LMC 1500 Track Repair (in the field).

Inquisitive

New member
My question is regarding 'should' such a breakdown occur. Recently I had to take the track apart, to replace the front tire / wheel. I did such 'in the snow', a fair distance from 'all the right tools'. I got the job done. However, during the time I was 'disassembling' and 'reassembling', and I had a lot of time 'think' / consider... One thought came to me: What if the track actually tore in two? How would I repair such? I presume I would need some rubber belt material, etc... Hence, my original question. Let me know what you can.
 

Cidertom

Chionophile
GOLD Site Supporter
I carry three pieces of track material which are large enough to span 2 grousers on each side of a potential tear. I also have the knowledge that my bolts can be removed in the field with what I carry. use the grouser bolts to add the band aids (no TM infringement intended) across the tear and get home. This won't work with many cats as bolt removal is not trivial. I've seen few good condition belts tear, that's probably the key, if you think it can tear, you might think about replacement. Mine is in new condition, but I also believe in murphy.
 

Inquisitive

New member
I expect to be back at the machine in a week. I will look more closely at the track/s, etc... Because I have already had an 'in the field' break down that (for various reasons) took two days of 'laying in the snow' to fix, etc... I decided I would like to be better prepared, should a more significant track failure occur. Hence why I seek advice!
 

Inquisitive

New member
Two weeks ago, I spent two days resolving a 'flat' (destroyed) front (pneumatic) tire / wheel. Two weeks later, the opposite side front (pneumatic) tire / wheel suffered (ultimately) the same fate. The second time; I knew what I was 'in for' and had the appropriate tools, etc... and only took a few hours to resolve. The first failure was presumed to be caused by two loose of track tension, allowing snow / ice to build up around the circumference of the sprocket, increasing the diameter of the sprocket, to the point the track was a 1/4" below the underside of the machine. We suspect the tension on the track was so great, it 'popped' the front (pneumatic) tire. The second failure we suspect was caused by the (other front) tire having to low of air pressure, and for whatever reason, the tire failed, with a large piece of the tire coming off. The tire / wheel is: 5.3 x 12 (tubeless). I now have little / no concern about an 'in the field' track failure. The 'weak link/s' appear to be the pneumatic tires. Our machine has three tires per side. Only the 'front' / leading tire is filled with air. The other tires are all 'foam filled'. Are there specific reasons for such? Any helpful advice / knowledge would be appreciated!
 

sheep_mtn

Active member
SUPER Site Supporter
I can’t wrap my head around that situation with the sprockets filling up with snow and the track almost rubbing under the cab. (??) For that to happen the tracks must have been so loose that they were falling off. You really need to take some photos of your tracks so we can see what is going on.
 

Inquisitive

New member
2022-01-07 Sprocket - 1.jpg2022-01-07 Sprocket - 2.jpg2022-01-07 Sprocket - 3.jpg2022-01-07 Sprocket - 4.jpg2022-01-07 Sprocket - 5.jpg
 

Inquisitive

New member
We have had the LMC 1500 for five or six years. It does not get 'used' (utilized) every year. Some years there is insufficient snow to use the snow cat. The snow cat is 'started' every year, etc... and efforts are made to help insure the engine will 'start', etc... However, the tracks, etc... (I do not believe) have been checked, etc... Until now! Now we also need two new wheels / tires (the inexpensive part/s...). The picture 'best' showing the sprocket, was taken after a 'digging bar' had knocked out most of the ice / snow that had 'built up'. Effectively an 'ice sprocket' / wheel had 'somehow' been created with the wet snow / freezing conditions (Cascade Mountains snow). Any helpful advice you have, would be appreciated.
 

Inquisitive

New member
The track adjustment bolts were about a 1/2" difference, measured from the 'block' the adjustment nut threads through, to the back of the adjustment nut. Ultimately I tightened up the Passenger track side that had the failure (popped tire) 1-1/8" and the Driver side 7/8" (in an effort to be proactive...).
 

sheep_mtn

Active member
SUPER Site Supporter
That is a bizarre problem for sure. I think your tracks are simply way, way too loose. When you adjust the track tensioners, I assume you are first loosening the four 15/16 bolts securing the front axle? Then adjust the tensioners to proper setting, then re-tighten the front axle. When your tracks are properly tensioned, if you push down in the middle of the track firmly (on the outer belt - see green arrow below), the track should still have several inches of clearance under the cab. If the inside of the track hits or comes close to the underside of the cab, they are too loose. If your drive sprocket skips on the track regularly, they are also too loose. An occasional skip is OK, but repeated skips are not.

If you see ice build up again like your photos show - do not drive it until you can carefully knock the ice out or it has a chance to melt. As you've found out, it will cause something(s) to bend or break! Do you have a pic or video showing an entire track?

1643240210247.png
 

Inquisitive

New member
Presently I have no video of the track/s, etc... Have some more pictures. The tracks are 25" in total width (rather narrow).2022-01-07 Sprocket - 6.jpg2022-01-07 Sprocket - 7.jpg2022-01-07 Sprocket - 8.jpg2022-01-07 Sprocket - 9.jpg
 

Inquisitive

New member
Yes, I "loosened" the four 15/16" (head) bolts that 'secure' the axle from moving. Thereafter, I 'adjusted' the tension of the track/s. I own a mini excavator and a compact track loader. I have worked with / around heavy equipment for over forty years. I simply have little experience regarding a snow cat. From my perspective, a snow cat is rather 'fragile'... My first 'Post' was regarding repairing a track failure. I have since found, the track/s themselves are quite resilient! However, the pneumatic tires, and their wheels seemingly leave a great deal of room for improvement...
 

PJL

Well-known member
What part of the Cascades are you in? I'm in western Washington and I have not seen ice chunk snow like that.
Gives new meaning to the term Cascade Concrete.
 

Inquisitive

New member
East side of the Cascades. The 'snow in question' was a culmination of 24" (+/-) base snow, with 36" (+/-) of the snow from the storm that closed 'The Passes' 2022-01-06... We had (roughly) 36" of snow, over a 36 hour period. Atop the 'base snow', was about 24" of 'powder', atop the powder was about 12" of 'wet snow'! All I can say, is 'what it did'. I do not know how? However, I have suspicions as to why...? Loose track! Does anyone have a recommendation for replacement tires (the more resilient the better!)?
 

Inquisitive

New member
Is there any reason the front (leading) Bogie Wheels (tires) should (or should not) be pneumatic? Four of the six bogie wheels (tires) are foam filled, and the front two are air filled. Three times we have had issues (problems), very possibly initially caused by 'low tire pressure'. Any helpful advice regarding such would be appreciated!
 

sheep_mtn

Active member
SUPER Site Supporter
I think if anything you want your idler tires foam-filled as a priority over the bogies. The bogies won't affect track tension, but the front idlers will. You need a consistent and reliable opposing pressure from the front tires to the track, so that when you set your track tensioners it holds that tension (for a while). Some older model Thiokols actually used the pneumatic front idlers to partly set the track tension (higher tire pressure = tighter tracks), and though you could probably do that, it is not necessarily how the track tension on the 1500 is designed to work.
 
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jo5

Member
I think if anything you want your idler tires foam-filled as a priority over the bogies. The bogies won't affect track tension, but the front idlers will. You need a consistent and reliable opposing pressure from the front tires to the track, so that when you set your track tensioners it holds that tension (for a while). Some older model Thiokols actually used the pneumatic front idlers to partly set the track tension (more tire pressure = tighter tracks), and though you could probably do that, it is not necessarily how the track tension on the 1500 is designed to work.
With problems you seem to be having
i good tire shot will be able to replace them they are a regular trainer tire them get them foamed
 

sheep_mtn

Active member
SUPER Site Supporter
And a tip that @mkntrakes has offered before, measure your track length from the front curve apex to the back curve apex as you are adjusting your tensioners. Make sure they match.
 
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