Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mechanical project (Bobcat M500 tear down)

Last spring I purchased an old Bobcat M-500. The guy I bought it from sold it cheaply because he wanted it out of his barn. I paid to have it hauled from his home in Michigan to here (about as much as I paid for the machine), but I deemed it a good buy since it ran and worked. I was able to play with it a few days and was pleased with it overall. It had some issues, but it seemed like it would work fine for my purposes.

Then, it wouldn’t start. There was a click when I turned the key, but the starter wouldn’t turn. Since I was busy working on my house, I parked the Bobcat in the barn until I could devote some time to remove the starter. Finally last fall, I found time to remove the starter, only I couldn’t remove it without pulling the engine out. I was able to get the solenoid off of the starter without any problem, and I thought that it was probably the culprit anyway.

I took the solenoid to the local guy who works on starters. He said solenoids like that one rarely if ever go bad, that it was probably the starter. If I’d bring it in, he could check it out. I didn’t really want to have to remove the engine, but the machine continued to sit there waiting for me to do the job that needed done.

So, last week, I started on it. It became clear that I would need to remove the lift and everything else off of the Bobcat in order to be able to get to the engine. Although I’ve been working on it at what seems like a slow pace, everything is going well. 001I’ve broken a few bolts which I’ll replace with new ones when I reassemble everything. I pulled the engine this week – I have a chain hoist secured to a metal truss right above the Bobcat. That made it easy to lift things up and off.

It was easy enough to remove the starter and also the generator (it’s questionable that the generator has been charging as it’s supposed to). I’ll be taking both of them to have them checked out and repaired.

With the engine out, I could see I’d need to pull the flywheel because a couple bolts on the side were loose. Thankfully, I was able to get the flywheel off without too much difficulty, and I’ll only need to replace the bolts with ones a little longer than the originals. As I was loosening the flywheel, I realized that the head gaskets (there are two – one for each cylinder) weren’t holding the compression – I could hear air escaping from the head when turning the flywheel (the pistons were pushing air out at the heads and pulling air in on the return stroke). I just ordered new head gaskets this morning – I was amazed I could find a set since Kohler no longer supports this old engine.

Before I reinstall the engine and put everything back together, I’m going to give the old machine a good cleaning and spray on a new coat of paint – nothing fancy, though. I’m hoping that the engine will run better when I’m all done without leaking head gaskets and that the Bobcat will prove to be a useful tool around here. The starter problem which prompted this project is 006a blessing because it revealed other repairs necessary and is resulting in cleaning up and getting the old machine back into the useful shape it ought to be in (I was just going to use it dirty).

On another note, our pond is once again full. We had enough rain at the end of February to top it off. It’s nice to see it full once again – it’s been several months. I’m hoping that the water won’t seep out of the bottom like it did last year, that it will hold water better this year.


small farm girl

Looks like you have a job on your hands. I hope it all works out for you. Pond's looking great!


Yeah, but it's going well.

Hey, how's your fiddle playing going?

freight loader

Not sure what happened to what I was just writing Wheat I need some photos of the engine bay of your Melro500 skid steer Ours need a repowering and need to see how much room is in the 500 compared to my 440 Melro I've seen years back them having both air and water cooled VW engines in them of I had some photos that could tell me of I've got the room to do it to our old 440

frieght loader

I see my post looks rather messed up What I was trying to say is could you send me some photos of the engine bay in your 500 I'd like to see if its the same as my 440 I've heard and seen in magazines where farmers have put car engines in these older machines and gained 3times the power that they ever had The engine is shot in our old 440 and parts are obsolete

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