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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all. I picked up a '94 Thundercat yesterday. It was advertised as having a motor needing work, so wasn't exactly sure what I was going to see. Upon looking it over, it looks like it has sat for some time, and the coolant bottle is empty. I'm guessing classic case of the water pump leaking into the balance shaft bearings, possibly the crankcase as well. There is still coolant in the neck under the pressure cap. The motor turns over really hard, you have to use a pipe to turn the primary over. I was able to pull the pipes and check all the pistons. They actually looked fine. So I'm guessing the balancer bearings are rusted up or something of the sort. Perhaps the crank bearings are rusted as well. I got the sled pretty cheap, knowing that I'd need to spend some money on the engine. The sled will likely sit for a bit while I get some other sled projects completed. I'm looking for suggestions on what I should do to the motor meanwhile. I was considering draining the remaining coolant, pulling the water pump cover and pouring some marvel mystery oil down the balance shaft. I don't know if it really matters since it will all need to come apart anyways, but.....

I haven't decided if I want to do a full restoration mod on this machine, or just the basics. I'll likely end up restoring quite a bit over the course of a few years. I'd like to use the machine for doing stock class ice drags. The sled looks to be all there, and stock. Only things I found somewhat goofy were the bent right lower arm. Also, looks like it blew a belt to smithereens at some point, and bent the crap out of the foot/toe brace. Also, the hood doesn't seem to come down and sit quite right on that corner; not sure if its due to the damage from the blown belt or what. I couldn't see any other damage to the hood or anything of the sort. Doesn't look like the fit and finish of the hood closing was all that good from the start perhaps. Where it comes down on the top of the console is a bit weird as well. I can get more photos today; as I have it in my shop now. I think it will be a fun project.
 

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glad to see someone saving a classic
I love them old triples, sounds and looks are just classic's to me!
best of luck making it good again
 

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Hate to see guys on Facebook part out good ones. Some day, likely soon, they will wish they kept some of the better ones. Just thinking of all the Cudas I sold. Would pad my retirement account nicely now. :(
Give it the honor it deserves Fircat_Freak!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Anyone here have one of these sleds that I can compare notes with? I was checking the sled out more today now that it isn't in a dark barn. I see some things with the fitment of the hood and some suspect coupler on the steering support/console support that seems goofy to me. Not sure if something is bent or out of wack on this thing or not. I can't put my finger on it. I have to kinda pull the right side of the hood in to get it to sit right where the hold down is. Also, I'm not sure where or how the hood is supposed to sit on top of the console. I'm also seeing the coolant bolt pushed up against the pressure cap. Doesn't seem right. The oil tank/coolant tank mounts to the console support bracket. Any help?
 

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First thing I would do is check the clutch centers. Should be 12.200". If not, it may have been wrecked and have a bent bulk head. Then if that checks out go from there.
On the pic of it sitting in the truck it looks like the lower A arm on the sled's right hand side is bent. Might just be the picture though.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Indeed the right side lower a arm is bent. I couldn’t find any other damage though. But, hood could have been replaced I suppose. Also, it appears the primary clutch Contacted the corner of the belly pan at some point. Did you see the pictures of the steering bracket frame with the couplers? Doesn’t seem factory. Anyone have one of these that can snap some pictures on how the hood sits and mates with the console top? If this thing is bent up I’ll probably punt.
 

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Those steering post connectors are not factory. I'm going to guess this was rolled at one point. Hood should line up reasonably well along console and look the same on both sides. If you put sled on 4 jack stands, 2 up front under chassis and 2 at back near back of tunnel you should be able to tell if chassis is twisted or tweaked if it rocks on the stands.
 

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Not sure on that chassis, but on my 96 you can adjust the belly pan to hood clearance with screws and nuts. Not sure on yours. Not saying its been wrecked, but it has the signs. Go with what 660catman said, put it on stands and look it over.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I didn’t see any adjustments. I’m guessing that whatever previous owners hit to bend the lower a arm caused this to roll. Bent the steering/console weldment at a minimum. The hood does seem to fit the belly pan in the front and match nicely there, just right side by the latch is the problem. I’ll check center to center tonight. I’ve never heard putting the stands under it before. Where would you recommend those stands go?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be worth my time to get a good used steering/console frame from a salvage yard, bolt it in there and see where everything sits. Looks like not available new from cat any longer. Was only $100 new however. I called sunnyside to see if they had a 93/94 thundercat or wildcat to get the part from. Waiting to hear back.
 

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Put front stands on chassis between lower control arm mounts. One on each side. Lift rear and put stands as far back as you can on tunnel. One on each side exactly the same distance from back edge. If you’re floor is level and chassis is tweaked it will wobble on the stands. For instance if both sides on back tunnel are on stands and so is left front, it means chassis is tweaked up on the right front corner. Make sure front stands are exact same height as each other and the rear are same as each other.
 

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Don’t buy anything until you know what you’re doing with sled.
 

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I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be worth my time to get a good used steering/console frame from a salvage yard, bolt it in there and see where everything sits. Looks like not available new from cat any longer. Was only $100 new however. I called sunnyside to see if they had a 93/94 thundercat or wildcat to get the part from. Waiting to hear back.
consider dealing with arts for used parts.
 

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Never heard of Arts.

Didn’t get a chance to check center to center tonight, but will tomorrow.
shoot, i thought you were from star prairie, just realized you are sun prairie. Arts would be a long trip but you can call about parts and they do ship. We also have a sunnyside salvage which is close to arts. Weird. Sorry about that.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Not sure what it takes to get primary off this thing, as it looks like bellynpan would need to be removed. So did a rudimentary check of center to center. I came up with 12”. Eye balled it a few different ways with different bars. Came up with the same. 12”.
 
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