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 Murraymountain's Mountain Murray

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Murraymountain
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Mountain Murray   Murraymountain's Mountain Murray - Page 7 Icon_minitimeFri May 14, 2021 10:54 pm


Murraymountain's Mountain Murray - Page 7 P1160413
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Mountain Murray   Murraymountain's Mountain Murray - Page 7 Icon_minitimeFri Jun 04, 2021 2:51 pm

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Well, ever since the pictures of the MM in the snow, or shall I say beginning on Christmas Day, the MM has suffered endless abuse. Allow me to recap. First, on Christmas Day, I woke up to like 6 inches of snow. So I proceeded to get my snow clothes on, put my boots on, and treaded to the shed. I then started the MM and kept it at an exceedingly high RPM while constantly shifting gears during the 4 hours I romped it in the snow. Then I did it again the next day for an hour or two. 5 days later, the MM executed it's first attempt at reaching the Valley River. You all know the story on how that went. Two weeks later, it snowed again, so that story repeats the last snow story. A week after that, we loaded the MM in the trailer and headed to my buddy's house. That night, after a certain photo shoot, the MM was then forced to do a burnout and donuts for an hour. The next day, it was driven by three of my buddies. The first one almost blew it up from the get go, the second immediately started bang-shifting, and the last one required 15 minutes of explaining so that he did not immediately wipe the MM from existence. One month later, it went to Rockcrusher Farm with Mister_Studebaker and was abused all day long with jumps and rocks and hills and mud and... You get it. I don't have dates for the rest but the next thing it did was reattempt the River and succeeded! That's what most of the above pics are from. There will be a video on that very soon. It got VERY VERY deep. The deepest in water it's ever been besides the time I drowned it. After that my best friend was in town and we ripped donuts for an hour and then sent it off a jump twice (the last pic). Lastly, the field flooded again, which meant it was time for me to whip out the MM and bomb through it. Got pretty deep there too. And then all in between each one of those events I need to mention the weekly hour romps that I do.


SO, after 6 months of HARDCORE abuse, the MM is hurting. There will be videos to come on most of these events depending on how much footage I have. But anyway, the front end is terrible. The front axle, probably from lack of lubrication and being caked in mud, has been shoved up out of place. The toe out is stupid insane. The belt is slipping and engaging way too hard and early. The brakes are dead again. The engine is gutless. Not too many major problems, but the ones it has definitely need to be addressed before I take it anywhere else.

Upgrades are on the way! As you can see in the last post, there are brand new orange shocks floating around here. Yes, it's time to start on the IFS setup. And since I'm gonna have the MM apart anyway, I might as well tackle the frame reinforcements. Also gonna build a new cargo rack out of round tube this time. And we'll see where I go from there. Probably getting time for a tune up as well.

For the IFS, I am planning on cutting the front axle in half and having a pivot for each side. Like I always say, I like to use this machine for testing purposes for Ole Blue, lol.
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Mountain Murray   Murraymountain's Mountain Murray - Page 7 Icon_minitimeThu Jul 15, 2021 9:40 pm

Stripped the MM down yesterday. The way I had the rear belt guards set up was directly underneath the battery, which is fine, but the way it was the battery tray rested on the two bolt heads of the guards, causing them to wear through the battery tray and eventually ate into the battery. So the whole rear section of the tractor has been exposed to acid and has began to rust or corrode. Mostly surface rust everywhere, but there's a few really rough spots. The plate that the taillights were mounted in was rusty when I got the tractor, so it was already compromised, then it was exposed to the acid and it had already began to crack before that. So yeah, needless to say that panel is toast.

I plan on stripping it down a little bit more as I am about to start reinforcing the frame this week or next. Probably gonna wash it and then pull the front end and maybe trans. Definitely gonna need to repaint it after it goes under the lightning gun. I'm gonna use a much more quality paint this time, not $1 Walmart paint. At least the flex shall be gone.

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Thinking about strengthening up the body while I'm at it. That thing flexes about as much as a plywood board. Both the hood and body are in dire need of a fresh quality paint job. They are really faded. It's Krylon paint though, so I don't know why I'm surprised about that.

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I will be rewiring this thing yet again, BUT, I am bringing my whole wiring game up a notch or two. No more fires that's for sure. I am ordering a 12 way fuse box, just picked up 10FT of 16 GA wire, some new switches, new connectors, new lights, and more. I am going to try my best to do this wiring job the correct and reliable way this time.


The engine is probably going to be on the back burner for a little while. I wanna focus on the fabrication and electrical side of the build for now. I do plan on digging into it as I watched some videos I did for the BO in 2019 and realized just how much horsepower this thing has lost. It's missing some ponies that's for sure. The Kohler I have ready and waiting isn't going to have any more power due to the sloppy piston. Anyway, I'll eventually get into it and replace/refresh the things I suspect are contributing to the power loss.

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I am not going to touch the trans this time around besides a new brake setup, fluid change, and some new shoes.

Since I'm doing all of this, I might as well make a list. I'll edit it each time I remember something I forgot to add.

-Fresh Paint (Mostly same scheme)
-Frame/body reinforcements
-New tires and rims
-As close to a professional rewire as possible
-Fuse box
-Low/high beams
-More running lights
-Rock lights
-Bigger battery
-IFS
-Round tube fabricated cargo rack
-Simplify belt routing/eliminate pullies/make reliable
-Dust caps
-Tune up engine
-New gas pedal
-Orange triangle sign for legal reasons
-Shifter mud guard
-Band brake
-Fabricate rear plate

Maybes:
-Pinstripes
-New horn
-Cruise control
-Front Fenders
-Keyed ignition
-Winch
-Turn signals (I don't know if I can go that high tech though lol)
-Flame thrower exhaust

Now, I do have a deadline for this. With everything I wanna do I could almost enter her in the BO next year, but I'm not waiting till then. My deadline, just like the BO, is the end of November/ beginning of December. Why am I putting myself on such a tight schedule? Well, if you look at the first post in this thread, my very first post ever on this forum, you should see that I mentioned running the MM in the Christmas Parade. Well, I can legally be a driver in it now as far as I know. If that changes, the deadline changes. But that's the plan... To have this girl finished and ready to go for the parade. Wish me luck, lol.

Stay tuned for the reinforcements as that is the next step!

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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Mountain Murray   Murraymountain's Mountain Murray - Page 7 Icon_minitimeFri Jul 16, 2021 6:17 am

If you are going to repaint I think black with orange trim would look cool. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Mountain Murray   Murraymountain's Mountain Murray - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSat Jul 17, 2021 10:08 am

Murraymountain's Mountain Murray - Page 7 751a8d10


It’s gonna be tight in there! Jeez.
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Mountain Murray   Murraymountain's Mountain Murray - Page 7 Icon_minitimeTue Jul 20, 2021 10:29 am

Got some new shoes! Finally. They aren’t exactly brand new and are pretty worn but I can get another year out of them. They don’t even have dry rot. I mean you can’t complain when they were free in the bottom of a dumpster.

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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Mountain Murray   Murraymountain's Mountain Murray - Page 7 Icon_minitimeTue Jul 20, 2021 2:47 pm

My folks have a set of those on their side by side. Lock the diff and she eats mud. Nice find!
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Mountain Murray   Murraymountain's Mountain Murray - Page 7 Icon_minitimeTue Jul 20, 2021 5:52 pm

@Rustbucket Garage wrote:
My folks have a set of those on their side by side. Lock the diff and she eats mud. Nice find!

Good to know. I didn't really know if they were good tires or what they're capable of but they were free All terrian tires so I was like this is a no brainer.

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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Mountain Murray   Murraymountain's Mountain Murray - Page 7 Icon_minitimeFri Jul 23, 2021 3:49 pm

I've been working slowly but surely on these reinforcements. I am far past the point of no return... please don't judge the welds lol... this was my first day actually trying to get good welds. I failed. But if you pay close attention you'll find a few really good beads. It should only get better from here!

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Here's one of the better welds from day one.

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The good welds are on this little piece of angle iron that I welded in between the two transaxle brackets.

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So there. I have about 60% of the external reinforcements done. I still plan to grind all the welds down but that'll be when I'm done and ready for paint. I originally planned on putting the angle iron inside the frame rails but that did not happen. I'll probably do a little extra bracing inside the frame rails. I'll probably keep working on frame bracing for the next two weeks. Not sure where I'll go after that. Thinking either IFS and transaxle or body reinforcements.

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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Mountain Murray   Murraymountain's Mountain Murray - Page 7 Icon_minitimeFri Jul 23, 2021 3:55 pm

Welding requires practice. Keep at it.

Suggestions, it looks like you could use a little more heat.

And, IMO, the full length welds aren’t necessary on those long sections. Weld a couple of inches and skip a couple. Less work, less chance of warping and less welding.

Good Job!
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Mountain Murray   Murraymountain's Mountain Murray - Page 7 Icon_minitimeFri Jul 23, 2021 4:03 pm

If it holds, mission accomplished. Nobody is going to see the frame most of the time anyway so don’t worry about aesthetics. I couldn’t even lay a bead if I tried so remember you have a skill most don’t have anf that’s something to be proud of. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Mountain Murray   Murraymountain's Mountain Murray - Page 7 Icon_minitimeFri Jul 23, 2021 5:09 pm

You are doing fine. I went from knowing what a welder is to being a pretty good weldor. But, it took a while. Your welds are fine. You will get to where you won’t have to grind them eventually. I need to get my machines connected and start teaching my grandson (and his Dad). LOL
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Mountain Murray   Murraymountain's Mountain Murray - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSun Aug 08, 2021 12:03 pm

I could probably go for a little more heat, but the main issue that your seeing (why the welds aren't very good) would be because I had the gun too far from the frame on the first day. The second day (when I put that 8ish inch piece of angle iron on) I welded a little closer than before and that made a major difference.

Yeah the full length welds are more work and more expensive, but my OCD is gonna make me do it every time. It just looks more professional and, if the welds aren't full of holes, seems logical that it would help prevent rust in between the frame and the iron. I usually do it in sections though. I basically weld long beads like that in a pattern to prevent warping. Kinda like when bolting down a head or sump you do some specific pattern so it won't warp. Something like that.


Little update: nothing has happened. We're currently out of welding gas. So hopefully I can get some tomorrow and maybe some more scraps to work with.
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Mountain Murray   Murraymountain's Mountain Murray - Page 7 Icon_minitimeWed Sep 01, 2021 2:06 pm

Okay, I finally got a chance to work on this thing yesterday. So I finished the angle iron bracing the rest of the way. From there I went on to beef up the front end. When I pull the trans, I'll weigh the frame and then weigh Ole Blues frame and see how much weight I added. I'm betting a solid 25-30 lbs of steel has been added so far.

Here's the rest of the angle iron bracing. I don't see how any obstacle is gonna hurt this frame. Only full size vehicles can hurt this thing Murraymountain's Mountain Murray - Page 7 1098998679 :

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For the front end, I took the mount off the new front end, and since it is identical to the one on mine, I cut it into three flat pieces identical to the three sides on the one that is on the MM. I cut the middle out of it because it wouldn't have fit due to the way Murray Designed their front axle. From there I matched each piece up to the front end on the MM, laid each piece overtop of it and welded it all in place. Again please don't pay attention to the welds. I didn't get a chance to clean the surface very well like I did on the angle iron. It makes a lot of difference and from here out I plan to clean all the welding surfaces if possible.

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So you can see, it's just two Murray Widebody front end mounts sandwiched together. So now it's twice as thick as before. Then, just because why not, I welded in some braces where the original front end buckled even though I already doubled the thickness with the extra plate. The one thing I've learned beating on this thing is that going overkill is always a good thing.

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And then for the final reinforcements as far as the frame goes, is that I added two cross members in the frame rails. One in front of the clutch, and one behind the trans. Why? Well I don't really know, but I felt like doing it, so I did.

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Anyway, I am going to go ahead and say the frame reinforcements are done. Might add a couple little triangular braces like I did the trans brackets in the future but we'll see.

We're getting close to starting the IFS! I still need to beef up the new front axle as the old one is twisted and warped. I am genuinely impressed with how much the stock axle handled though. It's been on the mower it's whole life, so that axle held up to everything I put it through surprisingly, but it's just gonna be better to have a fresh one in there. I plan on cutting it in two, then cutting the pieces open and reinforcing the inside so that they don't twist, and then welding them back together. Then I need to double plate the other front end mount and do some triangular/angle iron braces on it. Then Re-drill all the holes to mount it all up, and probably get some beefier mounting bolts.

And once all that's done, I am drilling the first holes for the IFS!

I think I'm gonna try to use the back half of this sleeve hitch as the mount on the shock tower. It already has the mounting bolts there. It's perfect. Doesn't even need to be reinforced.

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Anyway, the frame reinforcements are pretty much done, so the next step is to reinforce the front end and get it all mounted again so I can start the IFS.

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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Mountain Murray   Murraymountain's Mountain Murray - Page 7 Icon_minitimeWed Sep 01, 2021 4:14 pm

Nice progress. I like the reinforcements, especially the gussets on the transaxle mounts. I will be doing that on mine. I’m surprised that more people don’t do that. It has to help prevent axle damage from flexing. The cross member is a good idea too. Will be copied...
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Mountain Murray   Murraymountain's Mountain Murray - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSat Sep 11, 2021 10:44 am

Well, I got to do some more work on this thing this week. Here's second piece of the front end mount. I did the same thing I did with the main front mount.

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A very good portion of the day was dedicated to finishing the axles. So the first thing I did was cut the bottom cover of the axle off, then I cut the middle of the axle out to give me two halves. I then took the bottom that I cut out, flipped it upside down and pushed it to the top of the axles and fully welded it in. Then I took some scrapyard angle iron and cut about a quarter of an inch off width-wise. I set a piece of that in each axle halve and welded that in. Then when I got some more angle iron from Interstate Welding, I did the same thing that I did with the scrapyard iron just turned 180 degrees so that it essentially created a box design. It also acts as the new stronger bottom of the axle and the original bottom now act as reinforcement. Each axle halve weighs 6 pounds. Murraymountain's Mountain Murray - Page 7 1098998679


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After this, I had to cut the bottom corner of the axles off to clearance for more travel. No pics of that. I also added plates to all the open areas on the axles but I didn't get pics.


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You can kind of see the plates in this pic.

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If you remember, the reason the front end on this machine originally gave out was due to me cutting a bit of factory bracing off that I thought was 'unnecessary'. Well, to be able to put it back together after doing all of this bracing, you may notice that that piece got cut off again. Unfortunately there is no room for it with all the reinforcements. So to make up for that loss, after I put everything together, I took some angle iron and fabricated a better, more quality version of that piece.


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And finally... the first holes for the IFS have been drilled!

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So as you can see, the front axles are mounted. They don't pivot smoothly and the bolts aren't even tight but I'll get to all that eventually. Next week is IFS time! After that I'll get into clearing up all the kinks. But anyway, we're making progress bit by bit!

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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Mountain Murray   Murraymountain's Mountain Murray - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSat Sep 18, 2021 10:22 pm

Welp, I guess I got my grind on last Wednesday and Thursday because somehow the MM has functioning IFS! I ended up having to give each shock it's own shock tower so that the motor fits between them. I'm not really gonna get into all the planning and details of it because the pictures do pretty much explain the theory and it looks and feels pretty promising!

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My welds are improving slightly!

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IFS quick test

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It seems like it should be plenty strong. It's close to an inch thick on the backside of the towers where I mounted them. I think the weak point now is steering components so that will be tackled soon. I reinforced the spindles as well so those have already been taken care of.

Next week I'm gonna try to get a hold of all the correct bushings/bearings/washers/spacers/bolts and get the IFS 100% complete and functioning smoothly.

To talk about the future a little bit, coming up very soon is going to be servicing the trans and trying to put a little power and a tune up back in the motor so that those can be put on the frame. I plan on having the frame pretty much done before I even touch the body/electricals. I basically want to drive it once as just the frame and make sure the thing is solid and I'm ready to move to the other aspects of the build. The plan is to quite literally build it from the ground up. Hopefully by the end of this month I'll have a full roller!
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Mountain Murray   Murraymountain's Mountain Murray - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSat Sep 18, 2021 10:39 pm

That looks really good! Do you plan to have a cross member at the top of the shock towers?
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Mountain Murray   Murraymountain's Mountain Murray - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSun Sep 19, 2021 9:59 am

@Nevadablue wrote:
That looks really good! Do you plan to have a cross member at the top of the shock towers?

Thanks! I wish, but unfortunately there is not enough room for one when the motor is in and hood is on. And it would have to be bolt on only so that I can pull the motor if needed. For now the only thing that doesn't clear the hood is the canisters on the shocks. It's pretty compact in there. If I feel there is a need for a cross member in the future than I will find a way to add one.

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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Mountain Murray   Murraymountain's Mountain Murray - Page 7 Icon_minitimeYesterday at 5:05 pm

Considering the weight of the tractor... Should the towers flex.  I bet you could get away with a gusset on each side at the frame.

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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Mountain Murray   Murraymountain's Mountain Murray - Page 7 Icon_minitimeYesterday at 6:36 pm

@MightyRaze wrote:
Considering the weight of the tractor... Should the towers flex.  I bet you could get away with a gusset on each side at the frame.

Possibly. If they do flex, that's gonna be my first attempt to stop it.
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All-Terrain Lawn Tractor Forum :: Tractor Project Builds :: Off Road & Rally Tractors-
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