Towable digger, excavator and backhoe website. Features Fleming Micron, Powerfab, Mantis, Benford, Roughneck, Gopher, Smalley, Tow-hoe, Standard Muscleman, Termite, Mitchell Cotts, Mini Gigant, Baromix, Euromach, Bronco, JPB, Digger 50, homemade and other small diggers. Links to current manufacturers such as Groupe-FCM and suppliers of plans for the Ground Hawg Homebuilt Backhoe and CDP Excavator. Includes other plant and mechanical information, Digger Bucket Page, Plant Photo Gallery, Dumper Restoration Project and useful links for Digger Spares and Repairs. Extra information and pictures to add to the site always appreciated. Also includes a section dedicated to preserving information about Johnson Machinery Limited.
Having got the main parts of the new chassis basically welded together, I needed to cut the pivot shaft and engine mountings off the old chassis as these are going to be re-used and I need them to make sure of the spacing of other parts of the new chassis. The pivot shaft is a heavy duty solid steel shaft with two half inch plates that were continuously welded to the chassis. It took five 9" angle grinder discs to cut it off but I have to say this job was easier than I had anticipated.
I lugged the old chassis out of the garage with the aid of a sack trolley and into the yard. It's safer doing grinding outside. First I cut through the welds around the half inch plates. Then I cut right through the channel of the old chassis.
With this piece chopped off I was able to cut through some smaller welds on the underside and remove the channel from between the two half inch plates.
I spent a bit of time cleaning off the remains of the old welds with the small grinder and cleaned off the worst of the rust ready for welding to the new chassis.
Here's the three pieces I wanted to save. The pivot shaft and the two pieces of angle iron that the engine sits on.
At this point the chassis is all tacked together and I have also tacked on the pivot shaft.
Here I have positioned the first of the two engine mountings ready for welding. I cheated and used the MIG welder on this as there was a gap to fill the width of the grinder disc.
Centralising the engine mounting using old worn out grinder discs. Lots of G clamps in use once again.
Here I am on the home straight with the welding. I had to keep turning the chassis over and as the job went on it got to the point where it was very hard to lift.
Welding the pieces of chequer plate onto the two back corners.
Here's the chassis at the point the welding was finished. The final pieces added were the gearbox mount and the two pieces of chequer plate on the rear corners. That lump of old scrap lying near the bottom was being used for warming up the welding rods and I should have moved it really before taking the picture.
The chassis now has a coat of red oxide and can stay where it is while I clean and refurbish all the other parts.
I've knocked up a quick stand for the rear axle to save my back while I am working on it.
I've now started work on stripping the axle so that it can be repaired and painted ready for fitting to the new chassis. Seemed to make sense to do the axle first so the dumper can be made moveable again as soon as possible.
The hubs fit onto a taper shaft with a keyway and are held on by large castle nuts with split pins which were pretty badly rusted and had to just be broken off.
I couldn't move one side at all even with a 3/4 drive socket set and warming it with a small blowlamp so I decided to cut that nut off as it was pretty badly rusted and not saveable.
I bought this bigger blowlamp on Ebay and got a gas bottle locally and managed to undo the other side without destroying the nut. I also warmed and removed the split pin remains.
The other hub came off easily but this one was stuck fast. I stripped off the brake shoes to give more room for working and made a puller.
The Mark 1 puller, which bent before doing any useful work. After 4 reinforcements the puller was finally strong enough. I tightened it ridiculously tight then heated the hub.
With a loud bang it finally came off and shot halfway across the floor. Here's the Mark 5 puller, the removed hub and the taper shaft bottom right.
After a fine start, progress on the dumper ground to a halt in the latter half of 2009 due to pressures of work and other commitments. The winter has also been very cold but I am now making slow progress again. I am doing one end of the axle at a time, so that I can refer to the end which is still assembled when I need to. Having finally pulled off the hub I stripped down the backplate.
The brake bake plate was very rusty (holed in a couple of places) so I have cleaned and repaired that.
A quick coat of red oxide leaving the centre clear as that is where the oil seal fits on.
The old oil seal (bottom right) has been replaced with a modern equivalent from www.simplybearings.co.uk
The oil seal fitted into the pressed steel housing. I used the old seal and a piece of wood to tap it in.
There is a paper gasket needed for the oil seal housing so I cut one out of gasket paper. The holes were punched using a stainless steel support sleeve for Hep2O plumbing!
The new gasket, old one, back plate and spacers cleaned and ready to use.
The hubs are held on by 1 1/8 UNF castle nuts. These are hard to get. I managed to track down 4 large nylocs for £10 from www.leytonfasteners.co.uk - very helpful chap.
I have converted the nyloc to a castle nut by cutting it down with the hacksaw. Then drilling and cutting the slots for the split pin.
I'm pretty pleased with my home made castle nut. The art of sawing and filing lives on! It didn't actually take as long as I thought it might.
I have had a very busy 2010 with my work and family commitments and so progress with the dumper has been slow. However, I am pleased to report that the axle is refurbished (after several delays caused by scarcity of parts), and the two halves of the dumper are now back together. I have spent a lot of time cleaning and painting all the parts ready for rebuilding the rear half of the dumper during the winter. The plan is to refit all the pedals, steering seat mounts etc and then turn my attention to the engine and gearbox.
Here's the newly painted chassis. The first Johnson 2H dumper chassis built in the UK since 1979?
I want to get the dumper mobile again so have joined the two halves back together. I will clean and paint the front half when the rear is finished.
That's it for now. Hopefully the next update won't be so long coming.
There is now a Johnson Machinery Section of the website dedicated to preserving the history of this company. This has lots of interesting pictures and information about the Johnson range of products.