Saturday, February 25, 2023

Grouser Time

During the dog days of winter a guy has to get creative on how to spend his time. The grouser bars on the tracks of our JD 450 have been worn down ever since we got the dozer. I've always wanted to extend them but couldn't imagine taking the time to do it. Well, with a late winter going on, now was the acceptable time. 

The dozer had enough traction when both tracks were engaged. But when you went to turn while pushing a load, you'd spin.

So I did the math and cut out 74 16”x1”x1/2" bars ahead of time. 

Then when I landed back home we went to work. I'd first tack weld the bars onto the old grouser. 

We used my old 250 mig welder for that. That way we could also fill in the gaps on the ends of the bars. 

Then laid a hot bead with two 5/32" 7018 rods. 

Using the old SA-200 for that. Probably would have been quicker using the mig for everything, but I just like the penetration of an arc welder for a job like this. 

Besides, good arc welds have more character. 

We did one track at a time, getting the track off the ground with down pressure from the blade and a 20k bottle jack in the back. Then we used a 36" pipe wrench to turn the track so we always had a nice flat surface to weld. 

All that rod put off some strong smoke. This nice little Miller filter fit under my helmet. Very thankful for that. 

Muy Bien. We welded both tracks and both sides of each bar. 74 bars at 16" long x2 = 197' of weld. My back is sore. 

No more spinning though. 

Another well job done. I really enjoyed this couple day venture. When its cold out there's no better place to be than the shop. Having good clean iron and a dialed in welder makes for fun welding. On to the next one... after I get some rest. 

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