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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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prancstaman
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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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prancstaman
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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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