Author Topic: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55  (Read 5742 times)

Offline highland512

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New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« on: August 07, 2017, 01:04:18 PM »
The hobby farming has started to out grow the "hobby" equipment capacity, we where in desperate need of a machine to handle 30' cultivator, ripper,25' disk, and a 400-600 bu grain cart in the near future.

After looking at several machines that seemed to fit the bill but turned out to be big pieces of poopoo, we decided to go more modern and see what we could find. What we found is what I feel is a diamond in the ruff..........really ruff. Dad has always wanted a Challenger ever since they came out in the late 80's. Using a contact I had made while living in Louisiana I stumbled upon this, a 1996 Caterpillar CH55 with 7200 hrs. 225hp pto and 190hp drawbar machine that should fit our bill WELL into the future. With the machine looking so ruff we where able to pick it up for the same price people are asking for 30-40 year old 4wd machines.

Yes the tracks are shot, the interior is roached, but the oil samples checked out and it runs and shifts like a champ.

I will try to keep this thread updated as we work to rebuild this machine to shine like a diamond in a goats a$$...................

Loaded up in Louisiana ready to head north.



Interior is pretty much trash, but seats are easily replaced and it already looks better after taking the pressure washer to it.



Tracks are toast, I dont even think we will be able to retread them. I think we will be able to get through the fall though.

For some reason I cant get the photos taken with the iPhone to be flipped correctly. Even if I have them upside down in flicker they post upside down on here anyone know of a fix? If not there will be lots of sore necks.

« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 01:08:12 PM by highland512 »
-Matt
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Offline OldnSlo

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2017, 02:19:09 PM »
when viewing your pic in the iphone, take note of the icon showing 3 sliders. You'll get the hang of it in no time.

Offline fatfillup

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2017, 02:28:29 PM »
Glad you found what you wanted at an affordable price.

Running and shifting good with good oil samples makes it worth fixing up I would think. 

Hobby farming,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,sounds like an expensive hobby :POKIE: lolx
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Offline highland512

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2017, 03:30:39 PM »
when viewing your pic in the iphone, take note of the icon showing 3 sliders. You'll get the hang of it in no time.

I am assuming you are saying to rotate the photo on the iphone 180*? That dint work  :groaner:

Glad you found what you wanted at an affordable price.

Running and shifting good with good oil samples makes it worth fixing up I would think. 

Hobby farming,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,sounds like an expensive hobby :POKIE: lolx

Dont you know the quickest way to a million $ in farming is to start with 2 million.
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Offline OldnSlo

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2017, 09:01:21 PM »

Offline skfarmer

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2017, 09:22:25 PM »
it looks better than you described.
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Offline Muddy

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2017, 09:57:00 PM »
Cosmetics are simple things to fix (or live with)

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Offline slip knot

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2017, 12:59:48 AM »
nice machine. Shouldn't be too hard to get it back in top shape. The expensive repairs show up in the oil samples.
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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2017, 07:02:17 AM »
I bet those tracks are costly to replace though.
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Offline skfarmer

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2017, 08:57:28 AM »
No they are not ub. But they are similar in price to tires. It is real easy to spend 10 g and up on tractors for a large 4 wheel drive. Track machines have other maint issues buy I have never had a flat.
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Offline highland512

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2017, 09:35:01 AM »
I bet those tracks are costly to replace though.
Not as bad as you would think. Like sk mentioned 10-12 k for 8 large tires for a fwd is pretty common. I can pick up retreads for around 3500 a piece. No flats or fluid rotting your rims is a big plus in my book.


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Offline highland512

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2017, 09:38:47 AM »
it looks better than you described.
I should have taken pictures before we pressure washed it inside and out for 3 hours. There was enough cotton bulbs packed behind seat we could have balled them and sold it!


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"I believe that the best possible social program is a job." -Ronald Regan

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Offline skfarmer

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2017, 08:47:39 AM »
don't take it is me picking your tractor apart as  i think it will clean up well. these are just observations. i see an an older john deere steering conversion. it must have had autosteer at one time. i am guessing the antenna and controllers have been pulled.

it looks like there is a piece of plastic missing between the fenders behind the cab. just decoration to cover up the real battery box there is however a small line under the battery box that tends to pit from collected dirt that can leak. a cheap fix but the batteries and box need to be pulled. if it ever needs a shift solenoid get it from new holland. half the price.

does it or did it ever have chin weights? the nose weights can be tilted down and the chin weights slide between the frame rails under the radiator.

if the ac  is working or needs work be sure to pull the air intake, 4 phillips screws to remove it from the front and center inside the cab. it just has a thin piece of foam to filter inside cab air. clean it all up and get one if it is missing. new holland is likely your friend there as well. the ac should work pretty well when everything is up to snuff.

i use cat filters. cat seems to be pretty reasonable on engine oil filters. not as much on hyd. and trans. but i think it worth it to get the right specs.

don't forget  to check  fluid levels on the front idlers (4), bogeys (12)  and hard bar (2).  the four idlers take a different spec oil so  check your owners manual.
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Offline highland512

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2017, 10:40:36 AM »
don't take it is me picking your tractor apart as  i think it will clean up well. these are just observations. i see an an older john deere steering conversion. it must have had autosteer at one time. i am guessing the antenna and controllers have been pulled.

it looks like there is a piece of plastic missing between the fenders behind the cab. just decoration to cover up the real battery box there is however a small line under the battery box that tends to pit from collected dirt that can leak. a cheap fix but the batteries and box need to be pulled. if it ever needs a shift solenoid get it from new holland. half the price.

does it or did it ever have chin weights? the nose weights can be tilted down and the chin weights slide between the frame rails under the radiator.

if the ac  is working or needs work be sure to pull the air intake, 4 phillips screws to remove it from the front and center inside the cab. it just has a thin piece of foam to filter inside cab air. clean it all up and get one if it is missing. new holland is likely your friend there as well. the ac should work pretty well when everything is up to snuff.

i use cat filters. cat seems to be pretty reasonable on engine oil filters. not as much on hyd. and trans. but i think it worth it to get the right specs.

don't forget  to check  fluid levels on the front idlers (4), bogeys (12)  and hard bar (2).  the four idlers take a different spec oil so  check your owners manual.
By all means, keep giving suggestions. You wont hurt my feelings, this is a no safe space thread.

Yes it had greenstar at some point in its life. Im not sure if a used greenstar wheel and wiring harness is worth anything but we shall see, I have already located a cat wheel and column.

The battery box cover is missing, from the looks of the box it has been for some time. I also found this cover as well. We are going to pull the box to clean it out so I will inspect the mentioned line, luckily we have both a Cat and NH close by.

Dad pulled the top of the cab yesterday, the chaff and cotton is possibly the man reason the AC on this tractor was doa. He sent me a picture with a 5 gal bucket nearly full. My brother in law is a Cat field tech and is supposed to come and get the AC system up and running after we have everything cleaned out.

Like all of the semi trucks we run, we plan on using 100% cat filters and synthetic oil's. The W900 in the first picture has 1.6 million miles with very limited motor work (run the overhead, water pumps, and a oil pump). Pistons and sleeves and crank have never been replaced, and she still runs like a top. Nothing but good things to say about Cat's filters. 

The front has full racks of both chin and nose weights. Im not real proficient on my conversions of kg to lbs but the bing converter says 2100 lbs. (my google is broken)

The under carriage is most likely going to be this winters project. After we get harvest completed and the bank looking better we will be looking for 9 boogies and two belts. As long as its not wet this fall the tracks should pull the cart through the field just fine.   

   
-Matt
"I believe that the best possible social program is a job." -Ronald Regan

Looking for a SK raised panel 1/2 combo wrench

Offline fatfillup

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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2017, 11:55:12 AM »

By all means, keep giving suggestions. You wont hurt my feelings, this is a no safe space thread.
 

That is the beauty of this site, no need for a safe space thread.  99% of the time, folks are helpful not hating thumbsup2
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Re: New to the farm, Cheep HP Cat Challenger 55
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2017, 11:55:12 AM »