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Got a question about a fun little lawn tractor project

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by 75-K5, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. 75-K5

    75-K5 3/4 ton status

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    OK, I'm constantly headaching over things and always wavering over whether or not I want to keep my truck, what kind of career I want to go into, etc. so I think it's time to do a little fun project for no apparent reason just to get my mind off things.

    So, I have a '72 Wheel Horse lawn mower. I don't remember the model number, if I remember right I think it's C-100. Any old way, it has a 12hp Kohler that needs rebuilt. Well since we have about 10 other lawn mowers, we don't really need this one at all. So, I'm thinking, ditch the engine or use it for something else, and beef the frame up nice and good and put a smallish turbo diesel engine in there. I've seen lots of lawn tractors with v-8's, etc. but not too many, if any, with diesels. My question is, what kind of engine would work well for this? I saw a few 2 cylinder Onan motors on eBay which might work nice, as long as they're transmission friendly. Most of these were probably used as standalone motors hooked up to generators or otherwise, so that concerns me. I think a 4 cylinder such as a 4BT would be way too big and more work than fun. I'm sure I could use a Kubota engine or something like that, but that would be too easy. I want a little bit of a challenge and something that will put out more than 20hp. Hell if i wanted 20hp I'd just stick a B&S Vanguard V-twin in it.

    The contingency plan is just to find a 4 cylinder IH Cub Cadet engine, but damn those things cost a lot! My neighbor had to replace the crank in his and it was close to $300 for the crank alone! It's a damn nice motor, though. It runs like a sewing machine. It didn't even move the engine stand at all. That would be a last resort though, I think it would be really fun to build something semi-unique like this. Any input or thoughts? Anybody big into lawn tractor dragging and pulling? I don't think I'll get involved in all that, my main goal is just to build it and enjoy it.

    While we're on the subject, anyone know anything about David Bradley garden tractors? I've been wanting to restore ours for years!
     
  2. 3 on the tree

    3 on the tree 1/2 ton status

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    How bout a 900-1000cc motorcycle engine?? Already have tranny. Older ones can be picked up in a wrecked bike pretty cheap. In high school, my cousin put a Harley Sportster engine in a Cushman mail trike. That thing rocked. Or, one of those 3 cylinder gas motors from an early GEO Metro. They are made by Suzuki, so they are basically a MC engine.
     
  3. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    does it have a live axle? if so, stretch it a bit, put an Iron Duke and a shorty powerglide in it.
     
  4. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    old lawn tractors are fun!

    There are many websites devoted to garden tractors,and pulling tractors made from them!(google!)
    ANY Wheel Horse or David Bradley tractors are now highly prized collectors items!--I would think twice before cutting one up!...same with the small IHC Cub Cadets (not the 4 cyl farm tractors,the smaller "lawn" tractors--many still sell for well over 1000 bucks in my area--"they dont build them like they used too" applies today more than ever where lawn and garden equipment is concerned!)..

    I have a 2 cylinder Onan sitting in my shop--I think mice live in it now!--its a 25 hp motor,ran great,but I abandoned my gas powered air compressor project--the compressor is a HUGE 2 cylinder 2 stage industrial monster that had a 7.5 hp 3 phase electric motor on it--I'm trying to find a buyer for it so I can get more room in my shop--its just TOO big for my needs,and we dont have 3 phase available..The Onan is a great motor for a lawn tractor--mine has a 1-7/16" crank shaft!--its a chore to find a pulley that size,and a bit costly--I lucked out and found an old electric motor at a junkyard that had the exact one I needed!..

    I've seen VW Beetle engines on many pulling tractors made from garden tractors--even better is the "suitcase" type 3 Squareback motors,they are "flat" and fit easier under the hood..I see lots of motorcyle engines being used too,but most of them have overheating problems when used in pulling--but the transmissions help a lot as far as gearing to get the power to the ground...

    I have an old 4 cyl continental motor like the IHC farm tractors used--but its only 19.9 HP!--and it weighs about 600 lbs! :eek1: --too heavy!(and fairly gutless--only good for running at constant speed,like 1800 rpm)...last used on a water pump at a cranberry bog..they used them on old welders too..

    A good GM motor for a tractor would be an Iron Duke 151 cid from a Monza or Vega!--they have ample power,fairly lightweight,and share the V-8 bellhousing--a friend made a homemade tractor with one,with an SM465 tranny,and a 3 speed tranny in tandem,and and old 2 speed C60 truck rear end with 6.17 gears--it would pull anything we hooked to it and then some!

    I've seen VW diesels from rabbits used too,as power plants for generators and cranberry bog pumps--but they need a custom adapter--a VW transaxle has its own "weird" bolt battern..

    I had an "Arnold Palmer" style "TORO" golf course mower someone put a mustang 302 V8 and C4 tranny in!-(used to be a 4 cyl. Wisconsin factory)-it had a ford 9" style axle too(factory! :eek1: )..It was like a pickup truck with a dump bed,but "open cab"--but it was a bit too fast and dangerous,so I sold it before I killed myself on it!--the brakes on it were a joke,and it needed a LOT more gear reduction!--power was not a problem though--the cops nearly took it away from me when I laid posi burnouts 100' long in front of my house with it! :D :haha:

    Tractors are fun--but I'd check out some websites before you do anything with the Wheel Horse or David Bradley tractors--old "Graveley" tractors are highly prized too,and "Pennsylvania" are too--I had one with a 10 HP Kohler,and it had a plymouth 50's style rear axle factory,with a huge sprocket where normally the U-joint went-and it was driven by a hydraulic motor--the engine just had a hydraulic pump on it--everything including the mower deck was hydro!--and it could tow a full size truck around like nothing!..too bad they didn't use that setup on later tractors--the newer "hydrostatic" transaxles are pretty wimpy compared to that Pennsylvania tractor I had..Wish I hadn't sold it now.. :doah: :crazy:
     

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