How to Remove Dozer Tracks
A dozer’s tracks must be removed when replacing the tracks and when replacing many other undercarriage components. They also need to be removed or adjusted for some undercarriage repair work.
How you remove the tracks depends on the tracks’ master link. Dozers are equipped with one of two types of master links: split master link (also called a “gator clip”) and a master pin link.
Split master link
When removing the tracks, you will need to jack up the dozer. Place a jack at the rear of the dozer and jack up the rear. You can use the dozer blade in order to lift the front part of the tracks off the ground.
Then lay down plywood or mats to prevent damage to your floor and to keep parts clean.
Use the track tensioner to loosen the tracks; this makes removing the tracks easier.
Find the master link. It will look different than the rest of the links. The track pad fastened to the master link is called the master pad. Use a bolt remover to remove the bolts that connect the master pad to the master link.
Remove the master pad. You will now have a good view of the master link. The master link is composed of two interlocking pieces. One piece is attached to one end of the tracks and the other piece is attached to the other end of the tracks. Separate the two pieces. You may need to hit the links with a hammer to loosen them.
Now the tracks are no longer connected in a circle. Remove the tracks by pulling the bottom track in the direction of the rear of the machine. The tracks are heavy, and you may not be able remove them by hand (especially on larger machines). Contractors who don’t have a machine that performs this work will chain the tracks to a vehicle and then “drive” the tracks off the machine.
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Master pin link
Master pin links can be found on both dozers and excavators. To remove the track, you need to first lift the track off the ground. If you are removing the tracks from a dozer, use the blade to lift the front portion of the track off the ground and a jack to lift the rear portion of the track off the ground. If you are using an excavator, you can use the arm and boom of the machine to lift one track off the ground.
Next, remove the side cover (located at about the midpoint between the two to gain access to the idler adjuster nut. Use a wrench to loosen the idler adjuster nut.
Locate the master pins. They will look slightly different than the other pins. Use a bolt remover to remove the bolts from the pad in either side of the master pin.
You have several options when it comes to removing the master pin. You could use a portable press to remove the bolts that fasten the two sides of the master link together. Or, you could heat the area and then use a sledge hammer and punch plate to hit it out. Or, you could cut the link with a torch (and then weld it together if you put the tracks back on the machine).
Then find the idler adjuster. It may be behind a protective cover. Loosen the idler adjuster. Then stand at front of the undercarriage and push it in; this will shorten the undercarriage and increase the amount of slack in the tracks.
Depending on the size of the machine, use either a winch, hoist, crane, forklift or skid steer loader with fork attachments to do some of the heavy lifting. Remove the front portion of tracks and lay them next to the front part of the undercarriage. If you have the entire machine hoisted, run the machine in reverse; this will pile the track near the rear of the machine. Use the same method for the other track. Then use a forklift to remove the tracks away from the machine.
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