Adjusting clutches on a Bobcat M-600 (or 610)

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Hondaman900

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Sep 15, 2006
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So I took a look at the clutch adjustments on my old M-600 over the weekend, and need some advice. Finally got to use the special wrench that took months to come in.
I tightened the castle nuts a tad, just to the next slot for the pin, and it took most of the travel/slack out of the control levers. If anything it may be a little too sensitive now, but that may be because the levers tend to snatch a bit, especially in reverse. I was hoping to be able to adjust out the “snatching” nature, especially in the right-hand reverse control but adjusting the clutch didn't seem to remedy this. If I pull it back it will snatch and I have to push it forward to disengage, and it sort of pops out and back to neutral.
Also, should I see the shaft move when I pull on the levers? On the left-hand forward, I can see the shaft move in slightly as the clutch engages, but the other shafts don't appear to move (though they must as the clutches do engage. And, do the castle nuts need to be tight, as some are still finger-loose, even after adjusting. The pin obviously prevents turning.
Thanks - all help much appreciated.
 

skibum

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Oct 4, 2007
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Hondaman, Did you ever get your steering clutches adjusted properly? I had a problem with the steering clutch smoking on an old 610 and I tightened the offending clutch nut two holes. I am wondering if I went too far. How do you determine when the adjustment is correct? It stopped smoking but I wonder if it was more of an oil delivery problem. Gregg
 

jerry

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May 3, 2007
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Hondaman did you get a book for the machine? If I remember right there should be about 3 inches travel between neutral and engaged on the clutches measured at the top end of the control lever both forward and reverse. They are cam operated clutches and have roller thrust bearings in them by the cam. I had trouble with one sticking in engaged and it was caused by a bearing that was bad. If it is sticking maybe take the side cover off and check. Run a magnet through the bottom of the chain case and see if there are bearing rollers down there. New bearings are not real expensive but the cam is.
 

Hondaman900

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Sep 15, 2006
Messages
45
Hondaman did you get a book for the machine? If I remember right there should be about 3 inches travel between neutral and engaged on the clutches measured at the top end of the control lever both forward and reverse. They are cam operated clutches and have roller thrust bearings in them by the cam. I had trouble with one sticking in engaged and it was caused by a bearing that was bad. If it is sticking maybe take the side cover off and check. Run a magnet through the bottom of the chain case and see if there are bearing rollers down there. New bearings are not real expensive but the cam is.
Yes I do have an operator's manual, and it does describe the clutch adjustment. It says adjust so that there's 3“-4” of play either side of vertical in the stick before it engages. I was hoping the adjustment would take the sticking out of the operation, but it didn't really.
Do I have to drain the oil to take off the side panels? Looking for a bad bearing/cam sounds like a good idea and a likely culprit for this issue.
I would think that smoking clutches would indicate slippage and therefore a need to adjust them in so that they filly engage.
 

skibum

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Oct 4, 2007
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Yes I do have an operator's manual, and it does describe the clutch adjustment. It says adjust so that there's 3“-4” of play either side of vertical in the stick before it engages. I was hoping the adjustment would take the sticking out of the operation, but it didn't really.
Do I have to drain the oil to take off the side panels? Looking for a bad bearing/cam sounds like a good idea and a likely culprit for this issue.
I would think that smoking clutches would indicate slippage and therefore a need to adjust them in so that they filly engage.
Yeah, the smoking had me puzzled. It only smoked in the neutral, center position. That might indicate that they weren't releasing all the way....or not enough oil flow to keep them cool. I'm gonna order some manuals on-line. I checked the local Bobcat dealer and they were way more expensive than what I found on the web.
 

Hondaman900

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Sep 15, 2006
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45
Yeah, the smoking had me puzzled. It only smoked in the neutral, center position. That might indicate that they weren't releasing all the way....or not enough oil flow to keep them cool. I'm gonna order some manuals on-line. I checked the local Bobcat dealer and they were way more expensive than what I found on the web.
I got my operator's manual for $15 from my Bobcat dealer, and same was $30 on eBay. Same for the maintenance manual - cheaper from the dealer. Most of the online manuals are scanned copies of the real thing in PDF on CD-ROM. I've had those for other vehicles and have found them difficult to use and navigate through, and almost impossibole to use on my laptop out by the vehicle in daylight. My original paper copy works much better.
There's an inspection hole to check your fluid level (make sure that you're on level ground). That's the easiest way to determine if you have enough fluid. If you can't identify it, let me know and I'll scan that page of the ops manual for you.
Stephen
 

skibum

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Oct 4, 2007
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I got my operator's manual for $15 from my Bobcat dealer, and same was $30 on eBay. Same for the maintenance manual - cheaper from the dealer. Most of the online manuals are scanned copies of the real thing in PDF on CD-ROM. I've had those for other vehicles and have found them difficult to use and navigate through, and almost impossibole to use on my laptop out by the vehicle in daylight. My original paper copy works much better.
There's an inspection hole to check your fluid level (make sure that you're on level ground). That's the easiest way to determine if you have enough fluid. If you can't identify it, let me know and I'll scan that page of the ops manual for you.
Stephen
Thanks Hondaman! I spoke to the guy who was the previous caretaker of these machines and he had a service manual, the "special" wrench for adjusting the clutches and three spare clutch discs. He gave all of it to me. I should be all set. I checked the manual and it's for several models. The 600, the 610, and the diesel versions. It's a 1980 revision and recommends 10-30 motor oil for the hydraulic fluid? I spoke to the previous caretaker and he said he always used hydraulic fluid, not ATF or motor oil.
 

Hondaman900

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Sep 15, 2006
Messages
45
Thanks Hondaman! I spoke to the guy who was the previous caretaker of these machines and he had a service manual, the "special" wrench for adjusting the clutches and three spare clutch discs. He gave all of it to me. I should be all set. I checked the manual and it's for several models. The 600, the 610, and the diesel versions. It's a 1980 revision and recommends 10-30 motor oil for the hydraulic fluid? I spoke to the previous caretaker and he said he always used hydraulic fluid, not ATF or motor oil.
Yup. Got me one of dem thar wrenches. Had to wait almost 2 months for my dealer to get mine in. Apparently the manufacturer only makes them in batches, and I had to wait until the number of orders grew to their minimum manufacturing quantity.
Re. the fluid, my local Bobcat dealer (and they are a large outfit) say they use 10/30 motor oil for this series. When I asked them whether I should use motor oil as they recommend, hydraulic fluid as it seems to currently have in it, or auto tranny fluid as recommended by the operator's manual, they said it doesn't mater. Apparently they all function equally exept in extreme conditions. They also stated that for a 40-year-old vehicle like mine, chances are that it's had all of the above fluids in there at one time or another and the end result is a blend of fluids anyway. They use motor oil for costs and multiple uses reasons. My fuid is quite clean, but around here, hydro fluid seems to be the less expensive option and that's what I'll use when I have to change it out.
When you get a chance, post pics of your rig.
 

m610

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Apr 1, 2006
Messages
173
Yup. Got me one of dem thar wrenches. Had to wait almost 2 months for my dealer to get mine in. Apparently the manufacturer only makes them in batches, and I had to wait until the number of orders grew to their minimum manufacturing quantity.
Re. the fluid, my local Bobcat dealer (and they are a large outfit) say they use 10/30 motor oil for this series. When I asked them whether I should use motor oil as they recommend, hydraulic fluid as it seems to currently have in it, or auto tranny fluid as recommended by the operator's manual, they said it doesn't mater. Apparently they all function equally exept in extreme conditions. They also stated that for a 40-year-old vehicle like mine, chances are that it's had all of the above fluids in there at one time or another and the end result is a blend of fluids anyway. They use motor oil for costs and multiple uses reasons. My fuid is quite clean, but around here, hydro fluid seems to be the less expensive option and that's what I'll use when I have to change it out.
When you get a chance, post pics of your rig.
I am disassembling my machine for it's 10 year reconditioning. Have never seen smoke come from the clutch assemblies, but I do have the sticking right lever. Seems like corrosion got to the shaft, and made it rough to move smoothly. All Bobcats seemed to use hydraulic fluid but my Mustang 1700 uses transmission fluid.
 

skibum

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Oct 4, 2007
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4
I am disassembling my machine for it's 10 year reconditioning. Have never seen smoke come from the clutch assemblies, but I do have the sticking right lever. Seems like corrosion got to the shaft, and made it rough to move smoothly. All Bobcats seemed to use hydraulic fluid but my Mustang 1700 uses transmission fluid.
I'll probably shop around and see what I can get the best deal on for fluid. I can probably get Exxon Hydrul 560 through work but I think it's about $6 a gallon. I can get motor oil for less than that. I'll take some pics of the dueling beasts next time I fire them up. They're sleeping under tarps right now. They're not much top look at but they sure can tear up the backyard!
 
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