Monday, May 03, 2021

Case 580C Power Steering

 When it was initially unloaded and driven 100m to it's current resting place I noticed that the power steering only operated above about 1200 RPM. I wondered if it was low on fluid.

Now that I have removed the front oil cooler for the power steering I see that the fluid that came out is very thin automotive power steering fluid and likely the cause of the issue. I'll replace it with an ISO68 hydraulic fluid that is the equivalent of the

Case TCH that is supposed to go in there.

I'm hoping it's not the  oil pump or seals, no leaks that I can see and it works perfectly at higher RPMS....

The cooler broke in half when I unbolted it and lifted it out. I don't think the pipes are cracked, but it might end up being replaced with a cheap generic one if it starts leaking.

Case 580C Cooling problems.....

 So I have been working my way through the parts that make up the backhoe and I got to the engine. I have only run it for a minute at a time as I need to trust it is lubricating and cooling itself before I make it work hard.

I noticed that the temp gauge did not move at all and I wondered if that was bad.

When I came to check the water I found it was low in the radiator.

When I added more it quickly escaped someone near the water pump.

I pulled out the front grill, oil cooler and radiator and fan so I could see what was going on.

Not good, either something has perished or cracked. It looks like someone put silicone on it to try and cover the leak!

I'm not sure If I can use JB weld on this, it should be low pressure water and not too hot. I'm not sure if it will stick though and whether I can get it clean enough and all the way around without removing anything else......

Case 580 Backhoe Step 1

 It seems like the drive does not disconnect when you hit the brakes. I think there is a hydraulic valve on a solenoid that cuts flow to the torque converter.

Being able to stop or at least remove drive is a nice thing in a 5 ton machine, hopefully an electrical issue.

The front axle has been broken and welded, someone who did not respect the limits of the machine I guess.

The front lifting booms have been broken and welded.

The backhoe has been broken and welded.

One rear tyre is good, one is very dodgy. Both front tyres are OK.

The FEL slowly drops when put up in the air.

I put it into the scorpion position and left it overnight and it did not drop and there were no pools of hydraulic fluid, great news!

I figure I need to replace 4 seals on rams that creep or weep but that was expected and at $50 a seal kit it is not the end of the world if they will come apart.


After a wash and de-grease I painted the easy to get to parts.





Case 580C Backhoe

 So the new home and farm in Wandi are going to require a lot of digging and earth moving.

When I was young I drove backhoes and excavators for a year or two.

It seemed like a good idea to do the work myself, more control over the outcome and the costs.

The question was whether to hire a machine or buy one...

I figured I might have to move about 10,000m3 of dirt and with the ditching it would likely take me a couple of months if I wanted a life.

Hire was going to be too expensive.

So buy a newer machine for $35k plus (probably still 20 years old!)

Or buy an old machine as a fixer uper?

I did the maths and decided that if I got a basically functional machine at a low low price whatever repairs it needed would leave me with a reliable machine that I could trust.

4WD is nice in the wet, but for my plans it was not really necessary.

I was initially looking for a JCB 3CX as I operated them a lot.

But they are priced sky high at the moment and paying $30k for a 30 year old 2wd backhoe with questionable service history seemed like a dangerous move.

I figured that the worst case scenario would be an engine or transmission rebuild.

Pretty much anything else can be welded or simply replaced in the field.

I came up with a magic number of about $6000 for that worst case scenario.

So it seemed to me that if I bought a machine for less than $10k and then spend $6k on it I would have a reliable and trustworthy machine at a reasonable price.

I found a few nice examples that looked in good condition, but I was either too slow to pull the trigger or the prices were too high.

In the end I found a Case 580C made sometime in the mid 1970's on the other side of Victoria and the owner accepted my offer.


It was bought sight unseen. I knew it had a serious rust problem in the cab but apart from that the owner said it was a good runner and was ready to work.


When it arrived I discovered the brakes were not working, I expected as much and it should be a days work to fix them.

Otherwise it starts and runs well and all the hydraulics operate.

Until I checkout the oil levels, pump pressures and cooling system I'm not going to be working it.

Step one is to wash and de-grease it and then put some paint over the rust.