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Stuck ram on a Bridgeport

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  • Stuck ram on a Bridgeport

    I am rebuilding a mil that has seen lots of rain and weather.The ram is stuck.I got the pinion shaft out.It has the handle broken off and deep pipe wrench marks,so its been stuck for a while.
    I loosened the lock bolts and tapped on them with a light hammer,thinking that might free something up.
    I put a four ton jack between the base and the head,gave it a few pumps and got scared and stopped.
    Tapped all along the dovetails,hoping to loosen it up.
    What is the next step?

  • #2
    That's what comes ..If it's not being moved in and out for years ..
    even mine was stuck and it haddent been rained on..
    so you got to extend the ram fully out ...and use scotchbrite on the way surfaces ...........oil then move it the max amount back-wards ...do the same with scotchbrite ..
    then after, just keep on moving it back-wards and for-wards and oiling ..until it frees itself up .

    the handle will snap off ..

    mine had a pipe wrench on it as well ...

    once you have it free drill and tap for bigger handle

    all the best.markj
    Last edited by aboard_epsilon; 05-13-2011, 12:56 PM.

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    • #3
      Try some good quality penetrating oil and some time. I'd use a straw sprayer to try to get into any edge/opening and soak it down. Then tap lightly with a ball peen. Do this 3/4 times a day over a period of at least a week.

      If that does not do the trick I'd then start applying a moderate amount of heat with a propane torch. I certainly would not use OA. Then tap some more.

      Patience is your friend in this case.

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      • #4
        Just dealt with this on my new-to-me Bridgeport the other day.

        I started with some Kroil penetrating lube, spraying it in from the ends, and also along the side. Let that sit for a while.

        Then I stuck a pipe on the welded on bar (where the broken off handle used to be). Got it moving. Then it was a case of bringing it all the way to one end, cleaning up the surfaces and putting way oil on. Move to the other end and repeat. Move back and forth a few times to distribute the oil, and now I can move it with one finger.

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        • #5
          Automatic trans fluid heated in a pot (out-side of course) should do the trick. Did for me!

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          • #6
            Are you talking about the ram that moves the head back and forth or when you say ram do you mean the quill with the spindle in it.

            When you said you put a jack between the base and the ram that got me to thinking your talking about the quill.
            It's only ink and paper

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            • #7
              he talks about dovetails ..so it wont be that .

              al the best.markj

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              • #8
                Yeah I know, but why did he think pushing up with a jack would help, on the other hand, why not. Think back and forth, not up and down.
                It's only ink and paper

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                • #9
                  1-800miner,
                  Plenty on PM about this problem.

                  In my own case, with the ram seriously stuck, I found in the rear underside of the ram a series of pockets which I was able to use to apply force with a crowbar. Used a piece of wood to protect the top of the pedestal & had a crowbar about 48" long.

                  Ray

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dr Stan
                    Try some good quality penetrating oil and some time. I'd use a straw sprayer to try to get into any edge/opening and soak it down. Then tap lightly with a ball peen. Do this 3/4 times a day over a period of at least a week.

                    If that does not do the trick I'd then start applying a moderate amount of heat with a propane torch. I certainly would not use OA. Then tap some more.

                    Patience is your friend in this case.
                    2nd for time and patience ... allow a full week for the oil to get in. I had a rusty pile of scrap rotavator, it wasnt coming apart it was going to get broken trying. but i tried patience instead and it all came apart. Very satisfiying

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                    • #11
                      Several years ago when I started at the high school, the rams had
                      not been moved in years so I had the same problem. The combination
                      of Kroil and a lot of "bumping" Pushing etc finally got them moving
                      so now every once in a while I'll just move all of them forward and
                      back with a bit of lub on the ways.
                      ...lew...

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                      • #12
                        Once you have the ram freed up, I recommend applying anti-seize compound to the moving surfaces. I worked for a while in a boat yard in FL and became quite familiar with its benefits.

                        At another FL shop I had to use a crow bar to remove the vice from a mill as it had been in place so long and probably without lube it had rusted to the table!

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                        • #13
                          I'd recommend using a plastic dead blow mallet to strike it with so you don't dent up the paintwork. Might be less liable to crack a brittle cast iron casting,too.

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                          • #14
                            I got it!

                            As I said:I had the pinion shaft out, and still would not move.
                            Got thinking about all the pipe wrench marks on the shaft.I went to my round column and milled 1 1/4" wrench flats over the pipe wrench scars.
                            Put it back together and put a real wrench to it and it budged!
                            It took two hours of oiling and wrenching to get full travel.

                            Now I have to get the bearing retainer nuts off the top pulley.
                            Someone used a punch to tighten them. They are oh so fubar.I think I will clamp it to the r/t and mill them out.

                            Thank all of you for the advice!

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                            • #15
                              Glad you got it loose! I have been afraid of gear breakage trying to force movement by the pinion. What has worked for me is to remove the head to decrease the inertia, soak for a week or more with penetrating oil, and use a good size timber as a battering ram on the ends of the ram. It helps to have two people for this. I got one loose that was severely rusted in place.
                              Don Young

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