Fixing broken hour meter on Bobcat 443

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jhenahan

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Hey guys, On my previous thread, I mentioned that my hour meter is broken. Now, I wanted to get some opinions on how I should start trying to troubleshoot it. Is this a common problem? I have a dial-style indicator, not the new digital type. It is stuck on 812 hours. Anything you'd recommend that I check first? Also, there appears to be some kind of fluid leak when I get it running hard for a while. When I opened the engine compartment to investigate, I found two hoses that weren't connected to anything at all, like they were some kind of "blow off" hoses. Is this common, or do I need to find out what they are supposed to be connected to? Thanks for all the help. I am fairly competent with cars, but skid steers (and diesel engines in general) are a whole new world to me.
 

Tazza

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I would start by testing if power is getting to the hour meter. Use a test light here. If there is power just buy a new meter, i have tries fixing them before, BIG waste of time.
2 hoses in the engine bay, these could be for rear hydraulic stabilizers. As long as the ends are capped don't be worried. It would be a good idea to clean the machine rite down to find the leak too.
 

jhenahan

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I would start by testing if power is getting to the hour meter. Use a test light here. If there is power just buy a new meter, i have tries fixing them before, BIG waste of time.
2 hoses in the engine bay, these could be for rear hydraulic stabilizers. As long as the ends are capped don't be worried. It would be a good idea to clean the machine rite down to find the leak too.
Thanks for the tip on the hour meter. I'll try that first. As for the hoses....their ends are not capped. They are just hanging out. I think at least one of them may be leaking something but I can't be sure. I've also found that I've got an oil leak beneath the cab, forward of the engine. Would that be the chain case? Also, is there any kind of maintenance FAQ here that shows how to do all the normal maintenance (oil change, hydraulic fluid change, etc.) I am a total newbie, and I'm afraid I've gotten in over my head. Thanks again.
 

Tazza

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Thanks for the tip on the hour meter. I'll try that first. As for the hoses....their ends are not capped. They are just hanging out. I think at least one of them may be leaking something but I can't be sure. I've also found that I've got an oil leak beneath the cab, forward of the engine. Would that be the chain case? Also, is there any kind of maintenance FAQ here that shows how to do all the normal maintenance (oil change, hydraulic fluid change, etc.) I am a total newbie, and I'm afraid I've gotten in over my head. Thanks again.
If you can take some pictures of the hoses it may help to determine just what they are.
The engine should have a hose coming down from the rocker cover that is open, this is a breather tube and is meant to be open. You do get a little oil seepage out of this tube. The other one *may* be a drain tube for the engine oil, some have a hydraulic hose connected to the sump with a cap on the end to make changing engine oil easy and relatively mess-free.
As for a FAQ, we haven't set one of these up, its on the lift of things that should be done though. When i bought my first machine, i had NO clue what so ever about hydraulics or diesel engines. Then my only experience with petrol engines was in the form of single cylinder ones.
It doesn't take a lot of knowledge to work on these machines, just use common sense and if your not sure ask. In most cases someone else had had the same problem.
The only safety warning i can give is to be aware that diesel and oil under high pressure can penetrate the skin which is a bad bad thing.
The leak could be a gasket on the chain case but it could be a loose fitting too. Lift the cab and give the machine a good cleaning. This way you will be able to see where the oil is coming from.
 

jhenahan

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If you can take some pictures of the hoses it may help to determine just what they are.
The engine should have a hose coming down from the rocker cover that is open, this is a breather tube and is meant to be open. You do get a little oil seepage out of this tube. The other one *may* be a drain tube for the engine oil, some have a hydraulic hose connected to the sump with a cap on the end to make changing engine oil easy and relatively mess-free.
As for a FAQ, we haven't set one of these up, its on the lift of things that should be done though. When i bought my first machine, i had NO clue what so ever about hydraulics or diesel engines. Then my only experience with petrol engines was in the form of single cylinder ones.
It doesn't take a lot of knowledge to work on these machines, just use common sense and if your not sure ask. In most cases someone else had had the same problem.
The only safety warning i can give is to be aware that diesel and oil under high pressure can penetrate the skin which is a bad bad thing.
The leak could be a gasket on the chain case but it could be a loose fitting too. Lift the cab and give the machine a good cleaning. This way you will be able to see where the oil is coming from.
Sorry for the delay in my reply, but I had to run out of town for a family emergency. I got back and started messing with my bobcat today, and the leak seems to have gotten worse. I am pretty sure it is leaking hydraulic oil since I just filled it up, and the leaking oil is nice and clean. Also, slightly off-topic, is it normal to feel grinding in the hand controls when you are trying to turn and have the engine bog down?

Can you help me identify where all the fluids are supposed to go and if I have tubes that are not supposed to be open? Here are some pictures to help show what I am talking about:


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Tazza

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Sorry for the delay in my reply, but I had to run out of town for a family emergency. I got back and started messing with my bobcat today, and the leak seems to have gotten worse. I am pretty sure it is leaking hydraulic oil since I just filled it up, and the leaking oil is nice and clean. Also, slightly off-topic, is it normal to feel grinding in the hand controls when you are trying to turn and have the engine bog down?

Can you help me identify where all the fluids are supposed to go and if I have tubes that are not supposed to be open? Here are some pictures to help show what I am talking about:
Ok, the open tube just near the starter is the breather tube for the engine, this must be open. The plugged one down the bottom will be to drain the engine oil. It helps to prevent messes if you simply remove a plug in the sump.
If the oil you see pooling is nice and clean it will be hydraulic/hydrostatic oil. The spot you say oil pools i believe is where your control block is. The seals do go in these and leak, if its only a small leak i'd say live with it as its not a fun job to re-kit them.
The float where the fuel goes in i believe is just to indicate your fuel level.
The oil fill point in the back of the machine seems quite low, but its obviously designed that way. Ensure you do use the rite oil here, standard hydraulic oil will kill your pumps, it must me thick enough to lubricate the bearings and rubbing points when it heats up. It should use engine oil thickness oil.
The levers shaking is normal, especially under low RPM. The engine should be run at almost full throttle or it will growl, shake and the engine will bog rite down and maybe stall. They are designed to run at 1/2 to full throttle, less than that and it will shake and puts the pumps under higher load.
I hope that helps out a bit, another member may be able to help out more.
 

jhenahan

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Ok, the open tube just near the starter is the breather tube for the engine, this must be open. The plugged one down the bottom will be to drain the engine oil. It helps to prevent messes if you simply remove a plug in the sump.
If the oil you see pooling is nice and clean it will be hydraulic/hydrostatic oil. The spot you say oil pools i believe is where your control block is. The seals do go in these and leak, if its only a small leak i'd say live with it as its not a fun job to re-kit them.
The float where the fuel goes in i believe is just to indicate your fuel level.
The oil fill point in the back of the machine seems quite low, but its obviously designed that way. Ensure you do use the rite oil here, standard hydraulic oil will kill your pumps, it must me thick enough to lubricate the bearings and rubbing points when it heats up. It should use engine oil thickness oil.
The levers shaking is normal, especially under low RPM. The engine should be run at almost full throttle or it will growl, shake and the engine will bog rite down and maybe stall. They are designed to run at 1/2 to full throttle, less than that and it will shake and puts the pumps under higher load.
I hope that helps out a bit, another member may be able to help out more.
Thanks for all your help.
I did want to ask about the second open tube as well (see the 3rd picture). There are 2 tubes on top of each other in that picture. The bigger tube is capped off, but the smaller tube is open.
Also, to clarify, the last picture showing the floater/dipstick thing is not the diesel fuel level. The diesel is filled on the other side of the machine. This side (the side in the picture) has some type of oil in it. Is that the hydraulic oil? Was I supposed to fill from here rather than the other location I pointed out? Thanks for all your help.
 

Tazza

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Thanks for all your help.
I did want to ask about the second open tube as well (see the 3rd picture). There are 2 tubes on top of each other in that picture. The bigger tube is capped off, but the smaller tube is open.
Also, to clarify, the last picture showing the floater/dipstick thing is not the diesel fuel level. The diesel is filled on the other side of the machine. This side (the side in the picture) has some type of oil in it. Is that the hydraulic oil? Was I supposed to fill from here rather than the other location I pointed out? Thanks for all your help.
That other tube you refer to in picture 3, i have no idea what it could be for.
As for the fuel tank, or what i believe is the fuel tank. Give it a sniff, if it smells like diesel its the fuel tank. I can't see there being 2 spots to fill the machine with oil, especially one much lower than the other.
 

jhenahan

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That other tube you refer to in picture 3, i have no idea what it could be for.
As for the fuel tank, or what i believe is the fuel tank. Give it a sniff, if it smells like diesel its the fuel tank. I can't see there being 2 spots to fill the machine with oil, especially one much lower than the other.
Update:
I took the machine in for service. The hydraulic leak is one of 4 steel tubes running underneath the engine. The estimate is about $1700. They have to completely pull the engine in order to fix the leak. The combination of the hour meter and the parking brake being broken is going to cost me about another $300. So, I'm going to be out $2000 if I ever want to use my machine again. I am pretty disappointed since I thought I was buying a solid machine that wasn't going to need any work for a while. I'm actually thinking about just selling the stupid thing with the leak, and taking a loss....
Also, the place that Tazza indicated was probably diesel actually was diesel. It turns out that there are two places to put fuel, one on either side of the tank. How odd...
 

Tazza

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Update:
I took the machine in for service. The hydraulic leak is one of 4 steel tubes running underneath the engine. The estimate is about $1700. They have to completely pull the engine in order to fix the leak. The combination of the hour meter and the parking brake being broken is going to cost me about another $300. So, I'm going to be out $2000 if I ever want to use my machine again. I am pretty disappointed since I thought I was buying a solid machine that wasn't going to need any work for a while. I'm actually thinking about just selling the stupid thing with the leak, and taking a loss....
Also, the place that Tazza indicated was probably diesel actually was diesel. It turns out that there are two places to put fuel, one on either side of the tank. How odd...
1700 is far too much. You should be able to pull the engine out and repair the tube line your self. I have patched lines before, they weren't worn through but they were worm. I pulled them out and drained them of oil, i put bronze on the worn section with an oxy torch. It isn't as pretty as a nice new smooth line but it sure does work!. It costs all of a few cents worth of gas and a bit of brazing rod and flux. If you have a hoist you will be able to pull the engine your self. It helps if you have a buddy come and help though.
 

jhenahan

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1700 is far too much. You should be able to pull the engine out and repair the tube line your self. I have patched lines before, they weren't worn through but they were worm. I pulled them out and drained them of oil, i put bronze on the worn section with an oxy torch. It isn't as pretty as a nice new smooth line but it sure does work!. It costs all of a few cents worth of gas and a bit of brazing rod and flux. If you have a hoist you will be able to pull the engine your self. It helps if you have a buddy come and help though.
Out of the $1700, only about $100 is parts and the rest is labor and shop supplies. I think they budgeted 15-20 hours for the repair.
I don't have a hoist, but it might be worth it to buy one if you think this isn't such a difficult repair. I went to the shop this morning and saw the broken tube.. it is pretty corroded. Apparently the previous owner didn't do such a good job keeping it clean, and it was probably sitting in wet mud all the time.
If I were to do the repair myself, I would probably just replace the lines if it's not any harder than bronzing them, since the parts themselves are less than $100, and I would be sure they'd last. But, I am pretty nervous to take on the removal of my engine, since I have never done anything like that, on a car or a skidsteer. If I bought the service manual, would it give instructions on how to do so?
 

Tazza

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Out of the $1700, only about $100 is parts and the rest is labor and shop supplies. I think they budgeted 15-20 hours for the repair.
I don't have a hoist, but it might be worth it to buy one if you think this isn't such a difficult repair. I went to the shop this morning and saw the broken tube.. it is pretty corroded. Apparently the previous owner didn't do such a good job keeping it clean, and it was probably sitting in wet mud all the time.
If I were to do the repair myself, I would probably just replace the lines if it's not any harder than bronzing them, since the parts themselves are less than $100, and I would be sure they'd last. But, I am pretty nervous to take on the removal of my engine, since I have never done anything like that, on a car or a skidsteer. If I bought the service manual, would it give instructions on how to do so?
It may have details on this, my 743 manual did, but i can't say for sure.
If the line is rusted you will need to replace it then.
Being an east/west setup its probably easier than a 743 as you don't need to line up the drive splines. I guess yours is belt driven.
 
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