Should I Rebuild a Final Drive?
If you're reading this article, you may have had something similar to the following happen to you in the past few days:
You were working on your track machine when you noticed a power drop in the performance. You got down to see what was going on and noticed gobs of oil spewing from your final drive. The next word likely began with an "S" or an "F". Let the headache begin.
After diagnosing the problem, you discovered what virtually everyone in the same situation realizes, your drive failed and some internal parts were probably damaged. You know this is going to cost you time and certainly a lot of money - but how much?
Can you get your final drive rebuilt and save money or should you bite the bullet and invest in a new one? Here is what we know at ConEquip Parts having helped hundreds of customers facing the exact same situation.
Fixing a final drive is possible, but is often time consuming and in the end, not always cost effective. But don’t take our word for it.
"It can be possible (to fix a drive) depending on the reason for failure. However, parts can be expensive and once labor and downtime is factored in, it's usually more cost effective to just buy a new one," says Richard Huskinson a final drive technician based in Europe.
A seal alone can cost well over $1000. And while that is still thousands less than getting a final drive other factors have to be taken into account.
Once you get the smaller components like a seal to fix the drive, there is no guarantee those parts were the problem to begin with or that they’ll even perform like the original parts.
Making matters even more uncertain, once you have completed your own final drive rebuild, if the unit fails again there is, of course, no warranty.
Final drives are truly an engineering wonder. These small components that fit in your hand are able to withstand thousands of pounds of pressure to move a huge, heavy machine for hours.
"The idea of a final drive is simple; oil pushes a rotary group round which turns a shaft that powers a gearbox. The engineering behind it ensures that you get a drive capable of moving that machine with a minimum amount of oil flow and enough torque to push something 100 times its size up a hill," says Huskinson.