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Author Topic: Smoked my Skid Steer  (Read 2569 times)

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Offline DR_Buck

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Smoked my Skid Steer
« on: April 17, 2018, 08:58:44 PM »
I was moving dirt yesterday that is being excavated for the basement under our new addition.  While I was dumping a load from the bucket I thought I got a whiff of burning leaves.   Then a minute later I smelled something else burning and jumped off the skid steer and popped the rear hood and there was a fire burning down in the bottom of the engine compartment.   I ran at top speed 400 feet to the garage and back to get the fire extinguisher.  Fortunately, the fire hadn't spread or gotten bigger and I put it right out.    I left it sit overnight and then this morning I walked out to it and started assessing the damage.   I untangled and separated about half a dozen wires that were melted together.   The wires leading to the solenoid and started were also melted and had to be separated.    Then it actually started.  8)     I quickly drove it over to the front of my garage and shut it down before something else happened.  

Once I cleaned off the extinguisher powder I could see things better.   The good news is that damage is limited to the half dozen wires already mentioned and the melted/cracked solenoid casing.   The bad new is Gehl does not have a part number for the solenoid and I had to order a new starter with it already attached.     

The fire was apparently caused by a combination of a small hydraulic leak spraying on the muffler heat shield and to much debris that had fallen into the machine from running it in the woods.  That was the burning leaves I smelled.  ::)    I was lucky this time.  You can bet it will get a complete cleaning inside before it goes back in service. 
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Online ljohnsaw

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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2018, 09:16:41 PM »
You can bet it will get a complete cleaning inside before it goes back in service.

And maybe a fire extinguisher mounted somewhere handy? ;)
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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2018, 09:23:34 PM »
ditto lj suggestion. Glad you are okay. Equipment can be repaired or replaced - FF members can't. :embarassed:
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2018, 09:25:52 PM »
I betcha them starters are not cheap. :( But lucky that is all that you have to spend out.
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2018, 09:46:58 PM »
A local starter shop might be able to get you a solenoid to put on the old starter. 
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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2018, 09:59:41 PM »
I'll second the fire extinguisher mounted in the machine. I have a small one in the cab of my t300. II will also second the starter repair shop suggestion.  I have only had one starter out of about 10 or so that the local shop couldn't rebuild and that was for a 91 bobcat that caught on fire.
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Offline coxy

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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2018, 10:29:49 PM »
was it a gehl skid steer mine melted the electronic shutoff and caught fire 

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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2018, 10:52:43 PM »
was it a gehl skid steer mine melted the electronic shutoff and caught fire
I believe dr buck said his is a gehl. The one I smoked was a 91 bobcat 743b and it was 100% my fault. The starter had been getting weaker and weaker and I had 3 batteries and a wheel charger hooked up to it trying to get it to turn over. I started it like that for a couple months before it actually caught on fire
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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2018, 11:02:24 PM »
gehls are an electrical night mare i have ripped every safety censer out of mine trying to find the short  one time the loader was 1/2 way up and it wouldn't come back down had to take the safety thing out of the hydro line  i now start it by touching 2 wires together and shut it off by hand at the injection pump i would never get another gehl     

Offline Southside logger

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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2018, 11:28:54 PM »
Try Rick at the Battery Barn in Petersburg - that guy can fix any starter or alternator.  
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Offline DR_Buck

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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2018, 11:49:55 PM »
Its a 2003 Gehl 6635 and the new starter with solenoid cost $134.
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Offline starmac

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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2018, 03:40:52 AM »
It seems like most of the time anymore, a guy can buy a starter cheaper than having one rebuilt, that is if they are available. I forget the price, but My son had to get one for his bobcat, and it was not bad at all. I had to buy one for my dodge last week, dodge price 1168 bucks, O'reillys, 158 bucks. 
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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2018, 06:05:40 AM »
A battery master switch might be a good idea incase of electrical short,leading to a fire. 

Offline Raider Bill

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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2018, 08:19:47 AM »
Weren't you one of the Guys that laughed when I burned up the dozer? .....HAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHHAHH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

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Offline DR_Buck

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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2018, 08:44:23 AM »
Weren't you one of the Guys that laughed when I burned up the dozer? .....HAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHHAHHA HAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHA!
:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

See it's easy to do.
I'm not sure I laughed at you for the dozer burning.  I think it was the story you told.....  :D

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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2018, 09:17:29 AM »
I set my UTV on fire just by having to many dry leaves under the muffler. was running less than 5 minutes before full on fire. dry leaves are dangerous. The leaves were a good 8-10" below the muffler and still lit up real easy and quick.
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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2018, 09:56:04 AM »

Offline Jeff

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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2018, 10:00:31 AM »
Oh boy, this reminds me of a story.

Many years ago we were logging between Clare Harrison and Farwell off of Harrison Avenue. This was a huge property owned by a man named Cappaert who at the time was the only share holder for Diamond Reo Trucks and he also owned Marlette mobile homes.  

Where we were logging was way back in the center of a section. You turned off from Harrison avenue in the driveway of one of the caretakers homes, then drove back across a field, then through a wooded area, then across a sugar sand airstrip, then on into the woods again where we were working. Our landing was set up about 50 yards from a beautiful little stream that I could see trout darting around out from under the undercut banks.

This was a Saturday. We were doing equipment maintenance. There was me, our mechanic Pat Ahac, and a mobile welder named Bruce from Service welding in Clare. Bruce had finished some welding up on the 404 Timberjack dozer blade and had turned his attention to the bobcat. I can't remember exactly what he was welding on now, but we heard him say "HEY! I have a fire!" Some sparks had dropped down in the belly pan where there was quite a bit of oil and debris accumulated. Pat ran to his work truck and grabbed a big extinguisher. He ran back and sprayed it down into where the fire was but the fire would not go out, even after using the entire contents of the extinguisher. There was an empty 5 gallon pail in the truck so I hoofed it to the stream to get a pail of water and then hoofed it back to the bobcat and tried to awkwardly poor the water in through the side panel past the engine and down into the pan where the fire was. I did this 5 times (I was a young man and in very good shape at that time) and all it did was die the fire down. This wasn't a huge fire, but it was sure meaning to be if we didn't get it out.  Pat hollered at me to jump in the truck and drive back out to the caretaker's house and call the Fire Department.  So off I went, through the woods, out across the airstrip, through the woods, acrodd the field and made a sliding stop at the house. Ran up to the door and knocked loudly.  A middle aged woman answered the door and I quickly told her that we had a piece of equipment on fire out back across the airstrip could she call the fire department.  "Yes!" she said, so off I ran back to the truck and flew back to the woods where Pat was about to drop from running pails of water while I was gone. He was probably 10-15 years older than I was at the time.

When I jumped out of the truck, we could hear the sirens go off in the distance in the direction of Surry Township. Not to far away.  Then we heard sirens at about 90 from that.  Clare sirens! No time to listen I started humping pales of water from the stream to the bobcat. We continued to just keep the fire under control, but it was starting to build. It took about 15 minutes for the first vehicle to arrive from the fire department, a volunteer in a pickup. Then they really started coming, about 5 minutes after the first vehicle pulled in, a foam truck rolled in. They drove right up to the bobcat and had the fire out in about 5 seconds.

Vehicles continued to arrive. Fire trucks, pickups, now we had a truck and a dozer roll in, DNR trucks started showing up one hauling a modified green skidder with a huge firebreak plow on it. Before it was over, there were several pieces of heavy equipment and probably 50 men there. As it turned out, when I left the caretakers house, and she called the fire department, she told them that the loggers had "set the woods on fire".  Before all the trucks had left, S. L. Cappaert's leer jet was buzzing the area. He couldn't land as the airstrip was only for small prop planes.

I was whooped after this all ended.  I walked back over to the stream, laid down on the bank and washed my face. I then washed out my hardhat. Took the liner out and washed it out really good then dipped the hat back in the fast moving crystal clear waters of the stream and got me a good long drink.  I then stood up, and that is when I looked up stream for the first time and saw the dead sheep laying mid stream about 50 feet away.  What a day.
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Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2018, 10:11:44 AM »
Great story Jeff.
You couldnt make that stuff up.
One time 4 wheeling at my ADK camp we stopped for an adult beverage in a meadow.
After about 5 minutes I smelled smoke but couldnt pin point it right away.
Finally one of the guys said pete its under your machine.
Sure enough dry grass had ignited.
Moved the ATV and stomped it out.
another pal parked his in his shed also at our property went inside came out a few minutes later and the shed was on fire, burned to the ground atv and all.
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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2018, 10:51:54 AM »
I went to a house fire similar to that. the biggest saving grace was the non code compliant PVC water line running through the garage over the top of the quad. It melted and put the fire out :)

Quad was just a frame but the house was saved.

I knew what I thought I meant.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2018, 11:17:15 AM »
Bellypans are no joke.  Anyone with equipment needs a pressure washer and long reach blow gun. 
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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2018, 11:19:47 AM »
Btw, kids shovels are handy to wiretie inside the cab next to your extinguisher You dont always have water but you will always be near dirt. 


Wuen your starter takes a few "hits" to engage, its because the copper washer inside the solenoid plunger is corroded and arcing.  Soon itll weld and the only way to stop the starter is to cut power before the cable insulation or rear bushing ignites.

  Leave your ground cable loose enough to rip off if you dont have a master switch.
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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2018, 01:32:40 PM »
jeff   reminds me of a time with my dad walking a log job i always had and still have the need to drink water out of a running spring he always told me walk up to where its coming out of the ground and drink from there i never listened to him one day i made a little dam waited for it to clear up and drank it after i was done we walked up the spring run and sure enough there was a dead porcupine about half rotted with maggots on it he started laughing and i started puking  every once in a while ill think of that when i need a drink and will walk to the top of the spring run then drink out of it      

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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2018, 01:51:46 PM »

 I dropped the belly pan on my skid steer last year and unloaded almost 5 gallons of oil soaked dirt, leaves and twigs. That was a fire just waiting to happen.

 Interesting enough mine had a hard time engaging the starter. I replaced the starter and found out it was a solenoid that had went bad. Ah well, I have a spare starter now.
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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2018, 07:00:35 PM »
Jeff, that's a great story! Nothing quite wears a body out like a fire emergency😳😳😳 You painted quite a picture, with that pristine, cool running trout stream, it seemed such a perfect answer for the physical and emotional stress of the ordeal you had just been through. And then, the dead sheep!😂😂🤢🤢🤮🤮
Too many irons in the fire

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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2018, 10:44:58 PM »
Most slow starters just need the commutator sanded up and the carbon dust scraped out from between the slots.  The commutator is that copper keyboard that the brushes ride on.  If they load up with brush dust, the donkey will stop chasing the carrot on a stick tied to its back.  And light itself on fire sometimes.

My dozer bellypan filled a wheelbarrow.  Taking that down was scary.  
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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #26 on: April 24, 2018, 01:51:43 PM »
Finally took the time to tear into the skid steer to do a full damage assessment.   :(    As already mentioned, the solenoid is melted and the starter has had some serious heat damage.  I also found 3 seriously burned hydraulic hoses, and the battery cable to starter had most insulation melted off.    I am lucky that it didn't short out and start another fire or toast the battery.

I had to remove the radiator to get the burned hydraulic hoses disconnected and found the cooling fan was missing a blade, so that has to be replaced also.   And, while in there I will replace the alternator belt.   I also dropped both belly pans and removed 4 inches of greasy muck from under the engine and hydraulic components.

Total repair costs: 
      Starter/Solenoid       $142
      3 Hydraulic hoses     $275      
      5 ft Battery Cable      $27
      New hydraulic fluid    $80
      Radiator Fan            $127
      Alternator Belt          $16  
                                   ----------
                                    $667     smiley_cry

Considering that things could have been much worse I'm lucky that it didn't end up costing more or become a total loss.
       


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Offline DR_Buck

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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #27 on: May 04, 2018, 07:35:28 AM »
and the saga continues.

  I thought I had everything fixed.   Not so.  :(    Everything appears to work and the machine runs fine.  However, the battery does not charge.   Apparently the heat from the fire also toasted the alternator.    New one is on order.

On a side note, while troubleshooting the alternator problem I was hanging halfway upside down into the back of the skid steer and I heard a VERY LOUD pop  :o followed by a loud and long hissing sound.   Almost had to go change my shorts.  ::)        Several months ago I put a plug into one of the tires where a small tree stem poked through the tread.   I don't know how it got through but it did.     Anyway, for whatever reason that plug decided to let loose and blow out.  :o       This time I removed the tire from the rim and repaired it with an internal plug.    I've had real good luck with these in the past.   No way they can come out once installed.   

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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #28 on: May 04, 2018, 09:36:27 AM »
Nice, whered you find those piloted patch plug jobbies?  


Theres a good chance your alternator is okay and the wires arent.  You need voltage going to the field terminal in order to energize the field and kick it on.  Do you have a charge indicator dummy light?  Does it illuminate when you turn the key on engine off?  That bulb is part of the circuit, if its dead, no field voltage, no charge.  


If you run a jumper from the battery to the field terminal you should get magnetism on the back of the case around the center.  Just feel around with a wrench or whatever for a pull.  If magnetism, it works
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Offline DR_Buck

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Re: Smoked my Skid Steer
« Reply #29 on: May 05, 2018, 03:36:27 PM »
Nice, whered you find those piloted patch plug jobbies?  

Found them online.    The stems come in different diameters for different hole sizes.  These things work really great.  I've used them on other repairs and never had one fail to seal the leak permanently. You can find the company that makes them here ---  https://blackjacktirerepair.com/patch-plug-combi-units

Theres a good chance your alternator is okay and the wires arent.  You need voltage going to the field terminal in order to energize the field and kick it on.  Do you have a charge indicator dummy light?  Does it illuminate when you turn the key on engine off?  That bulb is part of the circuit, if its dead, no field voltage, no charge.

Wires are all OK.  Bulb does not come on at all but is good.   I have a "no load" battery voltage at the alternator on the field voltage wire.   If I ground it, the battery light comes on.   Therefor, the alternator has an electrical open internal to the field wire connection.    

If you run a jumper from the battery to the field terminal you should get magnetism on the back of the case around the center.  Just feel around with a wrench or whatever for a pull.  If magnetism, it works

No need to do this as other tests confirmed alternator is open.
#mike_belben  

Thanks for the recommendations.  However, as I detailed above the alternator is most likely no good.   Still waiting on the replacement.  It should be here by Wednesday this week.
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Skid Steer ?'s

Started by Norm on General Board

20 Replies
3795 Views
Last post August 09, 2009, 06:22:48 PM
by ladylake
 


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