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I would start with the slack or misadjustment of the hydro cable first, make sure neutral is established first, if there is any pressure on the gears which only takes minimal hydro pressure you wont be able to shift it well. The travel on the shifter lever is plenty to make the tranny shift even with worn cables but if your having hard time going in or out of gear the hydro valve must be part open. Good luck
 

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Yes if it is hard to shift all the time then it could be cables. If you shut it down on an incline or even a slight little slant it will put pressure on the gears making it hard to shift. You could disconnect the cables from the transmission and see if they operate freely. The lever on the hydropump is spring loaded if you disconnect the cable from the hydro lever at the pump it will automatically go to neutral valve position, if your cable does not line up when the lever in the cab on the column is in the middle of forward and reverse/neutral, its not adjusted correctly.
 

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Actually you can lube the cables if you want to spend the time, I had one completley froze from dirt and rust on an old 3300 and basically took both cable ends loose from shifter and trans so I could work them back and forth then stuck about a 14 inch long 3/4" hose over one end clamped it, added penetrating oil and clamped in air pressure to try and force the oil through, went to the other end and began working the cable in and out with pliers till it was good as new. Wear safety glasses once pressure is applied when your on the other end, Helps with a buddy on the other end too. Im sure a little diesel or Kerosene would work just as good.
 
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