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TRK coupler and short thumb? What to do

Discussion in 'Excavators' started by will, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. will

    will Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Messages:
    15
    Occupation:
    Farmer for 19 years
    Location:
    Southeast USA
    So, i knew it would be short but stuck my head in the sand until now. Have a 320 bl with a manual fleco thumb. Hopefully you can see the photo in this link. This was pre coupler.https://www.dropbox.com/s/b1k6tbz640sgxst/2014-01-18 13.01.00.jpg?dl=0

    I really like the coupler so far and would hate to have to take it off. Do i need to buy a longer thumb or is it wise to think i could extend this one and make do? Sorry, no pics of coupler yet, may have some on my phone i will post later. Thanks

    PS. Machine is only used on our farm and maybe a few small jobs for neighbors
     
  2. Shimmy1

    Shimmy1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2014
    Messages:
    3,334
    Location:
    North Dakota
    I was down this road this spring. I have "JRB" (it says CNH on the tag, but it's really a JRB) coupler. I wanted my thumb to mesh with bucket teeth. I have a ACS hydraulic stick mount that I custom built to fit. It works awesome, only problem is thumb will hit bottom of boom when thumb is retracted. I'm thinking of getting a coupler bucket and shortening the thumb slightly. Just be aware that running a coupler and thumb together can be an adventure.
     

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  3. cheddarbob56

    cheddarbob56 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2013
    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    SE South Dakota
    Hey Shimmy - looks like an awfully nice thumb. Do you have any more pictures of it? What all did you start with and modify? I'm thinking of building just a stiff arm this winter yet (winter seems to running away from me though) for our Cat 235.... we don't have any aux. hydraulics on it and could really use it for tree work. I know a hydraulic would be nicer but a stiff arm would be better than nothing :) I'd like to have your machine too :) looks nice. :)
     
  4. StumpyWally

    StumpyWally Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Messages:
    516
    Occupation:
    PE Civil Eng'r, Computer Sys. Mgr., Retired
    Location:
    Liv'in the Dream ---------------> in Ballston, NY
    Shimmy1...I had a similar problem (on a much smaller scale) with the Geith stick thumb hitting the boom when the thumb was retracted. My solution was to cut the thumb tines a little shorter, to clear the boom, then extend the thumb to mesh with the bucket by adding tine extensions that are spaced wider than the boom, so that the extensions go up past the sides of the boom when the thumb is retracted. My thumb only had 2 tines & it is on a NH EH80CS (really a Kobelco SK80CS).

    On your thumb, could you cut the center tine (3rd one) shorter to clear the boom, so that the 2nd & 4th tines would pass up beside each side of the boom when retracted?? Is the spacing between the 2nd & 3rd tine more than the boom width??

    Here is a pic of mine to illustrate what I mean.

    Geith Easi-Klamp Extended 002.jpg

    Even if you tried this & found you didn't like it, you're thinking about cutting the other tines shorter anyway, & going to a close-coupled dedicated-bucket system. BTW, I use a KLAC close coupler from Werk-Brau. Mine's mechanical, but they offer larger, hydraulic ones. I like them because they are self-tightening & are very close-coupled, yielding virtually the same tip radius as the OEM pin-on bucket, & thereby restoring your bucket breakout to its original glory!!
     
  5. Shimmy1

    Shimmy1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2014
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    3,334
    Location:
    North Dakota
    I started with an ACS thumb. They send you just the thumb body with the tube welded to the body. I circled what I started with. I added the short tubes, and cut holes and slid the long tube through the tines down towards the ends for added strength. Total cost of the thumb delivered to my door was $5200. $4000 for the thumb, mounting plate, cylinder, 2 tines. $200 each for 3 more tines. Could order as many as I wanted for $200 each. I'm thinking about ordering like 10 and building my own excavator rake that I will also design to mount to loader. Took us about a day to cut, fit, and layout. Another day to weld. Cheapest thumb I found for the quality, I could build it like I wanted, strengthen it where I thought necessary, and I pretty much built a thumb that I wanted for less than half of what everyone else wanted.
     

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    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  6. StumpyWally

    StumpyWally Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Messages:
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    Occupation:
    PE Civil Eng'r, Computer Sys. Mgr., Retired
    Location:
    Liv'in the Dream ---------------> in Ballston, NY
    Shimmy1...In my haste to tell you how I solved my thumb - boom problem, I forgot to also say what a nice thumb you built...nice an wide to pick up stumps & debris with!! And that's a damn fine lookin' excavator, too!!! What's behind that little triangular door at about the 4 o'clock position right behind the cab door??
     
  7. Shimmy1

    Shimmy1 Senior Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    North Dakota
    Sorry, Wally. That door is for the cab filter. Thanks for the compliments on the thumb.
     
  8. Shimmy1

    Shimmy1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2014
    Messages:
    3,334
    Location:
    North Dakota
    Here are some more pics of my thumb.
     

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