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 0ptions for next build

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5 posters

Which tractor do you think would be best?
BEAST
0ptions for next build I_vote_lcap13%0ptions for next build I_vote_rcap
 13% [ 1 ]
WHAMS
0ptions for next build I_vote_lcap0%0ptions for next build I_vote_rcap
 0% [ 0 ]
ARIENS (Aaron???)
0ptions for next build I_vote_lcap13%0ptions for next build I_vote_rcap
 13% [ 1 ]
A frankenstein
0ptions for next build I_vote_lcap74%0ptions for next build I_vote_rcap
 74% [ 6 ]
Total Votes : 8
 

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Angchor
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PostSubject: 0ptions for next build   0ptions for next build Icon_minitimeJuly 31st 2014, 9:57 pm

Gotta say I have learned a LOT in the past few months.

Biggest thing I have learned though, is how I should build the ultimate, (for me), super utility tractor.

Without compromise, it should include, but not be limited to, the following things.

1. Lower the center of gravity without compromising ground clearance.
2. WIDE
3. Stretched. (Rear axle WELL behind the driver.)
4. Separate brakes. (And hopefully better than the brakes that are standard on a tractor.)
5. Secure drive train that will not slip at a dangerous moment.
6. Put a winch on the front.


I am finished with the trail. I will probably never go down or back up that trail again.

Biggest reason being, I can't bloody well WALK the trail.

And then there's the time it would take me to make a really good build that I would trust on that trail again... Is longer than it will be before the bridge is finished, and the trail will be closed. IOW: I can't build fast enough to be able to use the trail again, anyway.

But I got bit by the tractor bug. I do still need to build that good build, so I can use it on my own property. But even if I didn't have to, I'd still get out there and build it just because I'm infected with the tractor fever now. LOL

Ok, to whit:

I have three tractors to choose from, to begin the new build. Lets have a look at them , and consider the options.

We are going to look at the frame. The drive train. etc...

I will come back to this thread and add things for the good or the bad, as they occur to me.

First we have my first tractor, the BEAST.
0ptions for next build Beatbe11

This is the beast after the crash, and after I started taking parts off of it.

The hood is pretty well beat, but that isn't going to matter for a tractor that I will not be leaving somewhere out in the public and so I don't have to worry about locking it all up.

The steering needs improvement. I would probably want to stiffen/beef up the front axle, then possibly change it to direct steer. Although with a utility tractor that may require some tricky steering in some spots on my hillside... it may be best to leave the steering type as is, but beef everything up. I think that could probably be done.

Frame. This frame is pretty beef! I don't like the tunnel being as tall as it is. I'd like to cut that down. And I'd have to cut the fender, etc, to lower the center of gravity by lowering the seat. And it may actually be the best of the three to extend.

The transaxle seems to be one that a lot of people like. I'll agree with that. My one gripe about it is that the axle itself is pretty wimpy. If I go with this one, I will be looking for the axle bearings from an 820. (And seals.) And I will be extending the axles, and adding pillow blocks to support them. Again, maybe all this is ok, because I'd have to do all that to the ariens as well, if I stretched and widened it.

The engine seems to be the best of the engines I have. Works really well. Is very strong. (RUNS up that hill, compared to the WHAMS only creeping up.) And doesn't seem to any the worse for wear from my putting a foot throttle on it.

~~~~~~~

Next we have the WHAMS. Man, I really liked that tractor!

0ptions for next build Racks10

I really should have taken the time to separate out the brake on that thing, and put in a separate pedal for it. It might have saved me from the crash. Not too sure about that, though. Because I don't know that a brake that is inside a grease packed case, and is completely packed with grease, itself... Would have held on that steep slope anyway.

The hood is all plastic. And did take a bit of a beating. Again, no big deal, because I am not going to be leaving it in a place where I need to lock it up like you do your car when you leave it in a parking lot.

Steering. Even though I did the repairs to the front axle and components, it never steered any better than the craftsman. Still all over the place.

It was/is all wheel steering. That may seem like a good thing. And in some scenarios, I am sure it would be so. But that has been damaged now. If I stretch it as well, then I would be eliminating the rear steering anyway. Just because it would be stronger and easier to build it without working rear steering.

Bottom line, I'd have to rebuild the steering, just like I'd have to rebuild it on the beast.

The frame for this is kaput. If I had to pick the frame that is the least desireable of the three, this one would be it.

That rear transaxle, and axle is the strongest that I have. Real beef! Unfortunately it is FNR only. And to be honest, I don't like the vari-drive. If I decide to stretch and build this one, I'll have to do a LOT of experimenting with the vari-drive system. Not sure I want to mess with that. Especially since every time I drive it, I smell the belts burning. And that is with 'normal' driving.

If I could find some other way to reliably vary the speed, I might consider it.

The engine. Well, it runs. But either the engine itself is gutless or the vari-drive system makes it so. I never tried to bypass the governor on this one, either. So maybe it is unfair to compare it to the engine of the same size on the beast. (Which HAS been bypassed.)

~~~~~~~

Now we come to the final contestant.

Untried and unsure. The ariens.

0ptions for next build Ariens10

The plow is homemade. The PO made that, and then never tried it. Ever.

It was running when he parked it there. It hasn't been started or run, since. Been several years sitting there.

It has no hood. Nothing of any kind. The "dash" is all beat up, and would have to be pretty much rebuilt. Again, no biggie because this will not have to be locked up. But it WILL have to be kep covered...

Steering... Completely unknown. I have to say that i really like the looks of the front axle, and the really beefy way it is mounted. But the wheels wobble like mad on it, so at the least the wheels are going to have to be replaced. At this point in time I am going to assume that to get good solid steering on this, I'll have to go through and do a rebuild, repair, and adjust, just like I would have to to the other two tractors.

Frame. This one is a bit strange. It is strangely shaped. It does seem sturdy. And again, I really like the sturdy appearance of the front end. But to stretch the back end may require a bit more framing and bracing than the beast frame. And I have to say, when I sit on this one, I like the stance and the feel the best, out of the three of them.

The trans is a hydro. I've never driven one. But from what I have gathered here and elsewhere, it may well be the best trans of the three, for my purpose. Which is strictly utility. Not speed. I have no idea if it even works. I will assume that it does, or that it will be fairly easy to MAKE it work, since the PO was driving it before he parked it.

And last.. the engine. The other two are 15.5hp. They are almost identical. This one is 15hp. It is a tekumseh. And it was running when he parked it. But it is full of gray sludge. When you turn the top by hand, you hear metal grating sounds inside. Again, I have no idea if this is going to run, and/or if it does, is it going to be any good. It does have one of those vacum powered fuel pumps. The others do not. (The beast has an electric that I put on there, but would probably work on gravity feed. And the whams is a gravity feed.)

~~~~~~~


My thoughts...

It almost looks like a frankenstein is going to be my best bet.

The beast frame seems the beefiest. But it could be that once I strip down the ariens I will like the frame just as much. And I already like the stance and feel of the ariens the best.

The ariens definitely has the best seat out of the three. Whatever I build will likely end up with that seat.

So far the engine from the beast seems the best.

The trans from the whams is the best as far as being beefy. Anything that I build, will have to have strength in mind as the first priority. But it's only an FNR.

I need to get the ariens ambulating on it's own, to be able to truly judge that trans. I also need it running, so I can judge the engine.

Today, I have been recovering from the crash.

Tomorrow, I will get out there and get the ariens down here into my working area, and see what it is going to take to get it going so that I can judge what parts of it are good or better than the others. If any at all ARE...

There is supposed to be a 'dump valve' on those hydros. Does anyone have any idea where it is on this rig?
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Angchor
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PostSubject: Re: 0ptions for next build   0ptions for next build Icon_minitimeAugust 1st 2014, 12:29 pm

Frames.

Lowering the center of gravity is important. But personally, something on a par with that, is my own ease of getting on and off of the tractor.

There are two ways it can be a bother. Either it is too high, and I have to swing my leg and self, in ways that are getting difficult for me to do, now. In this case it is easier to get off, than to climb on.

Or it is too low and compact. In which case I have to bend a lot, (fold in half is my constant exaggerated gripe with compact cars. LOL), and scrunch up to get past the steering wheel and get seated. Also usually easier to get onto the low ones, than to get off.

Side note: Most riding lawn mowers seem to be marketted to overweight, middle-aged men. IOW: guys with large bellies. Why, therefore, are they built with the steering wheel so close that guys with large bellies have a hard time because the steering wheel is poking them in the gut? LOL


That high tunnel on the beast is a bother to me. Yet I think that cutting that tunnel down some, might affect the overall strength of the frame, more than I am willing to do so.

Although, if I leave the frame intact except for extending it back... I'd be able to move the seat back a bit. (As long as the rear axle still ends up behind the driver instead of underneath.) Move the pedals backward so I could still reach them. Yeah. It could be made to work.

The whams frame is so flimsy, that any changes you make are going to result in creating more problems to be solved. And was already broken in several places. BEFORE my crash. I haven't looked for more frame damage since then.

The ariens is possibly going to be the easiest one to make the stretch on, and still end up with a convenient, comfortable, well proportioned overall seating and mount/dismount.

~~~~~~~

Materials...

The easiest way to make any of these work, when it comes to stretching and widening the rear... Would be to get a 1 inch or greater, axle. (48 inch or more in length.) Wheels for that axle. Pillow blocks. Two chains. 4 gears for the same. (Two gears match this axle. Two gears match the axles on whatever transaxle I decide to use.) And a complete brake setup for that independant axle.

Then just run the independant axle from the transaxle. Lots less wear and tear on the transaxle. Nothing much else changes. The drivetrain can be left intact. Etc.

But... I cannot afford the axle, the pillow blocks, chains, brakes, gears, etc... So whatever I do, is probably going to amount to using what I have. Building/extending the frame backward. And then getting a bigger belt and making the changes I'd have to make to shifting, brakes, clutch, etc.)

I guess one bonus to doing it that way, would be that I would then have plenty of room to put in my own two pulley clutch system. FearlessFront has done some pretty good work, there. And I like how you can get more slack, yet you can also get more "gription". (Friction/grip.) From an adjustable two-pulley clutch system.

THAT... Will go a long way toward #5 on my list.

~~~~~~~

No matter which one I use, I AM going to separate out the brake from the clutch. The ariens has the clutch/brake pedal on the right. So I will separate the two functions, then decide whether I am going to move the brake... or the clutch, to the left side, and create it's own pedal. Either of the other two, will get a new pedal on the right for the brake.

~~~~~~~

Transaxle.

I am curious about one thing.

If I have a larger pulley on say the beast engine...

A good long belt and what I would call a variable clutch system... (The two pulley clutch system like Fearless does)

I wonder if I will get sufficient speed and torque out of the FNR. And will be able to regulate that speed well enough without burning up belts... So that I can run the FNR in a frankenstein setup, and not have to use the vari-drive.

~~~~~~~

Until I actually get the ariens up here. Get it started and running. Drive it around a bit, on it's own terms.

I am not going to know how much or how little of it I want to use.

So that is still the agenda for today.


But given what I know right now, it is starting to look like a frankenstein is going to be...

*Ariens frame. Stretched. (Rebuild console. Fix seat mechanism, and put the seat itself from the whams onto that mechanism.)

*FNR from the whams.

*Engine from the beast.

*Homemade double pulley clutch system.

*Some kind of brake. But I am less sure how I can do that with the FNR than with the other two.

*Shifting, brake pedal, clutch pedal, gas pedal, all as needed... Brake pedal and clutch pedal, both get a locking postion or mechanism, etc.

*Probably the gas tank from the whams.

*Set a full sized battery out front like I did on the whams. But with full frame/bumper and at least a hand crank boat winch mounted there as well.

~~~~~~~

Once this SUT is up and running as above, then maybe I'll consider mounting a car alternator. And a good air compressor.

You guys have given me some pretty good ideas here. Thanks!
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LAWN MOWER MUDDER
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PostSubject: Re: 0ptions for next build   0ptions for next build Icon_minitimeAugust 1st 2014, 11:05 pm

Man... If I were you I'd get something with C-Channel frame.  That way you can practically start at the frame and build whatever you want (Murray's like fearless's, toro's like fearless's lifted. etc). Then even if you want to stretch it you just weld two frames together Razz.  The body panels all bolt onto the frame, and the frame is practically flat so you can do whatever you would like.  To get a good view of the C-Channel frame watch this, yeah it's about his clutch but you can get a good view of what they are.

(Part one) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RnIjbSCK9I&list=PLwHEbMbV0VrukdDp1OmfCGkVdcW9kOXV2

(Part two) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qit3D7z1t_U&list=PLwHEbMbV0VrukdDp1OmfCGkVdcW9kOXV2&index=10


Soo, in other words I'm saying get something with C-Channel frame and make a Frankenstein Mower!

Hope this helps!


Last edited by LAWN MOWER MUDDER on August 1st 2014, 11:08 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : stuff)
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Angchor
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PostSubject: Re: 0ptions for next build   0ptions for next build Icon_minitimeAugust 2nd 2014, 12:23 am

Thank you for the excellent advice! I had a look and understand the kind of frame you referenced. Looks good.

In fact, the frame on the ariens isn't exactly the same, but takes a different approach to the same thing. It's one of the things I liked about this frame.

Here's a rather large picture that follows the frame from one end to the other.
0ptions for next build Frame10

The beauty of the c channel frame is that it runs from the front to the rear in one piece. Well, two pieces if you count the fact that it's two c channels. LOL

But the end result is as I said, the frame is not two pieces, one front, one rear. It runs straight through.

Now look at my pic. It is one piece of metal, and not two, yes. But it is a c channel. And it runs all the way from the front bumper to the rear without a break.

It's not the thickest, but I think it's as thick as the crafstman frame. And it looks like it is mostly uncompromised.

And look at that steering linkage! I like that!
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PostSubject: Re: 0ptions for next build   0ptions for next build Icon_minitimeAugust 2nd 2014, 12:43 am

You can combine the frame rails from the craftsman to make the ariens longer i imagine. Id like to see what frot axle beam is in the ariens, the stamped craftsman axles are wimpy.

Put the craftsmans engine on the ariens, and see what works, then if you can use the hydro, then you dont have to worry about separating any clutch and brake.

Some agressive tires would help a boat load. Those chains slip and then re grab, might have contributed to a roll over.

rear rack for extra things, fuel, tools, batterys, blah.

Fearless style pull start, free, and will save you, dont have to depend on eletric working.

Biggest fuel tank you got. Longer run times.

Foot throttle, way more controllable. Id never ever run a hand throttle on my mower again. Dangerous, and very uncontrollable. Saves gas too!

Re wire it all. if you have a briggs, its super easy!

So, my suggested build list:
better tires
stretched wheelbase
stronger front axle (if possible)
bumpers
rear rack
pull start
re wire
bigger fuel tank
hand crank winch (if available)
foot throttle
lights, one forward and one backwards
any hood youd like (it doent really matter)
totally guy all of the mowing gear, levers/rods/handles
fender flares for less water splash up
tow rope


Hope that gives you some ideas.
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Angchor
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PostSubject: Re: 0ptions for next build   0ptions for next build Icon_minitimeAugust 2nd 2014, 1:42 am

More good advice.

I'll either be cutting some of the rear frame off one of the others and adding it to the rear of the ariens... Or maybe I'll use some of the materials that were used for the plow, plus some 1/8 or 3/16 by 5 inch plate I have, to do so. I also have angle iron and other stuff. Maybe a combination of all the above. Whatever it takes.

I got the ariens up here today. Took off the plow. Drained the rest of the gray sludge that was in the engine.

The plan for tomorrow was to try to get the ariens engine running, then drive it around to see what I have. I think I'll stick with that. But I am not going to put a whole lot into it.

It looks like it will be the ariens frame.

The engine from either the ariens or the beast. Depends on whether the ariens engine is any good or not. Leaning toward the beast engine.

The trans will be the hydro, or the FNR. Leaning toward the FNR because of strength. But the hydro could win simply because there would be different speeds available. The only way I would use the beast trans is if I bought pillow blocks, put in a bunch of extra support, etc. That would cost, and there is essentially zero budget for this. Thing is, the hydro could end up being the same situation as the beast trans. In that it actually has a thin axle. And I would probably have to do the same stuff to it anyway, to widen and strengthen it.

I have to make do with the tires and chains. I can't afford to buy more tires.

The rest is all a given. Foot throttle. Separate brake. Etc. Things like a pull start and winch and the rest are all in the plans. But at this point, I am still just figuring out the foundation, so to speak.

Here is the front axle. It is a solid piece of metal. The way it is held in there is better than either of the other two. The only problem I have seen with this one so far is that the passenger side wheel seems wobbly on the axle.
0ptions for next build Aaxle10
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PostSubject: Re: 0ptions for next build   0ptions for next build Icon_minitimeAugust 2nd 2014, 10:30 am

Well Ill give ya my thoughts.

Base mower
Ariens is very different from either the craftsman or white ( Mtd). both of those are "budget" mowers, where the Ariens was a top tier, very expensive mower from the beginning. So it should have tougher parts all over, front axle, steering, tierods etc. So its a great choice as a base.

Rear axle.

while the mtd (whams) rear axle has case iron axle tubes, the internal gears are the same as the other varidrive transaxles. So that would be the weakest axle as far as internals. I personally would never swap in a varidrive transaxle on a work destined tractor. first time you hook to something heavy to pull with chains on you will likey rip it out.  0ptions for next build 2429134702 

I vote the hydro or the craftsman axle. with a nod towards the hydro for utility usage. If you do use the hydro It wouldnt be a bad Idea to put a temp gauge on it so you can know if your overworking it.


Engine.
Since Whams engine runs poorly and the ariens engine is not running and untested, I would use the beasts motor.
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PostSubject: Re: 0ptions for next build   0ptions for next build Icon_minitimeAugust 2nd 2014, 10:42 am

Trans. 
I would use the beast trans cause of controling the speed better and trans noise in a bind. 
The hydro would be good for its eas of us but when using to pull for instance a tiller its hard to control the speed. And the gear trans is easyer to deal with. I had a hydro grass cutter and used it to pull tiller trailer ect. And id lot rather have a gear trans. 

What teans exactly is in beast.
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Angchor
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PostSubject: Re: 0ptions for next build   0ptions for next build Icon_minitimeAugust 2nd 2014, 1:53 pm

Thank you thank you. Excellent excellent excellent!

The more I see of the ariens, the better I like it. Although at first it looked like it was some kind of funky, the more I actually investigate, the more it becomes apparent that you are right. It was a top notch unit to begin with, compared to the others which were built as cheaply as possible to fit a niche.

Just the solid steel front axle alone is indicator enough. And the metal that holds it in place is much thicker than either of the others.

I have already made up my mind to use the Ariens as the base. Keeping at least the steering and some other components.

The engine on the ariens is a tekumseh, I haven't heard good things about those. Right this minute I am not sure whether I want to even try to make it work, or if I want to just remove it and replace with the beast engine. It seems wasteful, though, not to even try it.

When I had it open, the FNR seemed pretty beef on the inside. But at this time I am leaning toward just keeping and using the hydro. If only because it looks like the easiest way to do this, is to just keep what is there and stretch it backward.

Wondering how to put a temp gauge on the hydro???

The trans in the beast is a peerless 930.

I am going to concern myself at first with just stretching things backward. If I want to widen it, (and NOT use the FNR.), I am going to have to buy pillow blocks, and some other stuff. I will probably have zero budget for anything like that for at least two months.
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PostSubject: Re: 0ptions for next build   0ptions for next build Icon_minitimeAugust 2nd 2014, 3:50 pm

If im not mistaken Stretch has a mower or something with a 930 in it seems like a decent trans. 

And back to what you said about the trail id pay to try it. I love hill climbin stuff rock crawlin  if you have seen my youtube you will know that. 
Speaking of yourube do you have one if so what is it ill sub right now. You be great with build vids.
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Angchor
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PostSubject: Re: 0ptions for next build   0ptions for next build Icon_minitimeAugust 2nd 2014, 5:14 pm

The 930 does seem like a decent trans. But it will be easier to use the hydro that is already in the ariens.

I do have a youtube channel, (Selador11), but I do not have any videos. Probably never will have. I don't have anything to make videos with. If I did, I would probably NOT be any good at making vids anyway. LOL I'm not as bad as some old people. I can figure out the VCR, and the computer. But it is difficult enough, for me to make these threads, and take pics to go with them. Believe me, I'd mess up vids completely.

~~~~~~~

0ptions for next build Franke10

Well, this is how it sits right now. Took this pic to show it's "bones" so to speak.

I didn't do much trying to get the engine started. The starter is burned up or corroded solid or something. Wouldn't move even the sligthest bit with it jumpered directly to the battery, so I just took the engine off.

All I am likley to accomplish now, with the rest of this day, is to get the seat and fender, etc, off the back.

Since I have decided what I am going to do as the base of this build, I am going to start another thread, and end this one.

I'll call the other thread frankenstein.

Doesn't mean I am going to call the tractor that. Just the build. Although "Ariens Von Frankenstein" does have a pretty good ring to it. LOL Or "Aaron Von Frankenstein"...

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