Sweepster Rotary Broom - rebuild and modification

  
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dstig1

dstig1

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Well when I called the factory with a few questions one thing they said was you don't want poly/wire mix for residential use as the wires get stuck in everything (and eventually probably your tires too), so I was planning on getting rid of that (this one was 50/50 poly/wire as purchased). Well I found another reason to avoid wire - impossible to take apart. They tell you to take off the end cover and start sliding the sections off to change the broom. Riiiiiiight. The wire sections tangle together and it is utterly impossible to break them loose. I ended up having to chop them into sections and then cut through the tangle of wires to get them off, bit by bit. The poly sections came off reasonably but the wire ones were impossible. That was a lot of fun.

But here is the bare core now. Just need to get the motor off now (rt side). Got the nut off by some miracle but the shaft is wedged/rusted in pretty good. Soaking in penetrating oil for now and will probably get the air hammer/chisel involved tomorrow. Maybe some heat if that doesn't do it.

Core (Large).jpg


And the pile of broom bits. The plastic ones will go in the trash but the metal ones can go in the recycle bin (which is free!). The last few sections came off as one clump which saved a little time.

pile of bristles (Large).jpg


That was truly awful. Fortunately I'm guessing the last time I'll have to do it in my lifetime... Amazed I didn't start a fire with all the dried leaves, grass and such embedded in all this coupled with abrasive cutoff wheels. Tomorrow - to the dump with old broom chunks!
 
  
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dstig1

dstig1

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Well something is always interfering with progress... I went to load up the truck to haul the scrap broom parts and the brake pedal went to the floor and I saw fluid at the rear passenger side wheel and then found this mess:
Truck caliper (Large).jpg


So with that fixed it was time to wrap up the disassembly part of our saga and start figuring out what to do next. That just happened tonight. In the pic below you can see the main pieces of this. That angle plate/frame in the middle was just pulled off the broom mount on the left before the pic, so that will go right back together later. The angle plate pivots the sweeper on that pivot bolt in the center via the cylinder from earlier pics on those 2 large pins in the foreground. The right side of the pic is where the head scratching starts.

laying out main parts markup.jpg


I will be making the tank, and it needs to fit in between the SSQA plate on the FEL and the frame. I also need to figure out how to mount the main sweeper frame to the SSQA plate while still allowing room for the tank. I've run some basic volume calcs and there are a variety of configurations that will do it. Something around 36x18x9" will do it. The upper part of that A-frame on the main mount was a hack added on by a previous owner that will no doubt be coming off, but that will come later once I figure out what I want to do. The SSQA plate is 45" wide and the heavy channel on the main frame mount is currently ~52" long and it has some slots in it for brackets for a 3pt mount that you can see in the previous post if you zoom in.

So I'm open to suggestions here. I want to keep it as close as possible but the tank has only one reasonable place to fit, so I need some structure to bridge around the tank. It would be a little easier if that angle cylinder pin was not there, but I'm not sure moving it is a good move. I may need to replace it as it was also hacked on there by previous owner. Also welding the tank leak tight is going to be enough of a challenge to my welding skill set so no need to make it more complex than a basic box.

So let's hear your ideas, TBN! I'll keep noodling on this myself, of course.
 
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pmsmechanic

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So my 1st question is why does the tank have to go between the SSQA and the main mount? If you are going to remove the "A frame" anyways why can't the tank go in that spot? You might need to mount it a bit higher then but it's not going to restrict any visibility if it's mounted higher. You could also then build more of a square box for the tank. You might need to angle the front corners of the tank to leave room for the broom when angled. I'm not there so it's not as easy to visualize how everything fit's together.
 
  
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dstig1

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Thanks for the ideas. I think it would sit way too high there, but I can look into it more. The A-frame is part OEM and part hacked on. If you look at the vertical upright, a little over halfway up there is a weld going across it. That weld and above was hacked on. And then those 2 braces going forward with the plate to mount the valve were part of the hack. The rest of it is OEM and should probably stay by all rights. No time tonight but tomorrow I should get a chance to look into it more again. The parts in the red outline are the hack that will probably get cut off.

laying out main parts hacks to remove.jpg
 
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dstig1

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As I start to sort out the engineering details on this, the one point I am a bit stuck on at the moment is how much fluid capacity I really need. I have seem "rules of thumb" that say 1x flow, 2x flow, 3x flow is needed but nothing really definitive. I do NOT want to have to add radiator cooling to this but obviously the bigger the tank, the more weight, space, and complexity it adds. The main plan is for snow removal, so cold temps, which helps reduce the need for a large hydraulic reservoir. It will be used at times during other seasons to do various clean up tasks but those uses will be much shorter duration. Based on my tests and pump I am looking to be running in the 16-20 gpm range for this. Is a 25 gal tank too big? too small? Just right? I see log splitters with 22 gpm pumps and 6-7 gal tanks, but most of the fluid obviously goes into bypass right back itno the tank except for the moments you are actually splitting wood. If I could use 10-15 gal, that would be great. Making a change after the fact will be very painful as it will be all painted and purdy looking...
 
  
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dstig1

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Many things getting in my way on this but I am getting back to it more seriously. I did a bunch of design what-if's in CAD to help sort out some issues on how to plumb all this and deal with component placement and tank design. Now that I think I have that all settled I have started to dig into the modifications to the existing metal and repairs, etc that need to be done before I can move forward.

So here is the main frame before I cut it all apart (sort of, it is already cut but this mostly shows what it was like).
Frame_before.jpg

The pin for the angle pivot cylinder was a hacked-up mess so I decided to just cut it off and start again. Some PO also hacked on an extra frame to use it on a 3-pt hitch which also went away.

And Viola!

Frame_after.jpg


So I used my oxy-propane torch and cut off wheels to get these parts off. I am not good with the torch plus access was tough in corners, so gouged into the meat of the frame in a few spots. I ground out any residual slag and welded those back up to solid and then ground it off flat so this is good to go for the next step.

The shroud for the rotary broom had some damage to it, so i repaired that. Again not easy as I have 045 wire threaded up in the MIG and this is probaly 16 ga sheet metal. Yes, I probably should have rethreaded 030 wire but that is a pain and I am lazy... So a billion tacks and a half dozen grinding sessions and it is basically fixed up. Except I think I saw one blowout that I missed so I should fix that first before moving on... But after that it is on to making the structure to tie the frame shown above to the SSQA plate, with room for the tank. I am having a shop cut and bend the tank parts for me as I cannot do that. Other parts on order... Trying to move this along so I can actually use it this winter!

Shroud_fixed.jpg

I've no experience with sheet metal, so this was no more than "good enough" to get it in decent shape for later powder coating.
 

Sportsman762

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Thanks for keeping us updated on this. I am enjoying this thread and your work.
 
  
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dstig1

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A bit more progress but also stalled waiting for some parts to show up. I have a shop cutting and bending the parts for the tank and that is now ready to pick up Fri but I also need the new angle cylinder. I tried to get the old one repaired but the hydraulic shop could not get this one apart so I coughed up for new on that. Not sure when that will show up, but I'm hoping maybe next week?

So I have most parts cut and fitted and ready to weld but I don't want to jump the gun on that until I know it all fits and seems to work right. So here is everything dry fitted.

Here is an overview of the fitup where I used the old angle cylinder as a placeholder. You can see the pressure relief valve on the SSQA plate (more below on that). I still need to work out an attachment at the top of the central tower to the SSQA.
Sweeper frame layout (1) (Large).jpg


A look from above
Sweeper frame layout (2).jpg


From the other end ("passenger" side). The square tube is 4x4x1/4" wall and they are cut at a 20degree angle as that appeared to be what the factory did for tilting the SSQA plate on their OEM version of this, so I followed what they did. I assume it is to allow enough curl rollback.
Sweeper frame layout (4) (Large).jpg


And here you can see the pump on the left (below the FEL crossbar) and the back of the SSQA plate. Right below the upper latch handle in the photo is a ~3.5" hole through the plate for the hoses to and from the pump. The pressure relief valve is mounted right there with a JIC elbow poking through it (seen in photo 1 from the front). The pressure hose will go from the pump to that port. The pump inlet hose will go from the tank (not shown yet - tomorrow!) and also through that hole. I will line it with a slit length of rubber hose for an anti-chafing grommet. I'm working on figuring out how long to make the hoses so that the loader won't rip them off the pump when lifted but also so I don't have a huge unmaneagable mess of hose.
Sweeper frame layout (3) (Large).jpg


And working on cutting the hole in the plate and drilling and tapping the relief valve mounting holes

Milling SSQA plate (Large).jpg
 
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mike0000

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Thanks for sharing Dave, I’m enjoying following along.

Mike
 
 
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