Excavators typically have wide shoes so proper installation is very important to prevent bolts from coming loose and damaging your track chains, not to mention losing your shoes.
- Pressure wash tracks to remove all mud and debris from all areas around the bolt head, nuts, underneath the shoes.
- Bolts sometimes can be removed with an impact but in my experience bolt sizes of ⅝” or 16mm and smaller will need to be cut off with a torch.
- Always cut the nuts off instead of the bolt heads. After completely cutting the nuts, the shoes can be removed by hitting shoe with a sledge hammer which breaks the shank of the bolt loose. Then remove all the bolts from shoe and stack them aside.
- The bottom of the shoe should be cleaned with wire brush or grinder so no rust remains on area of shoe that will contact the new chain.
- Cut one set of track links and remove the chains from machine
- Unroll new track chain and slide under track frames, wrap around sprocket, rollers, and idlers. Make sure you have the chain going in the proper direction
- This is the front side of shoe and goes towards front Idler
- This side goes towards sprocket
- After Installing chain, remove paint from top of links that will make contact with bottom of shoe, failure to do this can result in bolts loosening. A disc grinder works well for this.
- Lay cleaned shoes on clean track chain
- Pour some heavy oil (80-90W) is best, dip bolts thread deep or about an inch into oil to lubricate the threads and install through shoes and links. This helps with tightening and makes future removel much easier.
- Start nuts onto bolts by hand, making sure you have the threads started well. Using a criss-cross pattern run each bolt down until your gun just starts to impact, make sure the nut is “seated” in the link. stop and go to next bolt.
- Torque bolts: This can be done by referring to your machines manufacturer service manual for specs. If the specs are not available, use a metal marker and place 2 vertical lines on your socket 180 degrees apart to use as a visual aid. Again using a criss-cross pattern tighten bolts ½ of a turn after gun starts impacting. From my experience (37years) , this will always put you within the +or- torque range of manufacturer specs
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