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  #1  
Old 01-16-2018, 06:55 PM
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Default Grousers - School Me

After looking through many different threads, find it that this topic of grousers (kind/type etc) is very sporadic and unorganized.

Being that I'll be making a new set for the next project, wanted to get some input. Please keep this thread to subject matter only - making it easy for anyone in the future to read and learn something that they might be looking for...

Anyone knowledgeable - please pitch in, or for that matter, anyone who can answer the following questions in educational manner - would be great!

1. Kind / Style (triangle/J-shape/tundra/studded/center-drop, etc.)
2. Material used (steel/aluminum, thickness and shape of material)
3. Best way to get the necessary shape (purchase and cut/press use/plasma cut/fabbed/welded)
4. Conveyor belting used (how many ply/why/prepunched?/possible source)
5. Any personal thoughts on this matter/suggestions to anyone looking to build a set of this kind...
6. Please attach any possible information (such as make/model cat these are usually used on, dimensions of grouser and/or tracks, belting, how many pieces used, and how many bolts/nuts are holding it together)
7. Type of lacing/connecting hardware to keep tracks/grousers together.
8. Pictures would be nice!!!

Hopefully this shines some light to anyone researching!
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Old 01-16-2018, 08:13 PM
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Default Re: Grousers - School Me

Nikson,

No one style of grouser will do the best at everything, many styles of tracks are
Specific to the highest use for that machine.

For example some heavy D Dent style 1/2 thick Nodwell style cleats, are not the best choice for deep powder snow, but they do well in mud and rocks. and are heat treated and made of 9620 spring steel formed hot and quenched, some are shot peened to relieve stress, and then tempered back.

Many of the snow cleats are made from 4130 and are heat treated to RC 38-42

But once again what type of specific machine are you targeting? Weight of the machine ? Speed of the machine? These all effect what could be the best choice
This also effects belt choices, and tire guides.


Sometimes aluminum is the best choice if heat treated 6061 T-6 for snow only
Extrusion is the best choice here.

Just a little more info,and we can point you in the best direction,quality built tracks can get expensive.
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Old 01-16-2018, 09:54 PM
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Default Re: Grousers - School Me

I really can't offer any definitive information on grousers. All of my experience is with Tucker factory 28" wide grousers as used with rubber belts.

There's a guy in Salt Lake City that makes track assemblies and he may be a good source for both information and fabrication. I have not done business with him, so I can't vouch for him personally, but my recollection is he bought out Bill Sharp who built "Salt Cats" in SLC for a number of years. Many people get these confused with Thiokols because they look somewhat similar. He also built Lite-Foot snowcats and sold that product line to Pisten Bully. They are now being sold by Pisten Bully as their Scout model. I mention all this because he has more than a little experience with snowcats.

http://snowcattracks.com/index.html

I've used Flexco belt lacing with good results. Here's a link:

http://www.flexco.com/products/flexco_bolt_hinged

My opinion on belting may ruffle some feathers, but here goes.

There are actually a lot of parameters to consider when choosing belting. For example, what temperature range will it be used in? What is the minimum pulley diameter the belting must turn over? How much stretch in the belting can you accept? What type of fabric should the plies be made from? How many fabric plies do you want/need? How strong does the belting need to be? What type of rubber in the top and bottom covers? How thick do you want the top and bottom covers?

The real no-kidding, premium snowcat belting can be expensive. Many people opt to save a bunch of money and buy surplus belting which may, or may not, have the specifications they need. Some others will buy used belting because it's really cheap. Again this is my opinion only, but there's a significant amount of work in changing out belting. On a 1600 series Tucker for example, you're talking about 16 belts and literally 1,000 fasteners (okay it's 992). A fair number of those aren't going to cooperate and you'll be dealing with rounded off bolt heads, or nuts, or both. After putting that much time and effort into the project, do you really want to cheap-out on the belting?
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Old 01-16-2018, 10:26 PM
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Default Re: Grousers - School Me

Nice information MNoutdoors and Blackfoot Tucker. Than you both. I wish steel pontoons were that easy.
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:01 AM
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Default Re: Grousers - School Me

Here is a photo of a machine we redid with a cleat we made from 4130 .190
Then Heat treated, has been in heavy use for 6 years in snow and swamps pulling power lines for a large utility company not one cleat has failed yet.

This is not a deep powder cleat but a strong one, we also made the tire guides they are not heat treated everything was CNC plasma cut on our machine including the holes , then CNC press broke, then heat treated to RC 38-42
Then dip painted. The cleat is 32” wide
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:21 AM
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Default Re: Grousers - School Me

Not Grousers, but we built the wheels also starting with a heavy 12” wheel then machining the center to hold the spindle hub we build then cutting the outer plates to strengthen the assembly. The center hub is made from DOM tubing,
And holds and 2735X bearing cup both sides, and then uses 2788 bearing on
1.5” axles all the wheels except the fronts are on 3500 pound Flexitor axles
The front wheels are solid forklift wheels. And provide the track tension also.
This unit weighs 7000 pounds and is hydrostatic 120hp and amphibious. If you remember to put the drain plugs in.........
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:40 AM
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Default Re: Grousers - School Me

One of our aluminum versions, most likely the least expensive option of any cleat.
2-3/4 tall 1.125 wide any length we extrude to 30 feet, but then cut to 98” for ez handling. the base is made for a carriage bolt anywhere along it length, which allows for retro fitting many old snowcat belting. This version uses 5/16 carriage bolts.
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Old 01-17-2018, 08:22 AM
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Default Re: Grousers - School Me

That Aluminum cleat is just like the ones on my 1800-30 Raidtracs? Are they the same on the Bombis? Here is the Raidtrac. Don

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Old 01-17-2018, 10:22 AM
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Default Re: Grousers - School Me

Nik
I have welded heat treated steel on mine because i run on gravel.
If your looking for wood. Big al made some fine looking ones from some hard plastic.
Jim
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Old 01-17-2018, 10:39 AM
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Default Re: Grousers - School Me

Someone had replaced the stock grousers on mine with square steel tube. 3/16" wall. Very heavy. I wound up tapering them as there was too much resistance to turning on ground or hardpack.

The consideration for me is influenced by the places I typically ride. I tow into snow deep enough that I have to unload the trac. Then the next dip I'm back on gravel. One site, I might have to run most of a mile on gravel before I get back into snow. The heavy square section works great for that use.
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Old 01-17-2018, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: Grousers - School Me

Wow, what a response! Look at all that wealth of knowledge that jointly should be moving mountains of snow with ease!!!

Thanks to all for replying, definitely got lots of chewing and mulching to do (in my head)...

Princess was kind enough to make a trip south (good thing its a short one) and dropped off the original tracks.

After much consideration and even both agreed/thought about it, we came to conclusion to see if I could stick with the wooden style grouser, basically goal is to keep things original if possible.

At this point hickory came us as a wood of choice (still tinkering with options) - but seems like I should be able to make them look almost as good as they were new...

Stand by, as slowly work starts going FAST and I'll have some pictures to share, to have you all chime in on ideas/thoughts/advise or even drooling...

I'm excited!!! Can you tell?! :) :) :) LOL
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Old 01-22-2018, 10:46 AM
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Default Re: Grousers - School Me

if you decide to build them do what mnoutdoors did---I know of a guy (not me)that took a whole summer to build a set with mild steel. one trip around the yard ----JUNK--a question I have for mnoutdoors is how did you bend them---in my shop we have 2 leaf breaks --a finger break and a press break---and we all know that you cant bend the legs longer than the center----meaning ----picture the letter U----the center of the u where the bolts bolt to the rubber we will say 1 inch wide and the legs going up 2 inches---we cant bend then and I don't have a side bender---I do have a company we make shelf brackets for and I made a die set up to bend the on my arbor press but they r only 3 inches wide ---not as wide as a grouser
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Old 01-22-2018, 11:55 AM
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Default Re: Grousers - School Me

Quote:
Originally Posted by topwelder44 View Post
if you decide to build them do what mnoutdoors did---I know of a guy (not me)that took a whole summer to build a set with mild steel. one trip around the yard ----JUNK--a question I have for mnoutdoors is how did you bend them---in my shop we have 2 leaf breaks --a finger break and a press break---and we all know that you cant bend the legs longer than the center----meaning ----picture the letter U----the center of the u where the bolts bolt to the rubber we will say 1 inch wide and the legs going up 2 inches---we cant bend then and I don't have a side bender---I do have a company we make shelf brackets for and I made a die set up to bend the on my arbor press but they r only 3 inches wide ---not as wide as a grouser


They are formed in a CNC press brake, but require a special offset finger to do it.
Of course they are annealed 4130 when formed then heat treated to RC 38-42
After.
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Old 01-22-2018, 12:21 PM
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Default Re: Grousers - School Me

MACHINING:

MILLING:
1 - Haas VF-6, 32" x 64" capacity, 26" under tool
1 - Haas VF-3, 20" x 40" capacity, 25" under tool
2 - Bridgeport Series 2, 9" x 49" table, Sony digital readouts
TURNING:
1 - Jet, 16" x 60" capacity, 3-1/8" spindle bore
1 - LeBlond, 27" x 120" capacity, 2-3/8" spindle bore
Surface Grinding:
1 - Okamoto, 12" x 24" capacity, 11" under wheel, automatic hydraulic feed
1 - Harig, 6"x 18" capacity, manual feed
CUTTING:
1 - Hyd Mech S-20, horizontal cuttoff saw , 11" x 20" capacity with miter head (50 degree max.)
1 - Ellis1500, horizontal cuttoff saw, 11" x 20" capacity with miter head
1 - Rockwell 20, vertical bandsaw , 20" throat depth
1 - Padrazzoli cold saw, 4" round capacity, 45 degree miter head
1 - Thermal Dynamatics Cut Master 101, 1-1/4" max. material thickness
1 - Thermal Dynamatics Cut Master 50, 3/4" max, material thickness







FABRICATION:

WELDERS:
3 - Lincoln Power Wave S350, mig welder
1 - Lincoln Precision Tig 275, tig welder

CNC PLASMA:
​Retro Systems Hornet dual-side drive torch table
1 - Hypertherm Powermax 125, Plate thickness upto 1". 60" x 144" cutting capacity.

CNC TORCH:
1 - Smith machine torch, Plate thickness 3/4" - 6". 60" x 144" cutting capacity.

PRESS BRAKING:
1 - Accurpress press brake, 10', 175 ton







ASSEMBLY/REBUILD:

CRANE:
1 - Spanco, 20' jib, 4000lb. capacity.
3 - Dane, 24' jib, 2000lb. capacity

PRESS:
1 - 50 ton hydraulic press

HYDRAULIC MACHINES:
1 - Aeroquip crimper, 1-1/4" hose capacity
1 - Gates crimper, 1-1/4" hose capacity







ELECTRICAL
CONTROL SYSTEMS:

​Custom electrical control systems built to your specifications.







DESIGN/DRAFTING:

​Mechanical Design/Drafting services available on SolidWorks, and AutoCAD. SolidWorks has the ability to import and export multiple file types, including, but not limited to Iges, DXF, ProE, AutoCad, Solid Edge, Catia, and Inventor.
Picture
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Old 01-23-2018, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: Grousers - School Me

Sorry for not getting on here sooner... playing out in the snow w/the Jeep for now... :)

So, at this point - I figured is to go with a U-channel style aluminum, have it trimmed on the sides to look like spryte's grousers... Yes, lots of work probably.

Whats the better material in the aluminum melts to choose that will not wear out over a season and would last longer...

Considering that I will not be running on gravel/pavement, but snow/hardpack at times.
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Old 01-23-2018, 08:26 PM
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Default Re: Grousers - School Me

I would use nothing less than 6061 soft then form and then heat treat to T-6
Temper

Good article,

When it comes to the age-old question of deciding between using 6061 aluminum alloy or 7075 aluminum alloy for a project or task, understanding their differences and application ranges can go a long way and save you the trouble when looking to balance performance with cost. For most general purposes, both alloys may be able to get the job done but the differences in composition, mechanical properties and cost between both alloys can help you determine which of the two is the best choice for your structural needs. In this post, let’s discuss the general similarities and differences between 6061 and 7075 aluminum alloys.

Composition Differences
When it comes to compositional differences between 6061 and 7075 aluminum, the differences aren’t visible at first glance. Sure, both contain the same alloy agents such as magnesium, silicon, copper, iron, zinc, titanium, manganese and chromium, but the biggest distinction isn’t what’s in your aluminum plate or square rod but rather, how much is in your material.

For instance, 6061 aluminum alloy contains less zinc than its 7075 counterpart, meaning that while 6061 alloys provide superior welding abilities and workability over other alloys, it doesn’t boast the same high strength and stress resistance as 7075 offers.

aluminum square materials

Applications for 6061 and 7075 Aluminum Alloy
As is the case with many similar materials, 6061 and 7075 aluminum can be used in many of the same tasks and can often be swapped out when costs and risks are deemed suitable to go with a less expensive option such as 6061. That being said, here are general guidelines for uses for each alloy – when making a decision on your material needs, consider these points as a general overview for applications:

6061 Aluminum Alloy Applications
6061 aluminum is highly versatile and can be used for almost any structural component. Commercial and personal use vehicles utilize 6061 for truck frames and running boards, infrastructural uses include mass transit and subway platforms, steps, flooring, walkways and cover plates, and consumer products such as bicycle frames and components, SCUBA tanks, fishing reels and small utility boats all benefit from the increased weldable nature and its ability to undergo hot forging.

7075 Aluminum Alloy Applications
Because of its high strength-to-weight ratio and improved strength over 6061 alloys, 7075 is largely used in aerospace, marine and transportation industries where strength and light weight properties are critical. High-end bicycle components, molding materials for the plastics and tool industries, glider and hobby-grade airframes and even numerous military applications including assault rifle receivers and precision rifles all benefit from the high polish and improved thermal properties that 7000-series alloys provide.

Mechanical Properties of Aluminum
Generally speaking, aluminum is the second most widely used metal in the world and its physical properties (and its abundance on Earth) explain why. With such traits as low density/low weight, high strength, easier machining and malleability, superb resistance to corrosion and ideal electrical and thermal conductivity, it’s easy to see why aluminum is in demand for metalworkers and numerous industrial applications. While there are numerous alloys and even more temper options available, let’s compare 6061 and 7075 aluminum alloys of the T651 temper variety for a quick side by side:

General Mechanical Properties of 6061 Aluminum (T651 Bare)
Tensile Strength – 45,000 psi
Yield Point – 40,000 psi
Brinell Hardness – 95
Elongation at Break – 12%
Shear Strength – 31,000 psi
Thermal Conductivity – 170 W/m-K
Strength to Weight Ratio: 115 kN-m/kg

General Mechanical Properties of 7075 Aluminum (T651)
Tensile Strength – 83,000 psi
Yield Point – 74,000 psi
Brinell Hardness – 150
Elongation at Break – 10%
Shear Strength – 48,000 psi
Thermal Conductivity – 130 W/m-K
Strength to Weight Ratio: 196 kN-m/kg

Summary – 6061 vs 7075 Aluminum Alloy
In general, when looking to compare 6061 versus 7075 aluminum alloys, 6061 is considered by many to be highly versatile for a wide variety of general purpose mechanical applications. 7075 is one of the strongest aluminum alloys available and while its increased cost and tougher workability may come across as obstacles, 7075 alloys are worth their price tag when it comes to applications in which its increased strength and toughness are crucial.
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:38 PM
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Default Re: Grousers - School Me

I tried DMing you, but said the box is full and wont accept anything.

Anywho - looking for options, before I start making the wood grousers, wanted to look into steel and aluminum options.

Thus the question - options that are given is 6063 and 6061 aluminum,

you guys are talking about heat treating the aluminum/steel, is that done in house, or I'm able to buy that sorta steel myself?

Basically, what steel/aluminum can I just get from local steel store that would work, or thats not as simple of an option?
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Old 02-10-2018, 02:11 AM
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Default Re: Grousers - School Me

Going to ask another question -

GMoose said that he used Hickory for choice of the hardwood on grousers for Frandee... is that the better option, is that the only option?! OR?

Please share info if you have some input on this - :)
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:04 AM
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Default Re: Grousers - School Me

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikson View Post
I tried DMing you, but said the box is full and wont accept anything.

Anywho - looking for options, before I start making the wood grousers, wanted to look into steel and aluminum options.

Thus the question - options that are given is 6063 and 6061 aluminum,

you guys are talking about heat treating the aluminum/steel, is that done in house, or I'm able to buy that sorta steel myself?

Basically, what steel/aluminum can I just get from local steel store that would work, or thats not as simple of an option?
Sorry on the PM we cleaned it up, I sent you one also, you can always contact through the website it has a contact area
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