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Crawlers, Dozers, Loaders & Backhoes Discussion Forum

Old Cat dozer?

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Bradley K

10-31-2009 11:18:46

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Hi, I've never posted on this forum before. Usually on the combine page.

Anyway, I've been thinking about looking for an older Cat dozer for use and also collector value.

I've got a smaller grove that I plan to take down someday; and also a property with about 40 acres of woods between a couple lakes. Eventually plan to make a road out there and just would have use for a dozer now and then.

I know it would probably be cheaper to just hire what I need done, but that's not really the issue.

Just like to tinker with that sort of stuff, and when I have an idea I like to do it myself.

So anyway what would be a good older Cat to look for. Want to stay with the Cat brand. Thinking D4, but wouldn't be scared of a D8 either.

What are some things to look for? What years were signifigant improvements made?

I'm familiar with running and hauling bigger equipment, as my passion is collecting old combines; so size doesn't scare me. Just like to get informed before doing something.

Thanks, Brad

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Bradley K

11-02-2009 20:15:17

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 Re: Old Cat dozer? in reply to Bradley K, 10-31-2009 11:18:46  
Thanks for the info. Gives me something to think about, just kicking the idea around yet.

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11-01-2009 21:12:25

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 Re: Old Cat dozer? in reply to Bradley K, 10-31-2009 11:18:46  
Undercarriage is the money pit. Check out crawlerheaven for additional tips on measuring wear.

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Joe in Neb

11-01-2009 15:17:29

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 Re: Old Cat dozer? in reply to Bradley K, 10-31-2009 11:18:46  
I started out with a 1950 D4. Had it for several years and did nothing but routine service. Ran it for 4 or 5 years. Got lots of jobs done. Moved up to a d6b and it was better and faster. Had no trouble with that one. Had it two years and moved up to a D6C. It was great after the others and finally powershift. Had it 3 years and got a John Deere 850B. More power and started doing commercial work. Had it 3 years. Then I bought a 2002 850C and its setting by the shop now. It is a great tractor and fun to use. It is the first one I have done anything to and that was to replace the undercarriage. I had it completely repaced at john deere and it cost me 25000 for the whole thing which I thought was reasonable. So Get one you think will do the job you have now and work your way up. After your first one you will know what to buy and what to look for on the machine. As cheap as a small D4 is you can't lose much money. So just go for it and have Fun!

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10-31-2009 18:59:29

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 Re: Old Cat dozer? in reply to Bradley K, 10-31-2009 11:18:46  
Hi Bradley,

As Ole Shovel said, the Cat forums are a great help. You didn't say where you are. A friend here in central Va has a half-restored D6 that he's lost interest in. Retired machinist, who knows what would be necessary to get it working. Pony's already rebuilt and fuel system repaired, something to do with the clutches remaining. This one's likely pre-WWII. I've got photos.

My experience with my old Cats is that parts are not normally any more expensive than the JD or Case tractors I've worked on. Dealer support, I've found better than either JD or Case. My parts guys groan (good-naturedly) when I walk in and they know they have to reach for the microfische.

Once had a bypass valve I needed to replace, couldn't figure out how to get it out of the housing. The parts guys had the new valve ($12) but had no idea how it was held in place. Called the shop and headed me to the oldest guy there, only one who'd ever seen the model Cat I had. He looked at the housing foldly, headed for a vice and grabbed a BFH. Whack, problem solved. Turned out the housing was 2 parts, supposted to fall apart when you removed it. Mine was glued together with multiple coats of paint, completly hiding the seam.

Dozers I don't have much interest in, so I can't offer any advice on your search, other than there's a cheap opportunity here.

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Ole Shovel

10-31-2009 17:58:50

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 Re: Old Cat dozer? in reply to Bradley K, 10-31-2009 11:18:46  
A few more places to look around while you are trying to decide....

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135 Fan

10-31-2009 12:25:51

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 Re: Old Cat dozer? in reply to Bradley K, 10-31-2009 11:18:46  
If size doesn't scare you, Cat parts prices will! If you want to be doing clearing, I'd say you should look for a D6 and up. A D5 maybe but they aren't as common. There have been continual improvements done over the years. Some good, some not so good. All the new machines you might as well forget about trying to fix them yourself. What's your budget? I think most D6's and D7's were pretty good machines in their time. D8's too but real expensive to fix due to their size. Cats can be real money pits. Before you buy anything, find a good Cat mechanic and pay him to look at anything you're considering. There are several Cat specialists on this forum that can tell you a lot more than I can. Dave

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