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Death Spring Removal

Discussion in 'Track Loaders' started by RustedHeroes, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. RustedHeroes

    RustedHeroes Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Bonnyville Alberta, Canada
    Hey guys!

    Happy New Year to everyone! Hoping to get some help with removing this track spring so I can be around to ring in 2020.
    This things makes me nervous to say the least. Any comments, techniques or past experience would be very helpful.

    Thanks in advance
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Rob Gunn

    Rob Gunn Well-Known Member

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    I removed one from a old Cat D4 a few years ago. Mine had access all the way through for a 1" threaded rod to compress it. Not sure if you have similar on yours but worth taking a look. I would also assume the dealer could show you a parts diagram and maybe even offer some insight of how it could be done.
     
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  3. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    Will you be wanting to reuse the spring..? If not then by far the easiest method is cut the coils one at a time with a gas axe until the spring has no compression left in it. At that point disassembly is simple.
     
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  4. RustedHeroes

    RustedHeroes Well-Known Member

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    Hi Nige,

    The spring is completely sheered off/shattered on the underside and will not be re-used.

    Thanks for the input on using the cutting torch, is there any specific method or sequence to cut the coils? I do have a new spring ready to go in that I will have compressed at a Heavy Duty shop, what is the best installation method?
     
  5. Cmark

    Cmark Senior Member

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    Some tips;
    Make sure you have the oxy pressure to cut through cleanly in one go. Just pick a convenient coil and start.
    Don't get your cutting tip get stuck between the coils.
    Wear protective clothing. The first few coils you cut will be under considerable force and when they let go, hot rust and slag will go flying.

    Once the new spring is assembled it will be shorter than necessary and can just be lifted into place. If whoever assembles it has put plenty of anti seize on the retaining nut threads, you should then be able to back the nut off. If not, you'll need to connect the track and jam a pin in the sprocket teeth to compress the spring and relax the nut.
     
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  6. DoyleX

    DoyleX Senior Member

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    To compress the spring take it to the dealer. They have all the tooling and its only a $100 for them to do 1 spring. Get a new rod, nut and cup also. I wouldnt trust a old crusty one with that force on it.
     
  7. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    Wise words. Those parts corrode like you would not believe. Like Doyle I wouldn't trust the old ones to hold a new spring.

    For a source of parts try Offroad Equipment - www.offroadeq.com/
     
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  8. Dave Neubert

    Dave Neubert Senior Member

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    Do not try to compress the spring it can kill you like the others said take it to a dealer or a track shop replace the rod and nut.CAT won't do it unless you replace them and I don;t blame them
     
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  9. Metalman 55

    Metalman 55 Senior Member

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  10. RustedHeroes

    RustedHeroes Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys, I'll post some updates once I start cutting.

    Appreciate all the comments and tips
     
  11. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    I'd suggest to take a good look at Metalman's thread linked above showing the photos of how the spring was cut.
     
  12. AllDodge

    AllDodge Senior Member

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    Replaced them on my 955 and did more cutting then need be, but I was making sure there was no tension at all before I started the removal process

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    That looks like a 14A machine or is it a little smaller?

    When cutting them I used a big hole cutting tip, something like at least a one but a two was better. I started the cut with the tip at the back of the coil aimed at a slant toward the front. I rotated the cut keeping the torch tip at the same place and just rotating the torch till it was pointed nearly vertical. I'd then move back a little and rotate again. The spring will explode with a bang when there is no longer enough metal in the coil to hold the strain. By doing the cut this way the broken shards will shoot down into the lower coils of the spring and track frame and not out into space looking for any soft meat to become part of. The first coil breaking will make you pull a vacuum from the bottom side of your anatomy.
     
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  14. StanRUS

    StanRUS Senior Member

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    Local dealer mechanic lost 1 eye cutting 14A spring. After that dealer mechanics would just heat the spring with a rose bud to collapse coil tension.
     
  15. Welder Dave

    Welder Dave Senior Member

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    You could use the same technique for cutting thick round bar. Heat all around the bar red hot where you intend to cut and then cut it as John C says. I watched a guy cut a 4" shaft this way and it was so nice it looked better than a saw cut. Now the cut on spring doesn't have to be pretty but you don't want to lose cut half way through either. You could put a cutting lens in a welding helmet or use your auto-dark if it has a lower shade setting for a little extra protection for your face.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
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