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Thread: Interesting Old Equipment, Projects & Work Places

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Bangkok
    Posts
    767
    Back hoe part 2:

    The backhoe was built onto a Chamberlain 6 G tractor. These tractors were designed in Victoria for broad acre farming but the WA Government made an offer that the designer could not refuse and they were built in a factory in Welshpool, WA. Their history is an interesting story in itself.

    (Chamberlain Tractors - Wikipedia)

    The early ones used a variety of different engines, and this particular 6G ("G" indicating the number of forward gears) was fitted with a Perkins L4 diesel engine.

    The actual backhoe and frontend loader had been built by a local engineering shop, or so our enthusiastic salesman insisted! As far as I can recall the hydraulic pump was external and driven by the PTO. It had a big separate hydraulic oil supply tank built into the rear structure of the digger.

    It did not have a hydraulic crowd action on the front bucket, just a mechanical trip action. It was designed to be able to side shift the whole digger assembly, but as it relied on a couple of big bolts and nuts just acting as aclamp, the thing would rather slide sideways than stay where it was put whentrying to dig from one side! I can not recall just how the slew action was built, but I do know that I had to completely redesign and rebuild it!

    The first thing to give trouble after trying it out was a sudden loss of hydraulic system pressure. This was traced to an ominous build up of "crap" on the in tank oil suction line filter. Yes, the filter was inside the tank, which meant either draining the tank, or wallowing around in it while full of oil! Cleaning the filter restored the oil pressure, but not for long!

    The hydraulic rams had also been "home-made" and for piston seals they had used a flat "cup" type of seal more like that found in a windmill pump, called a "bucket seal". They were made from some fibrous material that shredded in use and led to a blocked filter. Strangely enough replacements were available from a place in Perth called:"Ludowici Seals"

    The next problem with the rams was the el cheapo piston rods. The next-door neighbour was installing a septic tank system, so asked me to go and dig the hole for the tank. I able to get the machine into his backyard past the house, but he had an elaborate back fence that he did not want to disturb. So, I started to dig the hole from inside of the fence, while dumping the spoil over the fence onto his truck. About halfway through digging the main boom ram failed while the bucket was on one side of the fence and the tractor was on the other side! The thread on the piston rod had stripped making the ram useless!

    I eventually bought some second hand rams from a wrecked Caterpillar dozer, which did improve it a lot, but it never did dig out any old stumps!

    Queensland edition:
    Crap hydraulic system, aye!






  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Bangkok
    Posts
    767
    Back hoe part 3:

    And now we come to Mr. Perkins master piece:

    Perkins made many very good engines, but this one was not up there with them.

    L4, pre-combustion chamber design. I am not sure if it still had the original engine, but it was this model tractor that was "tail end Charlie" in the 1955 Redex around Australia car rally.

    File:Tail end charlie gnangarra 01.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

    The first problem with it was starting the bloody thing! It would NOT start without a gulp of ether, at the time sold as "aero start". Even when it was hot it would argue about it!
    Once running it was a willing engine, although a bit power limited.

    BUT, unknown to me at the time, it had a reputation forbreaking crankshafts!

    Having got the back hoe to a useable state I decidedto open up a promising looking "soak" and turn it into a better waterhole. Making good progress with digging the hole without anything breaking,when suddenly the engine started knocking and clanging with a serious loudnoise!

    Rather than stop the engine, I stowed the back hoe andheaded back to the farm shed. It was probably only 10 minutes or so away, andwhile still protesting, I was able to drive it home.
    A couple of phone calls and some probing aroundindicated that the crankshaft had broken!

    I donít recall stripping it down. Although I had thetools and the ability, the job was made a lot harder by not having any concretefloor to work on. I guess that I removed the engine as a unit and dealt with itwhere it was. Found a second hand crankshaft, had it x-rayed and built theengine back up. I am sure that I did not remove the head and pistons, justtipped it upside down and attacked from the bottom!

    It must have worked because it was running when wesold the farm a couple of years later.
    I often wonder what the poor bugger that bought itfound out later!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Encounter Bay
    Posts
    427
    Yes I remember the ether, marketed as KI - Gas? with a big silver button to twist and push in ?

    Or an old hankie soaked in petrol held over air intake,

    Queensland edition : start yer basket

    Dave

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Brisbane, Inner East.
    Posts
    10,996
    Quote Originally Posted by Hogarthde View Post
    Yes I remember the ether, marketed as KI - Gas? with a big silver button to twist and push in ?

    Or an old hankie soaked in petrol held over air intake,

    Queensland edition : start yer basket

    Dave
    Ki-gas was a totally different thing to a can of ether. It was a dash mounted hand pump that primed the inlet manifold. Common on vintage and veteran cars. I have not seen one for decades.

    We used an old singlet tied to a broom handle for cold starting Oliver tractors on a Darling Downs winter morning. Dip it in the diesel tank, set it alight and hold it over the air intake.
    URSUSMAJOR

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Bangkok
    Posts
    767
    Quote Originally Posted by Hogarthde View Post
    Yes I remember the ether, marketed as KI - Gas? with a big silver button to twist and push in ?

    Or an old hankie soaked in petrol held over air intake,

    Queensland edition : start yer basket

    Dave
    Ah, no. Ki-gas used a hand pump to spray a fine mist of fuel into the intake manifold. On a diesel it was some times used in conjunction with glow plugs. "Aero Start" was ether, just like your "start you basket".

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Encounter Bay
    Posts
    427
    The old uncle had a Massey Harris, canít remember if 744 or 745 , it had the Ki-gas on the dash.

    So so it just sprayed fuel. . .? so what was the ki-gas part

    just thought of Senor Google, and answered myself , yay

    dave

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    4,303

    Old work places- this will be fun

    As a kid at times- Pocket money- I think most of my pocket money came from gold prospecting and my pet pig who kindly gave me more than most kids earn



    HMAS Vampire- she is still cool at Sydney Maritime Museum NZ and around, before trading up to a DDG



    diving and recovery was a fairly low tech role I enjoyed






    Shark BAY WA was a very cool place to work this might give some idea of the tools and bitey things.


    Big boys toys at Westrac Cat


    A Pen push now

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    FNQ
    Posts
    1,716

    The job

    The brother and I were preferred contractors for Telstra NDC doing installation of Gen sets, switchboards, batteries ,solar systems and other odd stuff mainly in NQ and Torres Strait islands.When asked if we could do a cost plus job up the Cape.turned out to be building a helipad at a seacom site on High peak south of Lockhart River .A paid camping trip on the cape with helicopter site seeing tours thrown in
    ,of course we refused The job ,Bob the pilot top bloke. Greg the Telstra rep time keeper and radio coms .Pothead a young bloke from the steel fabrication works in Sydney who flew up with the copter from Cairns...The brother and myself. When we drove into Lockhart to meet the barge ,found a very ****ed off Captain, the fork lift had broken down and no freight could be unloaded so he was going to sail up river till it was fixed.We asked about unloading up river with the copter which he thought was a great idea and would make a great video.We drove out to near High Peak and set up camp by a river with a clear patch for the copter which arrived next morning .The first job was to find a suitable staging area and drop Greg and pothead to unhook the loads while John and I continued on to the barge to sling the loads .( To be continued )
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    The new Gold Coast, after ocean rises,Queensland
    Posts
    10,697
    After my wonderful job getting the NT Brewery running again after cyclone tracy , I found myself as a remote areas diesel fitter with dept of construction at the 2 1/2 mile workshops as it was known.

    Following Cyclone Tracy there was an immediate need for power generating equipment and the good old Australian public donated heaps of generators to the Darwin Reconstruction Commission which passed them on to the 2 1/2 mile workshops. They already had a large shed at Batchelor, the old Rum Jungle uranium mine township , where their generating sets were stored. As well as the new sets being prepared for installation a plethora of the most amazing hotch potch of generators , donations from the Australian public , had been sent there and were kind of dumped in one end of the shed.

    One of my soft jobs after spending weeks out bush was to run up and load test the gensets sitting down there. One day Freddie May, the workshop foreman said he'd like to start running up some of the vintage and veteran generators , pumps and compressors sitting down the end of the shed. I got the job.

    I think in 1975 some of the engines were already 75yrs old. The idea was to one by one , get them operating properly , then paint them in those rich reds, greens , browns and burgundies and highlight their cast names and instructions etc in gold and polish all the brass/bronze caps and pipework.

    They were then taken to Darwin River Dam to the pumping station where they put on display to the public and from time to time run up while a tour went through. I remember the exhausts were run up through a very high roof.

    So that was over 40yrs ago and I wonder if any of those old engines are still running. They would possibly be over 100yrs old now.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Central West NSW
    Posts
    24,747
    In the early 1930s, my father was the schoolteacher at Goodnight on the Murray in NSW but near Swan Hill. One of the things he used to talk about when I was little was the pumping engine at goodnight Station. In the 1960s I visited there with him, and saw the engine. I can't remember the brand or any real details.

    Installed early in the century, probably just after WW1, but possibly before the war, it was a horizontal single cylinder diesel, rated at 60hp at 120rpm. It had a bore of around six inches, and a stroke of around two feet. The single flywheel was about ten feet in diameter, with the crankshaft around waist level, and a fair bit of the flywheel in a pit. The muffler was an underground chamber, with a metal chimney about ten feet high and six inches diameter.

    The engine was started as a compressed air engine, after being turned to the right position using a crowbar and a ring of gear teeth cast onto the inside of the flywheel rim. Originally provided with a hand pump for filling the compressed air storage cylinder it had long since had a compressor added that used a flat belt onto the PTO of a tractor backed in to the shed door.

    It was usually run for 3-4 months every year, and when I was there in the sixties it had been doing so for over forty years with virtually no work required - although it had apparently twice set fire to the shed and burnt it down round the engine. Lubrication was via a total loss system from a small tank that had a row of sight feeds below it. Both the fuel and oil tanks had to be filled once a day while the engine was running.

    I wonder if the engine is still there, and if it is still running?
    John

    JDNSW
    1986 110 County 3.9 diesel
    1970 2a 109 2.25 petrol

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