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45 MPH on a lawnmower


cheese's Avatar
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09-26-06, 11:38 PM   #1  
45 MPH on a lawnmower

Ok, it's just plain insane! But it's fun as all get out!

I have a high school guy who works for me in the evenings. He had an MTD that he tried to modify to run fast. It was a bit quick, but the varidrive system and belts and cheap tranny just caused too many problems for him. I drove it, and when I could get up to speed, it might have done 25. Kinda neat, but not interesting to me. He wanted to build something better.

I went to a friends house to pick up his old murray frame (2000 model, 14.5 hp 40" cut ...no engine, bad tranny). We got it back to the shop, modified it to accept an older, tougher tranny, added some idlers to gain more belt wrap around the tranny pulley...which was less than half the size of the original pulley, added an engine pulley about 2.5 times the size of the original, some large 4-wheeler tires, an 18hp twin engine, fabbed a coustom louvered hood scoop, had to raise the hood, move it forward, and cut out a couple spots for the engine to fit, and made a skid plate. Cut out a hole for the shifter, cut the fenders so the big tires would fit, and fixed the engine (starter dragged, stuck valve, bad coil, dirty carb and bad fuel pump). Then it was time for a test drive. First gear, engine just over idle, let off the clutch and the mower stood up. Shut it down to gather our wits, and discovered the tranny wouldn't shift. After inspection, the tranny had twisted the part of the frame that holds it. So, after a bit of heat and bending with the torches and a few pieces of 1/4" flatbar welded and bolted in place as braces, we tried again. Instant thrill ride. We did donuts while throwing dirt from the back tires 20 feet. I got on it and rode a dirt road. A kid on a 4 wheeler was coming up from behind me, so I slowed down and poked along by the side of the road to let him by. After he passed me, I hit 3rd gear and the throttle. You should have seen the look on his face when he saw a lawnmower passing him like he was sitting still!!!

Today, I was showing a friend, and was going to pop a wheelie for him. The tranny is an H shift, and I thought I had it in first. I throttled up, popped the clutch, and catwalked (to the point of almost flipping backwards) for about 15 feet...losing control, barely missing some landscape timbers, rocking from one side to the other on 2 wheels, across the yard barely missing the fence and my service truck, and just as I was about to get thrown off (my legs were already back by the rear wheels getting dragged while I was trying to steer it away from things that didn't need to get hit) it stopped. I found out it popped out of gear somehow. It was just about to be in the rose garden at my house (complete with split-rail fencing)...only a few feet from it. It was like being saved by an angel, hehe! I quickly thanked GOD I didn't get hurt, and was nervous feeling for a couple of hours afterwards. I mistakenly put it in 3rd when I thought it was first, which is why this all happened int he first place. First gear usually pops the front end up a foot or two...not vertical! What a thrill though. I love adrenaline rushes! We rode it for hours.

I'm hooked...gotta build one for me now! People come outside their houses to watch this thing go by. Awesome toy. I have a pulling tractor modified to pull a 2800 pound sled, but it won't lay you back in the seat like this thing will!

Just wanted to tell you about my interesting day!


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

 
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09-27-06, 03:21 AM   #2  
Have you ever heard of Bobby Cleveland, Cheese? He's in your neck of the woods and works for Snapper wherever they are in Georgia. He recently set a mark at the Bonneville Salt Flats for a land speed record on a lawn mower at 81mph. I wish I knew how all this technology works and could upload some photos of all my lawn mower racers I've built over the years so you could check them out. Among the many champoinship mowers I've designed, I had one built strictly for drag racing. It was a Murray chassis with a Briggs 20-horse V-twin that was clocked at 72mph on a 500-foot grass course. Heck, Bobby had a mile to clock his time. I know I could eclipse that speed he reached but I'm no longer into racing lawn mowers, although I'm seriously considering building another one to take to the salt flats just for the notoriety and rush. It is awsome, isn't it, Cheese? What tranny did you use in your machine? I've found the 600-series Peerless to be, by far, the most durable and has the best final ratio (9:1) and I used, if I recall correctly, a 6" drive and 3" driven pulley with the Briggs turning about 7000 rpm to acheive this. Keep on going, you'll have a blast.

 
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09-27-06, 06:15 AM   #3  
Azis
YeeeHaaa!!!

Now we havin fun
That sounds like so much fun. I have been wanting to get somin like that for myself. Our small town summer celebration now has lawn mower races I would like to enter. Also I now have 20 acres to race around heheh.
I have an old murray chassis I was hoping to use as it has the manual PTO for the deck and seems to have more ground clearance, not sure which rear end but it the shift on the fly not hydraulic. It has a 14 HP Briggs Van Gaurd on it now but I also have an old MTD with an 18.5 briggs twin. It also has the shift on the go tranny again not sure which exactly.
Would like to see some pics and more info perhaps...????
Puey if you'd like I could help ya with getting somin up online. Lots of ways to digitize pics these days and your Internet service provider may give you some web space with your account. If not or if too much I would be happy to host some pics for ya....

Move over youngins here come the ole farts

 
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09-27-06, 10:27 AM   #4  
It's a Foote, which I believe was the same, or bought out by peerless. I think it's the 600. H pattern shifter, forged gears, shafts, needle bearings, and oil instead of grease. Cast iron axle housings too. It does have a taller ratio than most other transaxles I've worked on.

I don't know Bobby Cleveland, sounds like a character.

This one wasn't really built for racing (or we'd have hiked the speed up a little bit more). The guy wants to take it down to the muddy dirt trails down by the river and bog with it, and have a low enough speed to ride the bumpy higher trails.

I can't belive I've worked with mowers for as long as I have and managed to NEVER ride one of these. I've got some pics Azis. I'm like Puey...not well versed on having pics hosted on the net.

Quote :"Move over youngins here come the ole farts" LOL! You said it!


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

 
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09-27-06, 12:07 PM   #5  
Azis
That sounds like more of what I really need also cheese heh. I got 20 acres to reclaim after several years of neglect, and would much rather have a small lil tractor n trailer than tearin up my 4x. The racin part I was hopin could still be fit in, just looks like too much fun for a lawnmower man NOT to be part of

I have a photo albumn site I have been procrastinatin about gettin pics from my shop on. This'll be perfect reason to start it up. If you want to email me pics, I can putem up n send you the link. Or if you know if you ISP gives you web space and want to try your hand, its usually pretty easy and drag and drop once you get it setup.
Either way lookin fwd to seein some

 
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09-27-06, 09:52 PM   #6  
Working on the pics now. I'm sending them to myself to make sure everything is ok, then I'll shoot 'em your way. Thanks! You should get them tonight.


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

 
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09-27-06, 11:13 PM   #7  
Lol, I have a pre 80 murray frame (has frame rails sorta like a ayp mower) cept..... I blew the old 3 speed peerless (forget the model number) out... havn't take it off and out to tear it apart and actually see what popped, It did wicked weelies stock, and was about to swap the pulleys when it stopped moving all together.

 
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09-27-06, 11:47 PM   #8  
V8, The only failure I've seen on these trannys was a snap-ring popping off the input shaft, and the bushing below the ball bearing on the input shaft galling up from lack of oil. I had a mower with one of these trannys with a blade across the front that raised and lowered like a little dozer. It was geared really low with pulley sizes. It would actually cut and scrape/level hard packed dirt. The tires were full of water to get traction, and a drum full of water was mounted on the back. That tranny held up.


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

 
cheese's Avatar
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09-28-06, 10:33 AM   #9  
45 MPH on a lawnmower (pics added)

Ok, thanks to Azis, we have pictures to look at. Thank you Azis!

Here is the link: http://asis.phanfare.com/album/122717
Copy and paste into your browser.

The pics should show up on the left as thumbnails. You can click the pic you want to see. The mower we built is the grey murray. The other pics are azis's pics. There are more than just the pics shown. At the top of the group of thumbnails, there is a spot that shows there are 21 pics. Click there to see the rest of the pics.

The young guy you see on the mower is the high school guy that works with me in the afternoons. He is also a member of this forum.


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

 
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09-28-06, 08:59 PM   #10  
hmmm. that transaxle looks just like mine (well last time I looked at it was just after x-mas) And yes it was a peerless.. took gear oil instead of grease..., might a week or so pull it out of the shed and take it off.., was riding around...., stopped to fill it up with gas and went to get back on it and put it in gear..... nothing, belt and all moving well... just didn't feel like messing with it in the cold so I put it away.

edit: ahh yes, looks a heck of alot like it..... bolted to the frame on that one side like that. Its on a old murray 8... 3 speed with reverse...

 
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09-29-06, 03:05 AM   #11  
I've got to dig out my old race pics and get some help on uploading them. Give me a bit and I'll contact Az for some help. Cheese, that is a Peerless 600 series and is a nice tranny to use. Some of the 600's, though, are low speed and the ID tag will read 601-***. These have a final drive ratio of 13:1 as opposed to the 600 which is a 9:1 ratio. I've modified them to run the high rpm's by installing two needle bearings on the input shaft and running a solid axle with ball bearing supports immediately outside each case half and again further out on the axle using pillow block bearings.

 
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09-29-06, 06:33 AM   #12  
If anyone need help posting pics, you can e-mail then to me and I will host them for you. E-mail to dshanahan at gmail dot com

 
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09-29-06, 08:16 PM   #13  
Yes mines a model 668a...., as for pics... why not use photobucket?

 
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10-02-06, 04:07 PM   #14  
huntingbubba89
Hey

Yea thats my mower. Cheese helped me out a lot with it and i sure appreciate it. That mower is so much better than my old one. My old mower just had so many drivetrain problems with the varidrive it got really annoying. i had that old mower for about a half a year and i went through 3 trannys. But now i can just go outside, fire that big 18 hp (694cc) and ride without worrying about repairs. The only thing on my new one that is gonna need regular changing is the belt. Well i just thought i would leave a comment about my new mower.

 
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