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Got a Free Cat 977H Track Loader. Now What?

bulletpruf

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I spend a fair amount of time in FB Marketplace and have been looking for a vintage Cat dozer for a while, when this popped up - a 977H, listed as inoperable. It was on a 130 acre farm/ranch near Killeen, TX that some investors had bought. Farm/ranch went belly up and they sent in someone to liquidate everything, including the 977H. The liquidator didn't know anything about the 977H other than the fact that there was something wrong with it.

When I called him on Saturday to discuss, I asked how soon would he need it gone. He said it had to be gone by Wednesday morning. I think he heard my jaw drop over the phone. Then he said, "Look, you're the only one who's been serious about it, so if you can get it out of here by Wednesday morning, it's yours." Challenge accepted!

Headed there Sunday with a buddy of mine. Had it running and operating in about 2 hours; it just needed a jump start and track tensioner maintenance/repair. Left steering clutch is very weak; I suspect that's why it was laid up.

Anyway, got a lowboy out there on Tuesday and had it brought to my buddy's ranch near Fredericksburg, Texas.

Now I guess I need to give it a good once over and see if I can get some work done with it. This is my first piece of heavy equipment, but I've been working on vintage cars for decades.

Scott
IMG_1356.jpg
 

Yukon Stihl

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Now you did it...
My vintage iron fleet
Cat 196_ D7E, 196_ D6, 1958 950, 1984 950, 1974 980, 1995 219, 1993 426
Champion 1981 740A
John Deere 1963 440A
Hitachi 1999 EX200-5, just picked it up from sitting at my Folks old house since pre covid.Fresh battery's and it fired up with only needing a throttle relearn.
The 980 is the only one not running
Almost as bad as CAD
 

bulletpruf

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Now you did it...
My vintage iron fleet
Cat 196_ D7E, 196_ D6, 1958 950, 1984 950, 1974 980, 1995 219, 1993 426
Champion 1981 740A
John Deere 1963 440A
Hitachi 1999 EX200-5, just picked it up from sitting at my Folks old house since pre covid.Fresh battery's and it fired up with only needing a throttle relearn.
The 980 is the only one not running
Almost as bad as CAD

Damn! I resurrected a D7D a few months ago after sitting for 10+ years. It was for sale, but too far gone to buy.
 

Bill G

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The RGN trailers are great. My brother had one for hauling his dozers, excavators, and skidder on but he had so much trouble getting stuck he went to a drop deck.
 

bulletpruf

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I do not think that was too bad

It was interesting getting on and off the lowboy. He didn't uncouple it, so I just climbed up the back to get on (used the bucket to help) and scooted off the back to get off. We were on level ground and it has ROPS (rollover protection system - the cage on top) but still a bit sketchy.
 

bulletpruf

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Won't take long for that machine to pay for the trucking. Fait looking undercarriage from what can be seen.

Well, the undercarriage is either junk or good for another 10 years, depending on who you talk to. The sprockets are good, but the grousers on the track pads are worn to the depth of the bolt heads, the idlers and rollers are noticeably worn/scalloped, along with the track link running surfaces.

Bottom line - since everything is worn, I'm not doing to damage good parts by running worn parts against good parts, so a new undercarriage is going to be down at the bottom of the list. I also need to check to see what's available new.

Thanks
 

Bill G

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Well, the undercarriage is either junk or good for another 10 years, depending on who you talk to. The sprockets are good, but the grousers on the track pads are worn to the depth of the bolt heads, the idlers and rollers are noticeably worn/scalloped, along with the track link running surfaces.

Bottom line - since everything is worn, I'm not doing to damage good parts by running worn parts against good parts, so a new undercarriage is going to be down at the bottom of the list. I also need to check to see what's available new.

Thanks
Well idlers and rollers are easily rebuildable with a welder, lathe, bearings, seals, and time. The grousers can be addressed with a welder, grinder, and time. If the sprockets are good that is good because they do not appear to be segmented. How are the rails?
 

bulletpruf

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Well idlers and rollers are easily rebuildable with a welder, lathe, bearings, seals, and time. The grousers can be addressed with a welder, grinder, and time. If the sprockets are good that is good because they do not appear to be segmented. How are the rails?

They're triple grousers on each track pad so that might take a a minute or two to build them all back up...

One sprocket has bolt on segments, the other doesn't.

The rails have some wear. Not horrible, but they're definitely worn on the wear surface.
 
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