Bombardier SW54 Project

77_crew

Member
Hi everyone, I've been watching this site for quite a while now, reading lots of great threads on the various track machines you guys are playing with, so I've decided to introduce myself and share my project with you guys. There is a lot of great information on this site and the available information on the Web seems to be hard to come by or on this site!

A little history:
I have always wanted a track machine and am a bit of a military history buff. Over the years I've been searching for a Bren Gun Carrier (Universal Carrier) or something similar to restore with no luck. Up here in Canada it seems that a lot of the old carriers got sold as surplus after the war and guys used them to get in and out of hunting camps etc. I've heard several stories form the local "Old Boys" about ones that use to be around here, and even recall a story about one sitting in the woods somewhere but I can't seem to dig up anymore info on it. Its likely been scrapped. I have also toyed around with the idea of building a track machine from scratch. I am a Millwright and have lots of Fab experience and most of the tools to get the job done at my disposal. I also have done a couple of vehicle restorations so I understand the nature of such a project. I've gone as far as researching/collecting parts and made a couple of CAD drawings, but I have too many other projects on the list at the moment.

It seemed to be a "someday" project, then I had the opportunity to buy an old Bombardier Track Machine. I didn't know anything about the old Bombardiers, but it was a bit of a "S%#$ or get off the pot" deal so I jumped on it. I also have a couple old yellow belly Skidoo Olympics, so having this Bombardier kinda suited my collection.

It appears that it is an old SW54. There are no ID tags that i can find, but its narrower than a J5 and wider than a SW48, so it must be a SW54. It has the flat head chrysler 251 and a three speed gearbox. The nose and engine compartment are original Bombardier, but the rest of the cab and structure is homemade from 1 1/2" tubing and plywood.

My plan is to build a rig that i can play around with at the hunting camp, skid some logs for firewood the odd time, and plow my driveway if we get a large snowfall. As of right now i plan on getting it serviceable, mounting a big hydraulic winch and keeping the cab the way it is, but i might build a new one in the future.

Now i'll see if i can get some pictures posted for you guys.
 
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77_crew

Member
Bringing the new treasure home!
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77_crew

Member
Thanks J5! You’ve done some great work on your collection and It’s truly some inspiration to get my project under way!
 

77_crew

Member
Some fresh gas and cleaning of the points and the flathead fired up! I was astonished at how Smooth and quiet it was! The left side outer track belt was torn when I got it so i tacked Welded some chaIn along the backing plates/wheel guides to stop any further tearing. I drove it around the yard/driveway a couple of times and took the kids for a short ride.

I had hoped of taking it up to the hunting camp this past fall for one of the annual events such as the duck hunt weekend or the moose hunt so i started to work on it. The steering differentiatal oil looked great but I changed the transmission oil as it had some water in it. I even installed some led lights. But in the end the damaged track would “wrap” the drive sprocket when under load as I found out when trying to tow a couple logs in my yard, So I Decided to redo the tracks.
 

77_crew

Member
Thanks bobcatbob you have done some sweet restorations On your machines!

thanks snowy! You have taken on quite the project yourself and it’s going to be sweet too!
 

77_crew

Member
The old flat head runs pretty good, but the odd time it seemed that I had to mess around with the points again to get spark back. I have a buddy a Napa that can get the tune up parts I need but there seems to be several different distributors that could be in the industrial Chrysler, and of coarse my I’d tag is gone so it will be A bit of trial and error. The distributor shaft seems to have a lot of play so my ultimate plan is to pull the distributor and replace the bushings. I’m probably going stick with the points but I am considering the petronics kit.
 

Bobcatbob

Active member
GOLD Site Supporter
If you can get a Petronix kit for your distributor, I’d highly recommend it. It’s a hall sensor....nothing to wear out, simplifies ignition circuit.
 

77_crew

Member
If you can get a Petronix kit for your distributor, I’d highly recommend it. It’s a hall sensor....nothing to wear out, simplifies ignition circuit.
Ok great to know! I have read that people have used the petronix #1564 kit, but I guess I will have to look into that more once I have a better idea on what distributor I actually have. But I’m getting a little ahead of myself. First thing first is track and suspension.
 

77_crew

Member
Now I can see some of the tasks/work ahead of me. My plan was to clean things up, get the tensioner freed up, clean or replace any bearing that needed it. Replace seals and grease everything. But with the amount of wear everywhere I’m in for a lot more work. The spring in the can is worn through in a couple spots. Most of the link bars have worn out bushings and holes in mounting ears, and all the hardware is toast. The worst of it is the shaft where the walking beam pivots on is badly worn where the inside bearing sits, and the walking beam itself has a twist in it.
 

77_crew

Member
For the spring in can I have piece of spouting left over from a job that should work perfect.

The twisted walking beam I’ll cut and straighten and weld back together, or build a new one all together out of some 3x3 tubing as the original is two pieces of c channel welded together.

I’m I think them at the worn bearing seat on the rear pivot shaft is probably the cause of the spring can and link bars wear. It almost appears that the shaft is not attached and is passing through a tube under the engine to the other side.

Has anyone ever successfully removed this shaft?
 

J5 Bombardier

Active member
Haven't had much luck in removing the shaft from the tube, sometimes zip cutting through the hull into the tube frees it, but usually end up cutting the tube / shaft out of the hull. I had success once on an early muskeg hull, previous owner must have greased lots, the 2 shafts slide right out.
J5 Bombardier
 

77_crew

Member
Ok thanks J5 B. So it is actually two shafts not one shaft that goes all the way through? If so, how did the factory hold the shafts in there? A plug weld along the tube somewhere? Or a cross bolt somewhere under the engine? I was originally going to do one side at at time, but when I saw the worn shaft I figured I’d take the other side apart and remove the waking beam to attempt at sliding the shaft(s) out.
thanks in advance
 
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