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Ransomes Sand Skimming Tractor

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Thought I better start my own thread regarding the Skimmer.

 

Skimmer SN is 15200 which makes manufacture around about 1965, traced reg number through DVLA hasent revealed much.

 

Main aim is to get it mechanically operational, needs some new steel welding in, mainly sheet metal parts on the top frame where seat is, and engine changed to original Ransomes 600cc.

 

Good thing is it is all there, front auger and conveyor drive roller is free.

 

Its not done much since it was retired as still full of sand, needs a good power wash to flush it all out of engine bay.

 

First job is to free tracks up, get engine off and free up the controls and gear lever. I will get cracking next week but progress is likely to be slow as its being stored 25 miles away while I get the new workshop up.image.jpegimage.jpeg

 

 

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wow what an awsome but brave project.....iv never even heard of a sand skimmer....drop me a pm if you need any of the tin work fabricating...

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Interesting bit of kit!

Wasn't there some pictures or even a short film clip around a few years ago on the tinterweb showing some of these in action???

I found it fascinating!! I shall 'watch' this with interest for sure!

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Yes the skimmer was featured in a program called look at the life "will taps run dry" apparently it is very short however I am trying to get a friend to copy the section p, the DVD is still avaialble. 

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I'll be watching this one with interest after seeing your creation at tractor world. Looks a big challenge but well within your capabilities.

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As discussed with Jonathan yesterday the machine will never be perfect cosmetically but it will be good just to have a known working example( there may be others) I will make sure it is mechanically sound, then if I want to paint it later it will only be half the battle (still a big job) 

 

In the past I have tended to rush through refurbishments/restorations and get them finished quickly mostly due to me doing everything outside and having to make the most of the dry weather, with the new workshop hopefully I can enjoy it more and take my time doing odd jobs now and then, but will probably revert back to my usual speed!

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Went this morning to see if I can get it rolling, no luck unfortunately.

 One track appears free, forward and reverse lever is free and so is the 3 speed gearbox so I can get it into gear. Need to get the top off the dif casing to get to brake bands but bolts have no heads and need cut off and I had no acces to power today. I removed the top frame to improve access to both tractor and frame as I need to re weld the roller carriers which had been cut out with agas axe for some reason but I have the bits. Just need it rolling so I can winch onto trailer and get it home, once home I will strip, clean and reassemble.

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I would just clean it up & get it running again

 

For those who would like to know. I brought the old Kohler engine for parts. I owe a HUGE thanks to Rhys for removing it. Taking it to Jon Cox so he could take it to Newby Hall for Showman Chris to bring back to Sussex. Then I collected it from WH Central

 

The annoying bit was the skimmer was only 30 mins from my house to start with!!! Poor engine has done some miles for nothing!!

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I hope the engine doesn't turn out to be as bad as the tractor is, the metal is de laminating in places especially the diff/brake band cover, I am able to renee this all together though as well as engine bay floor.

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This is the 3 speed gear lever, the arrangement is quite different to Jonathan's 2 as this is a formed solid brass tube neatly dressed to the skimmer frame rather than a flexible cable, it was a bit stiff so I've been freeing it up this morning, you are not able to remove the inner flexible cable however it has a grease nipple clamped to the tube, so I pumped grease into it until fresh grease was visible at each end and kept on working the lever, it now works well.

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Well after a lot of blood sweat and tears literally, it is free and now that my mum and dad are on holiday for 2 weeks I thought it was a good time to drag it home and get it in the shed, everything is a lot harder when you by yourself! I am also on holiday for 2 weeks so will be making a start in between making all my meals!

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Track off ready to remove side frame to replace brake drum, started scraping all the loose rust off, will probably go over it with a wire brush and leave it at that. Some bolts do not even resemble a bolt just a mound of rust!

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Close up on the final drives, this is the key to the slow speed of the skimmer, underneath the second case is a set of the same gears, usually this is where a normal crawler bolts it wheels but the skimmer has extra gearing.

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All that work to to get to this! Brake drum not as worn as I originally though but will still replace it, this was the side which the brake would always be applied to turn in the pit.

 

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I have recently been informed by a fellow collector Alastar Holt that this machine is one of a pair originally supplied to the South Essex Waterworks Co. On the 7/3/1966

 

According to the royalty legend there were about 76 skimmers but I'm not sure if this includes every machine.

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