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News: 10/5/12 - All new members are REQUIRED to fill out the signature section of your profile. Otherwise, you may be deleted from the forum. This is to help me determine if you are a member or if you are a spammer. Thank you.

9/22/12 - I ask that you please add a signature line to your profiles on the Cletrac Forum to help me to determine who is spam and who is not. You don't need to drop everything and do this immediately, but please do it when you get a minute and you are visiting the forum. Just go to and put something in the signature area. If you no longer want to be a member on the Cletrac Forum, please remove your membership.

8/10/11 - Added a new board: Trucking and Hauling

5/30/11 - Just added several new pictures to the Photo Gallery, including several Alfta Track OC-4 working in snow logging, several from the Chicago Road Show, and some from a logging show (not all Oliver/Cletrac). All these pictures are from around 1963 and were scanned from old slides given to me by my late friend John W. Davis. Go to the Photo Gallery and click on "NEW" to see these pictures. Quality is marginal, but I think you will enjoy them.

2/13/11 - Just added a new board "New members introduce yourselves here".

Folks, I just added a new photo gallery where you can upload your own pictures with descriptions, etc. Right now this is in the beta testing stage to see how it works out. Give it a try, but please keep a backup copy of your pictures just in case we decide to use something else. I would prefer you use your real name on the photo gallery, but if you really don't want to, please use the same username as on the forum. Please put your images into the proper categories and take care when your write out your descriptions and image names so people can search for them. I am learning this as we go. At least at the beginning, I have it set up where the administrator has to approve members. I am afraid we may get porn spam in here if we leave it open. To get to the photo gallery, use this link:

Folks, when you join the forum, or when you get the chance to update your Profile, please be sure to put your location and interests. Filling out your signature would help as well. I've been getting some spammers joining and posting links to sites that are completely unrelated to Cletrac or Oliver, or anything to do with tractors. It would make it easier for me, as well as all the other members, if you guys would put your location and interest in your profile. See

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1  Cletrac Tractor Discussion / All Models Except HG, OC-3, OC-4 & General / Re: Turning Track Pins and Bushes on: October 04, 2012, 04:52:51 PM

Thanks for the prompt responses with good info and leads to follow.  I was pushing fire breaks yesterday using the Britstand blade at an angle and it was doing a good job although slow.  It was also hot dusty and noisy but I had time to think that it was worth considering what was involved in keeping the old tractor going for this sort of job.  The engine starts well and runs well after it warms up and now that I have replaced the radiator it runs cool for hours.  I have a leaking water pump seal that only appears to be an issue when the tractor is sitting idle.

I've also been dismantling top and bottom rollers from a spare set of undercarriage I inherited to see what is involved in refurbishing them. I have previously looked at the top rollers on 2 other spare DDHs I have but they had the lock nuts and thrust washers welded up. On this last one though I found a top roller in original condition although the shaft is badly worn.  I have a lathe so I'm thinking I should be able to turn up a new shaft, bore the bronze bushes and find modern oil seals.

Thanks in particular for the pitch measurements.  I have 4 sets of spare tracks and until now no real idea of what condition they are in.  One set has a very good set of grousers as my father had welded lengths of hard steel bar on about 40 years ago.  I have wondered about the work involved in changing a set of grousers.  Someone suggested to me though that if my grousers are worn down enough so that I can spin the tracks when I come up against a stump than I have a built in safety facor for an old tractor.

Anyhow any further comments appreciated.                   
2  Cletrac Tractor Discussion / All Models Except HG, OC-3, OC-4 & General / Re: Turning Track Pins and Bushes on: October 04, 2012, 06:18:59 AM

Further to my post see for an example of part of what I am looking for.  To use this approach I need some dimensions for new track chains.
3  Cletrac Tractor Discussion / All Models Except HG, OC-3, OC-4 & General / Turning Track Pins and Bushes on: October 04, 2012, 05:50:39 AM

I want to know more about DDH tracks in particular maintenance and refurbishment.  I've searched this site and don't see any thing that fits the bill.  I have all the service and parts manuals but none of them show drawings or photos of the track chains, pins and bushes.  One manual does show a track press but no details of use.  I imagine that there must be written material dealing such as trade training manuals with this subject even if not Oliver or Cletrac specific.  I will do a wider internet search and see what I can find on Caterpillar for example but in the meantime if anyone can help me that would be great.  I would particularly like to know how to inspect visually and measure wear.  Also how many links there are in a standard track.

4  Cletrac Tractor Discussion / Subjects Related To All Models / Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc. on: September 19, 2012, 07:11:07 AM

We are at Captains Mountain which is on the Goondiwindi side of Millmerran which is about an hour west of Toowoomba.  The radiator repair bloke in Toowoomba gave me names and numbers for 2 collectors of Cletracs near Toowoomba.  He says one of them has dozens of Cletracs.  When I find the piece of paper with the details I'll contact them to confirm.

5  Cletrac Tractor Discussion / Subjects Related To All Models / Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc. on: September 18, 2012, 12:27:09 AM
Hi Guys

Its been a while since I posted or even looked at this site.  I've been busy farming, travelling and doing family things but am about to come back to my Cletrac to do some serious tree regrowth control.  Since I last posted about my overheating problems I've bitten the bullet and spent about $1500 on a brand new custom made radiator.  This has solved all my overhearting problems in one go.  The engine temperature now sits exactly where the manual says it should - 165 degrees F.  So now off to do some work although I still have concerns about the state of the tracks and the rollers.  I'll be trawling through this site and the manuals looking for info on this topic and will ask for help as needed.

6  Cletrac Tractor Discussion / Subjects Related To All Models / Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc. on: November 15, 2011, 04:35:49 PM
Winston was kind enough to send me an email enquiring about progress as I hadn't posted on this site for a few weeks.  What follows is my reply to him:


I did as you suggested and pulled the bottom tank off and then pushed a thin metal strip down each core.  More than half the cores were blocked solid with what looks like mud more than calcium scale.   I now of course have a radiator with more leaks in tubes that had previously been sealed with radiator stop leak.

Before doing all this I did as originally planned and that was flush the radiator with a 10% citric acid solution.  I got the engine hot and kept the acid in for over half an hour before flushing with clean water.  I can?t say that it made any noticeable difference though other than eating the galvanising on some GI pipe I have on the tractor.  I suspect I didn?t leave it in long enough but I wasn?t confident about leaving it there for a week as some of the US automotive sites suggest for car radiators.

I have finally found a cheap supply of citric acid ($1.50/kg) and may have another go now that I have a 25 kg bag of it.

However I have now bitten the bullet and ordered a new radiator core at a cost of about $1500.  I?ve done this out of frustration but also because I have a second Cletrac in nearly going order that just needs a radiator.  I will put the old radiator on this second tractor. 

I am inclined to try the citric acid again though on the first tractor even with a new radiator as there appears to be a lot of scale and muck in the block.  I would not want to clog up the new radiator though so may do this with the old radiator before I replace it.

Speaking to the radiator repair bloke who is old school I am advised that there is no better solution for cleaning a radiator and block than running an engine hot before back flushing through a filter so that the crap doesn?t go back into the top tank.  He claims this peeling process done multiple times is the only way to go and that radiator cleaning chemicals of any type including citric and hydrochloric acid do not do any better job.

Your thoughts most welcome and I?m also looking forward to talking more to you down the track when I move on to refurbishing top and bottom track rollers.

Everyone else your thoughts also welcome.
7  Cletrac Tractor Discussion / Subjects Related To All Models / Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc. on: September 14, 2011, 03:52:48 AM

Thanks - I now suspect you are right.  I pulled the water pump off and found it to be working as far as I can see.  The impeller is firmly connected to the shaft which as noted previously turns and doesn't leak water.  So it is back to the radiator cleaning.  Before i take the bottom tank off I'll try the citric acid cleaning and back flushing.  Taking the water pump off also allowed me to further modify the plumbing I described such that I now have a large gate valve at the bottom of the tank in the water pump line as well as the tee and ball valve after that allows me to connect a high pressure flow to do back flushing.  Still on holiday in Victoria so sometime after the 19th before I get back to it.  One other advantage of pulling the water pump off was the need to remove the oil filters.  This revealed not only significant sludge in the filter that needed removing but also that someone had previously used a silicone gasket material in excess that appeared to have blocked some of the oil passages.

I have on a previous occasion taken the top tank of the radiator but never the bottom tank.  I have 2 spare old radiators which both have holes worn through by the Britstand hydraulic pump shaft rubbing on it.

I have heard of people running soft wires or copper strips down the tubes from the top but I'm a bit nervous about doing this.

8  Welcome & Rules - Please read before posting / New members introduce yourselves here / Re: Hi from Queensland, Australia on: September 11, 2011, 02:55:28 AM

Thanks for that - it has been removed as I suspected. In fact the manifold is made of steel now unlike the original that was made of aluminium (I think).

Blake has moved most of my posts to a new topic under the heading of "Citric Acid cleaning of radiators" in the General Area.  I'll have something to say about this process sometime after about 23rd Sept but I'd welcome any comments before then as well.

9  Welcome & Rules - Please read before posting / New members introduce yourselves here / Re: Greetings from a Newbee on: September 05, 2011, 06:34:01 PM

Welcome also from another Aussie Ian.  I have a Britstand 3 yard scoop still in use and would like to pick up one of the 3 tyne trailed rippers.  I bought 3 books from Plough Book Sales all from Britstand - Dozer Operation, Tanksinking and Scraper Operation.  These are excellent reference books.  Was there ever a operators manual and/or parts book for the 3 yard scoop?

My Cletrac of couse also has a Britstand hydraulic blade that can be angled and tilted to a degree.

10  Cletrac Tractor Discussion / Subjects Related To All Models / Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc. on: August 31, 2011, 06:40:25 AM

I tried to put some photos of my plumbing up but I get a message that says the upload folder is full.  Am I doing something wrong?  I tried a single photos aboy 44Kb in size.

11  Cletrac Tractor Discussion / Subjects Related To All Models / Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc. on: August 31, 2011, 06:30:36 AM

Thanks for doing this for me.

In preparation for acid flushing as well as further trouble shooting my overheating problem I've done some plumbing as follows:

Installed a 2 inch gate valve in the top radiator hose, a tap at the firewall end of the water return manifold (because I didn't have room at the radiator end next to the gate valve), and a tee with ball valve and cam lock fitting in the bottom radiator hose.

By turning the top gate valve off and connecting a water pipe from a pressure pump off the shed tank I can backflush the radiator as well as rapidly drain the block and radiator.  Doing the back flush showed a good flow of water and only a little gunk which leads me to conclude that the radiator is not as clogged as I thought.  Midn you I've already used 3 lots of commercial radiator cleaner in the last 2 days.  Draining the radiator and block was also rapid which further confirms my conclusion about the radiator not being or no longer as clogged as first thought.

My next test was to open the tap on the water return manifold while keeping the gate valve closed and pumping water in via the bottom tap.  This also produced a good flow which suggests the block is not badly clogged either.  I then turned the water supply off, kept the top gate valve closed and the manifold tap open and started the engine expecting to see a significantly stronger flow that demonstrates the water pump is working.  I did NOT see this and am now wondering whether I have a water pump problem.

The water pump seems ok in that the shaft turns and it doesn't leak.  However I now wonder if the impeller is turning.  This observation also remined me that when I look into the top of the radiator when I first start the engine I don't see water agitation or movement that I expect.  Initially I thought that this was because the thermostat was still closed but I have now discounted this as I believe the thermostat was removed when the fabricated steel water return manifold was installed in lieu of the original aluminium one.

I have a spare water pump and I'm contemplating installing it.  Any comments on my trouble shooting approach or conclusions most welcome.

I've ordered 5 kg of citric acid but won't now be able to do this for about 4 weeks as I'm off farm either in Brisbane or on a 10 day driving holiday in Victoria.

12  Cletrac Tractor Discussion / Subjects Related To All Models / Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc. on: August 30, 2011, 05:13:26 AM

I was thinking the same thing but can't see immediately how to create a new thread.  I was wondering if I should/could start a thread on my whole restoration project - it would be initially about my overheating issue then move on to undercarriage etc.  Or should I do as you seem to be suggesting and start a new thread for each topic, the first being citric acid cleaning?

I will search your site a bit more to learn how to post photos and videos as well as I am an avid photograper and carry a small digital camera on my belt while on the farm.  I'll also try not to ask questions that have already been asked and answered satisfactorly.

13  Cletrac Tractor Discussion / Subjects Related To All Models / Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc. on: August 28, 2011, 09:02:31 PM

I'm kicking myself again for not remembering that everything known to man is on the Internet.  I looked up citric acid radiator flushing and was overwhelmed with the number of good hits.  In particular there were a lot related to Mercedes Benz engines and several mentions of Benz selling Citric Acid for this purpose.  I even have a part number!

It looks like a 10% solution although I've also seen on US sites 2 pounds in 2 gallons or 3-5 pounds in 10-15 gallons.  One site said to use the solution as coolant for a week while others talk about flushing after getting the engine hot.

The issue with both strong alkaline and acid radiator cleaners can be its detrimental effect on aluminium.  However citric acid at the recommended concentration does not affect aluminium, steel (other than rust) or copper. In any case there is no aluminium inmy cooling system as the top pipe from the engine to the radiator is now fabricated steel.  I think it was originally aluminium and I'm also thinking that the thermostat disappeared when the aluminium one was removed.

Where do you get citric acid?  - it is a well known food aditive and apparently you can get it in Woolworths and Coles but it won't be economical for the quantity required.  It is also sold by home brew shops but at $3 per 100 grams!  Butchery supply places in Brisbane do not sell it (Lesnies and Vadals).

Will keep looking and then report after I've used it.


14  Cletrac Tractor Discussion / Subjects Related To All Models / Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc. on: August 27, 2011, 09:53:57 PM

Thanks again for your tip on citric acid.  I was nervous about using hydrochloric undiluted.

Quite a few years ago I bought a set of tracks from Don Lederhose at Inverell but I recall him being sick at the time and also saying he had sent a lot of cletrac stuff to Simsmetal for scrap.  I remember him also saying he had bought Cletrac stuff from someone in Bundaberg.  My spare dozers and engines cam from Chinchilla/Miles area.

I hate the thought of what could be good stuff going for scrap.  I've even contemplated advertising for Cletrac bits on the basis I would take it for nothing or at worst scrap steel price.

15  Cletrac Tractor Discussion / Subjects Related To All Models / Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc. on: August 27, 2011, 05:11:49 AM

A bit more detail on where I am at with my Cletrac.

I have had the steering bands relined, the injection pump and injectors checked (this was interesting as they don't see old stuff like this much these days), replaced the primary cloth bag fuel filter with a modern cartridge filter, and replaced the bellows type air pre-cleaner with a modern cyclone pre-cleaner.  I have a Britstand blade and also a 3 yard Britstand scoop.  The leather buckets in the blade rams were shot so I had new ones machined on a CNC lathe using some sort of modern synthetic material.  I also had to replace the hydraulic hoses to the left hand blade ram as one of the was perished to the extent it burst and sprayed me and the tractor with oil.  Fortunately the oil wasn't yet hot enough to burn me.

My issues are primarily engine overheating, a leaking radiator and the general state of the track rollers and sprockets.

I particularly remember my old man having trouble starting the Cletrac and we don't live in a particulalry cold climate area.  In fact we could be considered as sub-tropical with only a few frosts each winter.  I remember seeing the big plug on the inlet manifiold removed and a rag on a wire dipped in diesel and lit to hold against the plug hole while it cranked.    Anyhow I don't have trouble starting now although I do usually use a squirt of aerostart aerosol.  While this sounds great I wonder if in fact my timing is a bit out such that while it starts easily and runs smoothly it could be lacking power and overheating.  However there is no significant black smoke from the exhaust.

My first strategy is to address the state of the cooling system starting with the fan belt tension and then flushing the radiator and block.  I've already tried the usual commercial radiator flush chemical but I'm not sure I've achieved enought yet.  I'm thinking of being a bit more aggressive and using caustic soda followed by hydrochloric acid (with inhibitor added so only the rust and not the iron gets eaten).  Any comments on this?

If I have to I will take the top tank off and run each core with a soft wire followed by a reverse flush.

Enough for the moment with more to follow later on the tracks.  Comments and suggestions most welcome.

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