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Turboaudi80,

Great fab work!!

I'm in the process of doing a refurb on a JD 400, it is at bare frame now and I'm starting to plan if any reinforcement is needed to frame for my plans. I will be building a FEL like your base off the same plans. I was wondering what tubing (square, looks like you have tapered your) dimension and gauge and what gauge plate did you settle on using for your build?

Great work.


Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #42
Timmah,

I started with plans from PF Engineering as my design. Paul just posted some nice pics of his loader and back hoe in the show your loaders thread. Paul is a cool guy and I think the $60 he charges for his plans are a very reasonable value for so much info all in one package. I have deviated from his design slightly for many reasons. Some good, some dumb.

I started with 2" x 1/8" box for the arms. I then split some more into long triangles with the plasma cutter and welded them to the tubes to make the taper on the arms. It would be much easier just to start with 2x3 1/8" but I already had a bunch of 2x2 that I got for free. The sub frame is 2x3 3/16". the plate on the arms and the arm and cylinder mounts are 1/4". The bucket is 1/8" plate that I had bent at a local steel fab shop. It cost me $257 to have it sheared, and bent including the rest of the 4x8" sheet to save for future projects.

I still need to tie the subframe back to the axle and make the diagonal braces down to the front of the tractor. I think if you do these important reinforcements you don't have to reinforce the frame itself.

I have a steel supplier that sells short cuts for $1.50 per pound. That is cool way to get pieces without buying full 20' lengths of tubing.

Keep in mind, this is my first attempt at building a FEL, so take my comments as slightly more valuable than tractor porn. Search for threads from Tudor. He has a huge amount of professional and real world experience that he shares freely on here. Also, check out GrandpaJay's 400 loader build thread. It is a thing of beauty. I race cars as a hobby and his fab skills put many race shops to shame. You could easily spend a whole weekend binge reading threads on here a learn a lot!

Feel free to ask me for more specific pics of any attributes and I will take them. You might also consider looking on CL for used loaders. I see Johnson loaders on non Deere tractors for $1500 or less from time to time. You can't buy the material and parts for that price and you can save some serious time.

Good luck with your refurb and build.
 

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turboaudi80,


I have purchase the PF Engineering plans for both the FEL and Backhoe. I will also deviate from his plans. The plans do give you a lot of information to work with. I came from 40 years in material handling industry and have save a lot of hydraulic parts (5 vidmar cabinet worth). I have been and still building Pro-touring cars. I join the site last July after reading and following Grandpajay's from another site. I agree he has some of the best Fab skills that I have scene in both the tractor and car world. I have also follower Tudor threads and enjoy reading his post and replies (has a lot of knowledge).


I like Grandpajay's towers and arms on his tractor. I know I will need to have support bracing from the front and the rear, I do plan to dig some dirt as I work on the landscape. I repowered my 400 with the GX 690 Honda for extra accessory needs and it gives me a lot of room to incorporate a cross tube with in the frame so it can support bolt on towers and supporting outriggers, it could be a hydraulic tank too. Dreaming at this point as I complete the hydrostatic and differential rebuild. I'm thinking of using 3/16 material with either 3 x 2 or 2x4. I don't want to get to heavy to take away from the pay load.

Thank you for sharing the info and keep the great work going.


Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #44
It's fun to find out how folks on here have other hobbies in common too.
I would like to plumb hard lines on the arms. Can you give me any guidance on the best value flaring tool to make the 37 deg flare? I have seen lots of cheap ones that say they are only for copper and aluminum tubing and then there are a bunch of expensive tools ($300+) that are rated for stainless. I was thinking of using 3/8" .049" wall mild steel tubing. I should only need to make about 12 flares. It's hard to justify spending over $300 for that! If I was going to make lots of flares I wouldn't hesitate to pull the trigger on a Parker or Eastwood tool. I was planning on using JIC fittings for all the hoses and connections other than the hoses to the male quick connects since those are NPT. I will use SAE elbows at the cylinders that convert to JIC at the hose connection.

Tudor will likely have some wisdom on this topic too.
 

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I have the hydraulic flare tool for most any hydraulic or brake lines, but I like the parker Rolo-flare. The 37 degree one is part number 212FB and their is one on ebay for $79.99. see below link.

https://www.ebay.com/p/Parker-212FB...GM-Hot-Rod/1923047097?iid=143203375556&chn=ps


Any 37 degree flare tool will work if it is attended for your tube size. make sure you have the sleeve with the nut on each connection. before flaring, prep the outside and inside of the tube with a chamfer. If you do not it will crack the flare. use lube on flare connection and do not use pipe cutters to cut the tube, it will harden the metal.

The only different I have seen in flare tools is the cheaper ones require more muscle.
 

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Turbo...and others, Eaton, Parker, and others make "bite type" fittings. Cut tubing to length, deburr, install nut and sleeve on tube, asm to fitting , and tighten...done! No flaring, which can result in problems trying to flare close to a bend, and no compensating length to allow for flare. The shop I worked at used them for years...simple, much faster than flaring, and hold up to hyd. pressures. Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #47 (Edited)


I added some reinforcements to the cross tube on the outside of the arms and gussets on the inside. This should really stiffen up the cross tube.

Next step is to make the diagonal tubes from the towers to the front of the tractor.


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I’m building out my JD 425 FEL... working with a 4’ Kabota bucket (obtained for $270). Just looking for confirmation that I can use 2” rams with 16” of travel yet still have enough lift, speed, and oil capacity with the onboard hydraulics. Take a look at my geometry and tell me if you see anything out of whack!

P.S.

From the pictured down position, I should have about 1.5 to 2 inches of negative ram to take the bucket below grade.




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My FEL has a bit less of a bend in the arms, the cylinders are mounted lower in the posts, the posts are a bit further back on the tractor, and the lift cylinders are 2x18. The arms are 65.5", straight line from post pin to bucket pin. That combination will lift 1000 lb + from ground to 71" above at less than 1500 psi.

Your 425 is only slightly smaller than my MF1655, but keep in mind that I originally had that loader on a considerably smaller MF12H.

Your cylinder selection will work well. The geometry needs just a bit of tweaking to work better.

A pic of my MF1655 FEL for comparison.

 

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Having owned many FEL's and built one, I can tell you that I have never seen one with the lift cylinders set so high on the vertical posts. I think you are giving up a mechanical advantage by having them so high. Look at the down bucket picture and you will see that the push angle for the lift cylinder is not even level with the ground. That means that it will have a negative start angle to lift a full bucket and put more strain on both the vertical posts and the lifting arm. Imagine a vector of force pushing against the lift arm with your setup. Part of it would be going straight ahead and the other part would actually be pushing down on the lift arm. By making the cylinder level with the ground all of the force of the cylinder would be straight ahead or upward. IMHO!
I thought I had rotated the picture but it didn't take. You can see the vectors anyway.
 

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Agreed. Those lift cylinders need to be mounted lower down for sure. The upper end pin location should probably be moved also. Most of the ones I've seen are aimed right at the "crotch" where the two arms meet, which is reinforced with side plates connecting them.
 

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Discussion Starter #52
I made some more progress. Got the front brace welded up. I’m mostly done with the fab work. Need to do lots of welding still. Hope to
start plumbing soon.


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Having owned many FEL's and built one, I can tell you that I have never seen one with the lift cylinders set so high on the vertical posts. I think you are giving up a mechanical advantage by having them so high. Look at the down bucket picture and you will see that the push angle for the lift cylinder is not even level with the ground. That means that it will have a negative start angle to lift a full bucket and put more strain on both the vertical posts and the lifting arm. Imagine a vector of force pushing against the lift arm with your setup. Part of it would be going straight ahead and the other part would actually be pushing down on the lift arm. By making the cylinder level with the ground all of the force of the cylinder would be straight ahead or upward. IMHO!
I thought I had rotated the picture but it didn't take. You can see the vectors anyway.
This is partially correct. The actual lifting geometry is defined by the 3 pins involved, the two cylinder pins and the arm to post pin. With the triangle created by those 3 points, the force vectors can be calculated. The critical angle is the one between the centerline of the cylinder and the pins on the arm. With an included angle of 15°, the lifting force available is 26% of the force exerted by the cylinder. If the angle is 20°, 34% is available. The lifting force percentage is the Sine of the included angle.

A 2" cylinder will exert 3140 lb of force at 1000 psi. There are two cylinders on most loaders and the excess force is trying to push the pins on the arms apart.

The orientation of the cylinders in relation to the horizontal is irrelevant. It just happens to work out in this application that the cylinders appear to be close to horizontal when retracted in order to better optimize available lifting force against maximum lifting height.
 

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Discussion Starter #55
I got most of the plumbing fittings, tubing and hoses shipped in last week. Trying to find time to get the hydraulics plumbed. Does anyone have a rough estimate how much fluid I will need to fill the lines and cylinders? I'd like to have enough hy-gard on hand once I finish plumbing. Pics to follow as I make progress running the lines.
 

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Use the stroke length and bore diameter of each cylinder to figure the approximate fluid in the cylinders. Pi (~3.14) × R² × stroke length = volume. Small lines don't hold much, add a couple pints maybe for all of those. Hydraulic oil capacity on a 425 is 6 quarts plus maybe a pint for the filter.
 

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Discussion Starter #57
Use the stroke length and bore diameter of each cylinder to figure the approximate fluid in the cylinders. Pi (~3.14) × R² × stroke length = volume. Small lines don't hold much, add a couple pints maybe for all of those. Hydraulic oil capacity on a 425 is 6 quarts plus maybe a pint for the filter.
Now I have to do math? I was trying to be lazy! Looks like about a pint per cylinder, so I figure 3 quarts should be enough. I was planning on changing the filter and fluid first since I haven't changed it since I bought the tractor. I have 9 quarts so I should have just enough. I might have to run to JD for one more quart.
 

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A 2x18 cylinder will hold almost exactly one quart when fully extended. (Pi X stroke length. That only works for 2" bore.)

- 1" Diameter cylinder rod = 0.7854 cu-in per inch of cylinder stroke.

- 1.125" Diameter cylinder rod = 1 cu-in per inch of cylinder stroke.

- 20" of 1/4" hose = 1 cu-in.

- 15" of 3/8" steel tubing = 1 cu-in.

- 1 Quart = 57.75 cu-in.

Check the fluid level with all cylinders retracted.
 

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About your geometry; I think your design is fine. You have put the upright ahead of the foot pad. That makes for a short boom, but maintains comfort (foot clearance) and accessibility. The short boom requires greater rotation of the boom to achieve bucket height. Greater rotation of the boom require the boom pivot and cylinder pivot to be closer; as you have done. Google Kubota FEL's and you'll see that the OEM loaders have their pivots close too. Be aware, a short boom also transfers to greater rotation of bucket. While raising the boom, you'll likely dump a load on your hood (or yourself) once or twice. Ideally, a long boom is better; skid-steers have the boom pivot behind the operator; the booms are as long as possible for the size of the machine. But, you've got what you got; I'm glad to see you stick with your design. Waiting to see it in operation.
 

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I think you must have only looked at his mock up and not his actual design. He has the up rights in the same place as a JD 40, beside the foot pads. It looks overbuilt to me but that is better than under built. I believe it will work well and give you many years of fun and back saving work! One thing I have always wondered about is designing two frame mounted stops so that the bucket in the completely down position to be used in a dozier mode would be possible to absorb much of the impact of the ramming by the bucket. I have read in the manuals that the bucket should not be used as a ram. Have any of you ever thought about this feature?
 
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