Bobcat 371 Mini skid questions

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customkare

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Apr 1, 2008
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4
Just purchased a Bobcat 371 and steering is very non-responsive. I don't believe steering is hydraulic but a clutch type. Is this somthing that can easily be repaired? How much $$ to get it serviced? Thanks
 

skidsteer.ca

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Jan 20, 2006
Messages
3,853
The 371 is a clutch drive machine and as such in order to get it to turn while driving forward, you must move the steering lever on the inside of the turn, beyond the neutral position lightly into reverse to get it to turn. Sorta like having a steering brake on a old cat or crawler dozer, in this case you lightly apply reverse instead. Otherwise the tires on the inside of the turn will continue to coast along until they run into something they can't coast over and you won't turn much if at all.
Beyond this there is a forward and reverse drive clutch for each side of th machine. They are quite HD and run inside a oil bath in the center chain case. There would be a forward and reverse adjustment for each R and L side. If you pull the top off the chain case you can see the clutches and should be able to see how to adjust them. I have no idea on how much work would be involved in changing the clutches but adjusting them should be no more then a hour or two. When the steering stick is centered each clutch needs enough clearance not to creep, pushing the stick 3" forward or back should result in full engagement of the forward or reverse clutch. That is about all there is to set.
Also make sure all the bolts on the pivot points of the boom are tight and don't move when moving the boom or you will quickly wear the ears out. When the bolts are tight the force is spread over a large bushing, and when they are loose only the ear takes the abuse.
Ken
 
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customkare

New member
Joined
Apr 1, 2008
Messages
4
The 371 is a clutch drive machine and as such in order to get it to turn while driving forward, you must move the steering lever on the inside of the turn, beyond the neutral position lightly into reverse to get it to turn. Sorta like having a steering brake on a old cat or crawler dozer, in this case you lightly apply reverse instead. Otherwise the tires on the inside of the turn will continue to coast along until they run into something they can't coast over and you won't turn much if at all.
Beyond this there is a forward and reverse drive clutch for each side of th machine. They are quite HD and run inside a oil bath in the center chain case. There would be a forward and reverse adjustment for each R and L side. If you pull the top off the chain case you can see the clutches and should be able to see how to adjust them. I have no idea on how much work would be involved in changing the clutches but adjusting them should be no more then a hour or two. When the steering stick is centered each clutch needs enough clearance not to creep, pushing the stick 3" forward or back should result in full engagement of the forward or reverse clutch. That is about all there is to set.
Also make sure all the bolts on the pivot points of the boom are tight and don't move when moving the boom or you will quickly wear the ears out. When the bolts are tight the force is spread over a large bushing, and when they are loose only the ear takes the abuse.
Ken
Ken, thanks for the response. I find the 371 to be very slow. Is it my machine or is this common? I have a 20HP Kohler instead of the 14HP. Hydraiulics work fast but when power is shared with Hydros, it creeps along. I find very few service places for Bobcats in illinois on the net. I am very surprised at that. Thanks Todd
 

skidsteer.ca

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Joined
Jan 20, 2006
Messages
3,853
Ken, thanks for the response. I find the 371 to be very slow. Is it my machine or is this common? I have a 20HP Kohler instead of the 14HP. Hydraiulics work fast but when power is shared with Hydros, it creeps along. I find very few service places for Bobcats in illinois on the net. I am very surprised at that. Thanks Todd
A 371 does not have a variable speed like some of the other clutch drive machines did.
You have a high and a low. Low is about 2.5 mph High about 5 mph. To change from one to the other you have to shut the engine down and move the drive belt onto the other set of pulleys. If you doing heavy work the machine will need to be in low. You can use high for snow plowing and other light duty tasks.
The big draw back of the 371 is there is no way to "shift on the fly" so after you dig that bucket full of gravel your only going to be able to go 2.5 mph max on the way to dump it. Where as a hydro machine is infinitely variable from 0 mph to 6 mph which is quite a bit handier.
For a 371 the best suggestion I have would be to replace the belt drive with a "continuosly variable transmission" or snowmobile clutch and is now common on snowmobiles, atv's and some cars. The cvt automatically shifts itself into low under heavy loads and into high under light loads. The more rpm the engine runs at the harder it tries to get into high gear.
These folks make these type of clutches for many applications.
http://www.hoffcocomet.com/comet/
Othewise you need to be patient or move up to a hydro machine. Some of the other small bobcats had a 2 speed that was shifted electricly, but I'm not sure how they worked.
Most all newer loaders now uses a hydro drive.
Ken
 

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