Sunday, October 5, 2014

Tractor Anniversary

Here we are. A year since I started looking at those tempting domestic tractors on Craigslist.

Contrary to popular belief, I've actually made some progress on this thing. Let's take a look.

They make paint for tractors. Not something I had thought about but it makes sense in retrospect. It's oil base and supposed to be extra durable. It can be used with a hardener (which I used) for faster drying and supposedly greater durability. It can be brushed/rolled or thinned for use in a spray gun.

First order, degrease anything that gets paint. You can see that the end that had an oily engine on it is mostly rust free.

This is the "Death Room" where Edgerton Center teams do layups, sanding, paint, and chemical handling. It has special ventilation and tools for that kind of thing.

All done up in black.

In the custom vehicle scene painting everything black is known as "murdering out".

This is sometime after the paint happened. Testing!
Sadly, the only components in this picture that are mine are the motor and contactor. 

Thanks Roberto.

This is where I planned to mount my motor. Originally the engine lived under the hood. It drove a pulley and v-belt, through a clutch, to the rear transaxle. I decided to skip the belt and pulley system in favor of a "direct" connection to the transaxle. This means I'll be sitting right above the motor. Theoretically the top speed will be higher. Ditching the pulleys and belt unfortunately means I won't be able to power auxiliary equipment (like a mowing deck) but I didn't have plans to do that anyhow.

I used a cutoff wheel air tool to chop out the panel, but there were two layers.

I went at it a bit more and I had a 3" hole in my tractor.

The motor needed to be raised a bit to get the proper shaft spacing. The motor face mounts to a plate, then the plate gets bolted to the tractor frame through those steel square tubes.

I bought some jaw couplings to transfer the power between the motor's 1" shaft and the transaxle's 5/8" shaft. The coupling has a rubber insert that takes up some misalignment and cushions  impulses a bit.

Here's the tractor all opened up. Trying to figure out where everything will go.

WAIT! What's that brick on the left?

It's a big battery donated by A123. I've talked about this company before, but now they're back in production which is good news as far as I'm concerned. I'm really excited that this is going in the tractor. Thanks Roberto!

On loan is this rather over rated Kelly Controller. I'll need to get my own at some point (likely not this model) but it will certaily work for now. Thanks Roberto!

Pondering layouts

All of the power wiring connected, save the battery terminals.

She's coming along.

Until next time.