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Author Topic: KT-3 SN 00145
KT-3 00145
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20070331 - First hands-on day.

The KT-3 has been home for a few days now, but this was the first time I had a chance to play. She started on the first crank and I unloaded it from the trailer. None of that ramp stuff, just drove it straight off the tilt. I remember backing into drifts and banks in AK to load/unload our Spryte and Imp. It was just easier and quicker.

Anyway, everyone who drove by had to stop, look, drive around the block, and look again. What, never seen a snowcat in the desert? After the show and tell, I could finally start digging into it.

First, clean out all of the spare parts, garbage, old tools, empty oil and hydraulic fluid bottles. Then, a little engine degreaser so I could figure out what's what and read a serial/model number or two. Finally, hose the thing down.

Lunch.


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Those who would sacrifice freedom for safety deserve neither.

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KT-3 00145
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20070331 - First hands-on day, part 2.

Alright, what works and what doesn't. Looking at the dash in the previous post from right to left and top to bottom, here is the scoop.

The original operating instruction placard. Readable, describes flluid types, starting procedures, general operating instructions. I like it.

Two toggle switches. The upper switch does nothing and doesn't feel like it throws correctly. I believe it is for the forward roof-mounted flood lights (next sentence tells how I made that guess). The lower switch turns on the rear roof-mounted flood light.

Two side-by-side valves. For pumping up the hydraulic system. It takes many, many, many turns to fully open and close them. Are these original and is this normal?

The instrument cluster. CW from top. Panel illuminator, works. White push-pull knob, windshield wiper, works but no rubber - screeeech! Fuel gauge, works. Starter button, works. Ignition switch, works but lots of clicking before starting (fuel pump, twirly yellow light on top?). Big toggle switch for hydraulic pump, works. Hobbs meter, not run enough yet to know if it works (650hrs shown). White push-pull knob marked 'UNITY', turns out it's not a New World Order plot, just the running lights, works. Finally, in the middle, a nonfunctioning tachometer. Fortunately, I just acquired a replacement.

Shift pattern plate, readable.

The famous ski-action lever, works.

Voltmeter, works.

Oil pressure gauge, works.

I guess I can get by without a generator idiot light since I have a voltmeter, but I think I want a temperature gauge/idiot light. Did these not come so equipped? Almost forgot, below the instrument cluster and between the shift levers there is a black knob labeled 'C' for choke I assume. Can't budge it.

Now the operating controls. The gas pedal is almost binary, but I guess I just need to get the feel for it. The clutch pedal is a bear. I won't be idling in gear with my foot trying to hold that down very long. The shift levers are very tight. When going from a nuetral position to any gear, several detents are felt along the way. I must ignore them and keep pushing! I'm sure that box is in need of a good cleaning and lubing. The brake lock lever doesn't stay out of the way very well. Need something to hold it up while I'm doing things like trying to load on the trailer.

The engine. It runs very nice. This cat originally came with engine SN 116259, but the one in it is simply marked 'H'. John Muirs VW book says it is a 1500cc engine, Woohoo! I was expecting a 1200. That might partially explain the heavy clutch. There are two batteries under the hood and an alternator under the same belt as the generator. I thought I had a dual electrical system. Nope, both batteries in parallel running off the alternator. There are no connection to the generator. Maybe the previous owner installed the alternator for more juice and simply bypassed the generator. Maybe the generator is dead. Dunno, but I will turn it into a dual system. The exhaust pipes are rusty from where they are attached to the muffler with bailing wire (not kidding) down to the engine. I can hear a small leak somewhere. The windshield is cracked and discolored under the mufflers. The carburetor has an electric choke and no air filter. I've seen several KT-3s on the web with no filter and a few with a hose coming from the hood scoop-intake thing. Usually those hoses are burned/broken, like mine that I found in the back seat. If the carburetor is to get it's air through this hose, where does the filter go? Other than that, nothing else significant to report under the hood. Lots of grime and shredded insulation (fiberglass, asbestos?) The wiring behind the instrument panel is a gnarly mess, but it won't be a problem for me.

The body. A hole in the lower body here or there, a panel or two of missing plexiglass in the windows, a door that won't latch, typical rust-red color mottled with a dab of touched up paint. Some of the lower body damaged was caused by the drive clamshells rotating into it. I have been shown a way of limiting their travel to prevent this in the future. The upper body is in very good shape.

The interior. Not exactly fine corinthian leather. Carpet has been laid fore and aft, not sure if it was laid to soak up oil on the floor or to catch oil that fell later. Either way, it is quite grimy, but the wood underneath looks fair (not soft, saturated, rotted, discolored, etc). The plastic seat covers in the rear are brittle and cracking. The left bench seat is no longer secured to the wall. The front bench seat is in better shape. There are a few exposed wires and hoses that I will want to hide a little better, especially the fuel line and what is either the wire to the sender or to the fuel pump that lies next to the drivers left foot.

Tracks. The drive clamshells have obiously leaked at some point. They may have no oil in them now. Will have to check that before taking her out. The track rubber looks good. One idler is shot, but still holding air. Five more have varying amounts of dry rot, and a couple are brand-spankin new. I also have one new tire and two new tubes from the previous owner. The cleats and guides all look original. I also have a supply of OLD spare track parts and some new home made cleats. Someone has replaced many of the bolts with extra long ones and not bothered to trim them down. Better ice performance or laziness? The drive gogs appear to have been remade. Someone who knows what these are suppose to look like will have to let me know. I believe that through the semi-translucent teeth I can see darker worn teeth, but maybe thats just the way these things are made. I dunno.

Alright, for those who haven't drifted off reading this rediculously long and simplistic first-look at my KT-3, that's all for now. I promise not to do it again, just wanted everyone to see what I am starting with and it helps me figure out where I'm going.

Any comments about anything stupid I may have said or done will be appreciated. No, really. I'm not going to learn unless you point out my mistakes.

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Those who would sacrifice freedom for safety deserve neither.

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caroth
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The hydraulic valves appear to be original. Most you see on Kristis look just like yours with both of them weeping fluid. They do take many turns to go from full open to full close.

There should have been an engine temp idiot light on the dash; I don't think any of the Kristis had an engine temp gauge. An engine temp gauge is something to add.

I have yet to see an intake hose with air cleaner on a Kristi. I believe the original Kristis did not have an air cleaner, just a tube coming from the cooling shroud. Pulling super cold air from the cooling shroud would freeze up the carb, so most folks went to a traditional air cleaner.

The drive cogs are original KT-2 and KT-3 cogs with typical wear. It was originally thought that the KT-3 got a different cog, but that is not true. In 1966 Messenger designed a new cog that had side support on each side of the cog. This cog found its place on many of the refurbished Kristis and is one easy way to tell if a Kristi was refurbished by Kristi or Panda vehicles.

For ultimate side hill traction, you will want to go back to a 4 belt design on the tracks. The outside belts should be loose to offset the compaction of the snow.

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caroth
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I forgot to mention information about the exhaust. Be sure and go over the exhaust system very carefully. Your videos indicate exhaust leaks before the mufflers. The original Kristi exhaust is known to crack down in the engine compartment. Those cracks will allow Carbon Monoxide to enter into the cabin. Rebuilding the exhaust is all but manditory on the Kristis.

Something to think about when rebuilding the exhaust is adding small flex bellows to each pipe to allow for expansion of the exhaust pipes.

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http://huntvac.com/series.asp?series=65xx

Also take a look at the last picture on Byron Miller's KT-3. The exhaust system on his Kristi is quite different than the original Kristi design. Byron's Kristi has a 4-to-1 merge pipe just below the hood.

http://www.kristisnowcat.com/registry/KT3/00125/index.asp

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KT-3 00145
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The manual says that the hydraulic system runs off of an engine driven pump. It looks like I have an electric hydraulic pump. The engine is actually a 1500cc. Could it be that the original pump could not be adapted to the new engine?

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Those who would sacrifice freedom for safety deserve neither.

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caroth
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Hi Bob,

That does not look like the original pump. The pump in your picture appears to be connected to an automotive starter, is that the case?

Chris

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KT-3 00145
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It is not connected in any way to the starter. It is mounted beside and transverse to the VW engine starter, along the left side (driver side) of the intake scoop in the very front of the engine compartment.

What looks like a starter solenoid or relay (left-center of picture) mounted on the motor is probably an electric motor starter capacitor.

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caroth
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Hi Bob,

The case for the electric motor looks a lot like a starter case.

Here are some pictures of the original belt driven hydraulic pump.

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KT-3 00145
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Yes it does look like a starter, of course they are both just electric motors. It may even be that the hydraulic pump was built from a starter motor core.

I do not have the original belt driven unit. There is an empty space in that area of the engine compartment.

I guess the plus side is that in my configuration there will not be the constant drag on the engine and on the minus side the battery will be heavily loaded while the pump is running.

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caroth
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The electric hydraulic pump would explain the need for that huge alternator. Does the hydraulic pump run all the time, or do you have a switch somewhere to turn it on?

Chris

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KT-3 00145
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It's the switch just to the left of the ignition key switch. Makes a scary whirring sound when it's running. Previous owner says he's blown hydraulic lines by leaving it on too long. Could be his lines were worn/old or maybe the pump is overpowering the system. Heading home tomorrow and will try to find a model number or rating info on it.

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Those who would sacrifice freedom for safety deserve neither.

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KT-3 00145
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Here is what I might do with the electrical system to make sure the electric hydraulic pump doesn't eat my batteries and leave me stranded...

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caroth
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Bob,

Do you have the mounting bracket for the original hydraulic pump? The pump should not be a problem to locate, but the bracket might be hard to find.

The original pump is an Eastern Pump Model 104-32. Does your engine have the pump drive sprocket on the crank?

Dual batteries with a good isolator is a great idea. I would cousider upgrading the stock generator to an alternator.

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KT-3 00145
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No mounting bracket, but could make one if I knew what it was suppose to look like. Currently have the stock generator AND an alternator installed. Generator not hooked up so may not work. Will fix if needed. Is this the sprocket in question?
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Those who would sacrifice freedom for safety deserve neither.

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caroth
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I will try to find a bracket and pump, but it won't be for a few weeks. The cog on the crank is correct, so that is good news.
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