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Caterpillar (Craftsman GT18) sleeve hitch repair/upgrade


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#1 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted January 12, 2012 - 07:03 PM

As some of you know, or have heard, or talked to me, or anyone else that talks to me... ok I will get moving on this topic lol. I have a factory MTD style sleeve hitch (Sears sells them for their tractors with special brackets) on the back of my GT18/GT6000 slantback tractor. I made an upgrade that several other guys have done... I added a winch to raise/lower it. However, I went a bit farther and mounted the winch to a channel that raised to about the middle of the back of the seat and bolts to backside of the sleeve hitch mount with two 3/8" bolts, one low, one high. Well, I took a shortcut and just bolted it on there for the Cochranton Plow Day wondering if the sleeve hitch plate would be ok, or if it would try to bend. Well, it was trying it's hardest to bend when raising and lowering the plow. So that means I didn't get away with it like I thought I could and would have to reinforce it. The question of how was finally solved today. I know this is long but hang with me cause I didn't take pics lol. I had this thought around 10 am this morning, the slantback is behind the sleeve hitch bracket, and I have a bolt dead center top on the hitch for the channel, how do I hook them together, harder to bend TWO plates, especially when one is slanted. So I rummaged through my stockpile of parts and found a 3/8" chain grab style hook (the pin on style), and a 6 inch long 3/8" eyebolt. So I pinned the hook to the eye on the eyebolt, unbolted the top bolt in the channel, and then hooked the hook to the slantback and fished the eyebolt through the channel and hitch plate. Tightened it all up to preload the hitch. All said and done I jumped up and down on the sleeve hitch and no deflection I can see, true test is a plow though. Anyway, this setup will work with any slantback Craftsman with the MTD style sleeve hitch assembly. Will try to take pics tomorrow.


On a side note, I started building the Caterpillar's monstrous front winch bumper, just has to be welded together and painted, those pics will be in another thread though.

Edited by wvbuzzmaster, January 17, 2012 - 03:36 AM.


#2 IamSherwood OFFLINE  

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Posted January 12, 2012 - 07:48 PM

Sounds good.
Lookin forward to the pics.

#3 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted January 12, 2012 - 08:49 PM

Yes, Casey. Sounds like you solved your problem.

As for the bumper, please do take & post pics. I don't know if I could read all that... :poke:

#4 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted January 12, 2012 - 09:38 PM

That bumper may or may not come together tomorrow, depending on how tough it is to stick weld the thinner material. No access to a wire feed welder until tomorrow at best, and right now the weather is ice... so probably going to come down to a practice welding session on scrap... I just looked at the Caterpillar a few minutes ago and all I could think was... mounting it will be a lot of drilling... only 2 holes have to be in the right spot, the rest are all up to me... and I want a half a dozen 3/8" bolts holding that bumper on...

#5 daytime dave OFFLINE  

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Posted January 12, 2012 - 09:56 PM

Sounds pretty good so far Casey. Looking forward to the pics.

#6 tractorgarden ONLINE  

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Posted January 12, 2012 - 10:15 PM

:camera:Does it run again Casey? Glad you are getting it figured out.

#7 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted January 12, 2012 - 11:50 PM

Runs at most throttle yes, idle down... no, but that's probably just a clogged jet, I will clean it out later. Meanwhile I might as well do some other stuff to it, I got way behind on it... probably work on the tires next after the bumper and winch wiring is completed. Then after tires will be lighting, and then Tractor of the Month, when is the Before/After month/nominations for it??

#8 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted January 13, 2012 - 05:43 AM

April is Before/After, voting in March. So you better get a move on. Pics will help understand the original post. Look forward for the bumper.

#9 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted January 13, 2012 - 05:05 PM

Ya, I know pics would help but I didn't have much time to even implement my idea before dinner, it was a rush job lol. The bumper is on partial hold right now due to the sudden change in weather, it didn't warm up to anything above 20 degrees today... and the shop with the welder in it has no heat, so everything is cold. Might wire the winches after the tires, then at least it looks like I'm getting something done lol.

#10 cookiemonster OFFLINE  

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Posted January 13, 2012 - 09:27 PM

Yeah, I'm as geeked as anyone about fabbing something up as anyone, but that block of stuff made my head spin ittle bit.
Exactly how deep in West (by God) Virginia are you? If it was Wheeling or something, you could load it up some weekend morning, come here and put the gas welder to it and be back by lunchtime. Though you say you have a wire feed welder. If it's gas, put .023 wire & tip in it and start it on low #2 heat - medium feed. Keep it moving as you don't want to stop at all. If your going to do anything longer than an inch, stop and knock the heat down to low#1. Or better yet, Only do an inch at a time here or there, and then come back around until all the gaps are filled. That will help prevent warping as well.

Without gas, I haven't done any thin stuff with flux core wire, but I don't imagine it would be all that different. Just a little slag & splatter.

#11 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted January 13, 2012 - 11:09 PM

Dean,
I am about 3 hours from Pittsburgh. Also, I don't have wire feed welder, only stick, so that is what I'm gonna use. We will see here when the weather warms up a little. Going to practice on scrap of the same materials before trying the real stuff.

#12 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted January 16, 2012 - 10:12 PM

cs1.jpg

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#13 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted January 17, 2012 - 04:29 AM

Okay, now I see the hook. That should help support it. Got anything started on the bumper?

#14 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted January 17, 2012 - 04:38 AM

I got the bumper cut out out same day I made the hook mod but got it welded together over the weekend. Have to clean it up and prime it this week, set up to drill a bunch of holes in it, then paint it the final color and mount it to the tractor. Then I have to mount the winch and an ammo box (chain and shackle storage) before I call it done... oh and build the front d-ring (oil field truck style) which will make it stand out from anything else. Mock up dimension has estimated that the Caterpillar will measure out to be around 7 foot 6 inches overall from the front of the bumper to the back of the sleeve hitch, or a full load in a pickup bed lol. I sure hope I get that done because I am anxious to mount more accessories to it. Goal is finish building up the Caterpillar as I want by the end of the month, and begin testing... but this will be minus a front blade, not that ambitious this month LOL.

#15 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted January 17, 2012 - 04:53 AM

Sounds good. Take lots of pics, I am thinking of putting a bumper of some sort on the GTV/16. Hope to build a 3-point for it also and get it painted this spring. Poor old thing, looks neglected as all get out.




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