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John Deere 2140 Hydraulic Problems and Solutions

ED
John Deere 2140 Hydraulic Problems and Solutions

In the summer of 2013, I was doing some ditch digging with my 2140 w/a 146 loader, after a couple of hours the hydraulic began to shudder when lifting up a bucket of mud. I was running about 1800 rpms and the temp. gauge was normal. After a few times of it shuddering, I stopped digging and backed off the rpm's to about 1400 and then to 11 to 1200, as I went out to inspect the tractor. I pulled the dipstick at the rear end under the SGll cab and found nothing on the stick. I shut the tractor down after I idled it for five minutes. The rear end was overly warm to the touch. Re-checking the dipstick I found there was oil on the tip, but no where near the full mark. I added two gal. of hydraulic fluid, started up at 800 and checked the stick and it was almost to the full line. I went back to work and finished my job in another hour without incident.

I decided to do an oil change on the rear sump, pulled the cork and drained out over two five gal pails with a touch left over. I pulled the sump screen out and it was clean except for on small klinker of aluminium. I unscrew the filter housing and dumped the oil and filter in a plastic tub. There was a mixture of silver filings and ferrous metal filings after cutting the filter open in the bottom of the tub. I added a gallon of diesel to the filler above and washed down any thing that was in the sump into a clean pan, nothing to notable. I re-installed the filter, new rubber gasket and steel filter housing, added 11 gals of fluid after putting the sump screen and drain plug back in. Started up the tractor and raised and lowered the frontend arms and bucket, rear 3 point hitch, and moved the rear blade side to side, all worked fine and no glitches. I shut it off, rechecked the dipstick and added almost a gallon of oil to top it up to the full mark.

The tractor work flawlessly through Fall into the Winter season. While I am cleaning snow with the back blade into a windrow, I also operate the front end loader at the same time to remove some of the heavy piles of the previous windrow. The temperature that day was -40 below and we had a good 6 - 8 inch snowfall the night before, I was pushing the snow into piles and windrowing at the same time again, when the hydraulic started to shutter as I pulled the joystick back on the main arms of the loader and tipped the bucket over at the same time, while lifting the rear 3 pt hitch up. First time it happened, I thought it was just the joystick not being pulled back enough. Second time, its a light load of snow, not heavy like the mud last summer. Third time, the steering is locking too. We got problems. Idle down, check for oil puddles in the snow, broken hoses, excess temperature in rear end, NO, check fluid level, right below the full line, close enough. Go back in the cab, turn the steering wheel, turns back and forth then locks, raise bucket goes up and then shudders, raise rear 3 pt, rises very slow then fast again, steering back to normal, as well a loader. Go inside and phone a friend, he says, maybe you just had a piece of ice from condensation in the cold cast housing that momentarily blocked the line, add a 1/2 cup of methyl hydrate (gas line antifreeze) to the oil and see if it happens again. OKAY!

A week later still colder than hell froze over, cleaning snow again that we got dumped on us, same thing happens, loader shudders, rear arms slow, steering locked up. This time after idling for half hour checking things nothing is working. Rev up to 1800/2000 rpm's, steering comes on but jerky, loader stops and starts, rear arms just sit and then will rise to proper carry height. Try a few buckets of snow and end up braking a hose on the bucket, pisses fluid all over. Get new hose put it back and add two gallons fluid. Tractor works for 15 minutes and starts acting up again, limp it back and hit the computer to see what I can find out. Sounds like a bad front pump. Order pump in from US supplier and it arrives a week later. Temperature down to -50 below, get tractor started, no steering, loader and 3 pt is still off ground. Phone a friend again, gives me phone number of a good JD mechanic. If I can get it over to him, he can bring it in the shop and install new front pump. Warms up to -40 that after noon, tractor is still idling and I get the bucket raised up off the ground a foot. Still no steering, but it will nudge the wheels once in a while. Not good, but I have split brakes that I can lock a wheel up slightly to make the tractor turn. Off I go down the highway, turn the wheel slightly left and right correct with the brake if required, I make the 7 mile trip in a hour and 45 minutes, you figure out the speed. In to the shop, see you in a couple of days.

Two days later, Ed that pump is in, new filters and oil in it, but the pump isn't working, it sounds like its out of fluid. I remember reading that the rear sump send filtered oil to a rear sump pump that sends it forward along the lines on the right side of the frame up to a reservoir that is located above the fuel tank in the front of the tractor, the oil is then fed down to the main front pump that is connected to the crankshaft and it raises the pressure up to 2385 psi and then pumped out to the hydraulic system. Someone on the forum has said that they found that the line that comes from the pump can crack and all the oil that the sump pumps will flow back into the sump case of the rear end and never reach the front pump. Wonderful, how do I get to it? Split the tractor in half and replace a $220 line and your done.

Easy job (sure) if you have an open tractor, a bitch of a job if you have an SGll John Deere cab loaded with air, heat, power steering, joystick controls, masses of wiring and hydraulic lines going to every inconsievable part you can think of. It is what it is, and my good JD mechanic was able to get it apart and put it back together in 65 hours, totally unbelievable.

The line was cracked at the back of the transmission just before the rear end section on the right hand side. The crack was like a lead pencil line up the line on the top side and started from the rear and extended forward. If you covered one end and blew into the pipe there was zero resistance (no pressure). If you covered up the crack with a finger and blew in it there was resistance. Rather then pay JD $220CDN for their cheap line, we opted to braze up the line with brass and make a better line. While we had the back end of the transmission open, I suggested to the mechanic that, would it have been possible to go in through the top inspection cover and repair the line (by brazing the crack) without splitting the tractor? He looked at it with the line in place as I snapped a few pictures, and said if cracked in the same place as this one, I'm damn sure I could get in here and repair it. I knew that I had found the right man for the job!

I know that I have been a bit wordy, but if you find that your hydraulics are acting up like I wrote about, it may save you some time and money to consider what we found out about these 2140 tractors. The front pump that I changed out works great and the hydraulic system on this 2140 will never stall out again. The old front pump is now for sale, call me.

Dale Great story & thanks.
Ed
Re: John Deere 2140 Hydraulic Problems and Solutions

I should also add that this tractor has an engine made in France and the balance was made and assembled in Germany, so any other tractors of this type that use a front crank mounted pressure pump with a sump mounted oil scavenging pump are very similar to this one in design.

Ed
Re: John Deere 2140 Hydraulic Problems and Solutions

Picture of oil line on right side of inner casing going into the transmission. Pencil line crack was at he end closest to you.

Ed
Re: John Deere 2140 Hydraulic Problems and Solutions

View from top looking through inspection cover hole at line below. Room inside to braze the line.

Dale Ed: We had a 2140 without cab and we had those intermittent steering problems also. I would change filters and nothing would work.

Anyway I have a 2550 that is doing the same weird stuff. We need to check that tube.

Thanks for the time in detail.

Dale Ed: We had a 2140 without cab and we had those intermittent steering problems also. I would change filters and nothing would work.

Anyway I have a 2550 that is doing the same weird stuff. We need to check that tube.

Thanks for the time in detail.

Bob English Good day Ed i have some questions on 2140 have the same tractor with simular problems can you please contact me on my email at thanks Bob
Al My loader drops when the tractor isn't running and goes up when it is running. My comment refers to doing this when I am not using the controls.
Birch Great story, i seem to have issue's with my JD 1840 that match some of what you said here, at times lifting the 3 pt, there's a delay before it lifts, at times the loader with shutter when lifting and when lifting a 1200lbs bale with the loader my steering will lock up, and at times the steering will just lock without lifting anything, i jerk the hydraulics on the loader and the steering comes back. So after reading what you had to say, what inspection cover would allow me to have a look at that line, or you would have any other suggestions, possible troubleshooting ideas regarding the pump etc.

Thanks



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