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The Track Thread

Patrick Tipton

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    I have been asking around about simple heat treatments that can be done using simple methods at home. With hardening sprockets in mind. It ends up most of the products a person can purchase apply such a thin coat of hardened surface it would not last very long. I was a student in a metallurgy class last year. My professor was kind enough to meet with me to answer questions. In the process we determined the protection was minimal unless it can be done in more of an industrial setting. 
    I also have a message in to my local weld shop concerning Hardfacing. This is welding with a filler metal that will create a harder surface. To my way of thinking this could be a better solution. He will forward my questions to the distributor of this product to find out what they feel would help. I have seen videos on this and it seems like a good product for our needs. 
    If they feel it may help I can bring some filler metal with me to school and try it out under ideal conditions and pass on what I learn. hopefully this will be a sound sprocket repair. 

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Fred - that is exactly what I have been thinking of doing - using a "hard facing" rod on the teeth to build them back up and then filing them smooth.  The one thing though....sprockets are relatively cheap...tracks not so much...so maybe we just live with the wear and save the tracks.  I am also quite sure that tracks that don't skip will be easier on the sprockets than ones that do.....  Keep us posted.


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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi all! Another update on our trackpad project... We started with the original size rubber blocks fastened to the tracks with rivnuts. The rubber blocks, as presented earlier turned out to be pretty good. Though they are not as "future-proof" as we had hoped. Some of the blocks were very badly damaged after 0.4 miles (the trip meter works!) of very rough asphalt. The ride was very smooth, and the grip was very good. Turning was kind of hard, but that probably due to me having very little experience in driving the weasel...  (asside from unloading the weasel from the trailer, it was my first time driving it...) Looking at the rubber pads we decided that we needed something tougher. From the help of this tread, we came to the conclusion that UHWM (PE-1000, comparable to nylon) was the material for this. in order to increase the stiffness and strength of the block, we upgraded the size. This however did meant that the surface area of the blocks were more than doubled. So after many hours, and an incredible amount of plastic shavings, we produced 112 identical plastic blocks. Since each track had a very slight difference in each mounting hole, we measured and drilled them one at the time using a "custom" mold. This was time consuming but easy work. Once they were all fitted, we started testing our new creation. I was able to push the weasel to the side on smooth garage tiles. And steering on the road was very easy. Once i cornered with about a 8mph speed, i almost lost control, and ended up on the wrong side of the road. (We cleared it before hand ofcourse) We came to the conclusion that we had created a monster, as the trackpads were way to slippery. We also learned to trust the fuel meter, the hard way. BUT, the next plans are already being made ... The next experiment will be to use the same blocks in size, but made from SBR shore 70 rubber in 30mm(1,2 inch) thick. All the rivnuts and bolts had hold, they are proven technology to us... The next update will hopefully come soon! Stay safe!

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Looks great! @Pips_Blaauw

Not sure if you are planning to make the new softer pads the same as these test pieces, but I don't think I would use a solid block though....I think you need that opening to let snow/ice/mud etc clear the sprockets.

I just got one of my new LAR tracks on the M29....runs beautifully!

Cheers, Patrick

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  • 1 month later...
4 hours ago, Reamer said:

So has anyone tried making the main bands with conveyor belt material, What grade would be needed that can handle the stress and shear?

How about a process to weld the steel cable into a loop?


@ReamerYour best bet would be to have a look at how Snake River 4 x 4 constructed his track bands. https://snakeriver4x4.com/weasel-parts

There is some good information there. BTW he does not manufacture the track band kits any more.

In the drawing below, you can see that the reinforcing cable was not welded in the OEM style track bands.


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5 hours ago, Reamer said:

Wow! so the wire rope was wrapped around the band and then anchored at both ends? Cool! What are your thoughts of "sandwiching" this in some conveyor belting? 


@Reamer Mate, I am not a learned weasel track scholar in regards to offering technical advice on alternative track repair methods. Many years ago I went through the trials and tribulations on how I should repair my old tracks and after procrastinating about the subject for many years I just decided to just bite the bullet and purchase a set of new LAR tracks. I am not advocating that this is the right decision for you, but in my case it saved me many years of hard work. My time was better spend on the other aspects of my restoration.

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