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Thread: Removing tracks

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    Removing tracks

    I need to replace the sprokets on my 550 John Deere dozer. Are there any special tools needed, and what is the best way to do this. I have never done this before so I know I need advice from someone who has done this before.

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    tracks

    Have never done it on a JD only high track cats with bolt on sprocket segments. All we ever used was a socket and ratchet with about an 8 foot cheater pipe but if you have to take the track apart I would have a couple of good come-alongs and have the rear end off the ground so u can spin the tracks back on the sprocket possible have a chain hoist or a skid steer to do the heavy lifting

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    Senior Member EZ TRBO's Avatar
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    Only machines I've done undercarriage on are our TD-15C's and CAT 312 excavator. For the 15's, took the blades off, got the entire machines blocked up, rotated each track so the master link was right in front of the sproket(that way all the track rolls forward), removed a few pads, then using a track jack(picked up from army surplus years ago) to hold it while you removed the pad holding the master link. then just let em roll to the front. The sprocket on the 15's is all one piece, bout 12 bolts and its off. After were done(usually are putting on an entire new under carriage) set the machine down on the rails and get a few links grabing on the sprocket and just drive forward. Get the tail on the front to flip up over the idler. Using the track jack, or come alongs pull the master links together. I have to look in my collection of photos to see if I have any with the tracks split. It also helps to loosen up your front idler to give your track as much slack as possible.

    Hope that helps some

    Trbo
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    Thanks for the information guys, I think I will be able to get this done. I wonder why all dozer sprokets don't have the bolt on segments instead of replacing the whole sproket?

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    Senior Member DPete's Avatar
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    Remember to loosen the tracks first

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    I will be sure and loosen the tracks, thanks for the reminder. I had another track guy come and measure my tracks today and he told me something that doesn't make sense to me. He said he would just replace the sprokets and keep running it without having the pins and bushings turned, he said and I asked him twice to be sure I had it straight that if I had the pins and bushings turned I would only be getting about another 100 hrs. of use out of the tracks with them turned. That has got me confused, granted if you knew me that don't take a whole lot. Heres my confusion about the situation, if it takes around 1500 hrs. to wear out one side of the pins and bushings why would the other side only last you such a short periond of time? If he is correct why would you bother ever having them turned? Looks like a lot trouble and money for just a 100 hr. of running time.

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    Senior Member DPete's Avatar
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    dry or lubed tracks?

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    Sprockets

    Quote Originally Posted by Bandit44 View Post
    Thanks for the information guys, I think I will be able to get this done. I wonder why all dozer sprokets don't have the bolt on segments instead of replacing the whole sproket?
    As I was told, the biggest reason, the sprockets are in segments, is so you can change them in the field, without breaking the track.
    I personally, dont break, or loosen (unless its real tight) the track when replacing the segments. If you slack it off, all the way, you stand a chance of the track falling in your way. I move the machine, where you can get to a segment, remove the bolts and replace them. Its better to have a big impact (3/4 drive) and a good air source. I like to replace the nuts and bolts (most of the time, the nuts get messed up) they dont cost that much. Get them from the dealer, so you get the correct size and hardness. Just keep moving the machine and replace them as they come up. After you finish, check the tension on the track.
    This is not a bad job, if you have the right tools. I have had to (in the field) to torch the nuts off and replace the new bolts, and tighten with a cheater bar.
    This is my second, same reply to this post, so if another one pops up, it was my internet problem.
    Good Luck

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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by Bandit44 View Post
    I will be sure and loosen the tracks, thanks for the reminder. I had another track guy come and measure my tracks today and he told me something that doesn't make sense to me. He said he would just replace the sprokets and keep running it without having the pins and bushings turned, he said and I asked him twice to be sure I had it straight that if I had the pins and bushings turned I would only be getting about another 100 hrs. of use out of the tracks with them turned. That has got me confused, granted if you knew me that don't take a whole lot. Heres my confusion about the situation, if it takes around 1500 hrs. to wear out one side of the pins and bushings why would the other side only last you such a short periond of time? If he is correct why would you bother ever having them turned? Looks like a lot trouble and money for just a 100 hr. of running time.
    Here's my theory. If your tracks are dry, the worn space between pin and bush are left as a space (open gap) after turning. This space soon contains abrasive material which acts like grinding paste on the remaining turned pin and bush. If you're lucky enough to work in topsoil all the time the opposite will apply.
    I had an oval track D7G LGP that used to work in sand and water most of the time, and I tried TURNING the SALT (sealed and lubricated tracks) only once. The sealing surface was at the end of each bush and failed ones (aprox 50%) were replaced to ensure the integrity of new seals. An expensive exercise which resulted in buying new chains in the future, then running them to destruction. Three good men could fit new chains and transfer the grousers overnight under the sky when required. This machine was on 24 hr hire and had a 12hr window each week for major maintenance. Sprocket segments were replaced with the tracks in place at any other time. I found that the sand used to pack around the low drive sprockets and cause too much grinding when bushes and sprockets were both in new condition........C ya..........Ray

  10. #10
    Senior Member DPete's Avatar
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    If the tracks are dry they are out of pitch from normal internal wear that will accelerate wear on new sprockets that are in new pitch if not turned. If they are lubed the internal wear is not a factor. Pitch is the distance center to center of the track pins as a dry track wears this distance incerases. Are you more confused now?

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    Not many people can predict the life on pins and bushings after turn. There are so many variables; working material, steep ground, high speed reverse operation just to name a few.

    As DPete says the issue of dry or lubricated does make a difference. Because lubricated track does not stretch if the oil is still in there, the bushings wear and the pins do not. Most owners and operators don't keep a good watch on how much the bushings have worn and consequently they wear past the point that they can be turned. They wear so thin that when pressed they crack. If you have worn that far it is best to just install new sprockets and run to destruction. Mr. Welsh also has it correct in stating it may not be economically feasible to turn SALT track bushings because of the extra labor it takes to install new seals, refilling the links and then pressure testing to be sure they don't leak. It has also been my experience that the track shops only press one side of the link apart so one seal does not get changed. Since SALT track is basically all master links, when the oil is gone the track is shot in no time at all.

    A sealed track will stretch with the idler being adjusted out to keep the track adjusted. When the idler reaches the end of the track frame it is obvious to the operator or owner that something needs to be done. The stretch roughly coincides with the wear on the bushings. At that point you turn the pins and bushings and replace the sprockets and go back to work. From my experience you only get about thirty percent of the time you had before turn depending on how long the operator can stand to run it.

    You haven't stated what series or year your 550 is. I've seen a lot of problems with Deere SALT tracks wearing out completely with less the 2,400 hours on the clock.

  12. #12
    Senior Member EZ TRBO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John C. View Post
    Not many people can predict the life on pins and bushings after turn. There are so many variables; working material, steep ground, high speed reverse operation just to name a few.

    As DPete says the issue of dry or lubricated does make a difference. Because lubricated track does not stretch if the oil is still in there, the bushings wear and the pins do not. Most owners and operators don't keep a good watch on how much the bushings have worn and consequently they wear past the point that they can be turned. They wear so thin that when pressed they crack. If you have worn that far it is best to just install new sprockets and run to destruction. Mr. Welsh also has it correct in stating it may not be economically feasible to turn SALT track bushings because of the extra labor it takes to install new seals, refilling the links and then pressure testing to be sure they don't leak. It has also been my experience that the track shops only press one side of the link apart so one seal does not get changed. Since SALT track is basically all master links, when the oil is gone the track is shot in no time at all.

    A sealed track will stretch with the idler being adjusted out to keep the track adjusted. When the idler reaches the end of the track frame it is obvious to the operator or owner that something needs to be done. The stretch roughly coincides with the wear on the bushings. At that point you turn the pins and bushings and replace the sprockets and go back to work. From my experience you only get about thirty percent of the time you had before turn depending on how long the operator can stand to run it.

    You haven't stated what series or year your 550 is. I've seen a lot of problems with Deere SALT tracks wearing out completely with less the 2,400 hours on the clock.

    Back when I was younger(just a lil kid) I know I asked my dad why we never did pin and bushing turns. His reason was just as you stated, we ran Sealed and Lubricated Tracks thus the cost would could not be justifed. I do belive we could get 3500 to 4000 hours on a set, so about 3 years max.

    Trbo
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    DPete they are lubed tracks.

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    Thanks to all of you for your help and advice, I think I will go with the new sprokets and just run it some more. The dozer is a 2004 550H. Now I know why everyone has to charge so much for dozer work. It's about like fertilizing hay fields, with the price of fertilizer these days I feel like I have got the tractor window open and am throwing $20 bills out the window as I am going over the field with the buggy. Like my cousin told me ain't nobody but the Corp of Engineers and the State got enough money to run a bulldozer.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Construct'O's Avatar
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    Like John C and the others said.

    I just run my lubicated track to the end and never turn the bushing.But i just work in the mud and black dirt.If sand like in Neb. i would run the min. then do a early turn of the bushings and run them out.

    Here the seals will go first and oil will leak out before the wear on the bushing are a problem.Dry bushing are worst then bushing wear,at least for me.With dry bushing the tracks strech out fast and you run out of tighten ability.

    On the D6H you can only tighten so far they fixed it so the grease will leak by because they put a groove in the tighten to keep you from running the idler out to far and getting more wear or breaking the tube because of the length it is extended.

    Your new sprockets will wear really fast if you have any dry bushing,so don't plan on getting to many more hour for the money you put in the sprockets.Is you sprocket really pointed or chipping, because you can run them longer if they are pointed or chipped then you can if the rails are getting streched to the max,is worst.

    Do you think you have more tighten length and what about dry bushing? Well good luck

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