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John Deere SST

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Scott99, Oct 6, 2002.

  1. sst16YUK

    sst16YUK LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Thanks Cecil,

    My steering went out completely yesterday. I'm thinking its my steering actuators also. Was your local JD dealer much help? Mine seems big on selling you parts & service but not on technical assistance. I'll be contacting you.

  2. ccecilm

    ccecilm LawnSite Member
    Posts: 47

    Call the JD Parts Resource Center @ 1-800-522-7448. Tell them you want the SST16 or SST18 Technical Manual on CD, both machines are covered in the same manual. Have your machine's serial number handy because there
    are different publications for 2 different serial number ranges. The cost is $40.00 + S&H.
  3. jeffwoehrle

    jeffwoehrle LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    New to forum with my first post.

    My steering switches failed as well on my SST18. Turns out the switches themselves weren't bad, but the rubber boots had hardened. (Was also a problem I noted in cold weather prior to total failure.)

    I trimmed the boot from the switch 2 years ago and it's been fine since. I don't mow in wet grass, so there isn't much chance of the switches getting wet (as the boots would be to protect). Seems to have solved the problem.

    As a side note, the battery charging capability on my SST has given out. New battery, but still no charge. When voltage gets down to around 5, steering quits...first in reverse, then forward as well.

    Would this be a simple replacement of the module on the right side of the engine, or something internal?

    Much appreciated.

  4. ccecilm

    ccecilm LawnSite Member
    Posts: 47

    Thanks for posting the info about the rubber boot on the steering switches.

    I can't offer anything about your charging problem other than diagnose the charging system. You may very well need a tech manual for that (see post above).
  5. jeffwoehrle

    jeffwoehrle LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Found out that the voltage regulator module is toast. New one about seventy bucks (cheaper two-wire model won't work). The three wires on this JD/Briggs model must have something to do with the loss of steering power? Well, maybe.

    New part will be on tomorrow. I'll post any additional issues.
  6. ccecilm

    ccecilm LawnSite Member
    Posts: 47

    Let's hope the volt reg is the proble.m The forward/reverse actuators are activated by 12volt signal from the steering switches. These darn machines have too many interconnected parts for my small brain!
  7. gordym

    gordym LawnSite Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 9

    Unfortanetly my SST16's steering has been acting up too much lately. I have a friend who bought his within a couple of months of when I purchased mine and his steering is having problems also.......
    My steering appears to work but after I change from reverse to moving forward..... the steering goes out completely! After a min. or so of driving slowly, it begins to come back and is able to make tighter turns. Once I pop it in reverse, the steering disappears and I am stuck again.
    I am thinking about replacing the switches that others are talking about but my confusion is.... my thought process tells me that a switch is either bad or good. I've had my wife drive while I manually engage the switches (with the aid of a long handle screw driver) and I get no change on how rapidly the steering re-engages to turn moving forward. I'm going to order the switches and springs from a local Deere dealer for about $70 and see if that helps but I will be suprised if it helps. Everyone here seems really helpful so I thought I'd stop by and see if there are other ideas.
    I really have to fix this one because my wife is stubborn and when she cuts the grass, I tell her not to put it into reverse but she doesn't listen (are you suprised lol) and when she gets in a tight spot after reverse.......she plows forward with reckless abandon. I know she is going to crash forward into something and of course....... it will be my fault. TABOL
    Once I figure out my issues, I can help my friend.

    Thanks ahead of time to all here!
  8. ccecilm

    ccecilm LawnSite Member
    Posts: 47


    Some thoughts:

    1. There may be a poor electrical wire connection between forward/reverse solenoids and ground causing both actuators to work against each other.

    2. Dirt and/or lack of lubrication at steering pedal pivot points.

    3. Weakened steering pedal return springs.
  9. sst16YUK

    sst16YUK LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Hi everyone,

    I have a SST16. Sorry I never posted the fix for my mower, here goes...

    I found the problem to my steering was the vacuum line. I had 5 psig of
    vacuum at my steering actuators tee & 15 psig vacuum just after the check valve at the engine. After following the line I found 2 sizable holes in it just past the engine compartment. The steering worked like a champ with a new line.
    This line leads from the engine back underneath the console on the left side. It is difficult to see (my mower had grass clippings hiding it). I removed the seat deck to follow the line, be sure to unplug the seat safety switch & reconnect when re-installing the seat deck.
  10. ccecilm

    ccecilm LawnSite Member
    Posts: 47

    Thanks sst16YUK. Bad vacuum line is about the second biggest cause of steering loss next to the propel switch and/or steering actuator failure that I have heard of. A vacuum test is one of the checks to perform in the troubleshooting procedure set forth in the tech manual. I always go through the electrical checks first then proceed to the vacuum test. Thanks for posting your fix.

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