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 Vari drive with 5 speed transaxle

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Join date : 2015-02-02
Posts : 708

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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Join date : 2015-02-02
Posts : 708
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Location : Cleveland,Ohio

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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Vari drive with 5 speed transaxle
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