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Vintage Construction Equipment Graders, Shovels, Fork lifts, Dozers & Crawlers, Pay loaders & Fork lifts

Vintage Construction Equipment

Wilford 3/4 Swing Shovel Rebuild


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  #1  
Old 06-19-2017, 10:26:32 PM
Ed Bezanson Ed Bezanson is offline
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Default Wilford 3/4 Swing Shovel Rebuild

In 2010 a collector from Central CT offered our club [Zagray Farm Museum] a 1920's Wilford 3/4 Swing Fordson Powered Shovel. These shovels are a bit unusual and we were hoping it was a saveable unit. We traveled to the site and were surprised at how good it was considering it had been sitting in this grove of trees since the 1950's. There was one small problem that we hadn't been told about. A 26" maple tree had grown completely around the left rear track, sprocket, drive chain and main frame. We could see what it would take to get this machine up and away from the tree. We decided it was worth the effort and said we would take back to the farm. It took about 6-8 volunteers 5 days [in 90 Degree Heat] to extricate this shovel. The first pics show the removal process.

Pic No 1 shows the shovel after we cut down the main tree and cleared away the brush so we could get a good look at what we had to do to get this machine out. We found that not only was the track inside the tree but the shovel and pulley were also grown into the tree behind it.

Pic No 2 this shows Art with his chainsaw carefully cutting away wood without hitting the metal. We sharpened the chains about a dozen times before we were done.

Pic No 3 Shows the drive chain slowly coming out of the tree with a long way to go. We also used the saws, drills, chisels and anything else that would work.

Last Pic the sprocket and axle is seeing the light of day for the first time in over 50 years. There are chips and pieces everywhere around the stump but still not quite there. Ed B
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  #2  
Old 06-19-2017, 11:02:04 PM
Ed Bezanson Ed Bezanson is offline
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Default Re: Wilford 3/4 Swing Shovel Rebuild

On the 4th day we were getting closer to freeing the shovel from the trees 60 year grip. We decided it was time to bring our AC HD5 crawler from the farm to the site. It is equipped with a 10,000 Lb. winch which will help make the move.

Pic No 1 shows our operator Ken Avery on the HD5 with a snatch block hooked to a large tree behind him. We were hoping it will have enough power to get the shovel out of the tree.

Pic No 2 We used a 50 ton hydraulic ram to help things along. We cut a large notch in the tree to use to back up the ram. All the time we were continually cutting away at the stump a little at a time.

Pic No 3 With one final push we managed to rip the remaining root out from around the track. This last part took all day but it finally came away from the stump.

Last Pic This shows the Wilford finally free and pulled about into the open ready to get loaded up on our low bed trailer for a trip to the Farm. By the end of July 2010 it was sitting at the farm where it would stay for 7 more years till I was ready to start restoration. Ed B
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  #3  
Old 06-20-2017, 10:22:26 PM
Ed Bezanson Ed Bezanson is offline
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Default Re: Wilford 3/4 Swing Shovel Rebuild

I have now started to rebuild the Wilford a piece at a time. The unit has been sitting for about 10 years with little attention. I removed the engine during our Spring show in May. I now have it at my shop and will be rebuilt over next winter with 3 others in the line. for now I am concentrating on the transmission and final drives. There is a chain drive off the PTO that goes to all the main boom and shovel clutches. The chain is rusted in to where it was buried in the dirt for years. The main drive sprockets that control the tracks are driven off two the main axles. Problem is the right rear transmission extension housing was badly broken sometime in the past. I called another owner I know to see if he knew what I would find inside since a steel band went into the top of the housing but I had no way to tell what was inside. He had never taken one apart so no help. My main question was, is this extension housing the same as a standard one or something made special by Wilford????? The following set of pics show what I found out after taking this mess apart.

The first 3 Pics show the shovel as it sits at the farm. The engine and transmission have been removed and taken to my shop in Waterford.

Pic No 4 this is the right rear extension housing showing the broken off end piece. At this point I still didn't know if it is the same as a std. Fordson Housing. Getting the chain drive hubs off each axle is a job I never look forward to because they either come off or they fight you all the way. Luckily these both came off with a little heat and a 10 Lb. sledge hammer.
Ed B.
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  #4  
Old 06-20-2017, 10:42:46 PM
Ed Bezanson Ed Bezanson is offline
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Default Re: Wilford 3/4 Swing Shovel Rebuild

The next set of pics show what I found inside once the housings were removed. It turns out the housings are basically the same as the Std. Fordson's with a few modifications.

Pic no 1 shows all the pieces taken off the broken right side of the trans. They include the drive sprocket and wedge lock that holds all Fordson wheels together. the 3 broken end pieces which I thought I may have to weld back together. Also look at the roller bearing and race at the top of the picture that is complete junk and not reusable.

Pic No 2 shows 3 3/8 bolts located in dimples in the housing that until hold ????? inside.

Pic. No 3 A piece of flat bar fits through a slot machined in the top of the housing and is connected to a steering lever on the operators platform.

Pic No 4 finally shows a brake system that is inside the housing. It is a very clever design that uses a ramp that locks up the individual axle when it is applied. It is a basic brake steer set up used on many early crawlers.
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Old 06-20-2017, 11:10:55 PM
Ed Bezanson Ed Bezanson is offline
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Default Re: Wilford 3/4 Swing Shovel Rebuild

So after complete disassembly and a lot of measurement I learned that the Wilford Ext. Housing is in fact the same as a standard Fordson except for the 3 - 3/8 clutch mounting bolts and a slot machined for the flat control bar at the top. These can easily be duplicated on a stock housing.

Pic No 1 this is the inner clutch face that is attached to the differential center piece by 3 bolts.

Pic No 2 this is the outer brake mechanism that is actuated by 3 ramps one of which is shown in Pic No 3.

Last Pic. Once it was determined the housings are the same as a Std. Fordson I went out into the yard where I store my extra Fordson Transmissions. I chose the best one and pulled it out so it can be used to build a new Transmission and Differential for the Wilford. I will now have to clean all the parts, modify one ext. housing and get everything back together. This will be great fun. Ed B
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Old 07-23-2017, 09:36:41 AM
Axehandle58 Axehandle58 is offline
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Default Re: Wilford 3/4 Swing Shovel Rebuild

Very interesting, thank you.
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:14:47 AM
texasbest texasbest is offline
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Default Re: Wilford 3/4 Swing Shovel Rebuild

Ed, I missed this thread until now. I will have to follow along closely to see what I'll be getting into. I think this one has a lot less rust than mine does.
Roby Whitehead
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Old 09-11-2017, 10:05:14 PM
Ed Bezanson Ed Bezanson is offline
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Default Re: Wilford 3/4 Swing Shovel Rebuild

Dear Roby Thanks for your interest in this project. Unfortunately I have run into a major roadblock here in Connecticut. I have been sick since mid June and have been unable to work on any of my ongoing projects for the whole summer. Just got some troubling news about a possible diseased Pancreas. Will know more in few days. Ed B
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:52:36 AM
texasbest texasbest is offline
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Default Re: Wilford 3/4 Swing Shovel Rebuild

Ed, So sorry to hear about your illness, hopefully you are feeling better. I see you have made a few other posts since this last one. I haven't been on here too much lately. I went by today and took a few pictures of mine. It is mostly complete but in real rough, boiled-up rusty and welded up shape. I will read back through your posts and see if I have any other pictures of interest to you.
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Old 09-28-2017, 01:05:39 AM
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Default Re: Wilford 3/4 Swing Shovel Rebuild

Some more overall pics of it at our show grounds in Temple, Tx.
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Old 09-28-2017, 01:15:11 AM
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Default Re: Wilford 3/4 Swing Shovel Rebuild

The mag drive was a hit at our show last year.
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Old 09-28-2017, 01:27:40 AM
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Default Re: Wilford 3/4 Swing Shovel Rebuild

The counterweight fell off onto the haul truck on the way up from Houston.
The main frame has more than a few patches on it.
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Old 09-28-2017, 01:35:06 AM
texasbest texasbest is offline
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Default Re: Wilford 3/4 Swing Shovel Rebuild

Some of the pics look sideways on here but when I open them they look correct?
Did I say earlier that there was some rust on here also...
I hope that you're feeling better.
Roby Whitehead
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Old 09-28-2017, 09:52:18 AM
Ed Bezanson Ed Bezanson is offline
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Default Re: Wilford 3/4 Swing Shovel Rebuild

Dear Tex Thanks for the nice group of Pics. Are you missing the main boom on this unit. The setup is exactly like ours and damage about the same with welded pieces all over the place. Like ours it will take a dedicated group to get it back in some kind of working mode. My condition has not improved and it looks like my restoration days may be over at least for now since recovery is a long and difficult path. Ed B
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Old 09-28-2017, 03:48:48 PM
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Default Re: Wilford 3/4 Swing Shovel Rebuild

Ed, sorry to hear about your health issues. I'll be praying for a healthy recovery for you. Yes the main boom is laying on 1 track & the jib boom (or whatever it's called) and the bucket is laying on the other track. Both of these Wilford's look like they will be major projects. I will look for a decent Fordson to start with.
Roby
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