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 Vari drive with 5 speed transaxle

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prancstaman
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PostSubject: Controls for the Vari drive setup   Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:23 pm

Hay People,
Been busy lately, sorry it took so long. This should be the final part for the vari drive setup for a mower that came with it. This part will be on the controls of the setup and how they work. Even made a little cartoon for it too. Just happened that way, LOL.

Lets get to it........

This is a drawing of the setup in my green mower. The setup in my red mower is only slightly different since the shifter is on the other side of the fender and has no parking brake lever. I only drew the main parts and numbered them because a pic would just be too cluttered with other stuff. The main parts are as follows... 1- shifter and shifter linkage. 2- vari drive heavy spring with the direction of which the spring is pulling shown by an arrow. 3- clutch linkage. 4- clutch pedal. 5- parking brake lock.

Without the controls, the system would go into high gear from the spring pulling on the vari drive pulley. So the controls hold the setup from pushing into high gear. In the drawing, this setup is in neutral and the parking break applied.
Now I'll describe what the numbers do.
1- The shifter selects the ratios on the vari drive pulley through a linkage rod. Inside the frame on the shifter rod is a bracket with a slot where the linkage rod slides in, to select the gears. Note the linkage is not at the end of it's travel when in neutral on this setup, there is a little space on the end of the slot when the mower is in neutral. When the parking break is disengaged, the the linkage will slide to the end of the slot and the mower will be in first gear. This needs to be noted because the shifter does not have a neutral gear on it. This red rod in the drawing, the length is adjustable, and is adjusted so it has this small space before the end for neutral and is adjustable for different engine belt lengths to get the setup working right.
My red mower had a neutral on the shifter so when that mower was in neutral, the linkage rod was at the end of it's travel held there by the shifter and not a separate rod lock.
2- The big heavy spring pulls the vari drive pulley towards the back of the mower.
3- Clutch linkage connects the clutch pedal to the vari drive pulley by a rod. When the vari drive pulley moves then so does the clutch pedal move with it. This rod's length is adjustable and is determined by the length of the engine belt to achieve neutral.
4- Clutch pedal puts the setup in neutral. Is connected to vari drive and limits the movement of the vari drive pulley by a stop on the foot board or by the belt reaching the most inner diameter of the pulley on the vari drive pulley (engine belt)
5- Neutral lock holds the setup in neutral when in park and hold the brake (if working). 


The next drawing shows shifting into a gear, lets say 4th gear on the shifter, and the neutral rod is still locked in park. The only thing moving is the shifter itself. The neutral lock is holding the whole setup back until released. The shifter moving, sliding on the linkage rod from the slot on the shifter. Note #1 in drawing.



Now the clutch pedal is pushed forward to release the parking lock and let go. The heavy spring pulls the whole setup into gear. The spring pulls the vari drive pulley back, which pulls the clutch pedal back and moves the shifter linkage in the slot towards the back till the shifter linkage reaches the end of the slot on the shifter rod bracket and stops. The setup is now in 4th gear.



My red mower had the shifter on the other side of the fender. To do this only one thing was different in the setup and that was the shifter linkage (the red rod in the drawing). The red rod still slid in the shifter on the shifter side but was attached to the clutch pedal instead of the vari drive pulley. Since the vari drive moved with the clutch pedal, the same control was achieved. Plus the red mower didn't have a neutral rod to lock the setup in neutral. That little space mentioned in the first drawing for the green mower, well the red mower just moved the shifter back a little more to have the shifter linkage at the end of the slot to have it in neutral.

I made a video, not too long, showing the drawings in order and turned out to be a short cartoon, LOL. Enjoy...

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PostSubject: Adding Vari drive to a chassis that didn't have it   Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:18 pm

Hay People,
Lets see if I can do this in one post. "Adding a Vari Drive setup to a chassis that didn't have it." All the fundamentals apply except when told different in this post. Drew some pics for it to explain too.

Below is a pic of a regular mower frame. The framing where the belt runs is about 3 to 4 inches tall where the belt runs. Need to run 2 belts inside the framing and if it needs to will stick out the bottom instead of going up into the frame on a vari drive frame. So to do this, will have to switch the belts on the vari drive pulley so the top belt on this pulley will be the motor belt and the bottom will have to be for the transaxle. This knocks the motor and transaxle out of belt alignment with the vari drive pulley. To fix this problem, the motor needs to be higher then normal when bolted on(#3 on pic), and the transaxle needs to be lower on the frame so a lift on the transaxle mounts is in order(#1 on pic), to get proper belt alignment for the vari drive pulley(#2 on pic). So if the transaxle belt is sticking out the bottom of the framing, then that is how it has to be.


Below is a pic of the controls. Remember that the setup, when letting go of the clutch, wants to go into high gear. The shifter holds the setup back from going into high gear, and stops in the gear you put it in.
OK, Lets go through the numbers.
#1 is the vari drive pulley bolted to the frame rail somewhere in the middle. Needing room for the tensioner pulley between the vari drive pulley and the input pulley on the transaxle. I would mount the tensioner pulley to the transaxle so you don't need to fuss over finding a spot on the frame rail.
#2 is the rod that is adjustable, that connects the vari drive pulley swing arm to the clutch pedal. The adjustment is for clutch tuning.
#3 is a lever on the other end of the clutch pedal rod that is added to make a control lever connection. Can probably be inside or outside of the frame rail.
#4 is the control rod for the shifter that is connected to the clutch. This rod needs to be adjustable to make longer or shorter to tune for first gear if the setup has a clutch lock lever, or use this rod to hold the clutch in neutral which would be best for simplicity.
#5 is the holder for the control rod in the pic, the control rod telescopes in this holder until it bottoms out. When it bottoms out the setup will be in the chosen gear. So #4 and #5 would be made if there isn't an original shifter used. An alternative setup when you only have the vari drive pulley and nothing else.
#6 is the shifter for gear selecting. Need to have a lock to lock the shifter in its gear so the shifter doesn't move.
#7 is the stop for the clutch pedal for when the setup reaches high gear. The stop prevents the clutch pedal from moving further then high gear selection.
As mentioned earlier, this setup is for when you only have a vari drive pulley and you need to make everything else. If you pull a vari drive setup of a mower then put the parts in the correct place.


So this should be everything needed to tackle putting a setup on a traditional riding mower with a single belt and transforming the setup to a vari drive setup.

Next will be pics for a setup on a mower that has a horizontal  input and output shaft.

I think that is it for this post.
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PostSubject: Vari drive with a horizontal shaft engine/transaxle   Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:12 am

Hay people,
Been too busy lately since my car wanted to crap out, had to get another vehicle. Got me something with an LS V8 in it, LOL.

So, onward and upward.................

So this post is about a vari drive that is put into a horizontal shaft engine/transaxle setup that was not made for it. I have no clue if there would be room in a mower, lets say a Suburban chassis, to fit the parts in to get the vari drive to work. If you are making a custom chassis, then this post should help, say a dragster maybe (hint, hint) LOL. I will be using this vari drive setup on my future build of my racing/drag race mower.

OK, lets get started, drew another pic to explain the parts.


 1-I'll start with the engine/transaxle first. Engine is horizontal shaft that when put on the chassis, will spin backwards as compared to a go-kart since the engine is turned and facing the opposite way. The transaxle input will be spinning opposite also. Need to know this because of the tensioner pulley will be in a different spot on the trans belt of the vari drive to work right. The belts will be pulling on the bottom sides and the loose part of the belts will be on top for the tensioner pulley. This is shown in the pic with the blue trans belt and note the tensioner pulley is on top and the red arrows inside the pulleys of engine and transaxle show the rotation of the pulleys.

 2-Next is the green engine belt from engine to vari drive pulley. The pic shows the setup in neutral so the belt will be loose. First gear in vari drive, then the belt will be tight (ofcourse), make note that there is no clutch pulley or tensioner pulley on the green belt because the vari drive pulley does this. Also note the red arrow under the vari drive pulley and notice that the arrow is pointed on a downward angle which is straight away from the engine and is showing the swing direction of the vari drive pulley (this will be explained). In the pic, for the vari drive pulley to change ratios, the vari drive pulley needs to swing directly away from the engine pulley for this to happen, and does not matter which angle the trans belt (blue belt) comes off the vari drive pulley, for the setup to work correctly.
OK, I noticed that on the belts of say a Suburban, the belt changes direction sometimes, if you know what I mean. This could be achieved if the swing arm was flipped so the vari drive pulley was on top and swing arm going down to the frame, so the belt goes straight into the vari drive pulley, and with the swing of the swing arm pulling in an arc away from the engine output pulley (this matters), which will make the vari drive pulley change ratios for the trans belt, and the trans belt would go down on an angle to the transaxle. So this means that the vari drive pulley will only change ratios when it is swinging away from the engine output pulley, and will not matter which direction the trans belt pulley comes off the vari drive pulley for the setup to work correctly.

 3-Now the controls which are the blue rod, gray rod, and the clutch pedal. The 2 red arrows next to the parts shows direction of the controls when going from neutral to 5th gear. As mentioned before, the setup wants to be pulled into high gear in a vari drive setup and the controls holds the setup back from doing this. The clutch pedal will be a rod that crosses from one side of the mower to the other with a pedal on it and the pedal is usually on the left side (when sitting on it) but doesn't matter if on the other side. The levers on the clutch that the control rods connect to, controls how far the shifter and clutch pedal moves. Want a short throw shifter between gears, then make this lever short, and vise versa. Want the clutch pedal to move a little, then make this lever short also, and vise versa. The red dot in the pic by the clutch pedal would be the stop for the clutch pedal (need this) so the setup doesn't go past high gear, when the pedal is resting on the stop the setup is in high gear, if the setup is aloud to go past high gear then this will either pop the belt off or squeeze the belt so hard it will create drag in the belt setup. The light blue rod that connects the clutch pedal to the vari drive swing arm, this rod needs to be adjustable a little bit, to fine tune the belt length to the clutch pedal and vari drive pulley. The gray rod should be adjustable to be able to get the gearing right and to put the setup in neutral.

 4-The shifter itself, I made the pic to have 5 gears for the vari drive, but I kept mine as a 7 speed setup. Or can be made to have fewer gears if desired like a 3 speed or a 2 speed. The inner workings is the slot to choose a higher gear with ease and must push in the clutch pedal to select a lower gear or neutral since the grey rod is constantly pulling on the shifter to a higher gear. Holding the shifter normally is done by angled slots slanted to the side and towards the higher gear.

There you have it. This part is from an engineering point of view with no experience with it. Should work but Tater has more experience on this setup with his DJ sling shot dragster.

Anywho. I think I covered every scenario with a vari drive setup to make anybody an expert. I will be taking a break on this subject for a little bit unless someone has a question, well till it's time to cut the grass again, LOL. Right before I put my mower up, I tried to ride over a high spot in one of the driveways while cutting and the battery fell onto the transaxle pulley and popped a hole in it and leaked the acid out onto the belt and cut up the belt a little. Plus might of knocked the tensioner out of position a little because the belt wants to pop off now. OH BOY!! Plus need to make a shifter for the 5 speed transaxle still, among other things.
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PostSubject: Re: Vari drive with 5 speed transaxle   Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:00 am

My 1959 David Bradley Suburban had this same set up, but with a single speed re-end.  The lever right by the steering column is for forward and reverse. The lever in front of that moves the vari-drive pulley back and forth.  The levers left and right of the seat are for the left and right brake bands.  You could use them to turn on a dime and get yourself unstuck.  I should have never sold the one I had.

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PostSubject: Re: Vari drive with 5 speed transaxle   Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:55 pm

@Crazy_Carl wrote:
My 1959 David Bradley Suburban had this same set up, but with a single speed re-end.  The lever right by the steering column is for forward and reverse. The lever in front of that moves the vari-drive pulley back and forth.  The levers left and right of the seat are for the left and right brake bands.  You could use them to turn on a dime and get yourself unstuck.  I should have never sold the one I had.


Now that's cool!! Good to know I got it, well kinda right, lol. Thank you. Yah, first time I saw a tractor with individual brake pedals, I thought why did they do that, and a few years later I read an article about an import AWD with traction control and how it worked, OK, see where they got the idea from. Yah, old school traction control there...

Awesome looking tractor, thanks for sharing.
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PostSubject: Other uses   Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:43 pm

Hay People,
Since it's winter, figure I would do a post on this mower for other uses during the winter time. Kinda funny but I'm sure other people have done this too.

Since I got a hood on the mower, I just happen to be using it for a work bench. Seems someone left a tank on my regular work bench, LOL. And the other spots on the mower can hold my welder too. So it can be a welding and grinding, work bench, all in one.
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PostSubject: Season 2 with the vari drive and 5 speed riding mower   Sun May 06, 2018 10:48 pm

Hay People,
The start of season 2 with this riding mower. Already started cutting the grass today with my push mowers doing the front yards. I need some push mowers with stronger motors evidently. one has a 3.75 hp and the other has a warmed up 5 hp and they are still bogging down. Maybe a couple 10 hp's would do the trick, but that's another build thread. Twisted Evil Anywho... Got 2 out of 3 front yards cut before it started raining and called it quits, LOL.

So... as it sits, I got a few bugs to work out on this project, just minor ones to get up and running for the season.


I need new battery cables. I reused the original ones and they are not doing to good. A little snip, snip, and solder would fix the problem here.


Next, I need to redo the battery box, the battery box fell down onto the transaxle pulley when I road over some bumps. When the battery box fell onto the spinning transaxle pulley, the battery bounced off and landed on the pulley too. Wore a hole in one of the cells in the battery and acid flung all over the place. Evidently Kevlar is not resistant to battery acid because it weakened the kevlar on the belt and shredded it in a couple of spots. And the belt wants to keep popping off to boot, so there is an alignment issue on the trans belt also.

Shredded belt


I got an extra car battery I'll be putting in this thing if I can get it to fit under the seat. A little slice and dice might work. Ofcourse a new battery box, something not so flimsy. Change out the trans belt and look at the belt alignment too. Then should be up and running. Hopefully the carb is not clogged, and there is still oil in the motor, LOL. I'll make sure to check the oil this time. I found my extra head light to fit in the original spot to replace the blown one. I bought a set of LED's for this but I don't know yet if I will put them on right now, I might use them on something else maybe.

2 things I plan on doing while I'm using this mower during the season will be: figure out a front bumper, something that will push a brick off to the side, and a little log off to the side also. Because I'm tired of grinding up bricks with this thing and smacking a good size piece of wood with the blades is not good either. I'm sure my neighbor is tired of hearing things hit the side of his house, LOL. I'm thinking one of two things, plow or cow catcher. What ever I do I will need to be able to lift it up and drop it down and have wheels on it like swivel casters or something. We shall see. The other thing will be a shifter for the transaxle. I'm tired of scraping my knuckles on the seat to shift gears.

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PostSubject: Re: Vari drive with 5 speed transaxle   Mon May 07, 2018 8:09 pm

I'd make a shifter a big priority.  Not having one would drive me bananas.

I kinda like the plow catcher idea.  Maybe you could use some kind of hay rake tines with trip springs?
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PostSubject: Re: Vari drive with 5 speed transaxle   Tue May 08, 2018 10:40 pm

Yup, shifter is a big YES. ASAP too. Tired of cutting my fingers a palm on the under side of the seat since it's so cramped under there. And I see what you are saying on the plow catcher idea, that would be neat like an old locomotive, lol.
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PostSubject: Re: Vari drive with 5 speed transaxle   Thu May 10, 2018 8:58 pm

Hay People,

Just picking away at the list of things to do on this. Been busy for me this week. I need to hurry though, the grass is getting really tall now since it is raining off and on.

Went to Tractor Supply and got the new trans belt. 46 inches by 5/8. Belts are side by side and can see the tears in the old one. Tears are not too bad and the belt didn't stretch either so the old belt will get put up for a spare, you know, in case the new one breaks for that bad decision you do what you shouldn't and bad things happen, LOL.


New belt installed. Didn't even need a wrench to take off the old and put the new one on. All I used was my Kung Fu grip to bend the cotter pin and pull it off and bend it back when put back on. Smile


The next thing was to replace the headlight that blew out. I was moving stuff in my basement and just happen to see my spare headlight. Pretty sure I have another one some where that came off the same mower, Ill be keeping an eye out for it because the one I found doesn't match the one that is on the mower and that will eventually drive me crazy. Plus I'm pretty sure I tested the headlight that I found when I stored it. I don't think I would save a bad light, I think. We shall see when I hit the switch, LOL.


Stay tuned, updated will be posted as I do them.
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PostSubject: Re: Vari drive with 5 speed transaxle   Thu May 10, 2018 9:08 pm

@prancstaman wrote:
Glad to see I'm not the only one who uses baling wire for c clips.
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PostSubject: Re: Vari drive with 5 speed transaxle   Thu May 10, 2018 9:33 pm

Yup, got it from Tractor Supply, LOL. I was actually wanting the Aviation grade safety wire that is stainless steel but could not find a local supplier to buy it from. This wire does the job nicely though. I been using this wire for a couple of things like holding linkage rods on, hose clamps for these type of projects, CV boot clamps, and the C-clips. I will eventually buy one of those big spools of the stuff, since I'm using it so much.
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PostSubject: Re: Vari drive with 5 speed transaxle   Thu May 10, 2018 9:38 pm

@prancstaman wrote:
I been using this wire for a couple of things like holding linkage rods on.
I use wire fro linkages themselves, lol.
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PostSubject: Got it running!!!   Sun May 13, 2018 10:21 pm

Hay People,
Well, after a long day today, I got it running. Drove it around and seem to work OK, except the deck blades won't stop spinning when in off position. Need just little bigger belt, just 1 inch should do it. Maybe it will stretch, LOL.

OK, to the work to get it running for the season.........

I pulled the fender off, measured the battery for the hole to cut out and marked where to cut.


After cutting out a bigger hole, I needed a better bracket to hold the battery. I think it's a transaxle brace, it was the right measurements so I used it. Drilled some holes and bolted it in so I can remove it to do maintenance on the drive section. Had to redo the wiring anyways. Found some battery cables in my mess and hooked up the wiring. They was both black so I painted the one red for the positive.


Dropped the battery in and no way is it going to fall through this time. Fills the hole pretty nicely.Cut the fender to match the frame and the battery is just below the fender.


Redid the solenoid wiring too. May look like spaghetti but I can expand on it real easily if I have to later.


Changed the seat. It was more of a function thing. When it rains, this seat can let the water run off it and not collect in the center like the yellow one did.


Everything has there good and bad points. The bad is, I needed to use the bracket that came with the seat and after looking at it after mounting it, was hitting the transaxle shifter under the seat when I sat on it. So I disabled the seat springs by cramming 3/4 square tubing in them to make it solid. Feels better like this anyways.



At this point, I filled the tank with gas, bought some battery terminals and hooked up the battery, and turned the key. Fired right up and drove it around a little bit. Belt stayed on. Had no issues, well not yet anyways.

Since it was idling, I flicked the switch for the lights, they both worked. YES. Now I can cut the grass, well after I clean the yards anyways, LOL.


While sitting on it, I figured out how to do the shifter for the transaxle. The next little project for this mower. Don't know when, but soon........... Stay tuned...
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PostSubject: It works perfect, success!!   Wed May 16, 2018 8:36 pm

Hay People,
Finally got my grass cut, all of it. Finished the last bit of it today which was in the front yard using my push mower. So, I got home yesterday and started cleaning the yards. Then started cutting. This thing worked great, no problems at all. I also found the limits of the setup too, LOL.

The trans belt stayed on which I thought would give me problems but didn't. Motor ran great. I had the motor screaming for 3 hours straight too and never missed a beat. I might just keep the flattie, maybe. We shall see. I was cutting till dusk but finished before I could use the headlights, oh well. Maybe next time. Started up with no problems too, thanks to the extra big battery. Having the deck engaged while starting didn't help, but still started, LOL.

OK, found the limits of the setup. With this mower having a 12.5 hp Briggs I/C motor and basically 2 gearboxes with a final drive ratio of 371 to 1 coming out of the drive axles with the engine revved up to the max governed speed of probably 3000 rpm, with all that can cut thick grass that is at least 1 1/2 feet high or 18 inches high with 2 passes. Probably could do it in one pass though but would bough down the motor just a bit, and would rip the grass instead of cutting it. Came out ok with 2 passes and mulched alot of it up too. When i said I found the limits of the setup, on the second pass which the thick grass was about 8 inches high with the trans in 1st and vari drive in 3rd would bough the motor a bit. Just not enough of HP to go that fast while cutting I guess.

So, I would do the yards on the first pass with the deck all the way up on the first notch to bring the grass from 18 inches to about 8 inches in low/low gear. Then drop the deck all the way to the ground and finish cutting it on the second pass. Speeding up in areas that was light grass in 5th on the belts and 1st on the transaxle. Then putting it in 1st on the belts and 1st on the transaxle in the really thick grass. And every gear inbetween on the belts  for the other areas. Alot of shifting going on here with the belts while the transaxle pretty much stayed in 1st gear. It's alot easier to shift using the belts with a smooth transition from gear to gear. If I would shift using the transaxle then it would be real jerky hitting the gears to speed up and slowing down. Much easier on my back too, using the belts to control the speed and that's a plus, Smile One thing I noticed to was this setup has alot of torque, especially in low/low, I can see the whole mower twisting while going up little hills and holes. Good thing I'm not off roading it because it would just twist the frame like a pretzel, LOL. I'll have to check the frame for cracks every now an then to weld up. I should probably sharpen the blades too which would cut the grass easier and not leave little swirlies of grass in the lawn, LOL. Grinding up bricks and logs with the deck DULLS THE BLADES. You know i grow bricks in my yard, they grow like potatoes to where they poke out of the ground and find them when the deck blade hits them, LOL. OK, I thought you people would like to know how you would use a setup like this.

Next little project for this build will be a shifter for the transaxle. The handle will be on the left side of the dashboard.
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PostSubject: Re: Vari drive with 5 speed transaxle   Wed May 16, 2018 8:46 pm

I take my blade sharpening and balancing pretty seriously.  Sharp blades use less horsepower to cut the grass.

Sounds like all this gearing came in handy for cutting insanely tall grass.  How does you deck mow 8" high?  That's almost like a brush hog.  The deck on my Wheel Horses doesn't really go higher than 4" which is good for a lawn but I'd kinda like it to go higher to mow trails through tall grass out at the farm.

Get building that shifter!
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PostSubject: Re: Vari drive with 5 speed transaxle   Wed May 16, 2018 9:41 pm

Here ya go Carl,

I ran out and measured the deck height. Your right, maybe 5 inches tall all the way up.


I know the grass was rubbing the chin of the grill too in spots. Plus driving over the grass, the front axle was kinda bending it over when I cut it the first time around. Well almost 8 inches tall, Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Vari drive with 5 speed transaxle   Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:22 pm

Hay People,
Had to use this mower for something other then cutting. Still trying to figure out how strong this mower is. My nephew bought a van cheap with a blown transmission, only drives in reverse so when we got it home by flat bed, we had to back it in the driveway and park it in the grass off to the side. He wanted to start working on the trans right away and needed to move it and I didn't want to use my new shiny truck so I said I'll use my riding mower. They're like "OK?" So today when I got home from work, I grabbed the tow chain and hooked it to the bumper of the van and bolted it to the rear of the mower, told my nephew to start up the van and steer. He's sitting in the van just looking at me, like OK, ready. Pop both shifters into low/low and pulled the van out of the grass which was an incline with a dried up mud hole it had to roll over. Pulled it out with no problems. I was like YAH!!

OH, it is a 2002 f150 Econoline full conversion van. Must weigh about 3 tons. Didn't even faze the flattie and no belt slippage what so ever. COOL. I should have shot a video but just wanted to get it over with, Sorry People, maybe next time.
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AllisKidD21
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PostSubject: Re: Vari drive with 5 speed transaxle   Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:33 pm

Hahaha, awesome! Nice to know she's got some grunt! Definitely woulda made for cool video. Now just imagine what it could do if it had an opposed.... haha.

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PostSubject: Re: Vari drive with 5 speed transaxle   Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:48 am

That's cool! I would've thought that the belt would slip with that kind of load, must be pretty tight.
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PostSubject: Re: Vari drive with 5 speed transaxle   Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:54 am

I just pulled a dual axle trailer with my lt4000, didn't weight 3 tons but with brush on it was still pretty heavy with tongue weight on the mower too but still towed quite well and didn't break anything .
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PostSubject: Re: Vari drive with 5 speed transaxle   Sat Jun 09, 2018 9:55 pm

@AllisKidD21 wrote:
Hahaha, awesome! Nice to know she's got some grunt! Definitely woulda made for cool video. Now just imagine what it could do if it had an opposed.... haha.

I don't know yet if I'm going to put one of my oppey's in it. I'm still on the fence with that one. The flattie 12.5 hp I/C seems to be plenty for this project. Cutting the grass, it seems to be handling it pretty good. Now that I know the limits of the engine when cutting it should be fine. Having this motor screaming for 3 hours straight with no problems of overheating or running out of fuel seems pretty tempting to keep it. Need a better muffler though, LOL.
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PostSubject: Re: Vari drive with 5 speed transaxle   Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:13 pm

@MatthewD wrote:
That's cool! I would've thought that the belt would slip with that kind of load, must be pretty tight.

The springs for the belt tensioner is on the trans belt and they are 2 little springs. If I grab the tensioner I can move it by hand but has some resistance to it. The 2 springs are like 1/4 the size of a regular clutch spring. And the clutch pedal still has the same resistance to push it as it did before I did the mods. I might change the clutch pedal tension though, takes a while to go through the gears when I pick the higher ones on the vari drive. That' the big spring and would be harder to push the clutch pedal then. Debating that one still.
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PostSubject: Re: Vari drive with 5 speed transaxle   Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:16 pm

@biggasmowers wrote:
I just pulled a dual axle trailer with my lt4000, didn't weight 3 tons but with brush on it was still pretty heavy with tongue weight on the mower too but still towed quite well and didn't break anything .

Oh yah, seen the pic on that one. Good job. Not breaking anything and getting the job done is always a big plus. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Vari drive with 5 speed transaxle   Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:52 am

Hay People,
I moved something else the other day. It took a Murry to stop this thing, LOL. I didn't break anything, just lost traction is all.


The front wheels are all tore up and won't steer and the brakes were locked up so the rear wheels was dragging. When I got the front rolling and steering I was able to drag it where I needed it. LOL. Future project. I'm stripping it for the rear wheels and transaxle. Has 12 hp I/C in it but was told it was blown, we'll see later about that. I'll strip it for parts and save the frame for maybe a racer.

Oh, here's the van I pulled before the Murry.
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PostSubject: No more busted knuckles!!!   Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:35 pm

Hay People,
I finally got the shifter made. No more busted knuckles for me, LOL. And was easier then I thought it would be to make something workable, I actually been dreading making a shifter because I thought it would be hard. K.I.S.S method applied and approved.

An added benefit of having a steel dash is you can weld to it. So on the side of the dash I welded a spacer to it for a pivot point. Then drilled the hole for the bolt inside the spacer.


Next was the arm for the shifter rod on the transaxle. I drilled out a piece of pipe to slide over the shifter rod then marked and drilled a hole for a bolt to go through and lock the pipe onto the shifter rod. Then welded a flat piece on top for the linkage to attach to after I figured out range of motion.


Made a shifter. Some deck linkage I found in the pile of mower parts. Bent it up to contour the dash and hold the linkage rod. Welded a spacer to the pivot point so it doesn't rock on the bolt and welded on a handle.


Found a long heavy rod for the linkage with one end having an adjuster on it so I can adjust where the shifter stops, mainly when the shifter is all the way forward (which is reverse gear). The other end I welded a bolt to for ease of removal and used a nylock nut on it.


I had to clearance the seat bracket some more for the shifter lever for the transaxle.


Finally pieced it together. The linkage rod is out of the way which was unexpected and good. The shifter is in reverse now. I'll paint it black later, it was raining when I was making this.


I shaped the shifter to contour the dash so it looks nice.


And this is the shifter in 5th gear on the transaxle.


I haven't even tested it yet so I have no clue if it will hold up without bending. Pushing forward and pulling backwards, the shifter should hold up. But the shifter is easy to bend side ways because it is only 1/16 inch thick steel. Should be simple to reinforce it later or make a shifter out of something thicker and stronger later.

I'm still having a problem shifting the transaxle from gear to gear. I'm thinking that not having a way to release the pressure on the trans belt is making it shift hard because even though I have the clutch pushed in that only releases the engine belt pressure while the trans belt is still under tension. That makes the shifting forks not want to move in the transaxle. It's mainly hard to shift in reverse, neutral, and first gear on the transaxle. 2nd through 5th are always easy because I'm moving and there is no big pressure on the shift forks. Looks like I'll have to add a second clutch and have it going to the trans belt tensioner so I can shift into 1st, neutral, and reverse. Maybe have it on the shifter handle for the transaxle. Should be easy by hand since there are small springs on the trans belt tensioner.
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