The Bro-bcat

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So i dragged home two dead bobcats a few years ago for $3k. It was impulsive in the sense that i only got to see each machine for 5 minutes in the dark not running when i had to decide. One was partly stripped and one was whole and cranked but had been on fire pretty bad. Id just gotten a big chunk of tax return and wife was eager to blow it so this was a quick equity haven in my eyes, i wasnt gonna let the $$ slip thru my fingers. Today i know that was the right choice tho i didnt fail to catch plenty of poop for it.


The POS i bought them from stole the parts machine and scrapped it then denied he did but i pressed charges and recovered it because im a scrap ninja. So the whole one sat on the trailer couple years buried in the back. I brought it to my house last month and decided it needed to run or be sold.


That would be this moment captured here




Hmm, wont crank any more. Oh, i cant bar it over either, well if its stuck i better pull motor and if im pulling motor i better drain oil. Oh, thats a lotta water. And water.. and water. Theres gotta be.. uhh.. eventually.. somewhere at some point theres gotta be some oil to follow. :Drip:drip: nope.


Pure rain, to the top of the valvecover. All the oil floated out onto the dirt one storm at a time. Nice.


Wiggle motor out by hand, heavy little damner.






1600cc ford "industrial" which is a kent crossflow engine, the famed 711M block from formula ford racing, ironic. They were built for anglias in 59, which my dad has two of and lived 44years all the way to the cortina, pinto and festiva. Also powered a lot of tennant sweepers. It so happens a year back i bought the entire running engine, cooling and hydrostatic system out of a tennant 165 with 800hours for $200 to build my 4wd/4ws machine around someday. Time for planB. B for belben obviously, notably also a popular contraceptive.



Soo.. yeah i cant work in here. Thats after about 30lbs of leaf mulch came out the back and about 200lbs of clay + oil was chiselled out of the drive motor pans





3days of cleaning and painting later








If i cant get it running, the wash and paint will still sell it for me quick. Jazzed up the motor with some of that ford sauce






And used my favorite fat lady hoist to get it up on in there




Starter was dead, full of water and doo-dee. Did my cpr routine to no avail, had to shell out for industrial version at $180. Sweet, motor runs, buy new fluids put it all back together.. boom and curl work, but zero drive.


To the manuals, basic checklist that doesnt do it. To the innernets, they all say your hidden bronze filter is clogged. Nope, it was brand new.




I keep studying hydraulic schematic, get the gauge in there, hmm no pressure in the charge circuit despite plenty of pressure in the loader which all comes from same pump. So that absolves the pump and implicates the relief valving. that valve is playing regulator, lets have a look. pull valve, aha. Pitted poopty seat



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Inspection cam says bad







Rig up contraption to lap the seat with compound then clean all the grit back out







Then switched fittings to the one without that register which effictively shimmed spring.





Fired up, drove it off the trailer.


Threw away 100% of the wiring and started over with my own. This is it.





one fuse, a toggle to power the coil and alternator field, indicator light to remind me its energized, toggle for my bro-bar and choke. Flip switch push buttom vroom. No damnin seat sensors, temp sensors pressure sensors, dummy lights, seat bar lockouts and all that other incompetent workforce protection doo-dee. Thats half the problems you encounter when these wont run.



Stylin and effective. By effective i mean sweet jesus that is bright.




Unloaded my first batch of poop from the truck. That rack is atleast 350# and it took me an hour to load with hoist. Out in about 3 mins.




Next up bobtach handles trash, pins hourglassed, no bushings unless you count this





Sawed stuck pins into segments and wallowed em out, always works



Used bobtach to mock up fork mount




Finished that tonight. Those ears are from the machine it came off but theyre perfect for a future log clamp to load the future sawmill





i had already sold a new obsolete fan shroud off one for $500 knowing i wouldnt want to use that setup so im at $2500 for the pair, +$200 motor + $40 paint + $50 oil + $180 starter + $100 fork system + $385 bobtach rebuild. Not bad so far.

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I do think I'd rather have one of these than a standard forklift.  

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forklifts are a necessary peripheral tool for any enterprise making its money within a factory doing whatever operation. Short of riggers and millwrights, no one is driving around with just a forklift making a living. A bobcat on the other hand is the sole item of many a small business.



They dont have much crossover either. Theres nothing but forks for a forklift. You can probably bail hay and bake bread with a bobcat.

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I'm thinking snow removal as well as lifting things.  I have a plow, but a bobcat would get useful when the snowbanks get as big as they were two winters ago.

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What is the benefit of a bobcat over a tractor (that can lift the same weight) other than the compact size?



Skid steer vs knuckle steer. You can move the bucket or forks to the side with zero forward or reverse travel. A knuckle steered tractor must travel to turn for clearing things. Also, they are the weakest configuration thanks to the balljoints and knuckles. An articulated loader is much stronger due to solid axles and can swing a limited amount to clear a tree etc without any travel but they cant zero turn. Wheeled skid steer is a brick however, zero suspension so theyll teeter over a brick and get buried in the woods tracked skid steers bring the flex and are pretty incredible.


Wheeled SS will tear up the grass the worst, artic tears it up a bit less and knuckle steer the least. SS tends to flip forward or back, artic and knuckle steer flop sideways. You can put the most skid steers on a single trailer vs the other machines.

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I'm thinking snow removal as well as lifting things. I have a plow, but a bobcat would get useful when the snowbanks get as big as they were two winters ago.


My advise is to get a machine with the least links to the boom. The john deere new holland LS series super boom is a very side sloppy arrangement as soon as those 8 bushings get some hours and obviously way more money than two bushings and pins to maintain. My curl bushings were smoked and my boom bushings are tight, no side play and no indication they were changed. Yeah, the bucket arcs toward you but you arent filling high side dumps. Itll be much much safer when a slippery metal on metal transmission on the forks isnt getting side shuddered as you make a hard turn on tar which is real grabby.



I built my old blade into a 9ft snowplow attachment with no angle for my dads machine and it was a bit too light for clearing the full brunt of a storm, youd hit it a few times (4800-6000 is a typical weight for older machines)


A bucket fills fast and sucks if its your only snow tool but i know you have the truck. I ran chains on the rears.. when you pushed down they loaded and bit in. when you lifted the blade the rears got light and it still turned real easy.




My tires are solid foam filled and i love it. Never even have to think about what u drive over, and they weigh a ton which adds stability. Still plenty of bugs to work out but i think im gonna catapault ahead with this thing. Hopefully get my work done and keep it marketed for a high offer which id roll into a bigger newer unit.. maybe an 863 that needs a teardown and rebearing/seal, something like that.

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A bobcat in a tight space for loading and unloading is way ahead of a tractor. But once you get into longer travel you notice how slow they are. In fact they were invented to clean out chicken sheds a previous handwork only job. I bought mine only to clean the barn out. But I end up using it for all sorts of stuff. Put a bale spear on and it cut unloading time for my trailer in more than half, because of how tight that spot is. I also bought a snow/sawdust bucket that really sped up those jobs. Half the fork jobs I do with the tractor and half with the bobcat. While the bobcat can lift quite a bit, it tends to get light in the rear when moving big stuff. Once I got used to running on 2 wheels that isn't as big a deal.  I also got a grapple bucket for ripping into hay/manure pack. Can't explain how much that helped.

Another downside is my old machine 743B basically a slightly newer version of Mikes doesn't lift that high. I built sides that fold down halfway on my one ton. But it wouldn't dump into a 10 wheeler.

The other downside over a tractor is everything attaches to the front. So you need to york rake in reverse. No 3pth or PTO also.

Mike whats the LED bar, I like that.


Oh I run chains in the back as well. But bobcats such bum on less than level terrain there isn't much ground clearance, and they tend to sink.

Edited by Dill

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