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 First mod on my Italian plastic fantastic.

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minibreakdown
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PostSubject: First mod on my Italian plastic fantastic.   Sat Apr 30, 2016 3:43 am

Good Morning all,

Having joined the forum and read some very interesting posts I decided to try my first mod on my 2001 Castel Gardens twin cut classic fitted with a 12.5 hp Briggs i/c engine. This mod is to lock the differential. Reason being, I wrecked the cutting deck on this mower getting the garden around our converted barn into some sort of grass after all the building work and seeing it was an old farm. It did sterling work on that side and having bought a new mower, for the now grass, I thought I could put it to use towing a small trailer around the land. The big problem with that was I have to go up and down a reasonably steep and rough hill to get to certain areas. Most of the time I would get stuck due to the diff working as it should and I'd have to drag it up the hill with my big tractor or the land rover. This became very tedious indeed. Then having found a few videos on youtube about mud mowers, mainly from over your side of the pond, I thought I'd take inspiration from people who actually have an idea of what they are doing.

Here is my first attempt at zinc locking the diff. The reason I chose the zinc way, I could get hold of zinc. I didn't want to weld as to be fair I have a welder but I am terrible at welding. Or I would go for the the doc locker 2.0 but that meant buying stuff and I didn't want to.

I'm not going to bother showing the mst200 gearbox being taken apart as you all know that and if you don't thanks atltf for the sticky to the peerless site and instructions. Newbies, read that and don't forget to take out the 2 bolts from the bottom of the case.

Thanks to redneckcomputergeek on youtube for this idea and I took his advice about zinc giving of nasty gasses when heated. whether it does or not I took these precations.



I then used plaster of paris and tin foil to make a mould to pour the zinc into the way redneckcomputergeek did, well almost. I think the plaster was still too wet and went off like a volcano for around 3-5 minutes and this was the result bfore taking it out of the mould.



Waited around 45 minutes and pulled the diff out.



Cleaned off the plaster of paris/tin foil and made a quick video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWCSXgnCJA4

Then I attacked the zinc with a variety of tools and ended up with this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvhswEhrH-M

Fitted it all back together and took it for a test drive up and down the shallower slope next to my house.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CaBDh83blc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=919gGp5kezo

Managed to ground out on the diff of all things so I am going to get some bigger tyres for the rear and some bigger wheels and tyres for the front to stop a bit of the under steer due to the diff being locked. Will have to change the steering though.

Conclusion. For me, as someone who can't weld very well and doesn't have access to loads of spares and parts readily available it appears to have been a relatively simple process. Just need to see how long it will last.  

Thanks for reading and watching (if I've managed to load it correctly) as well as all the help from the forum.

From an Englishman in France.
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prancstaman
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PostSubject: Re: First mod on my Italian plastic fantastic.   Tue May 03, 2016 8:53 pm

Great job on the locker!!! I think it will last with no problem. Great vids too!
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