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  #1  
Old 07-17-2013, 03:04 AM
mxridernorth mxridernorth is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: North Saanich
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TB153 Crowd issue

I'm putting this out there to help anyone else who may encounter the same issue as I have with my 07 Takeuchi TB153 FR.

First a little background: I picked up the machine second hand from United Rentals with just over 2000 hours on it. Yes, I know what you're thinking, what an idiot. Well maybe I am but that is another thread. The machine is actually in pretty good condition and has been well maintained as far as I can tell. Pivots are all tight, service history shows no major issues, etc. The only real negative was the 135 sized bucket, the WR coupler and ridiculous thumb. All solvable issues.

After getting the machine home and starting to put it through it's paces on a small clearing job, I noticed that the crowd behaved oddly: as you pulled back the crowd lever the speed increased as it should until a definitive point where it ramped up quickly to then max speed. Further lever movement would have no effect on increasing speed. I'll preface this to say that arm angle has nothing to do with it. Behavior was the same regardless of whether the arm was extended out front or dangling vertically. I actually made a video of the issue http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91-OGjI4XEQ. I'm no Dirtman2007 so keep your comments about the video to yourself.

The first thing I thought I can't write here so I'll just tell you how I went about solving the problem. Firstly I cried just a little and then I manned up and decided to see what I could figure out. I bought the service manuals online and went to work... I suspected a sticky or damaged control valve might be the problem so I started there. If any of you have one of these machines then you will know what kind of hell is involved in removing the control valve assembly. The entire one side of all the valves descends into never never land and the only real way to remove it involves a lot of swearing...and work. I was really hoping it wasn't the issue. I popped the pilot cap off the valve and pulled the spool out but the spool looked perfect and moved smoothly as far as I could tell. I suspected the control valve was fine, but without removing the other pilot cap I couldn't be 100% certain as the spool needed to move downward to make the arm crowd. Since the other pilot cap was on the bottom, in never-never land, that wasn't happening. So I went out and bought a few pressure gauges. One to 500 psi and the other to 5000 psi. I also had some hoses made up and bought some tee fittings so I could plumb the gauges in.

I started by checking the pilot pressure. Test result: smooth pressure build up to a point where the pressure then ramped up quickly. I tested this in both closed and teed in configuration and the result was the same. The tank line read 0 psi as it should and the pressure line was constant. I also tested system pressures to rule out any pump issues. I phoned UR to see whether the service history included any work to the pilot group or any other that might explain this but none had been performend. I phoned my closest TK service center on the mainland but they had no idea either and also suspected the control valve. Then, since the only other person I know phoned KSSS to see how his machine behaved or knew of anything. KSSS said his machine was normal, as was his old machine and the TB53 before it. He did give me some names of contacts at Takeuchi North America who had helped him previously. They wracked their brains and had me trying all sorts of things like testing position switches and also some other valve circuitry. These machines have a parallelogram boom design that relies on cam switches to let the machine know where the boom and arm is and prevent the arm or or bucket from impacting the the cab. Let me say that it's pretty complicated. After pulling the solenoid manifold and disassembling it for inspection I couldn't see anything immediately wrong. There was an unrelated issue that I found and you can PM me if you want more info because I don't really feel like documenting at this hours. I slapped it all back together and voila! Nothing changed. I was ready to throw in the towel at that point but on a hunch I revisited the pilot group.

I, in my initial investigation, disassembled the pilot group to check the spools and springs but they all looked normal. One thing I noticed is that the springs for the slew were different than the springs for the arm crowd and extend. I also found that the pilot groups are manufactured by Kawasaki and from what little documentation I could find, found that they could be ordered with different pilot pressure vs lever angle output curves. In fact one of the curves looked exactly like the pressure I saw when I plumbed in the pressure gauges. I queried Takeuchi on this but they were dismissive on this and thus I let it go. My hunch told me that the feedback springs were incorrectly spec'd and so I swapped the slew and arm springs low and behold, the arm behaved normally! But now the slew was jerky. I need some more springs to make the slew behave normally again.

I contacted United Rentals and let them know I found the problem. I was contacted by the regional service manager and we discussed the issue. He said he would phone one of his contacts back there to see if they were aware of the issue. His contact declared that the 'issue' was normal and they all did that! In fact, he said that one fellow had just tried submitting a $27,000 warranty claim for the same issue (that was never fixed). This claim was denied and that is the reason that I'm writing this. United Rentals stepped up and ordered me a whole new pilot group and had it shipped to my house. After installing the new group I was hoping that the problem was solved and maybe I just had a faulty group, but no such luck. Same problem as before. So I just pilfered the old valve for the heavier spring and she now works perfectly!

The ultimate solution for those that encounter this is to replace the arm crowd spring with a heavier slew spring. These springs are ridiculously priced at around $90 bucks. You can buy the whole group for around $400. Ridiculous.
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  #2  
Old 07-17-2013, 07:46 AM
Construct'O's Avatar
Construct'O Construct'O is offline
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Location: Sw Iowa
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Job well done!!!!!!! Alway good to get reports back on machine issues that get fixed and explained like yours.It's amazing how the companys always says it's not and issue,when they don't know how to fix it!

So your thoughts the machine had wrong springs installed from factory or someone worked on the machine and replaced with wrong springs,or just a weak spring?

Great job and sounds like your a great mechanic! Always great to hear a sucess story.Thanks
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:50 PM
mxridernorth mxridernorth is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: North Saanich
Posts: 276
Quote:
Originally Posted by Construct'O View Post
Job well done!!!!!!! Alway good to get reports back on machine issues that get fixed and explained like yours.It's amazing how the companys always says it's not and issue,when they don't know how to fix it!

So your thoughts the machine had wrong springs installed from factory or someone worked on the machine and replaced with wrong springs,or just a weak spring?

Great job and sounds like your a great mechanic! Always great to hear a sucess story.Thanks
Great mechanic I'm not. I wish I was. The only reason I tackled this was that I have some background in hydraulics.

The control valve assembly is a stock item http://en.lzdingxi.com/products_deta...uctId=195.html that Takeuchi orders from KYB http://kybfluidpower.com/Control_Valves.html. Given that I replaced the pilot valve group with a brand new one, it rules out any work having been done to that. Also, UR does not do work down to that level of granularity. They just replace the whole thing. The only other thing I can think of that could be the issue is the centering springs on the control valve. Perhaps they are not stiff enough?
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:17 PM
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ksss ksss is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Rigby, Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Construct'O View Post
Job well done!!!!!!! Alway good to get reports back on machine issues that get fixed and explained like yours.It's amazing how the companys always says it's not and issue,when they don't know how to fix it!

So your thoughts the machine had wrong springs installed from factory or someone worked on the machine and replaced with wrong springs,or just a weak spring?

Great job and sounds like your a great mechanic! Always great to hear a sucess story.Thanks
That's what I told him, the persistence and hydraulic competence is very impressive.
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