Prep Work for the Hydraulic System

I knew that I’d be wanting the hydraulics working fairly soon, and that’s a complicated system that requires some planning, and design work.  The components are also expensive, so I wanted to buy used wherever possible to save some money.

I had heard of a salvage yard that had lots of miscellaneous steel and farm items where I might find some hydraulic components.  My wife is always up for a trip, so I delighted her in a trip to the junkyard!  I had a great time looking at the wide variety of items there, and eventually found a couple of pumps that looked promising, so after a bit of negotiating, we were off.

I ended up with this pump, it seemed about the right size, the price was right, and it seemed in decent shape.

Hydraulic Pump Hydraulic Pump Hydraulic Pump

Now, guys that design hydraulic systems for a living are going to cringe, but I really didn’t know any specs on this pump, and research I did on it didn’t turn up much either.  Since this was also a learning process, I decided to go with it.

At this point I realized I needed to learn more about hydraulics, so I borrowed a text book from a student that had just finished a hydraulics class at the university and I underwent an accelerated self-taught course in hydraulics.  Between that and some google research, I felt I knew enough to keep moving forward.

I went onto eBay, and found a 3 spool valve body for a decent price.  I knew I needed at least 2 spools, 1 for up/down, and another for tilt left/right.  The third is for future expansion of functionality.

Here you can see the valve body and it mocked into position.  I also took the time to finalize the battery placement, seat mounts, and starter solenoid placement.

Hydraulic System Hydraulic System Hydraulic System
Hydraulic System

After this I spent a lot of time thinking about and planning the hydraulic system.

Next>> Part 12: Now Here’s a Real Blade!