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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, here we go, this may be a long one! (I think the full story is needed to set what the plan is).

I do a LOT of CRAZY Educational Projects with my Younger Son & Daughter (Oldest is disabled(Downs)).
2020 opened up a lot of time out of school, so I stepped it up a notch. We built a 15" gauge electric locomotive from 95% scrap, rebuilt a soda machine, rebuilt a manual push electric fork lift, among other things.
The next idea I had was a skid steer, as we could use one for minor tasks at the family's business, just a small Mom & Pop motel. The plan was to convert the skid steer to operate 100% on electric!

Budget was/is tight. I put a craigslist post out looking for a skid steer with a blown or non-functional motor.
After a few weeks, I got contacted by a older farmer, in his mid-85's. He had picked up a JD Skid Steer 70 about 6 years ago. It was in the lower level of a barn, and during a heavy storm the barn blew down. It had sat for a couple years before it was recovered, then this old farmer bought it with plans to get it running. Fast forward 6 years, his health deteriorated and would not be working on it. He gave me the skid steer at a fairly reasonable price as he was happy that it was going to be used for an educational project.

So here we are! Overall condition (Minus the seat) was actually very clean overall! I was quite surprised to be honest. The motor was half taken apart, which was fine, wasn't going to be using it anyways. Taken apart but nothing seemed to be missing!

So got engine out, that went to another guy that bought a 3 wheel postal delivery truckster that needed the parts.

NEXT: I thought, better test the hydraulics. If the hydraulics don't work, no point in continuing with this steer. Repair costs might be too high, that I could sell it again, and then look for something else.

So here is what we did! The Hydraulic Fluid was low. Appears to be a leak by a axle seal on left rear wheel (Problem 1). So Refilled hydraulics. Took 10 gallons. Who knows the last time it was refilled. Then, we used some good ol Metal Glue (Welder) and welded a bolt to the hydraulic pump's shaft. I then used my Milwaukee cordless drill in low gear to turn the shaft with a socket adapter. I had the drill in Low (Torque) setting, maxes at about 300-500 rpm-ish??? (Would need to double check RPM).

Let it spin for about 5 minutes, as it needed to re-prime itself and start drawing fluid. Then I could hear the fluid flowing (Nice not having a loud engine!).
Had my son hop in the loader. Started with the lift/lower of the bucket. Took about a minute for the fluid to flow, then lift and lower worked no problem! Worked GREAT actually. Following, we did the same with bucket tilt, again, took about a minute (Remember, using a Cordless Drill at a lower than normal RPM to power the loader! The WORLDS FIRST AND ONLY CORDLESS DRILL POWERED SKID LOADER!) but worked good as well!
Drive controls would not work. The ball-joint linkage had surface rusted causing it to bind up for the controls. Lubricated that all up.
Got it freed up. at this point, drill is cooled down and recharged. Go at it again. Here is problem 2. Loader moved forward a few feet, then started getting grinding noise. Same for reverse. Here are a couple videos showing what I'm talking about. Sorry, had to do it one handed, kids are in school so trying to trouble shoot a bit!

So there it all is! Any assistance would be greatly appreciated! I hope we can use this loader. It's very simple it seems overall and trying to keep expenses as low as possible.



THANK YOU!!!
 

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That's painful to listen to.

Caveat- I know little about that particular skid steer but some are chain driven. If you are lucky, it could be a chain that's rusted and no long wants to wrap around the sprocket. That's all I've got but good luck with the project.

Treefarmer
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That's painful to listen to.

Caveat- I know little about that particular skid steer but some are chain driven. If you are lucky, it could be a chain that's rusted and no long wants to wrap around the sprocket. That's all I've got but good luck with the project.

Treefarmer
Thank you! I thought it sounded like a chain jumping a sprocket!
Personally, why else would it go smooth to a point??? I think i need to pull the wheels, and remove the metal access plates that are there. About 10 bolts each.

Heading out of town for work for the weekend right now, So i’m still hoping for as many suggestions as possible :)
I’m pretty sure I can mitigate the axle seal leakage. Also ordered a copy of the service manual. Just hope I don’t need to part this one out to get a better condition one!

THANK YOU!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So here is update: Pulled the wheels off, put the skid steer up on blocks, removed those side panels. everything looks brand spanking new inside. Don’t even see any wear on the sprockets.

Here is a 10 minute video showing in better detail.

as i’m still waiting for my service manual to arrive, though not sure how much it will help me, but, is there maybe some sort of clutch or linkage that can be separated when say, the brake is pressed? It in all honesty sounds like someone driving a non-synchromesh manual transmission car.

Now, also, the steer was free rolling and easy to move when i got it, after priming the pumps and what not a d trying to actually drive is when this started to happen.
 

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I know even less than you do about skid steers but that sounds like a ratchet slip clutch of some type. Sorry it wasn't a chain- that would have been much easier to deal with.

Since it was freewheeling until you put oil in the system, what happens if you disconnect the pump from the drives? Somehow you are going to have to isolate the problem but IDK exactly how you can do that.

It's a good puzzle- glad this isn't a production machine.

Treefarmer
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I know even less than you do about skid steers but that sounds like a ratchet slip clutch of some type. Sorry it wasn't a chain- that would have been much easier to deal with.

Since it was freewheeling until you put oil in the system, what happens if you disconnect the pump from the drives? Somehow you are going to have to isolate the problem but IDK exactly how you can do that.

It's a good puzzle- glad this isn't a production machine.

Treefarmer
Will give that a try. USPS mis-routed my service manual yet again, went to cincinatti, then iowa, left iowa, went back to iowa, left again and went to Cincinatti, I'm in Milwaukee.
Before I go disconnecting hydraulics, I'm going to try and clean up the brake system more and see if something is causing it to bind up.

I'm ruling out the main pump for now, as when I spin the shaft with the drill, it's all quiet and pumps nice and smoothly, and raises and lowers the bucket no problem. It's only with the drive engaged, or turning the wheels manually do I have a problem. Come to think of it, is their a "Park" mode? A prowl in the system as their would be in a cars automatic transmission?
 

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Try running it while you have it up on stands with the covers off. Maybe you can pinpoint the issue that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just updating everyone at progress so far, hope to maybe help someone else in similar situation. Put it up on blocks, have all four wheels off. Turning the axles by hand (Using long plank of wood for leverage), it still clicks and clanks and finds a dead spot.
HOWEVER, with it off the ground, and no wheels, the amount of torque required from my poor drill is much lower, so I was able to switch my drill to second gear and max out it's RPM. Ran it at high RPM for about 2 minutes until the drill stopped itself due to heat (Curious what the wattage of a Milwaukee Fuel Brushless drill is??? Still blown away it was powerful enough to do anything at all...). Let the drill chill for an hour. Went back, ran it at full power again, had my son put it in forward, wheels turned, no lock ups, then reverse, left and right, and no lock ups or abnormal noise that I could tell (Though drill was rather loud at full power). Raised and lowered bucket, drill overheated. Switched it to low gear again, max of about 500 rpm, and repeated the above, seemed to work again, no problems. Not sure whats going on, could really use the service manual, but it's still in USPS Limbo, shipper used media mail..... even though I paid for shipping. Could have shipped first class for about 10 cents more and i'd have had it monday...

Anyways, maybe there is something that requires a certain amount of pressure to operate properly? Or if there is some sort of dis-connect? Still at a loss.... Anyways, decided to continue to the next step, and that is, adding a big honkin DC motor. got one, but the splines were wrong. Unless anyone knows where I could get a reasonably priced 9 spline to 13 spline adapter??? Or has a old Cushman Golfster motor sitting around.
CHEERS! Will update!
 

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Just updating everyone at progress so far, hope to maybe help someone else in similar situation. Put it up on blocks, have all four wheels off. Turning the axles by hand (Using long plank of wood for leverage), it still clicks and clanks and finds a dead spot.
HOWEVER, with it off the ground, and no wheels, the amount of torque required from my poor drill is much lower, so I was able to switch my drill to second gear and max out it's RPM. Ran it at high RPM for about 2 minutes until the drill stopped itself due to heat (Curious what the wattage of a Milwaukee Fuel Brushless drill is??? Still blown away it was powerful enough to do anything at all...). Let the drill chill for an hour. Went back, ran it at full power again, had my son put it in forward, wheels turned, no lock ups, then reverse, left and right, and no lock ups or abnormal noise that I could tell (Though drill was rather loud at full power). Raised and lowered bucket, drill overheated. Switched it to low gear again, max of about 500 rpm, and repeated the above, seemed to work again, no problems. Not sure whats going on, could really use the service manual, but it's still in USPS Limbo, shipper used media mail..... even though I paid for shipping. Could have shipped first class for about 10 cents more and i'd have had it monday...

Anyways, maybe there is something that requires a certain amount of pressure to operate properly? Or if there is some sort of dis-connect? Still at a loss.... Anyways, decided to continue to the next step, and that is, adding a big honkin DC motor. got one, but the splines were wrong. Unless anyone knows where I could get a reasonably priced 9 spline to 13 spline adapter??? Or has a old Cushman Golfster motor sitting around.
CHEERS! Will update!
Maybe someone on here will know if there is a parking brake of some kind that kicks in if hydraulic pressure is low.

One of the industrial suppliers might have a flex coupling that could be used to connect the motors. The other option that comes to mind is two sprockets connected by a double chain. Of course then you are buying two sprockets but those transmit a lot of power with a little bit of flex in alignment. (Sprockets are face matched to each other and the chain goes around each.)

Treefarmer
 

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It could have a pressure operated brake. I'm not as familiar with the older stuff. Does it have a " safety" device to activate the controls?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sorry for lack of update.
Here is the progress we've made.
Cleaned out the engine bay a bit.
Used metal glue (Weld) to attach electric motor mount.
Was contacted by a D&D Engineer whom took interest in our project. He designed and built a Custom electric motor for us with the correct shaft we need too. It's about 10-ish HP, so rough equivalent to a 30-35 hp gas engine, and likely still out-perform that.
We have our chain and sprockets.

Now, read through the service manual. Seems there are 6 bolts on each side for tensioning the chains. That is the ONLY thing can see the noise could be from, and it does sound like chain jumping sprockets.
4 bolts on the underside, and two on the outside. Loosen underside 4 first, then the outside, use a bar or heavy screwdriver to raise the large sprocket to tension. Then while holding sprocket in place with the screwdriver, tighten the outer bolts followed by the under side. That "Should" solve my problem! WIll update!
 

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Sorry for lack of update.
Here is the progress we've made.
Cleaned out the engine bay a bit.
Used metal glue (Weld) to attach electric motor mount.
Was contacted by a D&D Engineer whom took interest in our project. He designed and built a Custom electric motor for us with the correct shaft we need too. It's about 10-ish HP, so rough equivalent to a 30-35 hp gas engine, and likely still out-perform that.
We have our chain and sprockets.

Now, read through the service manual. Seems there are 6 bolts on each side for tensioning the chains. That is the ONLY thing can see the noise could be from, and it does sound like chain jumping sprockets.
4 bolts on the underside, and two on the outside. Loosen underside 4 first, then the outside, use a bar or heavy screwdriver to raise the large sprocket to tension. Then while holding sprocket in place with the screwdriver, tighten the outer bolts followed by the under side. That "Should" solve my problem! WIll update!
You might try a wedge to hold tension while tightening the bolts if there's room.

Treefarmer
 

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I don't have anything technical to add, but have very much enjoyed reading this thread and following along! Thank you for sharing and more so for doing this as a teaching exercise with your kids! I 👍👍👍👍
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I don't have anything technical to add, but have very much enjoyed reading this thread and following along! Thank you for sharing and more so for doing this as a teaching exercise with your kids! I 👍👍👍👍
Thank you :) If no one minds, after this project and thread is complete, I'll also post a short video of the ******* Express Electric Locomotive we built last year, out of 95% actual scrap (Only non-scrap items were the bearings, welding wire, and 4 pipes to hold the canopy up). Even the batteries were re-purposed :)
 

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@KmanAuto Don't mind at all, infact we (Edit: Don't want to speak on behalf of GTT ownership but at least I do) encourage it!! Not only is it a pleasure to see others creativity, but usually there is something we can all learn from it, be a good technique or unique way of doing something!
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So, Update: Electric motor is IN AND CONNECTED! I only have one 12v battery on hand, will grab a few more weak ones from my father this weekend, but for testing in the garage, 12v is plenty. Just tested with jumper cables, I have an high powered solenoid we will wire into the key ignition for on-off. A lot of extra controls I suppose we can remove that were for the gas engine, such as choke, oil pressure, throttle and what not. After talking with the D&D motor company engineer that built our electric motor, we both came to the agreement that no real need for a throttle. He built the motor to handle 12-72v, so we can find the happy medium for voltage and just use an on/off contactor.

So for testing, raised and lowered the boom. Tilted the bucket, and ran the drive forward and reverse for about 30 minutes. Hadn't charged the battery since January, and it was a bit low to start with. The battery is also 30 years old, it was the starting battery for my first car, a 1991 Alfa Romeo 164L. Amazing vehicle. Sold the car in 2002 to my cousin, and my cousin "HAD" to have a new battery....19 years after selling the car to him (Don't know whatever happened to it after my cousin passed) and 30 years after the car was built, it still tests CCA above sticker rating......

Anywho, it did good on a up on blocks in garage test. I found the 12v run RPM was just too low. It actually did better on the higher RPM drill heh. I don't have an Tach so I don't know what the RPM was, but by how it ran, at least 1/2 the speed of the drill. On the bright side, the after 30 minutes of the drive motors turning, the electric motor didn't even get warm to the touch, so that wasn't even breaking a sweat! I will have 2 more batteries this weekend, so I can test at 24 and 36v. I'm going to go out on a limb and guestimate that 36v will be pretty close to what I will need, slight chance at 48v, but I know at 72v that I'll most likely blow the hydraulic over-pressure valve. Hydraulic gauge is rusted over, so won't be able to see that
:-(
 

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I know on older Bobcat skid steers there's a switch you have to push to unlock the parking brake, not sure if your JD is the same way. Also could be the wheel bearings, being up off the ground there is no machine weight on them, just wheel weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I know on older Bobcat skid steers there's a switch you have to push to unlock the parking brake, not sure if your JD is the same way. Also could be the wheel bearings, being up off the ground there is no machine weight on them, just wheel weight.
Can’t find anything like this. We will try with the wheels back on and driving on Tuesday after the holiday. I also don’t want to drive it on 12 V, what do you at least 24 V. Don’t want to amperage to kick up to high.
 
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