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  1. #1
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    Default Drag Line Repair


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    It looks cool, but I have to say, I am not really worried my job will be lost because of glue.

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    JB weld. We’ve all tried it once. If the original wore out that repair isn’t going to hold up.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    I like the concept. Might not be as good as carbon steel or it might, either way it seems to be something that should be useful to DIYers

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    It will work, but hell to get apart.
    Years ago John Deere loader backhoes had straight splines on the steering knuckles. The splines would wear out and get very sloppy.
    Deere actually had a kit to fix them it was devcon plastic steel and an empty caulking tube. Clean up reall good and inject devcon in. I fixed a bunch while working at the dealership. Never had one fail.
    Had one guy try welding the knuckle to spindle, never could get it to hold.
    One came in was so worn out it was striped, I welded a flat spot inside and ground a flat on the spindle glued it on. It never came back.
    I have more stories for later, on how to fix stuff with glue.

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    I've changed jaw clutches and splined shafts because of worn out stripped splines.. If the steel wore out, how is that stuff going to hold? Ramsay 1

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    Zero clearance means zero movement, Zero movement between the members equals zero wear. That the hypotheses for most joints.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adh2000 View Post
    JB weld. We’ve all tried it once. If the original wore out that repair isn’t going to hold up.
    It's Belzona, a British company, they make good stuff. I first heard of it years ago being used by a large repair workshop in Auckland (Stevenson's) which maintained a large fleet of their own heavy earthmoving equipment for mining, quarries etc. I think there are times when it is a valid fix.

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    Just FYI Belzona have been around a long time. Belzona Industrial Protective Coatings and Composites

    FWIW, IME Belzona isn't ''just JB Weld'' - there are many brews, which correctly used and applied have a good track record, .........it also make JB weld look cheaper than chips.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limy Sami View Post
    Just FYI Belzona have been around a long time. Belzona Industrial Protective Coatings and Composites

    FWIW, IME Belzona isn't ''just JB Weld'' - there are many brews, which correctly used and applied have a good track record, .........it also make JB weld look cheaper than chips.
    Yup, everyone thinks it's bogus, until they use it. Including me. JB weld it's not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Behner View Post
    Yup, everyone thinks it's bogus, until they use it. Including me. JB weld it's not.
    Ah, a fellow traveller ......back in the late 70's & early 80's I used a fair bit of an abrasion resisting grade (can't remember which) of Belzona to repair erosion on biggish (50 - 75 HP) Sigmund ''Horizontally Split Centrifugal Pump'' casings (like these Sigmund Pumps - Sigma types SQ SN and SH Brochure)


    The pumps were used on veg washing or irrigation, and suffered erosion of the volutes and rotors from the fine sand and mud in suspension, especially on irrigation water drawn from a shallow river.

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    Quote Originally Posted by true temper View Post
    It will work, but hell to get apart.
    Years ago John Deere loader backhoes had straight splines on the steering knuckles. The splines would wear out and get very sloppy.
    Deere actually had a kit to fix them it was devcon plastic steel and an empty caulking tube. Clean up reall good and inject devcon in. I fixed a bunch while working at the dealership. Never had one fail.
    Had one guy try welding the knuckle to spindle, never could get it to hold.
    One came in was so worn out it was striped, I welded a flat spot inside and ground a flat on the spindle glued it on. It never came back.
    I have more stories for later, on how to fix stuff with glue.
    I guess they all went through that straight spline phase.................I got a tractor with those on the front end knuckles, worn out badly. I got the bright idea to drive #4 nails in the gaps, drove them in til I couldn't find a gap to get another one in. Worked pretty well.

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    In the hydroelectric industry, we used to get called upon by Belzona sales people regularly. They claimed to have products to repair or improve very nearly anything.
    One issue we were constantly confronted with was cavitation erosion on the runners ("turbine wheels") and some of the stationary parts in the flow passages such as stay vanes and wicket gates. During an outage, we'd typically identify the worst of the cavitation damage, and repairs would be made. These repairs typically consisted of gouging out the cavitated areas (which looked like weathered concrete, even though they were either a stainless overlay weld or original medium carbon cast steel). Once the gouging down to sound steel had been done, it was ground smooth and blended with smooth transitions to the original metal. Overlay welding consisting of several layers of E 309L stainless followed by a proprietary stainless alloy (from the turbine builder)- a stainless with added cobalt followed. The finished weld repairs were then ground and polished to match the correct contours of the surrounding metal.

    The Belzona representatives saw a chance to sell some of their products. One other engineer bit on the idea and he was in a position to make that decision. The mechanics, who'd seen many years of outages and cavitation repair, dismissed the Belzona claims as "Bondo" or "high priced JB Weld". Setting their misgivings aside, the Belzona was applied instead of weld buildup to some test areas of cavitation damage. A year later, during another scheduled outage, an inspection was made. Interestingly, some of the "Sharpie" marker notes and lines on the runner buckets and stay vanes and wicket gates was still partially visible. The Belzona was gone, not a trace remaining. Naturally, the Belzona rep was on hand to see how their product worked. Seeing the Belzona had vanished, before we could say a word, the rep was stating: "You failed to prepare the substrate properly- had you done so in accordance with our specifications, the Belzona would have held up in service".

    Belzona's idea of correctly preparing the substrate is to abrasive blast with a fairly coarse abrasive down to "white metal". We could not do that inside the turbine, so ground the areas to clean metal and roughed them up with air needle scalers and chipping guns with chisels- all under the watchful eye of the Belzona rep. We maintained temperature requirements and the Belzona had appeared to have set and hardened well. The Belzona rep called his regional people, and we got the same song and dance. It was the last time we ever entertained the notion of using Belzona, and the name became kind of a joke around the powerplant.

    Setting the experience with the turbines aside, we did use similar products from Belzona's competitor, DevCon. We were never again crazy enough to try anything like it inside the turbines. However, for odds and ends of little repair jobs, we had fairly good luck with the DevCon. On one occasion, we had an air compressor cylinder head with heavy corrosion damage (in a damp underground hydro plant run remotely, this was a given). One of the mechanics used a DevCon resin with powdered bronze, the only stuff we had at the time. The area to be repaired was where one of the valves seated in the head (a disc type valve assembly that sat on a copper ring gasket). That repair held for well over a year until the next outage when we replaced the cylinder head. Occasionally, on smaller low pressure centrifugal pumps, handling cold water, we'd use the DevCon with the bronze, and usually got good results for a limited time period. We never looked at any repair resin as a permanent fix. I think that is the key to using this sort of product, aside from being realistic in matching the repair resin to the application.

    The classic emergency repair story concerns my brother and one of his automobiles. As a young prosecuting attorney out in Wyoming, my brother got it into his head to buy a new Jaguar. This was many years before the internet or personal computers, so buying a Jaguar meant a trip to the dealers in either Rapid City, SD, or Denver, Colorado. Calling the dealers and getting prices, my brother reasoned that the Jag cost a bit more because it had to be shipped inland from the port of entry. He called the Jaguar dealer in Brooklyn, NY- where our parents still resided. The Jag dealer in Brooklyn gave a much lower price quote. The result was my brother ordered the Jag from the Brooklyn dealer. The dealer sent the paperwork with the VIN out to my brother so he could register the car in Wyoming. A family friend was happy to drive the car out to visit my brother and fly home again. A few days before the friend was due to pick up the Jag and head west with it, Dad got a phone call from the dealer claiming they'd "made a mistake with the VIN". Paperwork had to be re-sent out to Wyoming and a new registration and title made out. This was finally done with, and our friend hopped in the Jag and headed to Wyoming without incident.

    Some months after my brother had been driving his new Jaguar, he started noticing increasing amounts of oil under the car on his garage floor. Curious, he put clean cardboard under the car's oil pan (or sump as it might be called in the UK ?). Sure enough, the car's oil pan was seeping oil, and not anywhere near the drain plug or any gasketed joint. The oil was seeming to be seeping thru the cast aluminum oil pan. My brother got a screw driver and a light and got the car up on jackstands. Poking around the oil pan, he literally struck oil. He discovered a "repair" to the oil pan had been made using some epoxy resin, what looked like cat litter, and some silver paint. There was a hell of a porosity in the casting, right from the factory. The Brooklyn dealer, knowing the car would be going on a one-way trip to Wyoming, "fixed" the leak in the oil pan. Who knows whether the Brooklyn dealer invoiced the Jaguar company for replacing an oil pan on that car and pocketed the money. Suddenly, the last minute "mistake" with the VIN became apparent as being no mistake. The dealer saw a way to get rid of a problem by exchanging one XJ 6 of the same color and optional features for another just like it.

    That left my brother with a problem. He called the Jag dealer in Rapid City and learned that while Jaguar would eat the repair as warranty work, getting the car there and associated expenses were on my brother's dime. So, my brother drained the oil in his Jaguar, got some solvent and JB weld and attempted another "repair" on the oil pan. He could not get a good repair, so loaded the trunk of the Jaguar with a couple of cases of oil and set out for Rapid City. He said he left a trail of oil drops from Gillette, Wyoming to Rapid City, South Dakota and was stopping every 50 miles or so to check oil level and throw in more oil.

    In a kind of repeat performance, we had a secretary on one jobsite who was a real party animal. She arrived late to work one morning, claiming she had been out the night before (at that time, finding secretaries to work on a construction site for short durations was difficult, so we took whom we got). She claimed she had to hitch a ride into work as her car was off the road a few miles back. Asked why, on an otherwise fine spring morning, her car was off the road, the story came out. Seems she was feeling the effects of the night before, and claimed a squirrel ran into the road in front of her car. With sluggish reaction time, she succeeded in locking up the brakes and skidding off the road. OK, we said we'd get a chain and a truck and go get her car. Not so simple, she said. She said her car had fetched up on a rock which had stoved a hole in the oil pan and there was oil all over the place. She asked if we'd pull her car off the rock and get it to where she could work on it. A couple of obliging fellows got her car pulled off the rock and up on the shoulder of the road and left it for her.

    Our secretary went to another contractor's trailer and got their secretary into the matter. The two secretaries got nail polish remover and JB weld and more oil during their lunch break. They cleaned the oil pan with the nail polish remover, and stuck a wad of JB weld onto the oil pan and into the dent and hole the rock had made. Next morning, the secretary caught a ride to her car, dumped in fresh oil, and drove it into work- on time for a change. She ran the JB Weld repair for a few weeks until she got a couple of paychecks and could buy the parts to fix the car properly with her father's help. JB Weld is the stuff of legends and jokes, and in most of the auto parts stores up this way, there are some displays on the counters of JB Weld and what it can bond and repair.


    My attitude towards repairs, whether done with Belzona, DevCon , or JB Weld, is that they are a stopgap measure or emergency repair to get a person home or run equipment until it can be taken off line for a proper repair. Belzona was (and may still be) about the priciest repair resin out there. For a few years in the 1980's, it seemed that many of the Belzona salesmen were recent graduates of the merchant marine schools. With the US merchant marine being very limited, engineer graduates were hard pressed to find jobs in shipping. They'd wind up coming to powerplants to preach about the wonders of Belzona.

    On another level, we used to get salesmen trying to sell repair electrodes- welding rods they claimed would weld any ferrous metals and anything short of a broken heart or the crack of dawn. One particularly enterprising salesman (Certainium, or MG Messer, I forget which) would appear with a folding hand held welding shield and ask for some different types of steels to be welded together. Up at the fleet garage at the powerplant, the mechanics would fetch a busted truck spring leaf, a knife from a wood chipper, and a chunk of A-36 heavy angle or channel. The salesman would then ask them to coat the surfaces to be welded with grease, so the mechanics would oblige. The salesman, in his shirt and tie, would take out a pair of welding gloves and unfold his hand-held shield, and ask to use a stick welding power supply. He'd proceed to weld the junk together, the arc burning through the grease and stinking and smoking up the fleet garage. After he'd welded the different steels together, he'd ask the mechanics to try to break the welds. They'd put the junk he'd welded in a heavy vise and attack it with a 16 lb sledge. Usually, the steel adjacent to the welds bent or fractured while the welds held. It was an impressive demonstration, and of course, the guy then wanted to sell a few boxes of his super-duper miracle repair electrodes. Our employer was in a position to afford to buy a box or two of these repair electrodes, but the price to a small shop or someone like a farmer or logger would be exorbitant. These salesmen would then attempt to convince us to use their electrodes on turbine repairs and structural work. We'd ask for some documentation on the electrodes like AWS specs, melt analysis, and similar. All we'd get is: "It's proprietary". We'd explain that we did any welding on the turbines, structural work, piping and similar using pre-qualified weld procedures with welding filler metals of known compositions and known physical properties. The salesmen would then show us the specs- such as they were- as to how their miracle repair electrodes were way stronger than the usual welding filler metals (ER 70 XX, E 309L, E 8018, etc). We never could get any real documentation on these miracle repair electrodes, so they were relegated to the fleet garage. As we were to learn, these miracle repair electrodes DID live up to the salesmens' claims in many regards, but the weld deposits were usually quite hard, and there was so much chromium and nickel in those electrodes that we could not cut thru the welds with an oxyacetylene torch (when we used those electrodes to weld grousers to bulldozer tracks for winter and had to remove them come spring).

    I tend to go with the old adage: "If it seems to good to be true... it probably IS to good to be true". I also have spent enough years in my craft and profession to disbelieve that a repair resin will ever take the place of good metal.

    In another instance, I was asked, as a consulting engineer, to take a look into why a large shovel used in surface mining operations, had "run away" when being moved up a temporary ramp. The runaway was such that this huge electrically driven shovel lost driving power to one of its tracks, and became uncontrollable on the ramp. The mine operations people had put a D-9 'Cat behind the shovel to trail it up the ramp, knowing the ramp was a bit beyond the performance envelope for the shovel. The shovel, when it ran away, spun around, pushed the D-9 aside like a toy, and demolished a stake-rack truck which was following to tend the power cable. One man in the truck was killed on the spot. The investigation revealed some badly worn clutch teeth and other badly worn parts. As the Belzona youtube describes, the mine in the case of the runaway shovel also knew the cost of downtime for the shovel and simply did not want to take it out of service for proper repairs. Clutch teeth on one of the clutches to drive the tracks were badly worn beyond the point of any adjustment, and other parts were also badly worn. Seeing the size of that shovel and the kind of torques and forces developed, there is no way I would believe, let alone want to trust, a Belzona repair in that kind of application.'

    It is one thing to parge on the Belzona if you are repairing a centrifugal pump casing, but quite another to repair something like drivetrain parts in a large mining shovel or dragline. These sorts of products, like the miracle repair electrodes, have their place and uses. In my opinion, the trick is to recognize the limitations of these sorts of products and set aside the claims the vendors make for them.

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    I have used belzona and Devcon both at different times. I think Devcon is as good cheaper and easier to get than Belzona. But that’s my opinion.

    Another repair I made, I had a viberation on my 1992 Freightliner FLD semi truck. One day I was greasing the driveline and noticed the pinion yoke going into the power divider was loose. I could move it up and down. I went to town and bought a new seal and cleaned the worn splines real good and glued them up with Devcon. That was in 2002 or so still no viberation or leak. But the old truck don’t get very many miles on her.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Michaels View Post

    It is one thing to parge on the Belzona if you are repairing a centrifugal pump casing, but quite another to repair something like drivetrain parts in a large mining shovel or dragline. These sorts of products, like the miracle repair electrodes, have their place and uses. In my opinion, the trick is to recognize the limitations of these sorts of products and set aside the claims the vendors make for them.

    Very well put Joe, …………..no matter how good it may be, if it ain't the tool for the job it ain't gonna work!

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    I've used Belzona with good success many times. An automotive manufacturer used it for years to repair automatic transmission die castings before machining. The general purpose grade will last over 18 hours in the exhaust port of a street driven engine.

    The secret is as much in the fillers as it is the actual polymers. The general purpose grade has steel as a filler. One of the purposes is to ensure a minimum thickness of the product when the product is squeezed out. The abrasion resistant products had ceramic beads, no idea if there are better fillers now.

    If you need to glue up a joint but wish to disassemble it later, spray one side with non-stick cooking spray. Belzona makes an expensive product for this application, but the active ingredient, soy lecithin, is the same. Surface prep is critical, the rougher the better and absolutely clean. Then you need to butter the polymer on the surface. Don't just wipe in on, but work it in.

    As for the dragline repair, when the value of equipment is in the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars per hour, temporary fixes make a lot of sense. So it buys you a few days to a few weeks to get parts made or air freighted in, people on site, and a plan of action in place, the jury rig repair is a bargain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbent View Post

    As for the dragline repair, when the value of equipment is in the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars per hour, temporary fixes make a lot of sense. So it buys you a few days to a few weeks to get parts made or air freighted in, people on site, and a plan of action in place, the jury rig repair is a bargain.
    Exactly! …………..and while it's easy for those who've never worked on maintenance of production machinery to poo poo various ideas methods and products, those of us who have, were there for one reason and one only ;- keeping the plant running !

    Of course any machinist / fitter / mechanic etc etc worth his salt knew some methods were terrible bodges, (rough and ready we may be, stupid we ain't) but said bodges were usually buying us time, ………..as in time to get the job properly organised and sorted, while of course keeping that great God of Production satisfied.

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    My drag line got stuck in the mud setting there got a stuck bull gear. It would not shift from boom to track. I hired a dozer guy
    to pull it out. The night before he came I pulled the cover cap and found the gear stuck form going up and down. So I got a few cans of WD and sprayed the slide shaft and took a ling 4 x 4 to use as a beater...Got it lose as the dozer guy was coming through the gate so got it out of the mud hole..My drag line did not have cleats on the track so if I ran into a stump it would dig its own hole to get stuck in.
    You can see it at kellyroadcamp.com.........On the development photos page.......My hunting property

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    sales speak. 3 hours to separate shafts, degrease, remove spline buggers, mix goo, realign shafts perfectly, goo cure … but 5 days to do same major work with proper new parts, and a quarter million for a shaft set?
    I understand the novel keep production going repairs - errday, but there are times and places you understand a starbucks straw and paperclip and blue tape are a) not going to cut it, b) take longer to undo when proper supplies arrive.

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    After around 12,000-16,000hrs of operation or so with an aircraft fuel gear pump eventually the housings either wear or cavitate oversize and the pump performance degrades. Standard practice to renew like new operation characteristics is to take the pumps apart, bore the aluminum housing oversize. They put a specially epoxy coating on the walls of the gear pump housing, bake itand then machine it back to like new specs and the epoxy performs just as well as the original aluminum.

    It is quite impressive if you think of it as this is on a gear pump running at around 9000rpm, and upto 1600psig where any separation of the epoxy from the aluminum would at the least likely result in the epoxy being crushed up likely FODing (Foreign Object Damage) out the fuel control and causing an in flight engine shutdown. I always wondered how they qualified that repair in the first place but this is industry standard today.


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