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1970 International 3200A Skid Steer Project


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Hello All! I recently heroically saved a 1970 IH 3200a Skid Steer from a salvage yard before it hit the crusher. The machine came non-running and was missing a few parts. However, it did come with a backhoe 3 point attachment. I believe it is a 3082. My cost, including transport was $1900. In researching this machine before buying, i found out a little bit of important facts. I have a small farm and was looking for something that can dig and move some dirt and other materials around, so it fit my needs, and my budget.

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The Bad :

  1. Good luck on finding parts, and they were gonna cost.
  2. Requires Multiple Manuals.
  3. I would have to Build and or Re-machine Parts.

The Good :

  1. When researching i found used drive pump online.
  2. I love a good challenging project.
  3. I didn't need the machine right away.

With all this in mind, we grabbed the trailer and brought it home. I believe this was beginning of feb. Now this thing weighs alot, so towing it back was pretty interesting. One note, when i got down to CT to get the machine, the guy started it on either to show the motor would fire. It was missing a drive pump, the bracket, and the fittings for the hoses.

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Now, idk about you guys, but i hate working on things when its cold out, and they are dirty. These too things make the process a horrible experience. So the first sunny day, i covered the hoses, and pressure washed the would machine. Idk what the old owner did for maint but there was 2 inches of dried dirt and hydraulic fluid under the pumps. Nothing says fun after you discover prehistoric varmint carcasses in the oil sludge.. I did this on the trailer, don't do this. when the floor boards got wet they bowed. LOL.. It didn't damage anything, but it looked almost ready to fall through.  As soon as the snow was gone it was unloaded onto the land.

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After unloading, i did a lot of inspection. I went over the electrical, engine, and overall chassis. Every time i found something i didn't like the look of, i wrote it on a list. I want this machine to have the best life i can give it, and want to make sure it continues to have a life here. Here is a list of parts that i determined i was going to have to buy. These can be found in your local napa, autozone, car quest, vip car parts stores.

  1. Spark Plugs
  2. Engine Oil
  3. Oil Filter Napa 1106
  4. Universal Starting Switch ( Ignition )
  5. Ammeter
  6. 12volt Starting Solenoid
  7. Master Battery Disconnect
  8. 26 Gallons Hy-trans Hydraulic Fluid
  9. Choke Cable
  10. Door-Man Linkage Clips
  11. Mystery Oil
  12. JB Weld Exhaust Bandage
  13. Fuel Bowl Gasket
  14. 1 1/4 inch radiator hose
  15. Starting Fluid

Things i had to order online :

  1. Transmission Pump
  2. Carb Rebuild Kit
  3. Transmission Pump Bracket
  4. Transmission Drive Pulley
  5. Pulley Taper Bearing
  6. Manuals - ( VH4D Engine, 3200a Service Manual, Parts Manual Chassis, 3082 Series A Backhoe )
  7. Full Engine Gasket Set

Things i had to get from tractor supply :

  1. 1/2 48 inch steer round stock
  2. Misc nuts and bolts.
  3. Metal taps and dies
  4. 1 x 1/2 inch flat stock
  5. 1/2 shaft collars

Things I needed from the hydraulic shop :

  1. Fittings
  2. O-rings

My first task was to remove the seat and shield, then disconnect the remaining transmission pump, and the main pump that controls the bucket system. I removed the belts as well so they were not damaged. With this done i can run the engine without worry of the machine moving or getting hydro fluid anywhere. A Note. Everything i did, i took photos of, measured, and took video. Before i took something apart, i consulted the manual or online so i knew what i could expect. This saves countless hours of wondering during reassembly and im too old for surprises.

The Engine :

This is a Wisconsin VH4D air Cooled, with a magneto ignition system. It is a 4 cylinder gas engine with a zenith 68 carb. In researching issues with this motor everyone says make sure the area around the heads under the guards is clean. If air cant get there, the motor cannot cool. So the plugs and guards came off. I was impressed at the lack of material inside this area. Next i checked the oil level, and to see if it had any water in it. Other than looking dark, the oil was fine. The plugs were old, but not the worst i have seen. Each plug was removed and placed in a box with its number on it, so it would be there for future reference. Since i knew the engine ran, i could turn to other things needed for startup. Next i turned to the wiring and ignition. To be honest, i have never worked on one of these, the first thing i did was try and understand what was there. I found some strange things and decided to rewire the harness. Someone replaced the old ignition switch with a universal switch. The issue with this was, there is no magneto ground on the switch, so they wired in a push button switch to kill the motor. Also the hour meter was disconnected and there was no ammeter. I came up with roughly this.

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*If anyone knows the exact wiring for this machine with a ammeter, id love to hear from you as i haven't verified the hour meter works, or the ammeter.

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* Note : I believe this is a fairbanks magneto, but i cant tell to be exact. If anyone knows how to tell, id appreciate it.

With the electrical sorted out, i wanted to return to the engine and check the fuel system. The fuel tank was empty and had no cap, gas filter was dirty, and the glass fuel bowl was dirty.

So i replaced the gas lines, fuel filter, and replaced the gasket and screen in the fuel bowl. I could not get to the air filter due to the arms being down and in the way. With the new plugs in, and a shot of ether, the motor would start, then stall when the either ran out. This is was even priming the fuel pump. Also the starter would intermittently fail to engage. I removed the fuel line going from the pump to the carb to see the flow. At first there was not any flow, but adding more gas to the tank seemed to put enough pressure, that it came out. First it was brown then clear to the fuel color. This tells me there is rust inside the mechanical fuel pump. So i repeated used the started to flush the pump, and then reconnected it to the carb. This allowed the engine to run and idle. However it seem to bog and run rough.  At this point i shut the engine off with the kill switch, and it worked as expected. After running the motor for about 20 minutes, i shut it off and did the first oil change, and filter change. While i found no metal on the plug, i did see a slight silver tint to the oil. So this leads me to think its one of two things. Its from a past failure, or its got an issue inside it. There is no knock or visible sign of any issue other than hard starting. Ill do another oil change soon as i put some time on the machine, and check for the same signs.

The Pumps and Missing Parts :

Now that i knew the motor ran and could start it ( PS, the battery is pooched and i have to use a jump pack to start it. I got it like this ) i turned my attention to the drive pumps. I reinstalled the main pump and belts, then installed the right and left drive pumps. I used a metal ruler to set the pump pulley, and tension-ed the system by eye with the machine running. The big thing here is to make sure the belt does not walk off or into the next belt. Also i had to make new control arms for the drive pumps. These are spring loaded, they call it a power band. I also made the arms of flat stock on my drill press.

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* Note : Do not run the pumps dry, pull the top plug and add fluid to the pump before running.

After doing the pumps, i turned to the starter motor. This seem to be sticking more often as i went through my start phase. After dissembling i had determined it was dirt and needed cleared. So once it was reinstalled, there were no more issues with the bendex sticking. I use white out to mark parts for alignment, as it helps in reassembly.

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* Note : If anyone can tell me what kind of starter this is, id love it.

The carb :

After resolving most issues, the carb was the last thing to get cleaned. While it ran before, it was also choppy and no responsive. I ran into most issues here, and ill tell you my key points.

  1. Torch tips are wonderful for small spaces and jet holes
  2. Make sure governor is set correctly.
  3. Make sure carb is not warped

If your carb is warped it will not seal correctly and internally leak by. This is an issue on the first clean. I used high grit sand paper to sand down the high spots on the body of my carb. This allowed the gasket to seal correctly. I took of my exhaust to make this process easier, and replaced the choke cable at the same time.

The Test Drive :

Im still having some hard start issues, but i once i get the machine running, i can drive around, turn both ways, bucket goes up and down, and backhoe works. I have a running machine!

Ya me! There are still some things i need to replace/check/rebuild. Here is the machine today and ill be excited to hear your moments, and hopefully some input on the remaining issues.

Motor Tag :

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Chassis Tag :

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BackHoe Tag :

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General Pics :

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If anyone has any knowledge about this machine, please share. If anyone has one of these machines, can you help get me some specs?

What I need to Know :

  1. Length Of left and right control arms ( I had to rebuild mine, not sure correct length )
  2. Need to ID Starter
  3. Need to ID Magneto
  4. Need Proper Wiring Diagram
  5. Cylinder Seals or Kits to rebuild
  6. Pump Parts to rebuild
  7. Manuals that i don't have ( Testing Hydraulics , etc )

:) Panda

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In addition, the hydraulic fluid states a 26 gall cap. But i only got 16 gallons in after draining it fully. Does anyone have experience in this? Also i am looking to replace the hydraulic filter in the housing under the seat, it is inside the large canister. Also i was thinking about replacing the fuel pump, but mine does not have a tag on it. Does anyone know the type of fuel pump that can replace an oem pump? I did pull the pump apart and clean it thoroughly, as well as check the diagram for rips. I was worried about gas leaking down to the oil.

Spent most of the night finding, replacing, greasing fittings. Its as id expect from an old machine. Lots of repairs, worn bushings, and kind of clangy and bouncy to drive.

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The backhoe attachment and the rack of weights will severely limit the handy maneuverability you get from a skid steer. How you deal with that will depend on what the main job for this tractor will be. Hydraulic shop can help with the seals. I don’t recommend buying a new old stock seal kit due to age deterioration. 
Good luck !

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That's a neat project and I'm glad you saved it. I didn't even know they used to do rear mount backhoes on skid steers... I've only ever seen the ones that mount on the front coupler and detach, which used to be pretty popular until mini excavators became the big thing.

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Looking good! Keep posting progress! 

I suggest going to an electric fuel pump. May be part of the hard starting issues. My 3200B has been converted to electric pump, as the factory mechanical would drain back, then almost kill the battery by the time it got fuel picked back up. Now, just turn the key on, wait till you can here the rattle of the pump change, then fire it up. 

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My Case 446 has a electric fuel pump mod, it was done by the previous owner. Have you had any issues with extra gas ending up in the oil? I am going to explorer this issue as it is exactly as you describe it. It seems the pump drains, and takes a while to get fuel back to the carb, unless i try it with starting fluid. I just do not like doing it. My battery is dead until i get the backhoe off it and can replace, unless anyone knows how to wiggle it out.

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When i was going through the machine preparing for startup i did some compression tests. From my understanding Wisconsin did not release compression numbers on the VH4D. It is also a Flathead motor from my understanding and will be low compression.  My picture has the firing order, and its 1342. I did three tests. The NT is no throttle, and FT is full throttle, and oil is adding marvel mystery oil to the cylinder. Cyl #3 seems to be the lowest. Ill retest it this spring after a few week of running it. Might be worn ring, or stuck ring. I think i have only three hours running it since taking these tests. What are your guys thoughts? How do you do your compression tests? What kind of results are you seeing?

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Dad had a Hahn Hi-Boy sprayer with that engine. He had it rebuilt and they added the electric fuel pump then, worked great after that. The old pump had a rubber diaphragm that seemed to always be bad, if I’m remembering correctly. That’s been 35 years ago.

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Yes, its one of the things i did when i went through the fuel system the first time. The old gas hose was falling apart. So all the hoses have been replaced. I did disassemble the fuel pump, check the rubber and it seemed fine, and cleaned it thoroughly. I did not see any rips in it. However, if it is leaking, it is prob running down into the motor through the fuel pump lever. But its something i have to look at see. Anyone got a link to a fuel pump that match the flow rate of one of these pumps? Mine has no tag on the pump, so i cannot determine the exact maker. Seems like a new fuel pump is about 100$ or more online.

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So i found im missing a bracket for the starter. The part number is : pg-514-A-1 . Does anyone know where to get one? I found none for sale on ebay or online. If anyone has it, can you give me the dimensions of it? Ill make one if i have to. :)

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Just found the starter bracket on ebay.. ya! ordered it right away. Im glad i found this today, as i read online about the starter wanting to wobble and cant be good on the gears. I think that is the last piece i am missing.

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