MAY 2004





         This is to update you on the D6 9U which has been named BISMARK after itís life as a winter freighting cat plus the 2 years in a watery grave. Xena and I worked a lot on this cat to make it the winter freighting cat that will be famous. First I had to get the machine thawed out and that really took along time because it was -45C outside for a whole month. The old shop is not the best for thawing cats out yet alone working in. But oh well, it is paid for. Then the fun began with trying to get the motor unseized and rolling over, which was not an easy task. When the BISMARK went down in the watery grave, the engine must have taken on water when it was running. One of the sure tell-tale signs are the bent connecting rods (which did not damage the cylinder walls.) 


            This is no problem, just get a couple of connecting rods and a few repairs which should be all. Ed at phoned me up because he was watching the BISMARK being repaired on the internet where I post pictures everyday, and said he had connecting rods. This is great and ED went to the post office and mailed the parts I needed, no questions asked. But the customs people asked a lot of questions on the box of parts. They could not believe a fellow in the USA would be sending parts for an old cat as a gift to the Great White North. The customs people are very nice, they mail you a letter which takes about one and Ĺ weeks to get up to the Great White North. All these nice people ask for is a receipt for the parts and they donít give you a phone number to talk to anyone in person. You must fax back and forth, instead of picking up the old fashioned telephone and talking like people used to do. This went on for 2 weeks and when I faxed the letter telling them to keep the parts because the postage is worth more then the parts, they didnít reply and a week later the parts were in Lynn Lake, Mb. But the box took one hell of a licking. It looked like the customs guys took out their daily frustrations on the box.



           Xena even helped out on the project and we did a picture shoot for school so the other kids got to see what she does in her space time.


         Now we got the parts but no time to put the BISMARK together as a Famous Freighting Cat that it will be known as. For we have to go freighting to the lodges to make money and get stories for the CAT TRAIN NEWSLETTER. A contractor from the south stops in to see the FAMOUS BLACK CAT and the sleighs when we finished up freighting. This fellow was on the crew that salvaged the BISMARK from his watery grave and hauled it to Ilford, Mb for Kip Thompson. What a small world it is and the fellow could not believe that the BISMARK was being repaired and not scraped. We donít scrap the good stuff.


          When I got the BISMARK, he was a little confused because he came with wooden and steel top rollers. So the torch came out and he now has wooden top rollers which confuses a lot of people. The southern folk think that the KING OF OBSOLETE is poor and canít afford to buy new top rollers and that is why I have wooden top rollers. But the sign of a true winter freighting cat is the wooden top rollers because you can only work in the snow so the machine is parked all summer. Also you canít forget about the holes in the track pads to let the wet snow out so the track will not jam up. We are a little crazy in the Great White North, cutting off good top rollers and torching holes in the track pads. The tricks of the trade is all I tell everyone.


          So the BISMARK is finally coming together after spending time welding up where the frozen water split a few housing. This is no big wow because I was able to weld the cast housing on the work bench compared to out of position on the BISMARK: the welding went very well. The toughest job was to come and I was not looking forward to it. I was putting it off until the very last because it was going to be the ugliest. I went on the antique caterpillar webpage and announced that the KING OF OBSOLETE was painting the D6 9U silver in colour. WOW it went over very well. I thought for sure that Vinnie and boys would come by to have a little chat with me, with their hands. But not everyone on the webpage thought it was a bad idea since I would be able to find it after I lost it thru the ice.


          All the pictures and story of the BISMARK being rebuilt are on Redpower which is the International Harvester farm tractor webpage, so click on or type it out if you have the printed copy of the CAT TRAIN NEWSLETTER. I was unable to post the pictures on the Antique Caterpillar webpage. Thanks





BOX 372