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Snowcat Restoration & Modification Projects Forum Major Restorations, Upgrades, and Non-Stock Snowcat Modifications

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Old 05-21-2016, 05:16 PM
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Default Just acquired a burnt up bombi (i think)

Seeking some advice and opinions on this thing. We just picked up this snowcat for about $400. We don't know what it is for sure but based on the 100" long frame we measured and the 23" wide tracks and 60.5" width frame it seems to be a bombi. The old owner was trying to sell it before it burnt up and was showing it to some people who were dry firing it with the spark plugs attached still... apparently there was 12' flames coming off of it!

We don't really have the money to do a factory restoration (or much of anything at this point) and so we were either going to try to fab up a new cab or possibly retro fit some sort of car/jeep/truck/van body/cab. We have a welder and a tubing bender, and we are currently building a rock buggy. However we aren't very good at welding thin metal cleanly (could be a issue of using the wrong wire and tip but still not enjoyable at this point).

As for the drive train we figured we could just try to pull a motor and tranny out of something that is "totaled" in terms of the body/frame to get it on the cheap. we may do the inverse for the body (try to get something that isn't running for cheap for the body). It already had a different motor swapped in before hand.

I figure people have probably done all sorts of variations of the above. A friend of mine has a pretty cherry BR 100 with an LS motor in it. I've seen pictures of cat's retrofitted with VW Bus bodys, CJ bodys and even an escalade. Do any of you know of good build write up's pertaining to retro car body fitting for a burnt up cab?

Is there a drivetrain to keep an eye on that will be best/easiest to swap in? We were kind of thinking a fuel injected inline 6 cylinder like out of a cherokee might be nice as we drive a comanche, a cherokee and have an old cj7 which all use that motor and we are pretty familiar with it. Plus it has great low end torque, and a narrow profile (if we want to add seating for skiing on the sides) Will probably use an automatic tranny because shifting in ski/ snowboard boots sucks and the BR 100 (LS) is already tough/ touchy to drive already in those boots. My friend is probably going to put a hand throttle that can be locked in it this summer.

The goal for our cat at first is to plow our driveway which is about 200' long (the bombi seems to have a hydraulic pump already {condition to be determined). Living at 9,500' in Colorado means we get some storms that produce upwards of 2-3' (had 4' from 1 storm this spring). right now a friend plows it with his atv every 6"-15" so we figure the cat should do fine with a 6 cylinder. However we also would like to use it for cat skiing/ ski mountaineering access. We took my friends BR 100 (LS) out to vail pass a few times this winter but never got far off the groomer for fear of getting stuck with no way to get pulled out, so having another cat should alleviate that a little.

In terms of cat skiing we were planning to put some bench seating along the motor on my friends BR 100 (LS). Probably 2-3 seats on each side, then make a sub frame for a canvas cover for inclement weather. All this extra weight will obviously decrease the floatation, so that's not ideal being on such a small platform to begin with. It is also painfully slow with a 3 speed auto and 5.89 ring and pinion so he is planning to swap to something like 4.56 in the ring and pinion. We would probably do the same on the bombi, but we don't know if the diff is burnt up but it doesn't roll (may be stuck in gear but we think we got the auto tranny in it to shift).

I worry the Bombi will be even worse in terms of floatation because of it's smaller footprint. I know I have heard mention of adding an extra wheel and lengthening the wheelbase for a little more floatation or smoother ride/ better tracking but is there any good write up's on actually doing it? Also does anybody increase the clearance of these things by mounting the axles lower (drop down's like portal hubs) and or using bigger tires? What about bumping the axles out to fit BR 100 tracks (or just wider tracks in general)

One of the tracks is burnt up on the inside belt already and so I figure we will be getting all new belts before it's going much of anywhere. I'm trying to get some conveyor belt priced out locally right now, I have no idea what a new set of factory tracks cost but I'm sure it's at least a couple thousand dollars. Most grousers seem ok, though a few are worn through on one side.

The game plan at this point is to pick all the burnt up trash out/off of it for now, then access the diff to assess condition, pull the drive train (as a good bit of the motor atleast is melted). then the final strip down of tracks for repair, some tires are dry rotting, one is off the bead, and then clean it all up , paint and re assemble the frankenstein creation. Most of the frame that the cab sits on, and the underbelly seem intact and not too beat up or rusted through from what I can tell though probably a chance of weakness from the heat.

Sounds to me these things tend to be rolling fire hazards so I'm sure we can't be the first people to try to salvage something like this? I took pictures this morning so I'll post them up when I get a chance to figure out how to embed them but I'll just attach one for now.
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Old 05-21-2016, 05:29 PM
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Default Re: Just acquired a burnt up bombi (i think)

looks like they show up as attachments on my lap top so I won't bother trying to upload them to a 3rd party and embedding them..
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Old 05-21-2016, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: Just acquired a burnt up bombi (i think)

couple more after this and then I'll post a couple of my friends BR100(LS).
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Old 05-21-2016, 05:40 PM
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Default Re: Just acquired a burnt up bombi (i think)

last couple of the bombi. BR100(LS) next.
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Old 05-21-2016, 06:15 PM
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Default Re: Just acquired a burnt up bombi (i think)

Here is my friends BR 100 with a Corvette LS motor in it.
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Old 05-21-2016, 06:52 PM
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Default Re: Just acquired a burnt up bombi (i think)

I think you wrong on the track size. they look 32 to me.
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Old 05-21-2016, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: Just acquired a burnt up bombi (i think)

Yes the br 100 does have 32 inch wide tracks which you can see are the same width on either side of the tire. However on the burnt up cat you can see the inner belt is about half the width of the outer belt.
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Old 05-22-2016, 09:24 AM
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Default Re: Just acquired a burnt up bombi (i think)

Where are you located ?
I have a parts Bombi with the body parts you need
that i may sell for the right price.

Some thing to think about

Have fun
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Old 05-22-2016, 12:04 PM
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Default Re: Just acquired a burnt up bombi (i think)

Located in evergreen (above technically).Thanks, I'll keep that in mind but I think we are trying to make the cab a little more spacious and comfortable. So we aren't necessarily looking for a bombi cab unless the price was cheap. I've spent enough days in the br 100 to know after a couple hours it starts to get pretty cramped and uncomfortable and we are skinny.

Before we picked this up we talked about building something custom from scratch so we kinda like the idea of doing some modifications to make it a little more our own. That's kind of why I asked about stretching, widening and adding a little more clearance through the tracks with bigger tires/lowering axles. I think it would be ideal if we can put a cab on it that will comfortably fit 4-5 inside (like a normal car/SUV would).
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Old 05-23-2016, 12:21 AM
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Default Re: Just acquired a burnt up bombi (i think)

I extended a bombi put a new style cab on it and extended it by 24'' and spaced the wheels and put in 427 gears .it will do around 35 mph now and rides way smother . .But i should have moved the motor farther back. now im in the process of putting in a 200 ford industrial motor out of a swather and a automatic . So there will be more wait at the back .I thought of a small extended cab off nissan that would be neat . But you want to keep the weight down in the front .

Good luck and have fun
keep us posted with pictures
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Old 05-23-2016, 02:25 AM
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Default Re: Just acquired a burnt up bombi (i think)

Is it really as simple as just spacing the wheels more? I was just thinking about how the BR 100 doesn't have an extra wheel and it looks as though they are more spaced out, especially the rear/ tensioner wheel. I wonder if it would be better to have 5 wheels in terms of more even floatation? I would guess having some spacing with 4, instead of 5 staying tight would create a little cushion/ suspension in the ride over uneven terrain. What did you do to extend the tracks? just longer belting and more grousers? or maybe just a splice to lengthen the tracks? What kind of belting did you use ? I am pricing plylon plus 330 (3 ply) 375, and pathfinder 400 (3 ply). I notice one of our tracks already had 2 overlaps meaning there is a patched piece on one length.

I still like the idea of dropping the axles down to use a bigger and hopefully more standard size tire to get a little more clearance for those times you are sinking in sugary or rotten snow off the groomer. My brother doesn't seem convinced it would be worth it. Also still really like the idea of bumping the axles out to accommodate br 100 width tracks (mostly just the grousers as we may end up with a different length). for some reason my brother thinks adding some width might be more worth the effort than the height.

I really don't know too much what they can handle in terms of deep untracked powder. But when my friend got the LS in his BR 100 he tested it out on some deep unpacked snow near his house that happened to be pretty rotten (Depth Hoar) and he ended up pushing through snow up to his windshield in depth.

That's awesome that your bombi does 35! Is it pretty scary at that speed?? What is the limiting factor at this point in terms of going faster? I would guess gearing or the tracks not liking it. Or really just not being a nice ride at any faster speed and a lack of strait aways to get it going any faster.

I am curious why you would move the motor back even further and avoid having weight up front? does it want to endo when hard breaking from high speeds or going down hill? or it just wants to nose dive off the groomed/ packed trail in deep snow? Also what is the new style cab?

We cleaned out the majority of loose and burnt up crap this afternoon and it's exciting to think about what could be. I measured my 4 door cherokee and from the end of the hood/ front of the firewall to the back is 117", it's only 4 inches wider at the widest pointand about 8 inches taller (eyeballed from bottom of frame to top of body) than the frame/tub and rack/cage. I am pretty sure though the "frame" of the cherokee unibody would fit inside the existing tub width wise which would mean it wouldn't be 8 inches taller anymore as that measurement was based on the top of the bombi tub.

there are many things to work around with retrofitting a car body like cutting out the middle for the drive train and trying to isolate the drive train from the cab and keep the rear bench seat. The biggest problem we figure would be re-routing the steering to accommodate 2 front seats in their usual place. I was just reading about a bombi restoration on here where the guy was fabing his own cab, used suspension seats, and relocated the steering while somehow making it hydraulic. I may need to talk to him about it. Not sure if the dash would even allow for that in terms of clearance but the nice part is already having a windshield, sealed doors, heat ducting/heater core and possibly power windows, stereo etc. I feel like it would be more comfortable in general having 2 up front in a regular reclining car seat.

Another thing we were discussing was using a real caliper for the pinion break since it didn't look like the factory one was much of anything. which got me thinking that if something goes wrong with the diff, axle shafts, or drive sprockets you may find yourself with no control or way to stop! Would adding some sort of e-brake on one of the back wheels be worth considering and fabing up?

Ill try to post pictures as we make progress, I am a professional photographer by trade so that's generally what I do. There is not going to be too much more we can do without having a little more disposable income soon. We will probably be trying to pull the drive train next and trying to get the tub cleaned up more. That and opening up the diff to see what is going on in there. Maybe pull the tracks and take it down to a car wash. It's hard to restrain from diving in head first full on but we have plenty of other projects that are kinda higher priority (though mostly not as unique and exciting).
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Old 05-23-2016, 08:02 AM
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Default Re: Just acquired a burnt up bombi (i think)

If the tracks aren't stretched i think the wheel spacing should be the same .
I used pathfinder 400 2 I put thicker belt on one machine and the guides hit each other when they go around the sprocket and made a thumping noise.
I striped mine down flipped it over and used the spacing off a BR100
as for the motor after i made it longer it wants to pull from side to side if i was on a trail that some one has been down . Before you go to far that suspension is only made to cary the bombi weight plus a 1000 lbs max that includes passengers . you'll bend the axles and wreck every thing.
Talk to the guys at MN outDoors

Later
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Old 05-23-2016, 09:11 AM
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Default Re: Just acquired a burnt up bombi (i think)

That br100 has a different Diff the sprockets are farther out from the body so the width of the bombi tracks is about as wide as you can go .if you want a machine for deep snow make it longer and make a body out of the lightest material possible alum of fiberglass And keep it low . Belts are cheep cleats aren't unless you get used ones .adding an extra wheel instead or spacing them will give you more weight capacity . As for the speed you can run track machines 40 plus mph look at the B12 Bombardier they do 45 mph .I use my machines for ice fishing and just booting around on bush trails ,We only get 2 to 3 feet of snow here so I just use summer tracks .

PM me your email address and Ill send you some pictures
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Old 05-23-2016, 11:26 AM
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Default Re: Just acquired a burnt up bombi (i think)

Woke up to a call from MN outdoors as I had inquired on tracks over the weekend and asked him a bunch of questions. He didn't mention the weight issue but it makes sense that they can only hold 1000 lbs over it's own stock weight. We are realizing that a car body isn't ideal for our application as it will add more weight than is necessary. Luckily our friend who is also interested in this project is pretty good with fiberglass work. We will probably make the cab as wide as possible with the hopes of fitting 3 normal car seats inside and possibly enclosing the rear half with some extra seats (2-4; probably benches on the sides of the motor if 4, maybe bench type seating either way). Even if we don't widen the tracks we can extend the cab out to the track. The guy I spoke to this morning seemed to think it was possible to widen and lengthen to BR 100 tracks. I may have to inquire about how one would go about widening.

My guess is you just use the outer axle housing from the BR 100 and the shafts from a BR 100. I will have to do more research to be sure but I seem to think the differential and sprockets are probably the same as a BR 100. I feel like my friend with the BR 100 told me the axles are the same. The guy at MN outdoors mentioned something about the other axles which the tires are mounted to having suspension built into them and that they may be out of spec if they got melted as they are normally turned down a little to preload them.

My friend that is good with fiberglass used to be in the trailer building business and seemed to think they are standard torsion bar axles for trailers etc. I will have to inquire about if there are beefier versions that will handle a little more load, especially if some of them need replaced. I think we will definitely stretch it and in doing so add another set of axles instead of spacing them out more which should help support more bodies/ gear onboard.

Interestingly the guy I spoke to said most people use bombi's/ smaller cats to cruise around in the swamps and flats and not in the mountains because they are front driven. He said that being front driven means that they are more inclined to want to lift off of hills going up or roll forward going down. Which was brought up because of mentioning losing brakes/ control should an axle go out. he said there was another front driven cat that had an emergency break type system but that if stalled it would lock the breaks which had resulted in a number of forward roll overs. Makes sense but didn't really experience that in the BR 100 the 3 times we took it out on vail pass. We went up and down some relatively steep hills, going down the steepest ones seemed a little sketchy but going up never really seemed bad.

I think considering the front driven is prone to tipping, it makes sense to try to keep the weigh pretty centered but maybe a little to the back. Could always add some sort of adjustable/ hydraulic wheelie bar for the back and possibly the front to.
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Old 05-23-2016, 11:31 AM
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Default Re: Just acquired a burnt up bombi (i think)

Quote:
Originally Posted by forum8fox View Post
Woke up to a call from MN outdoors as I had inquired on tracks over the weekend and asked him a bunch of questions. He didn't mention the weight issue but it makes sense that they can only hold 1000 lbs over it's own stock weight. We are realizing that a car body isn't ideal for our application as it will add more weight than is necessary. Luckily our friend who is also interested in this project is pretty good with fiberglass work. We will probably make the cab as wide as possible with the hopes of fitting 3 normal car seats inside and possibly enclosing the rear half with some extra seats (2-4; probably benches on the sides of the motor if 4, maybe bench type seating either way). Even if we don't widen the tracks we can extend the cab out to the track. The guy I spoke to this morning seemed to think it was possible to widen and lengthen to BR 100 tracks. I may have to inquire about how one would go about widening.

My guess is you just use the outer axle housing from the BR 100 and the shafts from a BR 100. I will have to do more research to be sure but I seem to think the differential and sprockets are probably the same as a BR 100. I feel like my friend with the BR 100 told me the axles are the same. The guy at MN outdoors mentioned something about the other axles which the tires are mounted to having suspension built into them and that they may be out of spec if they got melted as they are normally turned down a little to preload them.

My friend that is good with fiberglass used to be in the trailer building business and seemed to think they are standard torsion bar axles for trailers etc. I will have to inquire about if there are beefier versions that will handle a little more load, especially if some of them need replaced. I think we will definitely stretch it and in doing so add another set of axles instead of spacing them out more which should help support more bodies/ gear onboard.

Interestingly the guy I spoke to said most people use bombi's/ smaller cats to cruise around in the swamps and flats and not in the mountains because they are front driven. He said that being front driven means that they are more inclined to want to lift off of hills going up or roll forward going down. Which was brought up because of mentioning losing brakes/ control should an axle go out. he said there was another front driven cat that had an emergency break type system but that if stalled it would lock the breaks which had resulted in a number of forward roll overs. Makes sense but didn't really experience that in the BR 100 the 3 times we took it out on vail pass. We went up and down some relatively steep hills, going down the steepest ones seemed a little sketchy but going up never really seemed bad.

I think considering the front driven is prone to tipping, it makes sense to try to keep the weigh pretty centered but maybe a little to the back. Could always add some sort of adjustable/ hydraulic wheelie bar for the back and possibly the front to. BTW my email just adds @msn.com to my name on here.
I have pictures of mine being rolled over forward. I was in it .
just don't apply the brakes on a steep incline.
jim
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Old 05-23-2016, 11:34 AM
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Default Re: Just acquired a burnt up bombi (i think)

I think that makes an argument for possibly retrofitting some brakes in the rear. I'm not sure if it would make much of a difference but maybe?
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Old 05-24-2016, 03:03 AM
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Default Re: Just acquired a burnt up bombi (i think)

Quote:
Originally Posted by forum8fox View Post
Woke up to a call from MN outdoors as I had inquired on tracks over the weekend and asked him a bunch of questions. He didn't mention the weight issue but it makes sense that they can only hold 1000 lbs over it's own stock weight. We are realizing that a car body isn't ideal for our application as it will add more weight than is necessary. Luckily our friend who is also interested in this project is pretty good with fiberglass work. We will probably make the cab as wide as possible with the hopes of fitting 3 normal car seats inside and possibly enclosing the rear half with some extra seats (2-4; probably benches on the sides of the motor if 4, maybe bench type seating either way). Even if we don't widen the tracks we can extend the cab out to the track. The guy I spoke to this morning seemed to think it was possible to widen and lengthen to BR 100 tracks. I may have to inquire about how one would go about widening.

My guess is you just use the outer axle housing from the BR 100 and the shafts from a BR 100. I will have to do more research to be sure but I seem to think the differential and sprockets are probably the same as a BR 100. I feel like my friend with the BR 100 told me the axles are the same. The guy at MN outdoors mentioned something about the other axles which the tires are mounted to having suspension built into them and that they may be out of spec if they got melted as they are normally turned down a little to preload them.

My friend that is good with fiberglass used to be in the trailer building business and seemed to think they are standard torsion bar axles for trailers etc. I will have to inquire about if there are beefier versions that will handle a little more load, especially if some of them need replaced. I think we will definitely stretch it and in doing so add another set of axles instead of spacing them out more which should help support more bodies/ gear onboard.

Interestingly the guy I spoke to said most people use bombi's/ smaller cats to cruise around in the swamps and flats and not in the mountains because they are front driven. He said that being front driven means that they are more inclined to want to lift off of hills going up or roll forward going down. Which was brought up because of mentioning losing brakes/ control should an axle go out. he said there was another front driven cat that had an emergency break type system but that if stalled it would lock the breaks which had resulted in a number of forward roll overs. Makes sense but didn't really experience that in the BR 100 the 3 times we took it out on vail pass. We went up and down some relatively steep hills, going down the steepest ones seemed a little sketchy but going up never really seemed bad.

I think considering the front driven is prone to tipping, it makes sense to try to keep the weigh pretty centered but maybe a little to the back. Could always add some sort of adjustable/ hydraulic wheelie bar for the back and possibly the front to. BTW my email just adds @msn.com to my name on here.
I started out with a couple of Bombis and know them pretty well. I like your enthusiasm in trying to build something out of the ashes. There certainly is room for improvement to the original Bombi but is limited by the "capacity" of the differential, which is of course what you primarily have left to work with.

The drive axel going from the diff to the sprocket is prone to twisting and breaking from hard use. Making it longer as a means to widening the tracks will add additional stress and was probably why there was a gear reduction on the later BR100+. I would think you would need to take that into consideration.

I put a bench seat out of a Ford Ranger in mine and it made it much nicer and easier to slide over to the center divers position and gave a better seating position for the passengers too.

As you add payload you will need to beef up the components as you have stated which adds even more weight. Adding a bigger engine/trans will provide the need power and the wider and or longer tracks will provide more flotation but you are still left with the same differential and drive axel diameter and that will become the weakest link. There is always a balance point to properly designed machine. Snow vehicles, like airplanes, require good weight and balance design to perform properly.

Increasing tire size will be a little challenge as the larger tires tend to be wider and if so will require different tire guides. Maybe there are taller tires the same width as the stock but I would be surprised if they fit the stock rims.

The suspension axels are very similar to torsion axels for trailers and at one time I had a brochure with axels that I am sure would have worked for a tracked trailer I wanted to build for my Bombi. The only thing you would need to make sure is that the axel is splined so that the correct angles can be set on the drop axels as each wheel position has a different angle.

Adding brakes to the rear wheels will do nothing to prevent or reduce tipping forward. The tracks act as a big continuos wheel and no matter which end stops the track from turning the whole machine pitches forward. Also I have had a drive axel brake on a steep slope and all I had to do was pull on the brake of the good side and it stopped just fine. I can't see any advantage to adding more brakes but I have been wrong before so who knows?

Good luck with your project and take plenty of pictures.
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Old 05-24-2016, 10:28 AM
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Default Re: Just acquired a burnt up bombi (i think)

Jim VT
I would like to see the picture of the Bombi flipping
And Alaska snow cat I agree with every thing you said
I have 2 Bombis one original and one I extended .
I have 2 spare diffs and 4 axles so i can play hard
Later and have fun
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Old 05-24-2016, 11:07 AM
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Default Re: Just acquired a burnt up bombi (i think)

Yeah, we were aware that the drive axles were weak before we even got this thing. My friend with the BR 100 with the LS1 told us that was what he was told. He just upgraded to chrome moly shafts which MS outdoor made for him (never broke any last year and we went up some steep hills with 3 in cab and 2 in tow, but we were always on a groomer). They have 8 more chrome moly shafts in stock they said at $580. We would probably pick a pair up if we can before they are gone but they are longer than the bombi shafts I figure unless we figure out how to widen it to BR 100 width which maybe trying to acquire br 100 + outer axle housing with drop hubs may be the ticket.

I was half joking with my brother yesterday that we should just throw an oc-12 diff in there out of a bigger and stronger cat. But then he made the point that we would be pretty much building it custom from scratch at that point.

I like the mention of the drop down gear reduction on the br 100+ possibly reducing the forces on the shafts (makes sense like Uni-mog axles). I'll have to look more into that and see what it might take to retro-fit the bombi with it.

After talking to the guy at MN outdoors it didn't sound like anyone goes to bigger tires, probably because there aren't any that will work with the guides. he did tell me there are some cheaper tires that people use instead of the bombi tires.

I figure at first we will probably kinda baby the machine like my friend has done with his BR 100. I think we will be pretty happy mostly sticking to groomers until we get bored with those areas. But there are a bunch of groomed trails all over the state of colorado, alot of which could provide access for skiing. I think we can still get away with lengthening and widening to BR100 tracks and we will probably do that when we get around to buying new belting for our tracks.

I think even if we do venture off the groomers we will probably be ok since we know that's the weak point and that spinning tracks hooking up with traction is what tends to break them. Coming from the rock crawling background we know about how that works. I ran 36" tires on my Cj7 with a dana 30 and AMC 20 for years and never broke, and ran a bunch or really hard trails (everyone says you can't do it, granted I had a 1 piece shaft in the rear and warn shafts that took D 44 u-joints up front).

Speaking of rock crawling, My brother is wondering about the carrier as in rock crawling people just get bigger shafts with more splines and upgrade the carrier to accommodate those larger and higher tooth count shafts. looks like there wouldn't really be room for much bigger shafts in terms of clearance with bearings and ID of the axle tubes/ housing.

Thanks for all the replies guys, nice to know there is a good community to bounce things off.
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Old 05-24-2016, 08:20 PM
snowcatt snowcatt is offline
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Default Re: Just acquired a burnt up bombi (i think)

Id look into the BR100 + and BR100 some people had trouble getting parts for that gear reduction .Apparently Bombardier Doesn't make some of those parts any more not sure which parts . MN out doors would know
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