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old western broken push frame repair

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by meborder, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. meborder

    meborder Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    i broke my push frame about a month ago, and have spend the last month or so trying to get the time together to get it patched back together.

    I'm no pro, a rookie welder who only works for himself, and i fix my own stuff because i have to. i just thought i'd share what broke and what i did to fix it.

    i posted this on welding web too, so if you hang out there you may have seen this as i used that forum to get help on what i needed to do to get it patched up.

    so here goes:

    did my usual walk around and noticed the plow was all effed up!!!! i have no idea how it broke this bad! believe it or not, i'm really easy on it. so anyway ... my father-in-law came down and helped me take the plow off and horse it around so that i could get to fixin' on it.

    here's where i started: the curved piece broke all the way through. and the vertical support broke the weld. quite sure the two are related, just not sure how as there is no load in this spot. thinking it has something to do with the moment load on the angle mid-span between the plow mounts on either side.

    ground it out as deep as i could.
    [​IMG]

    here it is from above:
    [​IMG]

    did a root pass with 6011 and capped it with two passes of 7014.
    [​IMG]

    inow to tackle the curved piece that broke right beneath:

    ground it out as deep as i could.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. meborder

    meborder Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    did a root pass with 6011 again.
    [​IMG]
    not my strong suit but i'm getting better with it using circular motions:

    then capped it with two passes of 7014:
    [​IMG]

    i hope it holds. i couldn't get at it from the top to do a full weld. but i can hang my head high and say i've done the best i can with it, anyway.

    when i pulled the plow off, i found this:
    [​IMG]

    didn't know what to do with it, really. It is a big c-channel that holds the hydraulic rams that turn the plow. a pin goes through both sides of the channel and the end of the ram.

    i'm not proud of this.
    [​IMG]
    turned out like crap!

    did a sort of vertical weld with 6011, then did a crappy downhill pass over that to weld the channel back together. then i added the vertical strut and welded that in with 7014.

    was getting tired and had troubles with the welder moving my amp setting without being asked. after doing it twice ... i left it the way it is above.
     
  3. meborder

    meborder Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    then i found these:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    so, i kill my grinder trying to grind them out. but after getting a new grinder i was able to finally get all the bird poop ground out on the ends of the push frame. found out why they cracked. there was about a 1/16" gap between the two pieces on the left side (driver's) and about a 1/8" gap on the right side (pass). So i ground it out deep on the left side, did a root pass with 6011 and two cap passes with 7014. left side turned out pretty good.
    [​IMG]
    (sorry it's fuzzy, its the only pic i got)

    on the right side i decided to bridge the gap by plating it with some 3/8 strap i have laying around. I'm not sure what it is about this strap, but i think i'm just going to stop using it. it just welds like poop. While trying to get it to weld on the same setting i used on the other side, it was like the puddle just never formed. so i blew some bird poop on it ... then thought better of it and ground it out and redid it. seems like it welds pretty good on the second pass for some reason, but i did turn it down from 140a to about 125a ... but that was too cold and wouldn't tie in, so i split the difference. the lower setting helped a bit, but it just seemed like there was no setting that worked well, either too cold or too hot.

    [​IMG]
    i'm quitting here with this piece of the puzzle. it rained last night and most of the day today so that's why it's rusty.
     
  4. meborder

    meborder Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    As per a welding web user's suggestion, i plated the bottom angle of the push frame directly under the spring mounts. this sucked monkey's butt. i couldn't get the rod in there so what i ended up with is anybody's guess. on the bright side, i'm no worse off than doing nothing. I tried to weld around the corners too, but i know i got some slag inclusion as i was fighting a downhill weld and my own skill level. this was done with 7014 @130ish amps, but looking back i would have been better off with 6011.

    [​IMG]
    truth in advertising .... it is what it is.

    here's the other side bottom plate .... neither side is better than the other, i'm consistent if nothing else.

    [​IMG]
    you can see the bottom side of the gusset as well. i did what i could to weld it on both sides. i think this one got the 6011. had the same downhill problem with 7014, so i tried the 6011 and it seemed to work better.

    here's the top side of the right gusset (pass side) ... welds look too cold in the pic. was hard to tell in the dark and i had to weld it from about 4 foot away .. that or kneel down in a puddle.
    [​IMG]

    these mods were made as per a welding web user's suggestion. the backup gusset on the spring mount will really help. this is just a TERRIBLE design. offsetting the spring mount from the strut like that is just ASKING for trouble. what you have here gentlemen is known as a "shear problem" i'd suggest to anyone either putting in gussets like MrMike suggests, or alternatively, you could move the spring mount such that it lines up with the strut. either one solves the shear issue.

    here's the left strut gusset from the top. again it looks too cold, but like i said, the angle sucked and this strap just welded poorly for me.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
  5. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    Right after the last weld I would spray paint on it So would bake it on
    Looks like real good welding there
     
  6. meborder

    meborder Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    then i found a crack on the pass side spring mount
    [​IMG]

    ground it down to the bird poop holding it up and dried it out with a propane torch:
    [​IMG]

    set the 6011 on "kill" - 125a:
    [​IMG]

    ground both toes and both ends with the carbide and hit it again with the 6011:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. meborder

    meborder Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    and quit here:
    [​IMG]

    that's it for now ... it's back on the truck and i got new spring screws and new springs installed tonight. i also changed the hose for the driver's side angle cylinder, thus solving the "slow angle right" problem i've had since i got it.

    it's ready for service, until it breaks again.

    at the end of the day i can say that i did the best i can, even if it only lasts one snow storm. but to be honest, i think a lot of these issues were there when i bought it 2 years ago and i just never looked close enough to notice.

    i think it is in as good of shape as it can be, short of hiring it out to someone who really knows what they are doing ... and if i'm gonna do that, i can't afford to have it, so it is what it is.

    thanks for reading,

    as always, i'm open to constructive criticism. if anyone sees a major foul, feel free to call it out.

    mike
     
  8. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    You might miss my post So You should paint them welds before they got wet I always like paint when welds are still warm so paint will bake on
     
  9. meborder

    meborder Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    (I did miss your post, BTW, so thanks for re-posting)

    normally i would paint them after they cool a bit, but it was hovering around the upper 20's at the time i was doing the repairs, which makes it very hard to paint. i had to use the propane torch to melt the ice off the surrounding areas before welding.

    i'm hoping to get some black on there in the spring when i go through it again.

    sound advice, though.

    thanks for commenting on the welds. Some of those i am not real happy with, but overall i think i got decent penetration, even if they aren't the prettiest. the guessets i added on the struts will probably be re-done in the spring as well. for some reason that strap steel just does not weld good for me. it seems like the second weld is always fine, but the first pass just runs like poop. i'm wondering if it isn't a higher carbon steel. it came off some armor angles we tore out of a bridge at work, so they've been encase in concrete since 1978. i assumed they were A36 steel, but i never checked (i should dig out the old plans and find out).

    like i said, i have done my best. it is just a matter of fixing what breaks next time :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
  10. chevboy167

    chevboy167 Member
    Messages: 96

    Good repairs there. Always check your setup after each plow event. Saves $$ down the road!
     
  11. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    Man, that's an old-school western blade. I've got a 6' sitting around waiting to be modified for my mini skid and sidewalk work when needed.

    Is that blade a manual angle?



    .......
     
  12. meborder

    meborder Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    solid advice to be sure!

    I've had this plow for about 3 years now and i don't think i ever really did any walk-arounds in the past. This year i realized how stupid that was and i started to check it over after each use .. thank goodness i did! with as badly as it broke this last time it would have fallen apart the next event and i would have had to throw the pieces in the bed to get back home! LOL

    I think my neighbor (whom i bought the plow from) never checked it much either, i think he just had his "welder" blow some bird poop on it once a year with his 110v Mig.

    very solid advice!!!
     
  13. meborder

    meborder Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    nope, it is all hydraulic. its an old 7'6" western Mark IIIa - near as i can tell, anyway.
    the old T-handle control, ya' know?

    the more i look at it though, i'm thinking a lot of it was "custom built" such as it is. The mounting bracket looks like it was built in place and i've not seen a pushframe quite like this one either. It looks similar to whats shown in the western manuals, but it is not a perfect match.

    this spring i'm hoping to build some wings so that it is at least as wide as the truck when i angle it. i always end up driving right over the windrow when i angle it. still worlds ahead of my loader tractor though!!!

    thanks to the group as a whole for the comments and positive nature of the replys! I'm certainly no pro welder, but i seems like it all gets done anyway.

    mike
     
  14. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    Looks similar to the one I have. Yours might have been fixed or modified at one time.

    I don't have the cylinders on mine, just a hitch pin to go through the holes to lock the angle in place.



    ...................
     
  15. meborder

    meborder Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    that makes a LOT of sense. If i were to guess, mine may have been originally a manual angle blade that someone retrofitted cylinders to make it hydraulic angle.

    if you look in the 2nd picture you can see the holes where a hitchpin would go to lock the blade straght or angled. i could never figure out why you would want to lock it in position, but it makes sense if it wasn't originally designed to be hydraulically actuated.

    it may be "one of one" .... maybe i should sell it as a custom? lol
    it is "custom" for sure ..... LOL

    good eye!