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Bob where do you source your hydraulic hard line? One of the things I'd love to do this winter is tidy up some of the soft lines on my diesel project but can't find a good source for the hard line stock other than McMasterCarr which as we all know is pretty hard hitting on the wallet. Also would love to hear some resources on where you get the fittings for the hardline if you don't mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 · (Edited)
Bob where do you source your hydraulic hard line? One of the things I'd love to do this winter is tidy up some of the soft lines on my diesel project but can't find a good source for the hard line stock other than McMasterCarr which as we all know is pretty hard hitting on the wallet. Also would love to hear some resources on where you get the fittings for the hardline if you don't mind.
For hard lines I use JIC fittings.

I've bought JIC nuts and JIC sleeves in bulk on eBay before, but that can be hit or miss. The last time I searched, there were none to be had on eBay. At least not cheaply.

But you can buy them on the web relatively cheaply just by googling it.

For the tubing itself, I picked some up at a nearby hydraulics shop. After shipping it was the cheapest option.

JIC 6 uses 3/8 OD tubing. A site like this is helpful as a reference: https://www.qchydraulics.com/jic-fitting-dimensions-standard.html

After the loader project, I've used up all my 5/8 tubing. But I still have about 6 or 8 ft of the 3/8 tubing.

For the 30 degree flaring on steel lines, an eccentric flaring tool is the least expensive option that reliably works. I personally bought one that did 45 degree flares (45 degree tools are more common and way cheaper) and then ground its thrust cone back to about 30 degrees using a flap disk in an angle grinder. In truth, under all the pressure that the JIC sleeve applies to that flare, the exact degree of flaring isn't critical.

Bob
 

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Nice work so far. Building a grapple is something i've always planned, and have yet to start. Talk is cheap as the say, so moving on..

I've considered adding a tee into the line leading to my boom lift cylinders, and running from that tee to a high pressure ball valve, and from that ball valve to return. If you open that ball valve, you have float. It's inconvenient, and it may be hard to make it look decent. But it would serve the purpose.
I had to think through this a while back as i had a leaking piston seal in the boom cylinder on my backhoe which gave it 'non-selectable' float. I actually found it useful and then learned that some backhoes have it as a selectable feature, so i thought about how i could re-implement it after i 'removed' the float function by repairing my piston seal.

Both sides of a cylinder need to be open to tank for float. You cannot simply hook them to each other because the two sides of the cylinder have different displacements due to the presence of the rod on only one side. I guess a through-rod cylinder that has the rod on both sides could use a simpler setup. The way i theorized which could work on a 'normal' cylinder, would be to use a 3-way ball valve with a T-port, and hook to both sides of a cylinder and to some submerged part of tank. For this to work, you'd have to be able to rotate the ball valve in such a way that all ports were blocked for normal operation (say, a 45 degree turn rather than a 90 degree turn). So it would depend on the particular ball valve whether this was going to work, since i imagine there are some of them where there is NO position in which all 3 ports are fully blocked due to the relative size of the passages vs the ball itself. But i have not physically held and handled a t-port ball valve to my recollection, so maybe i'm wrong and ALL of them can do this! If such a valve was found, the float setting would simply be all 3 ports connected together.

So, a t-port ball valve with a 45-degree turn to select float. That's the theory. :unsure:
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Okay, that's a good and thoughtful post. And you're right due to the suction effect just opening the lift chamber to tank would not produce float.

However if you do just pipe both ends of a cylinder to each other then you have float. The unequal displacement is not an issue. As long as the fluid can leave the one end and go into the other end, then the size of those two chambers relative to each other isn't important. The fluid will just flow at whatever speed it needs to.

The question is how to easily pipe it in so that that can happen.

Bob
 

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Okay, that's a good and thoughtful post. And you're right due to the suction effect just opening the lift chamber to tank would not produce float.

However if you do just pipe both ends of a cylinder to each other then you have float. The unequal displacement is not an issue. As long as the fluid can leave the one end and go into the other end, then the size of those two chambers relative to each other isn't important. The fluid will just flow at whatever speed it needs to.

The question is how to easily pipe it in so that that can happen.

Bob
That will only work IF you activate the float with the cylinder completely or almost completely retracted. You will get some vacuum in the cylinder but it will still work. Connecting both ends of a cylinder with no other lines when fully extended will lock it as the oil has nowhere to go due to the different volumes on each side of the piston.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
That will only work IF you activate the float with the cylinder completely or almost completely retracted. You will get some vacuum in the cylinder but it will still work. Connecting both ends of a cylinder with no other lines when fully extended will lock it as the oil has nowhere to go due to the different volumes on each side of the piston.
Yep, I see it now. It was counterintuitive to me, but you're right.

So what I said is off the mark, and everything you said before, needing an open path to tank from both ends of the cylinder is correct.

For "standard" valve types, I think you'd have to do muliple "standard" ball valves. I have a 3 way ball valve as a selector valve to my 3 point, and I don't think there's any position that blocks off all the ports at once. Or a position that opens both "end" ports to the middle port at the same time.

And I think that ball valves rated for more than about 1000 psi are pretty rare. So I'm guessing ball valves aren't viable.

It seems like you could take a standard single spool hydraulic valve, remove its spool shaft, and modifiy it such that at rest both work ports are blocked off but pulling the lever opens both work ports to tank. You'd have to block off the input pressure port. And it would be misleading, as far as the operator expecting one thing to happen, but something else would.

So, again, probably not worth all the effort. But likely possible?

Bob
 

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I have a 3 way ball valve as a selector valve to my 3 point, and I don't think there's any position that blocks off all the ports at once. Or a position that opens both "end" ports to the middle port at the same time.
From what I know there are different styles of 'ball' in ball valves with most being an L-port, but some are a T-port which would connect both ends to the middle.

Also, ball valves usually have some kind of 'stops' implemented to make the handle stop at certain points of rotation, but almost all of them are easily removable or defeatable, at which point you can create 'new' positions. For example:

Product Font Line Parallel Pattern

Bottom right would be my 'float' idea. But all the text in red depends on the size of the ball's ports vs the ball itself.
Font Circle Parallel Rectangle Diagram


And I think that ball valves rated for more than about 1000 psi are pretty rare. So I'm guessing ball valves aren't viable.
Brass ones max out <1000psi. Stainless ones go up into 'hydraulics' range.

It seems like you could take a standard single spool hydraulic valve, remove its spool shaft, and modifiy it such that at rest both work ports are blocked off but pulling the lever opens both work ports to tank. You'd have to block off the input pressure port. And it would be misleading, as far as the operator expecting one thing to happen, but something else would.
Now that you mention it.. wouldn't ANY directional control valve, with its 'inlet/pump' port hooked to tank (as well as its tank port), hook both sides to tank when moved in either direction? Not cheaper but less picky about 'port sizes' for sure!
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
From what I know there are different styles of 'ball' in ball valves with most being an L-port, but some are a T-port which would connect both ends to the middle.

Also, ball valves usually have some kind of 'stops' implemented to make the handle stop at certain points of rotation, but almost all of them are easily removable or defeatable, at which point you can create 'new' positions. For example:

View attachment 127807
Bottom right would be my 'float' idea. But all the text in red depends on the size of the ball's ports vs the ball itself.
View attachment 127808


Brass ones max out <1000psi. Stainless ones go up into 'hydraulics' range.



Now that you mention it.. wouldn't ANY directional control valve, with its 'inlet/pump' port hooked to tank (as well as its tank port), hook both sides to tank when moved in either direction? Not cheaper but less picky about 'port sizes' for sure!
Well a standard spool valve when activated hooks one workport to tank and the other workport to pressure.

I suppose for this special purpose, you could just hook both the tank and pressure ports into the return to tank. And then if you pulled or pushed the spool, then you would have float.

And you can get a really cheap spool valve for like $50. So relatively affordable. But really confusing!

Maybe if you mounted it out of sight like a travel control valve is out of sight and then just linked some kind of button or knob or lever to activate it. It would at least not be as counterintuitive to the user.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Well a standard spool valve when activated hooks one workport to tank and the other workport to pressure.

I suppose for this special purpose, you could just hook both the tank and pressure ports into the return to tank. And then if you pulled or pushed the spool, then you would have float.

And you can get a really cheap spool valve for like $50. So relatively affordable. But really confusing!

Maybe if you mounted it out of sight like a travel control valve is out of sight and then just linked some kind of button or knob or lever to activate it. It would at least not be as counterintuitive to the user.

Bob
Now that I think of it, if you got an electrically operated spool valve, you could do the same thing. And just put a micro switch in place where if you really hold full forward pressure on your loader control levers that it would trip that micro switch which would open the spool valve.
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If an electrically operated spool valve isn't insanely expensive, that might be a real option!

But I don't know the answer to that offhand.

Bob
 

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I agree, none of this is anywhere near as 'nice' as just having a float detent ON your existing valve. In the case of wanting to add one afterwards, i do really like your idea of hiding the valve and operating it remotely through linkage or solenoid.

I have kept my eye on this thing to come up with ideas for other potential uses since it is a cheap solenoid actuated diverter valve, essentially. On something OTHER than a Case, I believe if you hooked one side of your cylinders to the P port, and the other side of your cylinders to the port that the R2 relief valve is screwed into, and T port to one side of your loader valve, then activating the solenoid AND pushing the loader valve would give both sides of your cylinders a path to tank. It wouldn't work on a Case because you'd be pumping all your pump flow to tank and you would have no propulsion while doing this. On a loader with its own pump it should work.
Rectangle Font Parallel Schematic Slope

R1 would be 'inactive' and only serve to block that passage. You would never hit 3100psi. Or, you could choose to look at it as a 'cushion valve' that could protect from impacts by opening the base end of your cylinders to tank if you hit something hard while the loader valve is closed. The R2 valve could probably be installed in the R1 port, both are adjustable across differing ranges, so the total range of adjustability is pretty huge there if you chose to do something with the R1 port as a 'relief'.

$49! But hundreds of dollars worth of fiddling to install. 😂

As far as the grapple goes, I've only used a dual lid grapple on a skid steer for a few hours and float would not have been useful there. On your grapple lid you do have something of a 'rake' there if you don't end up removing tines like you talked about. I could potentially see, with the bucket fully dumped, backdragging the lid as a rake (especially to gather a pile of small brush before grabbing), with the lid in float. Even moreso with other possible lid designs. But it would sure be one way to find out how strong the tines are when they snag something! Float can only let something move as quickly as fluid can displace through the system. It won't save you from 'impacts' unless you are going slow enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
I agree, none of this is anywhere near as 'nice' as just having a float detent ON your existing valve. In the case of wanting to add one afterwards, i do really like your idea of hiding the valve and operating it remotely through linkage or solenoid.

I have kept my eye on this thing to come up with ideas for other potential uses since it is a cheap solenoid actuated diverter valve, essentially. On something OTHER than a Case, I believe if you hooked one side of your cylinders to the P port, and the other side of your cylinders to the port that the R2 relief valve is screwed into, and T port to one side of your loader valve, then activating the solenoid AND pushing the loader valve would give both sides of your cylinders a path to tank. It wouldn't work on a Case because you'd be pumping all your pump flow to tank and you would have no propulsion while doing this. On a loader with its own pump it should work.
View attachment 127823
R1 would be 'inactive' and only serve to block that passage. You would never hit 3100psi. Or, you could choose to look at it as a 'cushion valve' that could protect from impacts by opening the base end of your cylinders to tank if you hit something hard while the loader valve is closed. The R2 valve could probably be installed in the R1 port, both are adjustable across differing ranges, so the total range of adjustability is pretty huge there if you chose to do something with the R1 port as a 'relief'.

$49! But hundreds of dollars worth of fiddling to install. 😂

As far as the grapple goes, I've only used a dual lid grapple on a skid steer for a few hours and float would not have been useful there. On your grapple lid you do have something of a 'rake' there if you don't end up removing tines like you talked about. I could potentially see, with the bucket fully dumped, backdragging the lid as a rake (especially to gather a pile of small brush before grabbing), with the lid in float. Even moreso with other possible lid designs. But it would sure be one way to find out how strong the tines are when they snag something! Float can only let something move as quickly as fluid can displace through the system. It won't save you from 'impacts' unless you are going slow enough.
Fascinating idea. When I think it through, I suspect it wouldn't quite work: The R2 relief valve cartridge has two layers/ports to it. A "deep" layer where the high pressure is expected, and the "shallow" layer which vents to tank. If you connect your cylinder line into that port, you have to connect either to the deeper "pressure" port or the shallower "return to tank". If you connect to the deeper, then actuating the valve will serve to join the two cylinder lines together, but neither will have a path to tank. But if you connect it to shallow, then that cylinder line will always just drain to tank.

I think.

Obviously I'd have to play with it to be certain, but that's my guess looking from here.

You could certainly do it with two of them, though. And a hundred bucks still isn't bad.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Well, I'm ready to call it complete.

I went out this morning to perfect the hose routing. Prepared with a spring-loaded hose minder and ready to install some clips and clamps and make everything hold still.

And as I played with the orientation of the hose in which end goes where and which direction it should face, I found an orientation where the hose just takes care of itself. Whatever position you put the loader arm or the bucket or the grapple itself the hose just stays out of harm's way.

So I'm just going to call that good!

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Nice! I forgot, what is the relief pressure? And did you push it to relief yet?
I think it's something around 2100. With my old 2 handle valve it was breaking at 2300, I haven't checked the new 3-handle valve, but it feels like it breaks just a little easier than before.

Of course I trip the relief every time I bottom out the bucket or the boom, and I hit the relief on opening the grapple fully, but I don't recall if I tripped it on clamping the grapple closed. I try not to do it, as that 3" cylinder produces plenty of force to bend my relatively light duty grapple.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
I agree, none of this is anywhere near as 'nice' as just having a float detent ON your existing valve. In the case of wanting to add one afterwards, i do really like your idea of hiding the valve and operating it remotely through linkage or solenoid.

I have kept my eye on this thing to come up with ideas for other potential uses since it is a cheap solenoid actuated diverter valve, essentially. On something OTHER than a Case, I believe if you hooked one side of your cylinders to the P port, and the other side of your cylinders to the port that the R2 relief valve is screwed into, and T port to one side of your loader valve, then activating the solenoid AND pushing the loader valve would give both sides of your cylinders a path to tank. It wouldn't work on a Case because you'd be pumping all your pump flow to tank and you would have no propulsion while doing this. On a loader with its own pump it should work.
View attachment 127823
R1 would be 'inactive' and only serve to block that passage. You would never hit 3100psi. Or, you could choose to look at it as a 'cushion valve' that could protect from impacts by opening the base end of your cylinders to tank if you hit something hard while the loader valve is closed. The R2 valve could probably be installed in the R1 port, both are adjustable across differing ranges, so the total range of adjustability is pretty huge there if you chose to do something with the R1 port as a 'relief'.

$49! But hundreds of dollars worth of fiddling to install. 😂

As far as the grapple goes, I've only used a dual lid grapple on a skid steer for a few hours and float would not have been useful there. On your grapple lid you do have something of a 'rake' there if you don't end up removing tines like you talked about. I could potentially see, with the bucket fully dumped, backdragging the lid as a rake (especially to gather a pile of small brush before grabbing), with the lid in float. Even moreso with other possible lid designs. But it would sure be one way to find out how strong the tines are when they snag something! Float can only let something move as quickly as fluid can displace through the system. It won't save you from 'impacts' unless you are going slow enough.
I found out that I do, accidentally, have float on my loader.

Recall that I added in a power beyond port to my TCV. And then that I realized that my loader valve is now subject to the TCV's lift circuit pressure relief. Which meant that I only had about 400 PSI to my loader valve. So I created and installed a dual-port relief valve that I teed into the lines driving my deck lift and 3pt, and then capped off the pressure relief for the TCV's lift circuit. Which gives the loader valve the same relief as the TCV's travel circuit.

But a surprising side effect is this: If I try to operate the loader and the deck lift at the same instant, then the deck lift's lower pressure relief comes into effect. No big deal.

BUT: if I move the deck lift handle to "float", then all pressure in the TCV's lift circuit, and everything downstream of that circuit (the loader valve) vents straight to tank. The first time I realized this, I was panicked. I started up the machine and told the boom to raise, and it settled down instead. I couldn't believe all my hydraulics work "had failed" in less than a week! But then I realized that I had left the deck lift lever in "float." As soon as I popped it out of float position, the loader all worked again.

But it gives me a float option, even if it is a bit kludgey: If I put my deck lift lever into float position, and then operate the boom lever in either direction, then the boom is floating: both the "lift" and "lower" ports are connected to tank.

The same goes for the bucket lever and the third function lever, though I don't know what use float is for those functions.

But it's there if I need it.

Bob
 

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that 3" cylinder produces plenty of force to bend my relatively light duty grapple.
That's why i was asking. That cylinder looks easily able to destroy the grapple, so i was wondering if you had implemented a low relief pressure somehow.

As far as the float.. that's kind of hilarious after all the talk about how you would have to do this or that extra effort for it when you had already done it by accident! Do you have any pics of the dual port relief you built? I hadn't really intended to modify my valve for power beyond but i DO intend to use a larger pump and a flow divider, so i think i could simply plumb a loader valve from the CF port of that which would let me 'throttle' the loader (although also throttle everything else) and give it its own pressure relief, assuming i would want it to be lower than the travel circuit's (probably). I'm sure i'll discover the flaw in this plan eventually..

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
That's why i was asking. That cylinder looks easily able to destroy the grapple, so i was wondering if you had implemented a low relief pressure somehow.

As far as the float.. that's kind of hilarious after all the talk about how you would have to do this or that extra effort for it when you had already done it by accident! Do you have any pics of the dual port relief you built? I hadn't really intended to modify my valve for power beyond but i DO intend to use a larger pump and a flow divider, so i think i could simply plumb a loader valve from the CF port of that which would let me 'throttle' the loader (although also throttle everything else) and give it its own pressure relief, assuming i would want it to be lower than the travel circuit's (probably). I'm sure i'll discover the flaw in this plan eventually..

View attachment 128046
I did ensure that the cylinder reaches end of travel before the grapple touches the lip of the bucket, so when it's empty I can run it full-closed without concern. But once I've picked up a large object I need to be careful.


I covered the pressure relief valve down towards the bottom of this post:
Maybe someone makes a product like this? I looked around some and didn't find one.

For the float, I at first mentally cataloged it as a warning: "Don't forget, you can't use the loader with the deck lift in the float position.". It took a while for me to realize that I can actually use it to my advantage.

Bob
 
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