Mini-crawler build : Struck RS196K

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ElmBurner

Burning Hunk
Sep 3, 2015
153
Iowa
I started this thread (https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads...-crawler-dozer-type-vehicles-opinions.153909/) a while back and, as promised, I have come back to give some further details.

I chose to do the paint myself, using some tractor/implement paint from our local farm store (Van Sickle is the brand...seems OK). I am shooting for a "10 foot" paint job, meaning if it looks OK from 10 ft, that's good enough for me. Part of me has trouble with this approach, but at the end of the day, the paint is there for rust protection. I am not entering it into a contest. I am rolling it on the flat areas and plan on using a spray can to do the corners and rounded items where a roller doesn't cut it. I initially tried using a foam brush for this part, that doesn't work well.

Since the steel was sitting on my garage floor for 4 months due to a lack of proper planning, the first step was to sand off any rust spots, then I wiped/washed it all down with acetone and rags. Then, busted out the primer and got to it.

I plan on one coat of primer and two coats of color. I chose "Ford" as my paint scheme, dark blue on the stuff that doesn't move and light gray on the stuff that does move. I was going to go with a red, but I have heard that red alkyd enamals generally fade fast and I didn't want any pink machinery at my place.

Here's a brief summary of where I am at so far (all pics taken before primer):

8KdKd4a.jpg

The manual is divided up into 5 or 6 sections. Roughly Body / Drivetrain / Engine / Wiring / Finish Work. I have some attachments that I need to paint at the end too. A blade and bucket and a small rear hitch. My goal is to paint and assemble one sections' worth of parts at a time. So, the first step is the body.

4GLnkAS.jpg
Here's a close-up of one of the axle shafts.

7ylofMC.jpg
Here's one half of the rollers for the track. The one to the left is the drive, the other is the "idler", I guess you would call it. The gear with the smaller teeth is the one that attaches to the belt drive transmission through a thick chain. The other large tooth sprockets connect to the track. These pieces are seriously heavy. 30+ lbs each, probably. At completion, this thing will weigh 850+ lbs with the attachments on and no operator.

n9DXOio.jpg
Here's some of the parts, roughly laid out for painting. Panel thickness is 1/4". Since I am rolling the paint on, I took small squares of plywood and drove a 2" drywall screw through them to hold the painted parts up off the floor. This worked OK, for the most part. I put on too much paint and as it dried, I got some bumps/drips. :(

p0qasdT.jpg
In the upper left are the body panels (right and left side). You can see the axles to the lower left. The square tube things in the middle right are the track tensioners. The axles pass through the holes/slots and there is a bolt with a rubber bumper that you use to tension the track. More on that as the build goes on.

MzXqHSS.jpg
Here are the small parts hanging to be painted. Just various brackets and doodads.

PFczFWP.jpg
An overall shot showing the painting area. I should have made it bigger, but could only dedicate one stall of my garage for this project. As an idea of scale, this dropcloths cover an 6' x 12' area, roughly.

I'll update more as I continue with the painting and assembly.
 

xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,484
Lackawaxen PA
I to am looking forward to seeing your progress. Do you have all the parts to complete the build?
 

ElmBurner

Burning Hunk
Sep 3, 2015
153
Iowa
I to am looking forward to seeing your progress. Do you have all the parts to complete the build?
Yes, I have it all laid out in my garage. I am just cleaning and painting the parts that are called out in one "chapter" of the build manual, just to try to keep things organized. Once this bunch is assembled, I will continue with the drive train, the rest of the body, engine, etc.
 

ElmBurner

Burning Hunk
Sep 3, 2015
153
Iowa
Latest update...

Been spray painting as time allows (which it usually doesn't). Also built a chicken coop this fall which took three of my weekends.

Then all the family stuff that happens between Thanksgiving and Xmas....

Here is the progress as of late October.

dozer.jpg

I recently finished the "transmission" part of the build. I'll get some pictures of that put up.
 
Very Nice!
Thanks for updating this build!
 
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ElmBurner

Burning Hunk
Sep 3, 2015
153
Iowa
Here's the transmission part.

It's basically a belt drive system. The chain connects to the drive shafts and they get "geared down" through the big black discs towards the rear, such that the overall gear reduction is around 53:1. Through the magic of physics, this ends up with a lot of grunt at the tracks from a 250 cc engine.

The levers in the center control the direction of the tracks. Push goes forward, pull goes backward. You can operate them independently (push one, pull the other has you spinning in place).

The gray lever on the right side of the photo is connected to the brake. It's a mechanical disk brake. Pull up and it pushes a caliper into a brake disc that it attached to the drive shaft. Because it is belt drive, pushing the levers while the brake is engaged just means the belt start slipping. Otherwise, you'd kill the engine.

transmission.jpg
 
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How hard is it going to be to replace a belt, when all it done?
Looks great with out the dirt and grease!
 

ElmBurner

Burning Hunk
Sep 3, 2015
153
Iowa
How hard is it going to be to replace a belt, when all it done?
Looks great with out the dirt and grease!
To replace the belts, you have to unscrew some set screws and about 6 nuts and the shafts with the smaller "sprockets" on them slide out towards the upper left, as viewed in this picture. Then you route the belts out past the end of the shaft and remove them.

Hopefully that made sense. The manual says if you go easy and don't let them slip (trying to engage the tracks when it is stuck), the belts should last quite a while. In other words, treat it just like the clutch on your car.

I don't imagine it is a 5 minute job, but it's not really tearing the whole thing apart either.
 

redpoint_13

New Member
Jan 21, 2018
1
WA
These updates are great. Keep them up. :)
Hi.
Please do keep updating! i am in the very same situation and am curious whether to pursue old JD MC Crawler types, or a new Struck DIY is good enough. I am afraid that the no-cleat/small screw-ons might not be enough to go through snow. The tracks are somewhat narrow.

On the other hand an old tractor might be a nightmare to maintain, plus, apparently, collectors (ugh) are after them!

Thank you!
 

VirginiaIron

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2013
1,108
Central Virginia
I remember seeing the ads for these on the backs of Popular Mechanics & Outdoor Life - Nice work Elmburner -
I remember these from the 1970's. My dad and I went to look at a friends completed project. Apparently, it is a tried and tested design. We ended up picking up simarlarly sized crawler, supposedly military, that was dropped by parachute to CB's in Vietnam.
 

VirginiaIron

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2013
1,108
Central Virginia
I did a quick search and this appears to be the unit made by Agricat. I believe the subframe was welded cast. It appears very similar if not the same to the one I had. Mine did not have the ripper in the rear but the engine, trans, belts, gears, and tracks appear the same.

 

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Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,995
SEPA
I think this is an awesome project. I've contemplated checking these out when I see the ads in the magazines. What are the best uses once built?
 

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,995
SEPA
Limitless ..
I have some thoughts, I was just hoping for a few concrete examples.

Dragging logs out of my impossibly steep back yard, grading some level spots in the same steep yard, stealthily delivering an emp into North Korea, rendering their entire military neutered...
 

ben94122

Burning Hunk
Sep 4, 2017
140
California
I'd be very careful on a slope. With no rollover protection, you would end up very flat very quickly if the slope got too steep for the machine.
 
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Hey elmburner it's time for an update... Please
 

VirginiaIron

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2013
1,108
Central Virginia
I'd be very careful on a slope. With no rollover protection, you would end up very flat very quickly if the slope got too steep for the machine.

The struct appears to have a higher center of gravity with a smaller footprint. A longer track print would be beneficial for steep slopes. Typically, dozer's are less apt to tip front to rear than side to side.