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Author Topic: Track Question  (Read 15921 times)
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R. Wilkie
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« on: January 20, 2008, 08:21:08 AM »

Hello

  I had just read a post in the history section here.which brings up a question. Has anyone else that owns an MG1 ever took any measurements to see if the tracks from a halftrack will fit these tractors??I saw one on a site a couple of weeks ago that appeared to have halftrack tracks on it, but now I can't find the thing.

                                                           Thanks Roger
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by R. Wilkie » Logged
Ol Paint
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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2008, 10:54:11 AM »

According to "The American Arsenal" (ISBN 1-85367-470-2, Copyright 2001, Greenhill Books), the M2 has a 4" pitch track with a width of 13.625" with a total of 148 shoes per vehicle.  Quick math makes that about 296" circumference.  Roadwheels are 14" x 4.125."

The same resource credits the M2 halftrack tracks with the same 4" pitch, but a 12" width and, because there aren't any track shoes, no estimated length.  Roadwheels are 12" x 4.125."

Per "Standard Catalog of US Military Vehicles 1940-1965 (1st Ed.)" by Thomas Berndt (ISBN: 0-87341-223-0), "The tracks were about the same construction as the half-tracks, however, they were longer and had crossbars that protruded from the sides..."

Several months ago, I ran across a picture of a bulldozer someone had found that was a converted M2 equipped with halftrack tracks.  As I recall, the front idler was repositioned in contact with the ground where the forward bogie used to be.  I've also heard that the halftrack tracks are ~2' shorter, but never investigated.  Someone on Steel Soldiers or g503.com should be able to supply measurements of the halftrack track length.

If I remember, I'll measure my M2 HST and see if the 296" guess is correct.

Douglas
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Ol Paint
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2008, 11:21:14 PM »

I posted the question regarding the length of the halftrack track on another board (http://www.tank-net.org) and it was pointed out to me that Hunnicutt's "Half-Track:  A History of American Semi-Tracked Vehicles" (ISBN:  0-89141-742-7) lists the halftrack as having a pitch of 4" with 58 pitches/track.  This would make the track length 232"--64" shorter than the M2 Cletrac's track.

I will still pull a tape on mine and see if I get the 296" dimension.

Douglas
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Ol Paint » Logged
R. Wilkie
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« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2008, 07:31:19 AM »

Douglas

 Thanks for the info,Oh well it was a thought anyway. I feel lucky that my tracks are in good shape. I knew the bogie/road wheels were different sizes,but thought the tracks would be close to the same width minus the pad overhang on the Cletrac.The length was in question.I'm 99% sure that the one I'd seen had halftrack tracks on it,the tread on them caught my attention. I think it was on a non english site. The compressor was missing and there were two gerry cans mounted on the compressor mounting plate,It may have also had a radio ant or two on it.Anyway I would like to find the photo again to get a better look.

                                                                         Roger
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by R. Wilkie » Logged
pmarriott
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2008, 03:42:40 PM »

Hi there

I believe the Cletrac you are reffering too is based in France and certainly isn't totally complete. As you state it is missing the compressor and various other items. I beleive it was photographed in 2004, I have seen severval photo's of it and it is definately running halftrack style tracks, there are no track pads only the moulded cleats as on half track tracks.

I have zoomed in on the photos and cannot see how the guy has joined them, the only other option is did they make this style of track post war???

I have tried to contact the guy over the last two years and had no reply form the postings requesting details.

The pitch of the tracks is the same and if you could join them together then they will work.

Has anyone considered contacting BF Goodrich regarding remanufacturing these tracks, may be a limited run of fifty sets. I would have three sets as I have one MG-1 under very long term restoration and know of two others I could restore.

My understanding from other forums is that tyre manufacturers rarely throw out tyre moulds, maybe they still have a track mould.

I am still trying to find out if any modern rubber crawler tracks would fit these beasts, as it is very easy to change the pitch of the drive sprocket, but it would seem the problem is the track guide width. Has anyone else looked into this option.

I have a set of tracks but I know they will break very quickly as they have been poorly stored. I also have two broken tracks which I intend to cut open and document the construction of these tracks. I may then approach a track manufacturer in the UK for a costing. I think it would be very very exspensive unless there is plenty of call for new tracks.

If you would buy a set then lets see how many sets would be needed, then it really may be worth getting some manufactured.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by pmarriott » Logged
pmarriott
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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2008, 04:26:28 PM »

Check out the link to the website for the French MG-1 with half track tracks what do you all think?HuhHuh

http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t40/ ... imm304.jpg

http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t40/ ... lle202.jpg

 Cool  8)

Maybe hope for getting tracks yet!!!!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by pmarriott » Logged
R. Wilkie
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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2008, 07:40:47 PM »

Quote from: "pmarriott"
Hi there

 the only other option is did they make this style of track post war???

Has anyone considered contacting BF Goodrich regarding remanufacturing these tracks, may be a limited run of fifty sets. I would have three sets as I have one MG-1 under very long term restoration and know of two others I could restore.If you would buy a set then lets see how many sets would be needed, then it really may be worth getting some manufactured.

Hi
     Yep that is the MG1 that I saw,Glad you could find the photos.Too bad the man won't get back in contact with you..I don't know of any post war production of those style tracks,but then again I'm no expert. IMHO those are from a halftrack. Maybe someone else will weigh in on this one.The best I can tell from the photos everything looks the same on the running gear,so what's the deal here?As I said before my tracks seem to be in fine shape other than wear on the pads themselfs.but I have heard of several people asking about tracks in the past.I had thought that halftrack tracks might be an option here to keep one running if the worse were to happen. Contacting Goodrich sounds like a great idea,but right now my wallet would not stand such an undertaking. Thanks again for posting the pics, I was beginning to think that I had dreamed that.
                                                                         Roger
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by R. Wilkie » Logged
Ol Paint
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« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2008, 08:43:43 PM »

pmarriott,

I've considered contacting BF Goodrich about tracks, but haven't done anything because (1) I didn't have a machine until less than a year ago and (2) the machine I bought has decent tracks on it.  However, I think it would be a worthwhile path to explore if we can get enough people together for a decent production run.  

As I recall, the last production run of halftrack tracks I heard about were selling for (I think) ~$2,500/set.  Pricey.  But money worth spending, in my opinion, since they'll probably last for quite a while with the usage the average restored machine will see.  I am a little cautious about jumping up and down and yelling "I'm in" until I know how much they will set me back, but we'll never know if we don't ask, right?  ;)  The thing is, unless some business (surplus dealer or parts dealer) is willing to order a bunch of sets on spec, we'll need to have our money lined up up front before a manufacturer is going to put a lot through production.  The manufacturer should, however, be able to give an estimated per-set price for various production runs, which would let us know if this is feasible.

Keep in mind that production numbers of the M2s were small, relatively speaking.  Only ~8500 were built, vs. 24000+ M3/M5 light tanks or 40-50,000 halftracks, so there are correspondingly fewer in collector's hands.  Doesn't make the task impossible, but it does mean that anyone organizing new production of tracks will have to make sure their ducks are well lined-up...

On another note, there have been a couple of other forays into this area on this forum.  
One idea for refurbishing the tracks with urethane:  http://www.cletrac.org/newbb/viewtopic.php?t=366  This is an interesting idea, but I'm not sure it is workable with the continuous band carcass on our machines--at least in a "backyard" kind of operation.  There are some ways around that problem, however, depending on the amount of effort one wanted to put into developing solutions.

And http://www.cletrac.org/newbb/viewtopic.php?t=410 where a company called North American Molded Products thought they might be able to help out, but no additional communication with the company appears to have taken place.  They might be worth contacting.

Douglas
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pmarriott
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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2008, 01:52:56 PM »

Perhaps when I have a moment, we have a three month old baby boy and zero spare time!!! But when I do get a moment I will contact BF Goodrich to firstly see whether they have any photos of track construction or possibly even the moulds.

A couple of years ago I contactted the company in Israel that manufactured the last batch of 1/2 track tracks, but got no reply. They even list the tracks on there website and give a part number. I enquired whether they were able to built the same tracks, but in a different length, because if so the problem with tracks was solved!!!

I may try contacting them again as even through the tracks would not be exactly the same they would certainly work and with the limitted amount of use would last for years and the build cost would be minimal.

Here is the link

http://www.tgl-sp.com/military_sprocket.htm

Food for thought!!!!!!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by pmarriott » Logged
R. Wilkie
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« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2008, 08:18:07 AM »

Ol Paint, have you or Paul ever heard of any numbers on how many MG1s are in collectors hands at this time? I know of several other vehicle collectors in my area,but no Cletracs in the bunch and that's with about seven large WW2 airfields,four of which had Bombers.

Roger
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pmarriott
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« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2008, 11:12:13 AM »

Hi there,

In answer to your question I know of four fully running MG-1's over here in England. Three in private collections and one at IWM Duxford. Then there is my one that is in need of complete restoration when time allows, two further ones in running condition needing restoration and missing all usual parts, these two are owned by farmers who used to plough with them after the war.

I also know of three hulks which may have some of the parts I need. There are also rumours of at least four further ones in various parts of the UK, unconfirmed.

A collector in Belgium has five in various states of dissrepair. Another five are known to exist in collections in Europe plus one in Norway.

Several also exist in Australia and one in Indonesia that I have heard of.

There must be at least fifty in the US.
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redlineoryourmine
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« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2008, 05:30:55 PM »

there is or was a place in Fort Collins Colorado that also made half-track tracks i cannot remember the name of the place but it seems like it was on college st. they may also have some ideas for us.
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Ol Paint
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« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2008, 05:44:34 PM »

Gee whiz, has it really been (4) months since I last posted??  Time flies, I guess.

I still haven't pulled a tape on my tracks to measure the length--sorry about that.  I did manage to dig up this picture of what I believe are unmodifed halftrack tracks mounted on a M2:


This was posted on Yesterday's Tractors back in 2004.

Douglas

[Edited for subject/verb mismatch.]
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Ol Paint » Logged
R. Wilkie
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« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2008, 08:39:39 AM »

Wow ,now that's different. Thanks for posting the photo, I also noticed that the front set of idler wheels have been removed.
                                                                              Roger
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by R. Wilkie » Logged
Blake Malkamaki
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« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2008, 10:07:50 PM »

This is from David Pope:

Blake,
I was going to post these pix but I don't have a hosting site so I'll let you post them on the track question thread. This is a pamphlet someone gave me on commercial tracks that are made in the Phillipines I think. I never contacted the company in British Columbia  (whose business card is on page one with phone numbers) to find out more but I'm sure someone on the forum will.
 
David Pope










« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Blake » Logged

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