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 Custom Craftsman Rock-Crawler build

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PostSubject: Re: Custom Craftsman Rock-Crawler build   Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:58 am

@dangeroustoys56 wrote:
Cool- have y checked how the steering would work with the extreme flex yet? Full drop on that side shouldnt be an issue- just full hilt i think might be an issue... the steering comes off the left side of the tractor - i dunno if y might need bump stops.

Yeah, when your right, your right!

It actually does pretty good! at full compression on the left side, the linkage does come very close! I will have to put in some steering stops, not so much for the linkage, but more for the tires rubbing.

Here are some small update pics, didn't work on it much, mostly reinforcing and checking clearances...



Mocked up with steering and tires. (yes they rub.. lol!)





That should be enough travel... Not quite as much as I originaly wanted, but good enough! 8" from full droop, to full compress. Gotta figure out how im gonna keep it stable though... Springs, or shocks or I was also thinking about using those gas charged shocks you see on hatchback cars. I have 2 of them and they are the perfect length. It's a low speed machine, so they could work. Unless I find something better.

Oh yeah, I'm putting a new mudding vid up today, keep your eyes peeled. It's gonna be a good one! lol!
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Craftsman Rock-Crawler build   Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:41 am

Its looking cool! I like those real wheels on the front. Do you have a couple valve springs - id tack those to the axle up in under the frame - youd loose a lil more flex tho with those compressed springs .

For the wheel scrub- use a bolt on the spindles to limit the amount they steer( like MTD's have that pin )- just far enough to steer w/o hitting the frame.

Definitly very cool looking so far.
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Craftsman Rock-Crawler build   Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:43 am

Those shocks owuld work I think. I'm making some lockers for my axle. My steering is still gonna be a pain in the ass with all the extra travel it's got.
I dont know why new posts arent showing up for me though, I keep missing updates!
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Craftsman Rock-Crawler build   Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:53 am

me too and the icon for new posts is flashing red
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Craftsman Rock-Crawler build   Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:42 pm

I noticed that, but I think its stopped now cos of your post! It's often the samll things like reinforcing and checking cleanances that take time. My steering took a few hours. Only about an hour was acuatlly fabricating, the rest was making sure everything would clear, lots of little tweaks to get it perfect. It's really nice to have steering again. Im so close so having it working!
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Craftsman Rock-Crawler build   Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:03 pm

I tried to leave the steering alone for slimplisity's sake. I'll try to get some stuff done on it this weekend. Gotta buy like $10 worth of steering parts first.
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Craftsman Rock-Crawler build   Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:07 pm

@FearlessFront wrote:
Gotta buy like $10 worth of steering parts first.

BUY? scratch lol I prefer not to do that if I can help it. What parts are you buying? New stuff is always fun though!
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Craftsman Rock-Crawler build   Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:58 pm

Well thats the best part about modding- y can always tweek it after its complete .

I have alot of stock parts around - unfortunately i dont have any metal stock really laying around - ill need some for my direct steer setup on the 2 mods - also some square stock for supports n stuff - i usually wait till i have a 'list' before i travel around n get the stuff i need - hate making more then a trip.

Most likely my mild mod MTD will get direct steer n all that jazz - just not now.... i want it screaming around the yard- LOL!
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Craftsman Rock-Crawler build   Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:53 pm

Well I gotta get some large bolts and nuts so I can extend the front spindles, and I'd like to replace the 4 plactic busing inserts in the front axle, before I put it all back together. After that I may reinforce some more, add the steering stops like dangeroustoys56 way saying. Then the front end will almost be done!
Still gotta figure out spring/shocks.... scratch
I got a few ideas brewing...


I love making multiple trips to tractor supply, its like a candy store for me. I look at everything everytime i go there.
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Craftsman Rock-Crawler build   Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:27 pm

Yeah same here - they got rid of the clearance section in our store- sucks! Im going to buy a roll of that battery cable sometime- ill save money that way instead of $10 a wire..... ill need a couple more tubes for the back wheels on the wizard ( plus rear tires) .... also need to get the belts for the mod mtd..... sprockets...ect, ect....
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Craftsman Rock-Crawler build   Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:30 am

It's like that with me when I got to machine mart. I'll go in for some spools of mig wire, and then look around the whole store for the hell of it! Its a candy store...for men!

Ive just about run out of metal. Only about 7ft of 1" box left. I'll go to my local scrapyard and have a look again, I always buy it as scrap, can get it cheap, although it needs alot more prep for welding. But worth it I think.

I think Im gonna use your idea for my front spindles. And make some steering stops too! I have plenty of heavy duty nuts and bolts from dismantling various things, including lawn tractors. Although finding two the same isnt alwyas easy! lol
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Craftsman Rock-Crawler build   Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:29 am

For the wizard ill use the hommade spindles from large bolts - i already bot a set of spindles for the wheelhorse- just need to weld the bracket to the axle.

Ive been thinking tho about maybe making the ones on the wheelhorse adjustable tho- if i weld them and they dont set right- then id need to cut em off and redo it. Ive seen racers use heim ends to create the spindle holders - or mount them to the spindle plate - ill have to look into it further.
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Craftsman Rock-Crawler build   Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:52 am

Well yesterday, I got the front end greased and back together. No wheels yet though. Gonna do that today. Everything seemed to work well so far. It's alot stronger then I thought it would be. At least it seems that way, we'll see when I drive it. I may have to do something like Chunk did with his front axle, where the pieces of steel come down behind the front axle so it cant be pushed back. It might be fine though.

So I have to get the wheels on to figure out the steering stops.
Still have to figure out shock or spring mounts
Then put the hood back on and trim the shit out of it! The front tire comes just under the carb at full compression and turned left.
And I also have to figure out a low clearance exaust because I don't think the stock one will fit. That left tire will probably hit it.

I'm gonna try to get most of this done today... Well maybe not the hood and the shocks.... Lets be realistic here... LOL!
If I can get it rolling and maybe driving, I'll be happy. I'll snap some pics and maybe get a video. My camera battery charger died so it'll have to be quick, I don't know how long it will last. I ordered a new one, I should have it by now... Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Craftsman Rock-Crawler build   Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:42 am

I saw the video- its wicked! Yeah i see the contact issues with lock to lock turning and full flexing.... i know y did the wheel bolts already, what if y moved the wheels out just a tad more? Like weld a washer so the wheels wont wander in- thatd probably give just a lil more clearance/stability.
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Craftsman Rock-Crawler build   Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:33 am

Thats the problem with bigger wheels... Im gonmna get mine to sit as far out on the axle as I can, I want my engine fully enclosed, just for the sake of keeping some dirt out of the engine bay. SHould help keep everything dry too.

I still think you should go with springs from a full suspension mountain bike. You could get two for next to nothing, and hell, if they didnt work, you wouldnt have spent much on it. That, or how about the shocks you get to lift the tailgate of a car, you know the ones that push it up. That should help slow things down a bit, and making it more stable.

I still have to figure out a hood, I want one like this, dunno why, I think they look cool though, sorta top heavy looking.


Not to mentions mines beat up to shit. But the hood is far too short, by a good 6 inches. I'll work on that though, Ill check out your video now!


Last edited by Chunk on Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Craftsman Rock-Crawler build   Mon Mar 08, 2010 4:59 pm

@dangeroustoys56 wrote:
I saw the video- its wicked! Yeah i see the contact issues with lock to lock turning and full flexing.... i know y did the wheel bolts already, what if y moved the wheels out just a tad more? Like weld a washer so the wheels wont wander in- thatd probably give just a lil more clearance/stability.

Thanks guys!
The only reason i don't want to move the front wheels out more, (and this is probably dumb) is they already stick out more then the rear tires. Plus, I don't think the tractor could actually turn that sharply, and the rear tires are going to be taller and maybe narrower, so then it'll look really weird. I'm hoping not..


@Chunk wrote:
how about the shocks you get to lift the tailgate of a car, you know the ones that push it up. That should help slow things down a bit, and making it more stable.

I have a set of those that would be the perfect length. Mounting them wouldn't be that hard, but damn! Do they push HARD! affraid I might try it, and see how it goes. I can always cut em off!
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Craftsman Rock-Crawler build   Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:04 am

You could maybe try getting some wheels of the front of a wheelhorse or something, those tall skinny ones. They would probably work well, give you lots of ground clearance without them rubbing too bad, and looking really wide.
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Craftsman Rock-Crawler build   Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:35 pm

Fearlessfront : Yeah i used my wheelhorse front tires on my kleen kut- man, looks alot better with those on it, steers easier too- they also have wheel berings and roll easier.


Chunk: I like that hood style on that tractor- with the lil scoop- reminds me of my toro with the fibreglass hood with the scoop. Y could probably cut a custom scoop out of the stock hood- slice 3 sides open, then get filler pieces for the sides- or at an auto customizer center how about one of those stick on plastic scoops?

Hey- there y go- make one out of fibreglass - that'd be cool! Reinforce it with steel strips ....
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Craftsman Rock-Crawler build   Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:09 pm

I can actaulyl get one of thoses hoods for £30, not cheap, but I really want it! But it doesnt have side panels. I want the sscoop so it gets more air, that twin sits fairly close to the top of the hood, and I wanna make sure its getting enough air
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Craftsman Rock-Crawler build   Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:18 pm

No side panels would suck in more air as well- just make sure y leave the tins on the motor.... could always make side panels with scoops as well... cpet y might get a load of mud in there ocassionally......
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Craftsman Rock-Crawler build   Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:25 pm

True, but I like the look of it enclosed, and it keeps dirt out. If I put scoops on the side panels I'd have the openings facing backwards.

I'd never dream of taking the shrouds off a motor, not for any length of time anyway. I value my motors too much!
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Craftsman Rock-Crawler build   Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:09 pm

I dunno- my agway doesnt have sides on the hood, it stays somewhat clean.... and i ran it thru some wicked mud!
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Craftsman Rock-Crawler build   Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:55 pm

i agree with chunk . i never run any of my motors without a shroud. so important if you think about it
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Craftsman Rock-Crawler build   Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:34 pm

I go one step further, I alwyas sand the insde of the shrouds smooth when I take them off then quickly paint em. It probably doesnt make much differnece to air flow, but its gotta help a bit.
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Craftsman Rock-Crawler build   Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:11 pm

Update! finally!

I put in some steering stops, they were the head to the bolts I used to extend the spindles.



Also had to change the shifter, I didn't have enough leverage with the toyota lug wrench... I guess that what I get for using toyota parts.... lol!



Here are some veiws of the front end and how its attached. Those bolts are 15/16... Big bastards!



Its a long 3/4" wide hardend steel threaded rod. It goes through a piece of pipe, then through the axle, and then out the other piece of pipe. All supported be 1/8" flatsteel.



So yeah, I took some video too... I'll edit and upload that soon. Maybe tomorrow, I donno yet. I'll guess i'll leave you guys with one last pic.... I like this one ... Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Custom Craftsman Rock-Crawler build   Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:42 pm

Very cool! Itll be a serious beast when its done. I like how it looks- i always sit back n think- " pretty cool stuff can be done with a lawntractor never built or intended to do stuff like that."
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