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Cat 12G horsepower upgrade or other options

JAJ

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Mar 22, 2022
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184
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Australia
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Owner operator of small fleet
Hi everyone
I have been meaning to post this thread for a while and seeing the shiny 12G in the last thread has reminded me to do it.

I have a 12G with a 12ft blade (8in edges) and have been doing work building erosion control banks lately. I have been finding the 12G a bit underpowered for what I’m doing and wondered how much I could safely turn up the horse power on it… or how to know if it’s already been played with.
Has anyone turned up the naturally aspirated 3306 and if so how much?

Not sure if it’s possible to add a turbo easily either. I don’t know if it would need internal components as well as the obvious bits on the outside?

The specs for the banks we are building are:
min height: 500mm (about 20in)
Aiming for min width at base: 1500mm (about 60in)
The height is the most important bit.
The banks are different lengths from short up to 250m long.

Most of the graders being used are 16 size machines apparently. One other bloke has a 160H ii. He has been doing the work near us but is too busy and we got a chance. I have worked out how I can build a bank in the same number of passes that the 160H does but I am at the limit of the 12G. Pre ripping then 4 blade passes is the current method.
A bit more power would let it do it easier but long term a bigger grader would be needed I think if we keep getting the work.
Interested to hear people’s thoughts on options there too.
The 16’s are too big to be useful for other work so no good for me. I had a drive of the 160 and liked it, bit hard to find though. Other options would be 143 or a 14. I haven’t driven these though so hoping people might be able to share their experiences. John Deere graders seem pretty good options too but anything other than Caterpillar the parts are harder to get.
Any thoughts are greatly appreciated!!
 

JAJ

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Mar 22, 2022
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184
Location
Australia
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Owner operator of small fleet
IMG_9858.jpeg
This is my grader parked next to one of the bigger banks, an extra 2 runs in this one I think.
 

Welder Dave

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Oct 11, 2014
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A 140G would have more HP than the 12G and a 160G would have a little more HP than the 140G. You need a bigger rad. witb a turbo and I don't think you can just add a turbo. I think you need different pistons among other things.The 3 machines basically use the same frame. There is a very good thread in the archives on here where Randy Krieg explains most of the differences and he worked for Cat helping to develop them.
 

JAJ

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Mar 22, 2022
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184
Location
Australia
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Owner operator of small fleet
A 140G would have more HP than the 12G and a 160G would have a little more HP than the 140G. You need a bigger rad. witb a turbo and I don't think you can just add a turbo. I think you need different pistons among other things.The 3 machines basically use the same frame. There is a very good thread in the archives on here where Randy Krieg explains most of the differences and he worked for Cat helping to develop them.
Yeah I expect there would be internal stuff like you say for the engine to add a turbo. I honestly don’t know for sure though and that’s why I was curious about it. This engine is too good to pull apart just because I am greedy as well, so I’d leave the turbo idea alone if that was the case.

I did drive a 12g once for a few hours that had been fueled up a bit and it blew quite a bit of black smoke on acceleration. That’s why I don’t think mines has been turned up much if it has been played with, because it doesn’t smoke much at all.

I wasn’t really ready for another grader when this one came up but it was too good to pass up and I knew the bloke. I would have preferred a 140 but this grader really is a great machine. It is only doing this heavy work it shows it limits.

I thought (to my surprise) the 12G and 140G had the same radiator too but I will check that.

I have seen the thread you mentioned but I might go and find it again.
I know the 160H that I got a drive of had a taller and thicker blade on it too. The blade from a 14H I believe.
That was why I was curious about the 143 vs 160 vs the 14 from an operating view and also portability and maintenance.


I have a mate with a 140G, 140H and a 140M in their fleet now and I need to go for a visit and have a play.

Anyway sorry for the long drawn out post lol!!!
 

JAJ

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Mar 22, 2022
Messages
184
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Australia
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Owner operator of small fleet
Ok just checked the digital spec sheets I have about the radiator capacities... I think it has to be a mis-print! 12G= 45Lts 140G=40Lts
Unless one is early and one is late in the series?
 

bam1968

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Nov 1, 2014
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IA
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Excavating Contractor
I am far from an expert about graders. That being said, years ago I worked for a local contractor that had a 12G that had a turbo on it. I guess I assumed that it came off the assembly line that way. I didn't run it alot but I don't recall it ever being underpowered or overheating. I don't recall anything looking altered in the engine compartment so I'm sure it had the original radiator in it.

Most of my seat time on it was smoothing haul roads for articulated dump trucks on a few jobs. It wasn't very tasking on the machine. I normally ran a dozer and would just hop on the grader every couple hours when the haul roads got rough. It did smoke some when you put the fuel to it but it wasn't real bad.
 
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56wrench

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Dec 4, 2016
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alberta
Tires that are bigger can make a grader like that seem sluggish, especially if they are radials. What size tires are on it now? When tires are changed to a ‘taller’ tire, it changes the reduction ratio, so it needs more hp to turn the wheels and may seem sluggish
 

JAJ

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Australia
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Owner operator of small fleet
Tires that are bigger can make a grader like that seem sluggish, especially if they are radials. What size tires are on it now? When tires are changed to a ‘taller’ tire, it changes the reduction ratio, so it needs more hp to turn the wheels and may seem sluggish
Yeah good point. Since I’ve swapped to the worn down matching radials it seems to spin out without bogging down as much. I had put that down mostly to lack of tread but the point you make could count for a lot more than I’d gave it credit for…. Very interesting !!
I’ll find the measurements of them and post them.
They were both 1400-24 radials but the bigger ones were 2ins higher I think… I’ll find out exactly.
 

JAJ

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Mar 22, 2022
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Australia
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Owner operator of small fleet
What are the berms for?
The ones in the picture are water ponds that we survey in to hold 100mm/4in of water. They hold water on the slope to crack the top soil and get grass going again. They vary in shape based on the contour but on gentle slopes that are relatively flat they look like horseshoes going down the slope, each one overflows into the next and the idea is that it holds a sheet of water on the slope to soak in. It’s pretty neat… I’m learning about it as we go and learning how to lay them out to fit the landscape. The big one that the grader is next to is either 320m or 370m long I can’t remember which one it is.

We are blocking erosion gully heads off and redirecting them too
 

JAJ

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Owner operator of small fleet
The bigger tyres were Triangle TB516S and 1418mm/55.8in overal dia.
The ones on now are Michelins and originally should have had a dia of 1360mm/54in
 

JAJ

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Mar 22, 2022
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Australia
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Owner operator of small fleet
IMG_0004.jpeg70340410415__6944759F-8E73-41D3-BD1F-CD26197F2CC5.jpeg
The last triangle tyre that split in the sidewall and the set that is on now. They were to be a spare set with really good rims but they are now the main set. Looking at what to get as a new set to replace them now. Advance brand in similar tread pattern look like good value for money
 

bam1968

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Nov 1, 2014
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534
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IA
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Excavating Contractor
The ones in the picture are water ponds that we survey in to hold 100mm/4in of water. They hold water on the slope to crack the top soil and get grass going again. They vary in shape based on the contour but on gentle slopes that are relatively flat they look like horseshoes going down the slope, each one overflows into the next and the idea is that it holds a sheet of water on the slope to soak in. It’s pretty neat… I’m learning about it as we go and learning how to lay them out to fit the landscape. The big one that the grader is next to is either 320m or 370m long I can’t remember which one it is.

We are blocking erosion gully heads off and redirecting them too
terraced field.jpgterrace pic.jpg
We do similar practices here but we use dozers to build ours. Looks like our slopes are steeper. Most are built to hold anywhere between 2ft-4ft of water.
 

Queenslander

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Where abouts are you located JAJ?
I’ve got a set of Double Coin radials, with similar wear to those Mitchys, that you could have at the right price.
We also have a 12G, along with a 140H, and do a lot of bush work as well as council road maintenance.
We gave the radials away years ago for the bush work due to stakes etc. and went to a 24 ply BKT.
Might seem a bit extravagant, but on the 140H, we have two sets of rims, one 17.5 with Mitch. radials for the road work and another with 14.00 BKTs for the bush.
This was the first set we bought 12 years ago… just fitted our third set the other day and not a single stake in all that time.5F36AFFB-AE69-40B6-B3F8-B7851E6B3828.jpegA37AD785-82BC-4442-95DD-22608FB312AD.jpeg1AFC1E7D-1D64-4D5D-BE92-5FE9118377D9.png
 
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