Author Topic: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55  (Read 1988 times)

Offline skfarmer

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #30 on: September 03, 2017, 12:20:13 AM »
looking a little better all the time.
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Offline Muddy

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #31 on: September 03, 2017, 08:55:14 PM »
Looking good....for a CAT

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Offline slip knot

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #32 on: September 03, 2017, 09:33:31 PM »
looks good  thumbsup2
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Offline highland512

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #33 on: September 20, 2017, 08:32:36 AM »
More beauty work completed over the weekend. We removed the grill and nose light assembly. The grill was pretty out of shape. We reshaped it and beat some dents out then re painted it. The headlight where very foggy and filled with mold/algie. I used a lens buffing kit and the lenes clearded up quite well. With some soap and elbow grease the green goo from the inside of the lights came out. Pulled the headliner, all interior panels, and the dash. Again the amount of dirt and cotton hulls hidden behind everything was amazing. The rat that was living in the top of the cab found the radio wiring was yummy, so we pulled all of the speaker wire and replaced it along with speakers and the radio which where all trashed with age and abuse.

The whole electrical system on this has been sketchy at best since we brought it home. I think we figured out why. The side glass that had been busted out of it for who knows how long was right beside the post where all of the relays and fuses are. I pulled one of the relays for the lights and jumped it, then bam all of the light work. All relays have been ordered. Once we receive them and install them, we will button up the cab and should be finished with the inside.

With a few more items to check off like installing some lights, a new pto switch, paint the frame and rear area then cleaning the windows we should be done. We where going to paint the undercarriage but we have about decided not mess with it at this time. New tracks and some bogie wheels are in the future so there is not much need in making the roller assembly all nice just to scratch it all up this winter. Final pictures next week!
-Matt
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Offline fatfillup

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #34 on: September 20, 2017, 09:25:22 AM »
So given all the work you have and will do on the tractor, is it still a good deal?  Not asking to be a smart a$$ just curious.  I bought a mini van at an auction that I thought was a great deal. By the time I got it through inspection and running right, I paid almost what it was worth.  That said, it has been a great vehicle for us for its intended purpose so I can't complain.
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Offline highland512

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #35 on: September 20, 2017, 10:40:16 AM »
I believe so, I had been following the market on these machines for quite awhile. The reason we jumped on this one is we where able to pick it up at almost a 1/3 of market average. The dealer didnt want it on his lot and they are not very popular in the south.

Keep in mind 50% or so of the work we have done is cosmetic or creature comforts. Does the frame need repainted? No but its cheap and easy and makes the tractor look better. Does it need the radio replaced? Not really but we have a radio and speakers leftover some a different project. We have done all the work our selves and the majority of the cat parts purchased came through my brother in law who works for cat and gets parts at cost.

All in all we will have a $25K machine for about 13.5K investment. If everything works out this fall and we like how the machine performs we will most likely purchase rebuilt undercarriage parts (tracks, roller boggies, and maybe a drive wheel). This would but this tractor in the $35k-$50k range for about $21k investment, but I doubt we would sell if we invest in the undercarriage.

I think that we are also starting to see a move in the ag industry like we have in trucking. Smaller operations dont want to take on the mountain of debt for a machine that can only be worked on at the dealer because it takes computer and $20,000 worth of emissions bull SHF to run. Large operations that lease or rotate there equipment every 2 years can afford that, it doesn't make financial since in our world. 

Much like your I think this will make us a great tractor that we wont complain about. But unlike your van I think we will be solidly in the black when its all said and done.  wavebeer

I need a show "tractor flipper"  sharepopcorn

   
« Last Edit: September 20, 2017, 10:51:23 AM by highland512 »
-Matt
"I believe that the best possible social program is a job." -Ronald Regan

Offline fatfillup

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #36 on: September 22, 2017, 08:57:04 AM »
Cool, glad its still a great deal for you and I appreciate the sense of satisfaction you get from fixing up a turd into a nice piece of equipment that will serve you well.

Just showed the van a little love yesterday and picked up a pair of tires for it lolx  Also got 4 tires for the work truck that it will likely never wear out scratchhead
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Online brslk

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #37 on: September 22, 2017, 10:46:53 PM »
Cool, glad its still a great deal for you and I appreciate the sense of satisfaction you get from fixing up a turd into a nice piece of equipment that will serve you well.

Just showed the van a little love yesterday and picked up a pair of tires for it lolx  Also got 4 tires for the work truck that it will likely never wear out scratchhead

I'm always on the lookout for tires for our vehicles. Might not need them now but I will need them eventually.  Buy them when they're cheap.  I've got a source that sells me take offs for dirt cheap.  Still have the fuzzies on them most times.
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Offline skfarmer

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #38 on: September 24, 2017, 11:47:29 AM »
have you  done any light upgrades. i have put four leds on my 55. two on the rear fender and the two on the lower fuel tank just in front of the cab. i don't do a lot of night work but it really makes a big difference when you do. i will be replacing more of them. i have eight in inventory. they won't all go on there but i think at least 2 or 4 more.

another benefit is current draw. when running an hour or two after dark i could always smell that faint hot wire smell. drop the current draw on a circuit in half and no more smell. i am sure the problem was in some terminals somewhere in the cab or the light switch itself but i could never find them and a new switch helped but did not cure the problem.
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Offline highland512

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #39 on: September 26, 2017, 09:26:31 AM »
I am trying to convince dad its the way to go. He is a stickler for originality, but why use old technology when the new is cheaper and better. I am going to buy a amazon light bar to put on the top of the cab in place of the factory lights and see what he says. I doubt he takes it off.  >:D 
-Matt
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Offline skfarmer

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #40 on: September 26, 2017, 11:04:19 AM »
I am trying to convince dad its the way to go. He is a stickler for originality, but why use old technology when the new is cheaper and better. I am going to buy a amazon light bar to put on the top of the cab in place of the factory lights and see what he says. I doubt he takes it off.  >:D

there are some led lights that will mount up using the original hardware on the machine. they have a similar look and style as well.

i think there is a lot of technology out there that is not needed. the trick is finding the right mix. most ag equipment has a fairly low current draw until the sun goes down. trying  and light things up a 1/4 mile in front of you and 100 yards out in all directions takes some power.

led lights have dropped a bunch in price  the last couple years and i expect them to drop some more. it was out of my budget to drop 100+ bucks each on equipment  with 10 or more lights. i started replacing a few at 30-40 bucks and the last ones i picked up on sale  for around 10 bucks a light. not the biggest or brightest but much better than stock at prices that compare to oem sealed beam and or halogen inserts.

there are companies that offer oem retrofit led light and harness kits that fit, look and plug directly to the factory wire harness. i have not used one as they are pretty pricey. they  are only available for a few of the most popular series of tractors. none for a 55 that i have seen but i bet the ones for a nh genesis would be damn close.
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Offline highland512

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #41 on: October 02, 2017, 09:38:05 AM »
Continued work this weekend. Hopping to have it completed and ready to start harvest next weekend.




All exterior work is complete. But now we are fighting an electrical issue. For some reason all of the relays you can see in the second picture are not working correctly. If you jump the relay it’s function works correctly. But with a new relay installed the command from its switch is not producing the desired result. This goes for all of the relays. My conclusion is some sort constant supply or ground for the relays has to be bad. Any ideas?


-Matt
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Offline skfarmer

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #42 on: October 02, 2017, 10:31:38 AM »
wow, not messing around are you. i have never had to go that deep into mine.
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Offline highland512

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #43 on: October 02, 2017, 11:09:52 AM »
wow, not messing around are you. i have never had to go that deep into mine.

It was like a never ending maze of chaffed and or broken wires. Find and fix one and discover 3 more. We finally just stopped and removed it all to open everything up. To my knowledge all of the damaged wiring is now fixed. Plus all of those interior pieces needed cleaned.

On the plus side I did find a rusty old pair of 8" diamond slip-joint pliers that should clean up well. Somehow they wound up hiding under the hydraulic controls scratchhead
-Matt
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Offline Matt_T

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #44 on: October 02, 2017, 12:42:07 PM »
You can get LED replacements for most automotive lamps, AKA bulbs. Might be an option that'll upgrade performance without affecting the factory look. At least in daylight th-bounce th-bounce

But now we are fighting an electrical issue. For some reason all of the relays you can see in the second picture are not working correctly. If you jump the relay it’s function works correctly. But with a new relay installed the command from its switch is not producing the desired result. This goes for all of the relays. My conclusion is some sort constant supply or ground for the relays has to be bad. Any ideas?

Most likely a bad ground for the relay coils. That or if whatever controls all the relay coils shares a common feed that'd be the next place to look.

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #44 on: October 02, 2017, 12:42:07 PM »

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