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Welding cast iron on old hydraulic cylinder

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2008-12-18          158671


I traded for a wood splitter that didn't work. I put 2500 PSI at 18 GPM hydraulic pressure to it and blew the entire rod-end of it off the 7" diameter cylinder. Ever stand next to a tire when it blows? Yeah, you can imagine a few gallons of oil under pressure blowing 30 feet in all directions. DOH!

Turns out the cylinder is so old that it has leather gland packings instead of O-rings. The cylinder wall is made of steel, however the end that blew off is cast. It was originally welded but appears someone ground it down to the point there wasn't a whole lot of weld left--OR--there was enough weld there BUT not for the pressure I applied to it. I'm not sure if I should chamfer the casting and the steel and weld it again or just abandon it and buy a modern cylinder.

Any welders out there familiar with welding cast? Can I just arc weld it?

The cylinder has a dubious past I suspect. Oddly, being 2 feet long with a 7" bore, it has no mounting system on either end save for the flat plate that is the closed end of the cylinder. Near the rod-end there are two 1"x1-1/2" tangs or ears that are 1/2" coarse-thread--it almost looks like it swung from these ears, but they're not near strong enough. Might be there to hold a cover/shield or something--dunno.

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Welding cast iron on old hydraulic cylinder

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candoarms
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1932 North Dakota
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2008-12-18          158674


Earthwrks,

I've welded broken cast iron before, but never to a piece of steel.

Welding cast iron requires a very slow heating process prior to welding. Heat the entire piece of cast iron with a torch..slowly. Increase the heat gradually, and make sure the entire piece is very hot prior to doing any welding.

The reverse is true once you're done welding the cast iron. Make sure you keep the cast iron hot, and allow it to cool very slowly after welding. You can do this by covering it with asbestos, or some other insulation that won't burn.

As for the cylinder you're working on, I wouldn't attempt to save it. I think it's a good thing that it broke apart the way it did. Give it a proper burial and find yourself a different one.

Joel ....

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Welding cast iron on old hydraulic cylinder

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7151 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2008-12-19          158691


Ok, maybe I missed something, but you said the ROD end blew off?

That means you had too much pressure on the RETRACT stroke, or you pressurized both sides at the same time.

'Fess up ole' son.... Wad'dya do?

But yes, you can weld the cap back on, I suspect thought the cap was originally threaded on, it would have to be removable to service it, so it was likely welded up to stop it blowing up from a leak last time.

Problem is there really isn't any way to weld the rod cap without burning the gland seals.

Best of luck.

....

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Welding cast iron on old hydraulic cylinder

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harvey
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1539 Moravia, NY
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2008-12-19          158693


That sounds like you dodged a major bullet. What is your risk tolerance?

I'd scrap it. ....

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Welding cast iron on old hydraulic cylinder

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7151 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2008-12-19          158696


Kind of sounds like that MasterCard commercial.

Welding, $10

Disability Insurance, $100

New cylinder, $200

Life, Priceless.......


Best of luck. ....

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Welding cast iron on old hydraulic cylinder

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2008-12-19          158698


As to whether the old cylinder is worth saving is questionable, a new one isn't real high compared to most other repair parts. Cando has it nailed on the method, I've welded quite a bit of cast including engine blocks. I haven't bought any nickle rod for a while but I imagine it has gotten pricey too by now. Merry Christmas. Frank. ....

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Welding cast iron on old hydraulic cylinder

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2008-12-19          158699


Murf, maybe I didn't describe it right: it is the end of the cylinder where the the rod exits. The entire "end cap" that houses the seals where the rod comes out is the part that blew out. I'm thinking like you that both ends must have been pressurized at the same time--however, I was using the skid steer as a power source and possibly the quick disconnects didn't work like they should. That said, even if the cylinder fully retracted, the same thing could have happened, right?

The leather packings come out easily out of the gland. No threads either.

Ah-ha! Maybe what I have is an old pneumatic cylinder that perhaps came off an assembly line machine or something which would explain the non-robust design.

Kenny "pneumatic"--pronounced new-matic--means having or using compressed air to operate it. You're quite welcome. :P ....

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Welding cast iron on old hydraulic cylinder

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yooperpete
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1413 Northern Michigan
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2008-12-21          158761


I'd search around for pricing on a new replacement cylinder. Why do you need a 7" diameter cylinder? That is really big! Prince is one brand I use as well as chief. My guess is somewhere between $500 and $1,000.

If you send me the pieces we probably could weld it for you or make a new steel one (best choice). Leather packings are still common. I get seals from Roger Zatkoff seals. Our shop is about a mile off the I-75 expressway (exit 149A) a couple of miles before the Zilwaukee bridge. A Zatkoff branch office is the next exit over the bridge and make 3 lefts and a right into their parking lot.

My guess is a 5 or 6 inch would be plenty big! ....

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Welding cast iron on old hydraulic cylinder

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2008-12-21          158768


Thanks Yoop!

Zatkoff has their office near me in/near Livonia just about 15 miles away. I can weld the cap myself or have my bud do it who has a welding shop. You are a good 3 hours away.

It's not that I NEED a big cylinder; it came on it. I can buy the Chief-brand form the mfg. Baileynet.com---I just don't wanna as funds are really not there with the weather like it is, and my wood is already split. My neighbor was in a hurry to use the splitter since I made a deal with him to go with me and pick it up originally. And I was hoping to rent it out.

Hey, how's biz up there with the so-called bailout--which as we know is a LOAN? We down-state are still holding our collective breaths. It's on the news 24/7 but no one I know talks about it. Isn't that a bunch of crap how the Gov. wants union workers to take a pay cut--what a bunch of s---?

What the nation doesn't realize is if union workers take a pay cut that starts an avalanche of OTHER workers nationwide taking cuts as Managements nationwide will take that as a rule of thumb for no other reason than to line their own pockets. I call it a sprialling down of the middle class.

And I ain't "jis' sayin'" this time. ....

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