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The loader on my tractor is in poor shape. It's been used hard in a caustic environment and from the looks of it, hardly been maintained. The tractor itself seems just fine, but the loader got the short end of the stick.



I'll use this thread to track the repairs as they're made. The most obvious problem is with the bucket. One side is torn loose and bent. Upon pressure washing it, I found several places where the metal is worn through, cracking, or previously repaired cracks. I had originally considered trying to repair this bucket, but now I don't think it's worth the trouble. The metal has worn so thin over larger areas that I can push on it with my hand and flex the whole section of the bucket. Replacing all the damaged metal would essentially turn into building a new bucket. The QA top hooks have also been bent. My tentative plan for the bucket is to straighten the torn side and weld it back together, and weld up the cracks. I don't plan on replacing any metal, or trying to paint it. Instead I'll focus on finding a good used bucket, either an 85 or 73 inch.






The next problem is immediately behind the bucket, the QA brackets on the loader. It appears that they've been broken off before, and poorly repaired with some angle iron which is broken again. The assemblies are rusted pretty badly with a few bends, but they're salvageable. At more than $500.00 apiece for replacements, that's good news! I hope to take some measurements off a new loader tomorrow, then see about repairing the brackets.









One step back from the QA assemblies, the linkage arms and pivot pins need attention. One arm is bent, and several pins have been replaced with pins that are too small. They all look like they've never seen a grease gun.





Overall, that's the starting point. I'll try to update as repairs are made.
 

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That is one sad looking FEL Blake...but you knew that already. Can't wait to see it after you fix it up.

One good thing, all the parts of the QA shoes are just 1/4" plate unlike the new cast ones so you could fabricate new part easily if you have to.
 

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I'm tuned in...

There's a used bucket (looks brand new) that's labeled it's off a 541 FEL at a dealership near me. I think it'd be perfect for you ever time I see it, but the shipping would double the cost of the bucket :thumbsdown:

Good luck fixing it up! If you need any pictures of the loader let me know :good2:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm tuned in...

There's a used bucket (looks brand new) that's labeled it's off a 541 FEL at a dealership near me. I think it'd be perfect for you ever time I see it, but the shipping would double the cost of the bucket :thumbsdown:

Good luck fixing it up! If you need any pictures of the loader let me know :good2:
Actually, I could use your help on a few things. What size bucket are you running? I know we have slightly different tractors, but not by much. The 85" seems to fit the tractor well, plenty of room to cover outside the tires. However, my dealer said they typically recommend the 73" bucket for these tractors. It would reach outside the tires, but only by a couple of inches- and I don't have my tires set wide.

Second, if you get time I could use some measurements. I need to know the diameter of the holes where the bucket pins on. I measured somewhere around 1 1/4 to 1 5/16, but I would like to nail down an exact size. I'm either going to have to buy a cutter for those holes, or have them cut at my steel supplier. I don't want to go larger than necessary, but going to small will mean having to buy a second cutter or pay to have them enlarged. I also need to know the distance between the center of the lower, bucket pin hole to the top of the tractor side QA bracket that sits inside the hook on the bucket.

If you look at the diagram from JD parts, I would be very appreciative if you could measure the diameter of pins #7 and #9. I intend to make those pins, but I'm not sure my loader is in good enough condition to use as a reliable measurement.

Thanks!
 

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Got the measurements. I think this is what you were talking about, if you need anything else or want me to double check something, let me know:hi:

I do have the 73" bucket. Barely covers the outside of the tracks, and I think that's the ideal set-up. Gives you more breakout force since it's in the smaller area and makes it easier to dig. For general purpose, I'd go with the 73", for light duty/high volume (like the PO who used it to clear chicken manure IIRC) than the 85" is better.

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Pinhole looks to be 1 5/16

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From the center of the hole to the top was 18", bottom was 17" making the middle 17.5"

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#7/9 was 1"

Let me know if you need anything else:drinks:
 
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Discussion Starter #6
That is exactly what I needed, thanks!

I don't think I have any 1" in stock, but I think I have everything else I need. Stay tuned for updates! :munch:
 

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My pleasure. Can't wait to see the final product!:thumbup1gif:
 

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No pictures yet, it got dark on me. I've been working on this though. I got the bucket straightened somewhat and welded back together, I wound up having to put a 2x6" patch piece along the inside, up against the side of the bucket. Everywhere I touched to clean it with a wire wheel, I found cracks. The bucket probably wasn't worth the time I spent working on it. :laugh: It looks slightly less wrecked though!

I have the stock to make the pins I need, and had planned to do that today. I got tied up with some other projects, then the bandsaw decided not to work. Bad start capacitor. I'm hoping to get the pins cut and drilled tomorrow, probably won't install them until I get the smaller pins to hold them in place.
 

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You can check specifications on a lot of parts on JDparts.com. The pins diameters are 25mm or .984" (not that 0.016" bigger will hurt)
 
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I'm tuned in...

There's a used bucket (looks brand new) that's labeled it's off a 541 FEL at a dealership near me. I think it'd be perfect for you ever time I see it, but the shipping would double the cost of the bucket :thumbsdown:

Good luck fixing it up! If you need any pictures of the loader let me know :good2:
If you come across a JD 85" bucket for a JD 640 loader (600/700 series carrier) LMK
 

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I got to work on this a bit today. I made and installed pivot pins to replace the top link pins someone had put in. Straightened the bent L arms also. No pictures, it got dark on me. Hope to get some tomorrow.

While replacing the pins did help with the slop at the QA brackets, I found there is a significant amount of slop in the QA bracket itself. I would have to get a picture to fully explain it, will try to do that tomorrow. The QA bracket has a linkage arm that comes off the center of it. The linkage arm pivots on a captive pin. The pin is welded on the inside of the main QA assembly and it appears that it's not designed to be removed. That would explain why the QA assemblies are so expensive as replacement parts. I'm undecided what to do with it. It can be repaired, but will involve cutting around the ends of the pin to remove it, and then I'm not sure what to expect the linkage arm to look like. The play there is significant though. I can't get it apart to measure it obviously, but I'm estimating there has to be 3/16-1/4" of play at the pin itself, which translates into inches of movement at the bucket connection. This will require more planning.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, progress has been made. As I mentioned previously, the QA brackets on my loader were badly worn where the linkage pins on. JD considers this a non-servicable assembly, since the pivot pin is welded in place. New QA assemblies are about $580 apiece, so it was worth repairing.

Before I begin, I'd just like to take a moment and ask you to go grease your tractor. Everything I'm dealing with on this loader is due to a lack of grease. I know it doesn't sound like a big deal, it's only a squirt or two that goes in there anyway. It's important, though. Had the previous owner greased this loader properly, I wouldn't be doing these repairs right now. The loader would have been in much better condition, and he probably would've gotten more from the dealer when he traded it in. Grease is important.

Now, on to the repairs. Job #1 was to remove the two QA assemblies where the bucket attaches. Easy enough, remove the upper pins then remove the timing rod. Went well, up until the timing rod part. It was rusted into the left side QA assembly. I wound up having to cut the timing rod in 3 places to remove the brackets. I cut it in the center, so I could slide that half out and remove the right side assembly. I had to cut it again on either side of the left loader arm, between the arm and the side of the QA. Grease! As you can see in the photos, that left me with two pieces of timing rod seized into the QA assembly. That would be dealt with later.

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The next step was to remove the pin that holds the link arm to the main QA body. This pin is not meant to be replaced, it's fully welded on both sides.

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I debated the best way to do this, as the hole left after removing this will be critical in fitting a replacement. I ended up using the existing indention in the pin as a guide, and drilling straight into it from both sides. The OD of the factory pin is 1 1/8", and I stopped with a 13/16 hole into it. Then I used a reciprocating saw to reach in from the back and cut through the remaining pin. I did it that way for two reasons. One, it gives me a good reference for where the center of the hole should be. Two, it is easier to cut through what is essentially a tube than it is to cut through a solid bar.

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This is the factory pin, where it goes through the link arm inside the QA.

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As you can see the hole in the link arm is about 1/8" larger than the pin, and oblong. While that's not a huge gap, by the time you go from that link to the end of the bucket that 1/8" equates to about 4" of slop. It's a big deal. Proper lubrication would have prevented that wear. At this stage, I plan to take both link arms to a machine shop and have the egg shaped holes bored back to round. Once that's done, I will probably shim it back down to something near factory size and install a new pin. I'm considering a different design for the pin, instead of welding it in place secure it with lynch pins like the other pins on the loader. I would need to fabricate some bosses that could be welded to the QA plates though, to spread the load out a bit. Still undecided on that one.

The final step for today was to take the torch and burn out the last remaining pieces of timing rod in one of the brackets. No pictures of that, fairly uneventful. :)
 

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Well, this repair has taken a fairly significant turn. So significant in fact, I'm not sure it still counts as a repair. :laugh: No further work has been done, but some parts have been acquired and plans made.

I hope to have this job completed by the weekend. Photos and more information to follow. :thumbup1gif:
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
This project has twisted and turned, again! :lol:

Earlier this week, I found out my dealer had the JD QA brackets off a 563 loader sitting in the back of a warehouse. We looked at them, I took a whole lot of measurements and began figuring out what would be required to put the 563 QA on my 541. It would have been brand new cast QA brackets, cylinder link arms, and guide links if needed. While I was there, he showed me the JD Global QA system. It looked like a very simple conversion to the 563 QA.

Unfortunately, that was not the case. It would be very simple to put the JD QA brackets off a 553 onto a 541. You would need some bushings to go from the 1" shafts that the 541 uses to the 1&3/8" pins the 563 uses, but otherwise everything would line right up except for the timing rod. The timing rod was too long, and too large in diameter. This turned out to be the wrench in the gears; while the brackets would physically fit onto the 541, the lower pin holes would be 5" too narrow to match the bucket. The length of the timing rod is necessary to put the lower pin holes in the proper location on a 563 loader, which is 5" too wide for the brackets to fit on the 541 loader arms. There was no foreseeable way to modify them due to the design of the brackets.

I'd been on the fence regarding the JD Global system. It really appeals to me, and the dealer had a global carrier for a 563 loader sitting on the lot as well. I stopped by today and did a lot more measuring. The Global carrier is also too wide to mount onto the 541, as it is designed for a 563. However, the lower pin mounts are inboard of the loader pivot connections. After much measuring and deliberation, I decided to forge ahead and convert my 541 loader to JD Global quick attach using a carrier for a 563 loader. My dealer cautioned me several times, "I don't think anyone has done this before". That's okay. Once I put the plasma cutter to it, I'm committed whether I like it or not. :laugh::thumbup1gif:


This is the carrier I'm using. It's part number BW15407.

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This is the problem.

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The inside plates for the loader pivot are 38 &5/8" apart. The loader arms on my tractor are 36 &5/8" apart. This is the same problem I had with the JD QA plates for a 563 loader. The difference is, the lower hook mounts on the global carrier are inside the loader pivots, where the JD QA has them outside. I can move the pivot points on this carrier without affecting the lower hook width.

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In that photo, you can see there's a space between the lower hook and the inside plate of the pivot. There's actually 2" there. I believe I can remove 1" right there, on each side of the QA carrier, and remove 2" from the top bar. That would bring it down to the correct width without changing the lower hook width. That will, however, change the top hook width. I need to get a couple more measurements, but I believe there is enough room for that to be a non issue. The top hooks on the implement are not as wide as the top hook area of the loader side assembly.

That will solve the big roadblock. Once I get the width correct, I will need to bring the loader pivot holes in the QA carrier down from 1 3/8" to 1" for the pins in the 541 loader. That's a simple process, I have some 1.5" OD DOM tubing with a .25 wall, or 1" ID. I can turn that down to 1 3/8" OD, and weld those bushings into the QA carrier.

That will leave the cylinder to carrier links. Those are what I had to cut out of my original QA assemblies, with the egg shaped holes in them. I believe I may fabricate complete new ones, using the 541's 1" pins at the cylinder connection and the QA carrier's 1 3/8" pins. That will allow me to modify the length as necessary to get the correct amount of tilt at the bucket.

Should be interesting! :munch::laugh:
 

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I agree this should be interesting. :munch::munch::munch:
 

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The biggest challange is going to be dodging all the bras and panties that the women will be throwing at you when you are cruising the neighborhood with your new loader:yahoo::dance::dance::dance::dance:
 

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@56FB: Very cool, this is a great project!

@Arlen: I got nothin'
 

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I guess it depends on the neighborhood...to whether Arlens fantasy would be good.............................or not:laugh:

I have a feeling..these women would love a loader....for some reason:unknown:
 

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Who would have guessed that rgd would be the one to post this?:laugh:
 
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