Electric riding lawnmower

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  #1  
Old 10-30-16, 12:29 PM
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Electric riding lawnmower

Although I doubt that anyone really cares, else I would have received a PM or two, I am still plugging away on the electric riding lawnmower project. I had the thread removed because it was really a blog and blogs are not permissible under the rules of this forum. I was already in enough trouble so I thought it best to have it removed.

I will eventually post it in the completed projects section but probably not for several more months.
 
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Old 10-30-16, 02:08 PM
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Been following along just don't comment much.
 
  #3  
Old 10-30-16, 04:30 PM
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I use electric battery powered lawnmower and trimmer and love it. I think a riding mower would be really cool.
 
  #4  
Old 10-30-16, 05:38 PM
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Always fun and educational to read your posts. Silence just means we have nothing to add not that we aren't interested
 
  #5  
Old 10-30-16, 07:14 PM
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Alex, for use with the riding mower I bought a new Ryobi 24 volt battery (Lithium Ion) string trimmer without the battery or charger. I got it brand new off of eBay for about $35 including shipping. I made a plastic block to fit where the battery had been and added a 40 foot cord. It works very well but I found out it was also discontinued so I bought several spare parts while they are still available so I should be set until I die.

I'll try to get some pictures and write it up in the completed projects section.

Ray, Pugsl, I won't be making the periodic updates on the mower like I did in the previous thread but to bring you (and anyone else) up to date I have changed out the one horsepower motor for a two horsepower model and I bought a commercial solid-state speed controller rather than mess around with the $20 eBay controllers. I need to wire in the reversing relay and mount the "gas" pedal before I can do another smoke test and that may happen this week depending on the weather and the state of my ailments.
 
  #6  
Old 10-31-16, 06:27 AM
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For those whom want to read the initial first post and see the photos in the original thread, the link is here.

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/al...awn-mower.html

Time to return to the coffee shop for a refill...
 
  #7  
Old 10-31-16, 09:25 AM
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Tom, that link doesn't work ???
 
  #8  
Old 11-01-16, 05:08 AM
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Link worked just fine for me.

Brought me right back to the original thread from last year.

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/al...awn-mower.html

Try above link.

Taken from the link in my original post above and same original electric riding lawnmower thread.
Anyone else having difficulty with the link? Advise.

 
  #9  
Old 11-01-16, 05:10 AM
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It works for me. .
 
  #10  
Old 11-01-16, 05:10 AM
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This is the message I got
Invalid Thread specified. If you followed a valid link, please notify the administrator
 
  #11  
Old 11-01-16, 05:12 AM
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It only works for group mods and above.
 
  #12  
Old 11-01-16, 11:36 AM
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For those wanting to see the original thread, I suggest that you re-read my initial post of this thread.

I'll give one update today and maybe post a video in a week or two. I took it out this morning and drove it down the driveway, turned around and back up the driveway. It had lots of power with the new 2 horsepower motor and the speed control works very well. I would have done more but I need to re-connect the ammeter and also it is raining here. Thursday is supposed to be dry.
 
  #13  
Old 06-29-17, 02:38 PM
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It DOES cut grass!

Short update. Among many other things I jury-rigged an old battery mower deck to the front and tried cutting some grass. The blade is dull and I need to make a device to hold the front of the deck steady (it bounces up and down now) but it bulled its way through some two-foot (or higher) grass today. I'm quite pleased.

Pictures later if anyone wants to see.
 
  #14  
Old 06-29-17, 04:19 PM
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Yes, pictures maybe even a video of it mowing.
 
  #15  
Old 06-30-17, 09:58 AM
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Yes, pictures maybe even a video of it mowing.
X 2
...........................
 
  #16  
Old 06-30-17, 11:57 AM
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I don't know about any video; it has been several years (since before Google bought YouTube) since I uploaded any video. Plus, I would need someone to drive the silly thing or else take the video. But here are a few stills.

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Sorry about the last one being a bit washed out. The flip cover on the upper left of the back panel is the charging connection. The strobe light is not connected, I may mount it on the removable panel or I may not use it at all.

The rat's nest of wiring on the front is some temporary wiring and it will all be covered by a plastic panel I hope to fabricate in the next few days. The mower itself is temporary, made from a salvaged Earthwise (battery) mower I got for nothing. Notice how I cut off the front of the deck to allow the blade to hit tall standing grass.

When I was playing with it yesterday the deck started to go lower and lower until the blade "bit into" the ground stopping it dead and tripping the circuit breaker. The tractor continued moving ahead and it raised the front end off the ground before I could stop it. As long as the tires don't slip it has plenty of power! Neither the drive or the mower motors got the slightest bit warm during my fun.

Oh, that is a 1500 watt pure sine wave inverter under the strobe. This will allow me to use 120 volt tools such as my vacuum/blower and chain saw away from power. I also have a Ryobi 24 volt string trimmer that I made a battery adapter for that connects to a connector in that rat's nest at the front.
 
  #17  
Old 06-30-17, 12:07 PM
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Quite a bit of progress since the last pics you posted of it
 
  #18  
Old 06-30-17, 03:29 PM
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Really looking good. Thanks for the pictures.
 
  #19  
Old 06-30-17, 05:10 PM
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Yeah, I keep plugging away at it. I've added the back panel and side panels, big fuses (100 and 150 ampere) for the mower and drive respectively, mounted the mower relay, smaller fuse blocks and a 24 to 12 volt DC-to-DC converter.

I also put smaller wheels/tires on the front when I found out the front end was about four inches too high. I haven't yet cut the axles because I may (doubt it) want to go back to the original wheels. It still steers like a lumber wagon as my daddy would say but it is manageable.

The transaxle is noisy but some of the noise may be the chain drive from the motor to the transaxle. I'm going to try a belt drive to see if it is significantly quieter. I tried a foot throttle but it was difficult keeping an even speed so I am now using a hand throttle, about 90 degrees on the knob from off to full. I'll be adding a lever instead of the knob to make it a little easier to control the speed. The commercial speed controller works well, far better than the $20 (or less Ebay controllers I had tried early on.

I've been cutting/trimming the d^&*[email protected]# English ivy that creeps up from the neighbor's yard, I HATE that crap! It is considered a noxious weed in Washington but that doesn't stop people from planting the crap and then letting it grow wild. The Ryobi trimmer works very well, if only I had the stamina to keep up. A couple of minutes into the job and it blew the 15 ampere fuse so I put in a 20 and that seems to be holding. Although the total energy meter does work I can't watch it and run the trimmer through the dense ivy at the same time so I don't know what the thing actually draws. I'm going to try a 15 ampere thermal circuit breaker to see if it will hold.
 
  #20  
Old 07-01-17, 03:34 AM
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I'll be adding a lever instead of the knob to make it a little easier to control the speed.
That is how a lot of tractors are set up and works well. Never really looked at the entire throttle run on my tractor but whatever position you set the lever in it stays there except for wide open, if you let go of the lever when it's wide open it will return to a more normal speed.
 
  #21  
Old 07-13-17, 01:54 AM
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I decided to finish all the tack welds and then paint the thing. I did make the front cover (plastic) to cover the rat's nest of wiring and that came out well. The epoxy paint I have (100% solids) takes forever to harden so it is slow going but that paint is HARD and TOUGH once cured. I tried looking it up on the Internet and I can't find the exact product but similar products from the same manufacturer state a cure time of up to seven days for one product. This junk I have seems to get pretty hard in about five days. Recommended shelf life is only one year and it must be close to thirty years old.

Today (well, yesterday as it is now almost 2 AM) I made a new battery cart to replace the cut-down mover's dolly from Harbor Freight. Far superior to that POS I was using. I received a nice 24 volt linear actuator off of Ebay ($10 or $15) that will allow adjustment of the mower deck elevation.

In the next couple of weeks I will be stripping off all the removable parts, finish welding and then sandblast and clean it up for painting. I'll put it back together with a vee belt primary drive and then post some more pictures.
 
  #22  
Old 07-13-17, 03:13 AM
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Thanks for the update. Sounds like you are making good progress.
 
  #23  
Old 09-24-17, 05:40 AM
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Very little accomplished these past two months. I got the parts to convert to a belt drive and discovered I needed a new motor mounting about an inch lower than the original. I got that made and then decided I needed to clean up the frame and start painting it with the epoxy. Then the hospital stay and since getting home I have done almost nothing with the project. I need to cut a shim (3/8 inch steel) before welding in the new motor mount.

During my hospital stay my sister and her son did some cleaning in front of my garage. In addition to what I said was okay to get rid of they also tossed the "redneck mower" with the motor and blade although I specifically told her not to. They also tossed a good-sized piece of sheet metal I was going to use to bend up a tray for my mailbox. On the plus side, I picked up another free battery-powered mower last week, this one a Remington although it is a clone to the EGO and Homelite mowers and I think they are all made by MTD. The guy I got it from said the handle switch was shot but it turned out to be one of the two 12 volt gelcel batteries. Funny thing is the battery lit all the LED state-of-charge indicators as well as measuring 25 volts with my Fluke but it wouldn't even begin to turn the motor. I took the removable case apart and tested the individual batteries and found the bad one. Subbing the single good battery from the last mower I found I now have a decent 24 volt battery I can use for my string trimmer by itself. Using the enclosed charger I brought it up to the charger shutting off in less than an hour. I need to add a push-button switch to use the charge indicator lights.

I have worked on the control box a bit. I was going to set it up with a 15-pin Molex connector just inside the side panel but had nothing but trouble with the stupid connector. At first I soldered the wires to the pins since I didn't have a Molex-type crimper. The pins were loose in the plugs and didn't mate properly. I ordered a crimper and Molex insertion/removal tool just before going into the hospital and once I got to try them I found out I STILL had problems. The crimper was worse than soldering and the stupid pins still did not properly seat in the plugs. So I finally said to H#%& with it, cut off the plugs and swept them and all the pins into the garbage. I will NEVER waste my time with such crap again. Now I am using Anderson "PowerPoles" connectors but (of course) I needed to order a bunch in different colors. They should show up by the end of the week. If I would have known how lousy the Molex plugs were all the money I spent on them and the crimper would have paid for the PowerPoles. Live and learn.
 
  #24  
Old 09-24-17, 10:03 AM
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At least you learned two things, never let relatives clean unsupervised and don't use molex connectors.
 
  #25  
Old 09-24-17, 09:43 PM
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I almost lost my welding table as well. Chris told me his mother was going to toss it except for being unable to move it. It is a piece of 1/4 inch steel about 18 by 24 welded onto a two-inch pipe that is in turn welded to an old car wheel.

I really can't complain as they got rid of a bunch of old (rotting) fence boards, some yard waste and some other scrap metal as well as a plastic (Black & Decker) lawnmower shell. They just tossed it into the dumpster across the street where a couple of women are remodeling a house to flip. Yes, they had permission to do so. Unfortunately, they didn't toss ALL the fence boards and when I was able to do so the dumpster was gone.
 
  #26  
Old 10-16-17, 12:55 AM
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Still making progress. The cable assembly (with the Power Pole plugs) worked out perfectly. I got the new motor mount mostly welded in place as well as welding up the hole in the battery box and finish welding the rear braces. Unfortunately, I need to get some more electrode before I can finish welding the motor mount. Unfortunate in that Tuesday may be the last dry day for some time and I doubt that I will be able to get the electrode before Thursday at the earliest.

I set the side panel with the control box in place to see how everything will fit and it is good. The front panel will cover the cable plug and I won't even have to use the control box bolts as fasteners to the frame. Painting to follow the little bit of welding still required. Since heat only tends to soften this paint (epoxy) I don't think that applying it in the colder weather will make much difference. It takes several days to cure no matter what the temperature.

Anyone ever use dry ice to install motor bearings? I took the motor apart so I could use just the end bell in making the mounting and the bearing is held in the end bell with a retainer plate. I pulled the bearing from the shaft because there was no way I was going to be able to get the retainer plate behind the bearing and get the screws in with the bearing still on the shaft. So now I need to chill the shaft and (maybe) heat the bearing a bit with my heat gun to get it back together.
 
  #27  
Old 10-16-17, 03:50 AM
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In the Navy we use to put the shafts in the freezer over night. Ever uses an induction bearing heater? Now those are sweet, no need to cool the shaft. After using one I wondered why the Navy didn't have those.
 
  #28  
Old 10-16-17, 05:20 AM
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Back when I was in show business (I worked in a facility that had several entertainment areas) we used to heat up bearings in a coffee can of oil on the hotplate and slip them on the room temperature shafts. Of course those were greased bearings that had zerks on the enclosure. This motor uses sealed bearings with no zerks or even a tapping for them, I don't think my kitchen refrigerator will get cold enough as this bearing was TIGHT on the shaft.

I can get dry ice easily enough, I just have to figure a way to pack it around the shaft. I might have to make a plastic tub and then fill it with acetone that I can cool with the dry ice.
 
  #29  
Old 02-04-18, 09:40 AM
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I guess it is time for an update. I haven't accomplished much at all due to cold weather and my ailments. I did get the battery box inside and front outside panel painted with several coats of black Flex Seal and that came out well.I mounted much of the electrical back onto the front of the battery box as well and this time I decided to add the main fuse holder as well rather than having it behind the right side panel. I finished welding the new motor mount in place and that is about it.

I tried making plastic goo from packing peanuts to fill in the bottom of the chassis, a story I related elsewhere, and that was a bust. A couple of weeks ago I tried it with the remains of a can of Bondo and hardener and that also turned out to be a failure. The epoxy paint experiment, seeing if it would harden if it was over an inch thick was a complete success but I still need to clean the dirt and rust from the metal before using it for filler.

Otherwise it has just been too cold in the garage and I have been hurting too much to spend any time out there.
 
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Old 02-04-18, 09:47 AM
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I understand the slow going I had a cold for 2 weeks last month and the cough is still hanging on ....unless it's the COPD. My tractor is still broke down at the bottom. Fortunately I was able to limp it to my son's driveway [across from mine] Ordered a new distributor for it. I'm not convinced that is the culprit but it is well worn - possibly 65 yrs old. I guess age gets us all alike
 
  #31  
Old 02-04-18, 11:40 AM
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I use that flex seal. It's pretty good stuff.

It's good to see you making forward progress. It can be pretty tough when you are felling crappy and the cold weather does make for miserable working. No worries.... Phil says spring is in the air.
 
  #32  
Old 02-04-18, 01:53 PM
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I've had my legs mummy-wrapped from the toes to the knees pretty much continuously since the second of January. That doesn't slow me up too much but the necessity of having to put plastic bags over the wrappings and tape them to my thighs makes taking a shower rather difficult. I can't stand in one spot for more than a minute or two and the tub is mighty slippery with the bags. Kind of makes a person do as little as possible to avoid the necessity of taking a shower, or do anything at all. When you smell your own stink you KNOW it is bad.

In case you are wondering why the mummy wrap...I have lymphedema, an incurable condition that causes the lymph system to "back up" in my legs causing extreme swelling. It IS treatable but I don't know if my Medicare Advantage is going to cover the treatments. I originally went to the clinic just for lymphedema and they were going to contact the insurance and get back to me. Then I went into the hospital with the infection. During the hospital stay the swelling went down considerably but as soon as I got home it started to increase again. I think it was in October or maybe early November that I started to develop blisters and they wouldn't heal so my primary doctor sent me back to the wound clinic where they commenced with this bandaging. I finally got an appointment at the lymphedema clinic for this coming Wednesday. The ARNP at the wound clinic also started the ball rolling for me to get a pump and sleeve-like contrivance that I can use at home to help move the lymph cells back up to my body where they can be properly recirculated.

I've received two letters from the insurance stating they still haven't made a determination on paying for the treatments so far. They haven't denied it but neither have they okayed it.
 
  #33  
Old 02-04-18, 02:45 PM
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My mom has the same thing. She uses compression stockings and wraps. It's pretty miserable.
 
  #34  
Old 02-05-18, 03:03 AM
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Is it difficult to wrap your leg by yourself? My wife's brother fell saturday and broke his knee cap in two. Surgery went well yesterday. He has a 'cast' that he'll have to wear for several weeks, then a brace. He is concerned that when he gets back home he won't be able to take a shower. I suggested he wrap that leg up in a trash bag prior to taking a shower, my wife thinks he'd need help. Of course he's still in the hospital and surely they'll give him care instructions when they are ready to send him home.
 
  #35  
Old 02-05-18, 09:03 AM
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Mark, in my case I think it would be pretty near impossible for me to wrap my legs by myself. The nurse starts at my foot and first slathers on some kind of cream to keep my skin from drying. Then she (or he) layers on some gauze but not wrapping it completely around but folding back at the starting point and going the other way, alternating with each wrap. Then a slightly elastic foam bandage tightly wrapped over the gauze. You can't use a regular Ace bandage because it is too stretchy, you need to compress the "meat" and keep it from expanding. I live with this on both legs for a full week and then have them cut off and redone.

For showering I take an ordinary plastic trash can liner and pull it over my foot and leg, and then using duct tape securely tape it to my thigh. The bandaging only comes to my knee so it isn't too bad. The trick is to get the tape all the way around and with it in contact with the skin or else water WILL get inside. Biggest problem besides getting the tape sealed is when you step on the excess bag from one foot with the other foot. Also, it is EXTREMELY slippery in the tub.

I cut the bandaging off this morning so I could take a decent shower. With the bags I want to get out as soon as possible but this morning I wanted to take a long hot shower and really scrub down with a loofah. It felt wonderful. I go to the clinic in a couple of hours and most likely will get re-wrapped. Probably will go through it again when I go to the lymphedema clinic on Wednesday.

Something I found out is that they do make plastic "cast covers" for bathing. Some are heavy enough that they can be re-used. I guess some local drug stores carry them (I found them on the Internet) but they ain't cheap. The ones I saw had a starting price of about $12 and the heavier duty ones were double that.
 
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Old 02-05-18, 09:48 AM
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We went to visit her brother this morning, he was ready to go home. Except for pain he felt fine laying in bed ...... until the PT girls showed up. Just getting out of bed with help let him know he's not coming home anytime soon! Those girls also told us he has a broken rib [#9] which none of the doctors or other nurses had said anything about.
 
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