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Symptoms of Failure in Final Drive Motors

Is it time to replace your final drive motor? You don't have to (and shouldn't) wait until the part completely fails to replace it. Here is a list of common issues to look for and keep in mind for your excavation equipment.

Component Failures

A final drive motor for a Bobcat or Caterpillar has smaller components that can fail over time through normal wear-and-tear or when exposed to extreme conditions. A main bearing failure is a common issue. Usually starting with a leak in the main seal, premature bearing failure can be prevented by inspecting the hub oil regularly and changing it as necessary. Case drain filters can become clogged if they're not replaced frequently. The clogging can cause serious damage to the rest of the motor if the clog results in pressure backing up.

Signs of Failure

Excessive heat is a sign of failure in a final drive motor for a Bobcat or Caterpillar. If water instantly evaporates on touch, there's a problem. This can be the result of hot hydraulic fluid and not necessarily the motor itself.Loud or excessive noise can also be an indicator of a failing final drive motor. The higher-end excavators can get up to 512 horsepower, and they are loud machines in general. But excessive noise that you can hear over the equipment is obviously a cause for concern.Leakage is also a common problem that can be a sign of final drive motor failure. The leak itself is likely not an issue, as long as it doesn't go unresolved for too long. Since prolonged leakage can cause an issue, and since leaks can be the sign of other more serious issues, it should be inspected as soon as possible.


There are several symptoms of a failing final drive motor, with varying degrees of severity, but when it comes time to replace the part, take it to a trusted, reliable company.Our family at Mini Final Drives has been providing excellent Quality, Value, and Service for over 50 years, and you can continue to count on us for a lifetime of friendly, helpful support for all your final drive and travel motor needs. Call us today at 877-483-2806 or visit our online store at www.minifinaldrives.com to find and order what you need today for Fast and Free delivery to your door.
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