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Unable to connect FEL quick connects

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mobilus
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 171 Clay County, TX
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2007-09-04          145339


I went out to attach my FEL one hot, sunny day recently and found that I could not make the QDs seat. After a little reasoning on the problem, I found that the hydraulic fluid in the FEL lines had expanded due to the temperature increase and would not let the check valve in the LEF QD open. So I cracked a couple of the B-nuts near the actuators and bled off a little bit of fluid. After relieving the pressure, the QDs went together like normal. This is my first experience with it, so I thought that I'd post FYI.

BTW, this is a great site!

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Unable to connect FEL quick connects

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jbjpam
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 39 Mid Michigan
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2007-09-04          145341


Another way to relieve the pressure is place a rag around
the fitting and push the ball against a hard surface to
exhaust the trapped oil. Be careful though because it squirts
pretty good. ....

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Unable to connect FEL quick connects

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7155 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-09-04          145342


It is a great site!! :)

BTW, if you set your FEL down on a very solid footing, and then (with the tractor off) cycle the FEL control through all of it's functions a few times before disconnecting it I think you'll find it MUCH easier to reconnect next time.

Generally speaking it's not expansion or contraction that causes the pressure, it's the FEL itself settling down onto the various cylinders that causes the most pressure.

Also, for the machines that we routinely take the FEL on & off of we had a couple of short lines (short pipe nipples between 2 fittings) made up that just create a loop between the two 'dead ends' of each circuit, this allows the fluid coming out of one side to move into the other side by itself. Not only does it stop the pressure build up, but it keeps the QD ends clean.

Best of luck. ....

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Unable to connect FEL quick connects

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-09-04          145354


Murf I have found that hot days do cause the lines to build pressure on both sides of the cylinder, like my landscape rake that has no weight on either side (horizontal mounted cylinder). And my skid steer does it too, but like you touched on, while it is not running I cycle the remote levers to relieve the back pressure before connecting an accessory. ....

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Unable to connect FEL quick connects

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2007-09-04          145365


Same here. When I swap my grapple for the bucket and the grapple gets left in the sun the pressure builds enough to keep it from being easily reconnected. I keep a wrench and rag in the toolbox to relieve pressure. If the shade comes around then it can usually be reconnected without intervention. Sometimes it's due to the jaws settling but not always. ....

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Unable to connect FEL quick connects

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-09-04          145366


KW: I have a grapple bucket too. It not the teeth settling; it's the heat. It doesn't matter what position the teeth were in when they were disconnected---there is still trapped oil on both sides of the cylinders and in the lines. So opening or closing the teeth doesn't alleviate the pressure--it just sends the oil to the cylinder.

Also, if you have been using it and it is hot out, the trapped oil will tend contract when cold and you'll be fooled into thinking everything is fine the enext you ook it up when it's still cold.

Bobcat and some other skid steer mfg's have a manual relief valve at the quick connects just for this purpose.

You might want to install a high-pressure ball valve between the QC and the line on both lines on the grapple. That way, you can turn the valves closed either right before or right after disconnecting. Then let the sun shine! Be sure to reconnect before opening the valves or you'll be back to the same-o.

But I'm jis' sayin'... ....

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Unable to connect FEL quick connects

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2007-09-04          145367


This grapple isn't a bucket, it has two opposing jaws. I'm pretty sure that the jaws settling after disconnect can cause the increased pressure because I've dropped it in the shady garage, observed the settling, and then reconnected soon afterwards and had to relieve pressure in one line. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Unable to connect FEL quick connects

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-09-05          145373


Is the connector worn out, or sticking possibly? I have to use starting fluid or carb cleaner from time to time to blow out grimey/oiley dirt. ....

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Unable to connect FEL quick connects

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2007-09-05          145374


I don't think it's the connector since relieving pressure always makes it work smooth as silk. This isn't really a big problem that needs solving since it only takes a few seconds to relieve pressure, although a third hand would be nice at times when doing so. ....

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Unable to connect FEL quick connects

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7155 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-09-05          145377


Gents, I go back to my original points, learned after MUCH grunting, cursing and experimenting.

First, and IMHO, most important is to shut off the engine and cycle the controls a few times BEFORE you disconnect the device, be it on the rear remotes, or the FEL.

Secondly, while flat-face QD and cracking a line work, they are also a no-no, in fact they are in most cases also illegal, which is why we can't do it. Besides which you're inviting further leaks by disturbing the connections and thread seals. The only really workable solution is to spend $20 and make up a double-ended fitting to put between the two hoses. This does not completely solve the problem, but it does go a long way to fixing it.

BTW, I doubt it would be heat that would cause the pressure after taking the attachment off since it would be full of fluid from the system which is likely at 175, I doubt sunshine would get it to that point or higher later on.

Best of luck. ....

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Unable to connect FEL quick connects

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mobilus
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 171 Clay County, TX
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2007-09-05          145395


Thanks for the pointers, guys. I have only had that happen one time. In my case, I tried to press the check valve to open it, but the pressure was too great. The most surprising thing to me was that all four lines were that way. Since the actuators are double-acting, I figured that if the pressure was created by "settling" then only the retract side hose would have built up pressure...but both extend and retract hoses were the same.

Murf, what did you mean about cracking the lines being "illegal"? ....

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Unable to connect FEL quick connects

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-09-05          145403


Technically "cracking" a line isn't illegal per se, but spilling or dripping oil is, which is primarily why the industry went to flat-face connectors as they are not suppose to leak, but they can and do.

I still say ambient and radiation heat-induced backpressure is a major, if not the only factor to oil expansion.

And (this time) I'm (not) jis' sayin...:)

That's ok Murf, opinions are like "you-know-whats"---everybody has one, and every one stinks (but our own) hehehehehe ....

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Unable to connect FEL quick connects

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7155 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-09-06          145415


Mobilus, EW hit it right on the head...... twice. ;)

There is a "zero tolerance" for petroleum products now, technically speaking it is against the law to clean your dirty hands with hand cleaner and rinse the hands in a sink sending the cleaner down the drain. It is also a no-no to spill diesel while fueling, or spill fluids while topping, changing or disconnecting lines.

Since EW and I are both contractors we are very much under the watchful eye of "big brother" compared to the average homeowner.

Best of luck. ....

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Unable to connect FEL quick connects

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mobilus
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 171 Clay County, TX
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2007-09-06          145418


From that angle, I understand. I've worked F-16 aircraft so long that catching any possible spills is second nature. The Air Force is always under some incredible scrutiny for environmental blunders. It wasn't always that way, but now that we're (taxpayers) are writing big checks for cleanup of old bases, there's no leniency given to the mechanic who "trips" with a bucket of (whatever)out behind the aircraft shelter. I teach the new enlistees the fine art of being an F-16 crew chief...and I love it. Oops, chasing rabbits again.

Again, thanks for your input. Have a tractor day.


....

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