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Thread: Question Hydraulic Powerpack, Homemade

  1. #1
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    Default Question Hydraulic Powerpack, Homemade

    If you have an old Ford tractor, in my case a 1951 8N, you soon discover what a pain it is to lose hydraulic pumping when you depress the clutch. This has been addressed with two systems; a pump running off the front of the crankshaft for a front loader and a hideous retrofit belt driven pump called a Live Thang for about $500.00.

    Here's my thinking. Build a hydraulic power pack from a 12 volt starter turning a power steering pump actuated by a switch on the clutch petal or a trigger on the lift control lever. A master switch to lock out when not needed. There is access to the tractor pressure side and return so minimum plumbing would be needed if located under the right side of the seat. The Live Thang parallels the auxillary pump with the existing and I know that this works. Would need a battery cable to the pump which wouldn't be difficult.

    The existing system develops 1700 psi at about 2.5 gal per minute. The tractor uses the same fluid as the transmission, rear end for the hydraulics. I never had any experience with a power pack. For RPM and power would direct coupling between the starter and pump be reasonable.

    Thanks in advance and let the games begin.

  2. #2
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    It is obvious that you are not using your tractor as it was intended, you don't need hyd. when the clutch pedal is in. .
    I couldn't resist! .
    It sounds like your add on would work, and yes all of the 12volt hyd. systems I have seen are direct connected.
    You could use that same pump with an electric clutch and belt drive it off the engine, then you would not have to worry about over heating a starter motor if you needed longer run times.

    Steve

  3. #3
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    Dec 2005
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    A actual powerpack is around $300 from grainger.com

    I have thought about redoing the one on my wrecker with a aux motor, I'd like to put the allison 5-auto, or the 400 turbo into it. Do away with the pto granny 4...

    Those lil powerpacks overheat really quick.
    Excuse me, I farted.

  4. #4
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    Clarification. I'm thinking of a system that only runs seconds at a time. One example I think of is running the brush hog mower aground. Blade stops, kills the engine if I don't clutch it fast enough. If I do clutch it in time, I've stopped the hydraulic pump and I can't pick up the mower to un-stick it. Get off, try to unhook the PTO shaft, go get a 5' bar to stick through a u joint, finally get it unhooked. Restart the tractor, drive off the obstruction, stop, reconnect the PTO shaft....

    Another is using a post hole digger. Sometimes it would be nice to stop the auger from turning with the clutch but lift the auger out of the hole.

  5. #5
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    The hydraulic power packs are not designed for continuous duty. They will also drain your battery in no time flat.

    Do it off the engine if you have to do it.

  6. #6
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    That tractor is 6V..........

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardtail
    That tractor is 6V..........
    I've already been grafting car parts onto the old tractor. an SI 10 Delco alternator, an ignition resistor and 12V battery. The old 6 volt starter is tolerant of it. It's a common conversion.

    Quote Originally Posted by macona
    The hydraulic power packs are not designed for continuous duty. They will also drain your battery in no time flat.
    Do it off the engine if you have to do it.
    I see the power packs on snow plows on 4X4 pickups. I think the duty cycle on my application would be lower. I can't imagine what they would be for if they drain a battery that quickly.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Go for the front mounted pump, a powerpac set up would not be satifactory
    for this appliction.

  9. #9
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    Midland, Mi
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    I have built a few generations of hydraulic pumps for my shop, and used a saginaw power steering pump in a couple. They do work very well for a hydraulic pump, at least for my purpose. I ran one at ~1000Rpm's from a 3hp motor to be a hydraulic source for a rotary draw tubing bender. Here are the issues I had:

    1)It is difficult to set up a remote reservoir with the normal type saginaw pump. There are some saginaws that came with a remote reservoir, which should be easier to retrofit, but I just rolled my own. It is not a huge challenge for a HSM, but it is messy if you screw up.

    2) Pressure connections are another oddity. The old models use a double inverted flare (brake line), new ones use a metric o-ring fitting. Both are not common to hydraulic shops, I used high pressure compression fittings from my local hydraulic shop to mate the hoses.

    3) The actual pressure and flow a saginaw is capable of. In stock form, from memory, the saginaw pump does around 1200 psi, and about .8 Gpm. You can find instructions on line for modifying the saginaw pumps for more pressure and flow. It is simple, and involves shimming the springs in the RV and drilling out the flow orfice, however, it puts the pumps outside their operational limits, and is detrimental to it's life span.

    I blew the vanes out of two pumps running my bender. This exhausted my supply of junk yard pumps in my pile, so I looked for a better alternative. I suggest you check surplus center for a gear pump. I bought one from them to replace the saginaw, and have never looked back. I got a 1Gpm pump, rated fro 3500psi for less than $100. It has not let me down.

    I have no idea what the speed of a starter motor is when direct coupled, but I suspect it may be more than a steering pump will like.

    Good Luck,
    Jason

  10. #10
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    Didn't they ever come with live hydraulics? I've got a 850 and a Golden Jubilee that both have flywheel driven pumps, ones a gear and one a vane, been awhile since I've been around the N's.

    Whats your intention to share the oil with this aux pump and system or plumb in another reservoir?

    We run into this all the time with old equipment, the first problem is low pressure (relatively speaking) high volume which usually means slow action, depending on the application you can rig up a 12V belt driven pump, means another sheave off the engine and your system can't drop below 12V for long or you'll fry the electric clutch, activation can be with a microswitch off the spool so your not wasting power when not required.

    Some of those early front mounted pumps were real power pigs.

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