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Info Wanted on Restorability of a TD-6

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I found a treasure in the weeds near me!

I can buy a TD-6 near me for scrap value. It is a true "ran when parked, bad clutches 40 years ago, exhaust open to the rain", with all the issues that would include. I'm not going to sink much into the purchase, and it'll sit until it's number comes up for resto. But, I've never messed with a tracked machine.

What I want to know is this: is there something about the machine that would be a non-starter for a restoration project? I'm looking for something the cost of which, if it's in need of repair or replacement, would make it so prohibitive that a completely different machine would be cheaper purchase. Or, a problem which is entirely impossible to replace (parts that cannot be found anymore, etc.).

Respectfully, I'm looking for an objective, numbers based cases where the machine isn't a candidate for restoration whatsoever. If it can be done, I'm going to do it. If it can be done cheap, great. If it would be expensive, okay, it'll just take longer. Again, I'm looking to know the kinds of problems that would cause me to say, it isn't worth more than scrap, and keep looking for a restoration candidate.

 

Thank You All!

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Diesels are expensive to overhaul (sleeves, pistons, bearings, HEAD) and undercarriage can be expensive and hard to find.

if the engine is loose, head not cracked, AND the under carriage is usable you have a reasonable chance.  Otherwise it is going to get exponentially more expensive.

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Post some pictures if you can please..

Most likely the engine will be seized because the exhaust is open .. which would most likely require a tear down.. the top end at least...  but the bottom end could still be in decent condition... check the fluids, is there just oil in the crankcase or do you have water/antifreeze present too ?? Any chance the coolant was weak and could have frozen and damaged (burst) the block, head, or radiator ??

Undercarriage doesn’t have to be 100%, but anything really worn will be hard to replace... very little OEM out there.. very fortunate if you can find any OEM parts for these older units...usually they are obtained from a similar machine being parted out..  

Steering clutch parts should still be available, and full restorations are possible with basic mechanical skills..

Certainly a lot of help available to you here if you decide to take it on as a project..  a few really good  recent TD6 restoration projects covered in detail with photos on the Construction Board of this Forum..

Grant 

 

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2 hours ago, Mudfly said:

Diesels are expensive to overhaul (sleeves, pistons, bearings, HEAD) and undercarriage can be expensive and hard to find.

if the engine is loose, head not cracked, AND the under carriage is usable you have a reasonable chance.  Otherwise it is going to get exponentially more expensive.

I honestly have zero faith in the engine and I'm prepared to rebuild it entirely. It's okay because I've never done a diesel and I'd be keen to learn. Like I said above, if it's expensive, it just takes longer to complete the project.

Can you confirm it's the same as the MD, WD-6, etc? I had read a while back that the tracked machines were a little bid oddball in that the engines and didn't correlate to the other analogous machines.

The undercarriage parts are my greater concern... They're real big and cast iron, can anything truly be destroyed by sitting on dirt for decades? And then, are any of those potentially destroyed parts un-find-able?

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5 hours ago, KWRB said:

I honestly have zero faith in the engine and I'm prepared to rebuild it entirely. It's okay because I've never done a diesel and I'd be keen to learn. Like I said above, if it's expensive, it just takes longer to complete the project.

Can you confirm it's the same as the MD, WD-6, etc? I had read a while back that the tracked machines were a little bid oddball in that the engines and didn't correlate to the other analogous machines.

The undercarriage parts are my greater concern... They're real big and cast iron, can anything truly be destroyed by sitting on dirt for decades? And then, are any of those potentially destroyed parts un-find-able?

Same internals for the most part as the MD and WD counterparts.  I think the block is slightly different.  Last I heard it was $1000 per hole for an overhaul.  So that’s $4000 into the engine and you haven’t touched the head yet.  Head might be another $1000 if you can find a good one.  $5000 in and you now have it running but unknown condition of anything from the clutch thru the finals and to the undercarriage.  Also you have an unknown in the diesel fuel system.

You can do what you want but if it was me, I’d buy something running and buy that one as a parts machine IF the undercarriage is good.

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certainly good $ to save the parts and small chance of passing them on (the good)

nice small project but as other members will tell you, want for dependable use ,buy '75 or newer ($10-20K) and you could still put $10 K in)

it is a crap shoot and dont know until ALL !! opened up $1K -$15K

if engine needs major XX  $4-10K  but any engine is a $3k starter today.

we just did a top end $1800 in parts (we paid $400)only 1 piece was reliance) minimum dealer labor was $4k on top

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the 6's seem to come up now and again

if you get it at the right price it may be the parts for another one you find 

 

 

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For a baseline, there have been several TD-6's that have been up for sale in the Rochester and Southern-Tier areas for $1500-2500 in running condition but needing steering clutch work and other neglected maintenance items addressed. 

How much you want to invest is totally up to you. There are many other habits and hobbies people spend way more on than they are worth. Honest numbers from my runabout with the Diesel "6" series engines are $1850 for pistons, sleeves and rings, $250 just for head gasket, Valves are about $100 each, $1000 for injection pump, cam bearings $300, $500-800 for mains and rod bearings, $750 for a good bare head, $4-500 for head machine work.

Depending on which injectors it has, the older "big nut" injector pre-cups are no longer available and need to be carefully saved if head work is needed. Driveline parts seem readily available. Good tracks, rails and sprockets are at a premium as well. 

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Undercarriage,undercarriage,undercarriage. Everything else you can get. Even luck into.

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Your view on being prepared to major the engine is refreshing.  Most people want to pour some magic potion in the cylinders and bang and twist and yank ; In six months they give up and take it apart which is what they should have done in the first place. This has the potential to be an expensive engine, depending on what is wrong with it, and you don't want to be damaging usable parts by pounding on it. If it turns out that you have one or more unusable cylinders, I  still have the sleeve/piston groups from when I did my TD-6, you're welcome to as many as you need, long as you're not afraid of buying a new set of rings. Regarding the undercarriage, ValuePart  has everything listed except the front idlers.

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8 hours ago, Binderoid said:

Your view on being prepared to major the engine is refreshing.  Most people want to pour some magic potion in the cylinders and bang and twist and yank ; In six months they give up and take it apart which is what they should have done in the first place. This has the potential to be an expensive engine, depending on what is wrong with it, and you don't want to be damaging usable parts by pounding on it. If it turns out that you have one or more unusable cylinders, I  still have the sleeve/piston groups from when I did my TD-6, you're welcome to as many as you need, long as you're not afraid of buying a new set of rings. Regarding the undercarriage, ValuePart  has everything listed except the front idlers.

I always get a kick out of the folks who say it isn't "worth it" or whatever. I don't use these machines for a living; they're a hobby. They're never "worth it" in the sense of cost. It's a matter of satisfaction, and hobbies cost money. Thanks for the input. I've never done anything with a diesel or with a track laying machine, so it's uncharted territory and that resource is much appreciated!

 

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I will get pictures soon. My phone camera died a long time ago, and I will have to borrow my wife's or my daughter's...

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One thing I learned when I had my gas over diesel TD-6. There's a bunch of them out there and a bunch of people doing what you are. So bits and pieces parts are not dirt cheap. I sold mine because the undercarriage was shot and I wanted a larger more modern machine. Then I missed a clean,complete one at auction a couple weeks ago and kicked myself. I know I still have a parts manual for it. Plus some other paper.

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On 5/28/2019 at 8:47 AM, KWRB said:

I will get pictures soon. My phone camera died a long time ago, and I will have to borrow my wife's or my daughter's...

Looking forward to more pictures. Again the construction portion might get you a little more action?

Regards,

 Chris

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