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 MTD Vari-drive + 4 speed tranny?

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Sheriff
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PostSubject: MTD Vari-drive + 4 speed tranny?   Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:25 am

I was thinking the other day about how the mtd vari-drive works, and how most of there tranny's are a single speed foward and reverse. Your gears are controlled through the vari-drive pulley's. What if you took out the old single speed foward/reverse tranny, and replaced it with a 4 or 5 speed, and left the vari-drive intact? You would still have the 5 gears from the vari-dirve(I've seen some with 6), plus the 4 or 5 gears on the tranny. If you did it with a 4 speed tranny and 5 speed vari-drive you would get a total of 20 possable gears! A 5 speed tranny with a 6 speed vari-drive would give you 30 gearing options.

Are you all getting what I am saying? I know we all hate the vari-drive, but what if you made this work? I think It can be done quite easily! In fact, I have an old complete 6 speed mtd body and frame, and two 4 speed tranny's, one peerless, one foote.

Hmmm..... Twisted Evil
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PostSubject: Re: MTD Vari-drive + 4 speed tranny?   Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:27 am

I think you get them with 7 speeds too. That would be asesome. Realy choice of speed, and you could slow down using the vari drive instead of pounding the tranny downshifting. It would be really cool. Noot sure how all those belts would do off road though
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PostSubject: Great idea   Tue May 18, 2010 3:37 am

I think i might try that seeings how what i got to lose
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PostSubject: Re: MTD Vari-drive + 4 speed tranny?   Tue May 18, 2010 5:18 pm

I was thinking of trying that - i have a heavy duty trans from a simplicity , i was considering using one of my MTD's as a donor for it- leave the vari drive and add the trans- id probably have to use either a jackshaft or lower the trans to line up the belts.

Now with the agway and toro on board, a few extra hours at work, cant even get my stuff unpacked , much less get some shed time.....

Its on my list of future projects.


The MTD vari drive is actually a cool setup- its similar to a snowmobile clutch setup - as the belts go higher and lower and the center of the assembly moves up and down, it creates different gear ratios- probably MTD's cheep fix for not putting an expensive manual trans in the back of em.
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PostSubject: Re: MTD Vari-drive + 4 speed tranny?   Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:26 pm

So I've seen a couple of different threads like this but has anyone actually done it? I have a Wards(MTD) veridrive and might pick up some parts including a standard transaxle tomorrow. So what problems would I run into with this proposed swap? Dangeroustoy mentioned needing to space down the transaxle, which shouldn't be hard. Shifter shouldn't be a problem either. What about the clutch though? Will the stock clutch release tension on the second belt?
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PostSubject: Re: MTD Vari-drive + 4 speed tranny?   Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:39 am

I think it should be pretty simple. Just spacing it on black so the pulleys line up. I dont even think you'd need to do anything with the clutch?
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PostSubject: Re: MTD Vari-drive + 4 speed tranny?   Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:14 am

Id set it up with the vari drive n original front belt setup as stock( in my case id add a larger engine pulley ) - then mount the new manual trans in place of the stock transaxle - when you press the stock clutch , it releases tension on the stock setup- should for the new manual trans.

It should work for any stock MTD shifter setup ( i have 3 different types - on the fender, on the dash and on the chassis) - the mild mods is on the chassis. Only real issue is modding the chassis for the new manual shifter- cutting a hole for it- plus the new lever might need to be modifed a lil bit to stretch up out of the chassis.

In my case, this project will have to wait- its my regular mowers turn to get maintenece - the bad part of owning so many tractors.....
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PostSubject: Re: MTD Vari-drive + 4 speed tranny?   Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:39 pm

Well I think this project may be doomed unless one of you get around to it, haha. I went to see if I could score a manual transaxle and came home with a whole murray widebody lt. It supposedly ran a couple years ago but is missing the fuel tank and obviously a battery. I just can't justify scrapping a whole tractor just for the axle, at least not yet. I may even make this murray my main AT tractor.
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PostSubject: Re: MTD Vari-drive + 4 speed tranny?   Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:10 pm

The murrays are awesome. THe only thing that lets those MTDs down for abusing is those weak rear ends. With a manual is would be awesome, as long as all those belts didnt get too wet! Laughing
Wish I could come home with a tractor just like that, or even a tranny or engine affraid Im in need of both! I've not acquired a new tractor in about 5 months!
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PostSubject: Re: MTD Vari-drive + 4 speed tranny?   Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:28 pm

wow unlucky although i haven't acquired one in 3 years literally, although i might have scored a nice mountfield from a pal of my uncle...
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PostSubject: Re: MTD Vari-drive + 4 speed tranny?   Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:16 am

Jamus: Its on my 'list' of tractors to build- something like 4 of them- heck i barely have time to even tinker much less maintain the fleet. I sorta also put em off because i really have no where to drive these things when theyre done actually.


Chunk: The last 2 tractors i got were before Christmas - the 'mild mod' and the parts craftsman- again, i havent seen any really cheep around or on craigslist since then. Since its 'peak' mowing season everyone demands a high sticker price - havent seen ANY for under $200 and as much as $600 for a runner. I hate to admit, i think i need a break from collecting, have too much to do as it is and really no more room...... plus my trailer has no lights and the truck tralier plug isnt working either.
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PostSubject: Re: MTD Vari-drive + 4 speed tranny?   Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:30 am

I thnk this bad economy is partly to blame too, people dont want to have to keep buying new machines, so they make what they have work! Good for them, bad for me!
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PostSubject: Re: MTD Vari-drive + 4 speed tranny?   Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:49 pm

Lot of people here get lazy- most sell em because they pickup a mowing service or move to somewhere with a smaller yard or do the buy cheep, fix and re sell em.

One time my neighbor asked if i had a cheep tractor to sell once - i was like " Unless $400 is cheep - no...." - even the ones i bot off him for $100 wouldnt go cheep IF i sold em.
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PostSubject: Re: MTD Vari-drive + 4 speed tranny?   Sun Jul 11, 2010 7:01 am

I think it would work very well, just put a manual tranny under the MTD. If you get it to line up, it should all work fine. I'd love to try this, but I don't have an MTD to mess around with.
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PostSubject: Re: MTD Vari-drive + 4 speed tranny?   Sun Jul 11, 2010 2:23 pm

Whats sorta funny is there seems to be more MTD's for sale/free down here- all mine were beat to death tho practically - why i have like 8 MTD's and most were freebies.

I just about got my maintenece done on the mowers- might pull the 96 chassis out n do a lil tinkering.....
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PostSubject: Re: MTD Vari-drive + 4 speed tranny?   Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:34 pm

Okay- its official....i started thinking about the varible pulley n trans setup after i saw the 96 MTD chassis when i canibalized my parts craftsman ( till i can build something out of the chassis) for the deck lift hardware on the blue craftsman( thats going back to mowing duty).

So i dug out the chassis, and sorted thru all my bits n pieces to find ( which reminds me i should sort all my parts out- its a serious pain) the pieces to put my 96 back together- the manual trans i had from the 70's simplcity is actually a 3 speed, but looks just like my heavy duty trans on the dynamarks and agway - plus its filled with gear oil Laughing so mine will actually be a 10 speed , im changing pulleys as well.

I partially assembled it today - ill see how the trans sits in it, i found some smaller rear tires- might do a lowering like on the mild mod in the front and or do a raked look (ill have to see - then id use larger rear tires) - ill do a build thread when i get pics.

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PostSubject: MTD Vari-drive + 4 speed tranny?   Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:09 am

delete


Last edited by 1997 Murray on Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: MTD Vari-drive + 4 speed tranny?   Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:11 am

FearlessFront wrote:
I was thinking the other day about how the mtd vari-drive works, and how most of there tranny's are a single speed foward and reverse. Your gears are controlled through the vari-drive pulley's.  What if you took out the old single speed foward/reverse tranny, and replaced it with a 4 or 5 speed, and left the vari-drive intact? You would still have the 5  gears from the vari-dirve(I've seen some with 6), plus the 4 or 5 gears on the tranny. If you did it with a 4 speed tranny and 5 speed vari-drive you would get a total of 20 possable gears! A 5 speed tranny with a 6 speed vari-drive would give you 30 gearing options.

Are you all getting what I am saying? I know we all hate the vari-drive, but what if you made this work? I think It can be done quite easily! In fact, I have an old complete 6 speed mtd body and frame, and two 4 speed tranny's, one peerless, one foote.

Hmmm.....  Twisted Evil
Hey fearless, I did it with a 6 speed peerless from a Murray and an MTD varidrive with a 18 hp opposed twin. it goes about 15 mph, and I use it for lawn tractor pulling in the 750 lb modifyed class. the only problem is finding the right belt. the size was between 45" and 46", and I finally found a 45 1/2" from a heavy-duty Chevy 4500 coe with the Izuzu desil? idk how to spell it, but it works pretty good, I will get pics soon
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PostSubject: Re: MTD Vari-drive + 4 speed tranny?   Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:32 am

I got a mtd tradesman. It came stock with 14 speeds. 7 in the vari-drive and two in the transaxle. Best part, 1"axles!
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PostSubject: MTD Vari-drive + 4 speed tranny?   Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:55 pm

Nice!
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PostSubject: Re: MTD Vari-drive + 4 speed tranny?   Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:28 am

i was thinking of doing this to my signature2000 mtd, vari-drive with a 6speed dana, bad thing is its 6 hours away.
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PostSubject: MTD Vari-drive + 4 speed tranny?   Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:38 am

hear are the pictures!jec17.jpg" />ojec15.jpg" />
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PostSubject: Re: MTD Vari-drive + 4 speed tranny?   Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:23 pm

Random points concerning twin-stick shiftin lawn mowers:

• You need to keep the stock vari drive parts, where they are. Like the vari pulley and the shifter/linkages/pedal.
• You need a second clutch pedal for the transaxle, since clutching the vari drive cycles it through all it's ratios. which is useless if you're shifting the trans.
• So, with two clutch pedals, one for trans, and one for your vari drive ratio, you can accurately control the vari drive without disrupting input to the trans.
• Like 1997 Murray mentioned, you may need to reposition the trans so the belts line up more or less.
• Since the shift lever for the vari drive acts as a max/min position setting for the vari pulley, you'll also need to add a shifter for the transaxle.
• And a bunch of other stuff I'm too lazy to list xP

You just need a way to declutch and shift each trans system.
Also, I'm not sure if I'm seeing this wrong, but on some vari drive systems I notice that when you push the clutch in, once it's not driving you [kind of disengaged, if you push It in the hair further, machine just stops dead. I'm thinking either really precise brake calibration, or that it brakes inside the fnr transaxle.
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PostSubject: Re: MTD Vari-drive + 4 speed tranny?   Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:43 pm

I dont understand why you say you need two clutchs. My mtd has vari-drive and two speeds in the transaxle. When I press my clutch I can shift thru the vari-drive gears and the transaxle gears. Is that what you ment? Mybe I misunderstood.
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PostSubject: Re: MTD Vari-drive + 4 speed tranny?   Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:44 pm

tractor_guy wrote:
I dont understand why you say you need two clutchs. My mtd has vari-drive and two speeds in the transaxle. When I press my clutch I can shift thru the vari-drive gears and the transaxle gears.
In your setup, you can't shift the 2spd while it's moving. Any trans can be shifted when it's not getting any high speed input. In the case of a varidrive and a 4 5 or 6 speed, you'd be clutching in to shift through all the gears, cycling the varidrive through all its ratios. Where, in my double pedal setup, you control the vari drive ith one pedal, and the belt tension to the trans with the other. That way you don't have to clutch in the vari drive when you want to shift the trans. I dunno, to me it just gives more control over more driveline variables.
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