Just Old Al wrote: ↑
Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:32 pm
FreeFlier wrote: ↑
Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:05 pm
If I remember correctly, this machine did not have hydraulics, but did have a set of four control winches (two is normal) which allowed use of the blade and a scraper at the same time, plus a two-drum logging winch. Rather an unusual setup.
It was also a pony-motor start, which was normal at the time.
I expect they added glow plugs at the same time? Pony motor start tended to crank for a LONG time before the damn thing lit off IIRC from stories I've heard. . . .
I do not believe so. That would have required new heads, and the machine had been rebuilt not long before it was parked.
I'm not sure that glow plugs were even an option . . . I don't recall having heard of Caterpillar diesels having that option.
And the pony-motor starts I was around would start popping in a few seconds to a minute or so, and light solid shortly thereafter. You'd watch the flame-cocks until all of them were firing every time, then close the cocks and unclutch the pony motor. A properly sized pony is fairly powerful so it can start the main under adverse conditions.
One of the tricks was that you never stopped the pony by turning off the spark (they were usually gasoline) but by turning off the fuel until they burned up the residual fuel. Some of the outfits would actually use white gas because it didn't gum up as bad.
Cats of that size and vintage idle at 200-300 rpm . . . get them wound up to 1500 and it sounds like the pistons are changing holes!
A second trick was to open the compression release and/or flame cocks, turn the fuel off, roll the main engine over on the pony, then shove a weedburner torch into the intake manifold to warm the combustion chambers! After a couple of minutes, pull the torch out and turn the fuel on . . . usually it would start in short order, even at temperatures well below zero F.
You can't do this on a gas motor because the water vapor from the burning fuel will condense and short out the plugs, so instead you'd remove the plugs, pour fuel on them, light it on fire, and once the fire was out get the plugs back in before they cooled off. (It was helpful to have several people installing the plugs.) BTDT.
Another trick was to cut about 6-18 inches off one end of an oil drum (depending on how high the machine was - you wanted about 4-6 inches of clearance), fill it about 1/3 full or six inches of sand, and soak the sand with diesel . . . then you lit the diesel, and shoved the drum or drums under the oil pan! You did not
punch holes in the sides, so the high sides kept the flames down to basically a glow . . . but a pretty hot glow. Give it some time, and the oil would be thinned pretty good.
In severe conditions, some outfits would leave them like that all night, with a hostler out there to tend them. Or just leave them idling all night, though that let the gearboxes and final drives congeal. And you'd also want to park the tracked machines on boards or dry gravel so they didn't freeze down. (Rubber tires usually have enough flex to break loose.)
Dad told about one time they got caught in the high country by a hard cold snap before they could get the machines out . . . they had to take a small cat in towing a sled of gear over the snow to get the machines running, while more of the crew plowed their way in . . . they wound up walking the machines partway out over the snow, very
Another time the hostler started walking the machines out down the road when it started to snow in the night . . . walk one machine several hundred feet down the road, stop, leave it idling there, and walk back for the next one . . . repeat all night. He wound up a couple of miles and several thousand feet lower when they showed up to collect him!
"Why in my day, we had to walk ten miles to work through ten feet of snow - in July! - and uphill both ways . . ."