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  • Loader repair/gouging advice

    Hi-

    I'm looking for advice on repairing a loader bucket. I don't have much experience with heavy equipment repair. I've already worked on this thing before but the customer says the cracks are back after a few months of use. The thing had already been repaired before I got there the first time too.

    The customer is going to bring the tractor to my shop this time so I'm looking for the best way to gouge the cracks. I have a Spectrum 625 plasma. I use it all the time for cutting but never gouging. I was also thinking about getting an Aircar Carbon Arc Gouging Torch. I have a TB302 air pak to run it from. Also have a Syncrowave 351, Dynasty 350 and compressor in the shop if It would run off one of those. I've used CAC before so I know it's loud and messy.

    Last time I did the repair in the field with 7018. I'd like to use a wire feed process in the .045 (because all my liners are .045) range if you know of a good wire. Self shield or MIG. (Is MIG even acceptable?) Currently have some Fabshield 21B.

    Summary:
    What's the best way to gouge?
    What's the best wire to use in .045?

    Thanks.
    Lincoln Vantage 400
    Trailblazer® 302 Air Pak™

    Miller Dynasty® 350
    Millermatic 350P Aluminum
    Millermatic® 252
    Syncrowave 351
    Lincoln LN-25 Pro

    Multimatic™ 200

    XR-Aluma Pro Gun
    Diversion™ 180

    Spectrum® 625 X-TREME™

    Thermal Dynamics® Cutmaster® 52
    Victor Oxy/Acetylene Set

  • #2
    The size, location & thickness will have a lot to do with how you go about it. I use cac & depending on the location I'll gouge about halfway through from both sides. Root pass & maybe one fill pass on one side then go to other side & clean the back side of the root & weld it up. Go back to first side & finish. I have used with success 7018, 21b, 7100 ultra in .045 & 1/16".

    If it is a smaller or worn bucket the floor/sides may be just getting thin. You could do a liner on the inside after repairing the cracks. Plate the underside might help also. Again depends on the way it's cracking. Use your engineer mode first.

    I've never tried gouging with my plasma.

    I've also had customers who just want it patched up with the understanding it might crack again. Bucket repairs can get expensive when you start replacing floors & cutting edges.
    Last edited by MMW; 07-23-2013, 12:12 PM.
    MM250
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    Vectrax 7x12 band saw
    Miller spectrum 875
    30a spoolgun w/wc-24
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    RCCS-14

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    • #3
      I have used both methods for gouging out cracks and heavily favor a carbon rod. I can get almost surgical with it. Can't even get close to the precision of a carbon rod with a plasma gouger.

      I also use the same procedure as MMW to repair cracks when it is possible.
      I have used the Esab 7100 Ultra for 5 years repairing heavy equipment and won't use anything else. Very good wire. Hope this helps.
      JIM

      Owner Operator of JNT Mobile Welding & Repair LLC
      Millermatic 350P Aluma Pro
      Dynasty 200DX
      Maxstar 150 STL
      Trailblazer 302
      Suitecase 12RC
      Extreme 12VS
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      Spoolmate 100
      Hypertherm Powermax 45 and 85
      Ingersoll Rand Engine Driven Compressor
      Dake 75 ton H-Frame Press
      JD Squared Model 32 Bender
      Miller Digital Elite

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      • #4
        sometimes at the end of a crack I cut a small hole to try to stop it from spreading. then weld it up.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by cayager View Post
          sometimes at the end of a crack I cut a small hole to try to stop it from spreading. then weld it up.
          Thanks. Yeah I drilled a hole at the end of each crack. I just inspected the tractor. None of the cracks have spread. It's just the same crack coming through to the top. I must not have gotten all the way to the root before.
          Lincoln Vantage 400
          Trailblazer® 302 Air Pak™

          Miller Dynasty® 350
          Millermatic 350P Aluminum
          Millermatic® 252
          Syncrowave 351
          Lincoln LN-25 Pro

          Multimatic™ 200

          XR-Aluma Pro Gun
          Diversion™ 180

          Spectrum® 625 X-TREME™

          Thermal Dynamics® Cutmaster® 52
          Victor Oxy/Acetylene Set

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by cayager View Post
            sometimes at the end of a crack I cut a small hole to try to stop it from spreading. then weld it up.
            If all the metal with the crack in it is removed, there is no need for a hole to be drilled on the ends. Unless you are going to leave it that way. When I use a carbon rod to clean them out, I can watch and follow the crack as I am gouging, when I reach the end I go a little further just to make sure.
            Besides, what happens when the crack is on the edges of the bucket where the hardened steel is at or on the cutting edge. Can't driil through that.
            Last edited by jpence38; 07-24-2013, 06:20 AM.
            JIM

            Owner Operator of JNT Mobile Welding & Repair LLC
            Millermatic 350P Aluma Pro
            Dynasty 200DX
            Maxstar 150 STL
            Trailblazer 302
            Suitecase 12RC
            Extreme 12VS
            Extreme 8VS
            Spoolmatic 30A
            Miller HF251D-1
            Passport Plus
            Spoolmate 100
            Hypertherm Powermax 45 and 85
            Ingersoll Rand Engine Driven Compressor
            Dake 75 ton H-Frame Press
            JD Squared Model 32 Bender
            Miller Digital Elite

            Comment


            • #7
              What kind of tractor? What loader bucket? Post pictures if you can.

              Remember, a loader bucket IS the structure, if at any point during the repair or subsequent use, or during normal rotation, the pins cannot be easily removed or rotated, something is binding, and most likely it is the bucket that is flexing and cracking in response.

              Just welding cracks is simply fixing the symptoms, not the cause.

              All structural cracks start again from the same point they originally started, drilling a hole at the end of the crack solves nothing.

              Think about this a bit, you will get it.

              As far as the OP's original question, I generally use CAG, I have plasma, with gouging tips, I think it is cute, but when I want to hog metal out, CAG is the only way to do it. Like mentioned by a couple previous posters.
              Last edited by JSFAB; 07-24-2013, 02:59 PM.
              Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....

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              • #8
                if you fix the cracks and they come back, it may be a design issue, no matter how you fix a crack, it will come back, try some reenforcement

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                • #9
                  Can you get at both sides of the crack?
                  There are a few ways to repair this.
                  I love arc air gouging. It's fast and you can remove cracks quickly with it.
                  Remember to grind out all the area where you arc air as this will harden the parent metal in the area. Once cleaned up, I'd re weld with 7018 stick rod.

                  Another method is the Fish plate method.
                  Grind the previous weld flat and run a bead of 7018 over the crack. Then gouge the back side of the crack (if you can), grind to clean and re weld with 7018. Then cover the new weld with a fishplate (google fishplate to learn about it) and weld the fish plate with 7018.
                  Last edited by snoeproe; 07-25-2013, 09:50 PM.
                  Lincoln Idealarc 250 stick/tig Miller Bluestar 2E Thermal Arc Hefty 2 feeder Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52 Torchmate CNC table Ironworker Welder Operating engineer Owner/Operator Devlin Metal Works Custom CNC Plasma Cutting and Welding

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                  • #10
                    loader bucket

                    What size is the bucket? Wear is the bucket cracking?
                    ARMOR
                    MOBILE WELDING&SERVICES
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                    • #11
                      Sorry it's been a few days.

                      It's not the bucket that's cracked. It's one of the loader arms where it has a cylinder connecting to the other side. I can't get to the back of the cracks as these are both hollow parts.

                      Click image for larger version

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                      Lincoln Vantage 400
                      Trailblazer® 302 Air Pak™

                      Miller Dynasty® 350
                      Millermatic 350P Aluminum
                      Millermatic® 252
                      Syncrowave 351
                      Lincoln LN-25 Pro

                      Multimatic™ 200

                      XR-Aluma Pro Gun
                      Diversion™ 180

                      Spectrum® 625 X-TREME™

                      Thermal Dynamics® Cutmaster® 52
                      Victor Oxy/Acetylene Set

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I look at that picture, if it is repeatedly breaking there, I can tell that you can weld it up all you want, all you are doing is fixing the symptoms, it will break again there or elsewhere. Something is out of line, it is flexing as the loader arms go up and down. Sight across the loader arms (at various points of lift), look for them not to be parallel. Put the front wheels up on blocks, run the bucket all the way down (where the cylinders bottom out before the bucket makes contact with the ground) see if one side hits before the other. Do the same thing with full extension. Could be a tweak, could be a worn bushing where the loader arms attach to the tractor, could be worn bushings on the bucket or a twisted bucket. Could also be worn cylinder eyes or attachments, or simply cylinders that don't quite match up perfectly. In any case, to actually fix this problem, you need to find the cause.
                        Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....

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                        • #13
                          How long would this last if you didn't fix it. Turn up the amps on the 7018. weld over it, see what happens. For some cracks in the field simply follow it down with a torch and cut thru it, smoke a big bead back in, sections to 1/4 are easy with small electrode. I agree, what caused it is speculative, has the repair lasted a brutal year or is this a hobby tractor?

                          This looks like it could be repaired with a torch and or a grinder and a welder and if a guy was slick look like it had never been done.

                          I fixed a piece of forestry equipment for a self employed type, at first he figured I would make some kind of band aid repair like the last guy did,,, his bud,,, the laid off welder. I said, I am not wasting 2 hrs to save one will take 3 and it wont be a temp repair, it had its problems fixed,,, like Joe mentioned.

                          It was in a problem spot, the last guy had some idea but his out of position skills left something to be desired and he didn't take it apart far enough to make it practical and get it all square again. Weld it all up in spot with 10A TOO much to make it look really pretty while anchoring the bushing that let loose, I think I actually added about 6 square inches of plate,,, spent another hour on the other side where the same type of repair wasn't all that far from failing.

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                          • #14
                            I finally got the repair done yesterday. I cut out a service port from the top of the tube. This allowed me to weld the cracks from the inside using a backing plate in the flat position. (My overhead needs work) I also located more cracks that were not visible from the outside. They were in the part of the cylinder that is hidden in the arm of the front loader.

                            I gouged the cracks with 3/16" carbon rods at 200 amps from the syncrowave 351. Cleaned up the edges. Preheated and welded back with 7018. Customer was happy with the work. Hope it holds this time.

                            Thanks for all the advice guys.
                            Lincoln Vantage 400
                            Trailblazer® 302 Air Pak™

                            Miller Dynasty® 350
                            Millermatic 350P Aluminum
                            Millermatic® 252
                            Syncrowave 351
                            Lincoln LN-25 Pro

                            Multimatic™ 200

                            XR-Aluma Pro Gun
                            Diversion™ 180

                            Spectrum® 625 X-TREME™

                            Thermal Dynamics® Cutmaster® 52
                            Victor Oxy/Acetylene Set

                            Comment

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