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Anyone Know Anything About Vintage Cat Dozers? Potential Rescue of 1959 D7...

bulletpruf

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So, I'm thinking about buying a non-running D7D 17A project; should be about 1959 vintge. It's complete, said to have been running (but not running well) about 10 years ago. Owner thinks it's was having fuel issues.

It has a hydraulic blade, electric start, Hyster D7D winch. Engine is a 4 cylinder turbo, but based on the block casting, it appears to be a later D7E engine.

This would be my first piece of heavy equipment. I've been wrenching on muscle cars and trucks on and off for decades. Also have some diesel experience - Ford 7.3 IDI and PS and a pair of Detroit diesels in a boat decades ago. Now that I'm retired from the Army, I have more time to take on something challenging like this. FYI - I certainly realize that it would make more sense to buy something in better condition, but I'm not necessarily after the smartest course of action.

Anyway, back to the D7. I haven't seen it in person yet; it's 1.5 hours away from me. Going tomorrow to check it out in person. Before I buy it, I'd like to get it running, if at all possible.

Owner said he has an old set of batteries from a D4; believe the D7 should be 24V.

And this is where I could use some help. I'm familiar with the process of starting a car or truck that hasn't been running in years, but a 64 year old D7 is another situation altogether. Anyone want to take a stab at the process you'd use and the tools you'd bring?

I do have a pushbutton starter switch that will hook to the starter solenoid with alligator clips. I should be able to figure out which terminal is the S terminal on the solenoid. I'll bring ether, but I'm not a big fan of the stuff. What about getting fuel to the injectors? If I bring a 5 gallon can of diesel, can I use an electric fuel pump to get the diesel to the injectors somehow? I suspect the rack is likely stuck, so I'll check this first.367633970_4841020866022155_1904021077427653196_n.jpg368048741_7339170012766236_6580676521148339783_n.jpg367481069_6876195599097101_7740303916332726087_n.jpg367355602_6868579319866398_3954911768739107292_n.jpg367486041_6766311880067114_7203889276183227089_n.jpg367486041_6766311880067114_7203889276183227089_n.jpg
 

bulletpruf

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I'll bite. If you do get it running, do you have any use for a bulldozer?

Nope. But remember that you're posing this question to a guy with a dozen chainsaws over 100cc in the garage, and nothing on the property that a 50cc saw wouldn't take down...
 

timg

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My suggestion is yard art only @bulletpruf.
She looks rough and well used. That is I believe an 8800 series engine which are very hard to come by. Fuel service parts, pump, injectors, etc are probably worn and corroded. That is a low RPM engine around 1250-1350 Maximum. The rest of the tractor looks like it's had a hard life. In my opinion it's still worth 5-6K just as it sits. Hope this helps, Thx, Timg
BTW, @markds2 has extensive D2 repair and restore hands on time. I'm sure he will be along here shortly.
 

bulletpruf

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My suggestion is yard art only @bulletpruf.
She looks rough and well used. That is I believe an 8800 series engine which are very hard to come by. Fuel service parts, pump, injectors, etc are probably worn and corroded. That is a low RPM engine around 1250-1350 Maximum. The rest of the tractor looks like it's had a hard life. In my opinion it's still worth 5-6K just as it sits. Hope this helps, Thx, Timg
BTW, @markds2 has extensive D2 repair and restore hands on time. I'm sure he will be along here shortly.

Ok, well the asking price is $5k, so at least it's not way out of line.

Thanks for the details
 

markds2

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I warn you, old CAT gear, while parts are generally available, they are often very expensive. I.E the new thermostat for my D2 cost approx $140. However in the 1950's and 60's CAT was at its best and making incredibly reliable, well designed and HEAVY gear - the problem is most of it is worn out now! CAT used things like tapered splines to hold things together which generally needed special (I.e. factory supplied) gear for dismantling which combined with the weight of everything makes them difficult and expensive (but rewarding) to work on. That all being said, you may find that old D7 relatively simple to get going, but I can see the track gear is pretty worn and that's ususally why they are parked, it just becomes uneconomic to replace. Not to scare you off or be a party pooper, but all I can see is a big money pit, I'd suggest you find something in better condition to start with, you may pay more intitally but you'll save yourself money, time, energy and headaches down the track. My D2 has only done 3960hrs from new, the orginal track gear is still at 75% yet I have spent well over $9000 NZD getting it up to scratch (new steering clutches, new rear bevel gear shaft bearings, new track roller seals, repairs to the cooling system along with tooling and hydraulics to be able to dismantle it myself)
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markds2

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Join the Antique Caterpillar Machinery Owners Club: https://www.acmoc.org/ it's only $40 a year online, you get access to many owners and service manuals online and the forum has lots of resources.
Actually, flag that! I see you are already on there.
 

bulletpruf

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I warn you, old CAT gear, while parts are generally available, they are often very expensive. I.E the new thermostat for my D2 cost approx $140. However in the 1950's and 60's CAT was at its best and making incredibly reliable, well designed and HEAVY gear - the problem is most of it is worn out now! CAT used things like tapered splines to hold things together which generally needed special (I.e. factory supplied) gear for dismantling which combined with the weight of everything makes them difficult and expensive (but rewarding) to work on. That all being said, you may find that old D7 relatively simple to get going, but I can see the track gear is pretty worn and that's ususally why they are parked, it just becomes uneconomic to replace. Not to scare you off or be a party pooper, but all I can see is a big money pit, I'd suggest you find something in better condition to start with, you may pay more intitally but you'll save yourself money, time, energy and headaches down the track. My D2 has only done 3960hrs from new, the orginal track gear is still at 75% yet I have spent well over $9000 NZD getting it up to scratch (new steering clutches, new rear bevel gear shaft bearings, new track roller seals, repairs to the cooling system along with tooling and hydraulics to be able to dismantle it myself)
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That D2 is a beauty!!! What year? How much does it weigh?

On the D7, I figure roughly $30k USD to get it operational - $15k on the undercarriage, $5k on hydraulics and such, $5k on engine? and $5k on incidentals. And there's also the potential for a lot more $$$ on things that could be in bad shape.

Thanks
 

markds2

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That D2 is a beauty!!! What year? How much does it weigh?

On the D7, I figure roughly $30k USD to get it operational - $15k on the undercarriage, $5k on hydraulics and such, $5k on engine? and $5k on incidentals. And there's also the potential for a lot more $$$ on things that could be in bad shape.

Thanks
Thank you! It's a 1950 5U (ser#5U6373) and weighs approx 7225lbs with an operator, I brought it off the orginal owners and it had always been shed stored. I think you are being realistic with your costings, however be prepared for more. There's just so many unknowns.
 

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That D2 is a beauty!!! What year? How much does it weigh?

On the D7, I figure roughly $30k USD to get it operational - $15k on the undercarriage, $5k on hydraulics and such, $5k on engine? and $5k on incidentals. And there's also the potential for a lot more $$$ on things that could be in bad shape.

Thanks
For a bulldozer you don't need Steve? I'm in the wrong game obviously.
 

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I have a newer version with the power shift.
Old cats are great they can sit for years and give them fuel and new batteries and away they go.
My D7E has sat many times for years and fires right up.
I bough one like yours from a guy that worked for me.It had no starter. I hooked on to it with my KW and pull started it. It had been sitting for over 10 years. It sat on my lowbed and idled away till i got home and drove it off. I kept the blade and sold the cat about 4 years later. Gave it a pull with my 950 and it fired right up. Went to Alaska.
Having it converted to electric start is nice.
Clean fuel filters and clean fuel, good batteries are a must. To get it started to see if it runs just make sure it's got fluids and good batteries.And a can or two of starting fluid
 

bulletpruf

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Ok, so today was a GREAT day!

Got on the road at 6:15. Picked up sidekick at 6:30. Got to dozer at 8:45. Owner was there waiting for us; he's a really good dude, 5th generation on their 550 acre cattle ranch. His dad bought the D7 10 or so years ago from a neighbor who lived a few miles away. They were going to use it to clear some of the land, and when you have a 550 acre ranch, I think you can justify a D7 to clear land.

Dozer was easy to get to. Didn't need to break out the chainsaw or weed-whacker. Just like you see in the pics.

The owner had 4 big freaking batteries in the back of his truck. I think the smaller ones were 4D's, but they were dead. The larger ones had 11.5 volts each, and look like they've been sitting in a shed for a decade or two.

We got unloaded and got the generator fired up (sidekick has a Honda generator) and got two chargers going on the big batteries.

Then we checked fluids and such - good on antifreeze, good on fuel, good on engine oil, milkshake in the transmission...gonna have to pretend we didn't see that...

Checked for air filter and it had been deleted at some point. Ruh-roh. Mice had made it into the turbo on the cold side, but not a worst case scenario. Just had to clean it out a bit.

Then started on fuel system, and that's where we ran into a problem. Injector rack seems to be immobile. But wasn't able to get it moving and the parts between the rack and the fuel filter are throwing me for a loop. Will have to wait for me to download pics and video, but we didn't want to force the issue, so we buttoned it back up for the time being.

Fuel filters (3) all had fuel in them; they were all full. And tank is gravity feeding the first fuel filter (small wire screen), so we don't have an obstruction between the tank and the first fuel filter. Fuel filters look almost new; we saw old filters laying in box that must have been changed out the last time someone tried to start it.

At that point, we figured we wouldn't be able to start it, but we could at least try to turn it over.

Starter was already wired with a pushbutton and we ohm'ed all the wires and everything checked out, including working pushbutton. We then built some quick 2/0 cables to connect the 12v batteries in series for a 24v system. Used the positive wire that was already in place because it ohm'ed fine and it was in good shape.

I was worried about a stuck rack and WOT/runaway engine if it started, but I really didn't think there was much chance of it lighting off immediately. I also had a thick denim shirt sitting right next to the intake; I could have smothered it if it caught.

Verified all controls were in neutral and then hit the starter. Almost forgot - no real way that I could see to turn it over manually, at least not at the front of the engine. Anyway, the sumbitch spun over quickly! No funny noises, just nice and smooth! I was turning it over with the compression release in the "start" position, so it wasn't building much compression. No smoke, so it wasn't getting any fuel that I could tell. Second time I turned it over, it spun for a second and then I switched the compression release to "run" position and it definitely has compression; really slowed it down.

Seller was there watching and he was certainly happy to see the engine turn over. He did mention that the winch was turning as I was cranking the engine, so that's a problem that we need to address; can't be using battery/starter power to turn the winch. The problem is the two controls for the winch -- one is "bluetooth" (i.e., cable is busted) and the other is frozen in position. Anyone have any ideas on how to disengage a Hyster D7 winch that has MIA and frozen control levers?

Anyway, at this point, we called it a day. Seller was leaving to go out of town for work for a few weeks and sidekick had to be back to for parental duties, so we packed up and headed home. Batteries also weren't happy from having to turn the engine and the winch.

I have pics and video. I'll post pics here when I get a chance, and I'll work on editing the video to put up on the YouTube channel.

Next step - figure out the fuel system, source an air filter, figure out how to disengage the winch, and plan the next trip!

Thanks for all the input!!!

Scott
 

bulletpruf

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I have a newer version with the power shift.
Old cats are great they can sit for years and give them fuel and new batteries and away they go.
My D7E has sat many times for years and fires right up.
I bough one like yours from a guy that worked for me.It had no starter. I hooked on to it with my KW and pull started it. It had been sitting for over 10 years. It sat on my lowbed and idled away till i got home and drove it off. I kept the blade and sold the cat about 4 years later. Gave it a pull with my 950 and it fired right up. Went to Alaska.
Having it converted to electric start is nice.
Clean fuel filters and clean fuel, good batteries are a must. To get it started to see if it runs just make sure it's got fluids and good batteries.And a can or two of starting fluid

Pretty cool story!

Looks like this one has a D7E engine based on the block casting.
 
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