The Craftmans Shop > PowerSports

A loader for the Ford 850 from bits and pieces

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Well now that the engine is running on the old Ford 850, and the backhoe works, it's time to give it a loader up front.

When purchased it had a weird truck snow plow attachment on the loader arms which had been modified by the owner. The whole rig was a mile long, and I have no Idea how he maneuvered with that. When I asked where the original bucket was, he said he had discarded it. He was a professional welder, so I'm a bit confused about how bad it could have been.

Anyway, he said he had a second set of arms and another bucket to fit, he just hadn't put them on. I received those with the tractor.

Like everything else about this purchase, he left out a few rather important details. Like the arms were from a different loader, and wouldn't fit this tractor loader frame. When I started work on the tractor, I scoured the parts for identification marks and eventually worked out that the loader frame and first set of modified arms were a Wagner WF3 loader, and the bucket and spare lift arms were from Ford Dearborn loader.

As purchased with snow plow and shortened and modified Wagner arms:

The other arms -- Ford Dearborn type:

And the matching bucket:

When I first considered this problem a few years ago, I thought maybe the Ford arms would fit the Wagner frame with some simple modifications. They were the same width and the structural tubing was the same diameter.

So I removed the Wagner arms and positioned the Ford arms to check fit. Unfortunately I soon realized that though many dimensions matched, the Ford arms were designed for hydraulic cylinders placed far back on th chassis -- near the rear wheel axle. The Wagner arms were designed for cylindrs positioned further forward at bout the level of the foot pedals. And there was no easy way to modify the Ford arms for a different piston attach point, or the Wagner frame for a different cylinder attach point.

The Wagner arms were in much worse shape than the Ford arms -- they had been cut short, and a heavy cross member welded in. After taking the arms off and turning them over I saw major damage, cracks and shoddy welded repairs on the bottom:

Fast forward a few years to today. Thinking the old problem over. The Ford arms had some surface rust, but were otherwise perfect. They used a dual cylinder bucket tilt system with a very heavy tubular cross member. All of the hydraulic cylinders and hoses were present. The arms looked quite good and well designed.

The Wagner had originally had a single cylinder, and it's support system and cross members were really in poor shape, as seen in the photo above.

What to do?  Yesterday I hit on the idea of cutting out all of the Wagner's cross member structure, and grafting the Ford's tube ends to the Wagner's tube ends. The portion of the Ford tubes containing its cross member structure and cylinders and bucket attachment would be grafted onto the Wagner tubes. This would be possible because he tubing is the same size for both sets of arms and the spacing is the same within about a half inch.

So today I started cutting the Wagner cross structure out:

One arm free:

Center section fully dismembered:


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