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 Al-Ko Mudding Tractor Build

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Chunk
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PostSubject: Al-Ko Mudding Tractor Build   Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:23 pm

Finally time to rebuild this pig. It's been a long LONG time since I dismantled this thing with the intent on rebuilding it. The old chassis was useless for offroad, no strength what-so-ever. I've got this week off so I decided I'd start on it again, seeing all these new off road tractors on youtube and here have really made me want to get mine back together. In all honest there's not much of the original tractor, just the tranny, rear fenders and dash, and the front axle. The hood is from an MTD (I may change it soon!) so its really a mis match. But it was my first tractor and I dont want to sell it!

I started making the chassis with some reallly heavy angle that I got for free from the sawmill across the road (the owner, my neighbour, lets me keep tractors there too!) a while back. Today I managed to finish it (on the most part)


I then needed to 'borrow' a few parts from the old chassis. Mainly the front axle mounts (the black plate) and the tranny mounts (saves me building my own, they'll need to be strengthened though).


Im a fan of mocking things up before I build them, saves basic mistakes, so before I started welding the front end on, I thought I'd see how things looked:


This isnt the engine it's getting, but it's identical to what it will have (16hp opposed twin, Briggs ofcourse!) This was just easier to get to for testing.

After taking it apart, I got started on the front end. Basically I cut the front half of the axle supports from the old chassis (its all one stamped piece!) and the black support for the back of the front axle. I decided to flip the two about, so the front was now the back on my new chassis. Confused? Photos are always good.


It needs some support at the bottom, but that will be done tomorrow. Here it is mocked up with the front axle.

You can see it's been lifted by about 1/2 inches and lengthened 5/6 inches. Compare this to an older photo:

Big difference! Need to lengthen that hood though scratch

scratch
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dangeroustoys56
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PostSubject: Re: Al-Ko Mudding Tractor Build   Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:00 pm

Cool beans! Definitly a stronger chassis- being a bit longer make make it more stable. Are y gonna run bigger front wheels? Id say just make new bolt holes for the hood n slide it back a bit - y have like 3-5" to mess with. That twin will get y some serious places for sure.

Yeah when i mocked up the wheelhorse mod it looked wicked just sitting there in a pile of parts, imagining it finished made it even more cool.
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PostSubject: Re: Al-Ko Mudding Tractor Build   Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:29 pm

@dangeroustoys56 wrote:
Cool beans! Definitly a stronger chassis- being a bit longer make make it more stable. Are y gonna run bigger front wheels? Id say just make new bolt holes for the hood n slide it back a bit - y have like 3-5" to mess with. That twin will get y some serious places for sure.

Yeah when i mocked up the wheelhorse mod it looked wicked just sitting there in a pile of parts, imagining it finished made it even more cool.
I might run bigger front tyres if I can find any to fit. I want more agressive front and rear tyres. I migth just run the wheels of my big MTD seeing as thats not gonna be working for a while.

As for the hood, Im probably just gonna get some sheet metal and extent it. It need to me made a little bit wider to fit around the twin. Either way the hood is far to short for that gap. lol.

I love mocking things up for the first time!
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PostSubject: Re: Al-Ko Mudding Tractor Build   Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:49 pm

is that a solid front axle?
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PostSubject: Re: Al-Ko Mudding Tractor Build   Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:49 pm

Chunk: Yeah itd look cool with some atv/ag tires - i dunno how much y want to get into metal work, but what if you slice the slide of the hood to bend it out ( like on a dynamark) to fit around the motor , then patch the gaps with metal ?

Whats the plan for footrests?
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PostSubject: Re: Al-Ko Mudding Tractor Build   Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:20 pm

This looks intresting! Building your own frame is a good idea. It gives you lots of options. I'm a big fan of mocking things up over and over again. If you don't, your in for alot of grinder work. I like knowing everything is going to line up before I weld it on or make it permanet. Looks good so far.
What are you cutting the metal with?
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PostSubject: Re: Al-Ko Mudding Tractor Build   Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:49 pm

arild365: Its not solid, the front end has about a foot of travel now! Gonna make some lockers so it can be locked if it needs to be.

dangeroustoys: I was planning to do that to the hood actually! Great minds think alike lol! I might not do it myself though. One of my best mates is a blacksmith, so if need be I can get him to do it. My welds are getting fairly tidy now though!
As for footrests, the old ones are getting chopped and bolted to the side. You'll see soon when I get some more done. I completed the chassis now, rear and front ends are fully mounted.

FearlessFront Yup, its alot better. If you have any suggestions let me know! As for mocking stuff up, it took me about 30 mins for me to get the rear brackets perfectly aligned so the tranny sits perfectly square. Really pleased with it so far.
As for my cutting tool, Im using a reciprocating saw (I think you call them sawzall's in the states?) with some high quality blades. Cuts through the old chassis like butter, makes me glad Im rebuilding it!
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PostSubject: al-ko mudding tractor build   Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:35 am

Awesome frame, what are your plans for steering?
Are you doing derect steering?
What kinda speed are you guessing for it?
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PostSubject: Re: Al-Ko Mudding Tractor Build   Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:37 pm

the only suggestion I would have is to build the steering way stronger then you think it needs to be!
Otherwise it looks like you know exacaly what you are doing. I can't wait for more!
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PostSubject: Re: Al-Ko Mudding Tractor Build   Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:24 am

Managed to complete the rolling chassis. The rear end took a while to line up properly, but it is perfectly straight and true now!



Im gonna beef up the rear tranny supports, I dont really trust them for strength. I want to make another mount for the front too, but the gear linkage gets in the way. I should be fine without, but I want to make sure. I've run into trouble with the steering too.

As you can see on the left side, the part that connects the tie rod etc sticks out the bottom, instead of the top on alot of tractors. As it is now, the link from the gear to the front will hit off the green support. I can easily notch it out, but Im worried it may get caught up off road. Putting it over the top is an option, but it requires me to make a whole new steering setup. Dunno what you guys think? Is it worth it?

I also got one of the footrests off the old chassis. Took a while to cut. Im either bolting them to the side of the new chassis or welding them. I'd prefer everythign to be removable, but its extra time/ work

It is finally starting to look like a tractor again now. There should be plently of roof up front for the gas tank, battery and the big twin!

You can follow the progress here too:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_w-JwgcrRgw
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PostSubject: Re: Al-Ko Mudding Tractor Build   Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:26 am

roboman79 wrote:
Awesome frame, what are your plans for steering?
Are you doing derect steering?
What kinda speed are you guessing for it?
I was planning to go with direct steer. But off road you want to be able to turn easily when your not moving, and direct steer just doesnt have the gearing required.
As for speed, Im planning for a 7" up front and about 5.5" in the rear. Speed should be only about 20-25mph. Gives me plenty of tyre speed to get out of tricky spots.
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PostSubject: Re: Al-Ko Mudding Tractor Build   Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:00 am

How many speed transaxle are you using? I wish I could find cheap international shipping, I would send you some parts that would probably work, or at least parts of them would work. Steering is always a pain. Could you relocate that piece of metal that is hanging down out of the way? Like move it over one way or the other an inch or so?
Direct steer could work if you got the leverage right. My old atv had a nice setup on it. but it's hard on a tractor because that peskey motor is in the way.

I've stopped working on the craftsman for now in favor of getting the murray mudder going again. Also been working on my buddies mtd. Spring is almost here! WHOOP! WHOOP!
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PostSubject: Re: Al-Ko Mudding Tractor Build   Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:20 am

Its a 6 speed. Me too lol. I think Im just going to notch the part that hangs down out. It's really heavy stuff and would take an age to cut off.

Didnt know the Murray wasnt in wokring order. Cant wait to see more mudding vids!
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PostSubject: Re: Al-Ko Mudding Tractor Build   Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:52 am

It was driveable, but the adjusable tentioner pulley bearing was making some noise and was loose... Same with the clutch pulley. I bought two new ones yesterday. Also just did some little stuff like changed the oil in the tranny and took apart and greased the whole front end.

A 6 speed will be nice! I have a 5 speed, and I can already tell that I like it more then the 4 speed on the crawler, the gearing is further apart. Make sure you seal the tranny really good! Don't need water getting in there. Are you planning on fabracating your own clutch, or are you going to reuse the other one?
I've been toying with the idea of building my own clutch for the murray. It would consist of 2 pullies, one flat faced, and one v belt pulley; and it would piviot in the center, with 2 springs pulling on it in opposite directions at each end. If that made any sence... lol! It would create a tremendous amount of tension on the belt when engaged, probably enough to work underwater! And when you press the clutch, both pullies would spin out of the way and not touch the belt....

I donno, Just an idea...
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PostSubject: Re: Al-Ko Mudding Tractor Build   Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:00 pm

Glad to see your making progress!
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PostSubject: Re: Al-Ko Mudding Tractor Build   Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:53 pm

Funny you say that. I know exactly what you mean! The westwood with the stacks and flame paint job has that set up as stock. If I wasnt planning on selling it I'd steal that. I might make my own, I was going to re use and modify the old one but you've given my ideas now, would work underwater alot better! My front end doesnt move properly, there's alot of splatter down there, I need to take the front end off and sridn it all down, that's last on my list right now though!
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PostSubject: Re: Al-Ko Mudding Tractor Build   Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:50 am

Direct steer shouldnt give you an issue while steering- has no slop and should turn the same at rest and speed actually.

If y have a spare MTD steering setup maybe go with that- it goes up over the chassis, would give more height and nothing to get caught on.

Tractor is looking cool- almost like it was ment to be that way.....

Im going to use that two pulley clutch setup ( that racers use) - seemed like whenever i clutched with the ex murray - belt position never seemed to change anyway- almost thought of using a go kart clutch with the trans.
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PostSubject: Re: Al-Ko Mudding Tractor Build   Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:25 am

Ive never really been happy with th stock clutch anyway.
Im still not sure about the steering. OVer the chassis would be better, but theres alot of obsacles in the way, espeically the motor. And Im planning to totally enclose the motor anyway (with some MTD side panels) ... we'll see
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PostSubject: Re: Al-Ko Mudding Tractor Build   Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:45 pm

First of all, thanks for all the good words, support and ideas guys. Its not far off from being useable (although not complete)
Ive not had many updates lately, I have been taking photos though! Just not had time to upload them.
I've not done much the last week or so. Exams are coming up fast so more time has been put into studying. Evil or Very Mad I've reworked the upper body, after cutting up the rear end to make an access hatch (planning for the winch I'll be getting at some point), and to clear the strengthened frame:




My welding is starting to look acceptable too Very Happy The steering has all been worked out now, alot of time was spent on checking clearances etc. Because its been extended and has more flex, I needed to make a new steering linkage(drag bar?) from the steering wheel to the axle. I had to notch bits out of the chassis to make everything clear, but it works perceftly now, although you can definatly feel the extra weight of the chassis on the steering. For now Im keeping the stock stuff, but if it becomes too unreliable or loose, I'll probably do direct steering.

I extended it with another bit of steering link from a scrap chassis, and a couple of bits of pipe to slip over the welds to make sure they dont ever break! I gotta say though, I think it would hold up without them, but Im going for overkill here! I still have worries about the link being the lowest part of the tractor, but I guess we'll have to wait and see. You can see the pipe in the pics below





Another idea I had, was to use some rubber strips to widen the area that covered the tyres. As you all know, tractors love to sling mud up the sides of your legs when they start spinning, so this would help to reduce that. I think it would look kinda cool too, almost ATV-like.

Now all I need to do it build the clutch, and modify some pulleys (tranny pulley on engine, engine pulley on tranny), a belt, and it will drive! Although this is defiantly the hardest part of the build, its crucial it works well. I hope off-balance pulleys wont hurt anything, because my welding isnt that great. (talking about my welder, it keeps fusing the garage electrics at high power, what a pain Mad )

Expect more updates tomorrow (saturday)
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PostSubject: Re: Al-Ko Mudding Tractor Build   Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:00 pm

I love over kill too! This thing look like it's built to last awhile. I like your idea about the mud flaps, it looks like it should work. I may have to do something like that on mine so I don't have to wear water proof pants every time I go wheeling. This is really starting to come together. I really like how overbuilt that frame is.
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PostSubject: Re: Al-Ko Mudding Tractor Build   Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:05 pm

FearlessFront wrote:
I love over kill too! This thing look like it's built to last awhile. I like your idea about the mud flaps, it looks like it should work. I may have to do something like that on mine so I don't have to wear water proof pants every time I go wheeling. This is really starting to come together. I really like how overbuilt that frame is.

Hopefully the frame will last, it still has ab it more flex than I'd like, I want to beef up the tranny mounts more for sure.
Yeah, Mudding is fun, cleaning your clothes after isnt. Might not fit with the new tyres im getting, they'll unles JUST clear the fender
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PostSubject: Re: Al-Ko Mudding Tractor Build   Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:36 pm

Its never bothered me to get all muddy- cept when its cold out- one time i was having so much fun , it was getting dark and colder- i had to hose off with the garden hose before folks would let me even in the garage......


I think a lil bit of flex will be allright ..... it looks pretty strong as it is! Should definitly last a while.
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PostSubject: Re: Al-Ko Mudding Tractor Build   Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:35 am

Its time when it's cold that this is for. We have a much colder climate than you do I think, and this thing will be used in winter alot, so its worth doing....
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PostSubject: Re: Al-Ko Mudding Tractor Build   Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:22 am

Climate sure has changed here this year- since about december its been really cold here in Florida- normally the cold lasts about 2 months then gets hot again- here it is into our 3rd month ...suposed to warm up this week again - hopefully will stay warm this time- LOL! I wouldve gotten out to the shed but i was feeling bleah earlier this week - think its gone now feel tons better.

Back when i lived up home i went out sometimes in the winter- depended if i could get my tractor down in the field with its cruddy stock tires or not- or if it even started.... i shoveled a path around the house to make a track- it iced over and the tractor just spun away......


Heres a pic of the original mud hole in the winter- before i started running thru the swamp across the field:




To the right of the one tree in front- where the tracks stop - ive since cut a way thru to the road - actually that same tree is the one i drove up last year when i was up home- LOL!
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PostSubject: Re: Al-Ko Mudding Tractor Build   Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:44 am

Snow in florida? damn... Up here in maine it's like spring has come earily. The last 3 snow storms missed us. Today, it's gonna hit 50 and I'm goin wheelin!

But, of course, I'll get covered! I would go for the flaps, Chunk.... LOL!
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