Nicholas Fluhart

July 31, 2011

Another Addition: Ditch Witch 2300

Filed under: Day to Day,Trucks & Equipment — nfluhart @ 8:11 pm

So I ran across a deal on an old Ditch Witch the other day. I was looking at an Allis-Chalmers AD4 motor grader when this little unit caught my eye.  This is one piece of equipment I never thought I’d own, but they are handy when you need one. The coolest thing about it, to me, is the four-way push blade on the front. Even if I rarely have need for a trencher, I could always use a compact machine with a blade for driveway maintenance, etc. The owner told me it ran the last time they used it, but it had been setting up for a year. They tried to tell me it would still run, but I knew better than to take someone’s word for item condition. I took a close look for myself, and I’m glad I did. Upon closer inspection, I noticed the top of the muffler had a hole from rust. I then pulled the dip stick, and sure enough, the engine had water in it and was stuck. The price became right (it was actually a steal) so I scooped it up.

Winched onto the trailer.

Without running, it is difficult to get the implements up which makes it a challenge to load and unload. We used a winch and some planks to skid it up on the trailer. When I got it home, I used my Allis lift to drag it off the trailer and set it down.

Getting it Home

Unloading with Forklift

Once I got it unloaded, I pulled the spark plugs and filled the cylinders with transmission fluid and let them soak for three weeks. Then I pulled the starter and used a pry-bar on the flywheel ring gear, and after much leveraging, I got the engine to turn over. I flushed the engine with diesel and then tried to get it running. Unfortunately, the rings took a beating from all the rain water and it no longer had enough compression to run. So, the plan is to pull the cylinders and ring the old gal and hopefully she’ll live. The rest of the machine appears to be in good enough condition to justify fixing the engine, so maybe one day soon you’ll see the project posted. Until then…

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