There is no sure fire solution on a machine of this age and complexity...The closest thing would be to do a "Blueprint" ground up restoration.
Sadly a lot of parts are simply not available any longer and must be made in-house....or farmed out.
I will have to say this.....Looking at the time line.....far more time is spent at the Drawing board and sitting at the cat measuring and working out solutions to problems than the actual time spent wrenching on things.
Then of course there are the change orders...."Build #1.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx "
Some ideas are just simply wonderful on the drawing board.....but in the real world either cost too much or run into snags......OOOOPS something is in the way and will not fit.
The real world facts of being your own Engineer, fabricator, machinist, electrician, hydraulics tech oh and BEAN COUNTER
Then there is the little thing......called tooling..,...drill jigs, setup fixtures and that special cutter for the mill/lathe that you don't have and this list goes on.
But progress in any positive way is always satisfying......
Then nearly a day spent running across town to get the parts needed to repair a particular item you are working on.
Being close to a major metro area does help......
The internet is a godsend...
Still took nearly a month to get all the bearings for the OC12 resto.
But the cost savings was in the many many hundreds of $$$$$$
Actually more than that....One bearing listed at $700 and the ebay search landed one at my door for only $20.....but had to come from across the continent....others came from Europe....
Keep the faith bro......
Your cat will live again.
They are the "CATTSASS"
Many big dozers use a similar setup....
The ones on these rigs are pretty simple.
The one negative thing is the lack of any seal on the rod end to keep water and crap out.
The design obviously worked OK....But the nasty rusty mess in the one cylinder leaves me wondering about the possibility of adding a seal on the front end to keep water and crud out..
I think there is enough room just ahead of the snap ring to install a thin lip seal.
I am going to explore this idea .
Butttttttttttt.....these cats lived a long long life as they were mfg by the factory.
Now...one could always go to a stainless steel tube......Yeah...there goes the budget.
There was a post back a few years where a member was looking for seals for his cat.
These manufacturers used as much "off the shelf" stuff as they could in the build process and therefore this does make getting parts far easier even at this late date.
Another one of those "Go search it out things"
A decent amount of work done today.....depending on ones view point.
Got the new cylinder done for the RH side..
I do not have a snap ring groove cutting tool....Decided to drill four 3/16" holes in the end of the cylinder and will install four 1/2" long roll pins.
This will work fine as a stop to prevent the piston from popping out of the cylinder.
The left hand adjuster slider was in sad shape.
Took some serious time at the hydraulic press, then to the big vice and some whupass with the 10 pound club to get the mounting ears back to where they should be....SORT OF
Then a trip to the mill to clean up a buttload of the extra weld that had been poured on....
A couple cracks found....way too windy to weld outside....Tomorrow it should be a lot less windy.
A couple pix of the new cylinder.
Next the new axle pivot mounting plates have to be cut, fit and machined to fit into the original slider assemblies.
Then the inner pivot tube, slider and such has to go in.
***ADDING A SECOND PIVOT POINT FOR THE AXLE and a second adjuster to keep the setup parallel to the front frame......
Got serious about the adjust brackets.
Decided to bolt the two units together and then toss them in the mill and clean out the area where the axle fits.
These were just as burned out with the torch.....absolutely nasty.
Got the pair all evened up and matched well.
Then stuffed the boring head in and opened up the slot just enough to allow the new axle pivot tubes to fit in.
Next a pair of plates need to be machined to bolt into the slider brackets and ultimately weld in.
A second plate will weld on the inside of the slider.
A second tube similar to the one in the piccy will fit in a second bracket to hold the inside end of the axle.
Parts are looking much nicer than a few days ago...
Picked up the short roll pins for retaining the piston on the one new Adjuster cylinder.
The pins tap in nice and will be fine to make sure the piston can't pop out...
Great weather is holding and good things are happening.
Best part is that the plan on paper is actually coming together in real time....
Picked up some 3/8" x 4" flat bar to machine into the new axle tube bracket "Additions" to the original slider breackets
Got one part fit into the LH slider and the bolt holes drilled to fasten it in place..
Located the bore for the pivot tube and bored the hole.
The function of the bolts will be pretty much a moot point after the assembly is finished.....the new plates will get welded in place once everything is finally located where they need to be.
The pics show the longer outer tube slipped through the slider bracket and extending in towards the tub.
The inner shorter tube will fit onto the NEW inner slider (Yet to be fabricated)
The axle shaft will slide through the UHMW bushings that fit in the tubes.
Ordered a pair of 2" bore keyed weld hubs to go onto the inner end of the axle shaft and then the reaction arm will weld to the hub.
Hub slips over a captive key in the shaft....and gets a bolt with a pilot end on it that retains the hub from sliding off the shaft.
The yellow round container sort of represents the air bag....size and such are similar.....
The white chalk mark on the frame is the approx inner edge of the track......
We may well be revisiting the idea of using the Timbren rubber units.....as these will take up less space than the air bag....and will be less vulnerable than the air bag as well.
We are moving ahead.....
Once we get the basics nailed down the other side will be a snap.
I needed something to hold the inner tube in its approximate location to mock it up....The box of CAT LITTER seemed appropriate...
Got the collars needed ....Machined them a touch to get things to fit...
Got after making some aligning fixtures to get the axle/s straight with the frame.
Grabbed some steel angle and a few other items...
Looking at the picture the cover plate behind the axle assembly has some bolts on the forward edge...
Going to bolt on a piece of steel flat bar 1/4" x 2-1/2 onto those bolts and once I get the axle set square and true I will tack weld a collar onto the steel flat bar to maintain the alignment of the axle while adding the inner bracket.....THEN TACK WELD STUFF UP.
Once its all tack welded....The assembly can come off and be finished welded......
Time consuming stuff.
I want to get the two front axles in COMPLETE ......Then once the axles are done....the cab needs to come back off to allow access into setting the drive shaft.......
The Diify can go back in soon too.
Just a few little things left to do on the diffy.....(Install the axle tubes and shafts is all....left them off for the winter to keep the beast from taking up so much room in the shop)
Got a bit more steel and went after setting up more fixtures to jig everything in place while I tack stuff up.
(2) angle brackets with a nut and a 1/2" x 4" long bolt welded on....(Indication point to place the axle parallel to the main frame beam.
A flat bracket with a collar on it bolted to the cats tub......this holds the axle assembly right where it needs to be until all the parts are welded up....This bracket will go away once the fab work is done.
The inner pivot tube is now ready for the inner slider tube to be mated up....(Monday we will get more steel.
I can't find any seamless square tube without buying a butt load of it.....Decided to fabricate the sleeve that the inner slider fits into...
3"x3" x 1/4" angle will work...just mate them together and weld them up to end up with the slide into portion.
Standard 2-1/2" square tube will be the same as the stock outer slider...
Need to machine the plates that support the inner bushing tube and weld them to the slider tube....
TOOOOOO MANY TUBES......
Still thinking about the adjuster on the inner slider.....likely go with a threaded rod as it will be fairly easy to get to.
The hydraulic cylinder will carry the big load and the inner adjuster will keep the pair aligned and stop the inner assembly from trying to go in and out as the axle moves.....
Adjusting the assembly will take a bit of fooling with to get it spot on....May add some reference parts to measure from to get the assembly parallel.... It will come together.......A pair of key stock chunks on both sliders that will give a reference point...
Measure and adjust things to the same dimensions on both ???????
Gathered materials for the inner adjuster assembly yesterday....
I was able to get the proper size/type of square tube to fabricate the slider parts,
I have to admit....I am still undecided on the choice between the air bag and the Timbren biscuit.....
The Timbren is less vulnerable to damage.....but there is ZERO adjustment.....This worries me..
The 2500 lb air bags can be aired up until the front axle just starts to lift the cat when it is sitting static......
After doing a lot of measuring yesterday ...there is plenty of room in the area to get the 6" diameter bags fit in......
I have worried about this idea based on the bag getting damaged......but possibly a shield around the bag on the side facing the edge of the track will be a plan.
Maybe I am over thinking this a bit ???
One things for sure....the front axle on these cats gets the hell beat out of them.....
Every axle I looked at as a possible replacement was beat to rat crap.....the torsion ends were all worn out and the plastic half bushings in the casting at the tube ends were wasted.
And these are not rebuildable ......
I want to be able to quickly, easily and cheaply refurbish the front axle on the beast....
More work on the new axles today.
Got the major parts cut and fit......
Waiting on the U bolts I ordered to fasten the inner adjusters to the frame and the second axle.
I hope they get here before the good weather goes away for a while...
Decided to trim up the inside adjuster assembly before I removed it. (Don't want it rusting in the rainy days that are coming up)
Got the adjuster off, laid out and ....NO WAY TO CUT THE SUCKER.....TORCH...NOOOO WAY.....Thought about tossing it in the mill..
Too much fooling around to do it in the mill.
There had been some chatter here about the HAND HELD BAND SAWS....???????????????/
Stopped off at Harbor Freight and dragged home one of their little HAND HELD SAWS.
Damn....that sucker is a sweat heart.
They had them on sale too.......
If you don't have one of these of any brand in your shop.....stop off at the Harbor and grab one.
That bad boy made quick work of the cutting needed.....and they seem pretty well made too.
I got pretty rough with the blade trying to keep things where I wanted.....worked flawless...
I need to cut a piece of 1/4" X 2" flat bar and finish closing the end of the tube.
When the other side gets done I am going to cut the pieces to match this one before welding it up....
Had some decent time between rain showers....Got after building the ACTUAL adjusting mechanism for the inner track adjuster/axle support.
The little box tube with the semi circular cutout is the Adjusting nut housing.
There is a 1" steel plate that welds in the end with the cutout....the cutout is for the grease zerk to fit in.
The adjust nut gets machined from 1-1/2" hex stock and fits into the end plate.
The adjust nut assembly is held in by 2 Shoulder bolts in the outer slider tube.
A piece of 5/8" fine threaded rod gets the clevis on the front end.....Clevis slips onto a piece of flat bar that welds into the slider...to push/pull.
The nut assembly will be greasable to hopefully keep it operational...LONG TERM.
Tomorrow I will get more steel to make the rest of the parts....
The clevis is a standard class 8 truck brake part.....Easy to find...5/8" fine thread.
Yesterday turned into a nasty mess.
A buddy called up and wanted some help on his Thiokol Spryte.....
Needed to drop the tracks and get at all the wheel bearings.....(Yeah....mostly shot..rusty...)
I get to his place and the cat is in the garage..
The first word I hear....HOW DO WE LOOSEN THE TRACK ADJUSTERS.
OMG...The adjusters are the manual type and things are rusted up tight as a bulls azz in fly time.
Did not want to get the torch in there to cut things...and damage the tracks.
I had to run back here to the shop and get my air die grinder and some cut off discs.
We spent a fair bit of time getting the old crap cut off.
Got the tracks dropped loose and my buddy went to work on the bearings.
Now....WHAT TO DO with the adjusters ?????
We are considering adding the grease cylinders to the machine.
Not that much work.....
This scenario brings things to mind that my idea of using a manual adjuster on my inner front axle setup may not be at all a good plan.
To make a pair of cylinders is a snap.
My old ones make great patterns to copy.
Simply and they work great......
I will let my buddy figure out his choice.
For the moment the adjuster plans for my machine are definitely not going towards the manual threaded type device...
The mess we encountered was not worth the effort to just replace it with same.