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 Craftsman Off-Road Mower

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REBEL 4X4
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PostSubject: Craftsman Off-Road Mower   Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:59 am

Hey everyone, I just recently found this site and it's awesome to know that I'm not the only hick having fun with a mower! So my project is a Craftsman mower (its a 1990' something, not sure exactly). It has a 19hp twin cylinder engine.
Mods: - 3"rear pulley (stock front 3.5" pulley)
- lifted front axle with roughly 10" of wheel travel (from ground to bottom of tire at full flex)
- 20"x8" front tires
- pull start (the electrical system died on me entirely)
- custom header-style exhaust
- front bumper
- front skid plate
- gas pedal (adapted the stock throttle lever to work as a pedal)

This is the most recent pic with all the mods done (except the skid plate). that's my toy hauler in the back, 04 F150 on 33" muds Very Happy
[img][/img]

This is the header part of the exhaust that I made. The welds look pretty shitty but that's because I'm still learning to weld lol.
[img][/img]

This is where I went from the 1" tubing up by the header to a 2" tube. It gives it a much deeper tone than it used to have with the old straight pipes I had on it.
[img][/img]

This is what the old exhaust looked like.
[img][/img]

This is the skid plate I made. I went a bit over kill on how strong it is haha. It's 12" wide and 15" long before it bends upwards. Its braced by four 3/4"x1/8" pieces of angle iron. And there is some tow hooks on there too in case I ever manage to get it stuck somewhere lol.
[img][/img]

I've still got more to do to this monster, but for now let me know whatcha think!
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Jamus
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PostSubject: Re: Craftsman Off-Road Mower   Sun Jul 03, 2011 1:11 pm

Nice mower, I've seen pics of it from somewhere but can't remember where. Got any pics of how you did the pull start? I'd like to add one to mine just in case the starter ever goes out while away from the house.
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REBEL 4X4
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PostSubject: Re: Craftsman Off-Road Mower   Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:10 pm

Thanks It really is a lot of fun to use!
You might have seen it on youtube. My friend has an older video of it posted up there with the old exhaust.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_DwT1QHY-U
I can post up pics of the pull start in a bit. Its not a self recoiling style pull start, its like one on an outboard engine. I just coil up the pull start rope around it each time, which isn't so bad because it usually starts first pull.... But basically what I did was I took the old 8" rear transaxle pulley and drilled some holes in it to line up with some pre-existing holes on my flywheel. (the holes in the flywheel were already drilled/taped because they had held down the plastic fan blades on top) I cut a little notch into the edge of the pulley for the pull cord to grip onto. I then used longer bolts and some washers to space it out properly.
It wasn't too bad overall and seems to be reliable. It just takes a bit of time and a lot of measuring to get the holes lined up properly so the pulley won't have any wobble to it. My pulley sits centered, it just has a bit of a warped top/bottom plate to it which hasn't caused any kind of shaking problems, so I'm not really worried about it.
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REBEL 4X4
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PostSubject: Re: Craftsman Off-Road Mower   Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:01 pm

Sorry about the glare, i painted it chrome lol. I had to drill holes in it so the air could flow through it for the fan to keep the engine cool. Those are mini air scoops on top of the holes to force air into the fan system.
[img][/img]

This is just to show about how much clearance I left. I tried to leave enough room for air to get under it but it wasn't enough, thus the air scoops haha.
[img][/img]

These are the holes that are in the flywheel that I used to mount the pulley into.
[img][/img]

Any questions feel free to ask.
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REBEL 4X4
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PostSubject: Re: Craftsman Off-Road Mower   Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:24 am

Just welded the transaxle! I did it the way that FearlessFront shows how to in his video. It seems like it's going to be quite effective and durable. Now I'm just making up some belt retainers for around the rear pulley because it keeps slipping off..... Oh and I put a 1" spacer lift in the rear to try and level it out and make more room for larger rear tires down the road. I'm thinking some 22x12x8 kenda bear claws!
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Jamus
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PostSubject: Re: Craftsman Off-Road Mower   Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:30 am

Thanks for the pics and explanation. I was wondering how you worked out the cooling. It's even better than 2 of my engines are opposed twins, just like yours but rated a little less powerful.
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REBEL 4X4
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PostSubject: Re: Craftsman Off-Road Mower   Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:44 am

No problem. I'm glad to help in any way possible. And the cooling was definitely something I was concerned about. I wanted to make sure it would definitely get enough air flow, so I figured I should go overkill on the cooling system lol.
But here is a better explanation of what I did for the cooling system in case anyone wants more detail.
For the cooling issue all I really did was I drilled 6 holes in the pulley I mounted on top. Then I made little scoops for each of the holes to help pull the air down through it more efficiently. Also I ground off a bit from the red metal cover to widen up the hole above the fan blades a bit. It wasn't done in the pics, but i just did it last night. I ground off about half of the inner lip closest to the fan blades. But even before grinding that it was staying cool with just the holes and the scoops. I haven't noticed it getting really hot lately since I added the scoops on. Before i drilled the holes and attached the scoops, that red shield was getting almost too hot to touch. Now it stays as cool as it did before I installed the pull start. So it seems like it should be a reliable way to keep it cool.


Last edited by REBEL 4X4 on Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:35 pm; edited 2 times in total
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REBEL 4X4
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PostSubject: Re: Craftsman Off-Road Mower   Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:55 am

These are the pics of the air scoops.
[img][/img]

This is a side view, you can also see just under the pulley where I ground the red casing back almost to the edge of the pulley.
[img][/img]
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Chunk
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PostSubject: Re: Craftsman Off-Road Mower   Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:13 pm

Like the pulley idea. Not sure it would get enough air though. Is it possible to make larger holes in it without loosing its strenght?
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noledroByrreK
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PostSubject: Re: Craftsman Off-Road Mower   Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:26 am

that thing is sweet. i like the blue. i have the same exact tractor to but mine is white.

Chunk if you were concernd about air flow you could get a pulley like i have on mine.

you might have to be a little creative to find a away to attatch it tho

Those scoops are really cool tho. i would have never thought of that
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REBEL 4X4
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PostSubject: Re: Craftsman Off-Road Mower   Sat Jul 30, 2011 3:56 am

Chunk- I'm not sure how much larger I could make the holes before losing the structural strength of the pulley. The holes are currently 3/4" and seem to keep the engine fairly cool. I have run it for a little over an hour before with the current setup and it doesn't get all that hot. I'm sure there are better ways of keeping it cool, but this works for now =)

noledroByrreK- Thanks for the compliment =) These tractors are seemingly pretty good for modding. The frame is rock solid and I have yet to break anything other than the shifting linkage lol.
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REBEL 4X4
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PostSubject: Re: Craftsman Off-Road Mower   Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:14 pm

Just a pic of the flex that this thing is capable of =)
[img][/img]
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Ford Boi
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PostSubject: Re: Craftsman Off-Road Mower   Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:39 pm

That's some nasty flex, quite a bit more than mine and I thought mine was alot!!!
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REBEL 4X4
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PostSubject: Re: Craftsman Off-Road Mower   Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:00 pm

Thanks man. The only bad thing about it is that with so much flex and 20"tires, it is nearly impossible to avoid rubbing.... it has left some nice black marks on the hood lol
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PostSubject: Re: Craftsman Off-Road Mower   Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:35 pm

Holy crap!! I only have 18"s. That must crawl over some big rocks then. I don't have any rubbing issues but my front axle is all custom, wider than stock and lower on the frame, plus some heavy bump-stops. How does she steer with the 20"s ??
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