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Thread: Bringing a Northwest 28D Crawler Dragline back to life

  1. #1
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    Bringing a Northwest 28D Crawler Dragline back to life

    About a year ago I purchased a Cat 120G grader for resale, and part of the deal was that I take "an old dragline" the yard manager told me. The old dragline turned out to be a 1980 Northwest 28D, which had not run in about 15 or 20 years. Animals had moved in on it and chewed up most of the air lines, and packed tons of sticks and debris into the motor and radiator. I had already bought the grader, so I figured I should check out what else I had just "purchased"

    As I walked up to the machine, it was a bit of a sight for sore eyes. But I figured the price was right so I looked a little closer. As I crawled around the machine a little more I noticed that under all the debris and dust and dirt, it was really in very good shape. Crawled around a little more and got to hour meter on the Cat 3304-T........1200 hours. I checked three times to make sure I wasn't misreading it, and thats what it was, 1200 hrs. Turns out it was only used to clean a couple thousand feet of waterways a few times a year. I decided that the machine was too good to scrap, or part out so I decided to come back and see if we could get it back into its former glory.

    A few weeks later I loaded up the truck with everything I could think of and headed back to the site (about 5 hrs away). Spent most of the 1st day cleaning the crane out, sticks, leaves, debris, dead mice, you name it, it was in there. I checked the oil and saw it was right up to the full mark. The radiator had multiple holes in it from sticks being poked into it, so running it long, IF it would ever start was not an option. Threw 2 new 8D batteries in it, hooked a 5 gallon can of diesel to the pump, replaced the fuel filter and primed the system up.

    An hour later I determined that the injection pump was probably contaminated with water,leading to rust. Took the side of the pump off and confirmed that the pump was indeed rusted up, not allowing the plungers to move. A quick drive into Memphis to Thompson Machinery (local Cat dealer) and I returned with the socket needed to pull the plungers out. (This dealer was great, and the pump shop loaned me the socket, and said to just mail it back when I was done!) Got back, took the pump apart and found that it was gonna need to new plunger assemblies. Back to Cat, who had them in stock, and they went in no problem. Primed the system again and hoped for the best. Bumped the motor, and wouldnt you know it, it fired up like it had run yesterday!

    Oil pressure came right up, it built air quickly and sounded great. A few hours later I had the 4 air lines specific to the propulsion system replaced and figured it was time to see if it would move. The motor fired right back up, built up the air pressure and pushed the propel air control lever forward. I looked out the window and watched the clutches engage, and it lurched forward.....pulled it the other way and it rolled back. Amazing, after 15 years of sitting, this old dragline came back to life. The dragline is now for sale and waiting to be put back into service.....
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  2. #2
    Senior Member DigDug's Avatar
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    Like to hear these kinds of stories. Good luck with it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Countryboy's Avatar
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    Welcome to Heavy Equipment Forums texascadillac42!

  4. #4
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    Great find. Not like I need another dragline, but I have to ask... How much? I would give you double what you paid for it . I have never herd of a 28D Northwest before (must be a late model) what size is it - bucket, lift capacity, etc?

  5. #5
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    I dont have any specs on it other than its physical size. It weighs about 65,000 with the boom on it (55ft), and is 11'6" wide track to track. It had a 3/4 Hendrix bucket with it. I have spoken with both Dicks Crane Service in IL and Gerhart Machinery in PA, and they told me that it was a very late model machine, with few in production. Im asking $14,000 for it and I *think* I have it sold.

  6. #6
    Senior Member stretch's Avatar
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    Never heard of a 28D either...great to hear it'll be saved and brought back to life

  7. #7
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    Northwest 28-D

    The Northwest 28D was basicly the same machine as the 25D except , the 28D was a air controlled machine.

  8. #8
    Senior Member alan627b's Avatar
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    I always like to hear about rescue stories! Only thing that would have made it better, is if it had a tree growing through it! Any more pics?
    Thanks
    Alan627b

  9. #9
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    Sure. Here you go. I wish I had more pics for you.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Buckethead's Avatar
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    If you like Northwests go to Gerhart Equipment in Lititz PA. About 40 acres of old equipment mostly Northwest cranes. There is a truck show there every October.

  11. #11
    Member woodchuck2's Avatar
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    From the looks of it you certainly came out ahead on that deal. That machine still looks good for being neglected so long. A little paint "Dupont rebuild" and it would look new again. Good luck with the sale.

  12. #12
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    crane service

    when you are in need of a crane service for assistance, always make a background check so that you will be properly assisted at all times.

  13. #13
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    your car broke down and you don't know what to do, make a quick call and ask for assistance.
    ________________________________
    car towing

  14. #14
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    there are many hassles that one can encounter while traveling and examples would be getting a flat tire or your car overheats.
    __________________________________
    towing service florida

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