Shop Talk Blog

The Official Blog for Texas Final Drive

Final Drives Spinning Backwards


One of the common questions we get asked is this: why is my final drive spinning backwards? In this Shop Talk Blog post, we'll talk about why final drives spin the wrong direction and some different approaches on how to fix the problem. This information holds regardless of whether it's on an excavator, skid steer loader, or compact track loader.

Getting Things Backwards

You've just finished installing your final drive -- maybe a reman or perhaps a brand new one.  You get ready to test it out only to discover that your final drive is spinning the wrong way. When you tell your machine to go forward, it turns. Does this sound like you? Don't worry, it's a common problem.



Final Drive Spin Direction

First, remember that final drives and hydraulic motors are made to spin in both directions. This makes it possible for your machine to go forward or backwards. If your final drive is spinning the wrong direction, it doesn't mean there is any thing wrong with the drive itself. What it means is that you hooked up the the flow and return hydraulic lines in reverse.

Fixing a Final Drive That's Spinning Backwards

Every final drive has at least two large ports: one port for the flow line and one for return line (both will be high pressure lines). If the flow hose is hooked up to the return port (and vice versa) then the final drive will spin backwards. The problem is that simple, and so is the fix: just switch out the flow and return hoses.

If you switch the flow and return lines, the problem should be fixed. Sometimes, however, you may not be able to do that; the lines may not be long enough or flexible enough, for example. If that should happen, you might be able to switch the controls at the main control valve. In the situation where that, too, is not feasible, then try swapping out the lines in the control pedal or lever.  Any one of these three approaches should solve the problem. 



If your hydraulic motor or final drive is running backward, switch the flow and return lines and the problem will be fixed. The next time you remove a final drive, you might try what many of our customers do: use color-coded zip ties on the hydraulic fittings and hoses.  This eliminates confusion when it's time to install the drive. And don't be embarrassed --  this problem is much more common than you would think. We've been asked that question many times, and don't mind answering it. Give us a call if you have any questions about something wrong with your final drive or hydraulic motor!


Texas Final Drive is your partner in providing new or remanufactured final drive hydraulic motors from a single mini-excavator to a fleet of heavy equipment. Call today so we can find the right final drive or hydraulic component for you, or check out our online store to find your O.E.M. manufacturer brand motor now.

Want some help figuring out what's wrong with your final drive?  We've got you back with an eBook 

Topics: Final Drive, Excavators, Mini-excavators, Final Drive Installation, Spinning

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