Dig the video. Need to burn that to a cd so I can rock it in my dodge caravan.
One side of the rear bearings is assembled and rolls like a dream compared to the original. The other side is half assembled waiting for the pulleys to get refinished.
Let me give you a rundown of how this thing works, draw a mental picture. In this confined space with hardly any access to it, the main belt off the engine turns two keyed shafts in opposing directions, each of those shafts has 2 pulleys that line up with those 12" ones in the back. So each track has a belt for forward and another for reverse. The 2 levers that you steer with have idler pulleys on them and they are positioned so that pushing them engages the forward belts and pulling engages reverse. I am amazed at how simple it is, yet I get a big smirk on my face thinking about how many times the original designer (C.F. Struck?) must have redesigned this and trial-and-errored his way to a functioning machine. He's got the idlers right up next to the smaller front pulleys and the leverage/range of motion is good enough that you can slip the belts with some finesse (and not just have "stop" and "go") and the overall gear reduction built into it without a bunch of extra moving parts is really impressive. The weight distribution with the driver at the rear and the engine and blade at the front is as good as it can ever get. There's a lever to disengage the engine belt so you can pull start the engine easily and it doubles as a safety kill if something sticks. I bet this was done by one really smart tinkerer in his garage, and when he got it perfected, I bet he rode it around the yard like a cowboy on a bull and hollered "GAWDAMN this thing is awesome, I should build a bunch and sell them!" It just flat works. Does it work as good as a newer machine with hydrostat drive and more power, etc? Nope. Is it gonna ride worth a damn with a steel seat and no suspension? Nope. Is it gonna make me giggle like a little girl every time I mess around on it? Yep.
SO I started taking the keyed shafts out tonight. Glad I got one that was stored in the shed. The shafts have to be removed from the dozer to slip new belts on them and the outer bearings have to slide inward after removing the set screws, etc. For as old as it is, it's not giving me TOO many fits coming apart. Those outer bearings roll really good yet, nice and tight. And they say "MADE IN 'MERICA!!!" right on the side. So I'm not replacing them. They'll probably outroll the chinese crap i'd have to use to replace them. The idler pulleys still run smooth so they'll stay on as well. I'm gonna have dad sandblast and flat black the front pulleys while they are off and give the keyed shafts a good light sanding and some oil so that all these keyed/setscrewed pulleys will be able to be fine tuned when reassembled with new belts. The previous owner had them all out of whack trying to compensate for the rear bearing deal so I have the
, no, dare I say, the HONOR(!), of getting all this crap back in perfect alignment in the next couple weeks (in 115 degree heat index) so I can proudly display it at the antique tractor show that's in town along with the car show and fair and all that mess. Garden tractor pull is also happening, maybe talk to those guys a little, see if I can't hook it up and break something expensive.
That's all, for now....
Edited by boostedbuick, July 02, 2012 - 11:00 PM.