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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
I am a newbie to the site and this is my first post. Although this post relates to an old Ditch Witch tractor, I am looking forward to checking out the diesel pickup forums because I am looking for a diesel duallie for hauling my vintage military vehicles to club events (1944 Ford M20 Armored Car in particular - 7 tons). Also I work in the area of gas and diesel vehicle preventive maintenance and repair (rep for BG Products chemicals and service equipment) so I want to improve my knowledge of diesels in general.

This question is about my Ditch Witch J20 trenching tractor. It's a late 1970s unit. I need to know how to replace the three belts that transmit PTO power to the digger. am also looking for an owners manual or other source for maintenance information.

In a separate post I will post a photo of the PTO shaft going to the belts at the rear of the tractor.

Maybe this setup is similar to other vehicles. I was thinking the pulley could be loosened and slid left on the shaft, allowing the belts to come off to the right, but there is an off-center shaft on the right carrying what could be an idler or support wheel inside the pulley. I assume this supports the pulley when the belts are engaged and tight, but don't know if this little shaft will move right. It has two setscrews holding it.

Please don't tell me I have to disassemble the entire mechanism just to replace belts!

If you know of a better place to get info on old Ditch Witches, I am all ears!

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here is the Ditch Witch PTO photo

Ditch Witch J20 PTO shaft with belts, with pulley bolts loosened:


See my question about how to get the belts off in the first post, thanks.

If you know of a better website for old Ditch Witch info, please let me know!

Thanks,
John in California
 

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When you are meaning to belts do you mean the "chains" that are in the picture? Are there any master links in them that you can find while turning them slowly? If not if the chain is not an oring chain you could always get a chain breaker and push a pin out and install the new chain. JJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hardline said:
When you are meaning to belts do you mean the "chains" that are in the picture? Are there any master links in them that you can find while turning them slowly? If not if the chain is not an oring chain you could always get a chain breaker and push a pin out and install the new chain. JJ
No, I mean belts. The three to the right of the chain.

I loosened the three bolts on the pulley, thinking it might move left on the shaft and the belts can be taken off to the right. It didn't move and I don't want to force anything until I get some tips. That little off-center shaft on the right of the pulley is in the way though.
 

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Sorry I did not scroll the picture to see the belt. Can you loosen the 4 bolts on the pillow blocks and moved the shaft and chain assemblys to the left? Sorry I have never worked on that model before. JJ
 

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What you need to do is cut those belts off and replace them with segmented belts. You can get them from Grainger or Motion Industries. Be sure to tighten the three bolts you took out of the bushing on your pulley.Other than that you will have to take the whole shaft assy. apart.
 
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