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tmerideth

Crawler Conversion?

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tmerideth
Has anyone ever converted an A/C or Simplicity to a crawler, similar to the Cub Cadet 100 that is on the internet? Does anyone have any suggestions as to what could be used for tracks for such a conversion? I think this would be a neat project.

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D-17_Dave
I have an old Davis trencher here in the yard for just such a purpose. It has a complete undercarriage and looks to be just the right size for this but I haven't had time to play.C

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tmerideth
Matt, I guess I have too much time on my hand right now while the shoulder heals. Can't work on any of the tractors for awhile, shoulder has to heal. Been looking at that pile of old AC's out back and just wondering what one would look like on tracks. Ran across some potential track designs on Machine Builders Network, like these"






Dave, is your old Davis carcass track drive? I have the engine and drive from a Case Davis unit, but it was a wheeled unit. Got a 30 HP Mitsubishi diesel that came with this unit as a potential donor for something.

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stevenj
And I thought I was the only one who had thought about adding tracks. dOd Have you looked at the track conversion kits that they have for ATV's. http://www.litefootatv.com/html/new_litefoot_m3.htm Might be able to effect a half-track design relatively easy. This link shows installation on larger vehicles including a tractor. http://www.mattracks.com/ http://www.mattracks.com/html/tractor_tracks.htm

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tmerideth
Steve, thanks for the link. Those look like a possibility. Ran across this on YouTube. This guy is awesome and has a pretty simple method of track making. He builds scaled working model tanks. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mg6hJ-Re9A

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D-17_Dave
It's mech. drive. It has a simple straight axle and a spur cog drive system that's worn out. My plan was some sort of hydrostatic drive or something but I haven't gotten very far with it yet. I'll try to post a few pics tom.

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Al
Hi, I have the desire to do this. I have been looking for a set of tracks from a tracked snowblower with the larger tracks. My friend Scott suggested I use a pair of the Kiddy snowmobile tracks. I have about 6 or more near new Eaton hydros for zero turn mowers, and wanted to use a pair of them. Don't have time right now, but they would make the perfect drives setup. They are self-contained units that the wheel hub goes on the axle shaft and the drive pulley is flat on the top side. I was thinking of a small unit with an old Broadmore frame and maybe driving one track from the front and the other side from the rear. This would let the hydros sit side by side and keep the unit really small. Just thinking. Al Eden

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andrewk
Al, Are those Eaton units from the Simplicity rear engined Z? How big of an engine were you looking at? I like the idea...keep us posted! Also, if I get any tracked blowers in that are junk, and we end up with them, shall I save the tracks for you? Andy

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Al
Andrew, These particular ones are from Ariens. They are the exact same as the Simplicity ones. These have the little mounting ear broken off. Simplicity uses the holes through the case and these would work fine in a Simplicity. I was thinking about taking one of the little 616 Broadmores I have and using that. That would make a small compact unit that would be about the right size for the large snowblower tracks. With the snowmobile tracks, I would have to buy a pair new, I would probably use a 4 or 5000 frame. Since I wouldn't be mowing with it an 8 hp would work fine. My worst problem is that I have to get some repower development projects finished and I need to clean out the Clark building and big warehouse and e-bay about 2 or 3 semi loads of "quality merchandise" that I have been hoarding for I'll want it someday projects. As you know I have about 5 Cushman scooter projects, that I can't get to and 2 Vespas and and some walk behinds that I need to get on also. I will be 70 next summer and if I don't get rid of some of this stuff I have and something would happen to me it would all probably get sold for scrap, as there would be no one here to properly find a home for it. As you know, I have to live to be 145 to get all of my want to do projects done. Al Eden

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npalen
Tom--Very clear rendition of your track design! What 3D package are you using? Would surely be great fun converting to track drive. Wondering about the steering system. Would be great to have dual hydrostats so one or both tracks can be reversed. Otherwize converting a single hydrostat or gear drive would probably require braking the track on the inside of the turn? Would be cool if the retrofit would make use of the existing steering wheel but would require a type of power steering where a small cylinder is connected to each wheel brake linkage? The Cat Challengers use a steering wheel which has a detent at the centered position.

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arnoldir
I own a Magnatrac 6000 Diesel crawler and was considering building a mini replica. That got me looking around for a way to duplicate the tracks they use. Looking at my big wish book (McMaster -Carr) I found what appears to be the very chain that struck uses to build their tracks, it's called Steel Roller Chain with assembled K-1 attachments. For example use the item # below. McMaster-Carr item #2339K41 This chain comes with L shaped ears on every outer link plate, use these ears to weld on the ground pads. My Magnatrack, and all the larger magnatrac machines use 2 loops of chain about 4" apart with the ground pads overhanging about 2" on each side to make an 8" wide track. Hope that helps out.

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tmerideth
Hi Nelson. I should have noted when I posted those renderings that they were not mine. I had ran across them while doing some serious net surfing researching track designs. I saw those and posted them here as a possible design. I honestly do not recall at this moment where I discovered those. Some of the sites that I visited while doing research were: http://groups.msn.com/SmallCrawlerBulldozers/messageboard.msnw http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/build-yourself/ http://www.machinebuilders.net/ http://groups.msn.com/SmallCrawlerBulldozers/messageboard.msnw I know some of the members here are also members in some of these clubs. I have discovered some very ingenious people on these sites with some incredible engineering expertise. I in no mean intended to take credit for their work. My apologies for not giving proper credit. Roger, I also checked McMaster and saw the chain you are describing. I believe you are correct in that chain being a much used component in some track designs. I have looked at so many different design concepts that I am more confused than when I started.:)

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npalen
Tom--Sorry, I see in rereading your post that you mentioned finding the design on the Web. I use ProE solid modeling software at my day job and the neat models just caught my eye. Very interesting discussion!

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ka9bxg
Sorry I cannot post a picture of it but in the old days Case converted there model D steel wheel tractor into a track layer.They use the steering wheel for turning.What they did was put large brake drums on each track drive and had a link from the steering wheel to the break bands. It was a real bear to drive more of a steer by jerk.You would jerk on the steering wheel to turn. If someone wants a picture I might be able to scan part of our show book. Bob

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john-holcomb
I have in my stuff whats left of a Toro groundmaster golf course mower. It has independand hyd drives for each wheel and all of the hyd. parts including steering, valves and pump. This would make a good start to a crawler. For tracks I would use Rex table top chain made of steel. I will never get to this so if anyone is interested I would part with it for a reasonable price. The whole project sounds like fun but I just don't have the time.:(

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npalen
John--That sounds like an interesting project for someone! I would think dual hydrostats would provide a much smoother steering along with the ability to pivot on it axis by reversing one track while the other is in forward. It would seem that braking the "inside" track would instantly double the speed of the outside track because of the differential and cause the jerking that Robert mentions above. (Case conversion of model D) Robert mentions "large brake drums" above and I would think that would be a necessity to prevent premature wearout of the brake bands. I spent many "happy?" hours on a D2 Caterpillar as a farmboy back in the 50's. It used steering clutches to disengage the inside track in a turn situation. It was hard to make a sharp turn under load as the outside track had to do all the work. Using the wheel brakes helped some but they were not power assist I can guarantee you.sm01 We also had a 1936 vintage RD6 cat which was a three cylinder diesel predecessor to the D6. It used to plow 24 hrs/day six days a week using a six volt battery for a front and rear light. The tractor was shut down at midnight on Saturday and started up again at midnight on Sunday. I design farm machinery on my day job (sunflowermfg.com) and had the opportunity to spend several hours field testing on a Cat Challenger MT865B recently discing corn stalks. This was after not being on a Cat for about 40 years and going from about 5 MPH road gear to 24MPH down the highway. Also going from 2 or 3 gallons per hour to about 18 gph in the field. Nelson Nelson

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stevenj
How about this ..... instead of using tracks, what if you were to use two tires on each side of the machine, both the same size (say 23x10.50-12) front and rear, but instead of using a steering linkage, steer the machine by using differential speed of the left and right sides, not unlike the way the old 6x6 argo or 8x8 amphi-cat type amphibious vehicles operated. One could use the self-contained hydro motors from a zero turn mower to drive the wheels. Not sure if it would be better to use an individual motor driving each wheel or if you would drive each of the rears and connect the fronts using a chain or other device. This would give you 4 wheel drive and only using 4 wheels would allow the unit to follow ground contours without having the unit go "over-center" as you reach the crest of a hill. If you used a separate hydro motor for each wheel, would you simply connect them in parallel to the directional control valve? How would you contend with differential speed/torque of the two motors on each side or would it be a concern?

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tmerideth
Wow. I started this thread just basically wondering if anyone had ever converted an AC or Simplicity. Thought we need one to compete with that cub crawler that is all over the internet. Admittedly it is an interesting machine, but it just aint the right color or brand!:D But I've gotten tons of good ideas and some engineering ideas that have merit. I have become quite intrigued about a fellow down in Australia, I think, that is in scaled tank modeling. He and a bunch of like minded club members build replicas of various armored tracked vehicles from past military arsenals. I am going to include some links to a couple of his YouTube videos concerning tracks that he makes for some of his models. Very interesting and a quite ingenious fella. If you check these two videos, you will have an opportunity to search for a bunch of these videos he has done. I think he has something like 54 videos on YouTube currently. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMUqGsra_Z4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYzdGawiCLI I think that I am now definitely going to have to add a crawler conversion to my future plans using either a B series or a 300/400. I think either of those series would be excellent candidates for one of these. I hope someone here beats me to it and I can learn some tips or shortcuts from your project.

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tmerideth
PS: Steven, I have also given thought to your concept of using multiple wheels, driven by one drive wheel with sprocket and chain linkage to additional wheels, similar to skid steer machines. I also talked to a fella once that was telling me of a vehicle that he built from an old school bus, where he used one drive wheel on each side of the bus, mounted an additional wheel somewhere well in front of that drive wheel that was adjustable, then took an old tractor tire, removed the inner beads, and used that as a tread to create a kind of half track utility vehicle.

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