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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have an industrial John Deere 401C. My loader stops working intermittently. Sometimes, if I shut the tractor off and start it back up again it works. Sometimes it will raise slowly, sometimes not at all, sometimes it works perfectly. The power steering stopped working briefly, but then started again. I have been able to get it to work in the past by adding more hydraulic fluid although this takes the level well above where it is supposed to be. The rear hydraulics work fine. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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-Willy-
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Check your hydraulic pressure and tell us what the out put is (IE gallons per minute). To test gallons per minute, get a container of a known volume, start the tractor, using something like a loader valve, have this hose go into the container. Time how long it takes to get a gallon or two. If it sputters during flow there is something wrong with the suction end to the pump.
Also does your tractor have a aftermarket diverter valve?

Just some thoughts of what I would look for first. Alas on my New Holland 4630 it had two pumps. Not fully familiar with the 401. If it has the gear driven pump of the 420 series, make sure the pipe that drops into the tank hasnt rotted half way into the tank. I replaced mine with a piece of copper pipe (420).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the help! I am leaning towards pipe dropping into the talk having rusted off. Can you see it when you take the fill cap off? I added more hydraulic fluid today and the loader and power steering are working again.
 
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