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Mlv1234
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PostSubject: Best Platform   Best Platform Icon_minitimeMon Feb 08, 2021 7:50 am

Hey guys, first post. My buddies and I are having a backyard mower race. Our track will be pretty long, consisting of long straightaways, tight turns, small jumps, and a little mud pit. The rules as of now are: factory engine, and under $500. Just wondering what mower platform is the best to start looking for?
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Rustbucket Garage
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PostSubject: Re: Best Platform   Best Platform Icon_minitimeMon Feb 08, 2021 8:31 am

Welcome! If you are looking for a racing mower, I'd look at AYP tractors (Craftsman, Poulan Pro, Jonsered, Rally, Roper, etc.) You specifically do not want a hydro drive as they can't be overdriven to make speed. Also to avoid is F-N-R transaxles, which are only found on MTDs. (They can be identified by a gear selector with literally just forward-neutral-reverse and/or a "shift on the go" sticker. You will know a hydrodrive because it will be labeled as an automatic/hydromatic/hydrostatic and may have a foot pedal which other than a brake pedal a manual won't have. I would strongly recommend a Craftsman II. They can be had for $50 (sometimes free), have some frame flex but it's manageable, and they are easier to overdrive than an MTD or a Murray (can be done but steering has to be reengineered in some cases) Here is a Craftman II.
Best Platform C3d08af7e64ec481b27aced1c918c446
These LT1000s are more or less identical and will work just as well but some people dislike the aesthetics. AYP/Roper more or less used the same chassis across most machines of a similar size (GTs had their own chassis, and they had more variation across models). The biggest difference is the hoods, but the dashes are identical in some models and the hoods can be swapped.
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Best of luck and feel free to ask me any questions!
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Mlv1234
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PostSubject: Re: Best Platform   Best Platform Icon_minitimeMon Feb 08, 2021 10:05 am

Thank you for the info. Looks like the LT1000’s are all over the place around here. What mods do you recommend to run about 30MPH? should I look for a Vtwin? or will single be fine?
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CraftsmanQuad19
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PostSubject: Re: Best Platform   Best Platform Icon_minitimeMon Feb 08, 2021 10:17 am

A single will be fine, if you just want to go fast and don’t worry about it holding together past the race, unhook the Governor on the engine, get rid of all the safety switches, throw a 6” pulley on the front and a 4” pulley on the back, and let er eat. Many more mods can be done for longevity and safety, but that will be a good setup for one run.

I second the AYP chassis. TONS you can do with them

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Mlv1234
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PostSubject: Re: Best Platform   Best Platform Icon_minitimeMon Feb 08, 2021 10:20 am

what is AYP?
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MightyRaze
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PostSubject: Re: Best Platform   Best Platform Icon_minitimeMon Feb 08, 2021 10:57 am

I'd look at steering before engine for that speed.  If you have slop that could cause roll-over.  Maybe even locking or adding something to the front axle to prevent "Death Wobble"

_______________________________________________
Modified Tractors:
Li'l Red 89 Murray Widebody
Kal-El 82 Murray GT
TheGreenMachine - "coming 2022"
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MightyRaze
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PostSubject: Re: Best Platform   Best Platform Icon_minitimeMon Feb 08, 2021 10:57 am

@Mlv1234 wrote:
what is AYP?
American Yard Products.  They are the manufacturer that makes a lot of brands.

_______________________________________________
Modified Tractors:
Li'l Red 89 Murray Widebody
Kal-El 82 Murray GT
TheGreenMachine - "coming 2022"
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PostSubject: Re: Best Platform   Best Platform Icon_minitimeMon Feb 08, 2021 2:25 pm

The two tractors pictured above are AYP. MTD isn’t worth fooling with unless you want to do a LOT of work swapping, reinforcing, and testing. The two main manufacturers for pretty much early 90s to the present are AYP and MTD. AYP wins every time
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Rustbucket Garage
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PostSubject: Re: Best Platform   Best Platform Icon_minitimeMon Feb 08, 2021 2:38 pm

@Mlv1234 wrote:
Thank you for the info. Looks like the LT1000’s are all over the place around here. What mods do you recommend to run about 30MPH? should I look for a Vtwin? or will single be fine?
Single will do you just fine. I have never seen a mower stall out or even get significantly strained for power at speed. I would suggest first starting with a pulley swap at the engine and the transaxle, and if you need more speed get a billet con rod and flywheel and delete the governor. That will almost certainly get you to 30. For pulleys I’d suggest a four and the rear and a 6 in the front. Make sure to get the play out of the steering, ideally less than 1 inch max. After that get some square shouldered ATV tires for the back, and if you want to maybe consider lowering the tractor some. They have a high center of gravity without a deck. Good luck tractor hunting!
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darkside0914
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PostSubject: Re: Best Platform   Best Platform Icon_minitimeMon Feb 08, 2021 3:42 pm

i would have to argue with the above statement about murrays, a murray widebody is a great platform to start with, i run a 6in pulley on mine and have no issues with steering or having to modify it, i have more that enough room to go bigger if i wanted, the only issue i have encountered is on the rear end, murrays use a long shaft for the shifter, this causes belt rub issues when going to a smaller pulley in the rear, my brother had to redirect the belt around the shifter shaft to use a 5in on his, don't get me wrong the ayp machines are good, but they have steering issues themselves unless you get a newer model with the newer style steering box, you can tell the difference in the two easily, the older style has a vertical gear and an arm that goes straight down and the newer 2nd gen has horizontal gear and an arm that goes out to the side, i strongly recommend getting a tractor with the 2nd gen steering box if you go with an ayp chassis

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Murraymountain
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PostSubject: Re: Best Platform   Best Platform Icon_minitimeMon Feb 08, 2021 4:16 pm

@darkside0914 wrote:
i would have to argue with the above statement about murrays, a murray widebody is a great platform to start with, i run a 6in pulley on mine and have no issues with steering or having to modify it, i have more that enough room to go bigger if i wanted, the only issue i have encountered is on the rear end, murrays use a long shaft for the shifter, this causes belt rub issues when going to a smaller pulley in the rear, my brother had to redirect the belt around the shifter shaft to use a 5in on his, don't get me wrong the ayp machines are good, but they have steering issues themselves unless you get a newer model with the newer style steering box, you can tell the difference in the two easily, the older style has a vertical gear and an arm that goes straight down and the newer 2nd gen has horizontal gear and an arm that goes out to the side, i strongly recommend getting a tractor with the 2nd gen steering box if you go with an ayp chassis

I second this (shocker). I've done several Murray builds. A widebody would be great for a racer. I don't know about for long term, but the steering on them is excellent as long as you keep good bushings in it. For long term use you'll need to stregthen the frame, but that's the same case with the AYP. Both are excellent options. Both have their flaws and their perfections. So it really boils down to which one you think looks better or which one you can get your hands on.
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MightyRaze
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PostSubject: Re: Best Platform   Best Platform Icon_minitimeMon Feb 08, 2021 4:23 pm

I have grown fond of the Murray myself.  I have a widebody, I know it's flaws.  None are show stoppers.  Murray and the Craftsman LT's are great beginner platforms, maybe even advanced users.

I have a widebody, I've modified it quite a bit with no real issues.  Also, not using for racing either.
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_______________________________________________
Modified Tractors:
Li'l Red 89 Murray Widebody
Kal-El 82 Murray GT
TheGreenMachine - "coming 2022"
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Rustbucket Garage
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PostSubject: Re: Best Platform   Best Platform Icon_minitimeMon Feb 08, 2021 4:37 pm

Murrays do work very well, you guys are right, but I think that their steering can make belt changes difficult. That is small potatoes though. (Holds up better than 1st generation AYP too) They certainly can be built, I guess it’s just a Ford/Chevy thing. Everyone has their choice and both are quite capable. At the end of the day we all hate MTDs right? lol! Hope my statement about the Murray’s didn’t bother anyone, sorry if it did.
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Murraymountain
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PostSubject: Re: Best Platform   Best Platform Icon_minitimeMon Feb 08, 2021 5:00 pm

@Rustbucket Garage wrote:
At the end of the day we all hate MTDs right? lol!


          *@AllisKidD21 has entered the chat                                                                              













The belt changes can be made easier with this bracket and pulley. It's a direct mount. They can be found on Widebodies with hyrdos. You'll need a new belt but as long as you throw it on during the process of swapping pullies, you'll be fine.

Best Platform S-l22510


In the end it's up to you. Whatever's cheaper I guess.

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PostSubject: Re: Best Platform   Best Platform Icon_minitimeMon Feb 08, 2021 5:16 pm

@Murraymountain wrote:
@Rustbucket Garage wrote:
At the end of the day we all hate MTDs right? lol!


          *@AllisKidD21 has entered the chat                                                                              


HAHAHAHAHAHAHA I’ve been waiting for this

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MightyRaze
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PostSubject: Re: Best Platform   Best Platform Icon_minitimeMon Feb 08, 2021 5:18 pm

Yeah, but @AllisKidD21 has changed his transaxle and highly modified steering.  I'd only call it MTD for the body.  His is far more superior now.  Best Platform 2731072446

_______________________________________________
Modified Tractors:
Li'l Red 89 Murray Widebody
Kal-El 82 Murray GT
TheGreenMachine - "coming 2022"
Have a question? Ask me! Type in "@MightyRaze" in your post!

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