I bought a JD 450C dozer- learn me.......

   #1  

Flatheadyoungin

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Well, after taking Eddie's advice I bought a dozer.;) I looked at 350's, D6's, Internationals, Allis Chalmers, Komatsu, and D8's but finally decided on a 450C for various reasons but mainly parts. I see parts all over the internet and we know ole' guys up in the hollows that have them sitting around and are parting them out. So, for me, really, it was a no-brainer.

So, what can you tell me about this thing? Any advice?

Does anyone have a factory service manual for sale (cheap:rolleyes:), download for a fee or download for free?

How do I let some tension off of the tracks? A buddy of mine was scraping off the dirt but got called away before he figured it out. He said to remove the grease fitting and then jump on the track a couple of times to put a bit of slack in it. He said when they are too tight, they wear the undercarriage prematurely.

I really just need an operator's manual and a factory service bulletin. Because I don't know all the service points and I'm afraid I'll miss some.

Seriously, ANY and ALL information you share is greatly appreciated because I'm pretty green on this.

I really hadn't planned on buying a dozer right now but this one was in such good shape compared to what I've looked at. That buddy of mine said that I bought one with an excellent undercarriage that I'd probably never wear it out in my lifetime building roads, a pond, clearing ground, making trails and my home site prep. So, then, I really only need to focus on keeping the engine, trans, clutches, etc. in good shape. And, I started running the numbers, and excepting any major breaks downs, if I run this thing for 8 hours a day for 30 days, then I have paid for it........if a rental machine is 50 per hour. Now I know a larger machine with an experienced operator can do MUCH more work more quickly. I'm basing it off of my buddy letting me use his machine for 50 and hour, me running it and me buying fuel.

I'm sure I'll have my share of problems, but this thing is really tight and seems to have been taken very good care of. Supposedly an 80 year old man had it for the past 25 years and only graded his and his neighbor's driveway and fabbed two bale spears on the blade to fetch bales of hay from the field. Who knows what the history of these ole' dozers are.....the guy seemed really honest but stuff gets spun and made to look good when a buy comes along. My grandpa spent a lot of time on 40's and 50's dozers so I took him along. Generally, he's always saying, "Don't go in debt. Don't buy that. You don't need it." However, after we went and looked at it, he said, "Well, if you are going to buy a dozer, it had better be that one." So, I felt a little more at ease.

Take care, all!

Oh, did I say I had a blast today? I didn't know what to do first; clear the back field, scrub out the woods, widen the driveway, make ATV paths, start on the pond, etc!:eek::D

Sorry, no pics. I'll try to take the camera with me tomorrow.
 
   #2  

joes_427_vette

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I have operated older 350 450 Deere crawlers. You will become very familiar with chain, sprockets, clutches, track pads, and if you come across an extra rebuilt starter cheap... buy it. They charge gold for them. When they run... they run well. When they break... open up the wallet and tip it upside down. ( Hope the reverser keeps working )
I have learned to hire the guy with the new D-6 or 1150 Case for 80 an hour. Not only do they know what they are doing but its all work and no fix. Wheel tractors are so much more forgiving. Good luck with the purchase and I hope you get the FREE manual. It would be the only thing free on a track machine.
 
   #3  

EddieWalker

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Congrats. Buying it is the second happiest day of owning a dozer!!!!

For the tracks, first lay a straight board on top of the tracks. If they are to tight, there wont be any space between the board and the middle of the board. I can't say for sure on your machine, but on mine, I should have about two to three inches betteen the board and the top of my track.

To find the grease fitting that tightens and loosens the tracks, look behind the idle wheel. There should be an area behind it that will have a zirk fitting. Just keep clearing away the dirt until you get down to metal, then keep cleaning until you find the fitting. LIke your buddy said, remove it and the grease might just come out on it's own. If not, you will have to put pressure on the idler to force it out. Usually you push out too much, so then you have to tighten it up again with the grease gun.

Too tight will cause excessive wear, but too loose can cause you to loose a track. Keeping the sprocket clean and free of dirt is even more important then anything else.

When clearing trails, or just any land clearing, be sure to never run over anything. Always keep the tracks on dirt and be sure that you are only on top of dirt. Branches and small trees have a way of working their way into the most impossible places and causing all kinds of damage. I've had a small pine go right through my oil pan, and another small pine work it's way up through my belly pans, up past my transmission and then into the engine compartment, where it broke off an oil line. I had oil shooting out the side of my engine and lost over a gallon before I could get it turned off. I've had branches break off hydraulic lines just about exactly in the middle of the belly with branches all around me so thick that I had to use a chainsaw to tunnel my way under it.

Be sure to post pics of it when you get it stuck in the mud. That will be the worse day of your life, but the rest of us will sure enjoy seeing it!!!

Like everything, it's what you make out of it and how you deal with what happens.

Eddie
 
   #4  

ultrarunner

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Keep a watch for varmints... the only problem I've had several times is mice taking up house keeping inside my D3.

Check your fluids at the start of each day... had a mouse gnaw through my oil sending unit line and something chewed on a radiator hose.
 
   #5  

20 20

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I have to say "KEEP IT LUBED GREASE OIL ETC." probably the most important thing with a tracked machine. You'll also find that taking your time{smaller bites} will actually make your time spent better/faster. When{not if} you get stuck don't get flustered walk away if you need to. Wiggling a stuck dozer only makes things worse you can go from slipping on top of dirt to shoveling the hood of in no time.
 
   #6  

YASH2520

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The yard I work at runs 13 tracked machines. The biggest advise I can give is to clean the tracks daily. Most, if not all the roller wear problems we see can be tracked back to the tracks not being cleaned.
 
   #7  

sunnyside360

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Having owned one, I agree with most of above comments. Put emphasis on Keeping the machine properly lubed/maintained and the tracks cleaned will do wonders for the life of the unit. Let us know how it goes. Good luck.
 
   #8  

jeffster

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SW Washington
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JD 3520 w/ 300CX
Congrats! We have a 550 dozer that I love. Early 80s model and it has been rock solid. Not sure on the 450, but on the 550 the hydraulic filter is under the seat and is a pain in the butt to change. We just did a maintenance last weekend on it changing fluids, filters, etc., as well as had some of the cylinders rebuilt. I am sure you will love the 450 though. I know I love spending time on the 550. I darn near rolled my 3520 the other night pushing logs on a very slight slope as I don't have the 550 here at my place at the moment and I can't tell you how much I miss that thing right now. Scared the heck out of me.
 
   #9  

spruce Deere

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Congratulations! Having run a 550 crawler years ago for a logging outfit, few things I learned were keep the tracks/ undercarriage shoveled clean especially in fall/winter. Check hydraulic hoses behind the 6-way blade often for sticks jammed in them, damage, oil weeping from fittings, keep track tension no less than an inch of "belly" or you will find out how fun rolling a track back on is. Dont overlook the oil in your finals. As stated before, you just take your wallet, hold it up-side down and shake. Undercarriage repair on these little crawlers are very costly, just as costly as D6 sized cat. A parts machine is helpful, but chances are that machine is wore out in similar places. None the less, they work way better than any tractor with any attachment to clear stumpy, brushy ground, cut a new road or pond work.
 
   #10  

jeffster

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Spruce, you got that right regarding cost. It was around $700 just for filters, fluid, and a cylinder rebuild. $4k a couple years ago when someone left the exhaust uncovered after the top broke off due to a branch and it rained (even with sweeps and a logging cage around the cab you can still take a beating). Oh, then there was that hydraulic hose I blew out last year when pushing out a stump. Heh. Not too expensive there, but messy. :D

A new undercarriage will cost you a small fortune, but as long as you do your maintenance, and clean it regularly, it should last quite a while.
 
 
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