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 "The WarHorse"

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TechnoChicken
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PostSubject: "The WarHorse"   "The WarHorse" Icon_minitimeOctober 18th 2021, 12:22 am

The Introduction

Well folks, here is an introduction to my first offroad mower build that I've christened "The WarHorse", a 1984ish Sears LT11 with VariDrive and a single speed (F/R) Peerless 910 that I bought from a neighbor a couple years ago to cut the lawn but have since retired from lawn duty. I'll be building it over the winter and taking it up north to the cabin next year where it can still have a sense of purpose by cutting the trails, helping create new ones and be a fun trail rig to mess around on! I'll keep the original power and drivetrain unless/until it proves to be unsuitable and or unreliable.

Now that I've completed a few projects and abandonded a couple others it's time to get working on the old girl. My end goal is to make it a trail rig/trail mower with a non adjustable cutting height, I want it to cut as high as possible to clear the rocks sticking up and other obstacles I may come across when blazing trails. I'll be doing away with the whole lift system and fabbing my own mounting setup by making mounting tabs and using 2 x 1/2" round stock bars as "pins" for quick and easy installation/removal.  I'll have it tucked up as high as possible which will mean I'll either need to modify the original engine pulley to move the deck pulley up or find new pulleys, either way the deck pulley is getting moved up and out of the way to gain ground clearance and I'll have to fab up my own clutch to engage the blades also. Without giving any more away I'll end the intro with a couple pictures of when I first got it, why did he (previous owner) paint it blue? You'll see in later pictures alot of the blue is flaking off now! Lol. She ain't pretty but she'll do!

Wish me luck! Lol

***Edit*** Plans changed for this tractor, I put too much time and effort into it to take it up north, instead it will be strictly and offroader I keep around home. In June 2022 I purchased the Roper "Trailblazer" to turn into a trail mower/offroad rig and have been working hard on it.

"The WarHorse" Img_2010
"The WarHorse" Img_2011
"The WarHorse" Img_2012


Last edited by Brianator on July 4th 2022, 9:42 pm; edited 3 times in total

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PostSubject: Re: "The WarHorse"   "The WarHorse" Icon_minitimeOctober 18th 2021, 8:33 am

Sounds like you have some work cut out for you!  Good luck!

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PostSubject: Re: "The WarHorse"   "The WarHorse" Icon_minitimeOctober 18th 2021, 8:44 am

sounds like a fun project im sure youll find that its fun to modify these old relics

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PostSubject: Re: "The WarHorse"   "The WarHorse" Icon_minitimeOctober 18th 2021, 10:47 am

cool old tractor, I will be watching this one should be a beast! I am excited to see how you make the belts align with the deck raised up all the way.

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PostSubject: Re: "The WarHorse"   "The WarHorse" Icon_minitimeOctober 18th 2021, 11:28 am

MN mudder wrote:
cool old tractor, I will be watching this one should be a beast! I am excited to see how you make the belts align with the deck raised up all the way.

The cutting deck is of the least importance, it will be one of the last things I do (need to make front skidplate afterwards) and will probably be one of the easier mods believe it or not! Lol. This will be a trail rig first and offroad mower as a bonus, shouldn't be too hard to figure out belt alignment all I have to do is mock up the deck on wood blocks and find the compromise between highest mounting possible with being able to align the pulleys. On this machine the drive belt is on top and the deck pulley sits pretty low (too low for my liking).


Last edited by Brianator on October 24th 2021, 12:24 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: "The WarHorse"   "The WarHorse" Icon_minitimeOctober 18th 2021, 11:49 am

okay, then the deck will just be an accessories/ attachment still should be cool.

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PostSubject: Re: "The WarHorse"   "The WarHorse" Icon_minitimeOctober 18th 2021, 7:49 pm

How Much Have I Spent On This Beast?

I like to keep track of what my builds cost so this post is dedicated to how much I've got in it (prices include tax), keep in mind several of these items I already had "in stock" but am still adding their worth even though they weren't bought specifically for this build, the purchase price of the tractor itself ($220) will also be tallied up separately even though I already owned it. I'd like to build this economically without cheaping out TOO much to see what I can accomplish with minimal investment. I'll be repurposing/recycling/reusing as much materials and parts as possible to keep the cost down but tune up items like spark plug(s), engine oil and air filter(s) will not be included as they are regular maintenance items. If I go above and beyond for the sake of upgrading things I will include those prices:

***PRICES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE***

$50 for the tires (from a $100 parts ATV I bought last year)
$55 for front tubes (bought locally)
$55 for the winch fairlead and snatch block (bought locally)
$50 for a parts tractor
$10 for a spare rear end with broken cases and one bent axle (but good internals)
$10 for a bolt in LH clutch/brake pedal that will relocate it to the left side
$8.50 for a pair of dual contact pigtails (bought locally)
$21.50 for a pair of 1157 "switchback" bulbs (white/amber) https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B085ZRQ43M
$13 for the SPDT (ON/OFF/ON) rocker switches https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01D0UXM2E
$15 for miscellaneous hardware and wiring  (including shim washers for front wheels)
$28 for the fuse box https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B089NQQPRW
$10 for the illuminated rocker switches with safety covers https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01GPAXSQG
$30 for the switch panel with start button https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07VXFDV7F
$7 for the running/brake lights https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08JCWGPSS
$10 for battery disconnect switch (bought locally)
$10 for the illuminated horn button https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08LPK2DKM
$28 for the Jeep hood latches https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08JYG6T9L
$13 for the Hella low tone horn (half of a pair I bought) https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01EG18SDE
$34 for the XL ATV cover (bought locally)
$9 for the waterproof connectors https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07FJPMML6
$20 for the winch plate steel
$4 for D ring tabs (bought locally)
$25 for the engine overhaul gasket/seal kit (part # 393411) (eBay - link is too long to include)
$45 for the pull start assembly (part # 693600/390391) (eBay - link is to long too include)
$22 for the engine decals (eBay - link is too long to include)
$20 for the ATV brake drums (parts from an ATV I bought)
$30 for the wheel bearings and bushings for the drums (bought locally)
$30 for the Peerless MST203 - 3 speed) (bought locally)

$663 spent on build + tractor ($220) = $883 in total as of June 5th, 2022


Free Items

-Front 8" wheels from? (My friend gave them to me a couple years ago) Donated to The Mud Duck
-2000lb winch (came with a truck I bought years ago)
-Elbow grease (although some days I'm paying for that too!)


Last edited by Brianator on July 5th 2022, 9:02 pm; edited 31 times in total

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PostSubject: Re: "The WarHorse"   "The WarHorse" Icon_minitimeOctober 18th 2021, 8:14 pm

Scrapyard Treasures!

There's a salvage yard 20 minutes from me that deals in absolutely anything you can think of and for the past year I've been meaning to get out there... this past Friday I finally did go planning on just looking around as I knew they had lawn tractors, snowblowers, ATVs ect. What I was hoping to find was a rear ATV rack I could put on the back of The WarHorse but I didn't even make it past the lawn tractors when I found an exact parts tractor which blew my mind! Even online I haven't been able to find the existence of any others that have the VariDrive shifter on the right rear fender like mine so to find one for spare parts was a bonus! The guy wanted $50 for it and after some thought I decided I couldn't leave it behind! Lol. I handed over $70 for it, a wrecked rear end for parts and a LH clutch/brake pedal. Its missing some stuff, the front sheet metal is rough and the seat sucks but overall is really clean and strait. The steering, VariDrive components, rear fenders, rear diff and (what's left of) the wiring harness all seem to be in really good shape and check out that beer holder on the hood! SOLD! Lol


"The WarHorse" Screen10"The WarHorse" 20211011
"The WarHorse" 20211010


Last edited by Brianator on November 6th 2021, 11:34 pm; edited 6 times in total

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PostSubject: Re: "The WarHorse"   "The WarHorse" Icon_minitimeOctober 18th 2021, 9:02 pm

sounds like a good deal to me, with lots of good parts on that ole girl.

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PostSubject: Re: "The WarHorse"   "The WarHorse" Icon_minitimeOctober 19th 2021, 3:11 pm

Nice score!

I’d be willing to bet the previous owner was sleep mowing or was playing on their phone a lot lol!

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PostSubject: Re: "The WarHorse"   "The WarHorse" Icon_minitimeOctober 19th 2021, 5:48 pm

Rustbucket Garage wrote:
I’d be willing to bet the previous owner was sleep mowing or was playing on their phone a lot lol!

Lmao! I don't care who ya are that's funny right there!

I just added a couple more pics of "The PartsHorse". Lol.  When I say it out loud it kind of sounds like I'm saying "parts source" which it is!


Last edited by Brianator on October 24th 2021, 12:20 am; edited 2 times in total

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PostSubject: Re: "The WarHorse"   "The WarHorse" Icon_minitimeOctober 20th 2021, 10:56 am

That front sheet metal has charicter! It needs to be parted out and upgraded in my opinion!

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PostSubject: Re: "The WarHorse"   "The WarHorse" Icon_minitimeOctober 23rd 2021, 9:33 pm

Brianator Light Mod

This was a completely impromptu mod I decided to do, I was at the auto parts store and the idea to make my headlights high/low beam (just because why not!?) jumped into my head so I grabbed the dual contact pigtails while I was there. The bulbs I had in mind can be found at the end of this thread (How I Converted My 1156 Sockets to 1157 for High/Low Beam) but then I wondered if there was such a thing as a dual color bulb for some attitude!? Lol.  After some research I discovered there is, they're called switchback bulbs but they're only available in 1157 style (BAY15D base) AND only available in white/amber... I was hoping for white/red but beggars can't be choosy so I pulled the trigger and got the white/amber! Light output isn't great or terrible but it's plenty enough to see plus once I restore the lenses it will improve and I can always add auxiliary lights in the future. The ON/OFF/ON switch(es) won't be in until next month so I used cheater leads to test and showcase them. As an added bonus the light that leaks from around the sockets and also reflects off the inside of the hood (when it's open) acts as an underhood work light!

I'm calling this the Brianator Light Mod unless/until someone pipes up and says it's already been done this way. Without further ado here they are!


"The WarHorse" 20211029
"The WarHorse" 20211028
"The WarHorse" 20211027
"The WarHorse" 20211031
"The WarHorse" 20211032
"The WarHorse" 20211030


Last edited by Brianator on January 7th 2022, 1:27 pm; edited 6 times in total

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PostSubject: Re: "The WarHorse"   "The WarHorse" Icon_minitimeOctober 23rd 2021, 10:47 pm

Love it!  Looks pretty cool to me.

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PostSubject: Re: "The WarHorse"   "The WarHorse" Icon_minitimeOctober 23rd 2021, 10:52 pm

Thanks Mighty! I'm going to be borrowing your taillight setup by using the 3/4" clearance lights I absolutely love it! I've ordered a set with 5 red, 5 amber and 5 white for $20!
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PostSubject: Re: "The WarHorse"   "The WarHorse" Icon_minitimeNovember 6th 2021, 8:25 pm

Electrical - Part 1

Well, I got a little bit done on The Warhorse today!



I removed all the cutting deck components.
"The WarHorse" 20211112


Installed a 6 port fuse box"The WarHorse" 20211114
"The WarHorse" 20211113


Installed 2 SPDT switches in place of the headlight switch (one for the dual colored headlights and the other for front/rear auxiliary lights) but not before I expanded the opening to hold both.
"The WarHorse" 20211115
"The WarHorse" 20211116
"The WarHorse" 20211117


I figured out where i want to install a new choke cable and some switches. The switch panel and switches I bought for an offroad go kart project I abandoned last year and decided to use them for this build, it worked out great because I was able to use it to cover up an ugly spot on the dash that I have no idea what was there for! I forgot to get a pic of the bit I cut out but if you look close you can see my Sharpie outline,  let your imagination do the rest! Lol. The panel will be painted and labeled in the future.
"The WarHorse" 20211118
"The WarHorse" 20211119


I also recreated the front wheel bearing(s) install for completeness of the build thread. Not bad for a few hours of distracted tinkering!  Lol.


Last edited by Brianator on November 21st 2021, 6:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: "The WarHorse"   "The WarHorse" Icon_minitimeNovember 6th 2021, 8:55 pm

Front Wheel Bearing Upgrade

Here's how I made the (8") front wheels fit on the ol' girl, it was actually the first thing I did to her but that was before I started the thread and I didn't take pictures as I went along so I tore it half apart to document it. Not sure exactly what they came off of, a friend gave them to me a couple years ago. Could've been a golf cart or an old garden tractor? Either way I'm glad I grabbed them because they've worked out beautifully!


The original bushings had a 1- 3/8" OD with 3/4" ID, considering my axles are 5/8" that's obviously not going to work out!
"The WarHorse" 20211120


I did find 1-3/8"x5/8" bushings online but I continued to hunt around and found the perfect ball bearings at Princess Auto for only $5 each, they're 35mm OD which is darn close and they fit in the hubs nice and snug!"The WarHorse" 20211121


I didn't want to risk them shifting so I made some spacer sleeves out of tubing for a portable garage I had laying around that just happened to be the perfect size to fit snug in the hubs and rest against the outer races of the bearings. The wheel hubs have grease fittings so I can see myself removing the inner bearing seals and adding a inner sleeve (to take up some airspace) in the future but for now I'm very happy with the working solution!
"The WarHorse" 20211122


Once I spaced out the wheels as far as possible with shim washers there was just enough clearance between the wheel and front axle to not cause an issue UNTIL turned at full lock... then they make contact as seen (circled witness mark). For now it's good, I'll tackle that later on as I'm sure the tires will also rub the hood once the axle twists.
"The WarHorse" 20211123
"The WarHorse" 20211125
"The WarHorse" 20211124


Last edited by Brianator on May 22nd 2022, 9:25 pm; edited 5 times in total

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PostSubject: Re: "The WarHorse"   "The WarHorse" Icon_minitimeNovember 7th 2021, 8:58 am

Nice work! "The WarHorse" 2731072446

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PostSubject: Re: "The WarHorse"   "The WarHorse" Icon_minitimeNovember 7th 2021, 8:58 pm

Electrical - Part 2

I was able to get a couple things accomplished today:


Running and brake lights installed à la @MightyRaze, I did warn you I was going to do it and I didn't hear any nays so I hope you don't mind! Lol."The WarHorse" 20211126"The WarHorse" 20211130
"The WarHorse" 20211131





They fit a bit loose in the 3/4" holes even though they're advertised as 3/4"... so I used a bit of electrical tape around the bulb to fix that! I have a brake switch from an ATV I can use and a perfect spring to match it but that will come later, I need to do the LH clutch/brake pedal swap first."The WarHorse" 20211140





Next up was the master power disconnect switch, I figured better safe than sorry in case a hot wire gets pinched to ground. It's rated at 100amps but I'll be testing and keeping an eye on it until I feel it truly is up to the task, I installed it where the key switch went by opening up the hole to 7/8" to match then drilled the mounting holes and did a test fit. It stuck out too far for my liking...  "The WarHorse" 20211141



I hatched a plan to use these 1/4" carriage bolts to make mounting "stand outs" and set it back as much as possible but in true Brianator fashion I had to mess with that too because the bolts didn't fit... when I drilled out the brass rings I discovered they were holding the two halves together!  Lol
"The WarHorse" 20211133"The WarHorse" 20211134


No big deal really, once I made sure it will still work properly I drilled and riveted the halves together (not pictured) with 1/8" aluminum rivets for extra strength and ease of handling even though I knew the "stand outs" would hold it together no problem.
"The WarHorse" 20211135


I adjusted the depth to my liking, secured it and called it good for now!"The WarHorse" 20211136
"The WarHorse" 20211137
"The WarHorse" 20211138



For those of you following you'll notice nothing is being wired or hooked up yet (aside from temporarily) and that's because until I have everything that needs to be wired situated, I won't be able to build a shopping list of wire required. That's all for now!


Last edited by Brianator on May 22nd 2022, 9:28 pm; edited 3 times in total

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PostSubject: Re: "The WarHorse"   "The WarHorse" Icon_minitimeNovember 8th 2021, 6:48 pm

Lookie what came in the mail today! It'll be wired up with the running lights because that's what makes the most sense to me!
"The WarHorse" 20211142
"The WarHorse" 20211143


Last edited by Brianator on December 18th 2021, 11:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: "The WarHorse"   "The WarHorse" Icon_minitimeNovember 9th 2021, 2:46 pm

(Double post by accident, deleted)


Last edited by Rustbucket Garage on November 9th 2021, 2:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: "The WarHorse"   "The WarHorse" Icon_minitimeNovember 9th 2021, 2:50 pm


If you ever decide you want to get away from the spacers I found these by the way.
1 3/8 od bearings

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PostSubject: Re: "The WarHorse"   "The WarHorse" Icon_minitimeNovember 9th 2021, 9:14 pm

Thanks for the tip! Unfortunately they wouldn't have worked for me because of the flange, I forgot about that until now!  Lol. When I test fit the wheel to see if they would even clear the axle I realized I could never even put a pin through the spindle to hold the wheel on let alone use washers. Needed to be flush mount or cut the hub shorter or cut/weld a new (longer) spindle.

That was a excellent tip and a good catch on your part,  I truly appreciate it and wish I could take that advice!!
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Joe_the_mower_man_1320
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PostSubject: Re: "The WarHorse"   "The WarHorse" Icon_minitimeNovember 11th 2021, 3:59 pm

Dude, I love the color chose, totaly something i would do

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PostSubject: Re: "The WarHorse"   "The WarHorse" Icon_minitimeNovember 11th 2021, 5:46 pm

Thanks! But are you talking about the paint or the headlights? Lol
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