This is a big update that covers the last two weeks. I took a break from working on things until January so I have 133 pictures to find the best few of.
I put together a very basic transmission mount so i could start getting an idea of where to put the transmission, seat, and clutch components. Ive read that using all the case mounting bolts is worthwhile, so i stuck these on using the 6 bottom holes. I also drilled and tapped all the mounting holes from m8x1.25 to m10x1.5. I don't have matching hardware yet, but that will come in time.
I also salvaged the mower deck clutch during the disassembly and cut out its mount so i can add it wherever i see fit.
I clamped the transmission about where i thought it should go and tacked the clutch base onto the top chassis pan.
Overall i think this is going to work out for the clutch. I have no idea what kind of belt tension im going to need for the clutch engagement feel i want, but it should be pretty adjustable with such large pulleys. Im going to start with the stock deck belt clutch spring and go from there. I havent figured out where to put the springs yet, but il mock that stuff up when i have the actual pulleys im going to use. They are ordered but not here yet.
Next i wanted to work more on the body drop. I took an inch out of the bottom of the console and welded it back together for starters.
This is how its sitting after the small console drop and a chunk taken from the steering shaft to lower the wheel.
Im not happy with the side profile and proportions, the body is too high still. I need at least a few more inches out of the console and hood to make me happy. I decided to hack more from the console.
I laid tape down for a guide and used an angle grinder / cutoff wheel to remove another section from the middle. I think i cut 2in out of it this time. If i remember right, the blue tape i used was 2in wide.
It sits so much better now with the body drop and shortened steering shaft. Typing this also made me realize that the picture i posted up top as the first mockup is not the right picture. This is the first mockup with the sectioned console.
I think this will be the final height of the steering wheel and console. its as low as it can be without interfering with my legs working the clutch and throttle. It also looks pretty good from the side other than the hood lines now. The side indent on the console used to line up with the sweeping lines on the side of the hood. Il probably trim things to get some style lines going later in the final stages, but for now its just fine.
This is my damaged mockup steering shaft that im using to try different heights. Its set to the length i need currently and i was surprised to see how much i took out of it compared to stock. I lowered the wheel tons.
Next i started working on the clutch some more. I started to get the linkages working and levers / cranks mocked up. I decided to use the brake pedal pivot bar for the clutch actuation. I cut the pedal itself off and just used the pivot portion which will be driven by a crank from the actual clutch pedal. I cut a notch into a universal bumper mount tab we use at work and drilled a bunch of holes into it for linkage adjustments and welded it on to the clutch pivot. I used a stock clutch linkage that i shortened and welded back together with a 90 degree rotation in it. I will probably make some nice linkages for it for the long term, but this will get it working for now. I just want to use an easily replaceable link end so when it wears out, i wont have to buy a Deere part and cut it to make a new one. I also drilled a bunch of holes into a piece of scrap flat bar for actuating the clutch pulley plate to weld onto the deck clutch.
I think this is going to work out, i just need to figure out the tensioning spring and replace the idlers with dead bearings. I decided to finalize the clutch placement and welded it. I also painted some misc parts. Red for the clutch actuation lever, yellow for the clutch idler plate and green for the steering gear.
The next piece i tackled is the transmission mount. The two little strap bits are not going to cut it and i needed something more robust. I added a tab on each side of angle to try to incorporate the brake caliper mount bolts in addition to the 6 bottom mounts. This will also add strength to the whole mount itself.
I drilled and tapped the two brake caliper mounts to m10x1.5 and bolted the tabs i made to the trans and tacked them to the mounts. Its starting to cradle the transmission and i really hope it helps keep it together under some stress and abuse.
I also made a bottom plate to tie everything together further. I drilled a 1.25in hole for the input shaft and the drawn bits on the corners is material to remove to make clearance for 4 of the transmission mounting bolts.
I welded the bottom plate on with the transmission bolted in place to hopefully reduce deformation then i plopped some wet paper towels on it because the case was starting to get pretty hot. I was welding these really hot and there was a decent amount of surface area. Things were getting really hot.
One thing in the future that il have to address is the output shaft. I dont want the transmission output bushings to have to deal with the tension load of the chain. I think it will put far too much force into the case and cause premature wear and excess friction on the bushings. Im also concerned about the diameter of the output shaft getting bent from a clutch dump or a hard bounce. The final drive will be supporting essentially the entire weight of the vehicle and myself so i want to isolate the transmission entirely from those forces. The transmission should only have to deal with the rotational torque force and thats is. Something along these lines with a couple bearings is the idea.
I received the engine pully and hub finally and wanted to mock up the clutch to a more final state. I tacked the drive pulley to the 1in hub for the engine and mounted the engine temporarily. I have a few half inch belts that i've been using for aligning things and i noticed that this green stripe belt was really close to the right length. After mounting up everything i found out that this belt is exactly the right length. Its not at all the right style, i need a wrapped belt for smooth engagement but it was awesome having a belt that i can use for clutch setup and measure for finding the actual belt when its time.
Toyota FJ62 power steering belt is perfect, what a cool coincidence. It engages well, disengages well and the clutch moves a reasonable amount for slipping.
Im happy with the clutch for now, that brings it up to current. Not much more to do with the mechanism, just the pedal and linkages once its time to start on the foot controls. Now in keeping in the spirit of cleaning and prettying things up, i tackled the flywheel. This engine has been sitting for quite a while and is pretty rusty and dirty. I popped the flywheel off and cleaned out a ton of fine dust packed all in the magnets of the alternator as well as cleaned off some oxidization on the cooling fins.
I cleaned up the flywheel with a wire wheel after cleaning the dirt out. Looks so much better.
Now its a lightweight aluminum racing flywheel ready to turn 10,000 rpm. Thats what aluminum paint does right?
I put it back on and was pretty surprised that the little bolt with a 13mm head needed 49ft lbs. I thought it was going to feel sketchy but it cinched up quick and solid at 49. Must be a nice fastener and good threads.
One unfortunate thing i discovered working on the flywheel is the end play. It felt loose but i thought it might just be a small engine thing. I decided to look up the specs and my heart sank a little when i found it was supposed to be i think .003-.020. Something like that. I measured it at .053. I havent decided if im going to do anything about it or not. Being a vertical shaft engine and the flywheel on top, its not going to be bouncing around back and forth as it might with a horizontal. Im going to research some into maybe doing bearings, possibly even just crank thrust bearings. If im in there though i feel like i should roll rod bearings in and do rings / cleanup hone. if i do all that il want to lap valves and do new head gaskets. i dont know how much i want the engine to snowball yet, il decide that stuff later.
Next i wanted to flesh out the output shaft support for the transmission. I want some way to transfer all chain forces directly into the chassis for maximum transmission durability. I started with some angle i found in the scrap bin as most brackets on this project do. I drilled half inch holes into the face for rosette welds. This will hold the inner support bearing with an outer flange for the outer bearing.
I decided to add a little extra surface area to the lower section for more strength as well as adding two more rosettes. I didnt want it to bend the chassis or start a crack if the forces werent distributed over enough surface area.
I used one of my 123 blocks to setup and tack the outer portion of the support on so that the top surface of the bracket is flat and square to the chassis. Then welded it up.
I did some rosettes in the outer flange as well as a perimeter weld. I like the look of this bracket and it was fun learning some new welding techniques. Im a very amateur welder compared to the people i work with but i got some compliments on improving with this one. Im happy with it and the more welding i do, the better il get.
I ran a bead across the top as well and then ground it down with a flap disk. I used a big flat file to surface the whole thing and take off the highs around the perimeter. I want this as flat as possible. I ran my indicator around and other than the little gaps and troughs around the weld in the center that doesnt matter, the whole surface is flat within .005. Thats plenty flat enough for mounting my bearings.
I got some 5/8in pillow block bearings for the output shaft and a coarse spline shaft for a big walk behind mower that uses a coarse spline 700. Im going to shorten the shaft and machine a new keyway wherever i need it and mount this 10t sprocket i got. I already have a coarse spline coupler from my original idea of welding a sprocket to it to put a sprocket directly on the transmission. Im really happy with how all this came out. I intentionally set the bearing mount surface about .030 below where it needs to be so that i can buy some assorted shim stock to put under the pillow blocks. I want to dial in the height and alignment with the transmission perfectly so the splines dont wear weird.
This brings up everything to current as of friday the 13th. I have chain and final drive sprockets on the way, they should be here in the next week or 10 days. When i had the transmission out i counted all the teeth and figured out the ratios. With the 8in engine and transmission pulleys, 1:1, and a 10t-30t chain final drive, 3:1, 5th gear @4000 rpm will be 35mph on the 22in turf tires. I also bought a 48t for a final of 4.8:1 for when i run the 26in kenda bear claws for trail riding.
Theres still so much to do, and im not sure what im going to work on monday, but im having so much fun with all this. This was a ton to write at once though, im looking forward to going back to daily or every other daily short updates.