Adding a SECOND Way to Start the OLD Cat TraxCavator!!! ~ Part 17 ~ 1950s Caterpillar TraxCavator

Publicerades den 6 apr 2021
So the Pony Motor is AWESOME, but can be a HUGE pain to deal with, AS WE'VE LEARNED. Maybe it's time to change something to make using this machine EASIER!
I LOVE the old school way this machine is started with the Pony Motor, and as much as I don't want to eliminate it!
I found a way to ADD a direct starter to the Diesel Engine AND keep the Pony Motor so it can also start the Diesel!
HOW COOL is that!! TWO ways start this old Cat Track Loader!!
Join me, and I'll show you how I did it! I got pretty lucky with the way my machine was already setup!
For help doing this on your machine, check out George at Auto-Lec Rebuilders... He is awesome and he helped me a ton figuring out everything I needed to complete this Starter Add on for "Old Red"!
0:00 - Highlights of the Project So Far
1:06 - Back in the Cat Showing Where a Direct Starter Will Go
2:30 - Removing the Starter Cover Plate
4:43 - Introducing the SECOND Way to Start the DIESEL Engine!
6:20 - HOW To Add a Direct Starter to Most Old Cat's
8:26 - ANY Ideas on WIRING BOTH Starters?!?
10:08 - Testing the Starter
11:26 - WHICH Starter will Work?
12:34 - Removing the Starter Nose Cone
13:49 - Making Cooper Wire Lugs
18:22 - Changing the Bendix / Drive Gear on the Starter
26:45 - WHY add a Starter in ADDITION to the Pony Motor?!?
30:48 - Let's talk about Storing / Organizing Parts for FUTURE Use
35:31 - Test Fitting & Trimming the Starter Nose Cone
40:31 - Making a Gasket for the Starter
41:42 - ReInstalling the Starter's Nose Cone
45:41 - I Had to Adjust the Starter & Trim part of the Engine Block
48:01 - Final Walk Around
52:52 - Would You Watch me Fix the Tahoe?!?
53:41 - Want to Come to the MONSTER BonFire?!?
Click Below for the FULL Video playlist that contains ALL of the videos and the ENTIRE Journey Bringing this OLD Caterpillar 955 TraxCavator named "Old Red" BACK to life!
Here is the LINK:
I'll show you that OLD machines CAN be a LOT of work, EXTREMELY frustrating at times, but once running properly, an INCREDIBLE amount of fun!!
I recently discovered this 60+ year old Caterpillar TraxCavator at an old chicken farm, and the owners have honored me with the privilege of bringing it back to life, and then putting it BACK TO WORK!
Join me as I take you along on my journey through the many ups and downs of this project! I feel honored to be taking on this project, and I truly hope you enjoy the process and progress as we get this OLD CAT to ROAR once again
#AddingAnotherStarter #CaterpillarTraxCavator #SalvageWorkshop


  • Its not a water head gasket leak or hoses would be bulging. If your not putting oil in every few days I'd leave it.

  • If you are going to fix it fix it right. No short cuts or Jerry Rigs.

  • Man you do great so much respect for you from Iran🤘🔥🤘

  • It works by compression, a leak now can grow worse. Fix it now or later but you will fix it.

  • Yes to both, I enjoy learning new things, whether it's old tractors or newish trucks. Great channel, keep up the nice work.

  • I mean, pulling the head wouldn't be a bad idea. But then you'd probably want to dive all the way into the motor and fully rebuild it. But then again it's inevitable you'll have to do it one day

  • Suspect head gaskets only ever get worse, they never cure themselves. Lifting the head will also address several other "unknowns". Take the injector's away for a professional service. Money, money !! but you'll compliment yourself in the long run. Much impressed with all your work so far. Cheers.

  • Good Good video

  • All the work you,ve done on this machine, it would be criminal not to do the head gasket now. You know you won't regret it.

  • Dude. The "other problems" in the engine will either exist or not exist no matter whether you know about them or not. Replace the head gasket while you're in there. And find out from other owners if there are other known problems. You are so far into it now, go for it. Make it right!

  • Your halfway there get er done be safe

  • First I want to thank you for an amazing series of videos on the renovation of Old Red. Second - go ahead and change the head gasket, you have already done so much and since the gasket leaks go ahead change the gasket. Blessings.

  • If it aint broke, don't fix it

  • Leaky head gasket... yup.. pop the top.... with a little luck it will be dead simple but you know there will be discoveries. such is the life of a rebuild.

  • I'm sure you'll be happy you put the starter in and also kept the pony motor. Man I cringed when you pried the end off the starter with the screwdriver against the armature windings.

  • The answer to all of your questions is Yes. I love watching your videos and look forward to the new ones especially Old Red. Your dogs are a great bonus in the vids. I say do the head gasket but full disclosure, I say that because I want more videos of this project.

  • I am amazed ur still alive

  • I would like to see it . I can’t Wait to see how the Starter Works out for You . You are very Smart to have both the Pony Motor and Starter Good Job and Thanks for Videoing Your Progress

  • Funny how yanks say sauder instead of solder.

  • DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • do it

  • You can use a sharping stone to deck/flatten the head before re assembly

  • Hey there Salvage Workshop, I have been loving the series. If I may add a Suggestion as the Lighting at your Bench, as it seems to not show all the detail of what you are working on, So adding LED Lights (Daylight type as they show a White light) either as a portable setup or Permanent fixture (just a suggestion) I am no mechanic by any means, I also think that while you have the old girl opened up, you should like you have prior & do the right thing with the Head Gasket, I love you ingenuity with making / buying part. With the Copper Lugs you made (I can't say I would've thought about using Copper Pipe) & I was an Industrial Electrical Fitter. One thing I would Suggest with the Lugs is to drill a small hole, just 1/2 way up where you flattened it, this will allow two different things:- 1) If you solder the cable in, it will allow you to see that the Solder has gone all the way through, thus giving you a Good Connection. 2) If you crimp the cable in, this will allow you to see the bare wires allowing you to test your crimp is a good connection using a Multimeter. Now if you Solder & Crimp you will have the best of both worlds. Thanks for asking us whether we would like to see something that you have to do anyways, I say YES to the Tahoe fix!! Thanks also for showing us around your property & or surrounding area, it brings a more personal perspective to it as well. Regards from Australia.

  • This is one of the easiest times to do the head gasket but keep in mind that diesel head gaskets require torquing different from a gas engine. One side of me says to give the head bolts a little more torque and see if that helps and another side of me says do the complete job all the way so you won't have to worry in the future..

  • From over in the UK, don't even question whether it should be done, you've done so much it would be silly not to. Just get on with it. HaHa

  • 12/24 volt idea. Check out Jay Leno, Owen Magnetic car which has 2 batteries and a smart controller whose name I can't make it but might be a good addition to old red. I'm just an old couch potato who admires the achievements of folks who can and do.

  • Do it

  • Head gaskets already leaking... only makes sense to repair it while you have it accessible, especially since you plan to use this piece of equipment as it was intended to be used and not a show piece

    • Also, the proper way to test a starter is to use the starter button between your source power and the small solenoid activation stud... won't fry your starter buttons that way due to the less amperage draw through them

  • I've dealt with many head gaskets and once they start to go it is just a matter of time before they completely fail. You have 3 separate components (compression, oil, and antifreeze) all under pressure and it wont take long before a small leak becomes a major...headache.

  • Do he head gasket for OLD RED, dont video the Tahoe...some many other guys doing it

  • 👍🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🗽🙏🏻 Enjoyed! Be disappointed if you didn't put a new head gasket on Ole Red!

  • I remember another interesting way of starting old diesel engines on an old International bulldozer. The entire engine was set up to run on either gasoline or diesel. You would start the engine on gasoline (magneto, spark plugs in the head, etc.) and run it until the engine got warm, and then throw a lever to disengage the gasoline fuel system and engage the diesel fuel system and then the momentum of the running engine would start the diesel. In answer to your question, in the video, you make the statement that "I know for a fact that it leaks." As a experienced mechanic, you should also be able to state that "Once something begins to leak, over time, the leak will only get worse." No very heavy debating should be necessary.

  • I've seen a lot of brush piles at least that big go up lol. May as well pull the head, you can't lie to us, you want to do a full rebuild.

  • I think now is the time to do the head gasket even with the work

  • Do it ! Give it a new gasket .

  • I am always 50/50 on jobs like that, i would consider doing a leak down test, compression test and use a bore scope if good enough just run it as if you run into any problems you will likely be better just doing a straight engine swap and sure the guys @debossgarage could find you one quick lol

  • Pull the head and seal it up. It might have a bit more power?

  • The engine is leaking oil so I would get it sorted before the leaks get worse. I would also recommend doing a compression test on all 4 cylinders of the diesel engine because it is a very old engine and a rebuild may cost a lot if parts can be found.

  • Two heavy duty relays which will direct 6 to Pony and 24 volt to the starter unit.

  • New Head Gasket.. YES

  • YES please do the head you have come this far man might as well do the head gasket on OLD RED love ur content so will definitely watch ur suv head gasket change and the fire lol. much love from CAPE TOWN SOUTH AFRICA

  • the question shouldn't be "is it leaking enough to matter now", it's "how long before it is". You might get a couple of years on that gasket or it might fail the second you get the pony motor back in. with everything already out of the way now's the time to get into the head gasket.

  • Do the head gasket. No question.

  • Do it!

  • Do the head gasket. Do it NOW so that you don't need to do it later. The oil leaks WILL not fix themselves. You are really doing 70 years worth of routine maintenance all at once. Do it! LOVE the channel!

  • I've gotten sucked in on these videos. I'm up to 17 on old Red so heck yeah, make it brand new. I'd love to see you redo the Tahoe, too! I even subscribed! I am 73 and I'll never be doing anything like this but I'm loving you doing it! Thanks! I love dogs an kids so I'm with ya all the way!

  • Change the headgasket. .

  • You should be able to pull the head without touching the pistons and valves if all you need to do is replace the head gasket,as you said it is running well and giving plenty of power

  • Go for it. There will be worms, afterward you go fishing with those worms.

  • Yep, do the head. You'll find more stuff to fix, but that's actually a good thing if you think about it. Fix the little things now, or they will become big things and break your working engine. TRUST ME. The saddest you will ever be is when you decided not to do a repair, and you start the engine and something blows up. It's worth it even if you find out you have to fix EVERYTHING in there. Also yeah, I'll watch the Tahoe. Not sure if you want to put in that extra work to film it.

  • Do the head now or you’ll regret it later and say I should have like you said you’ve got it torn down that far go for it

  • A video on the Tahoe seems useful.

  • not inspecting at this point is like putting your head in the sand and hoping the tiger doesn't bite you in the end. Do you bet on black or red? I say go for it and know what you have to do now or latter

  • Do one bad job bro take it off and replace the gasket

  • shoulda woulda coulda.. i would have drained all liquids from the machine when the pony motor quit. You already know how to (re)build the radiator so that was an easy part. And in the smithery you have tools for lifting heavy parts. Have you already re-assembled the pony motor? No? Do that first. Then just pull off the cap and replace the gasket.

  • Do it

  • 19:41 Hey mate from Australia , do you have a part number for the helix drive gear as Id like to do the same conversion to my D47U and keep the pony motor for cold and fresh starts but want a 24v starter too ?? Maybe you could ask your guy about it ?? Cheers

    • Hey mate I have the starter motor ordered can you source me the bendix gear drive like you have to suit the old D4 dozer helical starter gear ?? I dont know if I can get it here in Australia ?? or maybe a part number etcetc

  • Darn Pre 1956 means you need to drill the hole. So that means my 1947 D4 Serial # 6U342, the 342 one ever made, I would need to drill the hole. Haven't run it in a few years, but it's complete, pony motor started and main runs, just wouldn't engage the pony to start the diesel, we had to pull start it.

  • My next question would be charging ? Nxt thing ill say is u have great thoughts n ideas , but as far as shutting it down constantly is these are intended to run a whole day at minimum if not desighned to run an entire wk . Would that injure the engine as in short runs? Thats my thought we had old macks old machines as a td 9 start on gas n switch to diesel after . and a d 9 cat as well. Pony start the whole 9 . Wat is ur thoughts?

  • Run the batteries in series for the diesel starter and just wire up your pony motor starter to one battery that will be a parallell connection that only uses 12v for the pony motor starter and will give you the 24v for the diesel starter

  • Fix it right….


  • Video the Tahoe and change the head gasket

  • yes do the videos on the chevy, all your videos are great !

  • A series parallel switch like a 1978 IH road tractor has does what you need!

  • Clocking the nose cone

  • Definitely change the head gasket! 👍 And if you connect two batteries in series to run the starter you could tap just one battery for the 12V system. To solve the charging issue, you "just" switch to a 24V generator. Simple right? 😜 Anyways. Good luck and keep up the good work 👍

  • I repair various drum kits and I label spare parts like that. I also put a brief description in a XL spreadsheet so I can just check that before I have to spend money on spares. I love your dedication to solving each problem. Brilliant!

  • If the gasket leaks replace it, you've done so much work as it is. If anything else is seriously wrong in the engine it will not go away by it's self whether you discover it or not.

  • Get a 12v battery and a 24v battery and boom problem solved just make sure it fits

  • well if your gonna do a head gasket might as well do rod and main bearings at least check them

  • As the old saying goes: “In for a penny, in for a pound” If you don’t do it, you will always second guess yourself later. This way, you will know it was done right the first go around!👍

  • I agree with Wes, that you are opening up a can of worms to do the head, but I think you would be happy with the outcome.

  • This starter is what I mentioned to you about several months ago. I'm glad you decided to go this route. I'm sure you won't regret doing this.

  • a big yes to all your questions about making more vids. i love your stuff and am learning so much from them.

  • I would hate to do the head ... but yeah you should do it.

  • Speaking from my own self anything you put out i will watch and enjoy go for the truck

  • I agree with the masses here mate , now is the time to get the head off and have a shuffti better now and finding something wrong that is fairly easy to fix than leave it a few months down the line and have it spew all over the place ....Git er done

  • Use your head. It is leaking now. Why? Does the head need squaring off ning or the block or is the head

  • Sorry that I do spell out one of the worms, but... Redoing an engine of this age in my eyes REQUIRES a valve overhaul! (Cleaning, checking, lapping in, valve-stem seal overhaul/replacement, play adjustment etc.) You might have several valve-issues already, but you have really not loaded that engine much, so you really can't know it! Do the full job from start -saves on labour in the long run! Also to make sure that lube-oil ducting to ALL available bearings in the top area is open/not clogged will save more expensive wear-out/damage later. I'd expect to find at least rocker arms bearings. We'll be patient - watching some one else working can be done for hours without problems ;-) Keep going, keep quality, and expect to find old DIY (destroy it yourself)-problems all through.

  • Like you said, you're there. Do it.

  • Oh - and about the Tahoe: I had one of those when I was on vacation in the US - I'd love to see you fixing it up

  • I would definitely do it - it WILL create issues at some time in the future if it is already leaky - even the "can of worms" are issues you would have to deal with in the future anyway. And as you stated yourself - every other time you'll have to do it will be much more work.

  • If u haven't done already, to get ur 12v just to run the pony motor in this case, everything to the first battery like normal, then the 24v to the 2nd battery, if that makes any sense, have done that alot in our old 24v trucks to run 12v things in the cab

  • I'm afraid you're going to have to take the head off. The machine has not been up to operating temp for ages. Imagine your feelings if you left as is and when first running and hot you got leaks or even worse an emulsion (coolant in the oil). You'd be soooo cross with yourself. I didn't change a head gasket on my OHTC Alfa once when I had the opportunity - stupidly thought I'd get away with it. Lesson learned.

  • 4 six volt golf cart batteries? Leave one disconnnectable to start the pony motor.

  • To have 12 volts for the pony motor. Hook the hot leg from the ground battery for 12 volts. It is ground and 12 volts and ground to battery 2 and 24 volts for your second battery positive connection

  • Yes replace the head gasket

  • “I almost had you.” “You never had me, or your car. Now me and the mad scientist here gotta tear apart the engine and fix the piston rings you fried.” If there was a real mad scientists’ god, this fellow would be He!!!!

  • Do you head gasket.. Waiting to see the big fire.

  • So, the 12/24V starting thing is actually simple ... 1) swap out the 6V starter for a 12V one so you don't melt it ... 2) connect that starter up to battery 1 ... 3) serial connect a 2nd battery to the first one to get you your 24V {so Battery 1 negative to 12V starter and 24V starter; Battery 1 positive to 12V starter; Battery 1 positive to Battery 2 negative; Battery 2 positive to 24V starter} BUT your issue with this system is always going to be charging - I would assume that any charging system right now is 6V only and you'd need to charge up 24V so about all I can think of is "can you put a bigger charging system onto the diesel?" that way running the big motor will charge the 24 battery pair Now, dribbling head ... if its dribbling outside its dribbling inside ... if its dribbling inside is it dribbling coolant inside somewhere ... right now you have a working diesel motor so better an ounce of prevention and have a look see, and fix the drooling block before you don't have a working diesel ... I seem to remember you already draining the oil out of the big diesel and you didn't find any large hunks of metal in it so you know you're not jumping into ~that~ can o worms

  • How old is the head gasket? 50 plus years??? It is probably shot and soon to be a major failure. Do it.

  • Whatever hypothetical problems you might find after taking the head off are there whether you do it or not. You already have a bunch of stuff out of the way so you might as well do it anyway. Plus it's better to do it now while it's sitting right outside the shop than have the machine break down in the middle of a project out in the woods or whatever. I would likely watch the Tahoe videos. I've watched every other video you've made and a head gasket on a Tahoe is something I might actually have to do. If it were my Tahoe I'd swap in a manual transfer case and see if there was a way to delete the center axle disconnect.

  • I wouldnt oull head without a resurface and valve grind

  • You WILL need a 24V alternator.

  • No question: Change the head gasket! You CAN wire the batteries to tap `12V and 24V.

  • It makes no sense to not do the gasket, you don't want to open a can of worms but all that would change is your knowledge of those worms, if you have issues in your engine and don't do the gasket and don't learn about it then you're screwing yourself in the future, this is the best time to do the gasket and the best time to do anything more you might find, but maybe there isn't more to do. Just do the gasket

  • your looking for a series/parallel switch, at on time they were quite common

  • From what I have seen the motor runs strong. Are you losing a lot of antifreeze, or in the oil. If not you are probably ok on your pistons, rings and liners. Could be just a bad head gasket. If you change it now saves a lot of work later on.