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A "new" toy.

Discuss loaders/backhoes here

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kaos
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A "new" toy.

Post #1 by kaos » Mon Nov 09, 2015 3:22 am

Hi everyone.

Since the ancestral JCB 3 (New poster, looking for JCB 3 info) contracted a fatal malady, that is, a seized main bearing, my brothers and I have been looking for a successor. And now we have found one:

Image

It is, as the label suggests, a Ford. Initially that was just about all we knew as the engine cowl with nameplate is missing, but I later found a production code and serial number stamped on the flywheel housing: D5011F 3H23? *B929007*, which, according to the internet (specifically http://vintagetractorengineer.com/2009/01/ford-2000-3000-4000-5000-serial-numbers/) means that it is based on a Ford 4000 skid , industrial tractor , diesel , no PTO, 4/4 torque converter transmission, produced in August 23rd, 1973 (day/night shift code is illegible, and at this point in time, irrelevant), in Basildon, England, and may have a weakness for shaken Martinis ;) .

This probably means that it is a 4500 or 4550, and about a decade younger than our erstwhile JCB. Fittingly it has some more modern amenities, like a shuttle shift, and considerably less wear and fewer battle scars. In one way, though, it is more old fashioned: It has four "piano" lever controls for the backhoe (six, if you count the stabilizers), while the JCB had progressed to two lever controls a decade earlier. Looking on the bright side, I never really got proficient with the JCB controls, and expect that it will not be the arrangement of the controls that will limit my productivity with this machine :doh: . Talking of backhoe controls, while the main nameplate is missing, this one is still there, on the backhoe controls:

Image

I find the "Copenhagen Denmark" marking interesting. Wonder if that is for the whole backhoe attachment, or just the control valves?

This machine has clocked some 5453 hours before the tachometer resigned it's commission an unknown time ago, which means that it must at some point have been a full-time worker. But it must also have enjoyed regular lubrication as there is very little wear in f.x. the backhoe joints, excepting the bucket linkages. Overall, it seems to be in a very reasonable shape for it's age, but not perfect: The only component of the electrical system that seemed to be fully functional when we got it was the starter motor. I've since got it charging (seized brushes in the alternator that the previous owner had installed instead of the original DC generator and regulator) and found that the ammeter (probably not original) was also working. That is the only instrument that is working. The oil pressure gauge (also probably a later addition) is disintegrating from rust, and the tachometer drive of course disappeared along with the original generator, but I suspect the tach may have seized at some point before that. In fact, the whole original instrument panel had been disconnected at some point. All of this, however, can be rectified at small cost and reasonable effort.

More worrying is the occasional lack of drive. The previous owner did warn us that he had had some drive problems. The first thing we did when we acquired it was replacing oil and filters for both the engine and transmission, along with fuel and hydraulic filter, and "topping up" the hydraulic system to the tune of 40 liters or so of fluid. This was before starting a 60 km trek home, including two mountain roads. This trek actually went quite well; the transmission was a bit sluggish on the steeper and longer inclines, but nothing that downshifting didn't solve. The real problem came when we had it home, and I decided to give it a try at actual work. I collected a couple of hefty stones in the front bucket and took them to a brook we want to dam. I stupidly went to close to the brook and got myself stuck. It took a 4x4 pulling along with the backhoe to free it. Back on solid ground, I tried to back away under wheeled power, but no dice. Okay, maybe the trans was overheating, so kill engine for half an hour or so to cool down. Try again, and relief! It moved under it's own power. So back away and do a three point turn in a safe location. Errm, no go when shifting to forward :( . At this point we decided that it would take forever to get back home at this rate, so we went and got a 4wd tractor with some serious pulling power. When we got back, after about another half-hour, the digger had recovered sufficiently to move under it's own power for maybe 100 meters, where it met with a sandy incline and decided it was too weary. So, back to the homestead in ignominious tow. However, the next day I got to work on the alternator and then let it idle for maybe an hour or so to charge the battery. Before shutting it down, I decided to try the transmission again, and this time it worked, at least for a short drive, including reverse and forward :dizzy: .

Additional info: When the drive fails, the forward/reverse control lever can be moved as usual, so apparently not this problem; http://www.mytractorforum.com/20-ford-new-holland-tractors/200950-ca-1965-ford-4500-backhoe-converter-problem.html or at least not precisely. The trans seems to apply some torque; you can just see the tires budge if you rev the motor to the limit, but not sufficient to get rolling, even in first gear on reasonably hard and level ground. The trans hydraulic lines and filter do not get warm to the touch, but when I removed the filler cap to get a dipstick in, smoke/vapour came out. Clogged lines? The filter is new, but with enough crud in the system it may still have gotten clogged. When drive is working it can be a bit tricky finding neutral on the forward/reverse lever, which can lead to some grinding when changing gears. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

Another question: What fluid should we use for the trans? We were sold what appears to be standard ATF (a whole lot of numbers/certifications on the can, among them Dexron II, red in colour), but I'm not entirely convinced that this is right for this transmission. Finally, what is the difference between 4500 and 4550 digger?

--
Best regards,
Kári.


Jeremy Rowland
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Re: A "new" toy.

Post #2 by Jeremy Rowland » Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:07 am

Nice one Kari :thumbup: good luck with it I am sure there are CMN members who will be able to offer you some advice here.

Jeremy


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Re: A "new" toy.

Post #3 by topkit » Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:01 pm

I like the old Ford 4550 i did not realise that they fitted them with a shuttle gearbox that early i think that model ran from about 1973 to 1975 when the 550 took over, There was a thread on here with a 550 or 555 had shuttle problems which tured out to be an electrical problem but i am guessing yours is too early for that, i have just checked my Ford 3550 and 4550 brochures and they did indeed offer as an option, it states that 'there is a safety blockout valve which prevents transmission overload when shuttling' so maybe you need to find this valve and give it a clean out. Good luck and more pics please!


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Re: A "new" toy.

Post #4 by kaos » Fri Nov 13, 2015 2:30 am

Hi, and sorry for the late reply.

Yes, in fact I have discovered discussions about this transmission else-web in sixty-something models. And Ford apparently continued to use them in only slightly modified form in the 550 and 555 models until the eighties, so it can't have been a complete failure.

No, no electrics in this transmission, except for the starter safety switch. Given the state of the electrical system, I'm rather glad of that ;)

Yes, I have found some manuals on-line (thousand series industrial tractor operating manual, thousand series agricultural service manual, and 550/555 service manual), and have acquainted myself with the blockout valve. It seems that the purpose of this valve is to prevent shuttling between forward and reverse at too high revs. It is located in the "clutch" (in this case converter) housing. It may be accessible by pulling the steering box, but if not, cleaning it out will mean splitting the tractor, an operation of last resort. I will be doing some further analysis this weekend.

I'm leaning more and more to the conclusion that we are using the wrong trans fluid. I have found references to JCB's that use a similar shuttle transmission and specifically warn against using standard ATF. I haven't found as clear warnings against using it in Fords, but neither does it seem to be an exact match for the M2C41 fluid that Ford specifies.

Some more pictures:
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--
Best regards,
Kári


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Re: A "new" toy.

Post #5 by topkit » Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:35 pm

You a correct re the transmission fluid, youmay find that like JCB's you use two different oils a normal EP90 gear oil in the gearbox itself then a 10w oil in the shuttle part of the box, great pictures of a classic bit of kit :thumbup:


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Re: A "new" toy.

Post #6 by Als Garage » Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:19 pm

Hi Are you having any luck with the 4550?
Looking for a wiring diagram for one. Maybe in the workshop manual.
I borrowed my neighbours digger and would like to help him fix it a bit in return.
Trying to get all the lights working for him but there are a few things connected incorrectly.
Can you lay your hands on a wiring diagram? There are links missing in the fuse box and some wires on the wrong posts I think. Low beam lights (and ignition and oil lights) come on at the high beam position.
Tail light and instrument lights come on when the key is turned on.

Any Help appreciated.
Al
Image


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Re: A "new" toy.

Post #7 by kaos » Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:17 pm

Sorry once more for the late reply. I'm afraid that I'm a somewhat unfrequent visitor here.

Having luck? Well, yes and no, see next post for the ongoing saga :-)

As for wiring diagram, I don't have one for this precise model. I have found here on CMN a service manual for the 550 and 555 models, which are apparently 4550s successors and mechanically quite similar, but I suspect the electrics are somewhat different. Elsewhere I found a service manual for the 1000 series agricultural tractor, which the 4550 is based on, but again, I suspect the electrics are different. If you are still working on this and think the agricultural wiring diagram will be of help, let me know.

--
Best regards, Kári.


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Re: A "new" toy.

Post #8 by kaos » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:28 pm

So, it's been, what, almost two years (Yikes! That can't be right!) since my last post. In that time the machine has proved quite useful, despite the occasional hickup.

We found the proper oil for the transmission. It seems that the multi-purpose oils sold under the "UTTO" moniker by many suppliers are supposed to meet the M2C41 specification. After changing the oil twice (to flush out the converter which can not be easily drained) it started moving again, if somewhat sluggishly on steep inclines. This summer, however, it went on strike again after being asked to climb a particularly steep hill. Seems there is no way around it; we just have to split the machine and take a look at the innards of the transmission. Hopefully it's nothing worse than a stuck pressure relief valve, but time will tell. In the meantime we have continued to use the machine, towing it from place to place and manouvering it with the backhoe.

Just the other day though, another setback occured. The dipper (outer arm) of the backhoe lost all power, both to push and pull. The other movements seem to work quite as normal though, and there is no fluid leak (well, no more than the minor leaks we were seeing before, none of which come from this circuit). With the control arm released, the dipper resists pulling away from the machine, so the cylinder seems to be working. However, it can be pushed towards the machine, and stays there (does not fall back under gravity) so there seems to be something that functions as a one-way valve. There is, apparently, a circuit relief valve, but only one one side, the piston side, which is the side that seems to hold pressure, so that can hardly be the culprit. I'm beginning to think that the valve chest will need to be replaced (it's all one unit).

If anyone has any good advice it would be most appreciated. Also, if anyone knows where I could buy a valve chest for this machine.

--
Best regards, Kári.


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Re: A "new" toy.

Post #9 by essexpete » Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:31 pm

Could you swap the dipper pipes with bucket pipes and see how it works?
I don't know any thing about the torque con but the symptoms are probably typical of old age wear that is shown up more when the unit heats up. TBH looking back at your earlier posts you did a fair old road trip which I would try to avoid with an old machine.


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Re: A "new" toy.

Post #10 by kaos » Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:54 pm

essexpete wrote:Could you swap the dipper pipes with bucket pipes and see how it works?

Thanks, I'll try that and see what happens.

As for the transmission, I strongly suspect that the problem may be low oil pressure/flow. For one thing, hardly any oil drips when I loosen up the joints of the cooler lines. To be sure, those are not high pressure lines, being on the return side of the circuit, but I would still expect some oil to bleed out the joint. Of course, low oil pressure could be caused by a worn out pump, but the whole mechanism is hidden inside the cluctch housing and inaccessible without first splitting the machine. That will be the autumn/winter project, provided I manage to get the back actor working again.

--
Best regards, Kári.


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