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Old 02-24-2014, 08:41 PM
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Default Steel track summer spring-summer maintenance

Looking for the proper way to maintain steel tracks before putting it to sleep for the summer. My cat won't be stored indoors but under a carport on a concrete pad. Greasing the bearings is a must I know but I would really would like to hear what some of you do to maintain your tracks and how to do it properly.

Thanks
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Old 02-24-2014, 09:05 PM
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Default Re: Steel track summer spring-summer maintenance

I would consider driving it up onto a single layer of wooden pallets. This will prevent the tracks from staying wet during periods of rain. Also loosen the tracks off tension. I suppose then a water proof tarp carefully put on and tied so wind will not let it flap around..

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Old 02-24-2014, 11:07 PM
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Default Re: Steel track summer spring-summer maintenance

I wouldn't use a waterproof tarp as it also holds moisture in.Maybe a canvas tarp
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:27 AM
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Default Re: Steel track summer spring-summer maintenance

I think I would use plastic pallets for the same reason and additionally they don't rot away
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:40 AM
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Default Re: Steel track summer spring-summer maintenance

My cat is stored in the mountains at elevation so the main issue is keeping the summer sun off the tracks and from cooking the cab. I park the cat under some pine trees and then cover the parts of the tracks that will get sun with a tarp. I throw a tarp on the cab too. It does not rain in summer so moisture is not an issue here. I use a solar powered battery maintainer to keep the battery from going south. I try to end the season with as little gas in the tank as I can and then add some extra fuel conditioner to what is left. I fire up the cat once a month or so to keep the carburetor from drying out. I like to grease and lubricate my rig in the fall. If I do it in the spring, the summer heat can sometimes cause the bearing grease to melt and seep out and then I have to re-grease it in the fall. My tracks are pretty loose to begin with so I leave them alone.

Squirrels are problem so I make sure I keep the doors and engine compartment shut. Dang squirrels eat the engine compartment insulation last summer. Hopefully they won't eat the new foam stuff I put in.
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:57 AM
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Default Re: Steel track summer spring-summer maintenance

My plan is to grease the bearings before I put it away. Is it necessary to break the tracks down if they are loose. Tucker manual recommends painting with rust preventative paint. Seems like the best way to do that is to completely disassemble the tracks. What do you recommend? Also plan to spend some time on the pontoons with paint. Any general maintenance required with them.

I am with you on those squirrels. Left my old 1544 in a storage shed at my brothers ranch one year to save on transportation. When I went to fire it up the pack rats had moved in. Took about 2 hours with a compressor and hose to blow out all of their nesting
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:23 AM
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Default Re: Steel track summer spring-summer maintenance

I can't speak for Tuckers but the absolute best method is too take the tracks off, roll them up and stand them on end for the summer. Remove all wheels and repack all the wheel bearings and axels if applicable.

Do I always do this? No, I get lazy sometimes but when I do I sure have a better feeling when way out in the woods the next winter.
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:49 AM
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Default Re: Steel track summer spring-summer maintenance

Grease I think is good. Tucker says to drive the thing on blocks or road to get water out of bearings?

With steel tracks don't see what the benefit of loosening would be. Keep off the ground. My tracks have not been painted since 68 and they are still in good shape. Heavy dose of wd helps.

Keep inside somehow!!!!
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:59 AM
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Default Re: Steel track summer spring-summer maintenance

Keeping it inside is not an option until I get one or two of the bays of my carport enclosed. So I will keep under the port and cover the tracks as suggested. Thanks for the input.

Looking at a cordless grease to help cut down on the time involved in greasing this machine
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Old 02-25-2014, 11:05 AM
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Default Re: Steel track summer spring-summer maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by tom View Post
My plan is to grease the bearings before I put it away. Is it necessary to break the tracks down if they are loose. Tucker manual recommends painting with rust preventative paint. Seems like the best way to do that is to completely disassemble the tracks. What do you recommend? Also plan to spend some time on the pontoons with paint. Any general maintenance required with them.

I am with you on those squirrels. Left my old 1544 in a storage shed at my brothers ranch one year to save on transportation. When I went to fire it up the pack rats had moved in. Took about 2 hours with a compressor and hose to blow out all of their nesting
Grease all of the rollers.

You can put it on pallets (plastic or wood) if you want, but as long as your concrete pad drains well, I wouldn't even bother. It will have air flow to dry after a storm. The issues come if it sits on the ground all summer sinking into the dirt. And even then, the problem isn't the tracks. They were made of extremely high quality steel. They aren't just going to rot away after a few years. Hell, I know first hand mine was never pampered like that. There is surface rust, but no signs of 'rot' or flaking at all. But, if you do decide to "disassemble the tracks" read this first: http://www.forumsforums.com/3_9/show...6&postcount=20

The Pontoons are another story. If left on the ground, they will rot. The steel of the pontoon seems tough enough, but they start decaying where the roller guides are welded to the pontoons on the bottoms. So if you get to that point this summer, be sure to carefully check those areas. Once a hole starts, snow will start packing into the pontoon and will start the freeze thaw cycle creating real problems. I couldn't believe how 'effed up a couple of mine were (still are until I get to that step) and the two 'better' ones will still need some work done in those areas.

There's no reason to loosen your tracks since there is no rubber to strech. But you could lift onto jack stands to rotate the tracks to make sure they are contacting the roller sprocket correctly.

edit for last post: Don't cover your tracks or pontoons. It will just hold in moisture and promote rust. Your carport will keep the majority of weather off of it anyway.

David
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:20 PM
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Default Re: Steel track summer spring-summer maintenance

I read your post..raised a question. How did you finally match the connectors. We're the track tensioners any help with the track alignment..or is the real issue the 3 1/2" distance ?
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Old 02-25-2014, 02:02 PM
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Default Re: Steel track summer spring-summer maintenance

Haven't gotten to that point yet. Two kids, going two different directions, at two different times, a wife, a dog, a job, yada yada yada. So, I'm not to the point of hooking it back together yet.

I wasn't able to re-match the connectors on the first track I did. And the 3 1/2" distance is the key. Even if I was able to measure it somewhat close, the grease would make it inaccurate. Sooooo, I had to take the links back out, put them in a vise and spread them back out (flatten them out to remove the arch between the pins). It would be impossible to remove the arch while on the pontoon, but it is possible to tighten them back up ('re-arch"?) on there. It's just going to take a lot of time adjusting that one track, but less than guessing where they should go. I'll put that one on the L/H front so I can watch it to make changes as pressure displaces the grease.

The other tracks are matched because I only worked on 10 crossbars at a time and put every part back exactly where it came from.

The track tensioners will adjust the alignment and how tight the chain is on the sprocket, but the only way to compensate for wear is to bend the links so the link pin rollers are seating correctly in the valleys of the sprocket.

Broken Grouser almost certainly has yours set. So if you do jump into the job (nightmare?) of pulling them apart, do it in small segments and keep everything in their respective locations!
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Old 02-25-2014, 03:43 PM
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Default Re: Steel track summer spring-summer maintenance

Makes sense.. Thank you
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: Steel track summer spring-summer maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by tom View Post
Looking for the proper way to maintain steel tracks before putting it to sleep for the summer. My cat won't be stored indoors but under a carport on a concrete pad. Greasing the bearings is a must I know but I would really would like to hear what some of you do to maintain your tracks and how to do it properly.

Thanks
Tom, I have owned a 1961 Tucker 743 for 27 years and it is a working cat that gets me and my guests to a lodge. The best product to use on it is Fluid Film. It is lanolin and always stays slick, never gets tacky. I buy it by the case in a spray can, a bit pricey at $13 a can, but nothing else works like it and I have tried everything. I power wash the tracks and pontoons on a sunny day, then let them dry. After that, I go thru about 6-7 cans of Fluid Film and cover everything that will rust or needs to keep moving. Then I tarp it up. This cat was completely rusted out 27 years ago when I bought it, as it had been left unused for 10 years in the open in BC. Hardly any of the tracks were moving - now all of the tracks work great.

Cheers

Ian
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:17 AM
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Default Re: Steel track summer spring-summer maintenance

Thanks Ian I will give this a try.
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