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  • Loader bucket repair

    Finally wore my bucket on the tractor out and figured that was good enough reason to buy a machine and get into the welding thing. Question is...would 3/16 be enough thickness to replace the bottom panel on the bucket? Tried to measure the old one but there's not enough left that's original thickness. Sides are 1/4 but the top edge which is still good is 3/16. Thought's or suggestions? Looking forward to breaking in my new Thunderbolt XL !

  • #2
    What size of tractor and bucket and what do you do with it?

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    • #3
      It's a 31 HP tractor, main uses are unloading pallets of dog food with the forks that slide on - quite a bit of damage done with those picking up stuff I shouldn't have! The rest is just usual light tractor work, moving sand for the yard, been pushing up some brush piles I've been burning lately, that's about it. The whole rig will be sold pretty soon but I still want to pass along something that's repaired decently so that someone doesn't have to come behind be and re-do it.

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      • #4
        I've encountered at least 2 theories on bucket construction. One is to use a fairly robust sheet with a cutting edge and the other is to build a frame that supports a thin skin with a cutting edge in front. Yours sounds like the former. On that size of tractor I would think 3/16" would be sufficient. I assume there is a thicker front edge on the bucket. Do you have a way to bend that heavy a plate in that width as the bends stiffen the floor of the bucket considerably. You can measure the thickness right behind the cutting edge with a long set of calipers and a block. Measure the block with the sheet and subtract the block thickness or drill a small hole & measure with a vernier caliper. Pictures might get more responses.

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        • #5
          The cutting edge is still in tack and useable, just have to re-attach it to one of the side plates. There's little true thickness left of the bottom and the back of the bucket. I'm pretty confident that the 3/16th will work. I didn't plan on bending and doing it in one piece, was planning on two seperate sections. More welding but I need the practice. Worse comes to worse I can have a buddy bend it at his shop. Heck he could do the whole repair for me but where's the fun in that!

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          • #6
            How far up the Back piece is rusted ? How much welding have you done?

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            • #7
              The very back piece that actually faces the tractor is in good shape. Planning on replacing the bottom and the small kick up piece that's about 4 inches wide. I just finished reattaching the cutting edge to the sideplate that you can see towards the right side of the first picture. All in all it went pretty well for my first actual welding project. Previous experience has been just tacking on some bumpers and little stuff as emergency get you home type repairs. And my first major in college was welding so I'm not jumping in cold turkey.

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              • #8
                Skip your welds around to keep warping to a minimum.

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                • #9
                  Looks like the rats really got to your bucket. For me bending would be easier with less chance of warping but you can do it in pieces if that's easier for you. As Bl says jump around lots of heavy tacks. It'll pull here and there but it should look a lot better than what you have now.

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                  • #10
                    Add some wear strips running front to back on the bottom for stiffness & wear. I like to put four pcs, two on the ends & then two in line with the loader arms. Wear bar (ar plate) works best but mild steel will be fine for this application. Either 3/8" or 1/2" X 4" wide. These can be just stitch welded.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MMW View Post
                      Add some wear strips running front to back on the bottom for stiffness & wear. I like to put four pcs, two on the ends & then two in line with the loader arms. Wear bar (ar plate) works best but mild steel will be fine for this application. Either 3/8" or 1/2" X 4" wide. These can be just stitch welded.
                      Yes sir, that was also in my plan to add some flat bar to stiffen it up if need be.

                      Thanks for the feedback. I've been reading this site for a couple of years and it's been helpful. I'll try to update how things turn out.

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                      • #12
                        That's not a bucket, it's a sieve! <br />
                        <br />
                        I agree with all of the advice given. Bending the bottom piece would be your best solution. If your buddy will do it for you. <br />
                        <br />
                        Wear plates would be easiest to add to the bottom, but mild steel is ok and you can always add some hard facing to it, be a little more welding practice for you too. But that hard facing rod ain't cheap. <br />
                        <br />
                        What welding rod are you using for this repair?

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