In this article “CAT 931 Water Pump Replacement Part 2”, I will explain what I decided to do about the leaky seal on the CAT 931 Traxcavator water pump that I recently installed.
After Some Research
After some research, I found that it is not uncommon for a gasket to leak for a brief time before it “cures.” I read that if you get the engine up to temperature and run it for about thirty minutes, the gasket should have a chance to cure and the leaking should stop.
As I found this information to be somewhat questionable, I decided to give it a try. The following day, I went back to the machine to find that it was not actively dripping coolant onto the engine, but rather the gasket just appeared to be seeping some. I put the pulley and fan back on the machine and re-tensioned the fan belt. I checked that the coolant level was up, since part of me assumed the reason the gasket was no longer dripping fluid was because there was none left in there to expel.
Start Your Engines
I started the engine and ran it for about twenty minutes, log enough for the water temperature gauge to enter the green area. I kept a close eye on the gauge to make sure it wasn’t about to overheat. I moved around from one side of the engine to the other keeping a close eye on the gasket and after doing this for about ten minutes, it did in fact appear that the gasket was not leaking, or at least not dripping like it was.
At this point I decided that it might be time to just monitoring it and get the CAT back together and maybe get some actual work out of the machine for a change. I put the hood back on and bolted the side engine covers back on and it was time to go.
Getting Ready to Work
Now that the machine is back in running order, it was time to get it to work. I drove it over to one edge of my property where the current cow pasture fence ends where there is an old logging path that is very uneven. I attempted to scrape the bumps out using the bucket, but it was not helpful. I then decided it was time to put the rock rake on and try that.
Removing the bucket clamp extension was much easier than it was to get on, that was a relief. I set the clamp down along the edge of the path and moved on to attaching the rock rake. This rake mush weigh 800 lbs., its very difficult to move and its even more difficult to get in position to pop the pins in. After wrestling with it for a little over a half hour, I was able to get it on and was ready to test it out.
First Use with the Rock Rake
Assuming that the proper way to use this rake is to position it so the teeth sit about 6 inches below the bucket, I made the necessary adjustments. I put the bucket down to the ground and away we went. The rake tore up the ground and pulled the rocks up as it was supposed to. I quickly found the the ground was still fairly wet and there were a few spots that I was concerned about getting stuck.
I did not expect that the rake would be so good at tearing out roots, that was a nice surprise as it ripped apart the top soil from years of leaf decay. I made one pass along the path and turned around for a second pass. After completing the second pass, I hopped off the machine to see what the ground condition was and it was in rough shape. I couldn’t decide if it was better or worse than before I started. Either way, I was satisfied that I was able to use the machine without it breaking, so it was a good point to call it a day while I was still ahead.
After using the machine for about an hour. I checked under the hood to see if the gasket was still leaking, it looked the same as when I started so I was pleased. I then walked the path to see what kind of mess i created and looked at some of the large rocks sitting just under the ground that will need to be pulled out with the backhoe. Once some of the bigger rocks are moved, a couple passes with the tractor rake might be all that’s needed to get the path back to flat.
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