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Best older D8??

Discussion in 'Dozers' started by JASON M, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. JASON M

    JASON M Well-Known Member

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    I've got an urge to buy an older D8.... but no older than a D8H. I've got an old oilfield buddy who swears that a D8K was the best dozer that he ever owned and could kick himself in the azz everytime he recalls selling it.
    Was the D8K a superior dozer to all of the other low drive sprocket models, from a longevity perspective? performance perspective? or fuel burn perspective?...............he now owns a couple Komatsu D65's.

    Reason I'm asking is because I need to buy a good tractor to mount my very large, heavy duty, Chico Mfg root rake and also to work behind bottom dump trailers, while toting a couple of tandem sheeps-foot rollers.

    Also, what about dozer balance? What do you suggest to balance the tractor? I had an old D7F that had no rear counterweight or ripper-rack, and was absolutely the most "clumsy" dozer that we've ever owned. How would you rig an older D8 to do raking and blading and still maintain good fore-aft balance? and which one will you spend the least amount of $$$ on?
     
  2. EGS

    EGS Senior Member

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    I was always told that those old 8K's where some great dozers. Heaps of power and fairly dependable.

    I know that JTL, MassX and surfer-joe have lots and lots of experience on these old girls. They will be able to tell you more.:)
     
  3. TimHay

    TimHay Well-Known Member

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    I love my 8K
    best cat I ever owned/or could own
    My dad had an 8H and he would rather run my K
     
  4. Greg

    Greg Senior Member

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    I have never heard anything good about the D7F's. Powertrain problems and light on the front.

    In my opinion D8H's are a whale of a tractor and so are the D8K's. In my book they are both great. I have a late model D8H that was repowered wit a D8K 342 spacer plate engine. WHAT A HORSE!!!

    I also know several contractors that wich they could still but H's and K's.
     
  5. dieseldave

    dieseldave Senior Member

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    About 10 years ago I worked for a company that had an 8K with a Fleco rake and it sticks in my mind as one of the best machines I've ever run. They had a couple of new(er) D65's at the time and IMHO the 8K was worth the 2 D65's put together and then some. The guy who owned the company didn't seem to agree, though, and sold the 8K and kept the 2 Komatsu's:Banghead He did admit later he regretted selling the Cat, though.
     
  6. willd8r

    willd8r Well-Known Member

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    I drove one of the last 8h's & got one of the first 8k"s both top machines I liked the polite controls for blade & ripper & the steering & braking combined they need something on the back for better balance
     
  7. CAT D9H

    CAT D9H Senior Member

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    The D8K was an all around great dozer , I love em , power for days and very reliable as long as it was looked after and they are fairly easy to work on, I wouldnt know about balance the only ones I have been around had 3 shank rippers and SU blades, the ripper could have been a bit heavier though
    The D8H's are great too, they got alot of power , I havent spent nearly as much time on them as I did the K's but the 8H's were good too
    Either one you go with the fuel will eat you alive
     
  8. heavylift

    heavylift Senior Member

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    I ran a d8 something in the early 80's. it had a pony motor...and just a push block... for all I know it was 20 to 30 years old .. back and forth all day long.... no blade to worry about :)
     
  9. JTL

    JTL Senior Member

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    Ive spent SOME time around them. Its kinda of a toss up to me which is a better tractor. I liked the K because you didnt have to do the ole 'pull and stomp' to make a hard turn and it had a little more power than the H.
    The H seemed to me like it was a little more balanced on the dozer end, and would hold a slope a little better.
    The H I put a few thousand hours on had a 3 shank, 2 barell ripper and a SU blade. The K had a 3 shank, 4 barell and a full U blade.
    Both of them are excelent tractors. If I was wanting to buy and older D8, I would go with a K. Make sure it has a ripper on it, that will give your best ballance. You can always drop the shanks and weld a hitch on the cross bar to pull a sheeps foot around with.
     
  10. JASON M

    JASON M Well-Known Member

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    We don't have much use for a D8 size tractor working slopes, here where we live, but for the Real Grunt Pushing, Raking, and digging stumps that had been previously "clear-cut" by a timber company, they seem to be well suited. You guys have some good input. Did the 8K have a clutch/brake on the yokes and no brake pedals? Somebody mentioned that.
    And what's a low-side and high-side $# for a transmission rebuild and/ or a final drive catastrophic failure??...... That's what could scare me away..... not the fuel burn; I never minded feeding a good mule that was pulling, or in this case, PUSHING!
     
  11. JDOFMEMI

    JDOFMEMI Senior Member

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    Jason

    You are on the right track about the downside of these older machines. The trans is pretty good and reliable, in fact the same trans is used in the D-9H, though it gets some upgraded parts inside, like larger bearings. The hot ticket is a D-9H trans in a D-8K. Even without that, the trans won't give much trouble unless you are slamming foreward to reverse at speed, or without decelerating. The newer tractors like L, N, and R series are modulated better to stand that kind of abuse, though I would still not reccomend doing it. Look at about 8 to 10K for a basic rebuild, without hard parts, but going up over 20K if the internals are hurt bad.
    The final drives are the killer in the repair department. If they are kept clean and serviced thay will last a long time, but when they fail, look out. Oil gets shared frrom each final case and the clutches and brakes, as well as bull gear with a failure. The metal eats up the seals and shares the disaster from one component to the next if it is not found out soon enough. I scrapped out one of the D-8K's we had due to a catostrofic final failure. The estimate to rebuild was over 50K, because it had took out both sides. Don't remember what the low side repair was, when you can catch it early enough to put bearings and seals in. I think about 10K per side, but I am not sure.
    They are rugged as well. I had a K in a river for flood control one year, and the duo-cone seals were bad. When I finished, after about a week around the clock, I pulled the final fill plug, and it was full to the top with sand. I flushed it forever, and changed filters on it hourly at first, then 2 times a day, then daily untill I didn't see any sand. Figured the finals wouldn't last a month, but it was still running without fail 7 years later when we sold it.

    The D-8K has combined clutch and brake on the levers, as well as individual pedals on the floor for the brakes. The D-8H has clutch only on the levers, and brakes on the floor.
    When I ran a K I used the brakes on the floor, because I got a better feel that way, since I had spent so much time on an H.
    If you get one that has been kept up, you won't do bad with it, but the good ones are hard to find now, since they have been around the block so many times.
     
  12. tctractors

    tctractors Senior Member

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    D8H-K, final drives have their own seperate oil from the trans/steering compartment, the K final drive parts are listed in the CAT Classic range of parts (Italian Parts) and are reasonably priced, to do both sides of a D8H or K in the U.K would be about the same cost parts and labour, new bearings some s/hand parts some new it would not go past £8,000 tops, I often repare these back ends for less than £4'000, best tractor of the lot has to be the K model after serial no 3000 Spacer plate motor, if you would like a more fuel restrained tractor that is built to last go for the D8H clutch model, these tractors are a bit more driver unfrendly but once the g/box is comfortable to the pilot, they are hell on Wheels and a good bit lighter than the K.

    tctractors
     
  13. AmerIndependent

    AmerIndependent Site Sponsor

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    :usa
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 15, 2010
  14. AmerIndependent

    AmerIndependent Site Sponsor

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    JDOFMEMI,

    Being that you're in SoCal as well, you've go me very curious who you got this quote from?

    Also, if you don't mind, what is your company name? I wonder if we know each other...
     
  15. Greg

    Greg Senior Member

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    Hey there tctractors!! Don't you really mean hell on tracks?

    My D8H with the spacer plate engine fitted to it later seems to have pretty good balance. Use it with an S blade for blade work and pull a pan with it a lot. Like I said before, love that big ol horse.
     
  16. cat980

    cat980 COPPA

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    the d8k was caterpillars best dozer they were the most ever sold and they ran good with good balance and power. The d8k and the d9h were the mose mass produce cat dorzers ever made.
     
  17. Dozerboy

    Dozerboy Senior Member

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    I loved running old Hs and Ks in Socal. They where though as hell the guy I worked for wouldn't put a $100 in one. Every other segment was missing on the sprocket and we still worked them on slopes. I'm not that familiar with all of LA but isn't that to heavy of a dozer?
     
  18. JASON M

    JASON M Well-Known Member

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    Again, thank you guys for the input. I want to respond to everyone's helpful commentary. I don't think that an 8K is too large for stumping. I haven't found a clear-cut stump (locally) that could hold back a D8R. So, that's about the weight and horsepower that I'd prefer in an older D8.
    I've got an old D9G 66A that I bought for "a song"......... Somebody had already dumped about a hundred grand into the engine, tranny, and final drives.... along with other misc stuff. That's the dozer I prefer to buy, kinda like buying a Hot-Rod project; way better off buying something that someone else has dumped a small fortune or big fortune into, then finds out that they really don't have the work for it.
    And I thank you vendors for stepping up..... I'm sure that I'll be contacting you when I decide to buy. I'm pretty meticulous, and when it comes to sending a big dozer out to a job, I don't pinch pennies. I want it thoroughly torn down, inspected, and overhauled..... just the way I am.
    Thank you for your input. I just wish that I was able to get this kind of input BEFORE I sank a ton of $$$ into our old Cat D7F. We were very lucky to sell it (D7F) as part of a package deal to some folks that aren't too savvy. Hindsight is always 20/20.
     
  19. JASON M

    JASON M Well-Known Member

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    If you are a tranny guy, who is the final drive connoisseur?:) A guy from the UK responded about the final drive repair, but was that US dollars? and was it just labor? parts? or what? Tell me more about the Italian parts and the cost differential of the parts. I'm interested.
     
  20. tctractors

    tctractors Senior Member

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    Jason M, I usualy have at lest 1 D8 in bits all the time, the prices I spoke of have a Pound Sterling sign in the front, its as simple to strip out both sides (f/Drives) in my mind as muck about with one, at least you know what is going on in there, the top pinion bearings I always change, the intermediate gears and bearings I have a good look at,on the 2 gear setup I always fit a new C,clip, the most common bearing to fail is the outer taper roller, the 1 in the outer cap, the quote of $50'000 to sort both side's would be on the same level as Robbing a Bank without a Gun, I have yet to find anyone in the U.K. willing to part with a Bag of Gold this Heavy, the Coin's I was talking about is Parts and Labour, the D8K does not even need a Gasket, I often dont fit them on the D8H, as some of my Customers refuse to buy anything that is not realy needed (In their Mind).

    Whats those little round things under the frame (Wheels) I have been up to my front Wheels many times??

    tctractors