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

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  #1  
Old 12-30-2008, 03:21 AM
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Default New Ratrac-S owner

Hi Guys,

I'm new to the forum... I live at Germany on the border of Switzerland and France, this area is better known as Black Forest (Schwarzwald).

I recently purchased a 1967 Ratrac-S, which I intended to rebuild when I've finished other projects I have at the moment. The snowcat is fully working, but I can already tell I need to make new tracks etc. Anyway, I will completely redo everything as thats the most fun for me!

The Ratrac was used by a mountain holiday resort to deliver groceries and visitor bags from skilift to the restaurant, which is located on top of a mountain close to a city where I was born in Switzerland. There are no roads up there, so the snowcat was transported there with a cable lift in the 60's after the previous owner bought it from the 1st owner. Now the previous owner has a new Kässbohrer which is slightly bigger and therefore had to be taken to the mountain top by a helicopter - the transport for him was more expensive than what he he got from the sale price of the Ratrack... The previous owner was very kind giving some extra spare parts with it, actually if you calculate it - he had it for almost 40 years!

I'm very interested of to learn more about the Ratrac, I guess its kind of a Thiokol made with a licence in Switzerland? I do have the original books, and it seems its not a very complicated vehicle. There has been some discussions about rear-axles, and I would be interested to know what model I have.

Already big thanks to everyone, its been great reading your stories and restoration projects!

Regards,
Leif

...........................................

Up there is the holiday resort, beautiful place...:














The previous owner seen at left, and a good friend at the center helping to collect the tracks etc. I still have to collect the snowcat, because at the day there was too much snow to drive on the mountain roads with a trailer:

Last edited by Sisu; 12-30-2008 at 03:35 AM.
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:24 AM
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Default Re: New Ratrac-S owner

Nice. Yup, very Thiokol-looking. Almost indistinguishable from a Spryte.

How far are you from Freiburg? I spent a month hiking around that area a few years ago.
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:32 AM
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Default Re: New Ratrac-S owner

Hi, thanks - I'm about 40 miles from Freiburg! http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=f...1,3.493652&z=8

This is great area for hiking, and everything is so close. I especially enjoy having so many different cultures here, German, French, Swiss, Italian... so there's always something new to see.

I'm actually not a German, I was born in Switzerland but lived most of my life in Finland.
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:43 AM
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Default Re: New Ratrac-S owner

I think I hiked up a mountain in your area. Can't remember the name, but it was about the highest in the area and had a commanding view of the Alps. What are the rules regarding running a snowcat in the black forest? I'm guessing it's not allowed since even camping isn't allowed.

I've also been to Finland. Worked a few months in Kevo, right here...



Had a lot of fun dodging reindeer herds!
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:50 AM
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Default Re: New Ratrac-S owner

From what I can see of the rear of your cat, it looks like the OC-4.

After zooming in on the picture, it is an OC-4, which is the weaker diff. But, if you're not pulling a drag or anything like that, it will be fine.
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:57 AM
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Default Re: New Ratrac-S owner

Hehe, you've been everywhere

You propably were in Belchen, which is the highest mountain in this area http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belchen_(Schwarzwald) , thats a great place of seeing hang gliding etc. At clear weather you can see over Switzerland to Italy.

I have some other projects, like a Sisu AH-45 off-road truck with hydraulic driven trailer (with a crane). I plan on travelling with this combination plus the Ractrac on the trailer to North of Finland and have my fun there




...Thanks for the info regarding the rear-axle, so one thing more to upgrade I guess..
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:07 AM
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Default Re: New Ratrac-S owner

Yup, Belchen. The first day I hiked up there it was very clear and the sun was highlighting the Alps. They looked like sharks teeth on the horizon. But I didn't bring my camera. I returned with the camera a couple of days later and it was overcast, of course.


Here's a thread on the thiokol differentials....

http://www.forumsforums.com/3_9/showthread.php?t=7760

I'm guessing you wouldn't want to bother upgrading. As rare as the diffs are here, they must be twice as rare over there and thrice as expensive!


Oh, and that's one heck of an ugly truck.
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:19 AM
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Default Re: New Ratrac-S owner

I actually bought the snowcat unseen, always wanted one and the price for this one was excellent. Thanks for the link regarding the rear axles, you are right about parts availability, but I'll try to upgrade if possible...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobcat View Post
Oh, and that's one heck of an ugly truck.
And your Kristi is a beautiful design, eh..?
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:20 AM
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Default Re: New Ratrac-S owner

Looks like you'll fit right in.
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:27 AM
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Default Re: New Ratrac-S owner

Maybe you like my other project truck better, at least the color is right!






Btw, what the hell are you doing for living? I want your job!

Last edited by Sisu; 12-30-2008 at 04:41 AM.
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:42 AM
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Default Re: New Ratrac-S owner

Yeah, that is kinda cool. Looks like a MLRS!

Say, what's that black beauty in the left corner of the first picture?
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:48 AM
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Default Re: New Ratrac-S owner

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Old 12-30-2008, 04:51 AM
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Default Re: New Ratrac-S owner

I thought this forum is not for nice designs

So "my opposites" are an all-original 31k mile 57 Dodge, an original 44k mile 57 Dodge Custom Sierra Spectator 9-seater station wagon, and one 57 Dodge Coronet 2D HT D500 which requires some work. The station wagon is my daily driver. Well, I believe in good old American iron!

(The D500 is missing from the picture)


Btw, actually we are today "launching" the white concrete sh.. away from the FBW chassis... Great photo - it shows us how to do it, thanks!
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:52 AM
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Default Re: New Ratrac-S owner

OMG!

That is a nice, and rare, wagon!
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:18 PM
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Default Re: New Ratrac-S owner

WHOA! What a set of beautful Dodges! Man I would love to own those!
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:39 PM
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Default Re: New Ratrac-S owner

SiSu,
The radtrac were made by Thiokol and imported by radtrac. Yours has an OC4 rear transaxle. They are ok if not abused. They are to weak for a plow on a snowcat. That snowcat should have some good performance on the snow. Anymore pictures?
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:46 PM
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Default Re: New Ratrac-S owner

you guys go right into business and don't even welcome Sisu to the forums. Shame on you guys.


Hey Sisu welcome to ForumsForums. Glad you could join us. And we love pics of old wrecked and even new and clean. Just keep sending them. Dang them Dodges have to be worth a lot of money today. Thanks for sharing them.


murph
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Old 12-30-2008, 05:41 PM
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Default Re: New Ratrac-S owner

Bobcat, you surely know the photo you posted is actually my own Sierra Or you were just lucky to find it from my albums!!! Please don't get me started about the Dodge topic! Btw, I'm not a rich guy - completely the opposite - the cars I have, I love and will own forever so the future market price doesn't matter... Anyway, we are all doomed in this finance market hell...



...and Many Thanks for all the welcomes!!!

I actually don't care about the state of the Ratrac, I will anyway completely disassemble it and rebuild it as well as I can. I don't know why I actually bought one - I always wanted one, so when I saw this one for sale, I just had to have it (I bought it unseen, no photos etc.)! Propably I'll build a brand new cabin, but as I now know the rear axle is not bullet proof, that will be 1st on my list to be replaced... First I thought it has an european Ford V6, but when i saw it has American Ford I became really enthusiastic! Now, after some research I couldn't have done a better choice I think! I really dig the 60's style, the "shining" (reason to get a snowcat!) etc-

Seems I'm destined to have dirty hands in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012... 2059, 2060... Thats ok!

I don't have too many photos of the Ratrac, the plan is to bring it to my garage on next week, and then for sure I'll be sending a lot of questions and photos here! Hope you guys don't mind!

I'm slightly confused why it has Rolba 250T stickers on the doors!




Did I tell I love the shape!!!

Thanks,
Leif
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Old 12-30-2008, 05:51 PM
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Default Re: New Ratrac-S owner

Welcome to the Forums Sisu!

That Dodge is sweet! I love those back seats! Very cool!
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Old 12-30-2008, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: New Ratrac-S owner

Thanks! Seems this is a great community! For me, since childhood - I always wanted to have American cars, so naturally I've had them through my life. I'm really surprised that what I thought of being an European (or actually Swiss) snowcat, seems to be an American design - surely the reason why I love it.

If I want to convert my Ractrac to a crew cab or even longer cabin, does anyone know where to see some example photos? I would like to keep the factory looks. Also, I would like to add some hydraulics in case I make a crew cab with a small crane.

I don't mind any metal work, but I can already guess fabricating new tracks will be a boring operation - you know I hate drilling and these tracks are all about darn holes...

Btw, the owner told he just replaced the gearbox. Are the gearboxes a weak point as well?

Thanks again... :)
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