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Replacing/repairing loader bucket

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  • Replacing/repairing loader bucket

    I've got a small Kubota loader on my tractor and the bottom of the bucket is about to give up the ghost. Some of it stems from saltwater exposure but most is from overloading it with the pallet forks on it.
    My question is...should I cut out the whole bottom section and weld in a new thicker piece or try to patch over it all and leave the old in place? If I replace it all, how should I rebuild the leading/cutting edge of the bucket? And lastly, is this the type of project a newbie (myself) could tackel our am I better off taking it to a welding shop? I don't own a welder yet but have access to a Bobcat stick machine.
    Thanks for any help and guidance, looking forward to learning.

  • #2
    If there are just some thin spots at the back edge you could cut them out and patch it in.If the entire back edge is thin it may be time to replace the bottom.I would cut the perimeter and have a new piece sheared then weld in place.Unless the wear edge is shot just re use the old one.This sounds like a DIY project to me.The Bobcat will work ok.You will probably want to use 3/32 rod for the bottom and want it fit up real well.The cutting edge will need something along the line of Harris Welco Supermissileweld rod.
    While your at it put some teeth on the front edge of the bucket.

    Comment


    • #3
      I generally just cut out the floor and weld a new one in. This does take a certain amount of expertise, unless you have somebody on site to coach you, or plenty of time, I wouldn't attempt it as a first project. At the least, make some reference points with a center punch on the top of the bucket, and take exact measurements and make notes BEFORE you cut, using the weld-seam between the bucket and the blade, not the worn edge of the blade. Blades are usually 1044/1045 steel, with an edge, wear-strips are the same without an edge. Depending on where you are located, you can source these thru any tractor dealer, or a cutting-edge supply dealer. Bucket floors are generally curved, you will need to determine the radius and then find a full-service steel supply center, with the ability to shear and brake to order. For a Kubota garden tractor, may be cheaper to find an aftermarket bucket, I personally would look long and hard before doing a rebuild.

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      • #4
        I would say post pictures. Is this a small 4' bucket ? How deep is it ? What condition is the rest of the bucket in ? How's the ends where the flat meets the sides ? Might be better to leave existing and add new material above and below with new cutting edge . Did you get prices on material ? do you have the tools and equipment to do the job ? Might be cost effective to have it done or replace bucket. If you replace it then modify the old one for the pallet forks use only.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the responses so far. The wear edge is in good shape, just bowed down in the middle some. Most of the small holes and cracks are in the bottom portion. The back (radiused area) is in good shape. Adding teeth to the wear edge isn't an option since it's often used to smooth and spread material and isn't ever operated in material that requires teeth.
          No I haven't priced material. I don't think patching would work to great since the material is pretty thin in spots and replacing the whole bucket is not an option, they want an arm and a leg for them!
          I think as one of you mentioned already, that it would take me a fair amount of time but could be a good learning project. I figured I could cut out the old stuff leaving the wear bar attached at each side (they are in good shape too), then lay the bucket over a sheet of new material and trace the outline then that would get me close enough to get a good fitment.
          But then again it may be cheaper just to let someone do it at a shop. I'll try to snap some pictures so ya'll can evalute further!

          Big Mike....what's so special about that rod you say to use on the edge? Will my local weld supply shop know what the **** I'm asking for?

          Thanks again for the advice.
          Last edited by Brad B; 05-04-2012, 08:53 AM.

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          • #6
            what you can do is beat the bottom of the bucket back into shape and weld some gussets within the bucket. The 5' bucket body on my John Deere 1050 is little more than an 1/8" thick... and thicker where it needs to be. It also as gussets in the bottom. my cutting edge is straight as an arrow... and I am not kind to the bucket.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Brad B View Post
              Thanks for the responses so far. The wear edge is in good shape, just bowed down in the middle some. Most of the small holes and cracks are in the bottom portion. The back (radiused area) is in good shape. Adding teeth to the wear edge isn't an option since it's often used to smooth and spread material and isn't ever operated in material that requires teeth.
              No I haven't priced material. I don't think patching would work to great since the material is pretty thin in spots and replacing the whole bucket is not an option, they want an arm and a leg for them!
              I think as one of you mentioned already, that it would take me a fair amount of time but could be a good learning project. I figured I could cut out the old stuff leaving the wear bar attached at each side (they are in good shape too), then lay the bucket over a sheet of new material and trace the outline then that would get me close enough to get a good fitment.
              But then again it may be cheaper just to let someone do it at a shop. I'll try to snap some pictures so ya'll can evalute further!

              Big Mike....what's so special about that rod you say to use on the edge? Will my local weld supply shop know what the **** I'm asking for?

              Thanks again for the advice.
              Just use 7018, or if you have enough amps, 7024.

              The big thing you have to watch, welding the blade to the floor and also any wear strips under the floor, the blade tends to bow upwards. If it is already bowed down, that is all the better because you already have some compensation built in. Make the new floor meet the blade, don't try to force the blade flat. Generally, on lighter buckets with just a single welded-on blade (vs those with a frog and a bolted-on cutting edge) I try to make the blade bow slightly (1/4" -1/2") down in the center; as you put the bucket down flat, tends to flatten out the blade anyway, and the overall wear is more even.

              Comment


              • #8
                Super Missleweld is good for non cracking welds on dissimilar metals.
                Can you use 7018 probably is there something different yup.

                Your LWS "should" know what you are looking for.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I repaired a bucket on JD 401. Had been used with road salt and finally give up. Removed the skid plates and cut out all the old with a plasma and grinder. Fair bit of dirty, nasty work.

                  I used 3/16 plate since it's what I had on hand.

                  Welding did take a while as I wasn't too careful in fit up. 6010 and 7018. ?Unless you can pull the bucket and lay it out there is a good bit of vertical and overhead welding required.

                  I also fabbed and installed new skid plates since the old ones were destroyed during removal.
                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Just cut out the flat part of the bucket floor and replace it with a little thicker or more wear resistant material

                    But watch out when you replace it with a thicker plate because the more weight you add to the bucket the less it will pick up

                    Since i don't know what Kubota tractor you have
                    Don't go setting your hydraulic relief valve to a higher pressure than the recommend setting...You can break the front axle doing that ...seen that happen several times

                    The best thing to do would be to get a quick change setup and you can swap between forks or the bucket because those clamp on forks stress the bucket floor as you now know but you cannot pick up as much weight as a dedicated set of forks.
                    Because your load is moved further away from your tractor

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                    • #11
                      Hey thanks for all the help guys. Sounds doable for me. I'll try and let you know how it works out whenever I get around to it.

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                      • #12
                        last year a guy hired me to cut 4" off each side of bucket and weld back together. that was a chore. cleaned it up and rewelded with 232 innershield 1 pass on outside and about 4-5 on inside to fill up. took me a while and i worked my little 302 pretty hard

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