Bobcat Skid Steer Actuator Calibrations

On a Bobcat Skid Steer the tilt and lift functions in the hydraulic control valve are operated by the lever electronically. The lever sends a signal to the actuators to move these spools in the control valve. Any time the actuator is replaced, the controller is replaced, or you are receiving performance codes related to lift and tilt, an actuator calibration should be done. You may see this referred to as “Actuator Calibration”, “Calibration of the raising and tilting actuators”, or as “Actuator Test” depending upon the service tool you are using. This is to provide set points to the ACS controller. This is the preferred method. 

The fluid must be warm to run the calibration. You also must clear all faults prior to running this calibration. The command will run both actuators to a full stroke on the spool. They then move the spools just past neutral to allow the centering springs to return the spool to neutral. If it fails it will be due to not fully extending or retracting, a slow return to neutral, or from not returning to the neutral position at all. The test is rather quick and should take around 4-6 seconds. 

What to Do if The Actuator Calibration Doesn’t Work

If it does fail, you will need to investigate why.  You may find trash in the spool, a bad actuator, bad spring or end cap, a problem in the harness, or possibly even a bad controller.  One common occurrence we find is that it is possible to reverse the actuator connectors, and this is often overlooked and the source of the problem after a replacement. 

You can see us do this calibration using the TEXA IDC5 Off-Highway Kit in the video below:

How to Manually Run an Actuator Calibration on a Bobcat

This can also be done manually on newer models by the following procedure for the Advanced Control System (ACS) and Selectable Joystick Control (SJC).

SJC Manual Calibration Steps:

  1. With the seat bar down, place the control pattern switch in the ISO position.
  2. Then move the right joystick to the right front corner position and hold.
  3. Turn the key to the run position, but do not start the engine.
  4. Press the “Push to operate” button on the left panel. The machine will beep three times.  The actuators will cycle.  You will get a code for W3224 if it is successful or W3225 if it has failed. 

ACS Manual Calibration Steps:

  1. Place switch in hand control mode.
  2. Lower seat bar.
  3. Turn ignition on (Do not start)
  4. Press Push to Operate button
  5. Pull both control levers in to the center of the cab and hold.
  6. Lift seat bar high enough for Press to Operate light to turn off.
  7. Lower Seat bar
  8. Push Press to Operate button.
  9. Calibration will start, List for 3 beeps.
  10. Check for code W3224 for successful calibration.
  11. Release control levers.

Diagnostic Tool for Bobcat Skid Steer

For a full breakdown of features included in the Texa Off-Highway Complete Kit we used in the video above visit our website or talk to one of our on-staff Diesel Techs.

If you’d like help diagnosing an issue with your Diesel Laptop contact our support.

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