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I have an 86 Caterpillar 931B trackloader. It isn't used a…

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I have an 86 Caterpillar...
I have an 86 Caterpillar 931B trackloader. It isn't used a whole lot. Recently I ran it and after about an hour, it stopped pulling. It was steering fine. Engine running fine, etc. I had not changed the fluids in several years (except oil). So I changed, Transmission, bevel gear, steering clutch fluids. Everything was fine, except when I check the transmission fluid it is real high on the dip stick and I put exactly 7 gallons in it. It was drained completely. You can literally see the fluid in transmission tube. Don't understand why so high. It is still not pulling correctly and this time I noticed that when I put it in gear, it shifts very hard. It feels to me like the brake is on when it is changing gears and trying to pull. Any ideas?
Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Medium and Heavy Trucks
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Answered in 5 days by:
5/30/2018
Technician: cat_engines_only, Other replied 2 months ago
cat_engines_only
Category: Medium and Heavy Trucks
Satisfied Customers: 2,578
Experience: Repair CAT machines only
Verified

Hello, I see your question is very old and has not been answered.

Are you still looking for help on this issue?

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
My question is about a week old, never answered. Yes I'm still looking for an answer
Technician: cat_engines_only, Other replied 2 months ago

Ok, I will be glad to help. Can you post the complete machine serial number?

Did you drain from the transmission plug or just the bevel gear plug?

You do have two dipsticks correct?

Did you recently adjust the brakes? Where to the brake pedals stop moving? At the firewall or up high?

Has anyone tampered with the rods for the brakes or steering clutches?

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Serial number is ***** I drained the transmission, bevel gear and steering clutches. The service manual shows the transmission to hold 7 gallons, bevel gear 4 gallons. My service manual has no reference to the steering clutches. there are three drain plugs near the rear of the trackloader. The Cat Dealer in Decatur Al told me the center one was bevel gear and two outer ones were the steering clutches. When I drained the fluids I got about 6 gallons out of transmission. the one with the filter screen had all the fluid, the one beside it had nothing. The Bevel gear drained about 4 gallons and I was confused about the steering clutches because there was no reference to them in my service manuals. The Cat dealer looked it up and said to fill to small drain plug on the side or about 7 gallons each. I did that. When I refilled the transmission with 6 gallons it showed very high on the dip stick. Since this post, I drained the transmission again and this time removed the screen and cleaned it. It had very little debris in it and a small amount of film on the magnets. It drained about 5 gallons. I refilled it until it showed full on the dip stick. It held about 3 gallons this time. ??? I ran it for about 30 minutes and at first it did fine. I was pushing up some fallen trees. It was pushing great. Then after about 30 minutes it starts shifting hard between gears and I heard what I call a metal on metal screech and it starts driving very slow. Only 1st gear in Forward or reverse move the loader. 2nd and 3rd do nothing. So I shut if off. Came back 6 hours later and drove it back to my barn, about 100 yards and it drove fine. I rechecked all fluids before moving it and after it warmed up and all at full marks. Brakes have not been adjusted since I've owned it. About 20 years and 800 hours. The left brake and steering works great. It goes down about 3 inches. The right has to be pushed about 2 inches further down to respond. No one has touched anything on this machine other than maintenance and a new starter many years ago and a busted hydraulic hose or two. I hope this helps Oh there are two dipsticks, Transmission and bevel gear under my foot pedals.
Technician: cat_engines_only, Other replied 2 months ago

Thank you for all the details. It is very helpful in understanding your machine. Sounds like it has been a good machine and will likely be so for much longer.

My book is showing 5 gallons for a 3 forward and 1 reverse transmission then 7 gallons for the 3 forward, 3 reverse speeds transmission.

Normally, all CAT transmissions are checked with the engine running. I assume your dipstick is marked with a safe starting range and on the opposite side, a full and add mark for Engine Running Warm Oil.

As for the steering clutches, did you drain oil from each compartment? Did your tractor have the oil level plugs on each steering clutch case?

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
gallons and refilling about 6gallons it showed very high on dipstick with it running and warm. On the steering clutches, it had a drain plug on each side underneath. In the center was the bevel gear according to cat dealer. On the side is a small plug they said to remove and use as the fill level. Each side took 7;gallons as stated in a tech printout they gave me.
Technician: cat_engines_only, Other replied 2 months ago

Ok, so I assume they have information the steering clutch and brake have been converted from dry to wet type parts?

I am looking for that document but can't find it. Do you see the media number on the top left?

I also assume they steering is working correctly and they drive without slipping or heating the brakes?

Did you clean a screen for the transmission or replace a filter? Is this a 3F & 1R or 3F & 3R transmission?

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Sorry I think that last post cut off. It is a 3F/3R trans. Not sure what you mean by media number. Yes it steers and seems to brake fine. The cat dealer did mention something about being converted to wet clutches but that is before I owned it I guess. Transmission screen was cleaned and filter replaced
Customer reply replied 2 months ago
I read something in a heavyequipment forum on some one that had a similar problem with a D3 that some “valves” were in the transmission pump were getting hot and restricting fluid flow
Technician: cat_engines_only, Other replied 2 months ago

Yes, several changes have been done over the years to improve the transmission control valve. To determine if you are losing pressure in the transmission you will need at least two 500 psi pressure gauges and hoses, three would be better but, even one will work.

Do you have pressure testing tooling available?

Since the oil level plugs were in the housing, it is likely your is a "wet" type brake and steer clutch machine.

I assume you only use TDTO grade 30W transmission oil in all the compartments and transmission?

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
I don’t have any pressure gauges and that may be above my level of expertise. But I would like to have it narrowed down if I take it to someone for repair so I don’t get totally screwed. Yes I am a firm believer in top quality oils. I’ve only ever used a Caterpillar oils and filters, etc
Customer reply replied 2 months ago
I could probably get some gauges , but would need to know what to test
Technician: cat_engines_only, Other replied 2 months ago

A simple test would be to place a gauge on the test port on the top of the transmission filter housing and then you could monitor the pump pressure and see if the pump is losing pressure. If pressure remains steady even when power is lost, you should look at other issues before the transmission. You should have 375 psi at high idle and no less than 277 at low idle. Further testing will require removing the transmission cover and access special plugs in the valve body.

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
I’ll see if I can find a pressure gauge in next couple days and get back with you. Thanks
Technician: cat_engines_only, Other replied 2 months ago

Great, I am glad I could help.

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
My loader is at my farm about 40 miles away. Do you know offhand what size fitting the plug may be on top of the transmission filter housing?
Technician: cat_engines_only, Other replied 2 months ago
If it is like the current versions it is 7/16-20 o-ring boss fitting. I think even the old one were too.
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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Thanks, I will try to find a gauge and get the pressure tested over the weekend.
Technician: cat_engines_only, Other replied 2 months ago
Ok
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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Ok, I hooked up a test gauge to the port in the transmission filter housing. 9/16 btw. At startup (cool) it was around 360 psi at medium idle. I let it idle about 2 minutes then I drove it about 50 yards and it started the extreme slow motion about 7-8 minutes after starting (90 degrees here today). The pressure stayed consistent around 360-370 the entire time even at different idling.
Technician: cat_engines_only, Other replied 2 months ago

Since pressure is still strong, the pump is not the issue.

Next, we need to verify the brakes are not dragging. I recommend you back off both brake settings to the point the pedals almost touch the firewall.
This will be as loose as you can get them and they should still work.

Did you watch the pressures when you shifted through all the speeds? Did any have a lower pressure than the other Speeds or directions?

Did you notice heat in the steering/brake clutch housings? If the steering clutch cases are getting hot quickly, that would be a sign the brakes are dragging.

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
I didn't notice any difference in pressure between gears. However, I didn't go into 3rd Forward or 2 or 3rd in reverse. I'm head back there now to move it back to the shop. I will check it. I did not notice any heat from steering or brake clutches. I will watch for that moving it back too. Dumb question ... I was looking in the service manuals to adjust the brakes. It says to make the length of the rods a certain length. It doesn't tell you how to tighten or loosen. I'm assuming to loosen the brakes you would lengthen the rods, correct?
Customer reply replied 2 months ago
I just went and moved it back. I checked the pressure in all gears. As it changed from gear to gear, that slight hesitation the pressure dropped way down to less that 100 then quickly jumps back to the 360-380 range. It never did the slow walk while moving it back. I ran it in reverse the entire time except about 20 feet in forward gears. When it does start the slow walk, it shift very hard between gears. On my way back home, I thought well I should have waited until it did the slow walk and shifting hard and then checked the pressure(s). I will do that next.
Technician: cat_engines_only, Other replied 2 months ago

Since it is moving freely in reverse, that is another sign the issue is with the brakes. The brakes are not as strong in reverse and will bind more easily in forward.

Yes, the rods are set to a specific length and then they should never be adjusted again.

The actual brake band adjustment is down on the surface of the case. The maintenance guide should show either a cover plate to access the adjuster screw or a and bolt head that is through a sealed bearing on the top of the case for this adjustment. You would just turn the adjuster counterclockwise to loosen the brakes.

Since the pressure returned quickly between shift, At this point I think the transmission is ok. If after loosening the brakes the problem is still present, then we will need further testing of the transmission.

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Technician: cat_engines_only, Other replied 2 months ago

Did you find anything with the brakes?

Thank you for using JustAnswer, if you need further help please let me know.

If you are satisfied with my service, please take a moment to provide a rating.

Thanks again, Don

CATMASTERTECH

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
I'm sorry but I haven't had a chance to try and adjust the brakes. This is just an old farm machine and not used a lot. Weekends are about the only time I have a chance to work on it and I hate to tie you up with my delays. You have been a tremendous help and this is my first experience with this service and I am highly impressed with your knowledge and willingness. The brake issue may be out of my comfort level. At this point I may take it to the Cat Dealer with all of our findings. I bought this machine from a Cat dealer in 1998 and they claimed the undercarriage was 80%. After about 6 months something happened and I had a local guy look at it and he said the undercarriage was worn out. I contacted the Cat dealer and they sent someone out to look at it and discovered it was not 80% but more like 30%. They replaced the entire undercarriage at no cost. About $10,000. I feel confident in them and think that with what testing we have done, they will be able to determine the issue pretty quickly and not cost me an arm and a leg. It may be a couple weeks before I can get it to them but if you want to keep this case open I will be happy to update it with what they find. Thanks again for your tremendous assistance.
Technician: cat_engines_only, Other replied 2 months ago

The brake adjustments should be easy to complete. The hard part is cleaning the machine to find if you have the adjuster extension to allow adjustment without removing any covers other than the floor plate.

If you do have the external adjuster screw, then removing the plate at the front of the seat base is all that is needed. The adjuster is usually a 9/16 head and a short extension will help clear the lines. Turn counter clockwise to loosen the brakes. Check the pedal free travel to see if you are going the right way.

This should be covered in your owners manual. If you need more help on this, please let me know.

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Technician: cat_engines_only, Other replied 2 months ago

If you are sure you want to send this to the dealer, please let me know.

All I need to close this question is a positive rating. If you need anything else, I will be glad to help.

Thanks, Don

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
I would like to look at the brake issue myself but it may be a few days, if that is ok. I just don't want to leave you hanging for several days until I have a chance to work on it.
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