ford hydraulic lift problems

04 Common Ford 8N, 4000, and Other Hydraulic Lift Problems With Solutions

Hydraulic Lift is a major part of any 8n, 4000, and other Ford tractors. When it showcases problems, it’s crucial to identify the exact issues and take the proper troubleshooting measures. 

So, what are the Ford 8n, 4000, and other Hydraulic lift problems? Well, the lift might not raise at all, lowers slowly or quickly, or it won’t hold in the least. Or the lift may raise and lowers erratically. Besides, you may even notice that the lift is making weird or unusual noises.

You may face the issue for one reason or a combination of issues. Read ahead to know how you can pinpoint the exact cause of your problem and how you can resolve the issues.

Here are a quick overview of the possible problems you might be facing in Frod 8N, 4000, and other tractors and their fixes:

Lift won’t raise or lowers slowlyCheck the hydraulic fluid level, oil leakage, and refill if necessary
Hydraulic Lift raises but won’t holdRepair the piston or valve
Lift won’t raise at allMake sure the tank has enough fuel
Move the lift control handle up and down
Going all the way up or totally downTake out the worn-out pivot pin and replace it with a new one

Ford Hydraulic Lift Problems With Solutions – 8N, 9n, 4000, NAA and Other

There are mainly 4 problems related to Hydraulic lift. Your lift may be acting up due to one or more problems. Here we will discuss both the problem and their fixes:

1. Lift Won’t Raise or Lowers Slowly

This is the problem most Ford tractor users face. You may notice that the lift is working very slowly. This could be due to oil leakage or low fluid level. Another possible cause can be a damaged pump drive or clogged filter.


  • Step 1: You first need to inspect if there is any broken or oil leakage. If the lift arm is easy to move by hand, something has definitely failed.
  • Step 2: In this situation, the possible solution is that you have to unload the control valve’ consumption. The hydraulic lift will then perform better than they ever have.
  • Step 3: The next thing you need to check is the relief valve. You need to change it if it has any leaks.
  • Step 4: When you start up your tractor your lift arm should work properly

2. Hydraulic Lift Raises But Won’t Hold

You may notice that your lift is rising just halfway or rise perfectly but won’t hold at all. One possible cause of this issue is low hydraulic fluid level. Another possible cause is a faulty lift piston or hydraulic cylinder.

Moreover, a faulty control valve and, finally, a clogged hydraulic filter can also cause the lift to raise but not hold the implement. Moreover, over time, the seals on the components can wear out, causing the lift to lose pressure and drop the implement.


  • Step 1: First, check the hydraulic fluid level and add more fluid if necessary. Usually, Ford tractors take up to 5 gallon fluids.
  • Step 2: If everything is checked out here, the fault might lie in the lift piston or hydraulic cylinder.
  • Step 3: If this is the case, you may need to replace the lift piston or hydraulic cylinder.

3. Lift Won’t Raise at All

This is perhaps the issue that most Ford 8N, 4000, and other users face. The problem may lie with faulty hydraulic pumps. The hydraulic pump is responsible for pumping fluid to the lift. If the pump is not working correctly, the lift won’t work.

Another probability is a punctured oil tube connecting the compressor base to the lid or a damaged relief valve.

The Ball socket may also be the reason for the lift not going up. Now if you have a deranged pump or ball socket, you definitely need to replace them. However, before doing that, try out our fix.


  • If the Hydraulic lift is not raising at all, first make sure that the fuel level is not too low.
  • If those two situations are favorable, switch off the motor and remove the access cover on the right side (one with the dipstick).
  • Slip your hand into the fuel and feel the edge of the control rod where it enters the control valve point.
  • As you keep moving the lift control handle upward and downward, ensure the rod is attached and shifting the control valve spindles in and out. After you move the lift control for a while like that, your lift would raise.

4. Going All the Way up or Totally Down

If the hydraulics lift only goes up or down (with no grasp in the midst), the trouble is most probably with your tractor’s  pivot pins.

If it is worn out or damaged, it will cause a lot of free slop in the lever and not much action will happen.


The solution is to replace the pivot pin. You can do it yourself by following the below steps.

  • Step 1: To replace the pivot pin, first, you need to put the tractor on smooth ground and put it on break.
  • Step 2: Then raise the front side of the tractor using a jack and support it with jack stands.
  • Step 3: Locate the pivot pin on the steering linkage assembly. The pivot pin is a long metal rod that runs through the steering arm and the steering knuckle.
  • Step 4: Now, remove the cotter pin that secures the pivot pin in place using a pair of pliers
  • Step 5: Use a hammer and punch to drive the pivot pin out of the steering arm and the steering knuckle. You may need to tap it gently to get it started.
  • Step 6: Inspect the pivot pin for wear or damage. If it’s worn or damaged, replace it with a new one.
  • Step 7: Apply a light coat of grease to the new pivot pin and insert it into the steering arm and the steering knuckle.

Here’s a Youtube video to help you understand it better


The Ford 8N, 4000, and others have simple yet elegant hydraulic systems. When positioned correctly and maintained properly, they work quite seemingly. Wear and tear on the hydraulic pump or other components can cause reduced performance or complete failure of the hydraulic lift system.

Regular maintenance, including oil changes and component inspections, can help to prevent these issues and keep the hydraulic lift system functioning properly. However, everything might not always go your way. So ask a mechanic to check it every once in a while.

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