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Sears Suburban - Dozer blade mods - high lift, tire clearance

worn pivots

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#1 MountainMichael OFFLINE  

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Posted December 10, 2014 - 05:31 PM

I confined my search to the GTT Sears forum.  Lotsa' hits on dozer blades but I didn't see these modifications listed.  No rocket surgery, obviously... mainly I wondered if trying this would cause some unforseen jam up.  It didn't - instead, there was a very easy way to establish a new lever stop.


I don't know if there are design differences between 42 and 46, but for reference, all pics below are of a 46" assembly. 


Problem statements:


     Doesn't lift high enough:


I need to use my tractor and dozer blade in some rough terrain.  However, the dozer blade doesn't seem like it lifts high enough to get through some of that terrain; and I'm not just talking about deer trailing but I do hope to work on some of my trails with the tractor and dozer blade.


Further aggravating the problem, my dozer assembly has some moderate wear in the various pivots and rods.  I didn't feel like welding and refurbishing every rod and pivot hole although I did arrest wear and greatly reduce lift effort semi-permanently (another story)... and I wanted a double solution.  One to improve the design for more lift and at the same time, cancel the lift losses from the wear.


You can see where I'm going... what I wondered was:  If I remove the OEM lever stop and make a 2nd UP notch, will it then be possible for the lever to badly over run the latch sector's arc and cause some foul up or jamming?  Instead, another improvised lever stop presents very easily along the way so that over-run remains blissfully impossible.


     Left tire interference:


When turning right on steep sidehills, I found that front axle tilt can cause the left front tire's inner sidewall to hit a pointed protrusion on the dozer arm - so that I simply cut off.  The piece removed is nowhere near structural so I was glad for that. 




This is not difficult so I'll keep text to a minimum with any luck.  The main questions were:  1.)  Will it work reasonably well?  I wasn't expecting perfection with something like this.  2.)  Will it add a decent amount of lift? 


It does both to my satisfaction.




The first pic below is just to show the simple cut-off (with a ruler for scale) for side hill tire clearance.  It also shows a tease pic of the dozer arm in some unknown second UP position...   :D


Cut off for tire side hill tire clearance.jpg


Next is the new height notch.  It looks like I must've cut it without my glasses while 3 sheets to the wind.  However, there are access excuses and I took it a slice at a time to get as much added lift as I could.  End excuses.   :deadhorse:


New height notch - UGLY.jpg


Here is a measurement to show how wide the remaining "dog" is for reference:


Remaining dog after cutting.jpg


How much did it gain?  The tractor is on wheel ramps right now so I can't give an actual total height.  Instead, I took 2 measured pics as follows:  One with the dozer in the OEM up notch and one with the new cut-out UP notch.  Looks like it added 2-1/4" of dozer blade ground clearance:


First up:  OEM up position:


Relative blade height in OEM UP position.jpg  


Modified second UP position:


Relative blade height in NEW UP position.jpg


What about losing the original lever stop?  Can the latching overrun and jam things all to heck?  Actually, there was some interference that I capitalized on by using a 4" body grinder and wheel to make a new stop as follows.  It had to be cut very deep for clearance and to stop the interference from wedging the lever to the left.  It now stops the lever rock solid every time without pushing the lever sideways:


New UP stop.jpg


Below is a closeup of the UP stop when engaged.  It actually goes a lot deeper than this pic would have you believe; almost 3/8" deep:


Closeup of UP stop when engaged.jpg


Below is an overview of the tractor with the dozer set in the new high lift 2nd UP position.  There is enough leg clearance between the lever and the tower to get by but I plan to only use the high lift notch when needed.  For riding around on easy turf, I'll be using the OEM up notch.


Furthermore, it appears possible to me that the dozer assembly may be more prone to flex from bumps when in the new high lift position.  So that's another reason I plan to use it only when needed.  


Overview with dozer in new UP stop position.jpg


Height adjustment cam:


The wear and droop meant that my dozer blade's OEM height adjustment cam (basically a DOWN stop) was unable to set the blade above ground level.  I have a gravel driveway so for plowing snow, I wanted to be able to adjust it above ground level.  That's why you see a piece of strap steel (painted blue metallic) replacing the OEM cam.  The strap is long enough that it compensates for all the droop and pivot wear.  That strap has a slot hidden under the washer so it is adjustable.  At its current adjustment, it "flies" the blade about an inch above ground and the skids are set about 1/2" above ground. 


Ok, so that's it.  I expect cutting on an antique dozer assembly may not be the most popular thing in the world, but necessity and all that...



Edited by MountainMichael, December 11, 2014 - 12:17 AM.

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#2 MountainMichael OFFLINE  

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Posted December 12, 2014 - 07:05 PM



I drove the tractor for an hour today testing the new hydro fluid and filter. 


Regarding the new high lift blade modification:  Almost all the time today, I had the blade in the new 2nd high lift UP position.  Contact with my leg was rare but on a big angular bump I belted my shin on it pretty good once.  Ouch!  :wallbanging:   Some Bactine and I think the ding will buff out.  :D


Seriously, I think I'll see if I can put a pad on that odd area of the dozer lever because the blade really rides nice in the very UP position; better than I had expected.








Dozer blade lubricants used:


My neighbor first told me I need an electric lift or hydraulics for the dozer blade.  I was at a loss as to what he was talking about so I suggested he try the lift arm and see if he really thinks that is necessary.  He first insisted he has used these before and he already knows how they work, but he finally relented and went ahead and tried it. 


He was shocked at how easily it lifts.  He insists they usually aren't like this.  He first thought I'd installed roller bearings or something and got down on hands and knees scrutinizing the blade asy pivots not believing me. 


Instead, this is what is up, probably:  Joe's Outdoor Power shipped the dozer asy to me in pieces saving a bunch of money on freight (much appreciated!). 


So since it was already apart, I used gun cleaning brushes :shoot2: (chucked in a drill) and wire brushes and such to clean up rust from bushings, bores, axles, washers, new bolts.  I replaced all the bolts with new grade 8.  Throw everything (well, only the bolts were treated that act as wear surfaces) in a strainer and quick brake cleaner rinse of parts & compressed air to blow them dry.  Paint everything 2 coats (15 mins dry time between coats) with Sanderson mil-spec moly-disulfide aerosol paint.  I've not seen this stuff at stores; I buy it on the web. 


The parts dried for several days before I got back to it.  Just before assembly, I sprayed over all the moly disulfide with aerosol Teflon spray - the sort from auto parts stores that dries completely - and left it dry overnight. 


The dozer blade lifts and adjusts super easily with no binding at all and very quietly.  Maybe they all do; I wouldn't know.  My neighbor claims he uses a relative's Suburban with a dozer blade sometimes and it isn't like this at all.  He stopped arguing about my tractor needing an electric or hydraulic lift.  :rocker2:


I chose dry lubricants in hopes of not attracting as much dirt (abrasive) as oil or grease would - and also for the super low friction coefficients.  Unknown if these coatings have any rust resistance or not.  I'll let ya' know in a year or so.   :thumbs:  


Advisory:  If you decide to try the moly paint:  One of the Sanderson moly paint products contains LEAD so please use a respirator (and keep away from children) when applying if you get that variant.  Most of their products these days are lead free, but it would be smart to read the label to make sure.


Future maintenance will probably be to blow out all the wear surfaces once or twice a year with compressed air and work in some dry graphite powder - or maybe work in some of the drying teflon aerosol, I don't know.    

Edited by MountainMichael, December 13, 2014 - 10:14 PM.

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