Last Sunday, I bolted down the seat on my Kubota B2100 tractor, thus completing a difficult and lengthy replacement of a ruptured metal hydraulic line.
If you read my previous installment, you’ll recall my triumphal pose once I had extricated the line 10 days ago. It was a bastard! Of course at that point, I had to put in the new line and put my tractor back together. Why so difficult? The line was five feet long and meandered like the Parker River – this twisted pipe has eight jogs and is buried under other components.
Upon reflection, the extraction was the high point. The job turned on the moment of extraction (apologies for the dental imagery).
Putting the tractor back together went relatively smoothly compared to the extraction. The forward-reverse pedal and brake pedals went in easily save some wrestling with springs that make the later retract. The new line took 15 minutes to install because I was so familiar with the way it came out. And the new line did not leak. At 126 PSI, that was the big test.
The only difficulty was figuring the configuration of the double-ratcheted parking brake and cruise control draft gear (see pic above). Fortunately, neighbors Cliff and Sarah Robinson have a B2400 which is essentially the same tractor. I snapped a few shots of theirs with my iPhone and was off to the races.
If you’re wondering if the Internet is any help, it isn’t. All you find there are manuals for sale and supposed experts who will advise you online for a fee. That was frustrating because you need an answer NOW (un-Zen like), not days later when a $100 repair manual arrives.
The entire job cost less than $200 – $127 for the line, $20 for some punches for an unsuccessful removal of a roll pin; $5 for washers and $8 for metric open-end wrenches from Kmart. Had the tractor gone to the Kubota dealer, this repair termed a “sh– job” by the service manager Jerry would have easily tipped a grand and taken longer.
It took three weeks to make all this happen, much of waiting for parts from MB Tractor, which helped me out by printing parts break outs to aid in reassembly. Would I do it again? I am probably crazy enough to and given that hydraulic lines seem to be failing on this 15-year-old tractor (552 hrs.), I may have to.
It will require the same Zen-like approach I took this time except toward the end when my body was contorting in ways it was not meant to.
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