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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Tracy, CA
    Posts
    214

    Default 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.
    Trailblazer® 302 Air Pak™
    Miller Dynasty® 350
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    Syncrowave 351

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    northern NJ
    Posts
    1,821

    Default

    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 at 12:12 PM.
    MM250
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO
    Posts
    172

    Default

    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
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    western mass
    Posts
    201

    Default

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Tracy, CA
    Posts
    214

    Default

    Quote 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.
    Trailblazer® 302 Air Pak™
    Miller Dynasty® 350
    Millermatic 350P Aluminum
    Millermatic® 252
    Syncrowave 351

    SuitCase® X-TREME™ 12VS

    Multimatic™ 200
    Millermatic® 211 Auto-Set™ w/MVP™
    XR-Aluma Pro Gun
    Diversion™ 180

    Spectrum® 625 X-TREME™

    Thermal Dynamics® Cutmaster® 52
    Victor Oxy/Acetylene Set

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO
    Posts
    172

    Default

    Quote 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 at 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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Lodi, CA
    Posts
    1,223

    Default

    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 at 02:59 PM.
    Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....

  8. #8

    Default loader bucket

    What size is the bucket? Wear is the bucket cracking?
    ARMOR
    MOBILE WELDING&SERVICES
    Trailblazer 302
    X-TREME 12VS
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    Smith oxy set.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Tracy, CA
    Posts
    214

    Default

    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.

    IMG_2043.jpg
    Trailblazer® 302 Air Pak™
    Miller Dynasty® 350
    Millermatic 350P Aluminum
    Millermatic® 252
    Syncrowave 351

    SuitCase® X-TREME™ 12VS

    Multimatic™ 200
    Millermatic® 211 Auto-Set™ w/MVP™
    XR-Aluma Pro Gun
    Diversion™ 180

    Spectrum® 625 X-TREME™

    Thermal Dynamics® Cutmaster® 52
    Victor Oxy/Acetylene Set

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Lodi, CA
    Posts
    1,223

    Default

    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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