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The worst way to remove a stubborn Hydraulic fitting! Out of neccessity, however, I had to resort to drastic measures – cutting through the hydraulic hose and crimp in order to get a deep wall socket on there.
This single difficult fitting has delayed my backhoe restoration by 2 weeks! Conventional wrenches failed to work on this stuck fitting, even after removing some of the body panels for better access. Next, I tried chopping up an impact socket and welding up my own tool (an IEW for Improvised Equipment Wrench) – which broke. I bought a set of pump (farmer) wrenches from Harbor freight – short handles fit into the space, but I could not get enough leverage.
At about this point, my assistant mechanic (my son!) suggested I cut through the hydraulic hose and use a regular deep socket. But that would introduce grinding dust and metal swarf into the hydraulic line, perhaps even into the spool!
Nothing seemed to be working, so I resorted to ordering a set of heavy duty crow-foot wrenches. If my custom-welded tool had been strong enough, surely, it would have worked.
A week later, I received my new crow-foot wrenches, and despite using an 18″ breaker bar, I still could not budge it! On closer inspection, the crowfoot wrench ends up hitting the threads on the next spool.
Finally, down to the last resort, I decided to take my son’s advice and cut through the hose. I estimate it was about 200 ft-lb to break it free. (the head bolts on my Ford V8 are 130 ft-lbs).
This video will make you cringe, but we got the job done.
What you don’t see on the video is how I purged the system without turning the machine on. I stuck a very large shop vac over the port and pulled the spool lever, which sucked hydraulic fluid out of the port. This would have happened anyway when I started the machine after everything was put back together. But this way, none of the abrasive swarf would end up in my newly rebuilt cylinders. The vacuum trick seemed to work pretty slick, so maybe it will help someone else in a similar situation.