Loader Backhoe Common Faults

case 580sle backhoe580 C,D,E,K shuttle problems (Borg Warner)

Q: My transmission is very weak in forward or will not drive in reverse?
Why can I only change the 4 speed with the engine turned off?

A: Both problems are usually caused by the failure of the forward clutch pack. If the drive is poor in forward it could be that the clutch pack has failed for either 1 of 2 reasons.

1) The torque convertor has failed & not allowed enough ‘slip’ to occur – when the loader is driven into a pile of dirt, not enough ‘slip’ or too much stall occurs & the forward clutch pack is eventually burnt out.

Broken bellville washer & worn out forward plates - Borg Warner Shuttle

Broken bellville washer & worn out forward plates – Borg Warner Shuttle

2) The belville washer in the forward pack breaks into pieces (due to heat or excessive clearances caused by worn plates) – this often causes the forward pack to sometimes lock up permanently, so when reverse is selected the transmission locks up trying to drive in forward & reverse at the same time.

Q: I don’t seem to have enough pushing power?
A: Here you need to ascertain whether the problem is engine power or transmission slipping. A ‘Stall Test‘ needs to be carried out to test the engine against the hydraulics & the transmission, to test the engine under different loads.

580/590 SLE;SM;SR POWERSHIFT (Clark)

Excessive clearances due to worn clutch plates - Clark Powershift

Excessive clearances due to worn clutch plates – Clark Powershift

Q: Why does my transmission not go into gear when cold & then once engaged be OK all day?
Why does my transmission hesitate between forward & reverse?
A: This is caused by excessive clearances in clutch packs due to worn plates & can only be repaired by overhauling.

Q: My transmission will not go into gear?
A: The powershift transmission is controlled by electrics/hydraulics/mechanical drive.
Most times here the problem lies in the electrics
Check – fuses & relays
– are lights flashing on LED readout? Take note of what they are – they are codes to assist diagnosis
– wiring continuity to control valve & shorts to ground
– FNR controller
– coil / solenoid resistance at transmission control valve

580 LE:M – SHUTTLESHIFT (Carraro)

Q: My transmission will not go into gear?
A: Shuttleshift is also controlled by electric/hydraulic/mechanical drive.
Check – fuses & relays
– solenoids on top of transmission clicking when FNR lever is moved
– wiring continuity to solenoids at transmission control valve
– modulator operation in transmission control valve.

Carraro 4wd Front Axles

Q: The king pin bearings have collapsed & worn the axle housing – Can it be repaired?
A: In most instances, YES ! Using the correct procedure ductile iron can be welded. We have carried out many “on-site” repairs to keep machines going that have lasted a number of years. For the guaranteed perfect job, workshop repairs can also be carried out – depending on time & your budget.


Q: Why does my engine start & then stop when I let go of the key?
A: The Cummins EC engines have an ‘in-line’ Bosch injector pump. The fuel shut off solonoid located behind the injector pump is probably at fault.
There are 2 coils built into this solenoid 1) a high energy one which pulls the stop lever – during ‘start’ & 2) a low energy one which then holds it in the run position.


Q: I have an oil leak around the swing cylinders I just can’t seem to find?
A: The closed end of each cylinder (at the back) has a welded ‘cap’. Look closely at this area & you may likely find it to be cracked.
To effectively repair these cracks the cylinders must be removed & stripped, the original weld completely removed & then the cylinder re-welded.

Q: The slew won’t slow down when I swing full left or right?
A: There is a roller which runs on a cam plate on the top pin of the swing tower. Check to see if it has any flat spots on it – they sometimes seize & need replacing. That small amount of wear, is enough to upset smooth operation of the backhoe. Adjustments to the cam lever may be needed – make small adjustments (1/4 of a turn) in between testing.

14 thoughts on “Loader Backhoe Common Faults

  • I was pushing dirt with 580k 1989 and step on lever time lock wherls. My machine shuddered very hsrd. I stop and backed up as I did the machine made a terrible whack sound I could feel. Any idea what broke. I have looked at transaxel gears ..Look ok. I looked at shuttle gears are warn but ok. Did I break something in the axel . Help

    • Hello Barry,
      If you were using the diff lock pedal, while operating the loader, you may have damaged the transaxle. I would drain the transaxle oil, & assuming you have the series 1 axle, remove the rear cover & closely inspect the crown wheel & pinion. Look for broken teeth laying in the bottom of the housing.

  • Worked for a company that had about a dozen case backhoes as a mechanic. The diff lock was unhooked when we got a new machine because of this problem after it happened a couple times. The diff lock linkage gets rusted up and once applied will not release breaking the ringgear and pinion.

  • I have a 1988 super e backhoe and when you are driving down the road and you come to grade the machine slows down but the engine r p m stays up at2000 r p m .what would most likely be the problem

    • Hello Mel,
      You may not necessarily have a problem, depending on the size of the grade you would normally need to downshift to 3rd or even 2nd to get over it.
      You should carry out a stall test & compare the results.



  • pulsing travel in both directions and occasional sharp bump noise when left brake is applied prior to moving left brake recently replaced on case 580c

    • Hi Steve,
      I would be draining the transaxle oil & removing the rear inspection plate. It may very well have some differential problems. Also, raise the rear wheels off the ground, shut down the engine & turn the wheels by hand, there should be a constant amount of pressure to rotate the wheels. Any skipping indicates missing teeth……

  • I have a 1988 580e it will move in reverse but not forward after looking at the transmission and shuttle I found a electric cable hanging down from the top of shuttle shift but it was disconnected at the bottom and I cant locate where it plugs in.

    • Hello Scott, the electric wires on a 580E are for transmission cut-out operation. If forward is not working & the oil level is correct (checked while idling) the problem is usually with the forward clutch pack being worn out…… that will involve removing the shuttle for repairs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: