Monday, September 3, 2012

Trials and Tribulations, part 3

Two days, give or take. That’s how long it took to fit the new idler sprocket and get the bobcat put back together again. It’s never as simple as it seems…

First. This new assembly is significantly larger than the (bits of the) one which came out. This is a good thing, as it’s infinitely stronger, but the space in which I have to work is not infinitely large, so manoeuvring it into place is .. challenging, to say the least.

In the end, I found it necessary to almost completely disassemble the chain case - the brake disc had to come out, which meant removing the primary drive chain. In a stroke on incredible luck, both chains’ removable links were smack bang at the top, right in front of me so splitting the chains was fairly straightforward. With the brake disc out of the way,  I could at least get the idler close to it’s position, but being much wider it fouled on the reduction sprocket by a couple of millimetres - just enough to prevent getting it into place, but also enough that I couldn’t wiggle it in. So, the reduction sprocket had to come out as well.

In the end, it all went together:

Twenty litres of oil (not mayonnaise) and another half a day of assembly, and it’s all back together and - wait for it - IT MOVES! :D

Bonus points too - while I was in there I adjusted the brake caliper, so now I have working brakes as well! Just like a new bobcat again :)

So, in celebration I tried to break it again:

Thankfully I failed, and in the process of failing at that I managed to dig out half the hillside. There’s still plenty of digging to go, but I had two or three hours of good progress and I’ve at least made the first cut and so the rest should come together reasonably easily.

Now, if only the weather will cooperate…

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