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Cat 951-C in my sights

Discussion in 'Track Loaders' started by Nitelite, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. Nitelite

    Nitelite Senior Member

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    I have some work to be done on my farm, 35 acres that I have owned and have lived on for more than 40 years. I need to clean out a 1 ½ acre lake that has accumulated about three to four foot of silt after 25 years. It does have a solid rock bottom under all of that silt. I also need to do some spillway work. I have roads to repair and culverts to install. I need to ditch the upper side of some of the roads. I also have some trees to take down for the saw mill and some stumps to remove from past logging on the property. I do have a Cat D4-E dozer with a MAPT 10 foot blade.

    I have convinced myself that, in addition to the dozer, I also need a track loader! Money is tight but I am considering buying a Cat 951-C. Serial # 86J2188. I met with the owner and went over the machine pretty good today. Paint and general condition is fair. I think the bucket is just a standard 1 ¼ yd. The bucket has been re bushed with new pins and all is tight and well.

    The rear sprockets, track link, track chains idlers, rollers, top and bottom, look good, and I would guess 75 % life left. The tracks are not SALT. The pins and bushings have not been turned and are nowhere near ready to be turned. The seals in one track adjuster have been replaced; both sides work and adjust ok according to the owner. All ten lower rollers turn by hand and have no play.

    The track shoes are shot. The owner bought a new complete set of triple grouser shoes that are 18’’. The machine cannot run the 18’’ shoes because they are too wide and will hit the frame on the inside. The track shoes were ordered by a dealer for a customer years prior and were never picked up. They were stacked outside for years and sold to the 951’s owner for ½ price with the understanding that they would need to be cut down. The bolt pattern is the same and otherwise they will fit. The owner tried the gas ax on the new shoes but decided to give up. He has a friend who has access to a huge sheer that will sheer off 2’’ on one side of all of the shoes. The friend wants $200.00 to sheer the shoes. Half of the shoes will be sheered on the right and the other half will be sheered on the left so as to accommodate both sides of the tractor. The new set of shoes will come with, and will be included in the price of the loader. I agreed to pay the $200.00 charge, above the price of the loader for the sheering, if I do decide to buy the machine. There are also extra new shoes in the deal. I know that I will need to purchase new bolts and nuts and I am aware of the time and trouble it will take to replace the shoes. I know that an offset shoe may seem a little odd but after the idea settles in, I think it will work out just fine. I will be working in dirt and mud, no rocks. Cleaning out the lake, I can use the most floatation that I can get. What are your thoughts, pro and con?

    After running the engine here was some antifreeze in the seam on the top tank. It may have come from the overflow because the rubber overflow tube was missing, or it could be a pin hole in the top tank, I could not tell. The antifreeze was clean and full. There were no visible bubbles in the radiator when the engine was running.

    Both lift cylinders will need to be rebuilt as they both drip. The chrome rods and outer cases look to be in good condition. I can re-build the cylinders myself. Parts are about $50.00 each.

    Just after shutting the engine down I unscrewed the filler cap on the hydraulic tank. I noticed that there was pressure in the tank and it spewed a small amount of air as I unscrewed the cap. Is that normal? The pressure build up was not caused by heat or the sun, it was a cloudy day and raining.

    I could not see through the sight glass to check the hydraulic fluid level. The engine oil level was at the add mark and dirty. I did see a very small amount of oil on the ground where the machine was parked for two weeks. No leaks from the final on the inside of the sprockets.

    Now for the big question and possible deal breaker. Before the engine was started and according to the owner it had been two weeks since it was last used, I felt of the manifold, head and filters to verify that the engine was dead cold. Outside temperature was about 75 degrees F. Glow plugs were used for about 30 sec. and the engine fired right up. The old engine sounded pretty good. Some white, to bluish smoke was seen. We let it run at a fast idle for about ten to fifteen minutes and operated the hydraulics which seems strong despite the leaking lift cylinders’. I had him shut the engine down, wait ten minutes and try to restart it. The starter engaged and spun up to normal revs but the engine refused to even try to start. Heat the glow plugs for 10 to 15 sec. and it will stubbornly fire up. We repeated the process of starting, shut down, wait, and restarting several times. Each time it needed glow plugs. With ought using the glow plugs on the already warm engine. I think the starter could have grinded away until the battery was dead and it would not have even tried to start. As it was cranking the white, to bluish white smoke spewed from the stack. What do you think? Is this, or could this be a major problem?

    As it had been raining all day and was very muddy, I did not try to operate the machine because it would have torn up the ground. I asked him to move the machine forward and backwards. It preformed ok. I have never operated a loader. He guarantees that the steering is ok and denies any other known problems.

    His asking price was $12,900. After haggling we agreed on $10,000. All operators, repair, and parts manuals that he has goes with the machine. The new shoes and extra new shoes are included with the understanding that I will pay the $200.00 for the sheering of the shoes.
    The owner seems to be an honest person and says that he bought the loader from his father. Says that his dad bought the loader when it was two years old. The son has owned it for more than twenty years now and used it to load top soil that they dug and sold from their farm. They just sold the farm and now need to get rid of the loader.

    According to the specs the loader weighs 28,000 lbs. It will need to be transported 117 miles from Kentucky to Tennessee. One hundred of those miles are interstate and the rest on state highways. A professional heavy hauler gave me a flat price of $500.00 to transport and unload the machine.

    I have raked and scraped to save for a loader that I might be able to afford. This seems to be my best chance to own one. I am prepared to spend what I have on the loader and the known needed repairs. I just have no money for big surprises, or to waste.
    I am too old to be playing in the dirt and working on old cats, but I love it. I would appreciate any and all ideas, comments and suggestions. I agreed to let the owner know, one way or the other, within five days from 9/29/2013.

    What are the weak and strong points experienced with a Cat 951-C

    Thanks
     
  2. tctractors

    tctractors Senior Member

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    Nitelite, the injector pump on the C's is possibly the weak spot after a bit of water has its way instead of fuel, the hydraulic tanks are ment to hold a bit of "Puff" so no trouble on that score, offset pads work fine and is not uncommon to find fitted to shovels, the starting issue I would think might need some tinkering with before a solid comment is worthy, this would include the usual crap jobs like going through the fuel system, setting the valve lash, this is better done with the air box unbolted from the Cylinder head with the hole then blanked off, this also gives you a good chance to inspect the air filters, the heater plugs draw 5 amps per plug so on heat the amp gauge should show 20 amp drop, it might be worth crawling under the beast and checking the hardbar bolts that fix to the inner side of the track frame, the hoist cylinder are easy to do if you can undo the rod nut, I use an 1"1/2 drive socket in my flogging spanner and hit it with a 28 lb hammer it never lets me down, I love the older style CAT loaders (front engine) I am getting near the end of restoring a 951B but I do this work daily and enjoy it, I hope things work out well for you with this Chariot, in the U.K. good tidy track shovels are a scarce item with plenty of wrecks about that have lived a life in Hell, so a tidy shovel is worth a try.
    tctractors
     
  3. Nitelite

    Nitelite Senior Member

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    I made the decision to buy it, It was delivered to me on

    for better or worse, here she is!
     
  4. Nitelite

    Nitelite Senior Member

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    Trying to post the pictures

    The machine deal included a new set of shoes. I have bought the new hardware. 312 new Cat bolts and nuts. She will look good in the new
    shoes.
     

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  5. Nitelite

    Nitelite Senior Member

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    This is my D4E

    I can't believe the build up on the track shoes. It is like concrete and running the machine over gravel roads will not remove it. I spent most of the day removing the clay from the track shoes of the D4 and the 951C. That is Tennessee red clay. I had to use the pictured ling handled scraper for leverage and then a hammer and chisel around the bolt heads. 045.jpg 044.jpg
     
  6. Extractorfan

    Extractorfan Well-Known Member

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    Nice looking CAT thanks for the pictures - Good luck
    Ex tractor fan
     
  7. Nitelite

    Nitelite Senior Member

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    New shoes

    Preview


    If I am able to post them, the pictures show the new track shoes that came with the machine. The shoes are rusted from being stored outside. I am thinking that I should have them sand blasted and then paint them before installing them. At the least I think that I should use a side grinder on the surface that contacts the link when bolted up. Am I doing extra work for nothing if I sand blast them and paint them. I think the clay might not stick to them so bad if they are smoother. I will be using all new hardware on the instillation.

    The pads have been sheered off 2" on one side so as to work on the 951C. They were 18" shoes and now they are 16" offset shoes.

    20131010_173924.jpg 20131010_173910.jpg 20131010_173943.jpg
     
  8. Bluox

    Bluox Senior Member

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    Maybe you shoud have someone measure your tracks before you waste a set of bolts and a lot of sweat .Your tracks look to be well past a bushing turn.
    Bob
     
    Mother Deuce likes this.
  9. cat953

    cat953 Active Member

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    Looks like you may need sprockets very soon too
     
  10. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    Need to measure for pin/bushing wear, measure across four pins then divide by 4 to get the best average. Your 951C should have 6.906 pitch rails, at 7.0 inch average dimension they are just at 50% more than that they either need a busing/pin turn or rails.

    Judging from the space opening between flat shoes they are most likely past the 50% mark, and the sprockets look bad.
     
  11. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    Second the comment about sprockets. You have Thompson Machinery the Cat dealer close by in Nashville. Go in there with your machine Serial Number and ask to speak to one of their PSSRs (Part & Service Sales Rep). Tell him you've just bought the machine and are thinking of investing money in it to get it up to snuff (all true). Play dumb and tell him you have no idea what's the best way to go about upgrading/overhauling the undercarriage as you're sure it needs work. He will probably be seeing dollar signs in front of his eyes by that time and offer you a FREE Custom Track Service (CTS) measurement of the entire undercarriage system. Bite his arm off up to the ankle, make sure your new track shoes and hardware are well hidden away, and have him come over and measure your undercarriage for you. When he presents you with the report and his recommendations about what needs done and the required parts to do it thank him kindly and tell him you'll be in touch. Post the results here.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013
  12. tctractors

    tctractors Senior Member

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    Nitelite, firstly I am a big fan of tractor shovels and have cut up a good amount to break for spares, this Sin has made me re-build an old Knacker into a tidy mount to ease this fact, anyhow your shovel is missing the return to dig rod and mounting on the right bucket cylinder, this is a handy gizmo it is fitted to the rod and pokes through the hole mounted on the cylinder at the pre-set position kicking the bucket control lever out of detent position, its worth sorting as it makes you look a smooth operator with fast control of all the toys, the missing track guards (4) and pipe access plate would add some to its fine looks, the front radiator plates look to be off a 951B or "very" ealy C as the C series had an un-pierced margin about 4", this was positioned at the top on the top section and at the bottom on the lower section of the 2 plates (identical) that cover the front, the tracks are a bit on the worn side but should manage to still cope with a good bit of work so when they wear right out and are Scrap its time to do a bit of "thinking on it" sometimes I "think" other times I "sit and think"? now on to your cropped off plates, the drama running off-sets is the width of the track V the width of the bucket so get your tape measure out and also find a bit of paper and a pencil and again do a bit of "thinking on it", in the U.K. most kit is run till its Screaming with costly CAT parts being run till they are past scrap, your new mount looks a good piece well worth tinkering with, I hope it works well for you and thank you for your post.
    tctractors
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013
  13. Nitelite

    Nitelite Senior Member

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    I am in the process of replacing track pads on my 951C. They were 18" pads and I had to cut 2" off one side. Now they are 16" offset pads. I am using all new Cat hardware going back. There are thirty nine shoes to each side. The shoes were new but have been stored outside for years and are a bit rusted. I use an angle grinder to knock some of the rough surface off where the pad meets the rail and bolt head seats against the pad. I also use a sanding disk to clean up the top of the rail where the new pad makes contact.

    At this point I have replaced 17 of the 78 pads. That requires 312 new bolts and 312 new nuts. Half of the bolts will break loose using a 1" with a reducer, or a 1/2" drive 15/16 impact socket with a 6 foot cheater pipe, then finish the run off with a 3/4 impact wrench. The other half of the bolts will not budge using the cheater pipe. They require cutting the bolt heads off with the hot wrench and driving them through the rail with a punch. I soak the new bolts and nuts in 30 wt oil as recommended by Cat. I insert and start the bolts on to the nuts, then tighten with a 3/4 impact wrench to 150 lbs. Then I add another 1/2 turn using the 6 foot cheater pipe. I use a 3/4 cold chisel to wedge between the nut and the rail to stop the nut from turning on the bottom. Two to five pads per day is about my limit.

    I will post pictures when I get a chance.

    I am using 1/2" drive Harbor Freight deep 15/16 sockets. After about 20 bolts the inside of the socket rounds out and can no longer grip the bolt. I then place the socket in a vice and use an angle grinder to remove about 3/8 of the worn end. The socket gets shorter but it is good for another 20 bolts. Today I bought 6 more sockets at Harbor Freight. I have tried Snap On and Mack but they don't work any better or last any longer. It surprises me that, considering the abuse, I have not broken a socket or a pull handle yet. My pull handles are Snap On. One inch drive sockets are too thick to fit between the bolt head and the grouser bar. The thinner 1/2" drive socket works just fine. My track bolts are 5/8 x 2" and a 24 MM socket actually is a tighter fit but buying individual sockets in 24 MM are harder to find.

    Harbor Freight guarantees their hand tools for life but I only pay $2.99 each and with the regrinding I can get three lives out of each one. Travel gasoline to replace them makes it more economical to grind them.


    When I finish that job I have to rebuild the lift and tilt cylinders, replace all of the gages, change all fluids and filters and replace one carrier roller. By then it should be spring and maybe I'll get to actually ride on it.
     
  14. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    Not sure who you are dealing with for tools there nitelite, I have 1/2" and 3/4" sockets from Mac and SnapOn that are thirty years old and going strong. I have removed track shoes with a 3/4" impact and impact sockets for years and never once have I had to grind away the head of the socket to get the bolts all out on a rail or set of rails. Something is very wrong I feel with what you are doing or how you are doing. Are you using chrome or impact sockets, 12 or 6 point?
     
  15. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    A couple of comments.

    1. A good quality socket shouldn't round off like that. Are you using a black impact socket or a chrome one..? If you're using a chrome one be aware they are NOT designed for use with an impact wrench.

    2. It may be that because the existing bolt heads are worn down with use that you will need an undersize socket (slightly less than 15/16") to correctly grip the head. If you could get hold of a 23mm metric socket, try that - however it's not a common size and may be sifficult to get hold of, but it's slightly less in size than 15/16". You will still need the 15/16" to tighten the new bolts. A loose socket will take up a large part of the energy from the impact wrench and the resulting "rattle" will cause it to wear rapidly, as you've discovered.

    3. Put copper or graphite anti-seize compound on the thread of the new bolt and more importantly under the head where it conbtacts the track shoe. That will significantly reduce friction and enable you to tighten the bolts more quickly and with less resistance to the impact wrench & less load on the socket.
     
  16. Nitelite

    Nitelite Senior Member

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    I Am using the black impact socket. I think that one big problem is not enough air volume to the 3/4 impact gun. The 3/4 air wrench is new and I have not been able to test its capabilities when given adequate air supply. I have a two stage compressor on a 80 gallon tank that kicks 120 psi with ease. I have been running a 3/8 x 50 ft. air hose at the cost a lot of available CFM to the wrench.

    I cannot get the machine any closer to my compressor. Tomorrow I am going to run a 1/2" hard line across 30 ft. of the distance across the shop. I will then feed the air into a ten gallon secondary air tank closer to the work. Then I can use a 1/2" x 20" rubber air line to supply the 3/4 impact wrench. I hope the new set up will increase the CFM available to the impact wrench and will make a difference in its power.

    I was a mechanic for 30 years and I too have Mac, SnapOn and SK Wane tools that I have owned since the early 1970s. I don't mind grinding on a 2.99 socket but I do mind grinding on the more expensive tools. I do feel like just a little more pressure on the bolt would break a socket or the pull handle. At that point I burn the head off the bolt.

    True, some of the bolt heads are worn and that causes the rounding of the socket and/or the bolt head. Again, at this time, the hot wrench is the answer in the case of the most stubborn bolts. It is a long time until spring.
     
  17. Nitelite

    Nitelite Senior Member

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    DMiller, Thanks for the reply, it sounds encouraging. I can't imagine being able to remove and replace all of those pads just using a 3/4 impact wrench. What kind of 3/4 impact wrench do you use and how is your air supply set up? What size air hose do you use and how far from the compressor are you working?
     
  18. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    Sounds like you're already half-way to solving your problem by increasing the volume of air supply.

    Don't forget the anti-seize on threads & under the bolt head when tightening. It makes it much easier to get the bolts tight.
     
  19. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    I went back and read thru the post, if you bought new bolts I would waste less time trying t break free the old ones, they are worn and a issue costing more cash, gas axe them(torch) and drive the remnant out of the shoe/chain, bucket the pieces up and take to scrap anyway. Could have all the bolt heads on the exposed section cut away and removed in minutes rather than days with new shoes on and done in time to try it out before snow comes.
     
  20. Nitelite

    Nitelite Senior Member

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    Off with the old and on with the new

    20131028_143825 (2).jpg 20131028_143747 (2).jpg 20131028_143734 (2).jpg 20131028_143439.jpg 20131028_143458 (2).jpg

    I spent some time upgrading my air supply system in my shop that was set up to do wood working, nail guns and paint guns mostly. I have never before needed a large volume of air, only psi was considered. I only used 3/8 hose with I/4 ends.

    DMiller got me to thinking. If he could change track pads with an impact wrench then I should be able to do the same. I tried my Harbor Freight 3/4 impact wrench and it had nowhere near enough power to loosen the track bolts, therefore I started using a breaker bar and a 6 foot cheater pipe.

    I have a two stage industrial compressor on an eighty gallon tank and it is quite capable. I just needed to get the cfm up at the wrench and maintain the psi over a long distance as I can't get my track loader closer to the compressor. Over the weekend I replaced all of my supply lines in the shop with 1/2 id schedule 40 pcv pipe and rebuilt the air trees to handle large volume air. It is 40 feet from the compressor to the air tree connection mounted on the wall as pictured. From the Air tree I am using a true 3/8" id x 12' hose connecting to an auxiliary air tank. From the auxiliary tank I am using another true 3/8" x 12' air hose to the 3/4 drive impact wrench, Harbor Freight #66884. I am using a Harbor Freight 3/4 drive x 25/16 deep black impact socket. Wow! What a difference. I am amazed at the power of the air wrench now.

    Thinking about it, My sockets were stripping out on the inside because of the sideways pull created by using the 6, cheater pipe. No socket problems at all now. The air wrench is more than up to the job with proper air supply and I only check the torque with a torque wrench randomly to make sure that the bolts are tight.

    Thanks to all who have responded here, life does get easier! I replaced thirteen pads this afternoon with a lot less work. I only had to burn one bolt out and that was because the head was worn down so bad that I could not get a socket to work.