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Round hood tricycle tractor

21 posts in this topic

ID: 1   Posted

I've been a fan of narrow front modifications to garden tractors, but I have to admit, after having looked at some of TT's threads, they are growing on me.

Now I'm wondering, since the Ponds originally based the hood design of the RJ's, etc., as well as tractor color, on the Farmall at the time. And the farm tractor I first learned to drive tractors on was a Farmall Super C with a narrow front................

Has anyone done a tricycle conversion to a round hood model? This would, in essence, be a downsized version of not only what I learned on, but also the design of the original tractor modeled after.

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ID: 2   Posted

I haven't seen one, but it sure sounds like a good project Dale!

Kevin

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ID: 3   Posted

I know there have been quite a few done, Dale.

I'm sure the defecation will start coming my way when I say this, but not too many of them are done right. :D

Most all of the converted tractors I've seen use teeny-tiny wheels and they are mounted too far back under the front of the frame. The steering linkage is tough to get figured out on some brands which usually results in less than 90 degrees of rotation at the center shaft. There are a few ways to configure the steering, but I will say that roller chain and sprockets seem to be the best thing to use on the "normal" Wheel Horse garden tractor frame. My Charger has 360 degree post rotation (no steering stops yet) and can actually spin around "on top of itself".

I had considered converting a round hood tractor at first, but since I had a '68 Charger 9 sitting here that wasn't much good for anything else, it became the test mule. (Horse?) Four months of planning, drawing, and calculating - followed by a few months off due to cold weather - gave me plenty of time to gather the parts and pieces required to start assembling the frame and steering last spring.

I had also thought about using 6.00 X 16 or 8.00 X 16 rear tires (Speedex size) on the rear to gain the extra height needed to fit the 3.50 X 8 triple ribs under the front and not have the tractor running too far "uphill". Once I got the channel tacked in place on the front of the frame and could mock up the rest of the spindle assembly, I decided to mount 23 - 10.50 X 12's on 7" wide wheels and pump them up until they were tall and round. :whistle: The extra height was just enough to give the right stance to the tractor and it reminds me alot of how a Farmall H sits.

Stephen is working on some plans to convert a round hood, but I'll let him decide how much information he wants to give out about that project. :WRS:

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ID: 4   Posted

Around 2002 I put together a 502 narrow front from a parts tractor in about a day or two. Maybe I did it wrong. :whistle: The simple way I built the steering with the stock parts worked ok. At first it had a 1.5hp lauson engine with a single front wheel then later it was changed to a narrow front 2 wheel setup. Over time I had changed the fenders and some other parts around then mounted a small Briggs and sold it. The tractor went to Connecticut but later it was at the PA show with some 26-12-12 tires mounted.

th_NewImage.jpgth_graderweb9.jpg

After it was sold.

th_show015.jpg

Forget who the owner is but saw this in PA.

th_show105.jpg

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ID: 5   Posted

I'm not a big fan of what the new owner did with it, but the 3 wheeler version you built Nick, is very cool! :whistle:

I wonder how wide someone could space the rear axles without making it weak in the rear? Specifically, I'm thinking a wide stance in the rear with tall, or at least skinny tires, would be pretty sharp... I'm gonna have to look into some WIDE rear axles.

It would certainly be a nice project!

Kevin

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ID: 6   Posted

Kevin, At our show last week I saw a narrow front Wheel Horse painted green with Oliver decals. they had bolted spacers about 4" wide on the hubs to give it a wider row crop stance but I just cant find the pictures now. :imstupid:

Also at last weeks show was a few small narrow front tractors that have been built by club members. They look great but are built from Cub cadet transmissions. :WRS: I dont do body work and what they did on these is far beyond anything I would attempt. :whistle: Something similar could be done with a horse but I'll admit the inline drive system of the Cubs does work well to building something like this. :D

clickable thumbnails

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th_wapak008.jpg

th_wapak009.jpg

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ID: 7   Posted

None of these tractors are wrong in the aspect that they either have a single front wheel (where the slang term tricycle originated) or two wheels close together on a common steering stem. Nick - I know you have big tractors and you are more familiar with their capabilities than people who have never been around them. I spent a few hours in the seat of a Farmall Super C, and HAD :whistle: a 1945 BN up until 3 years ago.

The intent of this "row crop" design was to allow the tractor to pass over taller crops for cultivating purposes (which is a "lost art" now.) and to have superior maneuverability when turning at the ends of the rows. The high-crop tractors took this principal one step further by installing taller wheels or longer final drives on the rear, and adding length to the lower steering post, arching the axle more, (WFE) or adding taller tires to the front. The narrow front tractors could pass between rows without pushing the taller crops down with the front axle beam, or the undercarriage of the tractor.

A narrow front farm tractor's front wheels generally turn almost completely sideways, and when assisted by the individual rear wheel brakes, this allows the tractor to leave one set of rows and turn to the immediate next rows. I wanted to duplicate this ability with my Wheel Horse and found that the chain and sprocket method allowed full rotation. I can exit the garden and turn the wheels sharply in either direction and go back the opposite direction with the rear tire on the same track as the last pass. I have seen several narrow-front conversions that didn't have as tight of a turning radius as the original wide front axle. If the conversion is for looks rather than function, then that's fine.

Anyone who has operated a 1961 or 1962 Wheel Horse with the single tie rod and then used a 1963 or newer tractor with the two individual tie rods will know exactly what I mean. :WRS:

Kevin -- if you want the long rear axles, look for a 3 speed rear from a Commando 800 or the 1973 8hp 4 speed tractors with the smaller rear wheels.

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ID: 8   Posted

Thanks for those pics Nick... I love miniatures... Some folks just have real talent when it comes to that stuff... and they're just getting even better now that folks are moving on from tractors and making a wide array of implements now too. Used to just be mini tractors and hayracks or barge wagons... :whistle: I'm still trying to talk my uncle's father in law into doing a combine next.

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ID: 9   Posted

Very good information... :whistle: I too have been eYe Balling TT's Trike front wheeled machine. :D And told him he better keep his eYe on it at the show cause it would fit nicely in my horse hauler :WRS:

Well there will be (2) digital cameras flashin at the show and I will be getting some Ideas for sure. I may be fireing ole' Lincoln up and melting some metal! :D

Duke

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ID: 10   Posted

Those sure are impressive Nick! I agree, the Cub allows for a little more 'imagination' to be put to work....

Kevin -- if you want the long rear axles, look for a 3 speed rear from a Commando 800 or the 1973 8hp 4 speed tractors with the smaller rear wheels.

Thanks TT! I'll keep an eye out for them!

On your trike, you could use turning brakes, right? I was thinking as long as it wasn't a 10 pinion diff, they would work?

Kevin

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ID: 11   Posted

You could use turning brakes on a 10 pinion too, Kevin. They're just limited slip, not a full "locker", so the differential still functions as normal while turning.

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ID: 12   Posted

Kevin, Out taking pictures today and thought of this post so I got a few of the axle length on different transmissions. If 1054 axles would work in another trans that might gain more width, Terry or one of the other experts might know about parts interchangability on those. :whistle: I dont have pictures but Bill has turning brakes on the Lawn Ranger.

3 speed hub would be about up to the trans.

trailertest012.jpg

8 speed on the LR has just over an inch of space to the hub.

trailertest014.jpg

Commando 4 speed has just over 2" of space to the broken hub. :WRS:

trailertest011.jpg

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ID: 13   Posted

You could use turning brakes on a 10 pinion too, Kevin.

That's good then, I wondered if they would allow the "free" wheel to roll as well. Thanks TT!

Kevin, Out taking pictures today and thought of this post so I got a few of the axle length on different transmissions.

Thanks Nick! Those Commando axles are pretty long. thanks for the comparison pics!

Kevin

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ID: 14   Posted

TT, that might be why your conversion is slowly...... converting me. It's more in scale, complete with proper tread design and such.

Oh, and one of the 5 transmissions I have sale IS one from a Commando with the longer axles........... :whistle: Pick 'em up is full heading east though, it's pick it up only.

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ID: 15   Posted

A narrow front farm tractor's front wheels generally turn almost completely sideways, and when assisted by the individual rear wheel brakes, this allows the tractor to leave one set of rows and turn to the immediate next rows.

The original ZTR! :whistle: I wondered for years why someone didn't make the front wheels on garden tractors turn more sharply. Now it looks like Cub has done just that. I hate to credit Cub, but this design may just make garden tractors popular again, as compared to the Grasshopper "mow only" things. :WRS:

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ID: 16   Posted

You don't have to give the credit to CC - it probably should go to MTD. :whistle:

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ID: 17   Posted

You don't have to give the credit to CC - it probably should go to MTD. :whistle:

Too Shay!

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ID: 18   Posted

You don't have to give the credit to CC - it probably should go to MTD

Excellent point!

You just never know who makes what anymore!

Kevin

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ID: 19   Posted

I don't understand how the steering rod under the engine converts motion 90 degrees to the tricycle conversion.

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ID: 20   Posted

Welcome to Redsquare Electro12!

I'm not sure if you're referring to a specific tractor you saw that has been modified, or if you're trying to figure out how just a "general" trike is set up.

I will tell you though, that one of the best examples I have ever seen is a trike built by TT. There is a fairly lengthy description (with pics) of how he set up his trike, and it can be seen here:

TT's machines!

You'll need to scroll down through the thread, a little more than halfway through before you see it. Definately worth checking out!

Kevin

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ID: 21   Posted

Thanks, that helps alot! I have a little L106 that I was thinking about modifying.

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