Bought a 550 Ford TLB

   / Bought a 550 Ford TLB
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Be sure you grease the two fittings on that front pump driveshaft, two of the most neglected ones on a hoe, can cost thousands to repair the damage that shaft can cause if it lets go!
Checked them late last night. Sure enough loose and Not long for this world.
I tried looking them up but what I found not sure it is the correct U joint for the pump drive shaft

Found this number

New Holland Spider Part # 218353​

replaced by this number


I would like to get the set with the injection point on the end cap as well
to make greasing much easier.
Have not been able to confirm these numbers are correct but do want to have u joints in hand before taking the front of the TLB apart.

Don't want to spend $3-4 hundred on a complete shaft.

Edit : Sometimes the obvious escapes me.

Messick's has a complete parts look up and order set up .

I will get some parts ordered later today.
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   / Bought a 550 Ford TLB #12  
the 218353 crosses in NAPA to these two that they might can get in a cap greased fitting

Part #: UJS UJ861
Part #: NPJ P861

if you GOOGLE the 218353 or it's replacement 84355036 there are lots of choices out there
   / Bought a 550 Ford TLB
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Update or two,

Ordered up some parts from Messick's and also Yesterdays tractors.

Hopefully here in a few days.

Correct u joints to tighten up the main hydraulic pump shaft
Seal for the left brake rod where it enters rear differential to stop a drip.
hydraulic screen filter/gasket and connecting hose for the hydraulic tank to reduce pump whine-maybe

rubber coated metal seals for the hydrostatic rams for steering drips
engine temp sender
trans cooler
tach drive gear housing and drive cable

What has already arrived to be installed main gauge cluster. hydrostatic steering tie rod end
Voltmeter, seat cover, hydraulic seals for stabilizer that leaks down

Also ordered a Titan extreme 36 inch weld on fixed thumb for the backhoe and Gland Nut wrenches.

This 555 vid Hooked me.

Thanks to members for Very helpful info on the electrical system and pointer on the hydraulic pump drive.

This may sound crazy ,but I am really finding resti-fying this old 550 very enjoyable and also satisfying.

ps. also ordered and received the reprint of Owners manual and even an original 12 page Ford 550 sales brochure
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   / Bought a 550 Ford TLB
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More parts showed up for the 550, but need to remove maybe 2 stumps first, So I can get the site inspected for a DIY car port between our converted chicken house to small she-shed and larger Newer she-shed on other side.

Really just need a day or two... to do most of the repair work at once.

Did get a new tie rod installed and also ordered a new king pin kit as well.
Yesterday did get the brake actuator shaft seal replaced. No leak there now, Yay.
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   / Bought a 550 Ford TLB
  • Thread Starter
   / Bought a 550 Ford TLB
  • Thread Starter
More Progress

parts and mods so far:

Titan 138lb fixed backhoe thumb- 36 inch installed - may have to carry some weight in the FEL to get the most out of it.
New gauge cluster partially installed, Now have a working proof meter with new drive housing and cable
Basic charging system functional
pull stop wire replaced with a real cable and knob
Added some restore to the fresh T-6 Rotella- starts easy now
Coolant temp sender installed
Kats inline coolant heater installed
Front 26GPM pump driveshaft rebuilt
New hydraulic tank filter installed and tank tube Mig welded instead of soldered in place (solder joint was cracked and leaking- 4 failed attempts to re-solder) with new flex tube installed No more leaks up front hydraulic system
Transmission cooler and lines installed in front of main hydraulic cooler
Rear axle brake seal installed and not leaking- rear axle fluid dumped and re filled with new fluid
Grille painted black
brakes adjusted
Original heavy duty floor mat scrubbed, pressure washed, and reinstalled
Most of the TLB engine cleaner sprayed, scrubbed and pressure washed causing 5 extra showers for me.
Don't like working on dirty caked on greasy machinery

More to be done

new king pin bushings and shaft to be installed,
Voltmeter, temp gauge hook up, charge light, fuel gauge, instrument lights, 4 LED front and rear Flood lights to install and other assorted electrical to be re juvenated.
May install tire studs for winter still thinking on that
power steering leaks at the rams connectors
Outrigger seals to be replaced right side

The digital manual disappeared off of my Phone so found an ebay original factory service manual with "grease smudges and all" ordered and on the way.

ps. The manual is for 550 and 555 TLBs.

starting to think the 550 weights listed may be for the FEL installed with no ROPS and just rear weights installed No backhoe ( shows rear weights as 4000 lb).

All of the 555 weight listings are ~ 13,000lb or above when the ROPS and backhoe are listed, so maybe with this 550 having the larger 755 backhoe , largest 11L x 16 front tires the heavy duty front bucket ROPS and a 24 inch rear bucket does not weigh 11500lbs but is actually closer to 13-14 klbs?- that would mean we were likely "a Bit" over weight on the trailer and nephews RAM hemi 2500
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   / Bought a 550 Ford TLB
  • Thread Starter
Did some more work to the 550

Finished a job at another property and now need to dig a 120 foot power line trench. I could just get it done but the 3 cylinder exhaust on these Fords are LOUD. I think they may be one of the loudest stock exhausts of the tractors I have heard,
Did some looking and seems some Folks pull the round short muffler and add an Oval muffler from a 6000 series Ford diesel.

I got one and sure enough it got rid of most of the loud poppy exhaust note, brought the db's down considerably.

May add a removable muffler support that runs to the roof. Probably leave the hood off and do some more wiring and add some new LED flood lights also but now with some ear muffs on, the engine is much quieter and can get some more digging done without my ears bleeding.

It is a fairly large muffler but the sound reduction is more important than looks to me.


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   / Bought a 550 Ford TLB
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Was given an old boat which ended up being more trouble than it was worth so saved the trailer and turned it into a flat bed utility trailer.

Needed to get rid of the boat and knew trying to cut it up with a saws all was going to take a lot of time so had a patience my a--
I am going to kill something with the 550.

Was able to crush the hull with the fixed thumb and especially grabbing against the thumb and then crowding in against the boom.
Second pic was taken before crushing the last piece of hull by crowding in.

Actually picked the entire boat up and then dropped it a few times to remove the 4 cylinder engine outdrive.

Backhoes are FUN.

Still amazed at the hydraulic power and reach these old industrial machines have

Really saved a lot of time and hard manual labor have it all piled in metal for the recycler and pieces under 4x4 for the refuse disposal and regular wood for the burn pit.


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   / Bought a 550 Ford TLB
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Adding hydraulics to the thumb

16" stroke 3" cylinder 1.5" rod
Remounted the cylinder and then got to use the Arboga drill press
What a step up from the old small drill press
Annular cutters are wonderful.
Lots more to do.

The extreme actuation position will only be for light grabs with the thumb.


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   / Bought a 550 Ford TLB
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Tightened up the main bucket pivot pin.

The center bushing was in pretty good shape but PO had used a 1 1/2" pin with the bushing being 1.75" I took a 2 1/2" axle shaft and turned it down to fit.

Took a while on the small 12 x 24" lathe but it got it done.
I will probably turn some end bushings for the bucket as well to get rid of the slop that is left and also turn a center groove and some spirals in the bucket pin to help distribute the injected grease.


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