Prepping to remove the Loader

by Ben N on November 20, 2019

I removed the sheet metal “Hood” of the tractor to get a quick look at the engine. Pretty simple under there, but both the loader arm AND the loader frame really block working on it. Clearly the loader has to come off right away.

In the front, the loader is bolted to the tractor with some heavy-duty angle-iron brackets. In the back, the frame sits in brackets that bolt to the rear axle. But what’s this? The frame looks like it’s WELDED in to those brackets? How am I supposed to get that off?

Welded on! How am I supposed to get that off!?

I pulled off the fenders to get a better view at the axles. Bolted right to them is a large bracket, the bottom section of which is essentially a C-channel. The frame of the loader sits down into this channel, but there was also a weld hold it in there!

I checked the other side of the tractor and saw the same thing! Although I COULD unbolt the brackets from the axle, the width of them would make sure they would catch on everything from the brake pedals to the clutch to the steering!

I was stumped. I considered a few other ways to remove the loader, including removing just the front section and hydraulics, then splitting the rest in half. Any of that would be a tremendous amount of work. A friend stopped over and we kicked around a few ideas. He suggested that maybe the frame WASN’T welded to the bracket. I really went at the metal to clean away all the dirt and found that the weld actually only attached a spacer of metal. On the other side, there was also a spacer and a small weld connecting the frame to the bracket. I stuck my old Model T car jack under the tractor and pushed up on just the support of the loader. Sure enough! I got it to move! (On the left side, I was able to break the tack weld!)

Once I removed the cross-bolt (that is to say, broke it off….) I was able to jack the loader support up and most of the way out of the axle bracket.

I was planning on replacing that anyways…

On the front of the tractor, removing the bolts holding the loader on looked pretty easy, but looks can be deceiving. It was actually pretty challenging, due to the space limitations between the tractor and loader frame. There were also clearance issues between the vertical and horizontal bolts. I ended up having to run to the store and buy some larger wrenches and sockets.

With the right tools, a 4 foot long steel pipe, and some patience, I was able to remove the bolts, and then jack the front corner of the loader off the tractor frame. I then did the same on the other front corner.

For more Foot-Pounds, add almost four feet of steel pipe!

Next, I needed to disconnect the hydraulic hoses. This old-school loader uses a combination of hard lines and flexible hoses, but no where in there are quick disconnects! To take off the lines, I would have to physically unscrew every one. Besides the two pairs of hoses from the tractor to the loader, there is also a pair of hoses split off that runs THORUGH the tractor. That’s right, not over or under, but actually though it. That means the loader and be taken off the tractor above or below.

One pair of the main hydraulic hoses. Just waiting to be disconnected.

I started unscrewing the hydraulic lines, making sure any pressure was released first, and having a bucket and towels handy. For the hoses that went through the tractor, I disconnected them at the left loader arm cylinder and then pulled them through. I didn’t see any reason why they couldn’t go over the TOP of the tractor (other than not reaching…) so I threw the hoses over the top.

I’ll still need a pair of hoses to extend the reach back to the left main hydraulic cylinder. I also bought a set of generic 3/8″ NPT hydraulic quick disconnects.
By threading those onto the ends of the hoses, I should be able to attach and detach the lines without losing fluid.

Next time I work on the tractor, I should be able to hook all the lines up and have the loader working again. Only this time, I’ll be able to use the power of the loader itself to push it off the tractor, back the tractor up, and lower the loader to the ground. I’ll unplug the hydraulic disconnects, and drive the tractor away.

At least in theory. We’ll see if it’s that easy or not!

Until next time, stay charged up!
-Ben Nelson
300MPG.org

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