Increasing FEL Tilt Range

My PT1850’s FEL tilt range was limited to 90°.  I replaced the fixed “top link” with a variable top link.  This helped by allowing me to adjust the starting point for the 90° tilt in order to maximize either my carrying capability or dumping capability but not both.  For quite some time, I have wanted to improve the tilt capability and I finally did so.

Here is an old picture which shows the fixed top link connected to one end of the pivot arm and the hydraulic cylinder is connected to the other end.  The hydraulic cylinder is connected to the longer arm which gives it more leverage over the bucket.

If I extended the arm that the top link is connected to, then the same amount of movement of the hydraulic cylinder would result in a greater movement of the top link arm causing the bucket to tilt further than it could before.  I disconnected the top link from the quick attach plate and made sure that the attachment plate was capable of a greater range of motion.  Increasing the length of the top link arm would decrease the leverage of the hydraulic cylinder resulting in a lower tilt force.

The lift and breakout forces varied quite a bit based on angle.

I had these plates that I could use:

I copied the existing holes for mounting etc and then added a couple of more mounting holes and additional pin holes.  It is important that you drill the 3/4″ holes in each plate in the exact same position so that the pin does not bind.   The 3/4″ pin holes in the plates were drilled off the tractor.  To ensure alignment with the existing holes on , I clamped the plates temporarily in place with 3/4″ bolts connecting the 2 plates in the original hole plus the other holes and also using a square to line up the edges prior to drilling in place the two 1/2″ mounting holes and the 7/16″ hole for the level indicator.

Here is one plate on the tractor checking for fit.


I made a new pin because it needed to be longer than the existing pin plus I wanted to add a grease fitting.  I drilled it from the end to meet a cross hole and installed a grease fitting.

To keep the pin from rotating and wearing the holes in the brackets, I added a flat to the pin flange and made a corresponding clamping washer.

Here it is installed.  I initially installed it lower and it looked ok.  In this position, it would look better rounded but I doubt I will take the time to do so.  It could also be mounted below the pin but I felt this location for the bolt created an overall stronger setup:

Metal tubing was cut to length to form spacers where the two plates were bolted to each other in order to keep from pinching the brackets together.

As physics would predict, changing the top link location reduced the curling force as can be seen in the earlier table.  I contemplated increasing the system pressure but since I had a 2 1/2″ cylinder, I decided to try it.  Now both tilt and lift are around 1050 lbs.  I expected the tilt to be much more than that, even dangerously so, because of the significantly greater force produced by 2 1/2″ cylinder at 12,500 lbs force vs a 2″ cylinder at 8,000 lbs force.  It looks like it is tied into the pressure relief of the circuit. Realize that increasing the cylinder diameter might lead to premature failure of the FEL, especially the pivot for the top link/cylinder arm.

The range of motion has been adjusted to be about 115° which allows me to have a full bucket level as well as completely dumped.  I am very pleased.

The loader goes through a variety of geometries during its operation.  It is possible with this modification to get it where the quick attach stop is pressed tight to the loader arms so one wants to pay attention.  It is also adjusted so the bucket clears the top link when the FEL is fully lowered.

Back to PT1850 Home Page