3rd Function FAQs


Typical front loaders have 2 functions.  Function #1 is to lift/ lower the loader.  Function #2 is to dump/curl the bucket.  If you want to add a frontend attachment that has any additional hydraulic functions, such as opening/closing a grapple bucket or angling a snowplow left & right, you need a 3rd function valve kit.  In the simplest terms, it will give you two auxiliary hydraulic connections at the front of the loader and a switch on your loader control joystick to actuate them in either direction.




There are normally seven hoses or steel tubes connected to the loader valve.  If there are only six then there is no Power Beyond Port on your loader valve.  The 1st four are connected to your loader for the up, down, dump, and curl functions.  The fifth line comes from your pump to feed your loader valve.  The sixth line goes directly to your reservoir so that when the pressure relief valve opens the fluid is dumped directly to the reservoir.  The seventh line is connected to the "Power Beyond Port" on your loader valve, which is used to power other valves beyond the loader valve.  These other valves could be used to operate a backhoe, 3 point hitch, remotes, or 3rd function used to operate a grapple or 4n1 bucket.  On some loader valves there is a "PB" stamped on the valve next to the power beyond port.  Some loader's indicate there power beyond port with green tape or a green mark on the hose or valve.  Some loader valves have a power beyond sleeve inserted in the power beyond port.  This sleeve looks like a nut, however it is 3 to 4 times longer than a normal sized  nut.  On some loader valves there are no clues to help determine which connection is the power beyond port.  Your owner's manual may not even indicate the location.  You are always welcome to contact W. R. Long for further assistance. 


The W. R. Long electric over hydraulic valve kit is designed to work with open center hydraulic systems.  The W. R. Long selector valve kit can be used with open center or closed center hydraulic systems.  Tractors from subcompact up to around 125 Hp typically have a open center hydraulic system and larger tractors have a closed center system.  The open center system is designed to have the hydraulic fluid flowing through the valves all the time so that when the valve is operated the fluid is simply redirected to the loader, grapple, backhoe, etc.  The valves are connected in series, therefor there are no Tee’s in a open center hydraulic system.  The closed center hydraulic system is in parallel so there are Tee’s in the system.  The advantage of a closed center system is that smaller diameter hoses and components can be used. 




The W. R. Long 3rd function valve consist of a valve body, two solenoids, two tubes, spool, two springs and a number of other components.  On either end of the valve there are solenoids.  The solenoids are round and slide over a tube and you can see the end of the tube through the center of the solenoid and plastic nut.  There is a ¼” diameter brass rod that is located in the center of the tube with an indention that a Phillips head screw driver can be used to push this rod.  There is a spring behind the rod and the spring can be compressed 5/16” fairly easily.  At this point the spring is fully compressed and pushing another 1/16” manually shifts the spool which operates the valve.  So you would push this brass rod on one end to open your attachment and when you let go the spring will return the spool to the home position and the attachment will stop moving.  Doing the same on the other side of the valve will close your attachment.


The loader valve is operated with a joystick that is either directly connected to the loader valve or connected with cables.  The loader valve has seven hoses or steel tubes connected to it.  Four of the hoses attach to the loader to make it go up, down, dump, or curl. The 5th  connection receives fluid from the pump.  The 6th connection sends fluid directly to the tank, and the 7th connection is the power beyond port that supplies fluid to the other valves downstream (3 point hitch, remotes, backhoe, 3rd function valve).  When the tractor is running and no valves are being operated the fluid is flowing through the valve from the pump out the power beyond port.  When the joystick is moved the fluid is redirected to one side of the cylinders on the loader and the fluid is allowed to return out the other side of the cylinders back to the loader valve and then out the power beyond port.  If the joystick is held in one direction and the loader has traveled all the way to the stops and the joystick is still held in that position then there is nowhere for the fluid to go.  When this happens the pressure goes up and the pressure relief valve opens and then all the fluid starts going out the tank line and there is no fluid going out the power beyond port line.  That means that when this occurs no other valve after the power beyond port will operate since there is no fluid going out the power beyond port through these downstream valves.  When the joystick is released the pressure returns to normal the pressure relief valve closes and fluid starts going out the power beyond port and stops going out the tank line.  This is where it gets a little complicated.  Some loader valves work exactly as described above which allows the down stream valves to work all the time except when the pressure relief valve opens.  Some loader valves are different and will send fluid down the tank line when the loader is being operated.  This means that the downstream valves are not getting fluid, therefore the 3 point hitch, remotes, backhoe, and 3rd function valve will not operate.  On some loader valves when moving the joystick all or some of the 4 functions (up, down, curl, or dump) will send the fluid down the tank line.  When this occurs the downstream valves will not work since the fluid is going down the tank line instead of going out the power beyond port. 



We have two basic types of valve kits.  The electric over hydraulic and the selector valve kit.  The electric over hydraulic valve has two solenoids, is connected to the power beyond port on the loader valve and is operated with a black rocker switch on the joystick handle.  The selector valve robs either the up and down or dump and curl motion of your loader to operate the attachment and it has one red round button on the handle.  The selector valve is normally mounted on the right loader arm and has one solenoid.  There is a DIN connector mounted to the solenoid with a small bolt.  The DIN connector fits over either two or three spades on the solenoid.  Only two spades are used.  If there are three spades then the one in the middle is not used.  The plastic cover on the DIN connector can be removed to expose three small termination points.  Again, the middle one is not used.  Connect the black wire from the handle to one of the termination points in the DIN connector.  Either one will work.  Run a new wire from the other termination point in the DIN connector to a ground on your loader.  Connect the red wire from the handle using a 10 amp fuse to a hot wire on your tractor.  To operate the attachment, press the red button and move the joystick.    




  1. R. Long valve kits are typically designed with no backhoe attached to the tractor. There are some models that come as loader/backhoe combinations, from the manufacturer. These valve kits will install directly with the backhoe.  If your tractor does have a dealer-installed backhoe, your W.R. Long valve can still be installed. The key is to plumb everything downstream of the loader valve in a series, not parallel. Hydraulic fluid should flow from the tractor’s pump, to the loader valve. From the loader valve’s power beyond port, to the “P” port of the W.R. Long valve. From the “T” port of the W.R. Long valve to the inlet of your backhoe. The hose we supply may still work with the backhoe. If the supplied hose does not work, the connection between the “T” port and the backhoe may require an adaptor, or a new hose.  You should not use any T-fittings because they will create a bypass around the valve and the fluid will follow the path of least resistance, without doing any work for you.