Bobcat 325 mini-excavators are rubber-tracked hoes. The rubber tracks require regular maintenance and replacement. Fortunately, replacing the rubber track on a Bobcat 325 is simple. While it may require a piece of heavy equipment, the actual principal is not complex. While simple, removing a track is easiest when managed with a partner. At most, replacing the track requires two hand-tools or one hand-tool and a lifting machine. An operator can switch-out the tracks on a Bobcat mini-excavator in less than 30 minutes.
Things You'll Need
- Socket set
- Wooden block
- Grease gun
- Rock bar or fork lift
Mount the 325 and start it. Turn the ignition switch located on the right side of the cab, on the console, next to the control stick. Raise the tracks of the excavator off the ground using the blade and the hoe. First, rotate the front of the cab of the excavator -- the bucket moves in conjunction with the cab -- to the opposite side of the machine, in relation to the blade. Do so using the left joystick.
Place the bucket of the hoe on the ground by pushing forward on the right joystick. Place the blade on the ground by pushing forward on the blade-control lever located on the right side of the cab behind the joystick. Raise the tracks 6 inches off the ground by pushing off the ground simultaneously with the bucket and the blade.
Turn off and dismount the track-hoe. Loosen the tension on the track by partially unscrewing the grease valve located in the track undercarriage behind the valve cover. First, unbolt the cover with a socket set, remove it, then turn the grease valve three complete turns with a socket wrench. It is not necessary to remove the grease valve completely.
Wedge a block of wood between the sprocket and the track at the point where they come together above the undercarriage. Mount the excavator and advance the track forward with the corresponding foot pedal. As the block rotates around the sprocket, wedged between the sprocket and track, it releases the tension on the track created by the grease in the idler reservoir.
Remove the track. The sprocket fits into the tooth holes in the rail of the track and the divots in the track wheel provide seating for the tracks rail. Lift the track off the track wheel and sprocket with a rock bar or fork lift.
Place the new or repaired track on the track sprocket and wheel, around the undercarriage. Using a rock bar or fork lift, align the sprocket teeth and wheel divots with the track's rails. Once the sprocket is between the rail and the rail is are inside the rails, tighten the grease valve. Fill the grease reservoir using the grease gun by placing the gun's nozzle on the reservoir's nipple. Fill the reservoir until the idler tensions the track to the proper amount. The amount is sufficient when the bottom of the track rests 1 to 3 inches below the lower, middle roller.
Start the excavator. Advance the track forward. Make certain the track does not wobble or jump. If it does, recheck the track's alignment on the sprocket and wheel and the tension on the idler. Lower the excavator by lifting the bucket and blade using the two joysticks.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images