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The Track Thread


Patrick Tipton
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8 hours ago, Mike B said:

 The grousers are solid brass, there's probably several hundred pounds of brass.

 

Wow!  My grousers are steel, the track guides are bronze.  I have a second set that are like Tim's @42rocker - steel and steel.  I am starting to reband mine this weekend.  Pictures to follow soon.

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A little update on the tracks of our weasel too, we have finally finished painting all the grousers... And we have also installed the first rubber blocks! They are bolted onto the rivnuts in the tracks with two m8 flanged bolts. (see a few posts back) The blocks and the connection to the grousers seem to be very strong. Hitting it with a hammer or standing on the sides of the blocks doesnt do much...  But we havent yet had the change to drive and test the weasel due to a broken waterpump. We have about 10mm (or 0.4 inch) of rubber to wear off before we hit the bolts... If they wear too fast, we will upgrade to a harder material... 24 blocks done, 200 to go... I will update as we go!

Screenshot 2022-03-29 at 09.52.18.png

Screenshot 2022-03-29 at 09.52.10.png

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What durometer? 90? My buddy tried a plastic product that was too hard and he would slide. I’ll try 90 durometer and will adhere to the track. A company is sending me a sample cold vulcanizer to try.

Edited by Prc148
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On 4/2/2022 at 4:52 PM, Prc148 said:

What durometer? 90? My buddy tried a plastic product that was too hard and he would slide. I’ll try 90 durometer and will adhere to the track. A company is sending me a sample cold vulcanizer to try.

The hardness is shore 70 A (Shore 15 D). Its almost like a normal car tire. We also tried to adhere it to the grouser, but the epoxy glue would not hold. Probably because of the silicone layer on the rubber from when it was cast. Good luck though! Very curious about the result... 

Greetings!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I finally finished disassembling the tracks.  What a project!  I ended up trying that crazy product called "Flex Seal to cover the bottoms of the grousers....I may put a little on the ground side too although it won't last long.  I wire wheeled the grousers first but am not going crazy here.  The stuff appears reasonably durable - first coat.  I will pick up more tomorrow and get these nicely coated and paint the remaining 80 or so.  I then need to drill about 1000 holes in the conveyor belting and bolt these bad boys together.  My goal is to have these on the machine in 2 weeks.  We shall see.

Grousers.thumb.jpg.3923c84c4b0bb05abbf9fc75bb5e76dd.jpg

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Can't wait to see more. Go Patrick Go!!!!

I'm at that stage. Somewhat, have all of the grousers stripped and ready to clean. Guess I need to start in with the wire wheel next. Was thinking about parking after that, but your painting with that flex seal is an interesting idea. Like I said GO PATRICK!!!!

Stay Safe Everyone.

Later 42rocker

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7 hours ago, 42rocker said:

Can't wait to see more. Go Patrick Go!!!!

I'm at that stage. Somewhat, have all of the grousers stripped and ready to clean. Guess I need to start in with the wire wheel next. Was thinking about parking after that, but your painting with that flex seal is an interesting idea. Like I said GO PATRICK!!!!

Stay Safe Everyone.

Later 42rocker

I like that parkerizing idea Tim!  HMMMMMM!

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Hello. Like most of you, I struggle with spurs on my T24, I'm wearing the 20 inch M29. Yesterday I was talking to my colleagues about these problems and we started thinking about producing brand new 20 and 15 inch spurs but looking like the original ones. What do you think about it? Greetings Tomek

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I think we would all love it.  The original tracks have a couple of pieces and so far everyone says they would be too expensive to produce.  Go for it!  If we could make tracks for around $5-7k....we would see a lot more Weasel interest.

Cheers, Patrick

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  • 3 weeks later...

One track down, one to go.

Lots of work, but I think they are going to work great.  They are definitely lighter than the original WW2 tracks.  I think they may have a little less surface area and right now no road pads, but....I think they will be incredibly durable.  Running report soon.

Track.thumb.jpg.d67b41e30c6f28a58f4b688dfecd07b9.jpg

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Looks great Patrick, I have a couple questions, what thickness of belting did you use, and how did you lace the belts, connecting end to end.

I have a couple of French tracks we are rebuilding; one set we are rebuilding just like the factory (major pain in the ass) the other set we want to do just what you have done.  Again looks great.

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2 hours ago, Pips_Blaauw said:

Amazing Patrick! Very curious to the driving experience... How are you planning the solution for roadpads?

Greetings!  

Thank you - excited to run them too! 

I have a couple of ideas for road pads.  For me, this Weasel will mostly be run on my property (dirt/grass/snow/some rocks) so I don't absolutely have to have them.  I am thinking that I could take some form of synthetic rubber and make roughly 4" x 4" x 2 blocks, then run them over a table saw in the middle to allow them to flex.  I could carriage bolt (recessed hole) them to the grousers...maybe even every other set of tracks......

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7 hours ago, Mike B said:

Looks great Patrick, I have a couple questions, what thickness of belting did you use, and how did you lace the belts, connecting end to end.

I have a couple of French tracks we are rebuilding; one set we are rebuilding just like the factory (major pain in the ass) the other set we want to do just what you have done.  Again looks great.

The largest belting I could find is right at 3/4" thick - I don't see any real issues with that thickness provided that I got the overall length correct.  Will know shortly!

I found a company that would make me a continuous belt - so they are made one piece and cured together.  I am told by the salesman that they will not/can not come apart - we shall see on that one too!

 

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"will not/can not" should be interesting to see on that one.

Personally, I'm not sure which I would want one big track or a track I can take apart. Something to think about.

Later 42rocker

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@Patrick TiptonPatrick, I do agree with your initial report that more testing needs to follow. There appears to be a lot more vibration for want of a better word when comparing the prototype French track with your OEM track. It appears that the vibration is coming from both the bogey wheels falling into the belt cavity between the two grousers and the timing between the track sprocket and the track appears to be not quite right. Having said that, the track does need to be tensioned so that might help to alleviate some of those problems. Look forward to seeing more progress reports.

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The vibration is happening because the base of the track guides is rubbing on the bogeys and the idler/drive wheels.  The tracks, even a little loose, are super hard to make skip so I think the timing is OK.

The largest conveyor belt I could get is about 5/8" thick....the original French connector sections are a solid 1"......and kept the track guide base/flange away from the bogeys etc.  From speaking with the conveyor belt company, they want a 24" diameter wheel (drive) on the next sized (7/8") belt....and are concerned that the 12'D wheels on our Weasels would cause the belts to fail prematurely...so they sold me the 5/8" material.  I thought the bases would just clear...they don't.

So I am mulling this over....I regard all of this as a success - I have learned a great deal about Weasel track function.  These tracks run and there are several approaches that could make them run better....so

I just received quotes for raw materials to make my own.....I may just jump of the cliff here John and try to build a lighter and hopefully better system.  I am contemplating 6061 AL....a single wide 5/8" band and using the track guides as a connection point for a doubled set of "teeth"...so they will function as both the centering guide and also the engagement point for drives.  I am working on my drawings....will send you pictures soon.

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  • 3 months later...

So.......I broke down.  Sold my M274A2 Mule and invested the proceeds in a lightly used set of LAR tracks.  These are going on the yellow M29.  Picking them up this weekend and I can't wait.  I hated to spend so much money on tracks, but I want to enjoy this Weasel without concern.  Everything else (other than the hull) is rebuilt and it runs and drives like a new machine.  With these tracks, I can just enjoy it.

I also bought some neoprene strips to modify the french tracks to make them run better.  One more item on my to do list, but I will post a separate update soon.

LAR.thumb.jpg.c660be180123ceaf9983fe1f75f31412.jpg

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Patrick,

    For durability I think the LAR tracks are hard to beat. We visited Mike’s facility  to pick up our tracks. He has weasels fitted with the different prototypes that were used to develop this track. A lot of time went into the design and testing. This should be a good investment for you. 
    We plan to drive ours plenty when the engine work is done. That was the incentive to purchase LAR tracks. 
    As a reminder. Mike insisted that bogie alignment is key to good track life. It was time consuming but gave me satisfaction figuring out how to orient each bogie so the steel guide bar slipped through easily. 
Fred

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@Patrick Tipton Congratulation Patrick on what I would consider is a very good choice of track system. The LAR track as you know was developed from the Ambilary track system that was fitted to a lot of weasels operating in Antarctica. A very hostile environment indeed. See attached photo of an EPF weasel. Like you I procrastinated for years on how I would put a set of reliable tracks on my weasel. Fortunately the LAR track came available and I too cleaned out and sold the remains of six MB?GPW Jeep projects that in turn paid for both the purchase of the tracks and more importantly the shipping. I have it on good advice from Brock J. that the OEM sprockets will run fine with these tracks but if you plan to fit the now defunct LAR sprockets, then you will need to make some modifications to them to make them work. As for tensioning the tracks, I have only had to re-tension my track after a few miles of break in driving. I found that a good indicator that your tension s right is when the track does not jump the sprocket during a hard turn. I was unable to emulate the OEM track tension specified in the TM; ie lifting the rear bogey wheels 2"/50mm off the ground. Rick W has put over 800 hard miles on his LAR tracks so I am reassured that the LAR track is durable.

DSCN0734.JPG

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Appreciate it @F-D Zerniaand @OZM29C.  I am picking them up tomorrow!  I am going to work on the bogie alignment - the machine is pretty good but there are one or two bogies that need replacing too.  I can't wait to run them.

I have installed a new set of sprockets on this machine - from a machine shop on the West Coast...they have some wear even from the little use they have and I don't think they are going to last well, but will stick with that for now.  If need be, I will build up an original set of sprockets with weld and run those....

Pictures soon!

Patrick

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