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Yanmar Steering Shaft Fix

Difficulty - MEDIUM
Time Required - 1 HOUR (once box is removed from tractor)
Special Tools - Wrench set, steering wheel puller, pitman arm puller.

Find your Yanmar replacement parts by:
1 - Selecting your Yanmar model on the left side list
2 - Then on "Steering"

Can't find your model? Not sure what you need? Need help?
Feel free to call us at (940)592-0181 or email us at Contact us

It is very hard to get oil into the steering boxes on the Yanmar tractors. When something is hard to service - it gets put off until next time or overlooked completely. Eventually all of the gear oil will have leaked out or turned to a toothpaste like goo. The gearbox will slowly start to fill up with water- from rain, washing, or condensation, and the internal parts will rust and fall apart. Soon, you turn your steering wheel and, instead of your little Yanmar tractor steering in the desired direction, your steering shaft just unscrews. Not good... especially when in road gear. Check your oil before you get to this point. If it is too late you will get to see the inner workings of your steering gearbox up close. If you have a YM1500, 1600, 1700, 2000, 2200, or a 2wd YM195 or 240 you do have the option of replacing the complete box assembly with one of our new steering boxes. If you do not have one of those models or would rather enjoy the process of fixing something yourself- this is what you will need-

1 - A new Yanmar steering shaft (they will come with the little brass gear pre-installed so you don't need to worry about that step). Don't try to fix your shaft by trying to find new little balls and fixing your old shaft. It wont work. We get those calls every day... "I put new balls in but it fell apart again". The problem is that the shaft gets worn, the gear gets worn and the ball retainers (the little metal tubes) get damaged. The new shaft will be around $150

2 - Two new Yanmar steering bearings. One located above the brass gear and one located at the bottom. They are under $20 each.

3 -New quart of 90wt gear oil.

Then you will need to do this:

1- Remove the steering wheel. Parts stores will rent a puller to you or just pull up on it and give it a firm whack with a rubber hammer or block of wood... after removing the nut of course!

2- Remove the pitman arm by removing the nut at the end of the sector shaft and using a puller. A puller can be rented at any parts store for a small fee.

The only way to prevent damaging the sector shaft is by using a puller. A "Pickle fork" or pry bar will break the ears off of the inside of the shaft.

3- Remove the gearbox from the tractor (the dash may need to be removed). Don't be lazy and try to do this while on the tractor. You will end up removing it by the time you are done.

4- Remove the steering tube (#2) by removing the 4 bolts (#5)

5- Remove the sector shaft cover (#11) & the sector shaft (#20). The shaft will only come out 1 way. Turn the shaft to the correct position & it will slide right out.

6- Remove the steering shaft (#1) & the bearing (#8) from the bottom of the steering box. Be sure to remove the old bearing race as well (it may be hard to get out). Use a flat screwdriver through the sector shaft hole and pry it out.


1-Clean everything Thoroughly! That nasty gunk on the inside of the box- clean it all out.You want to be sure there is NO grit in the box or you will be doing this again sooner than you would like. Remove any protective wax coating on the new shaft and remove any plastic retainer "zip tie" straps if they have them. The gear should spin freely on the new shaft now.

2-Tap the lower steering bearing race (widest inside diameter up) into the steering box with a wood block. Be sure it is seated all the way to the bottom. Be sure there is no dirt or rust at the bottom to prevent the race from seating properly. This will cause trouble when setting your bearing pre-load later. Set the lower bearing in the race (widest outside diameter up).

3 - Install the upper steering bearing onto the shaft (install it without the race on it- wide side of bearing down). It may be a tight fit depending on the model but it will slide over the shaft. Some models may have a 2 piece shaft. You will need to seperate the 2 piece shaft at the joint by removing the roll pin - then install the bearing, reconnect the shaft & reinstall the roll pin.

4 - Tap the race into the end of the steering shaft tube (#2) widest internal diameter down. Be sure it seats all the way in.

5 - Install the steering shaft (#1) with the teeth on the gear facing where the sector shaft (20) will go. Be sure the bottom of the shaft sets into the lower bearing perfectly straight.

6 - Install the steering tube (#2) to the gear box and finger tighten bolts.

-Turn the shaft by hand as you tighten the steering tube bolts (#5) down. If shaft gets hard to turn or you can not turn it by hand (without the steering wheel on), remove cover and add shims (#25) as necessary. If you tighten up the tube bolts and the shaft is too loose (or moves up and down) you may need to remove shims as necessary. You are looking for the shaft to be slightly hard to turn by hand (again, no steering wheel installed)

7- Then, while holding the gear in the steering shaft centered, turn the steering shaft all the way to one end. Count the turns as you turn it all the way to the other end. Then turn the shaft 1/2 that many rotations keeping the gear facing the sector shaft. This will put the gear in the center and allow equal steering to both directions.

8- Install the sector shaft (#20). It will only fit in 1 way and will be aligned correctly on its own. Use a silicone sealant between the gearbox and 4 bolt plate. Tighten the 4 bolts.

. 9-Check to be sure the steering shaft still shaft turns easily & install gearbox back into tractor.

10- Adjust nut #13 to remove excess steering wheel free travel as per your operation manual.

11- Drive away happy that you fixed it yourself.

*** You must also re-adjust the steering stops on your axle ***
Most of the Yanmar tractors have built in steering stops in the front axles that are designed to stop the front tires from turning too far when you are making a turn and the tire hits a stump, rock, or a hole. If these stops are missing or not adjusted correctly then the steering shaft will have to try to stop the tires from turning too far. The steering shaft is not built to withstand that type of force and will frequently be the cause of steering gearbox failure. There is a reason that they put steering stops on the axles - USE THEM & KEEP THEM ADJUSTED.

*** STEERING STOP ADJUSTMENT PROCEDURE: *** Jack up the front end of your tractor.
Slowly steer all the way to one direction using just one finger on the steering wheel.
Stop as soon as you feel any resistance.
Turn back the other way 1/4 turn.
Adjust the stops on the axle so that they stop the axle in that position.
Repeat for the other direction.

Need the above parts? Just click on your model in the left column and select "steering".

Need help? Contact us.... even if you don't buy anything.