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Post cap in a bind


West Fork Fence
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I'd appreciate some advice, if any of you gents might have some experience with this issue........

 

I had several broken welds on the mast of my driver.  Of course all the grease had to come off first in order to grind out the old welds and put everything back together.  I'm now having problems with my post cap getting in a bind when raising it.  If I hook the other side of the cap to the monkey with a chain, and keep it even, everything is fine.  I took my time when I welded the mast, so I don't think thermal distortion is the issue.  I have had this issue before when it has been hot (95* or hotter), sunny, and low humidity.  More grease fixed it then, but it seemed to take a while to get it worked in.  I have put an entire bucket of grease on and no change yet.  Have any of you ever modified the channel on your post cap in any way?  I think I may put a bend in the lifting hook to try and level out the cap for lifting?????  What have you found to be the best grease for your mast?  Thanks in advance for the help.

 

The driver is a Vector Model 4.  No, my next driver won't be a Vector, but this one has put 30,000 posts in the ground.  I'm sure that this will start the Jock Bryce/Joe Brennan debate all over again, and that's fine.........so long as we get my driver going first. :D

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Have you had a look at the post cap rather than the mast?

 

We have a cast steel Bryce cap that has gotten worn with time so now hangs ever so slightly sharper angle and binds. It's a heavy cap which doesn't help. I tried welding a strip of steel inside the channel of the cap to pack it out so it sits plumb again but it was too much and won't even fit back on. It needs taking to the machine shop in town to be built up with weld and then machined back down. But like everything, it has been put to one side and a real old welded cap put on and stayed on

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I've sanded the rails down on our mast once. Good rub with diesel to clean it off first. I used flap wheel.

 

Grease. Bryce supplied with millers PBL I think it's called. Pin and bush lube. It used to have a clay base but the machine that pulverised the clay wore out, so it's not as good a blend apparently as it was.

 

When we have used the adapter cap and posts have ruptured or mushroomed in tight. I've used too methods to free it.

 

1. Raise the mast whilst lowering the legs, then raise the legs. They have more push.

 

2. Throw a sling over the hammer top and attatch to both sides of cap for an even pull.

 

I suggest these than you can try to find the bind points.

 

A rock spike ram has a much stronger amount of force available as well.

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Ive used vector for the last 3 years. It was a recuring problem that never got fully sorted. Had the same issue on 4 different model 4s. The plate sits twisted due to how its latched. It wears unevenly. When you raise the hammer it grabs. It bent the guide in the back of the plate. I heated it up straightened it out which worked for a while.

The cracks tend to be in the corners and where the hydraulic twister mounts.

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I was able to get it squared away.  I tried shims in the cap channel, and it helped part of the time, but made it worse part of the time as well.  The cap would get in a bind anywhere from the bottom to the top, so did figure that it was the cap, and not the mast.  I didn't figure grinding more material off of something that was surely already thinner than it was when it was new would be a good plan, so I played with the cap latch a bit.  I ended up shortening it up by an inch or so, and it seems to have solved the problem.  Like Jason mentioned, the guides on my cap are about 1/8" out of square, but I'm going to save that fix for another day.  Thanks again for your input.

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