Repairing a final drive is a complicated and time-consuming process. However, the final drive motor is what powers the tracks on your excavator – and without the final drive to turn the tracks, you may as well not even have an excavator. Since the final drive motor is what keeps an excavator going it’s important to spot the signs that the final drive motor needs to be replaced.
If you’re confident in your mechanical skills and have been working around excavators for a while, you may still want to try your hand at a money-saving repair. The better choice is usually a replacement, but if you’re still confident in your skills and want to know if the part is salvageable, here are three things to look for that may help you decide whether or not a replacement is in fact the better option.
1. Oil is Leaking From the Gearbox and Cover Plate
Never a good sign, leaking oil is usually caused by one of two things: a distorted cover or a build-up of pressure inside the gearbox. The former is fixable with a little metal working finesse, but the latter is more dangerous and can lead to the gearbox being literally torn apart if too much pressure accumulates. If it’s not obviously the cover causing oil to leak, a call to the service center and an immediate part replacement is recommended.
2. Difficulty Traversing Rough Terrain
Since this is one of the core functions of an excavator, it’s important to order a replacement part as soon as possible if the excavator experiences difficulty moving across rough terrain.
The only potentially salvageable cause, for difficulty traversing rough terrain, is that the motor is experiencing a lack of hydraulic pressure. Check the hydraulic pressure and look for leaks. There’s a chance that some worn-out parts might be causing the issue, and if not, a call to the service center is in order.
A worn-out travel motor and a worn-out gearbox are the other main culprits that could cause this issue to happen. Either one will require the final drive motor to be replaced, unfortunately.
3. The Main Bearing Has Failed
If your excavator is vibrating and making more noise than usual, or the gearbox is regularly overheating, that is a pretty good indicator that it’s about to fail. When the main bearings fail, the final drive’s life has come to an end.
Articles can provide you with some guidelines and handy tips for extending the lifespan of your final drive motor. Just keep in mind that even though proper maintenance will extend the life of a final drive, it will inevitably get worn out over time and need replacement.
On a final note, since both of the final drives in an excavator do the same amount of work, it’s common for them to fail at roughly the same time — another important fact to consider when choosing whether to repair or replace a final drive motor. To ensure your excavator remains in pristine condition, you should pay close attention to the final drive motors.