Is it worth removing and checking seals and ohms? Or is it farther down the line?
Mechanic: catmastertech, Technician replied 8 years ago

Thanks for the information.

The cycle time for the stick is about right.

What is the boom up time?

The solenoid is working, no need to remove it. You would have a constant stalling issue if it where a problem.

You need to disconnect and block the NFC lines to the pump. This is the pilot lines from the main control NFC valves. If one of these is leaking, it will effect pump output.

It is there to restrict pump flow in stalled condition.

Let me know what you find and we can get deeper into the problem from there.

 

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
How can I identify the NFC lines? How many are there? Are they the pilot lines that go into the control valve on side of pump where the reducing solenoid is? I have no books or schematics only a parts bookI see 2 pilot lines going from pumps to each end of contol valve (main)
Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Boom up time is 3.8 sec
Mechanic: catmastertech, Technician replied 8 years ago

The NFC lines are connected to the pump control heads near the same area of the sensor and PRV solenoid and jumper line.

The easiest way to tell the difference is the PRV jumper is connected to a tee. The NFC lines will be from the main control valve.

 

Now, knowing the boom and stick cycle times are mostly correct. I would believe this problem is more related to a sticking spool. This could be the right travel spool or the straight travel spool.

These type issues are hard to pin point since some of the circuit is working correct and all work correct when travel and implement functions are being used.

 

Is the pilot pressure correct? Normal is about 595 psi.

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Pilot pressure is 580 psi, hot oil high rpm. So disconnect and cap off 2 lines going from pumps to control valve? Then what? And what will this tell?
Mechanic: catmastertech, Technician replied 8 years ago

Yes, Cap the lines but, leave the fittings on the pump open. This sees pressure from the main control valve. This signal will limit flow in a stall condition. (When it sees pressure) If no pressure can get to the control head (lines blocked) the flow should remain constant. (same speed for both tracks) If a NFC is leaking, this leakage will send pressure to the control head and limit pump output. (slower flows on that pump)

This will show if the pump control head is working or sticking.

Test by performing ALL cycle times again, plus the straight travel check.

 

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
This is a side job so I don't have a lot of stuff here. Will have to wait til Monday to get caps and plugs. Where are these nfc's located? And what do they do? Can I take them out easily and check them? Are they electronic? Do they have I rings on them? Can I find in parts book for location? What would they be called in parts book?
Mechanic: catmastertech, Technician replied 8 years ago

The NFC valves are relief valve that limit the pressure to the pump control head in a stall condition. This signal will limit flow in a stall condition. (When it sees pressure) If no pressure can get to the control head (lines blocked) the flow should remain constant. (same speed for both tracks) If a NFC is leaking, this leakage will send pressure to the control head and limit pump output. (slower flows on that pump)

They are located on the end of each main control valve on the face side with the large output lines. One is directly in the body and the other is mounted to an adapter plate on the end of the other body.

Look at parts picture for 177-2800 main control valve.

By the way, they are usually the same part and can be swapped with each other.

That is if, you can access them.

The do have o-ring seals on the face.

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Couldnt cap off hoses but did switch NFC valves part #109-5152 and problem still on same side. All along the problem isn't that noticeable at high rpm, low rpm way more noticeable.
Mechanic: catmastertech, Technician replied 8 years ago

This is pointing more toward the pump being the problem.

I would still want to see if a change is notice with the lines blocked.

Straight travel spool and right travel spool should also be checked.

Bucket slow speed could be related to the type of linkage and weight of the bucket. It was slow but not that slow for a large bucket.

If problem is only present in the travel, try swivel seals. Even at 5500 hours, they can fail when conditions are bad and operator is rough on the machine. Heat will cause them to fail and it always seems to make the right side worse than the left side.

A cheap fix before sending it to the shop and can be done in a day.

Also recheck the filters if they are not new to see if trash is in the system.

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

when the pressure reducing solenoid was unplugged and pumps were at full stroke, the problem went away, doesnt this mean the pump was functioning properly when not being compromised by the reducing system? I would think the pump itself is good, but something controlling the position of the pump swash plate is causing poor performance. What are your thoughts on this?

Mechanic: catmastertech, Technician replied 8 years ago

Sorry, I missed that in your reply. I got too focused on the bucket speed until I found this machine had different linkages.

I would agree the pump seem to be correct if full speed and straight travel is achieved with the prv disconnected.

Did you perform a straight travel test over a 100 foot course with the prv disconnected?

Have you tried using the backup mode?

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

with prv disconnected, travel is straight even at idle. Not familiar with backup mode, please explain

Mechanic: catmastertech, Technician replied 8 years ago

On C model machines, you have a pump controller override (ecm bypass) that will set the prv solenoid to about 80% load. If the ecm system has a failure, you can move the machine out or finish working in backup mode. This can derate some functions but, normally only a slight loss of power is noticed. The circuit to the prv from the switch must be working or the override does not work.

The backup switches are located under the right armrest. Switch the control from auto to manual (hand) and then the throttle can be set with the other switch.

This is an easy ECM check and is only for emergencies. Some engine wirings may not work. (like low oil pressure)

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

in backup mode, machine tracks perfect at idle. At high rpm, right side lags a little with straight travel pedal all the way stroked. When straight travel pedal is only partially stroked, the right side is faster sometimes, depending on position of pedal.

Mechanic: catmastertech, Technician replied 8 years ago

That points back to the pump control head. When the prv control pressure is fixed (at backup setting or no pressure), the pump regulation is correct and travel speeds are correct.

When the pump prv pressure change (auto mode shifts pressure to demand), the pump flows are not regulated correctly and the speeds are wrong in travel.

You should see the cycle times improve as well when in backup mode.

Does the monitor report any fault codes?

Have you check for active diagnostic codes? (I still don't think this is electrical but, we should check)

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

will codes show on monitor automatically or do you have to access them?

Mechanic: catmastertech, Technician replied 8 years ago

Some will show but, only if it is an active event fault. Not all diagnostic codes appear.

Navigate to the diagnostic menu and enter service password XXXXX to view codes.

NEVER delete codes until you have made a copy of them and completed repairs.

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
No active error codes, 4 logged, 69:1162-04, 69:1161-03, 69: 581-05, and 24: 91-082 logged events 24: 95 and 24:5
Mechanic: catmastertech, Technician replied 8 years ago

codes were create by your testing

does the engine aec work correctly?

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Not familiar with engine aec
Mechanic: catmastertech, Technician replied 8 years ago

The button for the automatic engine speed control.

Does it return to 1300 rpm after no input?

Event codes are for fuel filter plugged. 05 and 95

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Yes returns to 1298 rpm
Mechanic: catmastertech, Technician replied 8 years ago

Try unplugging the straight travel solenoid located on the solenoid manifold.

It may be under the main control valve.

It is the outer solenoid of the match pair.

The other end is next to a small adapter and is for the safety lever pilot activation.

This machine uses an electric control for straight travel spool.

(NOTE: this spool is in no way related to the straight travel pedal in the cab)

OH, place the control back into the auto position.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

going to have to pursue this monday, thank you for your help, will get back to you monday evening

Mechanic: catmastertech, Technician replied 8 years ago

Ok, that is fine. I am thinking this could be an electrical problem or solenoid trouble. I haven't worked on a C model 325 and have found these models use an electric solenoid to control the straight travel valve. Some model sizes do and others are hydraulic controlled.

All three of these solenoids are the same on this mainifold. I am concerned the straight travel solenoid could be a problem. The one next to it is for the swing brake and the one on the other end is for the safety lever, pilot activation.

Pilot pressure is sent to the straight travel spool to change the flow to one pump for travel. If this pressure is not correct, the spool may not be activated correctly. I do not see the specific pressure to the spool, only that is is activated by the same switch as the aec control.

If you unplug the solenoid the spool should stay in two pump flow even with the system in automatic mode. When it was in manual mode, this circuit was not powered and the spool was not shifted.

If the problem is the same after unplugging the solenoid, next plug the pilot line from the solenoid and test again. If this fixes the problem, the solenoid must be leaking or stuck. Swap it with the swing brake solenoid and test again to see if the problem is fixed. (Do not leave a bad solenoid in the swing brake, this could cause other problems later)

If plugging the line does not fix the issue, you could have a valve problem. I did find a letter on a problem with very early serial numbers. See below;

 

Description of Change: After a simultaneous operation of the travel control valve and the bucket control valve, the speed of the bucket cylinder may slowly decrease during a single bucket operation. A new main control valve with an improved straight travel control spool is available. If your machine is experiencing bucket cylinder drift, replace the main control valve with the appropriate control valve that is listed in Table 1.

Table 1 Model New Part Number Description Former Part Number
325C(NNN) NNN-NNNNMain Control Valve(NNN) NNN-NNNN
330C(NNN) NNN-NNNNMain Control Valve(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

 

I will be around some tomorrow but, off line until Monday night. I can check back with your progress then. Please keep me informed on what you find. This is the first time I have seen a problem with the electric controlled straight travel.

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Not working on this machine until Tuesday afternoon. I was talking this situation over with another mechanic at my primary job, and we both agree that because the bucket function speeds up when the backup switch is in manual, the problem is most likely in the pump compensating system or proportioning valve, not in the travel system. If if only affected travel, it could be in travel circuit. When curling bucket at low rpm, the bucket speed increases noticeably when switched from auto- to- manual. Could if be in computer itself? Something needs calibrating or flashed?
Mechanic: catmastertech, Technician replied 8 years ago

That is the idea behind the checks I listed earlier. I want to see of the electronics were working the straight travel solenoid or if that solenoid is bad.

Yes, PRV does have a calibration. This is done through the monitor with a pressure gauge on the powershift tap. It has the two settings, one for low pressure and one for high pressure.

  • Low pressure 500 kPa (72 psi)

     

  • High pressure 2500 kPa (362 psi)
  •  

    This should not get out of calibration unless someone has been tampering with the settings. Even when is wrong, it generally just loads or unloads pump pressure from the engine. It is mainly a horsepower limiting solenoid for the pump as to prevent the engine stalling under sudden load changes. These pumps have much more output than the engine can handle and is the design behind this PRV setup.

    Smaller engine, more flow, faster hydraulics and more fuel efficient.

     

    The later paragraph is a service letter were these main control valves had the same problem you are facing and it was due to a cracked valve. I hope this is not your issue but, just want you to know it may be a problem.

     

    Let me know what your testing results are and we can get deeper into this problem.

     

    Thanks, Donnie

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