Can you identify this leak?

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Hondaman900

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Sep 15, 2006
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After some grading work yesterday my M-600 Bobcat seems to have sprung a leak at the base of the right-hand control lever. Problem is that, as far as I know, there are no hydraulic lines/fittings/junctions at this location. The control lever/clutch mechanism is mechanical.
Here's a pic. Can anyone tell me what I should be looking for?

BobLeak1.jpg
 

Hondaman900

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Sep 15, 2006
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No takers?
I'm reluctant to use the Bocat again before I take care of this, but accessing behind the bulkhead to do exploratory surgery is not easy. I'm waiting for my clutch cap wrench to come in at my local Bobcat dealer (Sacramento). Until then I can't take off the side panels.
Anyhow, any suggestions are most welcome.
Stephen
 

sterlclan

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May 1, 2004
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No takers?
I'm reluctant to use the Bocat again before I take care of this, but accessing behind the bulkhead to do exploratory surgery is not easy. I'm waiting for my clutch cap wrench to come in at my local Bobcat dealer (Sacramento). Until then I can't take off the side panels.
Anyhow, any suggestions are most welcome.
Stephen
as black as it is looks like motor oil but my knolwedge of that machine is very limited good luck Jeff
 

Tazza

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as black as it is looks like motor oil but my knolwedge of that machine is very limited good luck Jeff
I was going to say it looked like engine oil, but it may just look black on the steel....
I'm not sure what is behind the lever, but i bet its just an O ring that you need to replace.
 

skidsteer.ca

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I was going to say it looked like engine oil, but it may just look black on the steel....
I'm not sure what is behind the lever, but i bet its just an O ring that you need to replace.
My knowledge on the clutch drives is limited to a 371 (mini bob) but if they have any thing in common the levers just went into a case full of oil housing many chains (6 total), 14 to 20 sprockets and 4 wet disc clutches, one for each direction on each side.
In a 371 this “chain case” oil was also the hyd fluid. From what I can see in the pic then volume of oil you have lost is quite small. I would be checking to see if there was a plugged vent somewhere on the chain case, as it warms up the pressure many be pushing the oil through the seal. but this is not a high pressure hyd seal, it will just be a o ring, std oil seal or something simular
Also there should be no trouble continuing to use the unit if the leak does not get alot worse. Youshould keep a eye one the level though.
There must be a level plug or a dip stick that sets the oil level in that chain/clutch case. The 371 used atf for oil , I'm not sure on yours, but it looks dark like it has a fair bit of clutch wear in the oil. When you get the tools to open it up, it would be a good time for new oil.
 

Hondaman900

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Sep 15, 2006
Messages
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My knowledge on the clutch drives is limited to a 371 (mini bob) but if they have any thing in common the levers just went into a case full of oil housing many chains (6 total), 14 to 20 sprockets and 4 wet disc clutches, one for each direction on each side.
In a 371 this “chain case” oil was also the hyd fluid. From what I can see in the pic then volume of oil you have lost is quite small. I would be checking to see if there was a plugged vent somewhere on the chain case, as it warms up the pressure many be pushing the oil through the seal. but this is not a high pressure hyd seal, it will just be a o ring, std oil seal or something simular
Also there should be no trouble continuing to use the unit if the leak does not get alot worse. Youshould keep a eye one the level though.
There must be a level plug or a dip stick that sets the oil level in that chain/clutch case. The 371 used atf for oil , I'm not sure on yours, but it looks dark like it has a fair bit of clutch wear in the oil. When you get the tools to open it up, it would be a good time for new oil.
Thanks skidsteer. You may have hit upon it. I had a nasty backflip, but not all the way over, while working on a slope the day the leak showed up. I let the power off just in time to stop flipping over all the way, but the Bobcat bounced a few times before settling down. Scared the crap outa me. Probably likely I sloshed the oil in the bulkhead tank around enough to leak out here. I'll check for that. Good call.
I just got the Bobcat (non-running) recently, and am fixing it up. Along with the tool order in with the dealer is a new hydraulic filter, a gauge to replace the broken vacuum gauge you see in the pic, a dipstick for the VF4 and some zerk fittings. I'm going to replace all the oil when I change the filter. From the looks of the stuff in there at the moment, I'm guessing it hasn't been changed in ages. Also have a replacement wiring harness to fix the prev. owner's botched job that I had to patch up to get her running again.
I have posted here recently, to the thread about what oil to use, the question as to whether I have to use aft or if I can use hydraulic oil. My local Bobcat dealer's 600-series specialist is in tomorrow and they'll let me know if I can use hydraulic fluid. I have a source for free hydraulic fluid, and at 20 gals, it's an expensive prospect to buy atf or Dextron.
I'm hoping new oil and a clutch adjustment will smooth things out.
Thanks for the help.
 

skidsteer.ca

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Thanks skidsteer. You may have hit upon it. I had a nasty backflip, but not all the way over, while working on a slope the day the leak showed up. I let the power off just in time to stop flipping over all the way, but the Bobcat bounced a few times before settling down. Scared the crap outa me. Probably likely I sloshed the oil in the bulkhead tank around enough to leak out here. I'll check for that. Good call.
I just got the Bobcat (non-running) recently, and am fixing it up. Along with the tool order in with the dealer is a new hydraulic filter, a gauge to replace the broken vacuum gauge you see in the pic, a dipstick for the VF4 and some zerk fittings. I'm going to replace all the oil when I change the filter. From the looks of the stuff in there at the moment, I'm guessing it hasn't been changed in ages. Also have a replacement wiring harness to fix the prev. owner's botched job that I had to patch up to get her running again.
I have posted here recently, to the thread about what oil to use, the question as to whether I have to use aft or if I can use hydraulic oil. My local Bobcat dealer's 600-series specialist is in tomorrow and they'll let me know if I can use hydraulic fluid. I have a source for free hydraulic fluid, and at 20 gals, it's an expensive prospect to buy atf or Dextron.
I'm hoping new oil and a clutch adjustment will smooth things out.
Thanks for the help.
Does this machine have a separate hyd tank or where do you check the oil for the hydraulics?
does it look as dark as the oil that leaked?
The leak likely had to do with the angles you had the machine leanig when working it lately.
Can you post a few more pics of the outsides behind the tires and of the hyd pump arrangment. Under the seat. etc
I'd like to see if it resembles my old 371 in any way.
Also does the steering lever travel alot (more then 5 or 6”) from forward being engaged to reverse being engaged?
The 371 was a bit of a bear on slopes because the cluch drive could roll / freewheel when the lever for either side was in neutral. I had bought it to rent out, but resold it because I felt it was not a safe machine to put a “green horn” in the seat of. I can see why you would be haveing some trouble popping wheeles on a steep slope if the m600 works the same way.
Ken
Ken
 

Hondaman900

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Sep 15, 2006
Messages
45
Does this machine have a separate hyd tank or where do you check the oil for the hydraulics?
does it look as dark as the oil that leaked?
The leak likely had to do with the angles you had the machine leanig when working it lately.
Can you post a few more pics of the outsides behind the tires and of the hyd pump arrangment. Under the seat. etc
I'd like to see if it resembles my old 371 in any way.
Also does the steering lever travel alot (more then 5 or 6”) from forward being engaged to reverse being engaged?
The 371 was a bit of a bear on slopes because the cluch drive could roll / freewheel when the lever for either side was in neutral. I had bought it to rent out, but resold it because I felt it was not a safe machine to put a “green horn” in the seat of. I can see why you would be haveing some trouble popping wheeles on a steep slope if the m600 works the same way.
Ken
Ken
Thanks Ken. Both sides of the frame hold the hydraulic fluid, in the same cavity as the divechains and clutches arrangement. There's a plug/hole where the level should be filled to. It needs to be on level ground to check, which is difficult on my property. To access the tank I have to have the wrench, which is on order. So this is the next chore once I get the wrench from my dealer.
I used the Bobcat for about an hour today on that slope project. I adjusted the brakes again before starting so that I was less dependent on the clutches to hold it on the slope. Only one adjusts. I have to replace the adjustable tie rod to the other to allow me to shorten it up and get better braking. The brakes suck, and creak and groan and catch. But it was better going. You're right about the clutches releasing you downhill when in neutral - scary. And I'm afraid about burning out the clutches using them to hold the Bobcat stationary on the slope. Also wary of a power failure/stall and relying on the foot brake to hold me on the hill. Stressful, but fun, work :)
In any case, the leaked oil, which had mostly dissapated since the pic I posted, did not reoccur, so I'm positive it was the jerking of the Bobcat.
The lever travel is not consistent, and the rearward motion on the right lever snags/sticks. I have to pull hard back on that side to get the right wheels to reverse. I'm sure I need a clutch adjustment, and again am waiting for the tool to do this. The user guide seems clear about this procedure.
I'll take some pics this weekend when the rains stop and post them.
Thanks Ken,
Stephen
 

skidsteer.ca

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Thanks Ken. Both sides of the frame hold the hydraulic fluid, in the same cavity as the divechains and clutches arrangement. There's a plug/hole where the level should be filled to. It needs to be on level ground to check, which is difficult on my property. To access the tank I have to have the wrench, which is on order. So this is the next chore once I get the wrench from my dealer.
I used the Bobcat for about an hour today on that slope project. I adjusted the brakes again before starting so that I was less dependent on the clutches to hold it on the slope. Only one adjusts. I have to replace the adjustable tie rod to the other to allow me to shorten it up and get better braking. The brakes suck, and creak and groan and catch. But it was better going. You're right about the clutches releasing you downhill when in neutral - scary. And I'm afraid about burning out the clutches using them to hold the Bobcat stationary on the slope. Also wary of a power failure/stall and relying on the foot brake to hold me on the hill. Stressful, but fun, work :)
In any case, the leaked oil, which had mostly dissapated since the pic I posted, did not reoccur, so I'm positive it was the jerking of the Bobcat.
The lever travel is not consistent, and the rearward motion on the right lever snags/sticks. I have to pull hard back on that side to get the right wheels to reverse. I'm sure I need a clutch adjustment, and again am waiting for the tool to do this. The user guide seems clear about this procedure.
I'll take some pics this weekend when the rains stop and post them.
Thanks Ken,
Stephen
The oil bath the clutches run in help cool them so they would not get hot to quick, but any time you slip them the fibers are wearing and that is making your oil darker. My 371 had no brake so you had to push the lever in the opposite dirrection often. It did have a good size clutch system for the size of the machine and I never noticed them wear much.
Ken
 

Hondaman900

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Sep 15, 2006
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The oil bath the clutches run in help cool them so they would not get hot to quick, but any time you slip them the fibers are wearing and that is making your oil darker. My 371 had no brake so you had to push the lever in the opposite dirrection often. It did have a good size clutch system for the size of the machine and I never noticed them wear much.
Ken
So if you stalled or ran out of gas, what stopped your 371 from rolling away if it had no brakes?
Also, BTW, the dealer told me today that it doesn't matter wheather I use atf, motor oil or hydraulic fluid as long as it's 10W or greater.
Stephen
 

skidsteer.ca

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So if you stalled or ran out of gas, what stopped your 371 from rolling away if it had no brakes?
Also, BTW, the dealer told me today that it doesn't matter wheather I use atf, motor oil or hydraulic fluid as long as it's 10W or greater.
Stephen
If it stalled and the bucket was up you would have to push the steering levers firmly into fwd or rev the it could not roll unless it turned the engine over. Stil it would have been a good idea to keep a bungy cord handy to tie the levers in f or r. However if a drive belt broke on a slope you better be quick at lowering the bucket.
Does the m600 have some sort of high low range to. the 371 you shut it off and moved the belt from the low speed pulleys (max 2.5 mph ) to the high speed pulleys. @ 5mph
The newer hydro loaders were a bit handier with the ability to run any speed from 0 to 6 mph. If I'd have kept the m371 I was looking at putting a Comet Industries variable clutch (snowmobile clutch but on a smaller scale) then the ratios could have been changes just by reving the engine higher or lower.
Ken
 

Kiwi M610

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Nov 13, 2006
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Hi Hondaman, I'm new here and don't no a huge amount about Bobcats, but I am doing up a M610 down here in New Zealand. I have have had the clutches apart, replaced Hydraulic filter and oil, I used hydraulic oil as I got it free (great price). the machine seems to work Ok with this oil, but it is thin. one of the things i have found is that the clutch levers drip. Inside the chain case the secondary chains run over the linkage, the service manual shows no O-ring so I will have to have a look. I would say tipping yours up would have caused the leak, but you may get the same problem when you change the oil. Hope that helps.
 

Hondaman900

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Sep 15, 2006
Messages
45
Hi Hondaman, I'm new here and don't no a huge amount about Bobcats, but I am doing up a M610 down here in New Zealand. I have have had the clutches apart, replaced Hydraulic filter and oil, I used hydraulic oil as I got it free (great price). the machine seems to work Ok with this oil, but it is thin. one of the things i have found is that the clutch levers drip. Inside the chain case the secondary chains run over the linkage, the service manual shows no O-ring so I will have to have a look. I would say tipping yours up would have caused the leak, but you may get the same problem when you change the oil. Hope that helps.
Thanks Kiwi. I e-mailed with a friend of mine in Florida who owns a 610 and he says that there are o-rings where the lever spindles enter the bulkhead but they do a poor job sealing, and that the sloshing fluid was the source of my “leak”.
Hey, have you adjusted your clutches, and if so, how was that job? Any pointers?
Thx, Stephen
 

Kiwi M610

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Nov 13, 2006
Messages
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Thanks Kiwi. I e-mailed with a friend of mine in Florida who owns a 610 and he says that there are o-rings where the lever spindles enter the bulkhead but they do a poor job sealing, and that the sloshing fluid was the source of my “leak”.
Hey, have you adjusted your clutches, and if so, how was that job? Any pointers?
Thx, Stephen
Hi Stephen, Adjusting the clutches is no problem. Just remove the caps take out split pins and adjust so the lever has 3 to 4" travel in each direction. The rear clutch is the forward direction one. I have had the chain covers off, this is quite easy and will give you the chance to adjust the chains. also check the lock tabs on the nuts holding drive sprockets on the axle shafts (final drive chain). I had one back off, then the sprocket moves over until the chain rubs on the oil tank and breaks the chain. If you break a chain I will tell you how to get the Bobcat back to the shed with 3 wheels turning and one locked! (very amusing, wife is still laughing). This old Bobcat is taking care of any possibilty of spare time around here!, good fun though. Regards Roger
 
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