Posts Tagged ‘International TD24’

TD24 Restoration – Completed

January 7, 2013

TD24 1The International TD24 restoration is now complete, save for the headlights which will be added in a few weeks time. Those of you who have been following this blog will remember that we have had a tormenting time repairing and manufacturing unavailable parts. The tractor was in a far worse condition than was expected. As you all know we bought the tractor from Sauk Centre MN, USA just over a year ago and we have worked on it nearly every day in some form or other (like lots of hours on the internet searching for parts etc.) It has been a labour of love and we’d like to think it shows, but it is doubtful we would ever take on another big tractor. John’s next birthday will be three score years and ten and he doesn’t relish chucking heavy parts around any more! So now is maybe the time to sit back and enjoy the collection, attending a few shows and working events. Following the pre-paint trials in August, we are now ready to go for the working weekend at Farnsfield on 28th and 29th December in aid of the local Air Ambulance.

TD24 We are privileged to have found this relatively rare tractor (series 241 195hp) for restoration and possess the facilities to rebuild it for its rightful role in preservation. We are always pleased to show its capabilities and demonstrate it’s ground-breaking design. Unfortunately the early TD24s fitted with bull-dozing attachments were less than reliable due to lack research and thorough testing. The TD24 was superseded by the TD25 which was much more acceptable and reliable, but by which time International’s respectable reputation was damaged beyond repair. The demise of the company followed within a few years.

International Harvester announced its revolutionary TD-24 crawler tractor in 1947. It weighed about 20 tons (with dozer blade) and was powered by a new 180hp 1091cubic inch (nearly 19 litres) 6-cylinder diesel. This new heavyweight of the earthmoving industry made headlines across the construction press as the world’s largest crawler tractor, clipping the title from the previous largest, the 163-hp Allis-Chalmers HD-19 (2 Tons heavier and 32 more horsepower than Caterpillar’s D8). The TD-24 soon earned an outstanding reputation as a heavy-duty bulldozer, and a perfect prime mover for pulling the largest scrapers.

The TD-24 was often teamed with Bucyrus-Erie’s largest scraper, the B-250. Bucyrus-Erie (now Bucyrus International) designed and built a line of tractor equipment for International tractors including dozer blades, rippers, winches and scrapers. Painted bright International red, the TD-24 scraper outfits made formidable earthmoving units and could be found in large fleets on many of the biggest earthmoving jobs of the 1950s. They became affectionately known as the “Big Red Teams.” The lion’s share of dozer work on the Alcan Power Project near Kitimat, British Columbia, was performed by International TD-24s working in some of the toughest conditions imaginable. Sponsored by the Aluminum Co. of Canada, this project was at that time the largest ever undertaken by private industry.

Now dwarfed by today’s monster crawlers, the TD-24 remained a leader for many years. The transmission and steering design was unique. The main transmission was a 4-speed syncromesh (for on-the-go shifting) and it had a separate forward and reverse unit for fast cycling in dozer work. There were also power-shifted 2-speed planetary gears in each track that made up the Planet Power Steering system. These planetary gears were controlled by the steering levers. Combining the high and low range of the planetary gears with the main transmission provided a total of 8 forward (and 8 reverse) speeds. Putting one track in high range and one in low caused a gentle turn with power to both tracks. For sharper turns the pivot brakes disconnected the inside track, as with a normal crawler. The TD-24 continued in production until 1959, by which time engine power had increased to 203 flywheel horsepower.

International TD24

International TD24

TD24

International TD24 Restoration Continues

August 2, 2012

The restoration of our International TD24 is coming along nicely. Having said that we have just found unexpected wear to the left final drive assembly – it has now been fixed. The front idler yoke on this side is getting the same treatment as the other side by cutting the slides and clamps off and welding new ones on. We expect to have track frame and tracks back on by the end of next week. Our work will then concentrate on minor repairs and cosmetics ready for blast cleaning and paint. All-in-all, it has been a challenging yet rewarding project. Hopefully the hard labour and financial cost will have been worth it.

This image shows just how difficult it was to remove the cap on the track frame pivot – we had to weld on nuts for larger extractor cap screws.

Bob Parkinson has undertaken a major repair to the top of the track frame.  A previous repairer decided to hack a couple of inches out of the strengthening brace and the track frame had taken on a twist which was one the reasons we couldn’t take out the front idler fork in one piece.

The last of the sheared off studs have been drilled and tapped out to take new over-size ones.

That’s all for now, but we will keep posting updates as the work progresses.

International TD24 Update

July 10, 2012

An update on the International TD24 restoration project.

Final drive assembled with new sprocket drive carrier and new sprocket, bearings and seals fitted. We waited a long time to discover the whereabouts of these (in USA) and the shipping costs were nearly as much as the parts! Unfortunately the rarity and the fact spares have long been obsolete is a stalling factor with this restoration. With scrap prices being extraordinarily high and demand for TD24 used parts being extremely low, all my contacts in the States have reluctantly let them go to make Chinese razor blades!

At last, we have found some serviceable track chains! These were discovered on the east coast of Italy, they might look a bit rough but the wear is minimal and will suffice for demonstration work.

Having removed the sump to investigate oil loss at the seal, we found that someone has not replaced the cotter pins on the big-end and main bearing cap nuts and we found that the leak was due to replacing the sump without a gasket.

The damage to both front idler shafts and bearings was so bad we decided to cheat a little and replace with home-made shaft and bushings.

Assembly now finished and ready to fit.

The idler yokes were also badly damaged and this image shows how we fabricated new ends to carry the shafts.

International TD24 Progress

April 19, 2012

The International TD24 is making slow progress, but new final drive parts have been discovered in America. We are now starting to see the end of our desperate search for otherwise obsolete components. Track chains have been located in Italy but we are still awaiting prices – it may well be that we shall fit new pins and bushes to the existing track chains, located in Canada. The new front is to be manufactured in this country and will be ready in a week or two. All-in-all it has been a challenging project and several budgets have been fixed but all have been ‘blown to smithereens’! As it is such a rare tractor we are hoping that it will be all worthwhile. I doubt the tractor will be sufficiently finished for painting this year, but we do hope to have it operational for the Gamston ‘working weekend’ in August (bank hols).

International TD24