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Foolproof Bucket Bottom Replacement Tips

JADCO Mfg makes replacement bucket bottoms every day. Loader buckets and excavator buckets; we do them all. We measure your bucket so the replacement fits regardless of the abuse it has suffered.

To assure your new bottom fits like it is supposed to; here is a simple method to help take the stress out of installing your new JADCO replacement bucket bottom.

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Now you are ready to install the new QT Plus ® bottom; but where do you start?

Some time may pass before you get to replace the bottom of the bucket. Your bucket was likely still in use or stored outside after measuring for the new steel. The marks from measuring have either worn away in use or the rain has erased them.

JADCO QT Plus ® wear steel doesn’t stretch, so you need to make certain when you cut out the bottom of the bucket, your cut is in the correct location.

Have your installer work with your JADCO sales professional as they measure your bucket. They can answer questions about how you want the steel formed to make your installation easier.

Agreeing where the new replacement steel will start is the first step. I begin to measure starting at the center of the weld seam between the base edge and the bucket bottom.
The base edge weld seam is located on the left end of the template tool, shown in the photo below.

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NOTE: Please allow us to measure the bucket BEFORE you remove the bottom to verify the correct profile.

We take a multitude of measurements to assure it will be formed correctly at our shop just North of Pittsburgh, PA.

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One of the most important measurements is the Tip to Tip distance. It is the measurement from the center of the weld seam joining the front edge to the bucket bottom; to the point in the back of the bucket where there is smooth, solid steel.

How high up the arc you go is up to you. If your bucket has been used to smash large rocks into smaller ones, pick a spot above any damaged areas that have been bashed in.

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Before you mark out where to cut, measure the tip to tip on the replacement formed plate. Start at the top inside edge, measuring to the bottom inside edge.

Then using this dimension, hold the measurement on the line where you started, at the center of the weld.

Stretch the start of the tape out until it is taut, making contact with the back. This is the Tip to Tip location matching the back of the replacement steel. Mark this location with soapstone.

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Repeat the process on the other side of the bucket.

Using a chalk line, stretch the string between your marks and snap a line. This is your line to cut the back of the bucket.

For cutting out the existing bottom from the sides, recall we measured to have the inside of the replacement steel match the location of the existing steel.

If we cut straight down through the bottom of the bucket, our arc will not match the new steel. This is because of the thickness of the existing bottom steel.

Use an oxy-fuel torch for more control. Cut horizontal along the side weld joints staying as close to the bottom of the weld as possible.

While a plasma torch will cut the steel, but the diameter of the head will not allow your cut to be in the right location and make fit up more difficult to the new bottom.

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Preheating before installing a liner to protect the inside of the loader bucket.

A liner needs to be measured differently than a replacement bottom.

Always remember to preheat before welding. Preheat to 200° F to make certain all moisture is out of the steel. Moisture is what causes under weld bead cracking, the cause of many structural steel failures.

Click Here for our prior blog post covering wear resistant steel preheating guidelines.

Weld using stringer beads for maximum strength without overheating the steel. To prevent overheating and annealing the wear resistant steel, do not weld continuously in one area.

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The weld must have adequate Throat of the Weld - item ‘A’ in the diagram. Here it must equal ¼” minimum. ‘Y’ is the weld face, ‘Z’ is the root of the weld; and ‘X’ are the toes of the weld.

This means the distance from the root of the weld to the center of the face of the bead ‘A’ in the diagram above, MUST BE EQUAL OR GREATER THAN THE THINNEST OF THE TWO PLATES YOU ARE WELDING. In the example above it must be at least ¼”.

This is critical in heavier plate thicknesses.

Also remember the bucket bottom is formed for the width at the front of the bucket. Since every bucket tapers in toward the back of the bucket, this allows you to weld the bottom to both inside and outside securely.

After the bottom has been welded in place, you can trim the excess off of the sides. Make certain to preheat the steel before cutting it with a torch to prevent thermal shock on heavier plates.

Finally you can add your wear bars across the width of the bucket.

Remember to apply a cap or layer of JADCO Fusion AP hardsurfacing over the joining welds. Joining welds are not as hard as the steel. You don’t want them to quickly wear away, creating a weakened structure.

How can we help you?

When you have focused exclusively on delivering consistent, longer life for our customer for the last 40 years; you understand why JADCO’s QT Plus ® is able to deliver greater performance in your applications than what you have been using previously.

Allow us to help you by calling (724) 452-5252, or email sales@jadcomfg.com today. We will schedule a meeting with one of our local wear plate specialists at a time that best fits your schedule requirements.

Remember, the only thing you have to lose by not working with JADCO, are your profits.