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Cat D7-17A Track came off - how to put it back on?


 
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andy r
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:26 pm    Post subject: Cat D7-17A Track came off - how to put it back on? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I have never had a track come off, so I need a few ideas before I proceed to put it back on. The dozer is a Cat D7 - 17A w/cable, pony, wet clutch. I knew the tightener should have been pushed out more. This was the time everything was just right to come off. Fortunately I am basically in the open with no obstructions and only on a slight grade. Anyway, the track is on the back drive sprocket and off of the front idler. This is the left side track. The track is laying between the front idler and the frame. The pads are still supported by the front idler and upper rollers - just that nothing is lined up. I think the tightener is already pretty much back. I know I could jack it up and pull the track outward to put it back on. The ground is fairly soft where I am at and I don't have a 15 - 20 ton jack, but I could get around both of those problems. Can I drive it back on?? If so how is that done?? I could hook the front of the track to a chain/tractor and pull forward and outward while driving the dozer forward to the right. Or what about going backwards with the front swinging to the right?? I do have a tractor and loader if that would help. Any ideas will be appreciated. Yes, I will extend the tightener to prevent this from happening again. I hope the tightener works. Thank you.
 
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Fritz Maurer
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Cat D7-17A Track came off - how to put it back on? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

If the rail is completely off the idler on the inside, you will have to separate the master link. You are also going to need a large skid-steer or tractor to move the track around after it is separated. If the master link is under the roller frame, and the rail is off the top rollers, hook your tractor to the track and pull outward gently as the D-7 is backed up, to keep the rail on the sprocket and laid straight under the roller frame. If by chance the rail gets back under the front idler during this operation, it'll go back on with no problem. The most important thing is to keep your eyes open evaluate the safety of your next move. You are performing a mighty dangerous stunt and one wrong move by you or your helper will cost you a couple fingers.
 
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2x4
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Cat D7-17A Track came off - how to put it back on? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

sometimes driving it back on has worked for me: if the track came off when you were going forward & turning left, put it in reverse & turn right. In other words, just do the reverse of how you got in this mess. Most times it will walk right back on.
 
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Billy NY
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:29 am    Post subject: Re: Cat D7-17A Track came off - how to put it back on? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I've done it on one of my D7's, sort of a slope and what was mud, it dried out when we worked on it.

Always have to turn gently and or avoid doing so on a side hill, seems you have the manual adjuster, and have room still, so you may be able to get track tension back when done.

If you are able get the track adjuster back far enough, its very possible you will have enough clearance. When I had to deal with ours it had slipped the back end, but same deal if you think about it, this tractor had well worn tracks, adjusters about max if I recall.

We could not have done this without some heavy jacks, pry bars and so on. I had no other piece of equipment to use either.


Splitting the track would do it, but like Fritz said, you need something to move it, driving that pin out could be a real chore, I suppose you could get another and use another method, and depending on where that link is, and so on, have to be leary of flying metal if driving out, its going to be some work regardless. Some would use a torch, I've never had to break a track down, the master link/pin on the old tracks has a divot in the pin, easily recognizeable, would be my last resort to have to do this, unless its just so darned tight you have no other choice. For some it may be preference too, there is no wrong way, that is for sure LOL !

I would carefully, look it over and make sure the adjuster is as far back as can be. Bottle jacks are not that expensive, you will need some hardwood blocking, the tractor with blade, belly pans, accumulated dirt etc, could easily be 16-17 ton, and you are raising half of that or maybe 1/4 if just the one front corner if you will, these track frames oscillate for uneven terrain, I am thinking for this, you will be under the main spring that spans the track frame, to relieve the weight on the bottom, allowing use of a come along, or equipment to pull/rotate the track back on. It certainly can be done, you just have to take your time, observe and move slowly, as you try and pull that track over and back onto the idler.

As was said, use care, and be safe, lot of forces at work, the weight, pinch points, don't do this alone, it took 3 of us to get it done, jacks, blocking and large prybars etc.
 
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Bernie/MA
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Cat D7-17A Track came off - how to put it back on? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I wouldn't know a D17 if I saw one but I used to put the track back on on my JD 420 all the time. It had holes in the rear sprocket around the perimiter and I put a short chain thru a hole and thru the track links and pulled it on with it's own power.
 
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Stick welding
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Cat D7-17A Track came off - how to put it back on? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

If you can hook a tractor up to help pull the track back on can work. You'll need someone on the cat as well. Go slow and you might get it to pop back on. I wouldn't split the track except as an absolute last resort.
 
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AC Tim
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:56 am    Post subject: Re: Cat D7-17A Track came off - how to put it back on? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

We have a AC HD11 that is similar to the Cat D7. When this happened to us we put it in reverse, and slowly moved (going left and right, backwards) coaxing the tracks back into place. Worked perfect, and it was really offline when we started. Took about 5 minutes. A good piece of sucker rod to coax it over during this process will help. 2 person job if you use the sucker rod.

Best of Luck
 
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