April 23, 2014
While Pat went back east for the coldest part of our winter, I continued working on putting Wall-E back together. The Final Drive gave me a couple of problems but all in all things went smoothly with more parts needed here and there. With the help of Martin, Thomas, and Walt we installed the final drives then moved on to re-attaching the support/frame for the hydraulic system and generally putting things back together.
Pat returned in early March and we continued putting things back together. We put on the sprocket wheel, then the track frames, then the support brackets. Finally it came time to put the tracks back on and that was a challenge but with Martin, Pat, and I working together and using a come-a-long, we got both tracks on and adjusted so Wall-E was ready to go for a walk.
Two things we noticed pretty quickly. First, Wall-E's tracks were loose. Since the weight of Wall-E was on the tracks and the tracks had been loosened while disassembled, it is no surprise that the tracks were loose after a short walk.
The second thing is just how much space is under the bridge when there is not a tractor and its parts spread out all over the place.
The correct amount of slack in the tracks is 2" and after walking around the slack was about 5" on one side and 4.5" on the other. It was easy enough to tighten up the track with just a few turns of the wrench.
We moved Wall-E over near the welder so that we could assemble and attach a bracket to hold the rear hydraulic cylinder. You see when the new seat was installed (before I owned Wall-E) they didn't bother to reattach the hydraulic cylinder that holds/adjusts the tow bar.
The bracket consists of two pieces of metal that will be welded to the frame under the operator's seat along with some washers and some reinforcement on a long bolt. We will be able to remove the hydraulic cylinder by removing the bolt.
With the bracket attached to the top of the hydraulic cylinder, we attach the lower end to the tow bar with a pin and secure that with a cotter pin.
We supported the tow bar on a piece of firewood so that we could extend the hydraulic cylinder and line up the bracket under the seat and got everything ready to weld.
Welding the bracket to the seat frame took just a few minutes and now the tow bar can be held at a convenient and changeable level by the hydraulic system.
One more conversion to be implemented: ripper teeth. We found these ripper teeth on a different piece of equipment and will need to make some adjustments before they are ready to tear it up. :)