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Bobcat Power Bob-tach control modification

Discussion in 'Skid Steers' started by willie59, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. willie59

    willie59 Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Messages:
    12,475
    Occupation:
    Service Manager
    Location:
    Knoxville TN
    We have three Bobcat machines that we use to handle attachments and it's an absolute must that we have the Power Bob-tach feature on our rigs because we latch and unlatch from attachments so many times during the course of a day. Now some of you that have Bob-tach on your machine will likely know where I'm coming from as you've likely had the same experience.

    The switch is on the console at very front/top of cab. To operate the Bob-tach switch requires taking one of your hands from a driver lever and operate the switch, which leaves you pretty much sitting still as the Bob-tach works. For us, we are in constant motion moving attachments, so our workers typically drive forward holding one drive lever forward with a knee, while using a hand to operate Bob-tach switch. A bit awkward, but do-able, unless...you happen to hit the Parking Brake switch instead of the Bob-tach switch! :eek: Yes...I've done it myself, and trust me, the parking brake DOES come on with a vengence while you're driving.

    There's a simple solution to the problem, at least on our machines. The right drive lever has a rocker switch to control an auxilliary (attachment) cylinder which we never use with our machines, so I tap into the Bob-tach wiring using that rocker switch. Now the operator doesn't have to take his hands off of either drive lever to operate Power Bob-tach, simply operate the Bob-tach with the switch on the right drive lever. Since I first did this modification to our old 773 our workers demand I do the same for machines that have been added to the fleet, which I have no qualm doing so as I like it better this way myself.

    Pic of the Power Bob-tach switch located next to the Parking Brake switch. Inadvertently hit that parking brake switch while rolling full tilt and you'll think you saddled up with a Brahma bull.



    Bobtatch control modification 001.jpg



    Location of rocker switch on right side drive lever that we never use.



    Bobtatch control modification 002.jpg



    Now, where do we connect to the Bob-tach wiring? The Power Bob-tach solenoid control valves are mounted to the outlet line on the work equipment pump, on some models those valve and wiring are a PITA to get to, so really don't want to go there. On this model, S175, not too bad to get to, but would rather keep things simple and easy. There's two solenoid valves that control the Bob-tach, each have a black and a white wire going to it. The black wires are ground, the white wires are the power wires going to each solenoid valve.



    Bobtatch control modification 003.jpg



    Instead of tapping into the wires at the solenoid valves, it's easier (and shorter distance) to tap into the wires at the main harness Deutsch connector. With the cab raised, this connector is located where the cab harness connects to the frame harness in area above hydraulic reservoir. This S175 is more of a bulkhead connector fixed to a mounting bracket. Other models, like the 773G, is more of an "inline" Deutsch connector. You need to locate the two white wires that control the Bob-tach at that connector. Once you've located these two white wires, you need to probe the wires with a test lamp to verify which one is up and which one is down using the Bob-tach switch on the cab console. On this S175 (the white wires I have the alligator clip on for reference) the one on the right is up, the one to the left is down.



    Bobtatch control modification 004.jpg
     
    Johnny5590 likes this.
  2. willie59

    willie59 Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
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    Occupation:
    Service Manager
    Location:
    Knoxville TN
    On the drive lever end, locate the 10 pin Deutsch connector for the harness that comes from the right hand drive lever tube, it's typically near the stabilizer shock for right drive link as shown in pic. Locate the green and yellow wires on the drive lever side of the connector, that's the two wires that come from switch on drive lever handle, green wire is up, yellow wire is down on switch.



    Bobtatch control modification 005.jpg



    For wiring, I use 4 conductor flat trailer wiring, peel away the white and brown wires, now you have yellow and green to match drive lever harness wires.



    Bobtatch control modification 006.jpg



    Snip the two green wires that are inline with the yellow and green wire at the drive lever harness connector, connect the trailer wiring that you've prepared to match the yellow and green wires. Route the trailer wiring along the various pipes under cab headed toward main harness connector. Slip 1/4" split loom over wiring for protection, and secure to pipes with zip ties.




    Bobtatch control modification 008.jpg



    Snip the two white wires at main harness connector, keep in mind which white wire you noted as up and which one is down. Join the yellow and green wires with their conterpart white wires coming from cab harness, then connect to the respective white wires going into Deutsch connector, this way you can still operate the Bob-tach with the cab console switch or with the switch on drive lever. You should now be ready to rock and roll with the Bob-tach control. :drinkup



    Bobtatch control modification 007.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
    Johnny5590 likes this.
  3. WhyWhyZed

    WhyWhyZed Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Canada
    cool! thanks for posting this sort of stuff.
     
  4. Bobcatdan

    Bobcatdan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Messages:
    241
    Location:
    wisconsin
    That is a good idea, but a lot of work for me. When I hook up to something, I curl the bobtach back and hold it against relief. That will make the wedges close also.
     
  5. BDFT

    BDFT Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    Messages:
    265
    Location:
    Northwest BC
    Great idea. I never really had a problem with the Bobtach switch. Its the wiper switch that drives me nuts. I have never got around to relocating it to the front though.
     
  6. heymccall

    heymccall Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Messages:
    1,925
    Location:
    Monroeville, Pa
    You could've have just segregated the switches, by moving them further apart via the blank holes, to prevent accidental brake engagement.
    As for the awkwardness of reaching up, here, we've had attachments fall off quick couplers, so, we limit our liability by not relocating/ reassigning buttons, but, if button/ switch reallocation is necessary, a label is added to the controls, an instruction decal is added to the interior, in plain site, and a page is glued into the operator's manual.
    All operators are instructed to verify full pin engagement before attachment usage, also.

    As for travel control setup, I, and my operators, prefer single stick pilot controls. Tremendously less fatiguing as the day progresses.