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Thread: The digger lives!! almost. Talk to me about (hydraulic) rams

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    Should Get Out More Kneerly Down's Avatar
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    Default The digger lives!! almost. Talk to me about (hydraulic) rams


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    Short version: How best to clean up rust on chromed hydraulic rams so they are usable if not entirely presentable.

    Long version:
    I have one of these:

    that I used to use to level off the driveway and do odds and ends with the grounds.

    Just over 9 years ago the spool valves started to cause trouble so I arranged with a hydraulics chap to get them sorted.
    Parked digger at front of house, took off valves and dropped them with him.

    Either he lost them or sold them, but the long and short is I never got them back.
    Fast forward 9 and a bit years and I finally react to my wife wanting it moved!!

    Anyway, after a bit of fettling I have the engine running once again but the hydraulic rams have suffered from being stood next to a sea loch in NW Scotland for nearly a decade.

    So....
    I don't need to use it every day, or even every week. Maybe 2 or 3 days a month on average so I reckon I can live with some fluid loss if the rams aren't perfect but would like advice on how best to clean them up, with that proviso.

    I am still on a bit of a high that I got the engine working!



    * the spool valves from 'Lewis Equipment' are a LOT of money so I've got generic ones from the states, with a whole load of adapters for the connectors.

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  3. #2
    Should Get Out More Cousin Jack's Avatar
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    Default Re: The digger lives!! almost. Talk to me about (hydraulic) rams

    Bloody hell!

    The local chavs park an old motor outside the house, but not one has had the chutzpah to park a digger in the front garden for 9 years.

    Respect!

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    Default Re: The digger lives!! almost. Talk to me about (hydraulic) rams

    I was worried if I left it for 10 that it'd get its own listed status!

    Just had a look on Google Streetview.
    Last drive-by was Apr 2010...quite a shiny digger outside the house...I'd forgotten it looked quite decent back then!

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    Should Get Out More Big Pete's Avatar
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    Default Re: The digger lives!! almost. Talk to me about (hydraulic) rams

    1200 grade wet N dry with some WD40 to clean off the rust and knock back the sharp edges. If there are serious pits you could use the old araldite ploy as used on forks. The proper solution is to take the rams to a refurb outfit who will strip the old chrome regrind and rechrome.

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    Should Get Out More Big Pete's Avatar
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    Default Re: The digger lives!! almost. Talk to me about (hydraulic) rams

    btw, if the spools were causing trouble have a look in the hydraulic tank sump, last time I had sticky spools it turned out one of the needle bearings in the hydraulic pump was grinding itself to dust, which was all through the system. Took a while sorting that bastard out.

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    Default Re: The digger lives!! almost. Talk to me about (hydraulic) rams

    There was fluid leaking passed the spool valves leading to a lack of power.
    Hoping it was just related to the valves but I'll take out the tank and probably replace it with a temporary solution just to make sure I can get everything working.
    There was an outfit I used in Coventry that made good quality simple tanks to custom dimensions for about 50.

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    Default Re: The digger lives!! almost. Talk to me about (hydraulic) rams

    CJ..I don't think it dominated the frontage...I think that might have been part of the problem of me getting round to it.

    HouseApr2010.jpg

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    Default Re: The digger lives!! almost. Talk to me about (hydraulic) rams

    I would definitely recommend starting with a chemical attack. Some sort of proprietary rust removing gel. Once you get the rust off you can see if there are any divots. Modern chemical metals will fill any craters nut you will have to rub it down with fine wet/dry as Pete suggests. And make any repairs dead smooth.

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    Should Get Out More 1888's Avatar
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    Default Re: The digger lives!! almost. Talk to me about (hydraulic) rams

    When you park it up outside cant you park it so the chrome section are in the ram or would this cause early death of the seals?

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    Default Re: The digger lives!! almost. Talk to me about (hydraulic) rams

    Quote Originally Posted by 1888 View Post
    When you park it up outside cant you park it so the chrome section are in the ram or would this cause early death of the seals?
    Not if the dribaulicks are fubarred

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    Default Re: The digger lives!! almost. Talk to me about (hydraulic) rams

    Quote Originally Posted by davidat19 View Post
    Not if the dribaulicks are fubarred
    That^.
    I could have blocked the buckets up to keep the rams 'closed' but the spool valves were only going to be away for a week or 2.
    Had I known it was going to be there 9 years I wouldn't have parked it up at the front of the house either!

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    Default Re: The digger lives!! almost. Talk to me about (hydraulic) rams

    Quote Originally Posted by Kneerly Down View Post
    CJ..I don't think it dominated the frontage...I think that might have been part of the problem of me getting round to it.

    HouseApr2010.jpg
    That front lawn is a bit tatty. Not up to 'bowling green' standard.

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