Welcome to www.oilyhands.co.uk

Also known as www.diggers-dumpers-plant.co.uk and www.flamingskoda.com

Towable digger, excavator and backhoe website. Features Fleming Micron, Powerfab, Mantis, Benford, Roughneck, Gopher, Smalley, Tow-hoe, Standard Muscleman, Termite, Mitchell Cotts, Mini Gigant, Baromix, Euromach, Bronco, JPB, Digger 50, homemade and other small diggers. Links to current manufacturers such as Groupe-FCM and suppliers of plans for the Ground Hawg Homebuilt Backhoe and CDP Excavator. Includes other plant and mechanical information, Digger Bucket Page, Plant Photo Gallery, Dumper Restoration Project and useful links for Digger Spares and Repairs. Extra information and pictures to add to the site always appreciated. Also includes a section dedicated to preserving information about Johnson Machinery Limited.

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Spares & repairs - links to useful sites for digger spares, hydraulic pumps, valves, hoses, engines, and other information are shown in the table at the bottom of the page

I find I can get general supplies for my digger, dumper and other projects such as hydraulic oil, grease, paint, nuts and bolts and hoses from local motor factors or agricultural engineers. Many good engineering and parts companies now also sell online and I find that most things are available with next day delivery. Because a lot of towable digger manufacturers went out of business years ago actual genuine replacement parts for many models are just not available. However, this needn't be a problem if you are a bit resourceful.

Basic Maintenance

The most important thing with any digger or item of plant is to check the oils and grease the machine daily. Low oil is the kiss of death for hydraulic pumps and engines alike and lack of grease will soon cause the bushes and pins to wear out. It's good to remember how many grease points your machine has so that when you are greasing it you can be sure that you haven't missed some tucked away grease nipple. Many grease guns come with a steel tube which are useless for accessing many grease points and it's best to change to a flexible variety. I also have a small Hilka grease gun which is handy for some jobs. Replace any blocked or seized up grease nipples and make sure the grease is actually getting to where it is needed.


It is always worthwhile changing the oil and keeping oil, air and fuel filters changed at sensible intervals. The cost of this is nothing in comparison to expensive breakdowns caused by neglect.

Frame and Buckets

Most repairs to the actual frame, arm, buckets etc can be done using a basic tool kit, angle grinder and arc or MIG welder. Replacement pins and bushes can be made up by a precision engineer. Bits of plate for bucket repairs can be sourced from scrap, steel stockholders or fabricators off cuts. If you want to know more about repairing or building digger buckets click here

Hydraulic pumps, hoses and pipes

WARNING - before you attempt any hydraulic repairs yourself, watch this video

The thing that you generally need in a hurry is a new hydraulic pipe. I get these from the local agricultural place too. The longest pipe on my digger burst near the end. When I got the replacement I also got the original shortened and a new end put on. That pipe now hangs up in the garage as a handy spare as all the pipes on the machine are the same diameter and fittings, just different lengths.

Kontak hydraulic control valves

Kontak hydraulic control valves as fitted to the Fleming Micron. Even a simple machine like this requires 12 hydraulic hoses, top right hose is the low pressure return to the tank.

Loncin petrol engine fitted to replace Honda on Powerfab 125w digger

Powerfab with a Loncin engine to replace the Honda. Mart says "Loncin 6.5hp engine is exact replica".  See links below to suppliers of the Loncin engine.

If you are unfortunate enough to have problems with your spool valves you are probably going to need a specialist hydraulic engineers to help such as Swift Hydraulics below. These parts can sometimes be refurbished or if not replaced with something similar. Pumps can also be replaced (see suppliers such as White House Products below). If you cannot get the exact hydraulic pump then a similar one can be used provided you can join it up to your engine and the flow rate/pressure is suitable.

Hydraulic Ram repairs

Ram seals are widely available and can be replaced without too much bother. However, leaks are often a sign of more serious problems such as rusted or pitted rods which tear the seals. It is not uncommon for eyes to break off hydraulic rams or for mishaps to occur where the rods get bent. There are specialist companies that can repair rams even when they are in a bad way. James from Clark Engineering kindly supplied the following interesting photos to show the sort of results that can be achieved.

Standard hydraulic ram repair

Before and after picture of a standard hydraulic ram with a bent rod which was repaired by Clark Engineering

Hydrauilc ram with broken eye

This is the sort of failure any plant owner dreads. The eye has broken off the end of the rod on this hydraulic ram.

Crane slew ram

This crane slew ram has been welded extensively in an attempt to cure leaks where the end cap is welded to the cylinder.

Crane slew ram cylinder

Here's the same ram after it has been repaired properly in Clarks workshop.

Ram with broken eye

This loader ram has bent and the eye has broken off.

Repaired loader ram

The loader ram has been repaired with a new rod, eye and bushes. Note the guard on the the grease nipple.

Plough ram

This ram has failed spectacularly with a bent rod and the end cap burst right open exposing the seals.

Hydraulic ram repaired

Here's the same ram after repair.

Many thanks to James for supplying these photographs.

Hydraulic Tank - sight gauge repair

See how Alan fitted a new sight gauge to his Powerfab - click here

Engine parts

Engine parts are going to depend on the make of machine you have. Honda and Petter parts seem to be reasonably easy to get. I find a lot of parts are available on EBay or online from suppliers. Replacement engines are now also widely available at very reasonable cost. See the list below for useful suppliers.

You can see a Honda engine change on a Fleming Micron by clicking here

Workshop Manuals and Hydraulic Information

Workshop manuals for old plant can sometimes be sourced from Ebay or by putting a "wanted" advert in Classic Plant and Machinery magazine. This service is currently free to private advertisers. See http://www.cpmmag.co.uk/ for magazine details.

For an excellent explanation of all things hydraulic click here

List of suppliers for digger spares, hydraulic parts, engine parts, tools and other useful links

If any links are broken or firms have gone out of business please report them to the webmaster by clicking here

Name Supplies what? Web link
Microplant (Charles Miller) Some Powerfab parts and also repairs Powerfab machines http://www.microplant.net/
The Engine Man (Bob) Honda GX engines and parts http://www.engineman.co.uk/
Old Engine.org Information and data for Lister, Petter and other old engines Old Engine.org
E-Gaskets Gaskets for Lister and Petter Engines http://www.e-gaskets.co.uk
Small Engine Servies Spare parts for Honda, Lister, Petter, Briggs and Stratton and many others - mail order available. http://www.small-engine-services.co.uk/
W Robinson & Sons Ltd Replacement engines ("copies" of Honda and Yanmar) plus spares http://www.pump.co.uk/
Mead Plant Spares, for Lister, Petter, Benford and other makes http://www.meadplant.com/
Hydraulic Plant Services Ltd Spares for lots of older plant, including JCB, Benford, Thwaites, Lister Petter and Hymac http://www.hydraulicplantservices.com/
Clark Engineering Lots of hydraulic parts and full repair and remanufacture. Useful downloadable catalogue http://www.clark-engineering.com/
Fencol Direct Ltd Hydraulic pipes, connections, fittings http://www.fencol.com/
Hydraulic Ram Repairs Repairs http://www.hydraulic-ram-repairs.com
In Line Filters Supplies filters of all types, online ordering http://www.inlinefilters.co.uk/
White House Products Ltd Pumps and basically everything hydraulic. Can supply pumps for Powerfab 125. http://www.whitehouseproductsltd.com
Flowfit Pumps, rams, valves, gauges www.flowfitonline.co.uk/
Pheonix Hydraulics Pumps, rams, repairs, valves, filters, sight gauges http://www.phoenixhydraulics.co.uk/
Completely Hydraulic Repairs to hoses, rams etc and supplies new parts http://www.comphydraulic.com/
Surplus Centre (USA based but prices are keen even with shipping) - thanks to Barry Hydraulic parts https://www.surpluscenter.com/
Keyte Bearings Self aligning bearings for rams http://www.keytebearings.co.uk/index.php
Steerforth Hydraulic Ram Parts http://www.steerforth.co.uk/
Unwin Hydraulics Hydraulic Parts and Service http://www.unwinhydraulic.co.uk/
Bearing Boys Bearings, oil seals, tools, excellent web site with online ordering Bearing Boys :: for all your bearing and power transmission needs
David Cornwallis Dumper steering box repairs and spares. Also supplies layrub couplings and Thwaites parts http://www.davidcornwallis.com/
Digbits Design and build buckets, attachments, pins, bushes, linkages and also specialise in rubber tracks for mini excavators http://www.digbits.co.uk/
L&S Engineers Parts for Honda, Robin, Yanmar engines, plant spares and parts for Belle Mixers http://www.lsengineers.co.uk/
Minimax Parts Rubber or steel tracks, idlers, sprockets and rollers for mini digger tracks up to 10 tonnes http://www.minimaxparts.com/
John Lewis Dumpers Spares for dumpers from 1950's onwards Mobile: 07860487105. Tel 01885-483658
Kellands Plant Sales Ltd Massey Ferguson plant parts http://www.kellands.com
Vicary Plant Spares Parts for JCB diggers http://www.vicaryplant.co.uk
Rogers Space Heaters Sales, Service,  Repairs - All makes. Also offers spares by mail order.  Has been keeping my space heater running since 1989! http://www.rogersspaceheaters.co.uk/
Lathes.co.uk If you are thinking of buying a lathe be sure to check out this site first http://www.lathes.co.uk
Northern Tool Reasonably priced digger seats, engines, tools, welders, pressure washers, trailer parts etc etc. http://www.northerntooluk.com/
Towsure Good prices on tyres, wheels and all the bits for keeping your trailer on the road http://www.towsure.com
Honda Site with manuals for all popular Honda industrial engines http://www.honda-engines.com/Engines_owners_manuals/own.htm
Winget Manual & Spares Lists PDF Downloads http://www.winget.co.uk/UserGuide.aspx
Please let me know of any other suppliers which you think should be added to this list.

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