3000 Series Cub Cadet - Hydraulics

Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:36 am

Hi I am new to this forum, and new to using Cub Cadet. I bought a 2nd hand 3000 series Cub Model 3186, with a snow blower attachment, and on my 2nd run with the unit the hydraulics stopped working, the blower would not raise, and my steering got stiff, and the tractor would barely move forward or backward. I checked the transmition oil which was fine, and the unit was serviced in Sept with new filter and oil. Can anyone help me ? The snow is collecting in my driveway, and I need to get this working ASAP. Thanks.

Re: 3000 Series Cub Cadet - Hydraulics

Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:42 pm

There are several things that could have happened.

The hydro pump is self dumping (I believe) meaning that if the tractor is not running, the hydro is open and you can roll the tractor around. This valve could be frozen, have dirt in it, or not working properly. Can you get the tractor inside somewhere warm to let it thaw out? That would be a first step.

The driveshaft has a coupling at each end. The older styles have roll pins in them, but I believe the new tractors like yours uses 4-bolt couplers. One of the couplers could be torn, and not spinning the hydro pump as fast as it should be, but I do not think this is very likely. It is difficult to see, but if you take the tunnel cover off, you should NOT be able to turn the driveshaft by hand very easily if the engine is off. If you turn it, you should feel the compression stroke on the engine, but you have to be pretty strong to do this by hand.

They hydraulic system may just have air in it. If it was serviced, and completely drained and refilled, there could be air trapped in a valve somewhere that just finally worked into a wrong place. Double check again to make sure that the hydro reservoir is full, then start the tractor and cycle the lift up and down many times, and steer the tractor side to side many times. This is how you bleed the hydraulics.

The oil filter may be plugged and not allowing the hydraulic oil to circulate properly. Especially if it was not really changed out like it should have been.

There is a hydraulic oil retrun line that could be plugged.

There may not be the correct hydraulic fluid in the machine, and/or it may have moisture in it and is freezing.

The hydro pump could be failing (however this is highly unlikely)

You'll need to do a lot of investigating and give us more info in order to gain any real help though. The first thing I would do is get it inside somwhere dry and warm so you can see if you have any leaks and/or so it will thaw out.


Re: 3000 Series Cub Cadet - Hydraulics

Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:33 pm

It's happen before and will happen again but make sure you have a hydraulic oil filter and not an auto oil filter.

Re: 3000 Series Cub Cadet - Hydraulics

Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:17 pm

Hi Bill, thank you, I will try what you have said and see if I can see anything.
I called the dealer today and they suggested that maybe the hydraulic pump is going or gone bad.
Is the hydraulic steering pump used for the transmission also ?
This unit is not that new the serial # is 1A269620139, not sure how to find the date of mfg in there.
I used the tractor a few times since it was serviced and never had any problems till now.
The filter is the correct one, and so is the oil inside, I changed them myself in Sept 2010 and used original Cub filter and oil.
I will put it in the garage and heat it up to see if that makes any difference.

Re: 3000 Series Cub Cadet - Hydraulics

Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:16 pm

I still find it unlikely that the hydro pump would be going out. It is basically unheard of, at least in the 20 years that I've been dealing with Cub Cadets. I suppose if someone had put the wrong fluid in it, or not changed the fluid or filter, I could see one going bad, but it would go bad because of these reasons and not come back to life with an oil change.

Make certain that the fluid is the correct level. Those tractors are really bad about seals going out in the rear differential cover, and allowing fluid into the axle tubes where it is not supposed to be. They will drain the hydraulic system because the axle tubes themselves are not sealed for liquid containment. Just because you put the correct amount in it does not mean that it is still there.

There is only one hydraulic pump on a cub cadet tractor. It is in front of the rear differential, driven by the driveshaft from the engine, and uses the rear differential as a hydraulic fluid reservoir. The hydraulic lift and power steering all run as accessories to the pump, just controlled by tubing and valving. They are all tied to gether so if one item fails, you see it in everything.

OOOOhhhh. Something I just remembered. Because the systems are all tied together, they do not like to work together. The steering and drive are usually fine, and the lift and drive are usually fine, however the 3 at the same time are too much for the system and nothing will work well. Basically too much fluid trying to move all at once. Make sure that your lift lever and valve are actually working correctly and not bound up, or the lift mechanism is not bound up somewhere. If there is too much pressure on the lift mechanism, it overtasks the hydraulic system. If the valve (lift lever) is held in one position, either up or down, it overtasks the system and nothing works. Same with the power steering, make sure there is not something bound up in the steering mechanism, as it will act the same way.

Good luck,

Re: 3000 Series Cub Cadet - Hydraulics

Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:16 am

I have a 3235 that did the same thing a couple years back, and the first time it happened, I was out pushing snow around and the machine came to a stop. Nothing worked.
Turned out the pump went bad, broke a gear inside the pump.
Not something you would want to tackel yourself if you aint got the right tools to work on the tractor.
Second time it happened it turned out one of the lined blew, easy to tell as hydraulic oil was all over the bottom of the machine and all over the ground.

The 3000 series machines are a tuff tractor but they have their problems just like any other machine.

Re: 3000 Series Cub Cadet - Hydraulics

Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:52 am

Hey fellas, thanks for all the tips, I greatly appreciate it. As the old saying goes, "knowledge is power".
Thanks again, MERRY CHRISTMAS to all, and I will post a reply once I figure it out.