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

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  #521  
Old 06-17-2020, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: Astro van cat conversion

Meeeeee..toooooooooo

Gonna be a WHILE before we can fire it up though.

Engine has to come back out....Get the oil drained, filter replaced.

Engine mount finish welded
Tranny mount finish welded
Check out and freshen the starter....

I also need to weld the lower access cover under the tranny in the belly (Non factory stuff)

I do have a new carburetor for it.

Need a new fuel line (Available) and I want to bolt on a fresh fuel pump.

Likely this stuff will be on the hit list once the diffy is apart and we are waiting for parts for diffy...

Yeah, I really want to hear that bad boy.

I do have a plan on the back burner to put a comp cams 262H cam in the widdle mouse motor.

That should really make it sound bad azz.

While the gear is out of the chassis I want to douse things with degreaser and hit the tub in and out again with the hot washer.

Before the gear goes back in I want to get some paint in the bilge too.

I need to drop the pan on the trans and toss in a fresh filter and a new gasket down there too...


So much to do......

Better to get it done now and then once the gear goes back in it can stay there.


But yesssssssssssssss....really want to hear it run.
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  #522  
Old 06-19-2020, 12:16 PM
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Default Re: Astro van cat conversion

OK!!!!!!!!

Finally ...al the bolts are out that hold the OC12 in the cat....

More hash discovered along the way too.... Cross threaded nuts on a couple of the bolt/nuts that hold the center section up into the frame.

I was really looking hard at the Gas Axe....but after much Skunk Pizz and brute force the bolts came out.

A question.

I kept the rubber biscuits, bolts and center tube all in the groups they were in and am keeping them marked as to where they came from.

Where can one get a fresh set of biscuits for this beast.....Rubber or urethane.

Are these a standard size or do I need to wrangle up stuff that will work ??????

After breakfast I am going to go down and grab the skid steer and lift the rear of the cat up to get more room so the diffy can come out the bottom.

Rain coming tomorrow and Sunday (A quicky spritz) but I want this bad boy out so I can cover it to keep the weather off....

I will post pix and such later today after the sucker is out.
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  #523  
Old 06-19-2020, 04:42 PM
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Default Re: Astro van cat conversion

DIFFY OUT OF DA KITTY

Got after the beast after breakfast.

Grabbed the Skid steer and the floor jack.

The diffy was quite cooperative and dropped right down.

Lifted the cat frame up enough so the the diffy would slide out the back.

Grabbed the Little tractor and lifted the diffy up and set it on a couple Harbor Freight furniture dolly's and into the shop it went....ZOOOOOOP

Rain back tomorrow and Sunday.

I will stop in town at the Ace hardware and pick up some chain and other goodies to be able to better handle the diffy with the tractor...

As soon as the weather is in my favor the diffy starts coming apart....

I marked all the housings, axle tubes and brackets as RH-LH to keep parts from getting mixed up.

If all the case parts stay with each other there will be zero issues....same with the shims and such.......

A good shot of the Gear ratio stamped in the pinion housing.

I counted the gear teeth when I had the top off earlier this winter.

5.44:1 is it.,

This cat should have had 6.14:1 .....but after all these years....who knows what had happened and when..or why.

All for now.....
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  #524  
Old 06-21-2020, 10:33 PM
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Default Re: Astro van cat conversion

OK FOLKS

For all those that have been waiting for REAL CAT PARTS.

Well here they are.

Got the right drop box pulled apart and the innards out on the table.

Getting the axle tubes off was a walk in the park.....the threads in the drop box where the axle tubes bolt on have been mauled a bit, but are still serviceable.

I am going to replace the bolts with 2-1/2" long set screws and locktite them into the cover.. ( Basically use the 5/8-11 set screw as a stud) Having the Hex socket facing out will allow holding the stud if need be...Going to use RED locktite on those bad boys....

Use a nice flat washer and Nylock nut on each to retain the axle tube.

Getting the cover off was an exercise is being CAREFUL SO NOT TO BREAK ANYTHING.

With all the water in the boxes I was quite worried about rust and corrosion.

Not bad at all...

The outer bearing on the input gear of the drop box was beat to rat crap.

The balls were all still there, but the cages were mostly missing and ground up.....

Lots of goopy yuck inside too....

Getting the big gear out took a bit of wiggling....but that sucker must weigh 50 pounds..


All the bearings are out as are both gears.

The parts book calls for 3 bearings the same in the drop box and the one on the inside of the small gear to be different.

All the bearings are a 6014


Not sure what is up.

Possibly the top inner bearing is supposed to be sealed on one side to keep the oil from swapping boxes....

I am still not sure, and the Thiokol parts book does not say what the difference is....just a different part number.


But the stuff that came out....all the same...


The RUST I expected to find was minimal and the gear teeth look great....

No damaged teeth..........

The drop gears are 1.83:1

So this cat has the 9.95:1 reduction.....This will give the beast the best ground speed.....


Looks like about 16 MPH at 3600 RPM

Tomorrow the left side box is coming apart....

Then the pinion comes out and the rest of the guts come out.

Marking all parts so they can go back where it came from

Marked the gears and stub shaft...


Great fun......

Would have been nice to have had things apart much quicker....but better to take extra time and not break stuff.......
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Last edited by Snowy Rivers; 06-21-2020 at 10:46 PM.
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  #525  
Old 06-22-2020, 06:18 PM
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Default Re: Astro van cat conversion

Got the other drop box apart now..Very uneventful....took only a fraction of the time to get it apart.
No busted bearings...fair amount of rusty goop....Big gears look fine....

No real need for pix at this time.

Tomorrow I will tear into the main box.....

See how well that goes.....
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  #526  
Old 06-23-2020, 01:11 PM
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Default Re: Astro van cat conversion

Gotta go hang with the grand kids today....BUT I got some work done

Ripped the pinion assembly out of the diffy.....
No easy feat either....Rusty goop and crud had made things a bit of a tussle....

But that bad boy did relent.

Removed the yoke, seal plate, center spacer tube and inner bearing from the shaft...

The gear looks OK
One tooth has a "small dent" in it....no chips or other damage.

Needs to be washed up and the teeth buffed with a wire brush good....
I was able to get the bearing numbers off the bearings...one was nearly unreadable, but washing it up and bright sunlight got it to show itself

I will get pix tomorrow.

Gotta run off to see the grand kids.

Later....
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  #527  
Old 06-24-2020, 02:07 PM
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Default Re: Astro van cat conversion

The cat diffy autopsy continues.

Cause of death.
Severe neglect combined with an extreme overdose of H2O.....

Anyway..

Pinion assembly out and apart...

Bearings are trash (As expected
Pinion gear cleaned up pretty well and should be fine.

One thing that was a real plus and was I was finally able to try my adapter yoke on the pinion.

The factory yoke is a 1410 series type with U BOLTS.

The adapter allows the use of a Saginaw CV shaft from an Chevy S10 extended cab.

The custom adapter was about 1/4" longer from the washer seat area to the face that contacts the seal adapter ring. (Machined the adapter to match the length of the original)

Good to go..

Another little boo boo..

The last troops in the box had installed the washer that goes behind the nut in backwards.

Yes you can do that....The washer is a BELLEVILLE TYPE ....And is concave on one side and convex on the other.

The washer is to be installed with the convex surface behind the nut.

This allows the nut to compress the washer and load the assembly....allowing the castle nut to index the cotter pin hole after becoming TIGHT

The washer was in wrong and the clowns left the nut barely snug to get the cotter pin in.....

No apparent damage...just far better to have the nut torqued up good....


Found some urethane body mounts from a square body Suburban on the shelf.

Perfect to use on the diffy mounts back in the frame.

Needed to do a bit of lathe work...../no worries.

Will need a fresh sleeve to go over the 7/16" bolts that mount the Diffy.

Will need some adapter sleeves to get the package all spiffy.

Later on we will look at that story more....


Pics of the pinion "Mess" before washing and cleaning.

The assembly with the new adapter flange on it.

"May tack weld the face plate to the flange yoke to make it a tad more secure"

The flange yoke is A NOS from an Army M211 6X6 TRUCK

I machined the plate to adapt the the Saginaw CV joint.

The plate pilots into the Flange yoke and is held with the Flat head Allen bolts.

As mentioned....might weld the plate to the flange to the plate to make it more stable.....


The real plus for the day was having the adapter flange fit so well.

This will allow the new driveshaft to bolt right in with just a small shortening on the short first section that couples to the Turbo 350.

AS soon as the diffy is back in the chassis the driveshaft can be finished up and things will really be getting close ... (At least as far as the drive train goes)

Mounting the van body ????....another saga....
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  #528  
Old 06-27-2020, 09:25 AM
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Default Re: Astro van cat conversion

Getting more work done even though there have been some distractions...

Getting into the issue of the differential/drop box bearings has been a real education....

Normally one would simply jot down the bearing number and go gitterdone.

The drop box bearings are simple open type 6014 ball bearings....

Ball bearings come with all sorts of side shields and seals and then there are snap rings/grooves in the outer race on some designs....but still these bearings are pretty much a no brainer as far as choosing something that will work.

Bearings of the sizes used in this gear box are not what one would call CHEAP $$$$$$

Trying to locate NOS AT AFFORDABLE PRICES can be a challenge, but side seals can be popped out and snap rings can be removed to allow a lot of choices....

The pinion bearings ESPECIALLY the inner one behind the gear turned into a real brain teaser.

The inner pinion bearing is a U1310 (OR UM1310B)

The bad boy is a medium load rated narrow width cylindrical roller bearing.
Drop that number in a search engine and you had better have a couple gallons of coffee at the ready....and lots of scratch pads available as well.

The number of different combinations in this bearing are NUMEROUS.....

I finally found what appeared to be a good choice (Rollway UM1310B)
I was all smiles at the price for a NOS specimen at $40

After buying it on ebay I got to thinking.....this bearing was a "Full compliment" (No separators between the rollers)

Hmmmmmmm
The original had a retainer between the rollers... WHY ??????

A lot of reading at the various bearing company sites got me to a chart on LOADS/RPM/OILS

OK

The full compliment bearing will handle a heavy load....but the RPM rating was MAX 3000 RPM

I do not want to be limited to 3000 RPM on the input shaft.

Spent about an hour on the phone with one of the REXNORD engineers...

OH BOY......ENOUGH DATA TO REALLY GET THE BRAIN IN A KNOT.

The original inner bearing used in the OC12 pinion was rated at 5000 RPM

Well....so much for the Full compliment bearing.....no worries.

More searching and more frustration.

Big issue is the cost of stepping up to the price of NEW off the shelf stuff.

This big bearing is not cheap..... an average of $200 depending.

So many bearings offered for sale NOS on ebay are great stuff...name brand and all, and super prices.....BUTTTTTTTTTTT A box with a number is all ya see.

Sorting through the numbers with all the Prefixes and suffixes is where the rubber hits the road..

Finally late last night I found a NOS bearing the has a usable configuration for the application.

This bearing is captured between the pinion gear and the spacer tube that goes between the inner and outer bearings.

Once the pinion nut is tight the assembly is all captured nice and snug and slips into the housing.

The rub comes AS THE CHOICES OF BEARINGS CAN RANGE FROM ...
Inner ring that floats in the rollers, outer ring that must be held in the bore,inner ring the has one sided rib, outer ring with one sided rib..

OMG what a mess.

The original bearing has inner ring with two ribs (holds the rollers) and the outer ring has to snap rings to retain the rollers and keep the package together.....

Finally hit on one that has an inner ring with a side plate that when captured axially on the shaft acts as a complete solid type bearing that can deal with thrust.

The inner bearing is free in the bore and only deals with the radial load.

The front pinion bearing is a ball bearing and is captured in a "cartridge" just aft of the yoke and this deals with any thrust in the assembly.

Now that everyone is totally ready to scream......

Bearings coming and at very affordable prices too....

My fingers are sore from beating on puter keys and eyes tired from reading through bearing tech jargon ....

But it was an education for sure..

So to recap....bearings are not bearings are not bearings.....a whole lot of choices at times......

Last edited by Snowy Rivers; 06-27-2020 at 09:35 AM.
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  #529  
Old 06-27-2020, 09:52 AM
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Default Re: Astro van cat conversion

We have a bearing shop 40 miles away and the elderly gentleman that used to run it, had more bearing knowledge in one brain cell than I can google, unfortunately he passed it on to his boys and they can get you the right bearings but there is no substitute for experience, and now it sounds like you have gained lots!!!
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  #530  
Old 06-27-2020, 11:11 AM
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Default Re: Astro van cat conversion

Having worked in the machinery building bizz and automotive and heavy truck bizz has given me tons of hands on....but with a project like this being done on a skinny budget the rules have changed a lot......


The factory bearing used in this location will set ya back a few hundred $$$$$

I need to spread that much $$$$ out over a much larger area. I want to get all the bearings in this box done for a couple hundred $$$$

Shopping ebay and knowing wasssssup is the only way I can do it.


I will get more pics as the new stuff arrives.

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  #531  
Old 06-28-2020, 11:22 PM
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Default Re: Astro van cat conversion

The main diffy box came apart today.

OMG I GOT FILTHY.

I was just going to open the lid and measure up for a lifting rig to take the carrier out.

Oh well....lets get the bands out and mark all that stuff.

Got the bands out..... well might as well pop the drop cases off....

Getting the two lower bolts/nuts out were a challenge.

Dug through the extra wrenches and found an odd 15/16" box open and stuck it in the vice and got after it with the torch and made it a bit different shape.

Then I could get hold of the nut on the very bottom bolt that is a flat head Allen and is inside the drop box.....

The lower bolts were nasty cruded up from water and rust....but good fortune did favor the foolish and they all came off easily.

Decided...what the heck....lets yank the carrier out too.

The carrier came out easily...looped a chain around the mid section and allowed the rig gear to drop down and hang lopsided and the carrier came right out.

The carrier bearing side lock nuts/tab washers were loose....The previous crew made a mess of everything in this poor old Packer....and they got their fingers up the katsass too....


Carrier bearing nuts were beat all to rat crap.....seems the crew never read the part about USE THE PROPER SOCKET OR SPANNER WRENCH.

No damage seems to have been done.

Lock tabs were in place.....

I scarred up some new lock nuts and I have a spanner and a socket that fits the N11 NUT.

GAWD....SUCH A DEAL

The crew used a helluva chisel on the old nuts....

Not even worth fooling with.

Some pix


Tomorrow will be a day to rip into the carrier/equalizer..

The numbers could not be seen on the carrier bearings..

Had to mic them OD....ID....Thickness and look the size up..

6311 ball bearings.

Readily available and reasonably priced.

The bands are filthy..
Not sure yet if I am going to redo the lining or not.
I will get them washed up and the crud cleaned off...go from there..
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  #532  
Old 06-30-2020, 08:45 AM
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Default Re: Astro van cat conversion

Yesterday the real truth (Is this diffy usable) was revealed.....

I finished ripping apart the compensating case.

Marked everything so all the gears and such can go back in the same spot they came from......EVERYTHING.....Well almost...not the bolts.

Marked the case halves, the inner and outer pinions, the axle gears (Deep in the innards)

The bushings are in good shape and will bot be replaced.

The long internal pinions had started to wear the case a bit.....going to debur the ends of the gears so they don't act like a milling cutter...

At present...the plan is to clean up the case where it has been worn and very likely install some HARD washers to get the gear teeth away from the soft case.....

The washers behind the external pinions are rusty and have seen better days.

NEW WASHERS HERE TOO....

The thin thrust washers behind the brake drums and also the ones behind the inner axle gears are trash.

New washers here too.

Bottom line with this old girl....the long soak full of water took a helluva toll, but it will live again.....

The ring gear has about 8 teeth that caught hell from the rust, but about 30 minutes with a wire wheel on the die grinder and the worst of the crap is cleaned off..

This is certainly not what you want to see, but the teeth are still serviceable.

Would I head out across 100 miles of frozen waste land at -40 F with this gear set....HELL NO......It's the -40 F thing that would worry me..


Actually the gears had black oxidation on them that was a combination of dirt, old congealed oil, and gawd knows what all else.

There was no deep pitting....so it will work.

WE had a 1970 Peterbilt with a set of SQHD rears that were watered real good and looked worse than this cat.

Same treatment...clean up the crud and run them.

Ran that truck for 2 seasons hauling rock (Dump truck) and the old gears held up fine....no metal on the mag plug..

Pictures of the goodies scattered all over the table......

A shot of the Custom wrench to access the lower drop box nuts in the case....

Also a pic of the plug to allow pulling the carrier bearings off the housing..

That section of the service manual that describes the SPECIAL TOOLS is worth looking at.

One can do this job without the exact tools....but making stuff is gonna be in the plan if things are gonna end well....

Getting the outer pinion gears off the tapered inner pinion shafts was a joy....

Get the puller on them bad boys....clamp the jaws well and wrap a rag around the mess...Hit the puller with the impact gun and rattle the hell outta the sucker....BANG....GEAR OFF Without the rag things can get wild.....


All the parts are now fairly well cleaned up and piled on the bench......

Several bearings are coming...and some have arrived..

Now to plan the attack on those worn case areas where the diffy rats been chewing.....

Probably sit the case sections in the mill and get the worn spots cleaned up to a standard depth and the add a couple oil grooves and then install hard steel washers..of around .060"

Gonna start snooping to see whats available off the shelf...

A nice hard washer will preserve the case and with any luck give the old girl a shot at another RODEO.....

Hope this finds all of the crew here doing well and staying healthy......

Other than being sore from all the crawling around wrestling this Diffy...still hanging in there.....

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  #533  
Old 06-30-2020, 09:12 AM
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Default Re: Astro van cat conversion

Just a note here.

If you know what you need in the way of parts....EBAY IS A GREAT SHOPPING SPOT FOR BEARINGS AND OTHER GOODIES.

NEW OLD STOCK STILL IN THE ORIGINAL BOX BEARINGS CAN BE HAD FOR PENNIES ON THE $$$$$

IF YOU KNOW THE NUMBERS...LIFE IS GOLDEN
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  #534  
Old 06-30-2020, 09:23 AM
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Default Re: Astro van cat conversion

That's great news that the diff is salvageable.
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  #535  
Old 06-30-2020, 09:49 AM
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Default Re: Astro van cat conversion

YES IT IS

If I had to buy another box the project would end....

But we are good to go......

Maybe not as pretty as some of the girls...but she will go again.
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  #536  
Old 06-30-2020, 10:57 AM
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Default Re: Astro van cat conversion

JUST AN FYI

Looking at the axle stub gear thrust washer a bit ago.....

I am thinking that a thrust washer from an auto tranny with tangs on it will solve the worn washer issue.

Going to reassemble the center section against the outer section with the gear installed and see what sort of clearance is in that spot....and then go shopping.

I want to be able to use off the shelf stuff....but a bit of modification is OK too.
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  #537  
Old 06-30-2020, 04:56 PM
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Default Re: Astro van cat conversion

Snowy, make sure you time those internal gears when you put it together! they dont work when out of time.
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  #538  
Old 06-30-2020, 08:56 PM
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Default Re: Astro van cat conversion

YUP
The key way aims at the outer diameter of the ring gear.
From a center line passing through the center hub...

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  #539  
Old 06-30-2020, 10:06 PM
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Default Re: Astro van cat conversion

Gotta add more chevy parts.

The thrust washers in the OC12 were junk.

The drums rattled back and forth a mile.

Decided to measure up some Turbo 400 rear thrust washers.

Yeah buddy....

Grabbed the case halves, tossed them in the mill and knocked some tang notches in those suckers.

Ripped off two of the tangs (Simply could not get the mill cutter in to do all four)

Bored the ID out a tad and chamfered the back side to fit nice around the radius on the case hub.

Tweaked the tangs slightly.


Bingo.

This job could be done with a die grinder....butttttttttttt..The lathe and mill knocked them out quick.


Going to do a similar refit on the center gear washers.

Skinned the outer end of the drum hub to freshen the finish and get .020" clearance.

Far nicer than the slop that was there......

I will post info on the center refit.....


These washers are tough steel backing with a hard copper overlay....oil dimples too.


This washer takes all the rearward thrust in the TH400 and the 4L80 GM BOXES.....

Gotta be good....Ma general stuff...haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa....
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Old 06-30-2020, 10:38 PM
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Default Re: Astro van cat conversion

Just a side note.....Grabbing those washers in the lathe was a tad spooky...

I did not want to wad that sucker up and toss it across the shop....


The only way I could grab the drum was to catch it on the inside of the inner bushing.

Another spooky one.....but again....Good fortune favored the foolish......
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