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Thread: Using my SEE for real work

  1. #1
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    Default Using my SEE for real work

    After spending most of last summer chasing electrical, hydraulic cooling fans, air leaks in fuel system and a couple of other items, I actually can use my SEE for what it was intended for which is as a crawler loader. Having never owned a crawler loader I cant compare it to a conventional Cat or Case but I have been impressed in some ways and have lot to learn in other ways.

    Some things of note in no particular order,

    I have managed to figure out that the front right tire will rub somewhere on the body work or frame when using the loader in "unusual" body angles. If I load up the loader with loam and drive downslope over an uneven surface with the right tire lower than the left one (about 20 degrees tilt) and try to turn left, the mog is definitely an unhappy camper. I do this at a very slow crawl and if I straighten out, the rub goes away. Rubbing with lugged tires is definitely something a person notices.

    Tilt locking the boom is getting a lot easier. I can usually get it the first time but the only way I can do it is position all the cylinders in stow position (bucket curled up and the upper boon up against the lower boom). I then tilt the assembly quite far down and then bring it back quickly and then push the lever back at the last minute once the assembly goes overcenter. I haven't been able to do it slowly.

    Some folks who are familiar with the Case 580 controls noted that they swear the hydraulic level pad controls are weird. On my unit the left control works opposite than the right control. I am starting to remember but still its a future to see if I could synchronize them

    My SEE came with the optional Ripper Claw bucket which is designed to rip rocks out, its a beast but the definitely screws up fine control like when I am pushing rocks around or trying to sneak under one Cutting a neat hole just isnt going to happen with hooks on the back of the bucket. At some point I will order up a standard bucket.

    I can max out the loader bucket hydraulics with a heaping full bucket. It wont go up but will maintain level. If I tip it forward and dump a bit so its level then its quite happy.

    I should have played video games when I was young, my eye hand coordination and the ability to make changes to three controls at once is going to be major learning effort.

    My swap out of the cooling fans with slightly smaller but more efficient fans (due to one of the originals being rusted/shorted out) seems to work well. They move plenty of air and keep the hydraulic temp reasonable. For those not familiar there is a TSB on the rear hydraulic cooling fans, the rubber grommet where the wire enters the fan is facing upwards and age damages the grommet leading to water in the fan motor. The TSB recommends gooping the grommet with silicone. If this fan is shorted, there will be intermittent electrical short on the high amp fuse that serves the electrical system at the rear of the truck. It will only blow when the cooling fan thermal switch is on which only happens when the hydraulics are being worked. I made up an adaptor plate out of a sheet of aluminum for the fans I had sitting around so its not particularly stock but until I source an OEM fan at a reasonable price they work well.

    The cooling system seems to be very effective on the engine. I work it hard with the throttle cranked up for hours with the switch at the backhoe and the temp is still mid range even on warm days.

    Hearing protection is definitely mandatory when using the backhoe, I am considering pulling out my super ear muffs I use on gas turbines
    Unimog SEE, Unimog 1300L Ambulance (for now)

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    4 Star General The FLU farm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I have managed to figure out that the front right tire will rub somewhere on the body work or frame when using the loader in "unusual" body angles. If I load up the loader with loam and drive downslope over an uneven surface with the right tire lower than the left one (about 20 degrees tilt) and try to turn left, the mog is definitely an unhappy camper. I do this at a very slow crawl and if I straighten out, the rub goes away. Rubbing with lugged tires is definitely something a person notices.

    Haven't had that happen, yet, but if I do install 39x16.50 tires on 14-inch wide wheels (for lower contact pressure, better sidehill stability, and to get away from radials) there might be some rubbage on mine, too.

    Tilt locking the boom is getting a lot easier. I can usually get it the first time but the only way I can do it is position all the cylinders in stow position (bucket curled up and the upper boon up against the lower boom). I then tilt the assembly quite far down and then bring it back quickly and then push the lever back at the last minute once the assembly goes overcenter. I haven't been able to do it slowly.

    With the bucket and dipped folded in, my backhoe can easily be locked in with maybe 800 rpm. Of course, that's with AW 32 in the system.

    Some folks who are familiar with the Case 580 controls noted that they swear the hydraulic level pad controls are weird. On my unit the left control works opposite than the right control. I am starting to remember but still its a future to see if I could synchronize them

    That should be fixable with a simple hose swap, I'd think.

    My SEE came with the optional Ripper Claw bucket which is designed to rip rocks out, its a beast but the definitely screws up fine control like when I am pushing rocks around or trying to sneak under one Cutting a neat hole just isnt going to happen with hooks on the back of the bucket. At some point I will order up a standard bucket.

    I can max out the loader bucket hydraulics with a heaping full bucket. It wont go up but will maintain level. If I tip it forward and dump a bit so its level then its quite happy.

    Mine will lift just fine, but the curl function is weak. Again, that's with AW 32.

    I should have played video games when I was young, my eye hand coordination and the ability to make changes to three controls at once is going to be major learning effort.

    Just as I was starting to get the hang of a 2-lever system, there was now three levers and two pedals. It took a few hours to get used to, and switching back and forth between the two backhoes often makes for several mistakes at first.

    My swap out of the cooling fans with slightly smaller but more efficient fans (due to one of the originals being rusted/shorted out) seems to work well. They move plenty of air and keep the hydraulic temp reasonable. For those not familiar there is a TSB on the rear hydraulic cooling fans, the rubber grommet where the wire enters the fan is facing upwards and age damages the grommet leading to water in the fan motor. The TSB recommends gooping the grommet with silicone. If this fan is shorted, there will be intermittent electrical short on the high amp fuse that serves the electrical system at the rear of the truck. It will only blow when the cooling fan thermal switch is on which only happens when the hydraulics are being worked. I made up an adaptor plate out of a sheet of aluminum for the fans I had sitting around so its not particularly stock but until I source an OEM fan at a reasonable price they work well.

    The cooling system seems to be very effective on the engine. I work it hard with the throttle cranked up for hours with the switch at the backhoe and the temp is still mid range even on warm days.

    Hearing protection is definitely mandatory when using the backhoe, I am considering pulling out my super ear muffs I use on gas turbines
    Say what? Yeah, ear muffs are our friend. So is turning the flapper on the exhaust to face the right side. It did help with both noise and getting smoked.

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    Good hint on the flapper, make a lot of sense.

    Speaking of exhaust, along the way I picked up a spare exhaust header pipe on Ebay. There is a major restriction built into the pipe downstream of the header flange that bolts up to the manifold. I need to take a look at why they needed to make such a reduction in the piping.
    Unimog SEE, Unimog 1300L Ambulance (for now)

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    At some point I'll make an easily removable extension for the exhaust pipe - and hope I'll remember to remove it before heading into the trees.
    Or maybe it should be made flexible instead?

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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I should have played video games when I was young, my eye hand coordination and the ability to make changes to three controls at once is going to be major learning effort.
    Hahahah! Video games do make eye-hand coordination much better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    My swap out of the cooling fans with slightly smaller but more efficient fans (due to one of the originals being rusted/shorted out) seems to work well. They move plenty of air and keep the hydraulic temp reasonable. For those not familiar there is a TSB on the rear hydraulic cooling fans, the rubber grommet where the wire enters the fan is facing upwards and age damages the grommet leading to water in the fan motor. The TSB recommends gooping the grommet with silicone. If this fan is shorted, there will be intermittent electrical short on the high amp fuse that serves the electrical system at the rear of the truck. It will only blow when the cooling fan thermal switch is on which only happens when the hydraulics are being worked. I made up an adaptor plate out of a sheet of aluminum for the fans I had sitting around so its not particularly stock but until I source an OEM fan at a reasonable price they work well.

    The cooling system seems to be very effective on the engine. I work it hard with the throttle cranked up for hours with the switch at the backhoe and the temp is still mid range even on warm days.
    Alright, yesterday I pulled what appears to be a relatively new fan off the parts SEE, to replace the dead front one on the SEE I use.
    It happened to be the rear one I pulled, and it came off with ease. The problem is getting the dead front one off.
    Easiest would be to move the hose reel out of the way, I think, except that the inner nuts are not accessible.
    Moving the whole cooler assembly seems to be the next easiest...but not exactly easy in my book.
    How the heck did you do it??

  9. #7
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    I unbolted the entire cooler but left the hoses attached. I think its four bolts. with 4 captive nuts in the cooler case. I soaked the threads that stick up inside the cooler a few times with WD 40. The bolt heads up under the deck. I agree its tight fit especially when fitting an adaptor plate to mount the new fans.
    Unimog SEE, Unimog 1300L Ambulance (for now)

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    Thanks for the reply!
    Didn't look like those nuts were captive, which is why I wasn't looking forward to that approach.
    The only other way that front fan may come out is if I move the hard return line out of the way. Optimistically loosened the fitting on top, and sure enough, the fluid wants out. Thought about laying the backhoe out straight, then tilt the whole SEE to the right as much as possible with the left outrigger, in an effort to make that line more of a high point.
    But, if it's only a matter of moving the cooler a bit, that's what I'll do.
    There's still the issue with two of the bolts holding the old fan that broke off, and a third one that started spinning and had to be cut off. Oh well, I'll cross that bridge if I get there.

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    Glad I could help. I had to drill out a couple of snapped bolts that hold the fans in. The big captive nuts in the case sure don't look like they are that securely attached, that's why I suggested hitting the threads with your favorite penetrant a few days in advance.


    I would suggest seeing if you could rotate the fan motor so the grommet for the cable is below the motor, rather than on the top and seal it up well with silicone.
    Unimog SEE, Unimog 1300L Ambulance (for now)

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    Hey, just happened to come in after finally getting that darn fan out. Barely.
    Two of the four nuts became un-captive. Luckily it was the rear ones, so I could kind of reach around, but it still took about four hours.
    And I did start spraying them down yesterday.
    To make it even more interesting, the whole thing was also liberally siliconed into place.
    Now I need to decide what to do about the busted fan fasteners. I'm thinking nut-serts. That way I can also orient the drain towards the bottom.
    I'll take a photo or two of the "new" fan - it's a bit different.

    Between this project fighting me every step of the way and the heat, I figured that I'd go for the grand finale and downgrade my laptop to Windows 10 while things are crappy anyway. Already made the computer in the garage non-functional by installing 10, so what could possibly go wrong with the laptop?

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