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#8290 - 05/12/12 05:58 PM home built mower
Maurice Offline
MBN member
Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 311
Loc: Franklin, Indiana, USA
We tend to let our grass get tall in some areas and most mowers can't handle the height and or clog up. Been trying to fix up a couple of '70's hydro riders. I think I mentioned them here. One now has a blown 16hp Kohler and the other has a smoking 10hp Kohler. Both use drives from both ends of the crankshaft. Haven't yet found an economical replacement engine. Put an 11hp chonda HF Greyhound on a '60's Wheelhorse but the counter-rotating blade gear drive keeps locking the blades together. Looked at a variety of mowers, but all the modern ones look like they are built too light to last 10 years (let alone 40!) Even the commercial mowers are built complicated and used ones still expensive.


So here is what I built:






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#8291 - 05/12/12 06:17 PM Re: home built mower [Re: Maurice]
Maurice Offline
MBN member
Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 311
Loc: Franklin, Indiana, USA
Taken it for several test drives and made adjustments after each one. This is self propeled and has the 11hp chonda (chinese honda). I have not found anything that will bog down the blades! Still to work out:

1. The free salvaged tires/wheels, same size but different tread wear, seem to be critical to be inflated just right balance, or it pulls to one side.

2. blade belt tensioner engage lever, right now it is ratchet strapped tight, (bottom blue strap) the engien starts with blade engaged just fine.

3. wheel drive engage - right now it is that idler on front with a steel angle iron hanging outside the wheelbase, pulled in with a blue strap. I pull it tight and wrap in a couple times around the handle

4. turning - both wheels are keyed to the shaft (tried with just one wheel keyed but it pulled way to side) so to turn, I have to muscle it to side so that one or other wheel slips.
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#8292 - 05/12/12 06:21 PM Re: home built mower [Re: Maurice]
Maurice Offline
MBN member
Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 311
Loc: Franklin, Indiana, USA
To fix #4, I plan to mount the battery behind/under the engine for balance, and going to try extending the handles further back for leverage.
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#8300 - 05/13/12 06:25 AM Re: home built mower [Re: Maurice]
Lu47Dan Offline
MBN Old hand
Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 1110
Loc: N/W Pa. ****
Maurice, interesting built. smile
Now to cure your turning problem you are going to have to have some kind of differential on your axle. The easiest would be from a rear engine rider. The chain driven type of differential.
I wish I had know you would need one as I just scrapped the last one I had here.
But even a 3 or 4 speed transaxle would work. There would be some redesign with a transaxle but it would give you the differential action you need.
Dan.
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#8310 - 05/13/12 10:18 AM Re: home built mower [Re: Lu47Dan]
Maurice Offline
MBN member
Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 311
Loc: Franklin, Indiana, USA
I did consider a riding differential, but I am trying to keep it at 24". The blade and spindle are borrowed off a finsih mower. If I get the Allis WD repowered, then would still want a small one to get in tight places. (Oh no, I said IF ! )
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#8337 - 05/14/12 08:55 PM Re: home built mower [Re: Maurice]
Lu47Dan Offline
MBN Old hand
Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 1110
Loc: N/W Pa. ****
Maurice, Oh No! Not the dreaded IF word.
I could check with a friend to see if he has a rider differential and axle that I could shorten up here for you.
It would be the quick and dirty kind of shortening whack the axles off in the chop saw, grind a point on them and weld with 10018 rod. I think all the parts would fit into a flat rate box. grin
Dan.
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Tools are to Men as Shoes are to Women, you can never have too many!
Used diesel engines are an adventure anyway you look at them!
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#8341 - 05/15/12 03:03 AM Re: home built mower [Re: Lu47Dan]
GLyford Offline
MBN member
Registered: 02/09/10
Posts: 396
Loc: central MA
If they're a 3/4" keyway-and-circlip axle like Murray uses, they often already have spacers between the axles and tires. Pull the spacers and cut a new circlip groove (could probably do it with a dremel if you had to, or use a through hole for a cotter).
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#8345 - 05/15/12 02:21 PM Re: home built mower [Re: GLyford]
bunkclimber Offline
MBN Old hand
Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 1101
Loc: Maryland *****
nothing says scratchbuilt like the complete lack of the 25 gov't mandated safety decals-"do not put foot under mower deck"-"do not reach into discharge chute"..I'll bet it mows great without them..any blade height adjustment?
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#8347 - 05/15/12 03:21 PM Re: home built mower [Re: bunkclimber]
Gator Offline
MBN Enthusiast
Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 787
Loc: Corinth, MS *****
Originally Posted By: bunkclimber
nothing says scratchbuilt like the complete lack of the 25 gov't mandated safety decals-"do not put foot under mower deck"-"do not reach into discharge chute"..I'll bet it mows great without them..any blade height adjustment?


Don't stick your fingers in the belt. Don't bypass the kill switch handle..
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#8348 - 05/15/12 05:07 PM Re: home built mower [Re: Gator]
Maurice Offline
MBN member
Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 311
Loc: Franklin, Indiana, USA
Deck height - we've been set at 3.5" for decades. That height allows the grass to grow thick to crowd out weeds. But I can change the height a few ways, such as adding shims between the deck and frame, or shimming the front wheel, and back wheel mounts.

Do you think a rider axle can be shortened to match a 26" wide deck?

I should build a guard around the pulleys... but it looks awesome with everything spinning! I mowed with it again this evening. I crossed the road and a passing truck really slowed down even tho' I was completely off the road by then! Bet he was trying to figure out what it is!
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#8352 - 05/15/12 05:44 PM Re: home built mower [Re: Maurice]
mdlawnguy Offline
MBN Enthusiast
Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 878
Loc: maryland *****
if you can find a snapper mower their very narrow..
little trick i use sometimes.. let air pressure out of the tires can loose 1/2 inch or add more air to raise 1/2 inch.

if you want all of those decals check on line they make lots of them.. may save you a paint job.. haha.
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#8358 - 05/17/12 05:13 PM Re: home built mower [Re: mdlawnguy]
Maurice Offline
MBN member
Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 311
Loc: Franklin, Indiana, USA
snapper! i had a look-a-like about 20 years ago, its long gone...
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#8360 - 05/17/12 06:09 PM Re: home built mower [Re: Maurice]
Scrumpy Offline
New in town
Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 7
Loc: Rt93 exit 1 NH
Maurice,

My sears LT1000 had 2" spacers on the axles to keep the rims out at the edge. It's likely you could lose 4" on the width by putting the spacer on the outside. I think the shaft had a full length keyway, I no longer have it so I cannot check to be sure.
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