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 Hello From Texas

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Redhawke
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PostSubject: Hello From Texas   Hello From Texas Icon_minitimeSat Oct 08, 2016 6:27 pm

Bandera, Texas just got given an older Yard Man with a 14.5 HP engine. Going to start to convert it for off road.
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CraftsmanQuad19
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From Texas   Hello From Texas Icon_minitimeSat Oct 08, 2016 7:27 pm

Welcome to the forum! We don't get too many people from down south if I'm not mistaken
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MatthewD
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From Texas   Hello From Texas Icon_minitimeSun Oct 09, 2016 8:33 am

Welcome! I guess your mower has the MTD Vari-drive system?
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Redhawke
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From Texas   Hello From Texas Icon_minitimeSun Oct 09, 2016 12:07 pm

I know most down this way buy 4-wheelers or the larger buggies. Just a crazy  idea a friend and I came up with and then found a whole world of folks who have already done it. Great resource.

I'm unsure of the transmission. It's a Yard Man with 7 speed tranny. I haven't started the tear down yet, trying to get some research done and find any suggestions to make it better. A friend just gave me the mower so why not ? Thanks for the welcome guys. Very Happy
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MatthewD
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From Texas   Hello From Texas Icon_minitimeSun Oct 09, 2016 12:21 pm

If it has a F-N-R lever as well as the 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 lever, it has the Vari-drive. Which aren't too bad, they are just complicated and poorly designed/manufactured. And the F-N-R gearboxes are also very weak, I've seen a couple break while just mowing the lawn.
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Redhawke
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PostSubject: Transmission    Hello From Texas Icon_minitimeMon Oct 10, 2016 11:20 am

MattewD could you suggest a replacement tranny that will work with this mower body and hold up to abuse ?
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MatthewD
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From Texas   Hello From Texas Icon_minitimeMon Oct 10, 2016 11:29 am

You could install a normal geardrive tranny, like a peerless mst, 800/900 series. Foote trannys are also available but they are a little less durable but still useable. I think the best Peerless transmissions are the 800 series. They've got a diff carrier (heavy duty) and the Peerless 820 has 1 inch axles and 3/4 inch input shaft, as opposed to 3/4" axles and 5/8" input shaft like most other trannys. 820's are usually found in GT style tractors with opposed/v twins.

I currently run a Peerless 801 in my Westwood T1200 (12hp Briggs). It is originally grease filled but I filled it with oil (good tip for some transmissions. MST's factory oil lube though). It gets plenty of abuse, between routine strip-downs and cleaned out the muck/water etc that collects there.

I'm pretty sure there are lots of topics on this forum that cover converting a Vari drive to normal geardrive.
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CraftsmanQuad19
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From Texas   Hello From Texas Icon_minitimeMon Oct 10, 2016 11:33 am

Personally, I like the MST and 900 series. Either the 920 or the 930. 920 is slightly preferred because it has a heavier bull gear. They aren't as durable as the 800 or 600 series, but they're lighter and more common (read: cheaper).
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MatthewD
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From Texas   Hello From Texas Icon_minitimeMon Oct 10, 2016 11:37 am

Yeah agreed. I also forgot to mention the peerless 600 series, they are really well built and have an H pattern shift. But they aren't as common or cheap.
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TheGreenHornet
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From Texas   Hello From Texas Icon_minitimeTue Oct 11, 2016 11:07 am

Personally, i would hit up the nearest junkyard and see what they have in the way of lawnmowers. Look on your daily drive, see if anyone has riding mowers sitting in the weeds. I would not build the vari drive. some have, and if you look, in the end they were almost always swapped for a standard gear drive tranny. As for the peerless transaxles, The easiest way to tell the difference just by looking at them is the differential is visible on the case on the 900 series (the round bulge in the back of the case) and on the 800 series, it is not visible. the 801 that is under my ranch king looks just like a box with 2 axles poking out and a pulley on top. If you find an 820, great for you. They are super durable, but unnecessary for a light mower like your yardman. An 801, 920, 930, or if you do a transmission (the 600 series) you can do a chain drive down to a live axle. Keep us updated!
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MatthewD
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From Texas   Hello From Texas Icon_minitimeTue Oct 11, 2016 11:50 am

I think you're thinking of the 700 series. They're the ones that require a chain drive. A 600 series has axle shafts.
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CraftsmanQuad19
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From Texas   Hello From Texas Icon_minitimeTue Oct 11, 2016 12:25 pm

Yes, If you can find a Craftsman or Murray or something for cheap/free, nab it. It will probably end up being a better build than an MTD. MTDs have solid front ends, but the back half of the chassis, basically everything behind the dash, is pretty weak. As far as vertical loads go (weight on the machine) they're not too bad, but pressure from the side may collapse the back half of the frame. They have a TVP (twin vertical plate) design, which is fine, but the steel they use is pretty thin and cheap. The best mowers to mod are the AYP chassis (Craftsman II, square body craftsman, weedeater, poulan, craftsman LTs in general) and the Murray widebody. Both are pretty solid.


Last edited by CraftsmanQuad19 on Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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MatthewD
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From Texas   Hello From Texas Icon_minitimeTue Oct 11, 2016 1:15 pm

Yeah I agree but if you're like me and all the mowers around are super expensive and you're handy with a welder, you could weld in some lengths of 1-1.5" square tubbing right along the inside of the frame to stiffen it. Redlinemotorsports did this to his MTD and it vastly improved the 'flex' issue that you get with cheaply made frames.

PS - If you are going to modify that MTD, take a look at Red's MTD build thread to get some ideas - https://www.atltf.com/t1960-mtd-off-road-romper-build
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Redhawke
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From Texas   Hello From Texas Icon_minitimeThu Oct 13, 2016 10:17 am

WoW, Thanks for all the suggestions guys. I'm on the hunt for a different body if I can find it but no junk yards in the Texas Hill Country due to the run off into the aquifer. Nearest yard is over an hour away.

MatthewD I followed the link to Red's build and it has helped greatly, thank you so much. Unless I find another body I will just weld bracing along the body rails and cross brace the body if possible. I do have a lead on an older Craftsman but nothing for sure. Once I begin this tear down I will try to post some pictures about the build. Thanks again for all the information and different ways to go at this build. I am so grateful for this community and website. I will be back with many more questions I'm sure. Getting a little excited on this end. bounce
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MatthewD
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From Texas   Hello From Texas Icon_minitimeThu Oct 13, 2016 11:37 am

Nice, that Craftsman would be a good tractor to mod but if you can't get it a modified MTD is still possible. It just takes more work.
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