Progress on the Failing 250 rebuild.

Last month, I wrote about purchasing a Failing 250 to rebuild. My sons and I purchased the rig, and had it shipped to my son Randy to start the rebuilding.

In the last month, Randy has removed the rig from the old International truck, and placed it on sawhorses. He has removed the mud pump, and is rebuilding the mud and gear end; the gear end was full of drilling mud. He removed the pull-down transmission, and rebuilt it completely; it also was full of drilling mud.

He removed the mast, and currently is rebuilding it. All of the other gear boxes, rotary transmission, drawworks and rotary table were in good condition; all that he replaced were the oil seals.

He removed all of the flooring, the outer side plates, and some of the frame rails. Someone had brazed them to the main frame with brass. To deal with them required cutting everything off with a cutting torch, and then melting and grinding the brass away from the base metal. With all of it removed, the drill was about three feet wide.

We purchased a plasma cutter. With a plasma cutter, you can make finer and more exact cuts without a lot of slag or warpage (usually due to excessive heat).

Randy purchased new steel, and has started framing up the new rails, side plates and flooring. Using the plasma cutter, he is able to use the new process of tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding, using argon gas. He’s able to weld with no slag and no warpage – TIG welding is fantastic.

Randy needed to weld some new mounting onto the hydraulic tank. However, the tank was so rusted and thin that it kept burning through. So he had the steel supplier cut out new pieces for a tank, and in a short time, with the TIG welder, had fabricated a new hydraulic tank.

Now he’s ready to paint and then mount it on the 2002 F-350 Ford 4-by-4 diesel truck that we purchased. Since I’m about five hours away from Randy, and can’t watch the reconstruction, he sends me photos almost daily of the progress.

Randy and his brother, Piglet (Chris), can build and rebuild almost anything. They grew up together, building go-carts, dune buggies, old cars and rigs.

Be sure to watch for the future stories about our rebuilding the rig.