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Old February 17, 2008, 21:53   #1
kev
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Bought a Trackhoe(and Dozer?). Who knows heavy equipment?

Just wanted to post this here in case anyone wonders why I'm selling out so much stuff here over the next month or so. Basically I need to sell most everything to swing this purchase,....





Some who know me know about my other interest,............gold mining. Strictly hobbyist up to now, but with the price of gold soaring and having kinda lucked into the purchase of a piece of land a few years ago that is literally loaded with the stuff(or so I think), I'm going bigger and getting some much needed testing out of the way. I wasn't planning on pitting with a hoe to prove the ground out, but this deal sorta came along, and well, you know how it goes. Anyway, selling off a bunch of my 'treasures' to allow me to dig for new ones.

I'm completely new to excavators. Never been in one before yesterday. My little backhoe wasn't getting anything done on the ground, so I needed to go bigger if I wanted to accomplish anything. I'd love to hear some input from anyone who knows heavy equipment in general, excavators and Kobelco in particular. This is a late 80's 909A w/Mitsubishi 6 cylinder. Seems really tight. Hobbs shows under 3000hrs for whatever that's worth, but she seems to be pretty solid.
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Old February 17, 2008, 22:15   #2
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Nice rig there! If I ever want to excavate an underground bunker or have a pond dug, I'll call you.

You should organize a Fal files gold panning weekend!
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Old February 17, 2008, 22:25   #3
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3000 hours is not much for heavy trackhoe equipment & that particular hoe should be a long life machine.

Do a search for Richie Brothers auctions or RB auctions web site.

It might tell you what they sell for or just call them on what the wholesalel price might be or what is it worth
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Old February 17, 2008, 22:39   #4
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I've been looking at hoes for about a year and a half, searching the equipment dealers and www listings as well as ebay on a weekly basis. I was really looking at machines a little bigger, but I think this one will do for a first at 50,000#. I've been following prices as best I can with what knowledge I've been able to pick up, and I think I did pretty good money-wise. Most running machines of this size/age/condition seem to go for around 25-30K. Anything around 20K is usually being parted out or has 12,000hrs on it and worn out tracks and slop all over. This thing is tight and purrs like a kitten. No slop; no leaks. Practically no wear on any of the undercarriage. Bought it for $16,000. Found a similar machine currently on ebay with 8000+hrs and a noisy hydraulic pump for $23,900, Buy-it-now. Doesn't come with a bucket tho,.....

I've saved probably 500 listings over the last year with specs/pics/prices, and this one I think tops them all. AND it's only 300 miles from where I need it to be. Most of the better deals I've found have been for machines on the other side of the country, and shipping is not free. BTW, does $3/loaded mile sound about right for a lowboy? It's all interstate except for the last 50 miles of state highway that cuts across my property. Delivery couldn't be much simpler.
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Old February 17, 2008, 23:01   #5
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Well it is specialized transportation & they are in the business for profit.
Plus the truck would more likely deadhead home empty, just make sure they are insured.
RB auctioneers would give you a more realistic value then ebay
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Old February 17, 2008, 23:09   #6
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I think $3/loaded mile is about right,..........I was just asking what others thought. Loaded mile quotes assume no backhaul, but if it makes sense I can have them backhaul this,........



Nice truck, but it won't handle the rocks I'm needing to dig and I won't be able to sell it out here in the middle of nowhere, but hauled back to Portland,................probably will do OK. Or I can just drive it. I drove it out here last year from DC, 3000 miles. I wouldn't be afraid to hop in it and drive it all the way back. It's a great runner too.
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Old February 17, 2008, 23:29   #7
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Now that would be a Greattt ebay item

It has to be shop made, does it swing right & left?
I once looked at a pavement breaker mounted on a truck like that
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Old February 17, 2008, 23:38   #8
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Hows the Ring Geer and the pins and Bushings in the tracks that will tell a lot about it also check the fuel filter for a water drain and if it has one open it while running and let a cup or so out. I have found a bit of the yellow stuf and hope you find your pot of gold. BiggerHammer Ps Greese it well and if you don't have a book see if you can find a parts book too. also down by the track hyd motor on the inside theres a cover and it gets a lot of dirt and grit in there don't hert to clean I sold my case last year it was like the one in your back ground pic.
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Old February 17, 2008, 23:56   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dean P
Now that would be a Greattt ebay item

It has to be shop made, does it swing right & left?
I once looked at a pavement breaker mounted on a truck like that
Nah, Ford made it. It's a model 763. This one was one of five that Washington Gas had(and as a matter of fact, it had a jackhammer on it). I had to find the bucket. It's a standard 550 backhoe unit and swings about 90 degrees left and right. Pop two bolts(BIG bolts)and plug a couple of lines and it drives away. Really cool unit. I can drive up to a spot and be digging in 30 seconds. 30 seconds to fold it up and drive away.

1988 Ford F700 diesel. Allison 4-speed auto. 50,000 miles since new. I love this truck, but it's not doing the job. Depth of reach is 15', but after about 3' I get into packed rocks that it just will not punch through.
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Old February 18, 2008, 00:03   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by BiggerHammer24
Hows the Ring Geer and the pins and Bushings in the tracks that will tell a lot about it also check the fuel filter for a water drain and if it has one open it while running and let a cup or so out. I have found a bit of the yellow stuf and hope you find your pot of gold. BiggerHammer Ps Greese it well and if you don't have a book see if you can find a parts book too. also down by the track hyd motor on the inside theres a cover and it gets a lot of dirt and grit in there don't hert to clean I sold my case last year it was like the one in your back ground pic.
Slewing left and right there's no play at all. Quiet and smooth. The tracks are nice and quiet and run smooth as well. I really need to get under it and check on all the fluids and whatnot, but I'm not even sure how to do that yet. I have a brochure coming and am in the bidding for a parts catalog right now. Only manual I've found is actually for a 909MkIILC and I'm not sure how much of that will be applicable to this earlier model. I suspect it's basically the same, but if I'm going to spend $200 on a manual I'd like to have the right one. I WILL find one,............just a matter of time.

The Case in the background is wasted, but still runs well. The guy bought it for the engine. The carbody rocks so much on the loose ring gear that you could stick your hand through it(if you were willing to loose the hand). You can see light through the bushings. Everywhere the Case is worn, the Kobelco is like new.
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Old February 18, 2008, 18:29   #11
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Those old Kobelcos were also marketed as a cheaper unit under the Yutani name. They are good solid machines. I just scrapped out a late-80's Yutani and still have the boom and stick and the Mitsubishi 6-cyl diesel motor. It ran great but after 15 years of scrap and demo work it was just plain tuckered out- everything was leaking, loose and sloppy.

When operating in cold weather watch your oil pressure carefully and I advise letting the motor warm up before you start serious use; I had this motor in the Yutani rebuilt completely because the operator fired it up on a 16-degree day, let it warm up for a few minutes, and started running a shear at full RPMs. It starved for oil and seized. That was not cheap.

There is a rpm sensor under the motor that was responsible for most of the operating complaints. Also the hydro pump runs with an aluminum coupling on the flywheel and they tend to come apart with age.

The track shoes tend to loosen up but what I do on them is heat them with a torch and then hit them with a 3/4 impact gun to tighten them. Takes a lot of the clank out of them. Also the bottom rollers take a lot of slop and abuse, make sure they are all turning because they tend to seize up. I've seen Kobelcos with the bottom rollers drug nearly halfway through.

The cab swings with a hydraulic motor underneath and these will tend to develop leaks. Expensive to replace. The stick controls are hydraulic and I've had to replace the hoses, they are a PITA to replace the control hoses!
You can also convert to either Cat or Deere controls by switching the hydraulic lines on the main spool valves.

If it hasn't been done recently you need to check the hydraulic resrevoir, older stuff builds up metal in the tank and it can tear up seals and pumps.
Also remember to keep the air cleaner serviced, and blow out the radiator. In summer a dirty rad can make it overheat pretty quick, and a very dirty air cleaner will make it lose power.

Another thing to look at carefully is the cab wiring harness, esp. behind the seat, because people drop stuff back there and it vibrates and chafes the wiring. The newer ones have an interlock bar that drops down beside the seat, if you don't have it locked down you get no movement, the wires to the switch get chewed up and the switch gets gummy. It can be replaced with a generic microswitch from an industrial supplier instead of the high-dollar Kobelco part.

The newer ones they went to Cummins 6BT power and a lot more electronics. I would say for the price point I would rather have a Kobelco than a Cat or John Deere or Leibherr. But then again, I am not going to be running it 24/7/365! You pay top dollar for that brand name and yes they are good but Kobelcos are great for those folks not needing 100% the top of the line eqpt.
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Old February 18, 2008, 20:44   #12
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Thanks evan, that's exactly the kind if onfo I'm hoping to find. Tips and things to watch for. This one has the Mitsu 6cylinder and Cat controls. I was hoping for something with Deere controls, hearing that they're more intuitive and user friendly, but since this is the only machine I'll be running I suppose I'll get used to it soon enough. I was looking primarily at Hitachi(Deere)because I like their machines and they don't carry the price of Cat and Deere(even tho a Deere is a Hitachi). Looked at older models specifically to stay away from the highly computerized machines, and I was always drawn to the older yellow and blue Kobelco's. Not sure why, but they always looked rugged and most seemed to be in good shape for their years. Not sure if that's because they hold up especially well, or if maybe they break down so often they don't get run much. Sure hope it isn't that!

I'm not likly to run in temps much below freezing, but I'm very careful to warm up before operating and cool down before shutdown. I like to treat my machines as gently as possible. I get to fix them if they break, so as an owner you know you treat things differently than a hired hand.

I'm going to get into it pretty slow. Learn as much as possible before working her hard, but I'll put a few hours on this year just for fun. Heavy work may still be a year or two away. I'll be grooming the drive and scratching around in the soft dirt to start. I'm a lube junkie. I like to grease things up even when it's not moving. I have maybe 3hrs on the truck mounted backhoe since I bought it, and I've greased it 5 times! Seems like you can't hurt them by squirtin' the juice to them.

Have you got any ideas as to how many gallons per hr burn and stuff like that? I know it's dependent on how hard it's working, but just generally? Any crossover between parts for the older and newer models? Pins and buckets and things like that? I see more stuff for SK200's and similar later machines. I've already tracked down part numbers for all my needed filters, but I may be looking for a heavier bucket before long. This one is a well worn general duty type and I'll need the heaviest duty bucket I can get eventually. Not neccessarily big, but a heavy rock type.

Tracks should hold up real well in my conditions. Everything's in fine shape right now and there won't be much dust, no water, and no mud. It'll spend most of it's time on a flat river bar and keeping the undercarriage clean should not require much effort.

Oh, what's involved in changing out to Deere controls, and do you think it's worthwhile?
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Old February 18, 2008, 20:54   #13
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I'll buy that Argie FAL back if that will help any.


Man that's a nice lookin' ho ya got there.

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Old February 18, 2008, 21:10   #14
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Very generous, but you can say goodbye to that one. I'm going to manage to keep some stuff.
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Old February 18, 2008, 21:14   #15
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Somehow I figgered that would be the response.
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Old February 18, 2008, 21:28   #16
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I only have experience with RT Forklifts, so no help there. Still, I could find plenty of mischief with that thing.
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Old February 18, 2008, 22:16   #17
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I ran a Deere years ago carving a swimming pool in Austin stone at a Holiday Inn in Austin, Texas.
The bucket dump function on the joy stick had my wrist swelled up like crazy
We had a new addco rock bucket on it.
Being on cranes so long I never got a chance to run hoes much.

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Old February 19, 2008, 15:31   #18
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Don't piss off the guy with the backhoe!

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Old February 19, 2008, 18:12   #19
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I have worked on Heavy machinery all my life ,
The unit you have is not one I have worked on -So Let me offer this advise
MANTANIANCE --REALLY BIG TIME-!!! OIL and grease are CHEEP really cheep Please dont underestamate the savings of over mantaniance -One breakdown will pay for a lifetime of oil and filters -Engines are sooo extreamly expensive! especially when your dealing with the kind of toys you have . everyday GREASE and GREASE and dont skip a fitting.
I dont know if you have a shop but everything you can do your self will pay you back Time and again.
Dont forget coolant =Change it 2x as often as they tell you -seems acids from the sulfur in fuel can get into the coolant and eat things up!
Good luck!
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Old February 19, 2008, 18:27   #20
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I hear you there. My B-I-L has a power greaser that pumps straight from drums and I'm trying to figure out how to swipe it from him and get it out there. He's not racing anymore, so the swiping part should be easy. I've already tracked down every filter I will need, and manuals are on the way. What do you think about things like fuel additives and whatnot? I squirrelled away about 50 gallons of top end lubes and stuff like that when a local truck stop went TU. Is that stuff worth doing, or is it just marketing crap? I thought with the low sulfer diesel coming out anything added to the fuel as a lubricant would have to help. I've been running 1gal ATF/fillup on both my diesel trucks(F700 and F800), having been advised that it's good for the injectors and also keeps the fuel from gelling in cold temps. Paul told me that the ATF would smoke a bit, but that it wouldn't hurt anything. I haven't noticed any smoke.
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Old February 19, 2008, 23:52   #21
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Karosine is num 1 diesel and it takes the running temp down below zero if your running cold and the fella who said let it warm up is right on if you are going to move big rocks you might want to find a steal net you can slip it behind and pull them away from your work area I had a huge stump one time and the first log chain 3/8 broke so I got the net and puled it out of my way with my track hoe. and one more thing you might consider a better set of lights on the ol girl. sounds like you got it under control. BiggerHammer
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Old February 20, 2008, 00:33   #22
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Place I still help out for got in a SK220LC Mark IV used, I converted it from deere to cat or vice versa, don't remember, so it would match their SK200LC they already had bought to replace the Yutani.,. All you have to do is swap the hoses from the control stick at the main spool valve stack. The SK220LC MkIV actually had tags on the lines and at the spool valve that told you which ones to swap. The control stack was in the access panel that was behind the operator's door. I don't remember where it was on the Yutani (which is like yours).
The only difference is if it goes forward when you push or pull the stick, more or less. If you get used to one way or the other, it's no big deal. Some guys like one way, some like the other. The new ones with Cummins power have a throttle-by-wire. Computer controls everything. Just keep guys from spilling coffee on the switches...

As far as grease: Grease the living shit out of it. Every day. The ones I work on are used for scrap and light demo. I have to replace pins and rebuild pivots every couple years even with daily greasing. Had one, the boom split from the main pivot and skinned itself like a banana! iirc there is a central zerk stack at the boom to get all the boom pivot pins.

As far as track adjusting goes, iirc, the Yutani, by the time it maxed out the track adjusters and needed adjusted again, I could take out a link and shoe, then track-jack it back together with the adjuster all the way in and bottomed out. By the time it was loose again and out of adjustment it was time to cut it up for junk, the lower frames were cracked, the track motors were blown out, the cylinders all leaked, the cab slew motor was blown out and wouldn't turn the cab, the ring gear was so sloppy it would sway side to side...it was junk. But the motor ran great after the rebuild a few years prior.

Oh yeah, be careful not to hook a track shoe with the bucket, they will snap off.. know from experience.

As far as fuel consumption- we filled them every day- don't know how much they took.
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Old February 29, 2008, 23:51   #23
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On the road and headin' south! She's mine, and better than 70% paid off in less than 2 weeks thanks to you addicts here. You guys have been great to deal with, grabbing up every item I've managed to dig out. Hope everyone's pleased with your purchases,...................it hurt a little to turn the stuff loose, but I think it's going to turn out to be a good move(as long as the price of gold doesn't tank!). It's going to be a month or two before I get to use this machine even a little, and maybe next year before I can get really serious, but it's gonna be damn near impossible to keep from going straight to the richest spot I know and tearing into it.

Thanks guys for all the helpful hints. Feel free to add more anytime something pops into your head. Someone sent me a link to a study concerning the lubricity of additives to the new ultra low sulfer diesel fuel and it was an eye-opener! Pass me the biodiesel, please!
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Old March 01, 2008, 17:31   #24
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I think I know how you feel right now.

Back in 73 I rented a D6 C dozer for a week to grub out mesquite & dig a stock tank on the old home place.

Using my rig, I hauled it from Odessa, Texas at sundown to home about 300 miles bootlegged it after dark because the blade was 10 ft wide.
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Old October 04, 2008, 17:16   #25
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Update and BBT,......................

Again guys, thanks a ton for all the previous insights and hints. It's been a great help.

As I figured early on, not much actual mining got done this year. Just a little scratching round and getting the 'feel'. The machine was on the trailer and waiting for me when I got out there in early April. We dug a couple of sample holes that quickly filled with groundwater. We weren't prepared for that, so we didn't actually sample much. Ran a few pans by hand that showed some color, but we spent the largest part of the month just playing with the excavator and getting the shaker screen plant ready for our return in September.

Did get some greasing done and had to replace a waterpump belt when it let go. Replaced the alternator belts while we were at it. Overall, except for the bucket and pins, all metal looks to be in top shape. Hoses are pretty well weather worn, but no leaks of any sort noted. Starts and purrs like a kitten, every time. No smoke when warmed up and very little at startup. My helpful neighbor down the road is very knowledgeable about equipment like this, but he's spent his life with Deere style controls and it was a hoot watching him try to get anything done with this machine. Woke up next morning to the sound of heavy equipment down on the bar, and by the time I got there he'd already switched it over to Deere and had an Olympic sized pool dug(well, maybe not quite that big). When we left at the end of April, I had a new set of teeth sitting in the bin waiting to be welded onto the shanks(old teeth/shanks are so worn that one last weld job is all we're asking from this bucket). Neighbor(Randy)said he'd get the teeth installed as soon as he could get his welder up from the coast, and that's where we left it until our return in September.

I couldn't do anything with it during the summer months(it's on a property 2000+ miles away from home), but I did spend the time searching out parts and manuals and such. Generally learning what I can about it. I have all fluids and filters now. Will change them first chance I get. I've got parts and service manuals for both the machine and engine(along with some manuals for other models(907/912/914 and Deere 792 and 892). Bought the wrong manuals when they were available and cheap just to have something to look at. Bought the proper 909a manuals whenever I could find them. This machine is relatively rare in the US and naturally so are the manuals(and it's 20yrs old). Not unreasonable to spend $200 for a shop manual, but I managed to find most everything for $20 or so. Only the service manual cost me $100, but it's specifically for the machine one serial number off of this one, so it's exactly right and I was pleased to get it. I did get a chance to replace the front glass in May and spent a weekend driving down from Portland to install it. Other than that, I never saw the Kobelco at all. While there with the new window, my car broke down and I didn't have time to fix it, so I ended up driving the truck mounted backhoe pictured above back to Portland, and since it was there, off to ebay it went. Sold for the minimum bid which kinda surprised me(there were 30 people watching the auction at the end), but the backhoe is now gone and I consider the excavator fully paid.

Naturally, when we got back for the month of September, everything we had prepared for turned out to be different. Randy had gotten himself into good gold with his dredge, so he hadn't been able to break away and chase after his welder and the bucket teeth still weren't attached. I thought about doing the job with my MIG, but he talked me out of that. Just don't think the MIG was up to the job. I really didn't like the idea of digging into the heavy rock with just the shanks, so we scrubbed that idea. Because of all the groundwater we'd uncovered in the spring, we had come back fully prepared to dig ponds with the hoe and dredge the exposed bedrock, having replaced all of our dive gear during the summer. One quick dig showed us that all the groundwater had drained off the bar and after going 10' straight down we were still in powder dry material. Didn't have enough hose to reach the river for pumping(about 700' away)and the engine/pump designed for that job still needed a little tweaking anyway, so we ended up bagging it for this year. We did do a few more pan samples, but we spent most of our time finishing up the pump and gravel plant. Finally both of those units are ready to go to work come next spring. The only thing we could have done was track up to the head of the bar and dig in the shallow ground(with boulders!)and scratch around looking for nuggets, but the fear of having mechanical problems during the short time we had left kept me from seriously considering that move. If we broke down at the head of the bar, we would have been in a fix with high winter waters due in just a couple of months. Just didn't have the time to face that possibility, so we tracked down the bar a ways and crossed over the highway to higher ground where I can get some servicing done during the winter months.

Only issue we discovered during September was a tendency to boil over the rad. The engine and radiator never got too hot to touch, but a couple of times she let off enough steam to lose a gallon or two of coolant. I think it was running 100% water as called for in the manual, but it's sitting now with about a 50/50 mix of antifreeze. I suspect the problem is a bad rad cap, so a new one is on order and will be replaced first thing next year. I am also going to do a good job of spring cleaning(especially the rad as suggested above)since I'll have the water in the spring. We bought a pressure washer in April, but never got to that job and water would have been a major hassle by September. I'd have had to give up half our store of camp water to get the rad cleaned, but since temperature didn't seem to be the cause, I figured we'd let it wait.

During my research and manual aquisition phase, I became much more comfortable with the machine. I found that this 6 cylinder Mitsubishi is also used in the larger 912 and 914 models. In the 909, it runs without a turbo at 1800rpm. In the 912 they add a turbo and boost it to 1900 and in the larger 914, it runs at 2100rpm. So the same basic engine is capable of twice the current horsepower and it's just loping along in the 909. Good for longevity and it's still got plenty of power for my uses. Everything seems built hell-for-stout and condition seems to be as good or better than I thought. It really does look and run like a 20yr old, 3000hr machine. Once I get the regular service items up to speed, I think she's going to be relatively trouble-free for a good, long time.
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Old October 30, 2009, 22:14   #26
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Whoops! I did it again.















When you own old tools, it makes sense to me to have back-ups, and here's my back-up. Late '80's Case 125B(which is actually a Case branded French Poclain)54,000# excavator. Still trying to learn about it, but I only just bought it yesterday and it may be a month before I get it moved. Won't probably move any dirt with it until next spring.

It does run and operate nice. It's got a six cylinder air-cooled turbo-diesel in it that's going to be different than anything else I've played with. All around condition is solid. It has got an old weld repair to the dipper at the pivot, but supposedly that repair was made sometime before the most recent owner took possession, and that was eight years ago. Hasn't given any trouble since. Much like my Kobelco(and probably every other 20yr old excavator), it's slow in comparison to current model machines, but it still gets the dirt moved. Controls are opposite of the Kobelco, so first thing I'm going to have to do is switch it over. I'm bad enough with controls I'm familiar with,.........I don't need things moving bass-ackwards on me. I have learned that it doesn't take much of a tap with one of these to destroy the item receiving the tap.

Anyone familiar with the old Case/Poclains or the air-cooled Deutz motors?
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File Type: jpg Case Excavator 0 (Small).jpg (128.8 KB, 149 views)
File Type: jpg Case Excavator 006 (Small).jpg (103.1 KB, 149 views)
File Type: jpg Case Excavator 012 (Small).jpg (111.8 KB, 149 views)
File Type: jpg Case Excavator 013 (Small).jpg (118.4 KB, 148 views)
File Type: jpg Case Excavator 020 (Small).jpg (104.5 KB, 147 views)
File Type: jpg Case Excavator 026 (Small).jpg (93.2 KB, 148 views)
File Type: jpg Case Excavator 032 (Small).jpg (121.2 KB, 147 views)
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Old October 30, 2009, 22:30   #27
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You could make quite a bit of money back digging foundations.
Nice toys, you are the coolest kid on the block this week.
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Old October 30, 2009, 23:42   #28
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Back in Sept. Ritche bros had a big 3 day auction in Fort Worth, Tex.

They offered live internet auction with no fees & with 2 rings running it was a 3 day experience (what a hoot)

The construction equiptment went way too cheap, consumer stuff went high.

I had both PCs running & listening to each ring but could just bid from one PC.

The only thing we were interested in was at the end of the sale, some RVs that went way to high.

Try it some time it is neat, but hold on to your checkbook with both hands.
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Old October 31, 2009, 08:00   #29
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Kev,

Good to see you're still at it, true American spirit! I see your back
blowing all your money on big toys again, I'm just getting started.
Picked up a nice Ford 4000 tractor for my place, 52 horse diesel.
Good equipment holds it value almost as much as battle rifles.
Gold is a definitely a hot commodity right now.

Deutz diesels are some the most durable engines out there. When
I worked in the salvage business I had a guy that would come looking
for broken equipment that had Deutz diesels in them. I can't decide
if I need a backhoe or a dozer next.
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Old October 31, 2009, 08:47   #30
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We have kinfolks that are well known in the dozer business 3 or 4 counties around Abilene, when they get a large job a month or more they just rent extra machines.

I can pickup a new hundred HP JD dozer out at home for $700.00 a month based on 40 hours a week use, it beats the hell out of the cost of ownership investment & taxes.

But I think gold digging is a bit different.

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Old October 31, 2009, 09:03   #31
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Watch the condition of your engine oil. Deutz engines run hotter than comparable Water cooled engines, this breaks down the oil faster.


They always sound loud, like they are going to come apart, again the lack of a water jacket to insulate the combustion noise.


They seem to run 8-10,000 hours if maintained properly. I friend who is a driller runs them on his rigs, neighbors have them on farm tractors.



What happened to the Kobelco? What of your exploits in mining?
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Old October 31, 2009, 09:45   #32
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Yeah there is a board member here that repairs that kind of stuff for a living. After hearing him and his buddy talk it seems like alot of equipment is getting sold right now because of the economy. But shit building all those damn houses everywhere was gonna catch up with em eventually.
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Old October 31, 2009, 11:32   #33
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The mining is off to a slower start than I would have expected. I get my dad with me and we go out for a few weeks a couple of times a year, and this year we had some medical issues to deal with. Slowed us down a bunch in the spring and the couple of weeks in September were kind of a shakedown following his surgery in June, but he's doing well and we got some holes dug and learned some things, so I'm happy with the outcome. Didn't find enough gold to pay for gas(diesel), but that wasn't the goal this time. I think we found a spot that's going to give us some work next spring and that IS what we were looking for.

We've got the Kobelco up to speed, but we had a small breakdown towards the end of our season this year and even tho it's a relatively small thing, it's going to take a month or two to get the machine back up and running. The thought occurred to me that we'd be in a fix if something like this happened at the beginning of our stay rather than at the end since we generally don't get more than 3-4wks on site. We could lose another entire year if we're shut down for any length of time, so the second hoe seemed like a good idea now that we've structured all our activities around it.

I don't really have a good use for two of these things other than backup, but I'm a firm believer of the adage,......."two is one and one is none". Tools break and old tools might very well break even more(and old, out-of-production complicated tools like these take some time to repair and find parts for), so I'm hoping having two of them onsite might reduce the length of time that I'm without a running machine. I know it's going to at least double the time I'm working on them, so I'm taking a chance and trusting to luck that I'll make out on the deal. Drives me nuts to be sitting around thumb twiddling while waiting for parts to row their way across the Pacific.

I wasn't really shopping for a second machine, but I was 'thinking' about it, and I'm always watching. This one popped up on Craigslist last weekend and I called the guy Mon AM. Wanted to go out and look at it, but didn't have the time then. Couldn't get back to Portland until Wed and it was still listed so I went out for a looksee. It did look good, but I still wasn't comfortable with spending the dough on an un-needed second machine(and I hadn't slept in about 36hrs), so I went back to the hotel and thought about it for awhile. Next morning it was gone from Craigslist and I thought I'd blown it, but I called anyway and it was still available so I bought it. Didn't like the taste of letting it slip away, so when presented with a second chance I took it.

I think the only reason it didn't get snagged by someone earlier is that it was listed as a trackhoe instead of an excavator and not many people search using that term. I knew that when I first found it and the reason the listing had dropped off is because the seller realized it and had rewritten the ad(and buggered something in the process,..............never did get the revised ad up). If you do an ebay search for example, "excavator" pulls up 1800 listings, whereas "trackhoe" only pulls up 50. Half of those 50 also come up in a search for "excavator" since they use both terms, so "trackhoe" alone is a very difficult thing to find unless you search for it specifically. I doubt many people ever saw the ad.

Dean, you're right. Prices are way down on equipment, especially the larger stuff. Nobody in his right mind would run something like this if he was trying to make a living, so these older machines are lucky to find a home on a farm. Somewhere that they can sit for months or years and not have to rack up hours to make a payment. We've considered rentals in the past, but we're 100 miles over the mountain from the nearest populated area and we don't have the 40hrs/week of use to justify it. I've only run the Kobelco maybe 40hrs in the last two years, and that was broken up in 4 or 5 periods of a couple of weeks with 6mos separating them. Would just end up with wasted rental hours I'd be paying for and tons of transport costs, and that's IF they'd rent to me at all, which I doubt. I don't have a business and don't have insurance, and until I bought the Kobelco, I had no experience on equipment like this.

I've kept pretty current for the last 4yrs or so watching the prices on this type(older, 25 ton excavators). I did spend a few days searching the equipment sites and places like ebay and craiglist, along with all my favorite dealer sites for current offerings and recent sales. This same model machine can be found pretty easily for $18k to the upper twenty's. Didn't find any that looked better than this one, and it was listed at $10k. I couldn't work it any lower, but I was happy to pay the asking price. Overall, it seems to be in better shape than the Kobelco and I'm still happy with the $16k I paid for it. Bucket and pins are much better; everything else about the same. $10k ain't much gold at today's prices. I'm sure it will pay for itself eventually. I'm already $10k worth of less worried about squandering our limited vacation time next year, so as far as I'm concerned it'll have paid for itself as soon as I get it moved .

Oh, it's showing 5100hrs on the meter for whatever that's worth. Hobbs meters on 20yr old machines cannot be trusted, but I'd be willing to bet a dollar it's right. The important thing is that it starts and runs well and all the visible bits are in good shape. Linkage is tight and it's relatively dry. The innards are very clean, but show a little hydraulic seepage from the valve blocks. Old O-rings on the fittings. Cylinders are all dry. New set of batteries and one replaced hose going up the boom, but that's all the owner has had to do in 8yrs. He runs three other newer, smaller machines in an excavating business, but almost never has a job requiring something this large and has to contract out the transport when he does. Claims he hasn't worked this machine in a year, and only one job in the year before. I won't know how it runs under power until I get it home. Seldom do you get to actually dig where they're sitting. That's what I don't like about the auctions. Here I get to be the only buyer with the actual owner/seller and I get to play with the machine as much as I like. I don't really know enough about this stuff to be an entirely knowledgeable buyer, but I'm learning.

Oh, BTW. Soon as I get home in a couple of weeks, buncha shit gonna go up for sale again.
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Old October 31, 2009, 12:05   #34
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Just checked my files for rental rates at the nearest location. These are rates that were posted about two years ago.

JDeere 690E-LC, Kobelco SK200LC 1 Cu Yd, 19-21 Metric Ton, Crawler, Dsl $662 $2373 $7056

That's $662 a day, $2373 a week, and $7056 for 4wks. Bet that doesn't include transport or any required insurance either, but I never checked on that once I found they wouldn't rent to me anyway. These rental machines are a little smaller, but they'd still do the job(and in comfort!). If I knew I was into good gold I could probably go this way, but I'm still deeply into the 'looking for' stage and owning the machine(s) has all the advantage. I'm also in the planning/developing stages of house building at this property along with drive/well/septic and several thousand feet of roadbuilding on the bar, so these machines could probably pay their way even if there wasn't any gold involved(which so far,.............there hasn't been!).
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Old October 31, 2009, 13:17   #35
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I don't think what he is doing is a hobby, looking at his grand scheme of things.

What Kev is setting out to do is maybe building a pyramid or the 2nd Pamana canal.
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Old December 15, 2009, 17:34   #36
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richbug mentioned engine oil in the Deutz diesels and that got me to thinking(surprise!). How about synthetic for the temp tolerance? One of the guys I fly with was talking up the Amsoil that he uses(he's also a dealer), so I looked into that. Looks like good stuff, but horribly spendy. I think I'll be putting it in the cars since both are new and I can really get some benefit from the extended oil changes, but it didn't seem to make much sense in these excavators since it'll be years before I accumulate any hours on them. Still, good oil couldn't hurt, and my thinking is to put extended life synthetics in and just change filters every few hundred hours. These machines are going to live their lives in relatively clean conditions with little dust and no real hard work/long hours. Besides, disposing of old oil is 90% of my problem out in the middle of nowhere. Changing filters is less of a problem.

Anyhow, after a shopping rush over the last few weeks, I have anywhere from 2-10 of every model of filter(oil, fuel, hydraulic, air)required by these two machines as well as the digger derrick I may have posted about earlier. Looking at the Amsoil website I see synthetic diesel oil available at roughly $25/gal. I know I can pay $20 to become a 'preferred' customer and buy at wholesale, saving 20%. The guy I was flying with last month said he could get me an even better price since dealers buy at wholesale and get a % kickback from Amsoil, but since he's in Hawaii, I'm not sure how that would work. Looking at ebay, I see several auctions/sales for the diesel synthetic, but all of them are running $30-35/gal with shipping. Just not sure if it's worth that.

So last week I'm digging around on Craigslist, looking for trouble as usual. Find a guy with a 30gal drum of Amsoil DEO 5/40 that he had been using in his Dodge Cummins which he had just sold. 23-1/2 gallons left for $280(30gal drum from Amsoil lists at $850($28/gal)). Even discounted it's still about $23/gal. So I bought this partial drum for under $12/gal which is cheaper than most diesel rated straight mineral oil. Anyone else sold on the Amsoil?
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Old December 12, 2010, 23:25   #37
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OK, teach me something about dozers,........................



Looks like it's gonna be this one. It's an ex-BLM machine, mid-60's Caterpillar D7E. Electric start pony motor for staring up the main engine. I haven't gotten to run this one(it was already winterized and had the coolant drained and the battery packed away), but I did get to run another D7 that the seller has. Power shift with 3 fwd and 3 reverse. I've started pulling in old manuals but haven't had the time to get too deeply into them. Read a little about the earlier post-war D7 and I'm trying to pick up a few pointers on running a dozer. This year we zeroed in on the pay layer and it's about 15ft deep with relatively worthless ground above, so the holes we're digging are getting fairly large. The excavator has no problem digging, but we soon end up with a hole the size of a house with a 12' pile of dirt and rock surrounding it and we have nowhere to work. The hoe is great for digging and moving material from 25' ahead to 25' behind, but it just can't move material completely out of the way. Hence the dozer,................
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Old December 12, 2010, 23:54   #38
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Looks nice, all I know about them is tracks = money, and going in reverse wears them out MUCH faster then going forward.
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Old December 13, 2010, 01:11   #39
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Older unit but parts should all be out there if you need 'em. I prefer to see a dozer in running condition so I can check the steer clutches. I see a lot of older iron that sits and sits and the steering clutches rust together. Look for cracks in the final drive casings, check the teeth on the sprockets and look at the track pins for wear. Check the bottom rollers, check the rails, make sure the track adjusters aren't leaking, the cylinders, the blade & frame, the usual stuff.

If it had a ripper or winch it would be really nice.
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Old December 13, 2010, 07:49   #40
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If it is a turd, at least it is worth 11 cents a pound for scrap.

If your hauling route happens to transverse my neighborhood, I could use it for a few hours, making sure all is good for you.

As a CAT, parts should be available, but are not cheap.
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Old December 13, 2010, 17:27   #41
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I don't believe any part of I-5 goes through PA, but if you want to cover the shipping, we can work something out.

Seller claims it's in excellent operating condition and has just been serviced. It has done all the work on the surrounding flat, making way for a 40'x100' building and I will get plenty of time to check it out. In fact, I talked with him yesterday and he says there shouldn't be any problem with running it when I get out there on Wednesday. I was sure that there had been so much rain in the Portland area over the last couple of weeks that we'd be washed out for the rest of the winter, but Paul says most of the rains managed to miss him. He's been great to work with so far, holding it for me for the last 4wks waiting for the weather to improve. He wanted to replace a gasket before refilling the coolant and decided that as long as the trans cooler was off for the gasket repair, he'd send the cooler in for a cleaning. Turned out that the cooler was on its last legs so he's replacing that on his dime. Price for the machine is $8500.

When I looked at it last month, I gave it a once over. Sprockets and tracks look good. Not much wear on the pins and they haven't yet been turned. Nothing leaking underneath and it's got the belly pans and rock guards. D7E has got to be one of the most common Cat dozers around. I've seen similar machines starting at $15k and up, so the price certainly doesn't seem unreasonable, depending on how it runs out.

The dozer we ran last month is same model, but it has a brush blade on it. Paul says this one is the better of the two, but if I decide I like the other better we can swap the blades around and i can have my choice. This particular D7 he has had for a few years, but the one we ran he recently picked up from a neighbor who retired and moved to FL. He got that D7, a D9 size Terex and spare parts machine, along with a 10T dump. He's using the Terex for his heavy dozing(putting in road and pads on 75ac of mountainside)and the brush blade D7 for knocking the OR forest back, so his old D7(the one i the pic)is extra and for sale.
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Old December 13, 2010, 18:20   #42
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Seems more than reasonable, at that money you are only at twice its scrap value. You can't go too wrong. If you kaboom it or lose it in a river it won't be the end of the world. A 6 way blade would have been nice, but beggars can't be choosers.

How far do you have to haul it? It has to be 35,000# if it weighs an ounce.
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Old December 13, 2010, 19:29   #43
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So you actually making any $$ yet or still looking?
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Old December 14, 2010, 01:36   #44
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I think with the winch on the back and the ROPS, it's tipping close to 50,000#. It needs to go the same 400 miles the two hoes went, so it'll probably add close to $2k for transport. I've never worked a dozer, so I don't know, but all I expect to need to do is push piles out of the way and backfill holes. Not too worried about grading or leaving the ground more than somewhat level so I think we can do good work with this.

We've produced quite a bit with dredging in years past, but so far on this property with all this equipment,.........................we haven't turned the first ounce yet. Crazy I know, but we have got a good looking deposit spotted that appears to cover several acres so I'm still convinced it's there and it will be good. Truth is that the property is easily worth twice what we paid for it gold or no gold, so I'm comfortable spending the money on the equipment regardless. We got a tremendous amount of work done this year and are right on the cusp of getting some production going. In fact, we've got a nice stockpile of paydirt brought up from the deepest level that's just waiting for us come next spring. We took one last swing at it back in early November, spending a week finishing up a washplant with the idea of running gravel for the last couple of days, but a combination of mechanical issues and bad weather cost us the two days at the end we really needed. The plant got finished and tested(still needs a few tweaks, but it's within a couple of hours of being right), so we'll be ready to roll come spring. I've said it before, but NEXT YEAR we should show some return.
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Old December 14, 2010, 10:11   #45
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Keep us posted. I think this is a cool adventure.

Like you said, even at the worst case, you bought some land that is worth more than you paid for it, and you get to play around with adult Tonka toys!
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Old June 22, 2011, 17:11   #46
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Just a quickie update,.................

Yeah, that's the dozer we're going to use. Still haven't gotten it moved yet, but that's my project for this month. Winter did set in and strand it in Portland, but now I've finally got some time coming and I'll see about getting it on site for work as soon as the hot weather is gone.

Made a little progress in April, but high ground water kept us from getting too much done. Any hole deeper than 6 inches became a pond, so we didn't dig much. All we managed was to run the material that we'd stockpiled from three test holes from last fall. Pretty good gold in all three and they're kinda linked together topographically, so I'm fairly certain they define an 'area' covering several acres. Of course, I'm going to need to put down several more holes to be sure(actually thinking of a trench to crosscut the area), but the gold's consistent and actually appears to grade from coarse at the upper end to fine at the lower end. All indications are good so far. We only collected a little over two ounces for the three weeks, but like I said, it came from a relatively small amount of gravel.

It's running $30 per cubic yard. I started out processing 6-8yd/hr, but within a couple of days I was able to push 25-30yd/hr across the plant without any trouble. The best news is that none of that gravel came from the very bottom of the holes, so the best is certainly still waiting. These are just posted test holes as small and deep as we can make them. Actually opening up a safe, efficient work hole is going to be quite a bit more work and will definitely require much more time(and all the equipment I can assemble). Still working on a plan in my head. With a good plan, we should be able to clear a grand an hour(after expenses). OTOH, without a good plan, we should be able to go broke and make a complete mess of things. One of the biggest problams we face is handling the seasonal condition changes. We're only out there with any real time during April and September. April's wet and digging's really not practical. September is dry, and any water we need for washing the gold needs to be pumped 500' from the river. We either have a 20' deep pond or a 20' deep dry hole,...............never anything in between. What do you do when the job keeps getting in the way, but the job is the only thing that makes any of it possible? I just don't think we're to the point yet where I can leave my job(18yrs there).




Anyway, on the equipment front,................move the dozer and figure out what the hell to do with this thing. Picked up a pin grabber for the Kobelco(bucket quick change)and don't have the plumbing for it. Also don't know much about it, other than to be damn careful with it and ALWAYS use the safety pin.



I've got the original 42" bucket on the hoe. Also picked up a very nice, heavy duty 24" bucket for the hard digging down in the convoluted bedrock, and then I've got a single claw ripper for tearing up the bedrock itself. All these need to be swapped back and forth for digging at the different levels, and that's what the pin grabber is for. I'm working now on new pins for everything, and eventually new bushings for the stick(hope to get by without that for the rest of this year, sacrificing a pair of my new pins in the old bushings). The Kobelco isn't plumbed for the hitch, so I'm hoping to figure it all out in the next couple of months. I may not even get to the point where I need this stuff this year, but if I don't get it set up it will for sure push me back to the fall of NEXT year before the really big dig starts.
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Old June 23, 2011, 02:52   #47
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Quote:
Originally posted by MordeanGrey
Don't piss off the guy with the backhoe!

My '76 Hi-Boy would laugh at such a miniscule challenge as that!
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Old June 29, 2011, 00:24   #48
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fist time i have seen this thread.. we just found gold on our land.. but its in quartz veins.. hard rock mining I have learned is expensive and dirty

I have only dug in about 8 feet into this vein we discovered while cutting in fire roads

there was two active mines on both sides of the valley..each produced 1/2 per ton of quartz--- but was 1000 foot deep mines
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Old February 04, 2019, 16:42   #49
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This project is coming live again after half a dozen years in mothballs. Starting over not quite from scratch,....the Kobelco hoe is still up and running. The D7E is long gone(nothing but trouble with that one)and it's been recently replaced. The Case hoe is pretty much right where it got unloaded back in 2010. Haven't even buried that bucket in the dirt yet and probably never will.

Quickly to bring things up to date,......2011 is the year we located the good area of at least a couple of acres. The gold is down on bedrock and a couple of feet above with about 15' of worthless gravel on top of that. Decided to open up a small(?)pit in December of 2011 and worked most of 2012 clearing that out. Dozed an access drive through a swampy area so we could get access throughout the seasons. Left my flying job 1/1/13(voluntary furlough)to spend a year or two with my dad on this project. Purchased a house in Kali about midway between the two properties I own in March of '13 and spent most of the spring fixing that place up while running gravel when we could get to it(as the ground water receded). Things were ticking along pretty good when we learned that mom was having trouble at home. Everything came to a halt.

I'd been out in Kali full time from March through June, flying either my dad or my brother-in-law out for a few weeks at a time. Traded one for the other every 2-3 weeks so I always had help in Kali and mom always had someone back in Indiana. By summer she'd been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and that's when everything in Kali got locked up and more or less abandoned. Sold the dozer,.....sold the house(never spent a single night in it either). Spent the next couple of years caretaking mom, and eventually both mom and dad. I was supposed to have five years of recall eligibility at the airline, but after about 2-1/2 years of bypassing recall in order to take care of the folks, the company signed a huge contract with Amazon to fly their freight and I had to turn down a mandatory recall and resign my position. Kinda sucked with the seniority I held, but to go back to two weeks on/two weeks off would have required putting both of my folks in a home and that was not an option. By that time they'd already parked my beloved DC8s and replaced them with Boeings and both the flying and most of the people had changed,......so screw it. Never going back. Done.

Dad passed in December of 2016. Mom in June of 2017. Now it's just me and the cats, but by October of 2017 I had decided to make the drive back out to Kali to decide whether to try one more time or just sell the properties and be done with it. Spent a couple of weeks out there just kicking around and finding out what was still there(my storage container had been broken into somewhere around 2015 and $50k worth of spares and tools had been taken,......at the time, "oh well" was all I could spend on that problem). Took until mid-2018 to make up my mind, but I'm gonna give it one more shot. Spent all of November of 2018 back out there trying to get a new(new to me anyway)dozer on site for next spring. Will be building a new portable washplant over the next few months and dragging it across country in April/May if I'm lucky. Just got done updating/replacing the pics in the thread and will post up some of the 2012-2018 stuff later.

Yeah, the gold was good whenever we could dig in 2012/2013. Pulled about 40oz from this hole with a thrown together washplant that Ken and I built one weekend from the scrap pile. It was supposed to just be used to test pits dug around the bar but it got pressed into service as a production machine. Not at all convenient to clean and severely lacking in efficiency, but it managed to recover about an ounce an hour every time we ran it. New plant should be 1.5 to 2x the size and hopefully 20-30% more efficient. No doubt the scrap plant was dumping 1/3 of the gold back on the ground.



This picture was taken in October of 2013 while I was out there alone and working on the house. You can see how scarce the water is at this time of year. I was pumping out of this hole, running it through the plant and recirculating. I could run for about an hour in the morning before running dry. Go work on the house all day and I could come back and run another hour in the evening. That worked for about three days before the water saturated the surrounding ground and my pool quit recovering. Managed two hours the first day. Maybe an hour and half the second and probably not two half hour shifts the third. Not very efficient, but did just over three ounces which paid for the trip.

Didn't have any of my regular cleanup gear with me so just did a down-n-dirty run through a sluice set up in the washplant. Probably wasted a bit of gold in this set-up, but it was better than going home empty handed.



Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20131012_160732 (Large) (Small).jpg (136.3 KB, 150 views)
File Type: jpg 20131013_180244 (Medium).jpg (231.5 KB, 87 views)
File Type: jpg 20131014_103030 (Small).jpg (121.5 KB, 88 views)
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Old February 04, 2019, 17:09   #50
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https://vid3.photobucket.com/albums/...dOnDozer20.mp4

Dad on the dozer pushing in the drive one of the few times we managed to get the D7 running. Had huge engine overheating problems, then transmission overheating problems. Then once those were solved we had endless pony motor problems, either magneto ignition or carb problems. Really simple, crude, 50yr old tech with non-available parts and who knows what kind of neglect and abuse all those years. Absolutely hated that machine by the time is was sent down the road,......but Dad loved tooling around on it when it made smoke.

Here we are using a dredge pump to backflush the radiator. Finally got the last of the rat nests out of the rad and the overheating problem went away,.....but then the rad leaking problems started.



It stayed alive long enough to get the hole opened up, but 90% of the work was done with the hoe.



Here's the same spot three weeks earlier and you can see the difference in water level that we had to work around. We'd come back out in the fall and there would be no water anywhere aside from the river 500' away.



But when we were able to run a little gravel it was always fun.

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File Type: jpg DSC04780 (Small).JPG (143.7 KB, 141 views)
File Type: jpg 2012 May (1) (Small).JPG (160.8 KB, 138 views)
File Type: jpg DSC04763 (Small).JPG (120.8 KB, 133 views)
File Type: jpg 2oz gold (1) (Small).JPG (107.2 KB, 133 views)
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