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TD6 Steering Clutch Nightmare

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Please help me wake up!

After thinking I blew a final drive crawling up a steep hill I have now troubleshooted with the help of John at Tractorparts.com that the bearing retainer nut on the steering clutch shaft has spun  off. I likely did not crimp the nut properly when I replaced the clutch discs last summer allowing it to come off. Anyway, now that the nut is off and clutch shaft is in free play the clutch does not have enough clearance and will not lift out of the chamber. I feel like I have tried everything to create enough play to get the nut to drop out but nothing is working. Has anyone ever had this issue and figured out how to resolve it? Tearing back in there was something I never thought I’d have to do again, and not being able to get it out is 10x more frustrating than the original job! Thanks Rob

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I think there are some metal tabs you make to bolt into the clutch to compress it.  You might check KoO's website as he has a lot of TD6 advice there.  Someone more knowledgeable than me will be along shortly I am sure.

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I think that happened to me on a TD-9. 

that was about 45 years ago and I can't remember what I did to get it out but I remember it being more difficult the time that the nut came off. At that time they called that a stake nut. You had to hammer and punch that nut so it would not spin off. Sorry I can't help. but I know it can be done.

DWF

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7 hours ago, Rawleigh99 said:

I think there are some metal tabs you make to bolt into the clutch to compress it.  You might check KoO's website as he has a lot of TD6 advice there.  Someone more knowledgeable than me will be along shortly I am sure.

Thanks, I’m at that phase and had the tabs from when I last pulled the clutch. They’re all bolted on. Unfortunately when the nut is off the clutch shaft the discs are no longer fully compressed

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45 minutes ago, DWF said:

I think that happened to me on a TD-9. 

that was about 45 years ago and I can't remember what I did to get it out but I remember it being more difficult the time that the nut came off. At that time they called that a stake nut. You had to hammer and punch that nut so it would not spin off. Sorry I can't help. but I know it can be done.

DWF

Thanks, I guess I didn’t punch it hard enough. It’s getting a tack weld this time, but yes it’s so much harder to deal with the clutch in this manner. Maddening in fact. Anybody in the market for a crawler!

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I’m going to try and get the tractor more level, that could be part of my problem but that’s a guess 

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Red-to-go,

 Sounds like your more than a little frustrated with the machine and yourself. I think most of us have these types of major machine issue happen at one time or another. And that is why some folks walk away. I doubt if you will do that. But it doesnt sound like a easy simple fix either. Not ever having the steering clutches out of mine I cant help much. This is not something you will find in a tech manual. 

So I assume you have gone quickly through your best case and worse case sceniros? 

Can you actually get to the nut that has come loose? 

Sorry I am not much help. I bet there is someone on here that will be able to help! Pictures may help to generate some ideas?

Regards,

 Chris

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Thanks Chris! All that’s true!!

In a bout of frustration I got out the  sawzall and 6 - 12” blades and just started cutting at the back where the clutch connects to the final drive plate. After the third blade I finally cut through the allen head bolt and bearing retainer and was able to finally lift it out. I thought I’d have to cut through the entire steering clutch shaft but luckily it was just the bolt. Had I remembered this side had the bolt I may have sawed it a lot sooner! The other side is different and has the larger retaining nut with crimp ring on the end of the clutch shaft. I will no doubt be using a lot of red loctite and a tack weld before both clutches go back in. I decided to pull out the other clutch to make sure it was also not loosening up. I’ve got parts, nuts, bolts scattered everywhere so with no short term memory left due to high cortisol levels to remember anything I took apart should make it really interesting putting this thing back together!

5E471072-1E9B-423E-A60B-A1E4268B350D.jpeg

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Red-to-go,

OK sounds like you are on your way to recovering from a bad situation! Cutting the bolt was the ticket. I was afraid it might end up being a touch and a ten pound hammer!:)

Your now on the road back to a moving machine. The nuts and bolts will sort them selves out too. Thanks for the picture and update on your project!

Regards,

 Chris

 

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You'll make it now, you have the hard part done. Glad you got it out!

DWF

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Red-to-go,

 Its been a few days have you made progress? I know sometimes I just like to keep working and to heck with documenting stuff! Hope it going good on the machine repairs!

Regards,

 Chris

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Hi Chris,

progress is slow. Just to recap  why I’m in the clutch again, it is because the track on that side went limp with no traction. I tried a bunch of lever and brake adjustments but nothing worked. I thought I blew the final drive and I guess I’m still not sure I haven’t. When I jacked up the crawler and spun the final gear the steering clutch was spinning fine. I thought my problem was related to the bolt threading out of the steering clutch shaft (uncompressing the clutch discs) but if all that bolt and retainer does is keep the bearing in now I’m not sure that’s at the root of my problem. I dropped the oil out of the final drive and no metal in there, but I guess my question is, is there a way to check the final and bull gear without tearing into it? The clutch discs were only cleaned up and not replaced and they did not look great and maybe are not making good contact or friction and perhaps that it is why the track was not engaging. That’s the easy answer I’m hoping for but obviously if the clutch is out it would be nice to be able to assess the final since the clutch needs to be out for that job

Sent from my iPhone

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I’m wondering if the clutch discs could be the culprit this is the side I sanded up and reused old fiber discs. I did not polish to a smooth like state but rather left slightly rough steel discs thinking this would lead to better friction. Upon Inspecting the steel and fiber discs it looked like many were not making good surface contact some steel discs were rusty and some fiber disks had a lot of smooth high points. I’m wondering if this is the case for the whole pack then maybe I’m just not getting good friction? 

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Did you measure the stack of plates. Service and repair book should give a minimum height. If they are short it will slip.

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Ray,

 Never had one apart! YET! But I just completed a wet clutch refurb in a off color orange tractor. And I had to replace one of the three hand clutch discs as it was worn and did not look nearly as good as the other two. Sounds like you may have found your problem. Hope you can resolve and or find the new components to get this right clutch working as it should. 

Regards,

 Chris

 

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There is no stack height specification in the manual nor is there a minimum disc specification. Do you have the correct amount of friction and driving disc's installed? See the specification sheet I have attached. Check the pressure spring next time you have it out, also check for disc warpage. The steel disc's should be smooth, not rough. The steering clutch levers should  have between 2 and 4 inches of free play at the top of the handles. If in doubt on the condition of the driving and friction disc's replace them, it's not a fun job changing them.

IH TD6-9 steering clutch and brake specifications.jpg

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If you can get a new one Plate or disc and measure it you might be then able to check the used ones and determine how bad they are worn?? Maybe?? My clutch disc was worn about .020 inch, less than a new one. But that was a different clutch system too. Also just a good visual of new vs old might give you a clue. I guess I agree with Lou. If in doubt change them out!

Regards,

 Chris

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My experience is all Caterpillar on steering clutches. With them height of stack is important but in Cat service books from the day they only published minimum height. When less than minimum height the book says add one new of each plate. So in my poor times I took a guess and added more used  plates, and got away with it. So the next time I had new plates to measure I got new height.

The clutch needs room to release so any brand could get to many. But also if it gets to thin they will not drive when engaged. Cat also gives reading for spring holding the clutch pack. Did have one clutch stop driving because of weak springs. This had me puzzled until I took it apart. Tractor was new to me but had way more than 100 hours of use by me when it stopped pulling. So after using it for several hours it just stopped pulling on the one side. It did still move with both sides engaged. So was able to drive it home better than a mile. So I was expecting something broken rather than springs that gave up that fast. Hopefully some of this will help someone down the road.

 

Hopefully if IH does not have this information in service liture ,maybe General Gear out of Idaho that has it. They sell after market steering clutch plates for about all brands. They are reported to be very good to work with from others that have used their services.

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Thanks all and thanks Louie for the spec sheet. The clutch height seems to make sense in theory. I did a lot of sanding to clean up, with those tolerances (.005) over that many discs in an old machine I could have passed a threshold.  I have the whole pack apart including the spring out. I’ll take some measurements in the coming days. John from General Gear is also helping me troubleshoot and thinks it could very well be a friction issue. Since the drive sprocket still turned the clutch when I pulled it he thinks I did not break the pinion or bull gear in the final drive which is a relief. All I can say is that with the clutch rebuild a year ago the crawler was fine then incrementally I had to keep tightening up the steering lever linkage as it as started getting harder to turn and suddenly I lost all traction on that side. When I backed off the linkage thinking I put too much pressure on the spring nothing changed but it was slipping to intermittently getting friction but not enough to drive straight. I put a lot of load on this machine driving on steep hills and with the oversized blade and backhoe on it maybe it’s all too much and I’m just glazing up the discs over time. I’m guessing I have a warpage issue and likely have some bad steel as well as fiber discs. I’ll likely switch to the bi-metallic discs. This thing broke down right in front of my kitchen window so I have to stare at it every time I’m at the sink! At least I’m making progress (I think) it’s been the longest troubleshooting project I’ve ever done! Thanks for all the input. Rob 

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Update: I’m ordering a new set of bi-metallic discs as well as steel discs. Not knowing if this will fully address the problem is a bit hard to swallow, but I figure at this point with all the input is my best decision. I think most medical decisions I have made were easier than this! Maybe I need crawler health insurance! I’ll update when she’s all back together. Rob

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Rob,

 I think the toughest part on these old machines is when they have to be put down for some reason! We all want to save them. Some we can't. I wish you the best on this clutch work. Whats the worst that could happen? You might need to buy a new set for the other side?? Or are you doing both??

 Regards,

 Chris

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We'll be here, when you get back to it. : - )

Rob, I hear you about stuff getting in the way! I have an engine block coming back soon. Am I going to remember all the parts? We'll be fine.

This thread holds even more info for the folks that will come later that need help too. Myself included. I don't have one yet! Thank you!

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On 9/13/2019 at 12:12 PM, Red-to-go said:

Update: I’m ordering a new set of bi-metallic discs as well as steel discs. Not knowing if this will fully address the problem is a bit hard to swallow, but I figure at this point with all the input is my best decision. I think most medical decisions I have made were easier than this! Maybe I need crawler health insurance! I’ll update when she’s all back together. Rob

Red, as long as you have the steering clutches down have the pressure springs (26) tension checked, if those springs are weak they can cause the steering clutches to slip. Going with the bi-metallic discs is a good move. The specifications are in the Aug. 27th post.

IH TD6 TD9 steering clutch.jpg

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Thanks Louie,

 I should have read your earlier post more carefully. I already put the packs back together with the bimetallics and installed today. Was able to get the crawler moving forward and backward sort of straight without hooking up the steering linkage. While trying to get the master pin back in the track I had the track pop off while I was walking it slow. What a mess to do on a steep slope with a good chance of roll over. Grabbed the 20 ton bottle jack lifted up the rear and dropped the blade to get it off the ground. For reference the pin in my experience goes in easy on the bottom of the track near the middle with the track in the air! Finally got it in and lowered back down. My first memoir is going to be titled “Everything hurts and nothing works”

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