July 31, 2014 (posted September 20)


Thinking the repairs were done with the transmission rebuild, Wall-E and I headed out to move some dirt. However, the tracks kept slipping off the front wheel. When the track slipped off the back sprocket wheel too, I called the supply guys and with a heavy heart, got ready to spend more money on parts.

The front wheel rod is bent on the left side. The horizontal spring should be parallel to the frame.

Fortunately, we have a neighbor who has worked with big machinery most of his life. I consulted with him and we discovered some key problems including wear to the frame, wear which fortunately could be repaired with some welds and only a couple of new parts. Of course the bent rods need replacing but most of the track frame system would serve as it was.

The adjusting screw wearing and bending the frame into the main spring.

The good news is that the "lipping" of the frame can be rebuilt and reinforced by welding, and the rotational play (below) can be minimized by inserting and welding shims to prevent the rotation.

Close up of the front wheel support showing the rotational play that caused the stress that bent the rod.

So with the new information in hand, I ordered a few parts and then got started removing the adjusting screw.

With the adjusting screw removed, I had a clear view of the extent of the damage to the frame. The wear on this part was severe enough to prevent the proper tensioning of the track, which in turn allowed the track to slip off the wheels.

A large crack going almost all the way through the frame triggered differential wear on the main spring.

The same crack and evidence of a previous weld repair attempt.

We found several washers large enough for the adjusting screw to fit inside of then cut one of them in half. We placed the half washer and then a whole washer on the adjusting screw and fitting the assembly into place. With everything lined up, we welded the washers into place. That allowed us to reinforce the frame and protect the hole for the adjusting screw.

The completed repair. Ready to take the strain of tensioning the track again.

Back to the left side to do a similar repair.

Close up of the worn frame.

A few minutes of welding the second set of washers in place, and this side is fixed too.

The frame is repaired, but the yoke isn't seating properly.

As you can see in the above photo the new rods have been installed. The next step was to take them back out and clean up the yoke so it will slide onto the rods fully instead of getting hung up on the threads.

Close up of the new shims welded in place.

I used four sections of flat bar to create shims that made up for accumulated wear. Then I jacked up the tractor so I could slide the shim into place before welding them to keep them in place. With four shims installed, the rotational play was minimized.

Everything back in place and ready to go.