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

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  #1  
Old 12-19-2011, 10:13 PM
kought kought is offline
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Default Bombardier SW-48 FA Restore

Whoops, titled it wrong. Its a SW-48 DA...

Since august, the issue of a snow plow for this winter has been on our mind. Last year, we had a Yanmar V4-3 loader, but somebody came along and offered us about double what we paid for it, so off it went . Before that, we had an old Ford Ranger beater, but it needed some major work soon, so we sold it. We needed something to plow for the winter, but we didn't want something ordinary. We saw a few SW48's on craigslist that looked interesting, but they seemed a bit overpriced.

So one day we were at an equipment dealer, looking [dreaming] about some new equipment. And there, hiding in between two enormous excavators, was a SW-48 FA. It was in pretty rough exterior shape, but upon further investigation, we learned it had brand new full rubber tracks, and the entire thing was in great shape. It also had a Perkins Inline 4 diesel, which was icing on the cake since all the rest we saw were gas. A few days later, we went and picked it up. We've got a '97 Ford F-350 7.3L truck, and a big flatbed gooseneck tilting trailer that we just refurbished, both of will become very helpful in the future of this project (along with all past projects!) .

So this how we bought it:





Apparently it had been used as a sidewalk plow for the city of Manchester, NH. Buying from the government isn't the best on one hand, because it's clear from all the dents in this thing that it didn't have the most careful and responsible operators... But you can't really blame them. Not their machine... But on the other hand, government machines do have great maintenence schedules. We decided not to take the sandbox on the back, since we don't sand and all... But everything internal worked great. Brakes, transmission, bogies, hydraulics, etc. were all perfect.





So when we got it home, we gave a good test in the woods and mud and then gave it a good washing and began the restore. We removed all the lights, and began sanding the paint, removing labels, straightening dents, priming bare spots (dark green paint), etc. Basically just preparing it for new paint.






We never planned on using the 48" V-plow, so we found a 7.5' Fisher power angle plow on craigslist for about $300. We picked that up with a bunch on hydraulic plumbing.

So today, we took the old V-plow (so they could use the mount from it on the new plow), the new Fisher plow, and the machine down to our local welding shop, who we've been dealing with for years. They were pretty excited about the project, and happy to do the work. It's nice to be able to drop off three parts, say "Make this big plow go on that machine, using this mount", and know that they will figure out what needs to be done and do it right without worrying about it.

We also plan to put a ton of lights on this machine. 6 high power white LEDs on the front, 4 on the back. We also didn't want to have to pay a premium for lights with brush guards, so we came up with an idea to extend the front eyebrow 4 inches, and then mount all the lights under it. Hard to explain, so heres some pics.

Before:


After:


So the lights will mount there under the overhang.

The hood is pretty beat. Its got a bunch of dents, and some of the dents even have kinks in the metal. It must've been hit pretty hard, because this whole thing is built like a tank, and the hood is no exception; it must be 1/8" steel. So we're going to see if we can find a good body shop that can beat these dents out of it. We've taken it off to go to a body shop tomorrow.

How it sits now:



That's all for now. More updates tomorrow!
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: Bombardier SW-48 FA Restore

Good looking project so far.
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:23 PM
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Default Re: Bombardier SW-48 FA Restore

Good score !

Cool project and ideas. Thanks for the pics; I'll be looking forward to more.
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:06 PM
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Default Re: Bombardier SW-48 FA Restore

A lot of these machines were flopped on their sides, thus some of the panel damage.

You may find the 7.5 plow is a bit much for the weight of the tractor. Granted my much older SW has steel tracks, but the 6 foot blade would shove the machine sideways if angled too far, and the tracks would spin if the blade was too full.
Looking good though. Keep an eye on the Perkins water pump.
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Old 12-20-2011, 01:17 PM
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Default Re: Bombardier SW-48 FA Restore

Great idea on the sunviser/eyebrow and the Perkins will be great!!!
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:21 PM
kought kought is offline
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Default Re: Bombardier SW-48 FA Restore

Thanks for all the compliments guys!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 125a View Post
A lot of these machines were flopped on their sides, thus some of the panel damage.

You may find the 7.5 plow is a bit much for the weight of the tractor. Granted my much older SW has steel tracks, but the 6 foot blade would shove the machine sideways if angled too far, and the tracks would spin if the blade was too full.
Looking good though. Keep an eye on the Perkins water pump.
It seems crazy to think anyone could've flipped this thing, but I suppose it's possible. You never know with the kooks that drive these things ...

Unfortunately, theres not much progress to share today. More sanding, scraping, brushing, masking, priming, etc. Like I said before, we took the hood off to take to a body shop. So today, we took it to a local one, and after a bunch of hee-ing and haw-ing, he announced it would be $400-$500 to get the dents out and READY for paint, not even painted. So we left, and decided we will venture it ourselves. More on that... when we actually do something about it.

We also got the power angle on the plow hooked up. It was much easier than we anticipated. There are three valves in the cab, one of which was hooked up to making the V-plow go up and down, which we kept as the up and down, and there were two other valves, which weren't connected to anything. We ran to a local hydraulics place and got an adapter, and hooked it up, and it worked perfect. The other one, we plan to keep for a hydraulic winch on the back, with a possible logging arch .

Another thing I forgot to mention yesterday was how the plow hooks up. Like I said, we used the mount from the old V-plow and welded that onto the mount for the Fisher plow. We had to weld it far enough out so it could angle all the way. But doing it this way allowed us to use the old plow mounts, which were actually conveniently located. They're in between the drive wheel and the first bogie, so you can put the bolt in from the outside. We devise a rather clever system (if I do say so myself) to get the bolt in. We had a small nut welded on the head of the bolt, so that we can screw it in and out will a tool we made, but still get a socket on it. Again, hard to explain, so heres some pics.

Here's the tool:


Here's the tool in the bolt:


View from the front:


How it sits now:



We planned on painting it with the original yellow in IMRON, but apparently IMRON was not available in that color. So then we were going to do the hood and rest of the body besides the cab in IMRON gloss black. But we've always had a deep love for LINE-X, or Rhino lining, that spray on truck bed liner. We took the hood to them to get a quote, and to our surprise, it was only $100 to do the hood. Then we showed the guy a picture of the whole machine, and he said $150 to do everything but the cab. So our plan now is to have everything but the cab done in LINE-X, and do the cab in the original yellow in another kind of DuPont 2-part epoxy paint. More updates soon!
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Old 12-23-2011, 12:34 AM
kought kought is offline
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Default Re: Bombardier SW-48 FA Restore

PAINT!!! We painted the wheels (major PITA to prep and mask those...) with a nice gloss black.




We also got the cab done!! Original Bombardier yellow!! Like I said before, we couldn't use IMRON (what we normally use on our projects, its sooo durable its worth the extra cost) because it didn't come in this color, so we used a different DuPont epoxy paint. Looks good, we'll see how it holds up.

We weren't too careful about masking (besides windows of course) since the whole rest of the machine is gonna be LINE-X'd. But here she is!!





The eyebrow is gonna be black soon.
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:33 AM
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Default Re: Bombardier SW-48 FA Restore

I bestow upon the: Macgyver creativity points for aluminum foil paint masking.

lol!!

I've been in the paint business in one way or another for 20 years and i can honestly say I've never seen that done before!

Really nice machine you have there, it's looking really good!
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Old 12-31-2011, 05:37 PM
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Default Re: Bombardier SW-48 FA Restore

Nice looking project!
Can you pass on the info for the equipment dealer you purchased the machine from, I would be interested in the sander unit. Thanks
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Old 02-27-2012, 01:44 AM
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Default Re: Bombardier SW-48 FA Restore

I have a machine very similiar to this. What type of hydraulic cylinders did you use for the plow
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