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2K4Kcsq Reader
12/9/15 5:33 p.m.

If I remember it right, I do believe I took ownership of my Kristi KT-3 in the summer 0f 2008. . . or maybe it was 2009. . . pretty sad I have had it so long and done nothing to it that I cant even remember what year I bought it

The day I brought it home. . err, to a friends house (at that time because I hade so many project vehicles filling my driveway) everything ran and worked under its own power, just dismantled tracks. Sadly that was the last day it fired in any way and Im one of those people who harps on others for letting cars sit too long.
Anyhow, lack of individual project motivations aside I am finally in a position where I have the time and money to tackle this thing. Spent a bit of time today cleaning out the interior and engine bay, tomorrow I'm going to clean out the carb, dump the old fuel and see about firing up the original 1300 single port VW for the first time in years. I decided the best place to post/talk about it was the GRM forums and I know all of you have some good ideas on my first hurdle. . . the tracks.

as I said the tracks have been in pieces since I got it and that's the only real reason I couldn't take this thing out on the snow tomorrow. I have most of the parts needed including all of the guides, most of the wood needed for cleats,though I may go with aluminium angle, and plenty of conveyer belting. that however is where I have been scratching my head for a number of years. How do I cut the belting length wise, with what and how to keep it straight are my main questions. I think everything else will go pretty easy once I get the rubber cut to size and length needed. any thoughts on this would be appreciated as I have plenty of fabrication background but never working with rubber. I have cut this stuff with a box knife but given the passes and technique it took getting thru it I don't think that would be logical without a jig of some sort.

Here are a few pics since that's what we are all here to see

cmcgregor Reader
12/9/15 5:38 p.m.

I have nothing useful to contribute, but I just wanted to say, I am fully in support of this ridiculously awesome project.

What are you gonna do with it once you get it running?

12/9/15 6:23 p.m.

Bandsaw or table saw.

Or sandwich between some boards and a skill-saw.

Bit of reading suggest that a sharp utility knife and a edge guide is the way to go. Have someone pull the cut edge apart as you go and keep it wet.

Where does the Mod bit come in? LSx swap time? Any chance this thing is challenge priced and you are done the second it fires up?

alfadriver GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
12/9/15 6:48 p.m.

In reply to NOHOME: It's air cooled VW powered.

Which naturally suggests Porsche air cooled power. That would quickly quadruple the power.

physician New Reader
12/9/15 6:53 p.m.

In reply to alfadriver:

Or a subaru swap! I'm looking at this with interest. I like those things!

TRoglodyte SuperDork
12/9/15 7:00 p.m.

Most industrial supply houses do conveyor belts slit to width . Will even add holes and splices as specified. I have bought these for bucket elevators. Love the snowcat, new ski destination?

java230 Reader
12/9/15 7:05 p.m.

All I can say is I hate you!! I want a snowcat.... badly.

I cant wait to see this build

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/9/15 7:08 p.m.

This is the E36 M3.

ssswitch HalfDork
12/9/15 7:57 p.m.

What are the two huge levers in the middle for? I assume the two on the left are for controlling the treads. Service brakes?

I dig the sink faucets for heat, though.

Kenny_McCormic UltimaDork
12/9/15 8:01 p.m.

Never worked with conveyor belting so I can't hep ya there but don't forget to put a new belt on the engine. They don't live long if you lose the belt.

2K4Kcsq HalfDork
12/9/15 8:07 p.m.

Thank you all for the kind words and advice. These things are way cool, built right here in Colorado in the 50's and 60's. Mine is surprisingly original and in fair shape considering it's age. I had been talking about selling it "as is" but decided it would be a shame to get rid of it without ever driving it. And as most of us know things that go command a higher price than a pile of parts.

My plan has always been to use it for backcountry snowboarding. Done the snowmobile thing a number of times but often the sleds wear me out quicker than the riding. Plus with this my wife who doesn't ski or snowboard can still come enjoy the mountains with everyone. She is even pretty excited to drive this tank while we make pow laps
Other ideas I have had for this machine involve some sort of snow-tow business. Rescuing burnt up sleds, that sort of thing. As for the restomod part of the title, I don't want to get crazy since these vehicles are very rare and I think I have a pretty fine example. But I do plan on making improvements in the seating. May do a spray on bedliner inside, and even though it's beauty lies in the simplicity of it, I'm already thinking a megasquirt controlled dual port would only be a welcome improvement. All this will be decided in time as my immediate plans are few. 1. Build tracks. 2. take it out and drive it.

2K4Kcsq Reader
12/9/15 9:10 p.m.

In reply to ssswitch: the smaller 2 on the right are actually gear selection. The 2 large levers operate left and right track drives, then foot throttle, foot clutch. The 2 faucet knobs are hydraulic but I can't remember what they do. . . Not the Kristi patented ski-action because that's the small lever in the upper left. I just know they are the main source of all the hydraulic oil inside the cab and on the dash. It definitely has plenty of things to fix but it does all work. Just needs a clean carb, fresh gas and a charged battery.

In reply to alfadriver: Funny you mention the porche option, when ordered new they offered a Porsche industrial single port option for severe duty applications. Not an added option on mine but cool that they offered a performance engine package from the factory!

I will have a start, no start update tomorrow evening.

chandlerGTi UltraDork
12/10/15 6:29 a.m.

Wicked awesome!

alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/10/15 6:46 a.m.
2K4Kcsq wrote: In reply to alfadriver: Funny you mention the porche option, when ordered new they offered a Porsche industrial single port option for severe duty applications. Not an added option on mine but cool that they offered a performance engine package from the factory! I will have a start, no start update tomorrow evening.

So at least a 2.0l from a 914 would be an appropriate great swap!

2K4Kcsq Reader
12/10/15 9:21 a.m.

In reply to alfadriver: A type 4 would be awesome in there. . Would require a custom fan shroud but doable. I still think the best bang for my buck would be a torque monster 1776 or something around that size running ms. I really wanna make it fuel injected because the temps and elevation it will be used at. Even on a rough tune my megasquirted cars have always started and run better in the thin winter air and I don't even have an ISV of any kind. Once again I'm already ahead of myself. Tracks first. . . Then mods.

Until then here are some pics of it the last time it was really used by the previous owners. Borrowed pics from the Kristi website.

Love that national tractor pullers association bumper sticker. It's staying for sure!

java230 Reader
12/10/15 10:03 a.m.

I hate you. So cool. I have been looking at Imp's due to their size, but this looks even better. How hard is it to make/find parts??

Dusterbd13 UberDork
12/10/15 10:09 a.m.

Could this, with water cooling, be used as an overland build?

And following for pure awsomesauce.

2K4Kcsq Reader
12/10/15 10:14 a.m.

In reply to java230: your right on the size. One of the smallest, lightest cats around. Good and bad i suppose. Finding parts is tough because so few were made. I'm lucky having the kt-3 because it's the most common of all kristi's. But I don't think making stuff or modifying similar parts to fit will be hard. The suspension is very similar to old ski lift sheave trains. Engine is obviously no problem but the hydraulic system and transmission are where the unique parts are. I have never owned anything that has compelled so many people to knock on my door and ask about it. . . . usually ending with a sale inquiry because they own one and are always looking for things

2K4Kcsq Reader
12/10/15 10:18 a.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13: I don't think watercooling would be nessicary. Maybe in the Nevada summer. But they will go over land fine, just not very quick.

pinchvalve GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/10/15 10:42 a.m.

Assuming that the 4 large rubber wheels per side are purely for suspension, the 5th smaller wheel at the front is providing the drive force to the belt. This is usually a toothed "gear" that slots into notches in the outside of the belt or within the belt itself. This transfers power to the belt and helps to keep the belt aligned. The suspension wheels are usually slotted or doubled up, to provide a groove that aligns with a ridge in the inside of the belt to further keep the belt in place.

Not sure how you would replicate all of this without a make-specific belt, but I found this photo that shows a pretty standard belt with blocks secured inside and out. Seems like it might be a good approach.

They used a single center wheel with blocks on either side, then drove the belt from those same blocks. This one uses "posts" secured inside of the track for alignment, and friction to drive it. In snow, rubber on rubber friction drive may not be ideal!

And now that I have Googled "homemade tracked vehicle" my afternoon is shot.

2K4Kcsq Reader
12/10/15 7:59 p.m.

Those are some cool looking machines! You are correct about the suspension wheels vs. The drive cog. And no worries on the parts needed. I do still have all the metal track brackets that bolt to the inside and give the drive wheel something to grab while keeping the tracks inline with the tires. I've got a pretty good idea how it all goes together but I am waiting on the technical specs on what dimensions to cut the conveyer belting, hole spacing and how long everything will end up.

Today was a bit of a bust. I removed the solex, everything looked and worked pretty good so I just cleaned it out with carb cleaner and put it back on. Little bit of rust in the bowl but I got all the loose crap out.

Pumped out all the old gas.

The electric fuel pump still works so that was easy but the starter won't budge the engine. I'm guessing stuck rings. I would just put a breaker bar on the crank but it has a crazy bolt holding on the cog for the hydraulic pump.
I have no ideas on how to grab that thing at this time. Probly pull the spark plugs tomorrow and spray a little wd40 in there to start working on the rings. That's what I get for not turning it over so long

Kenny_McCormic UltimaDork
12/10/15 8:31 p.m.

That's not a crazy bolt, that's a crank starting nut. Should be flats for a socket on it.

Also, new fuel hose is never a bad idea.

TRoglodyte SuperDork
12/10/15 8:53 p.m.

If you have any rough guesstimate on track length or lagging put up some specs with pictures. Me and the belt guys talk often. I rode around in a Tucker snowcat making boiler plate in the northeast in the 70's Dragging around snow making guns. Have you talked to anyone at Thiokol?

chiodos HalfDork
12/10/15 9:55 p.m.

Use atf instead of wd40 to loosen the rings. Let sit a day or two and give it another go. Awesome machine I'm looking forward to your progress. The first time I was in Colorado I saw a snow cat (first time in the Rockies too) go dang near straight up a mountain and was amazed! Neat E36 M3.

2K4Kcsq Reader
12/11/15 8:43 a.m.

In reply to Kenny_McCormic: I will give it a shot but I just don't see any flats tucked up in there. maybe a better pic would be good.

In reply to TRoglodyte: I do have one short piece of rubber the previous owner saved for a comparison. . . I will have to dig it out and take a couple measurements. otherwise I will have to go off of pictures and count the number of cleats since there is one for every guide. never talked to anyone at Thiokol but I did work for the company who currently owns Prinoth. I have been looking close at the modern designs they use which is why I think aluminum angle will be better than hickory for cleats. cool you got to ride in a Tucker! those have always been my favorite cat, just way out of my price range. I saw a brand new cummins powered Tucker sitting in the Prinoth yard for a few days. . . thing was built like a monster truck! kinda made the prinoth machines look like dainty little things.

In reply to chiodos: good call on the atf. . . I like that better than anything I had in mind.

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