Avoid Titan 32” thumb on the FLU419

Speedwoble

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I added a 32” Titan thumb on my FLU. That was a mistake. Unlike better designed thumbs, it will not fold out of the way without removing the brace bar. In storage, the thumb hits the center tooth and prevents the bucket from folding completely. To add insult to injury, it bent a pin on the first use.
 

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Speedwoble

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No, I haven’t found another I like yet. I don’t have much experience with thumbs besides this one. Getting one that nests tight will be important for the bucket to store. I think the Titan one can be modified to work, but it disappoints me that the pin bent on first use. I did see they now offer an even stronger version with 1.25” pins. I don’t feel like grinding mine off to try another.
 

f800

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I've had good results with the 32" heavy duty I bought back in 2/17 from Titan (except for a smashed thumbnail). I believe I bought on someone's recommendation from here.
 

Speedwoble

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I am not doing any good to criticize the design then not offer alternatives. Here is a thumb designed so you don’t have to unpin the crossbar to store the thumb: https://youtu.be/-E-Yz3bxMbI
With the thumb weighing close to 100 lbs, it is really annoying to have to hold everything up and try to get the pin back in to hold the crossbar in. So I end up storing the crossbar separately from the thumb. Note that Titan never provides pictures of the thumb stored.
Our backhoe is actually modified from the 580E to fold more and store tighter, so lots of the off-the shelf options will be difficult to get to store. That I can accept. The pin bending is not acceptable.
 

alpine44

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I added a 32” Titan thumb on my FLU. That was a mistake. Unlike better designed thumbs, it will not fold out of the way without removing the brace bar. In storage, the thumb hits the center tooth and prevents the bucket from folding completely. To add insult to injury, it bent a pin on the first use.
There is too much of a gap between the two parts the pin connects. The main load on these pins should be shear not bending.
 

Recovry4x4

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I suggest that anyone who has any type of excavator/back how consider a thumb. Don't laugh, I have a Massey 1710 subcompact tractor and MF offered a factory built thumb. I can't believe how much I use it.
 

alpine44

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I suggest that anyone who has any type of excavator/back how consider a thumb. Don't laugh, I have a Massey 1710 subcompact tractor and MF offered a factory built thumb. I can't believe how much I use it.
There is no question about the usefulness of a thumb.

The big question is which thumb can be put on the FLU419 without causing too many problems when stowing the backhoe. If we cannot find anything off the shelf, we may have to experiment with plywood mock-ups and then have the steel parts plasma cut.
 

alpine44

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isn't the backhoe attachment on the FLU basically a CASE? I could be totally wrong, but thought I read that some where.
Yes, the FLU419 uses a modified Case 580 hoe. However, the bucket curls further to within 2" of the dipper to facilitate stowing the folded hoe over the rear of the Unimog chassis. Any thumb has to be relieved for the middle bucket tooth and the thumb attachment on the dipper should be two brackets rather than one continuous channel. There may be a commercial thumb available that could be modified with a cutting torch.
 
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The FLU farm

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Yes, the FLU419 uses a modified Case 580 hoe. However, the bucket curls further to within 2" of the dipper to facilitate stowing the folded hoe over the rear of the Unimog chassis. Any thumb has to be relieved for the middle bucket tooth and the thumb attachment on the dipper should be two brackets rather than one continuous channel. There may be a commercial thumb available that could be modified with a cutting torch.
Yeah, I noticed that the 12-inch bucket I installed won't tuck in as far as the stock 24-incher does. Oh well, having the out rigger stick out a bit more doesn't hurt anything - until you hit it.
 

Speedwoble

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Yeah, I noticed that the 12-inch bucket I installed won't tuck in as far as the stock 24-incher does. Oh well, having the out rigger stick out a bit more doesn't hurt anything - until you hit it.
If you can’t get the bucket in far enough for the dipper to stow, you can’t store the backhoe. The transport latch is on the dipper, so if the dipper is not at the correct angle, the backhoe won’t fold down all the way, and certainly won’t latch.
 

The FLU farm

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If you can’t get the bucket in far enough for the dipper to stow, you can’t store the backhoe. The transport latch is on the dipper, so if the dipper is not at the correct angle, the backhoe won’t fold down all the way, and certainly won’t latch.
Now you're gonna make me look tomorrow. I don't remember if it latches or not.
 

Speedwoble

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Without the backhoe bucket stowing properly, the Rt stabilizer wouldn't stow and stuck out quite far to the Right side. After being inattentive and clobbering a speed limit sign on the road, I decided I needed to fix it. I torched out about 5 inches of material in the center of the thumb so the center tooth can fold further. Now the bucket stores as it should, the stabilizer leg folds where it should, and the backhoe latches in the storage position as it should.
thumb.jpg
BTW, digging through the CASE archives, I found a test request from 1985 when they were prototyping the FLU419. The Dipper boom hinge is modified from a 580E dipper to allow a tighter fold.
 

SpoiledSpud

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Speed,
Now that you've had a chance to play with the modified thumb do you feel it is a good solution? I have been looking at the Heavy Duty version of that thumb and then making the same modification.
Thanks,
Spud
 

Speedwoble

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New Holland, PA
In addition to notching the thumb to clear the tooth, you would also need to add spacers to the crossbar so the pin is in shear rather than bending. See my second photo and Alpine’s post #7. I am still disappointed with the soft steel used to make the pins. I replaced them with hitch pins.
 

Toolee

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I torched out about 5 inches of material in the center of the thumb so the center tooth can fold further...
Excellent, simple idea--well done! I have the heavy-duty 32" Titan and have found it to be useful--and for the price it is hard to beat. I had just been pulling the stabilizer leg, putting that darn heavy thing in the toolbox then pinning the thumb to stow it flat. I would rather have an hydraulic thumb, but don't use the thumb enough to justify the cost of that plus the additional hydraulic lines. Actually, what I'd really like is a hoe clamp like the Amulet, but have been unable to get them to commit to a specific model that will fit...that and it is even more expensive. But for now I think I'll be a copycatter and torch out that same bit you did, and if the tips bend, next step would be to straighten them out and add a shallow "cup" welded to the thumb over top of the bucket tooth.
 
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