550J Track Tension Adjuster Seals Replacement

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jimt1000
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550J Track Tension Adjuster Seals Replacement

Post by jimt1000 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:47 am

I've got a 550J and the track on one side loosens during the day under normal use more than the other side. The crawler was used when I bought it several years ago and after talking to the local JD dealership, it's looking like the two seals on each tension adjuster needs to be replaced. I've got the JD parts in hand and am ready to take on the job, I think...

My question is this: To replace the tension adjuster seals, do I need to split the track? There are lots of postings on this Messageboard which state, matter-of-factly, that in order to replace the seals, you first split the track and then move the idler and bolted-on adjuster yoke forward on the chain off the adjuster piston. My local JD dealership informed me that in order to replace the seals, all I needed to do was remove the grease nipple, move the machine forward on a 4x4 block to push the idler back thereby pushing the grease out of the yoke, and then just unbolt the yoke from the idler. This explanation, I feel, is lacking some serious details, but I wasn't informed enough to challenge the dealership with more questions at the time. After research online, I found on another forum website that, emphatically, you do NOT have to split the track to get the yoke removed and that, "... To pull the adjuster - all that needs to be done is - chain the front idler so it can't slide back, unbolt the adjuster cylinder from the front idler wheel (four bolts), and lift up, forward about 2", and out." This explanation is also a bit lacking in detail. Don't I need to "squeeze" the grease out of the adjuster first? What's the best way to do that? Do I then need to chain the idler and pull it forward, say, with the front blade? I'm missing the steps here.

So, any help and advice is appreciated. I really don't want to split the track. In fact, I probably won't and have to get the machine hauled, at some point, to a shop to perform that. If I can replace the seals without too much trouble as some other forums have stated, then I'm going to give it a try.

Thanks for the help.

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jsal
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Re: 550J Track Tension Adjuster Seals Replacement

Post by jsal » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:05 am

remove grease fitting wedge a block on sprocket rotate in reverse to move idler back then unbolt adjuster pull idler ahead and adjuster can be removed

JIM S

jimt1000
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Re: 550J Track Tension Adjuster Seals Replacement

Post by jimt1000 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:14 am

Jim S, thanks for the reply. Let’s see if I have this right with these steps and my understanding of the actions:

1. Remove grease fitting.
2. Wedge a wood block in the sprocket and back up slowly. This puts upward force on the track and thereby pulls the idler backwards causing grease to be expelled from the yoke.
3. Pull the idler forward by connecting a chain to the idler and using the blade angle hydraulics to pull forward the idler (???).
4. Unbolt the yoke and remove. Replace seals and reinstall the yoke.
5. Unchain the idler and put grease back in the yoke to properly tension the track.

Is this correct? Also, I’m not clear on how to put a chain attached to the idler if that is indeed what is needed to “pull the idler ahead.” Or is there another way to pull the idler forward?

Your input is most appreciated.

Regards, jft

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jsal
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Location: armada Michigan

Re: 550J Track Tension Adjuster Seals Replacement

Post by jsal » Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:04 pm

sounds right another way is to push idler out if you have a porta power brace back to support roller bracket that works better

JIM S

jimt1000
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Re: 550J Track Tension Adjuster Seals Replacement

Post by jimt1000 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:50 pm

Got it... Many thanks. I'll give it a try.

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