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Subsistence Bulldozer Pond Excavation in Africa

Discussion in 'Dozers' started by Marsh Mutt, Mar 11, 2017.

  1. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    I was looking at the photos of your machine, is that a accessory hydraulic pump at the rear in the tools mount bracketry? How was it controlled?
     
  2. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    Those were cool aerial pictures with the RC copter !
    The Cat D7G would be my choice dozer for your operation . Will handle jobs big and small , very powerful & agile at the same time . Perfect size machine for farm work .
    Must be a Massey Ferguson dealer in the area looking at the farm tractors .;)
    Is that an old Allis Chalmers dozer setting beside the shed ?
     
  3. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    Interesting. I've read about the flow of Chinese investment into Africa, time will tell how that will shape not only the continent but the world as well.

    I'm familiar with the palm plantations in Costa Rica. Hundreds upon hundreds of acres/hectares of palms for palm oil production. Funny side note - when I first passed by the palm oil extraction factory in Costa Rica my first thought was "that smells like potato chips taste" then I realized potato chips taste like palm oil smells..;)
     
  4. partsandservice

    partsandservice Senior Member

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    I have seen field repairs and mechanics like that around here. Amazing all the tools needed can be toted in hydraulic oil bucket . The parts will still set you back, but they are right up the right up the road.
     
  5. Jim D

    Jim D Senior Member

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    That is a dang good looking olive drab bulldozer!

    That is excellent work, Marsh Mutt. I hope that you succeed and prosper.
     
  6. Marsh Mutt

    Marsh Mutt Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for this clarifying reply, KHansen. I did not read your post carefully enough to spot that the drawing you published was not specific to my tractor. The serial numbers on my D7G-LGP are three in number, with the chassis number located on the dashboard, in addition to the engine number and the transmission numbers. The details are as follows.

    Vehicle Serial Number 72W 00563 Arrangement Number 8P5 459
    Engine (3306) Number 3N 99 8H3 Arrangement Number 7N1552
    Transmission Number 2GA 2608 Arrangement Number 9P 5382

    When the mechanics arrive later today, I will post pictures of the damaged gears already replaced near the torque converter, along with the part numbers identifying each gear, from my parts book here, in the hopes that the part numbers I identify here will match with any part numbers that you might be able to locate when you have a spare moment.

    Speaking to the mechanics here, there is a difference of opinion regarding whether or not the gears being replaced in my D7G are prone to premature wear due to flawed design, or alternately if such gear wear is NOT typical, and is only brought about when the transmission pump starts to weaken with age, and thus supply less oil to the rotating gears, leading to early wear of those gears.

    Once again sir, I thank you kindly for sparing some time to look over these parts in the book. I wouldn't embark on this further research about these replaced gear cog-wheels, if it weren't for the opinion expressed by one of the mechanics here suggesting that those same gears may need to be replaced again after an unspecified number of working hours.
     
  7. Marsh Mutt

    Marsh Mutt Well-Known Member

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    A tip of my hat to ya, Jim D, for the kind words about my slow but steady work ongoing here. You are one lucky dog to reside in California. I spent Xmas 2016 in the San Diego area, taking my kid to usual attractions, and one thing I noticed, after being away for so many years, was the drastic improvement in air quality, which I learnt is also noticeable during the heat of summer. For some reason that old Kenny Rogers classic song, "Evening Star" comes to mind as I dream of SoCal right now, way out here in the boondocks.

    Apologies for the digression from Caterpillar talk, but I do find myself rambling on sometimes, typing whole paragraphs before I realize I'm heading off topic.
     
  8. Graham1

    Graham1 Well-Known Member

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    [QUOTE The horror. The horror. The horror..[/QUOTE]

    As long as you are not turning into Kurtz all will be fine. No-one minds a bit of rambling off topic.
    Graham
     
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  9. oldirt

    oldirt Senior Member

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    I was just a little sad to see unprotected toes right out in the open. that older guy on the left looks like he has been through a lot. good job to them.
     
  10. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

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    To keep this off topic a bit longer.

    I was through L.A. twice back middle of October and middle of Nov. Not sure how air quality compares between LA and San Diego but did not care for what I saw in the LA area. Hills off in the distance were covered in a brown haze. And I won't say much about the LA airport, I was told that if you don't have something nice to say maybe you should not say anything!
     
  11. oldirt

    oldirt Senior Member

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    smog in LA occurs naturally due to the surrounding mountains blocking outflow of wind. keeps it warm too..
     
  12. John Shipp

    John Shipp Well-Known Member

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    Slightly on topic, maybe, but a friend of mine here in England, big old boy called Dan, he's pretty relaxed type (must come with being such a giant) anyway he's got steel toe capped sandals. Wears them fair bit, I gather. Couldn't believe it when I saw them, but there you are. Steel toe capped sandals. Must be just the thing for a hot old African mechanic.

    By the way, thanks for this thread, Mr M Mutt. Very very good. Best wishes to you mate, keep it up.
     
  13. Marsh Mutt

    Marsh Mutt Well-Known Member

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    The Usual Suspects Lineup.jpg Part Number Diagram For Gears.jpg Tramsmission Oil Pump Housing Score Damage.JPG Chewed Gear Teeth.jpg

    Graham that timeless Brando quote describes all too well my state of mind whenever news of the latest parts and labor bill is broken to me by the mechanic who keeps my ancient D7G LGP running, for the most part. Here are some pictures of the usual suspects this time around, along with the relevant parts drawing to identify them. Included in the photo lineup is the housing from the D7G's transmission oil pump, which shows deep scoring apparently caused when some bearings gave way.

    @kshansen it is odd that there was noticeable smog in the Los Angeles area in November when you were there, because that is about when the annual Santa Ana winds pick up and usually result in amazingly clear days. That said, the account I recently heard from a friend, of summer smog levels being way down, may not have been an accurate picture after all. For sure San Diego has historically enjoyed far cleaner air than the LA basin, and driving there is way, way easier than it ever is north of Orange County.

    I sure am glad to have my old iron steed safely back in the corral, where it will undergo a replacement of all the hydraulic hoses remaining to be done, whether or not they appear to be in good condition, in readiness for the dry spell due here in a few months. My understanding is that all hydraulic hoses need to be replaced with new ones every 3 years, out here in the tropics, which seems to me like a really short service life, but again this may be unique to tropical environments where the steel braiding in those high pressure hydraulic hoses could be more susceptible to rust, than is the case where the ambient humidity is lower.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
  14. Marsh Mutt

    Marsh Mutt Well-Known Member

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    D4D Front Quarter Right Side.JPG D4D Rear Quarter Photo.JPG D6D LGP on Regular Tracks .JPG Chewed Flange Teeth.JPG

    Despite its outward appearance, my trusty old D4D-LGP does fire up and run, as does the D6D-LGP tractor that I currently have fitted with standard narrow gauge tracks, since the LGP tracks that came with the machine were falling apart.

    In using the D6D, I immediately noticed that the blade does not lift high enough to pile dirt like the D7G does, maybe due to the D6D having originally been configured for grading type operations that don't require the blade to travel far upwards.

    Ultimately I plan to locate a longer set of blade-lift hydraulic rams, and also replace this blade with one that has a tilt blade function, as does the D7G. Once I have gotten used to having a tilt blade, going back to driving a machine without that capability is very limiting.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
  15. Marsh Mutt

    Marsh Mutt Well-Known Member

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    Aerial Shot of D7G and D6D.jpg

    And finally I unveil this previously classified aerial photograph of my very own PERSONAL junkyard, that is open only to the discerning, chosen few, who realize that lurking amid the rusting hulks of now irreparable Cat 931B pay-loaders, and dismembered Massey Ferguson farm tractors, there is indeed intelligent life to be found.
     
  16. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

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    That part book picture of the rear gear group is the one I found on SIS, but your copy is many time clearer! Maybe you should get a job with Cat scanning in old parts books? I do have the parts list that goes with that which also includes the "Cat Classic" part numbers for many of the parts in the rear gear group if you would like that send me a "private message" or as this new software calls it "Start a conversation" with an email address to send it to you.

    Looks like you are also in need of a few pump parts also, the gear seems to be trying to cut its way into the housing. It's not real clear, from what I have seen so far, what oil those gears run in, but I'm thinking it is the converter/transmission oil. If that is the case at the minimum I would be removing and cleaning the magnetic strainer and replacing the oil filter every few hours once it is back running to hopefully get all the nasty pieces of those gear teeth out be fore thy cause more damage. Not real familiar with D7 Cat, but most Cat magnetic strainers can be removed and cleaned without draining the oil.

    As for traffic in LA! We left the ship in San Pedro by shuttle bus with over an hour to get to terminal at LAX, about a 20 mile run up the 405. Figured we would have time to grab a bite to eat before boarding the plane back east. Wrong! By the time we finally got to our terminal and off the bus we could have used Usain Bolt from Jamaica to carry our luggage, but we did manage to make it just in time. Guess I'm just spoiled from 45 years of a one mile commute to work with no stop lights or even a stop sign along the way and only two driveways to pass on the trip!
     
  17. LDK

    LDK Well-Known Member

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    I think the lift height problem you have with your D6D could be that the nose end is not original, a least its not like any 6D LGP or standard that I have used or been around.
    How did you finish up in that part of the world?
     
  18. John Shipp

    John Shipp Well-Known Member

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    I'd say he must like the rural undeveloped ness of the place, plus the freedom to push out a pond or two with a dozer or two without having to ask someone first. Great picture of your yard, what is the circular water feature, rainwater collection or green jacuzzi?
     
  19. Marsh Mutt

    Marsh Mutt Well-Known Member

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    Hello LDK, I visited Africa a couple of times over the years before realizing that the slower pace of life had started to grow on me, and before long I was spending more time here than in the West. There is no big game in this part of the continent, due to generations of unrestricted hunting that continues today, and deforestation is taking its toll here just as it does all across our planet's tropical belt, yet, in the pockets of wilderness that still remain here in my neck of the woods, a modest variety of wildlife still exists.

    That narrow ribbon of forest in my aerial pictures taken above is all that remains of vast tracts of ancient rain-forest that have long given way to farmland, yet, not far off as I paddle the river's winding course in my dugout canoe, troops of monkeys crash through the treetops, while six-foot Nile Monitor lizards, otters and African Dwarf Crocodiles share the watery forest floor with the elusive 200-pound Sitatunga swamp antelope, a superb swimmer that browses floating vegetation. At nightfall, the haunting dog-like squeals and barking of the African Tree Hyrax echoes though the treetops.

    For about a decade I have operated a catfish hatchery here, selling the fingerlings to local fish farmers at six weeks post hatch, when they are about one inch long and able to breathe air at the surface. Now with the D7G finally fixed up enough to work for long enough to dig a few new ponds, increasing numbers of fish fingerlings produced in my rural hatchery enterprise will now be reared until they attain a kilogram or two in weight at six moths old. The green water pond in the aerial picture of the yard here, is home to a few dozen female catfish brood-stock, of a very hardy species called Clarias, which can be kept in green water that would kill off other fish species, such as the Tilapia.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  20. Graham1

    Graham1 Well-Known Member

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    It is such a different world than I operate in. Glad you are sharing it with us.
    Graham
     
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