The Useful Duck!

Contribute to my Vacation, please...

Monday, February 24, 2014

I fix things that should not be fixed

My forklift has steering problems. It also has problems with the brakes. So.... if your forklift tends to dart off in unexpected directions and the brakes don't work then it does make it hard to unload a truck or put pallets away.
I end up with a lot of broken pallets and I tend to stick the forks through random objects.
Friday I decided I had enough.
My little helper was here and he put the forklift in the shop.

There were two problems.
First problem was that the tie rod ball joint had pulled out of the end of the steering cylinder and ruined the treads and actually split the cylinder rod.
The second problem was that the tapered end of the ball joint had come loose in the steering knuckle and had wallowed out the hole.
I tried calling my local hydraulic repair guy but he didn't answer the phone.
I needed the forklift.
After much consultation I decided to make an executive decision. I have a welder. Are we mice or are we men?
Or rather, we are farmers and if it can be welded or wired or beat with a hammer, it can be repaired.

To repair the tapered holes I found a piece of carbon rod that we just happened to have laying around the shop. I ground it to the taper of the ball joint, I put it in the wallowed out hole, and I ran a bead of 6011 around the rod until the hole was filled.
I then ground the top flat and encouraged my little helper to make liberal use of green loctite. (Of course he forgot to use the loctite)

To repair the cylinder end I decided to first repair the threads on the ball joint. I used a thread chaser to repair the damaged threads. I clamped the steering cylinder in the vice and threaded the ball joint as far into the cylinder shaft as possible.

I had found a set collar that just fit over the steering cylinder shaft and I put that on first.
Next I welded up the crack on the shaft. I slid the set collar over the welded split in the shaft and then welded the shaft onto the ball joint and then I welded the set collar so that it covered up the welds and will keep the shaft from going far enough into the cylinder to ruin the seal.
We put it all back together and it now steers. I think I will avoid driving it down the highway. Of course driving an ancient detroit diesel power forklift down the highway is not the most pleasurable experience anyone could have. Not like you want to zip into town for lunch at the Blue Goat in your Mercury-Pettibone.
Uncle Jacks, might be good. Actually, Uncle Jack's BBQ is pretty much always good.


  1. Repair is just a higher form of recycling. You da man!

  2. yeah but if you DID drive it into town just think of how much bbq you could haul back with it. that would be great.

    1. A pallet load of Uncle Jack's BBQ would certainly satisfy the palette. On the other hand you could also get several dead goats on a pallet. Perhaps I could drop the dead goats off at the blu goat and bring half a BBQed cow home and have room for baked beans.

    2. that would be awesome. yes. yes i think you should do that.

  3. And meanwhile I am not fixing things that need to be fixed. Still don't have a working front end loader tractor. I really need to get busy but these minus 30 something wind chill factors just take away a lot of my ambition for outdoor tasks.

    1. Ralph, I absolutely do not feel like working today. I have avoided it by fixing my splitting maul making 20 trips to the house in an attempt to fix the wireless network so that I can look up how to adjust the valves on a 585 Moline engine and stream wilf carter on iTunes.

  4. Pretty fancy repair! 6011? A real bottom feeder would have used baling wire or a coathanger. :-)

    1. I think real welder types scoff at 6011. Hey, I almost used JB weld. If I could have gotten everything clean enough I would have filled the tie rod holes with JB weld.
      The problem with JB weld is that over time it can squish under pressure. You can use it to fill in where a shaft has worn through a bearing but it doesn't handle severe side loads well.


Please leave a comment even if you are bored or don't agree with me...

Please leave comments! It is really easy!

You just type your comment in the text box below the post. You can be anyone you want.
And...Would the joker who keeps clicking "offensive" please leave an explanation ?!