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Cat 977H, 53A, D333 Rescue...

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1 month 3 weeks ago #257122 by bulletpruf

Here's a little food for thought.
If you attempt to repair the finals the steering clutches have to come out.
If the bearings bores in the tub are bad you will have to have someone weld and machine them.
you will have to hire someone to press the sprocket and dead axle.
How about you check the transmission filters?
The tracks are on their last leg.
Maybe you should rename your video "how not to buy an old tractor".
Good luck
Bob


Bob - It might not make sense to you, but my perspective is different than most (all?) folks here.  
First, I don't need a working machine.  I want one, but I don't need one. 
Second, since I don't need a working machine, I don't have a timeline to be concerned with.  If this takes 6 months or 16 months, so be it.  
Third, my YouTube channel generates income, and the 977 videos have been by far my best as far as generating $.
Fourth, the more things that go wrong, the more I'll have to fix, but more fixes = more content, and more content = more income.  If this machine was in perfect condition, that wouldn't have generated much content.  
Fifth, some guys enjoy sitting on the couch and watching football/baseball/basketball on the weekends.  I'd rather be working on stuff.  This machine will certainly provide a lot of opportunities to turn a wrench.
Sixth, I may lose $ on this machine in the long run, but I'm ok with that. 

I do realize that the undercarriage is in bad shape; getting prices on that now.  I'll check the transmission filters; thanks for the heads-up.  Appreciate the info on the steering clutches.  Someone local to me has generously offered to let me use his factory Caterpillar 50 ton press/puller to remove the sprocket and press back on.

Thanks,

Scott  

Check Out My YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/@THEBULLETPROOFGARAGE/videos
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1 week 1 day ago - 1 week 1 day ago #258052 by bulletpruf
Time for a long overdue update. 

Several weeks ago, I ended up renting a 20’ x 50’ shop about 15 minutes from home. Added a few mini-splits, so now it has AC. Working in an air-conditioned shop on concrete has been a real game-changer. Sure helps that the machine is 15 minutes away, too, instead of 1.5 hours away.

Moving the 977 to the shop set me back $800 (different driver this time) and it was uneventful. Didn’t even have to crawl up the back of the trailer like I did last time, either. 

 

  

Please don't make fun of my itty bitty toolbox.  Just a spare that I'm using for some basic tools until I move a few of my big boxes over. 


Check Out My YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/@THEBULLETPROOFGARAGE/videos
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1 week 1 day ago #258053 by bulletpruf
I've been spending most of my time moving the majority of my tools to the shop and getting it outfitted and organized. At the same time, I'm reconfiguring the home garage so the Long Haired General can park her new car in there (we've been married 13 years; first time she'll be parking in the garage). Work has been busy as hell, too; good for the bank account but not great for wrenching time. And we're headed to Jackson Hole on Sunday to escape the San Antonio heat for a week. I hope that's enough excuses for not getting a lot done on the 977 lately!

 

AC is working well in the shop; I keep it set a 78 and the two 24k units are able to keep the temp at or near 78 and that's fine by me. 



I have managed to get some work done, however. Pulled the batteries and confirmed my fear that the box was rotted out under the 2x4's that the batteries were sitting on. No big deal, but something else to add to the list. 



The batteries are junk, too; won't hold a charge. They're group 31's, so something you'd see in an RV, commercial truck, etc, but not enormous, by any stretch. Certainly not nearly as large as a 4D, which I think would have been original equipment. I'm inclined to get another pair of Group 31's unless y'all think that's a bad idea.
 

Check Out My YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/@THEBULLETPROOFGARAGE/videos
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1 week 1 day ago #258054 by bulletpruf
Got under the machine a few weeks ago to remove the three belly pans; not a required task at this point, but just trying to do a more detailed inspection before I start spending $$$ on parts.

Anyway, it has three belly pans. The rear pan stunk to high heaven! Might have been a dead possum in there somewhere. Kept track of the material that came out of the middle pan, I think, and it ended up being about 250 lbs. Haven't gotten to the front pan yet.

 

 

 

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1 week 1 day ago #258055 by bulletpruf
Glad I pulled the belly pans, because when I got under the machine to look around a bit, I noticed that the crossmember wasn't bolted to the roller frame on the right side like it's supposed to be; it was welded. Shite. And that's the side that needs to come apart to replace the final drive. So I guess I'm going to need to do some grinding on those welds to get it apart, and then see what's under the plate that was welded to the roller frame. I'm guessing there are some snapped off bolts, and whoever put this back together figured it was easier to weld it back together than it was to remove the snapped off bolts. Just. Freaking. Awesome.

Here's the left side - bolted like it's supposed to be.

 

And the right side.  Yes, the crossmember is cracked where it's welded to the roller frame.

 

Up next - got to get the front belly pan off and do some more inspecting underneath, drain the left final drive to make sure there are no big chunks in it, check the transmission filter to make sure the trans doesn't appear to be self-destructing, and then either rent or buy a forklift and get started on removing the right final drive.

Check Out My YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/@THEBULLETPROOFGARAGE/videos
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1 week 1 day ago #258061 by seiscat
Hi Scott,
Good to see you're making progress on the 977. I'm glad you are able to have such a nice shop to work in. I'm a bit jealous as I never had it so good! Most of my wrenching on my Cats was done in the "Shade Tree Shop"!
The batteries: 4Ds are the best choice, that being said, you can certainly get by with the 31s especially with the local climate.
The right roller frame can be removed with the crossmember attached. I suggest you (carefully!) remove the left side bolts and remove the right side roller frame and get in the open where it is easier to deal with. 
Craig
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1 week 1 day ago #258062 by bulletpruf

Hi Scott,
Good to see you're making progress on the 977. I'm glad you are able to have such a nice shop to work in. I'm a bit jealous as I never had it so good! Most of my wrenching on my Cats was done in the "Shade Tree Shop"!
The batteries: 4Ds are the best choice, that being said, you can certainly get by with the 31s especially with the local climate.
The right roller frame can be removed with the crossmember attached. I suggest you (carefully!) remove the left side bolts and remove the right side roller frame and get in the open where it is easier to deal with. 
Craig

Hi Craig - 
The shop is definitely a game changer!  
Understood on the batteries.
I hadn't thought about removing the roller frame with the crossmember attached.  I guess my main concern would be snapping off the bolts on the left side of the crossmember when removing it.
Thanks for the input!
Scott

Check Out My YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/@THEBULLETPROOFGARAGE/videos

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1 week 1 day ago #258063 by seiscat
I would use a oxygen/acetylene torch with a rose bud tip to thoroughly heat the bolts(very red) then allow them to cool completely. You might have to do this several times. This will free the bolts.
Craig
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1 week 1 day ago #258065 by 8C 361
How hot has it been there in Texas?
It has been 111 here in Central California for weeks. Supposed to cool down to 102-104 soon. Needless to say nothing getting done here.
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1 week 1 day ago #258067 by juiceman
Thanks for the update and photos. Sorry Craig, I agree to disagree on the 4D batteries. They might be "proper" for the application, but 31s are easier to source and lug around! Seems like the only "large" batteries 8D/4D that last, are the CAT labeled ones that stay in the rentals I have here. BTW, your 164 magazines went your way yesterday. ..
I hope like heck utilities were included in your rental agreement! No insulation on that wall; maybe I am envious, no AC here, just 2 18x14 doors and shade.
Enjoy your time off, keep us posted on your project. JM
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