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Ford 550 Backhoe Boom Swing Chain Broken

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TFF Admin

Anyone out there have any experience with these? We were digging a shallow pond today and the R/H (as you are sitting on the backhoe seat) boom swing chain broke.

I have found a couple of places that sells replacement swing chains but WOW! :shocked3: are they expensive. The list price is about $366 but I found a places called Walt's Tractor Parts that has them for $236.95 each.

http://www.waltstractors.com/acatalog/Backhoe_Sway_Chains.html

I have not been able to find any kind of a chain repair kit.

The swing cylinders have power one way and that is to pull in the piston rod. The first question is, how to get the swing cylinder piston rod extended (pulled out)? I think it just may be a matter of getting enough leverage to pull in out by hand or using the boom knuckle joint and a chain.

Has anyone done this repair job before by chance?

Any help or suggestions appreciated.

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flman

You could try and source the chain and make your own, but that would not be very cost effective. I guess as old as that machine is, you got your monies worth out of it, time to cough some up?

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TFF Admin

Well, I have the left hand swing chain on order. Hopefully it will come in sometime mid next week.

The left hand swing cylinder evdiently is linked hydraulically to the to the right hand swing cylinder via a hydraulic hose. This forces both cylinder to work in unison pushing and pulling in tandem. When one side pulls, the opposite cylinder extends.

The hose linking both cylinders together must be removed from the cylinder you wish to extend and then use shop air to pressurize that cylinder to extend the hydraulic piston rod. This gives you enough rod extended to install the new swing chain. Once the swing chain is installed, the cylinders must be reset to set the tension on the swing chain.

I still have to work on figuring out how to do this. :confused2:

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TFF Admin

To follow up on this, what we ended up doing was not only replacing the left hand swing chain but the right side as well due to some damage to the link pin hole.

As it turned out, we had to loosen and remove the crossover air line between the two swing cylinders and then the piston rod could be extended using a reasonable amount the force. Compressed air would be the best solution but didn't have any where the backhoe was at.

In the course of getting this all done, the left hand swing cylinder piston rod end was damaged but was repaired via welding which worked for a short time and broke again. Ended up replacing the left hand swing cylinder with a used cylinder in good condition.

The tough part about this repair job is that almost NONE of the hydraulic lines or much of anything else except the link pins is accessable without separating the backhoe from the tractor. While leaving the hydraulic lines connected the tractor was moved forward just enough (about 2 feet) to get access to the swing cylinders and hydraulic lines. Not the easiest tractor to work on but now that we figured all of this stuff out it would not be near as bad (hopefully NOT) the next time if any.

I had no idea how much soil was in .25 acres about 2 feet deep. Once I realized how much work the swallow water conservation estuary pond was going to be, I rented a John Deere 310. We burned over 55 gallons of diesel and put a LOT of hours on the machine. I didn't want to ask a my friend to put that much time, work, and wear on his personal machine.

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TFF Admin

Between paying for parts to fix my friends backhoe and paying for the rental backhoe for a 10 days, it was about $1,500.

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