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Ditchwitch 3500 chain tensioner

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by Dirty Water, Nov 21, 2005.

  1. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    I just did this today, so I thought I'd post it here just in case someone else is searching for this (Its so hard to find any ditchwitch advice online).

    We replaced the digging chain on our trencher, and in order to get the chain on the bar we needed to suck it in a bunch because the new chain wasn't all stretched out like the old one.

    You need a 3/4" deep socket, a 1/2" ratchet, and a 1.5" wrench (I used a large crescent) and two 24mm wrench's (Or whatever their standard equivalent is)...You may also need a BFH (Big Fricken Hammer).

    • Loosen the 4 24mm bolts that hold the safety bar and the trenching boom onto the ditchwitch. You don't need to remove them, just get them loose.
    • Remove the 1.5" cap over the chain tension grease fitting.
    • Use the 3/4" socket to remove the grease fitting.
    • Now if your lucky, a bunch of grease will blow out and the bar will suck back.
    • I wasn't lucky, so I banged on the roller for a while with a BFH and didn't make much progress.
    • I ended up lowering the boom and driving the trencher in reverse right into a large tree, It snugged the boom right up.
    • Reinstall the 3/4 grease fitting.
    • Slip the chain back on.
    • Tighten the 4 24mm bolts
    • Grease the fitting until the chain is sufficiently tight.
    • Put the 1.5" cap back on.

    Anyways, I know nobody here but me has this particular trencher, but in case someone does search :laugh:

  2. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    Actually we have the same trencher in our rental fleet and thats the same exact way I had to replace ours a couple times. You could have posted this a couple years ago though. ;)
  3. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    You used a tree too? :laugh:

    I can't find a ditchwitch forum, or really any repair advice anywhere on the net.

    I'm almost tempted to set one up myself.

    What issues have you had with the 3500? Ours has been rocksolid, except for two bad injectors in the Duetz (water in the fuel did it), and we had to replace all the bearings in the rear chain drive motor. Learned the hard way to grease those zirks regularily.
  4. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    Yep, Backed her right up to a old blackjack tree :D
    Havn't had any engine problems at all, Two chains and sprockets one boom end roller bearing. Just before having to have the chain guide bars replaced on the top and bottom of the boom. Got a local welding shop that does them for me once I remove the boom. Also have two 1220's and a 1820 in the fleet. These really are some dirt diggin machines, They get a complete service and grease job after every rental so haven't had any major problems at all.

    See Ya
  5. xcopterdoc

    xcopterdoc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 752

    Right on.. but I think its a 3/8 wrench, not a 3/4 to remove the grease fitting. On the boom where there chain rides is a wear plate, when it wears down, just cut it off and weld a new one on. I used 1/4 X 2 inch cold rolled bar stock. On the bigger diggers you my need a wider piece. Keep it greased, stay away from high pressure water to clean it. If yur running in sand... keep the chain a cat hair more slack to let it clear itself better. By giving the chain an inch more slack than DW says, I found I could almost double the life of the chain, wear guides and sprockets.
  6. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    If you remove the reducer the grease fitting screws into with a 3/4 socket instead of just the grease fitting it lets the grease come out easier and quicker and the boom retracts easier.
  7. hotwiredu

    hotwiredu LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    You mentioned in your post on 3500 ditch witch that you had thought about starting a forum for ditch witch trenchers this would a wonderful thing there is no where on internet for info if you could start a forum many people would be very interested. m.m.crvn east t.n.
  8. RRH

    RRH LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    Count me in.No information can be found anywhere.Dealer moved out of Town last year.Closest is about 120 miles away.Killer machine,support non existent.
    Rick H.
  9. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    RRH, We go through the dealer in Woodenville, thats probably the closest one to you as well. They have great phone support, but are too far for us to use them for service, so I do all the work.

    I've begun setting up my server for a ditchwitch forum. Spread the word, it won't work without members :)
  10. hotwiredu

    hotwiredu LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Hey man go just let us know the info, think maybe you could get some advertising dollars from parts suppliers etc , the trencher has to be big demand just look at e bay always some one selling or wanting parts.I think the ditch witch trencher info is non existant if you can get this forum up it will go go. thanks a lot.

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