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Author Topic: Timber Harvester Chain Drive Upgrade  (Read 707 times)

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Offline tylerltr450

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Timber Harvester Chain Drive Upgrade
« on: December 12, 2018, 03:21:46 PM »
Everyone I wanted to post here since no one has posted about converting their Timber Harvester to a chain drive system from a cable. I am currently working on this project with the help of Brad_S.

First off I want to say that this isn't a complicated project it just takes a little bit of thinking before starting. What you need is

1 - 1in bore weldable hub with key-way
1- 16 tooth 50 chain sprocket
2 - idle sprockets 50 chain
3 - 10ft 50 chain
2 - 5/8 1.5in bolts
4 - 5/8 washers
2 - 5/8 nuts
1 - 7/16 3in bolt
2 - 7/16 washers
1 - 7/16 nut
1 - 3/16 1.5in wide flat steel
1 - med size hub puller

Once you pulled the sprocket you need to weld the hub and sprocket together. Then put the sprocket and the hub on the motor shaft and bolt it back together. Don't forget the set screws!

Since the cable drive timber harvester runs counter clockwise you have to mount the idler sprockets hight then the bottom of the motor sprocket to keep contact at all times.
I used the stock mounting point for the chassis bracket to keep the head on the mill. I then put 2 washers between the sprocket and the flat steel and it mounts up perfectly.






I then drilled a hole next to the mounting plate for the head hold down.









This is a image of the motor with the chain wrapped under it.




After I cut the chain to the length i wanted i attached it to the original eye bolts with cable and clamps. Please note this is temporary I am still working on on a solution for this.



When I tested it like this I figured out that I need to move the bolt back since I am unable to hit the stops on the mill. I was able to flip the mounting bracket to get me an inch closer. However it still isn't good enough.




What I plan to do next is drill a hole to mount a link in and mount it with the spring back on the mill and it should be good enough to get the job done.

Finally I had to flip the mounting plate for travel
I had to grind of the welds that hold the set screw ends on and beat the rod out of the holders. I did leave one side welded on for ease of assembly.





I was able to get it back together and see how much of a gap I have to deal with




Here is an above shot of the gap




I will need to find / make spacers and buy longer bolts for the hold down but for right now I am happy with it working and running.

Video Links





I know this is a very simple write up but in reality it didnt take me that long to do and I will be great to not have to fight with cables again. If you would like more info please PM me.
Timber Harvester 36HTD25 fully loaded
2006 Dodge 2500 first Auto to NV5600 swap, EFI Live Tune by me
John Deere Tractor

Offline tylerltr450

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Re: Timber Harvester Chain Drive Upgrade
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2018, 06:18:34 PM »
A video of the sawmill running on the chain drive.



longer video of cutting the whole log with the chain drive.
Timber Harvester 36HTD25 fully loaded
2006 Dodge 2500 first Auto to NV5600 swap, EFI Live Tune by me
John Deere Tractor

Offline Slim Johnson

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Re: Timber Harvester Chain Drive Upgrade
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2019, 10:38:00 PM »
Awesome upgrade!!  I have been considering how to do exactly this since I purchased one of these mills a few weeks ago. Nice to see someone has already done it.
If your gonna be Stupid...You better Be TUFF!!

Offline tylerltr450

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Re: Timber Harvester Chain Drive Upgrade
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2019, 08:01:34 AM »
Slim I have been using this upgrade and it love it the mill runs so much better than the cable drive. One thing I might consider doing is reversing the flow of hydraulics to the pump so I can then run the chain more like the standard way TH used. The issue is when the mill head is all the back  near the operator the eye bolt bent due to the way the chain rides up over the sprocket instead of under.

Also I would probably get a lighter chain 50 chain is very heavy and probably over kill for the application, I ordered 60 chain and I sent it back for a refund because that stuff is huge!

All in all the upgrade is very easy to do and I dont see why anyone with a little know how cant make it work.
Timber Harvester 36HTD25 fully loaded
2006 Dodge 2500 first Auto to NV5600 swap, EFI Live Tune by me
John Deere Tractor

Offline esteadle

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Re: Timber Harvester Chain Drive Upgrade
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2019, 08:17:15 PM »
> One thing I might consider doing is reversing the flow of hydraulics to the pump so I can then run the chain more like the standard way TH used. 

I was going to ask you if you had already tried that, or maybe ruled it out. Those hardlines will move, but I've knocked mine around a bit and they're getting bent, and I keep having to torque them down a more than I'm comfortable with to get them to stop dripping ;-)



> Also I would probably get a lighter chain 50 chain

I have the factory chain drive and it's 40 roller chain. 15 years in it's stretched all to heck, and I've snapped it a couple times and had to mend it with a link here and a link there, out in the field.

It will jump off when I'm touchy with the return. It can be a pain to re-string and get back to sawing, so if you can find a good way to disconnect and reconnect, or a quick tensioner... that would be better than the original.

Maybe a cam-lever / hinged thing, with a bolt that can be finely adjusted thru a couple inches of throw to give adjustment to the tension. Maybe secured with a single bolt... Kinda like vice-grips work maybe?

Could also just use 2 L brackets back to back and a long bolt between them. Weld one to the frame rail, and attach the other to the chain somehow. But that seems like it'll wear out over time. 
Timber Harvester 30HT26 (setworks, hydraulic) Stihl 880 (36" bar).

Offline Woodpecker52

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Re: Timber Harvester Chain Drive Upgrade
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2019, 11:20:11 PM »
That is cool a drive system run by hydraulic motor and the chain drive system is so much a better system than cable.  Nice engineering!
Woodmizer LT-15, Ross Pony #1 planner, Ford 2600 tractor, Stihl chainsaws, Kubota rtv900

Offline tylerltr450

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Re: Timber Harvester Chain Drive Upgrade
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2019, 08:11:58 AM »
> One thing I might consider doing is reversing the flow of hydraulics to the pump so I can then run the chain more like the standard way TH used.

I was going to ask you if you had already tried that, or maybe ruled it out. Those hardlines will move, but I've knocked mine around a bit and they're getting bent, and I keep having to torque them down a more than I'm comfortable with to get them to stop dripping ;-)



> Also I would probably get a lighter chain 50 chain

I have the factory chain drive and it's 40 roller chain. 15 years in it's stretched all to heck, and I've snapped it a couple times and had to mend it with a link here and a link there, out in the field.

It will jump off when I'm touchy with the return. It can be a pain to re-string and get back to sawing, so if you can find a good way to disconnect and reconnect, or a quick tensioner... that would be better than the original.

Maybe a cam-lever / hinged thing, with a bolt that can be finely adjusted thru a couple inches of throw to give adjustment to the tension. Maybe secured with a single bolt... Kinda like vice-grips work maybe?

Could also just use 2 L brackets back to back and a long bolt between them. Weld one to the frame rail, and attach the other to the chain somehow. But that seems like it'll wear out over time.
Esteadle,
The problem with the hard lines is that I didnt want to have to make new ones or worry about kinking the line, maybe in the future I will try to run new lines and getting a flaring tool, that is the reason I didn't worry about reversing the flow. I also did consider trying to reverse the field at the hydraulic valve but never got there yet.
for the system to get the tension on the chain I found  that what I have now works, the spring on the back end of the mill is still there but I have now added spacers for the bolt near the front and that is able to give me room to tighten the chain without breaking my ___. I found trying to pull 25ft of 50 chain isnt an easy task but with the bolt and spacers its doable by myself.
Timber Harvester 36HTD25 fully loaded
2006 Dodge 2500 first Auto to NV5600 swap, EFI Live Tune by me
John Deere Tractor

Offline tylerltr450

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Re: Timber Harvester Chain Drive Upgrade
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2019, 08:12:49 AM »
That is cool a drive system run by hydraulic motor and the chain drive system is so much a better system than cable.  Nice engineering!
Thanks brad S was a huge help, plus I like to try and achieve the impossible since TH said you cant add chain to a cable system.
Timber Harvester 36HTD25 fully loaded
2006 Dodge 2500 first Auto to NV5600 swap, EFI Live Tune by me
John Deere Tractor

Offline tylerltr450

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Re: Timber Harvester Chain Drive Upgrade
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2019, 08:28:34 AM »
Here is the system I have been using for a little bit and it works great but I need a better long to solution. Its just been to darn cold out to even want to go outside.

As you can see the eye bolt is bent now but it works.

<b

r>
 
Timber Harvester 36HTD25 fully loaded
2006 Dodge 2500 first Auto to NV5600 swap, EFI Live Tune by me
John Deere Tractor

Offline Tin Horse

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Re: Timber Harvester Chain Drive Upgrade
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2019, 12:16:59 PM »
I've been following this thread with interest and a few questions. The upgrade looks great and well done. My Enercraft has very much an identical system but is still cable. I assumed this cable looped on the hub was designed this way to allow slippage if the saw head hits something or even debris on the track. It does work well in that sense. However I've put a heavier cable on it and tensioned it up some. It does work but I often see slippage ( and wear) on the hub. Especially when going through heavier logs. The feed slows or occasionally stops. I can reach over and grab the cable, lift a bit and it goes.
I realize this is wearing excessively on the hub.
So is your upgrade for strictly this and or for the board drag back feature? What also happens if the head touches something on the track? Does the chain drive stop?
Great photos.
Bell 1000 Wood Processor. Enercraft 30HTL, Case 580SL. Kioti 7320.

Offline tylerltr450

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Re: Timber Harvester Chain Drive Upgrade
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2019, 12:22:34 PM »
I've been following this thread with interest and a few questions. The upgrade looks great and well done. My Enercraft has very much an identical system but is still cable. I assumed this cable looped on the hub was designed this way to allow slippage if the saw head hits something or even debris on the track. It does work well in that sense. However I've put a heavier cable on it and tensioned it up some. It does work but I often see slippage ( and wear) on the hub. Especially when going through heavier logs. The feed slows or occasionally stops. I can reach over and grab the cable, lift a bit and it goes.
I realize this is wearing excessively on the hub.
So is your upgrade for strictly this and or for the board drag back feature? What also happens if the head touches something on the track? Does the chain drive stop?
Great photos.
Tin Horse the hydraulic system once reaches the end of the track will stop moving forward because it reached/exceeded the torque rating of the system. So what happens is the the system will bypass some flow to avoid issues of the mill wanting to drive off the track. 
I was having the same issues as you with the cable and having to pull up on it to go anywhere and that is why I jumped and just pulled the trigger on the cable drive upgrade. Please note my mileage may vary since a Timber Harvester is a different mill with many different hydraulic components.
Timber Harvester 36HTD25 fully loaded
2006 Dodge 2500 first Auto to NV5600 swap, EFI Live Tune by me
John Deere Tractor

Offline Tin Horse

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Re: Timber Harvester Chain Drive Upgrade
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2019, 01:21:55 PM »
I've been following this thread with interest and a few questions. The upgrade looks great and well done. My Enercraft has very much an identical system but is still cable. I assumed this cable looped on the hub was designed this way to allow slippage if the saw head hits something or even debris on the track. It does work well in that sense. However I've put a heavier cable on it and tensioned it up some. It does work but I often see slippage ( and wear) on the hub. Especially when going through heavier logs. The feed slows or occasionally stops. I can reach over and grab the cable, lift a bit and it goes.
I realize this is wearing excessively on the hub.
So is your upgrade for strictly this and or for the board drag back feature? What also happens if the head touches something on the track? Does the chain drive stop?
Great photos.
Tin Horse the hydraulic system once reaches the end of the track will stop moving forward because it reached/exceeded the torque rating of the system. So what happens is the the system will bypass some flow to avoid issues of the mill wanting to drive off the track.
I was having the same issues as you with the cable and having to pull up on it to go anywhere and that is why I jumped and just pulled the trigger on the cable drive upgrade. Please note my mileage may vary since a Timber Harvester is a different mill with many different hydraulic components.
Thanks for the reply. So if the head moving forward hits say a 1/2" piece of bark on the track will it stop or bump over?
Thanks again; Mike.
Bell 1000 Wood Processor. Enercraft 30HTL, Case 580SL. Kioti 7320.

Offline Racerx94

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Re: Timber Harvester Chain Drive Upgrade
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2019, 07:50:37 PM »
Here is the system I have been using for a little bit and it works great but I need a better long to solution. Its just been to darn cold out to even want to go outside.

As you can see the eye bolt is bent now but it works.

<b

r>(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

Get a long 1/2 bolt cut the head off and drill a hole though it near the end and use a master link to connect the chain to the bolt. we use them to connect the drive chain to slide gates. May have to grind flats where you drill the hole for the master link to fit.

Offline tylerltr450

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Re: Timber Harvester Chain Drive Upgrade
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2019, 07:59:19 AM »
Racerx94 I know that is what I need to do however I just haven't had the chance to get a bolt and do all the work to it. the problem is I am still afraid the bolt will bend.

Tin I am not sure since my carriage has scrapers to clear the objects in front of the rollers.
Timber Harvester 36HTD25 fully loaded
2006 Dodge 2500 first Auto to NV5600 swap, EFI Live Tune by me
John Deere Tractor

Offline Remle

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Re: Timber Harvester Chain Drive Upgrade
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2019, 09:49:12 AM »
Looks good, but IMHO , it would be wiser to reverse the chain at the drive motor, eliminate the lt idler and lower the rt idler wheel run the chain over the top of the drive pulley. That will do two things, it will eliminate debris being drawn in under the drive, between the wheel and chain. It will also make the end connection straighter eliminating the bent connection if the idle gear is at the same level as the end point, put the tension adjusting bolt at the far end of the chain. Again, just my random thoughts.
PS: That's how a certain Orange machine does it..

Offline tylerltr450

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Re: Timber Harvester Chain Drive Upgrade
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2019, 10:24:24 AM »
Looks good, but IMHO , it would be wiser to reverse the chain at the drive motor, eliminate the lt idler and lower the rt idler wheel run the chain over the top of the drive pulley. That will do two things, it will eliminate debris being drawn in under the drive, between the wheel and chain. It will also make the end connection straighter eliminating the bent connection if the idle gear is at the same level as the end point, put the tension adjusting bolt at the far end of the chain. Again, just my random thoughts.
PS: That's how a certain Orange machine does it..


Remle  In order to reverse the chain i need to reverse the motor and hyrdo flow which is where I ran into the issue. The hard lines are bent in a way that I was afraid I would kink a line. I plan to switch the chain like how TH originally had it to keep everything level so I don't run into issues with bending the bolts on the end. TH has 2 tension adjustments which I plan to install back having the springs on both ends really helps with lurching and quality of the cut so nothing binds up.

I figured that the first try at this only took me 2 hours to switch from cable to chain so I cant complain, it helped me get the cut job done in a pinch.
Timber Harvester 36HTD25 fully loaded
2006 Dodge 2500 first Auto to NV5600 swap, EFI Live Tune by me
John Deere Tractor

Offline Racerx94

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Re: Timber Harvester Chain Drive Upgrade
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2019, 06:29:21 PM »
Racerx94 I know that is what I need to do however I just haven't had the chance to get a bolt and do all the work to it. the problem is I am still afraid the bolt will bend.

Tin I am not sure since my carriage has scrapers to clear the objects in front of the rollers.
Instead of the solid spacers use a heavy duty compression spring with washers and a lock nut, it will allow the bolt to pivot slightly.


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