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Electric conversion of a lawn tractor.

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Jags, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. backpack09

    backpack09 Minister of Fire

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    It will be easier to keep the nose on the ground if you hang the batteries off the front bumper...

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  2. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    They aren't out front, but they are tucked under the hood. I don't think anybody would intentionally do the things I did to make it happen. I was looking for "worst case scenario" type things.

    I think I will leave the bumper as a bumper. Banging batteries would probably be a bad thing.
  3. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    wheelie bar...like a dragster. the plow might give you enough weight in the front to keep it down too.
  4. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Jags, Just wanted to say this is a cool thread and project.....wish I had the knack of being so creative.
    Thanks for posting.
  5. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks Dave - even as a youngster I was always messing with something. I have created some -umm- unique things in my time. Electric can crusher, old 049 airplane engines mounted on toy trucks, 360cc 2 stoke go cart (with slap stick shifter- dang fast), trailers, front engine/blower-rear steer snow blower, now this "thing" - just to name a few.

    I will be building a small, lightweight, 2 wheel wagon to go on the back of this thing soon.
  6. ccwhite

    ccwhite Member

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    That is a cool project Jags. Kids enjoying it by now? Or waiting for snow to melt?
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Definitely has inspiration potential if it works well.
  8. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Well - it works well. I have tested it for power and it has plenty. In first gear with me (240 pounds) it will pull me through a ditch pretty easy. So I see no problem with it carrying a 40 pound kid and a small trailer. It is fully functional now, but because kids are involved and need to do some tin work to hide all the wires and batteries. And to block out 2nd and 3rd gear. The thing runs a bit faster than stock, so anything over 1st is too fast for little ones. I gotta be able to catch this thing. I am thinking of putting a big palm button on the fender for an emergency shut down.

    I have even thought about a wireless shut down system. I could rig one of those up pretty easy. That way I wouldn't have to drop my beer and leave the lawn chair.
  9. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    why would you have to get up...clearly your chair has caterpillar traction.....but i'm missing the cup holder, you may spill your beer.....maybe it is best to have the remote stop....what a dilemma.
  10. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    To tell ya the truth, the more I think about it, the more I am liking a remote stop.
  11. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Update:
    First test with young uns'. Test is successful. I made a foot pedal switch for both sides to assure a straddled position of the driver as well as a palm switch (think emergency switch on industrial machinery) on the back fender for adults that may need to shut it down fast.

    I have also built a small trailer that the youngest simply loves to ride in (2). After a couple of more sessions with the oldest (3) he will be a pro at operation.

    1st gear speed is almost perfect, but 2nd and 3rd are too much for the little ones at this time. I plan on blocking those out. The batteries last longer than I do.

    Attached Files:

  12. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    that is super sweet.....no unicorn log splitter though...guess you could always add one later.
  13. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Very Cool!
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Outstanding. The new paint job spiffs it up nicely. But where are the mag wheels?
  15. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    Great project Jags. I am a tinkerer but on a small scale level. Your thoughts on safety are most impressive while allowing fun.

    I have two ideas for you:

    1.) How about a clip on lanyard kill switch like on boats and jet ski's? Make the lanyard short so that if the operator dismounts, the tractor will loose power.

    2.) Under the accelerator pedal, drill a small hole near the toe end through the deck. Take a small piece of threaded rod and feed up from below into the hole. Put a lock nut on the rod above and from below. Adjust the height of the rod to the speed you want. It is a kind of limiter. The pedal can only go down as low as the height of the rod that sticks up through the deck under the pedal.
  16. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Good work Jags. Ready for a Volts wagon or a Ford Ranger conversion now?
  17. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Those are good ideas fishin' - but, the foot pedal switch is just that - a switch, not variable, so its on or off. If one of the little guys try to dismount, the switch has already broken connection and the tractor is at a stand still before a foot could hit the ground. It is probably a FASTER shut down than a lanyard.

    The tractor rolls less than three feet when the switches contact is broken.
  18. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Actually if I had time/money to do it, I would love to do a 4 cyl diesel conversion of a Dakota. There is a commercial 4 banger that is used in some of the van/trucks like bread trucks that are a small version of the 6 cyl diesel that was installed in the full size dodge. That makes factory parts, to some extent, exist. People that have done that conversion are running around with VERY capable little pickups that are pulling 30+ mpg, and can still tow a decent load.
  19. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, I was thinking a dakota might make a decent electric conversion...I like that the cab is wider than the standard minis, I am not lightweight and both of my sons are big guys too. Real tight fit with the three of us in a toyota or an s-10.

    Trucks make real decent candidates fro electric conversion, you can modify the bed to tilt and stuff a bunch of batteries under there, plus they have the weight capacity so cheap lead-acid batteries are practical.
  20. KarlP

    KarlP Feeling the Heat

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    The Dakota is less than an inch wider in the front and less than an inch narrower in the rear than the Tacoma. I know the older Toyotas were narrower, but so where the older Dakotas. Might want to think of a fullsize for three big guys across.

    Along those lines, I'm thinking a minivan would make a cool conversion vehicle.
  21. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for that. I definitely wasn't thinking Tacoma, but knowing that gives more options. Full size is likely out, since the weight diminishes the range.
  22. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    I like the dead-man switch on the foot, rather than the seat...makes sure they are in the correct driving position. The mushroom switch on the back is nice too. Good thinking.

    There are some nice 24V electric motors from MHE (forklifts, etc) that would be good for a smallish car or truck. The lead-acid batteries would be the show-stopper as they weigh more than the car!
  23. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I was actually thinking of doing a remote kill, like the key fob unlock for your car, but they were $60 and I don't have $60 bucks in the entire thing yet.
  24. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Update for anybody who cares:

    We have found second gear. The boys are now 3 and 4 and the oldest states "this is like Mario Carts". It runs at a jogging speed in second. I still have not found the end of battery life for this thing. It can easily run for a constant hour +.
    I don't have any idea how many hours or miles have been put on this machine, but it is a bunch. It has performed almost flawlessly. I say almost because I had to introduce a bit of dry lube to the micro switches on the foot pedals, and put an inner tube in one of the back tires. They are industrial switches, so needing a bit of lube will give you a bit of an idea of how many times these things have been activated.

    This tractor has proved out to be much more practical than the electric ride on toys. It does not have traction issues and will go anywhere in the yard they want to drive without getting "stuck". Heck, I even ride in the back when we have the boat seat mounting in there. The boys think it is pretty cool to pull Papa Jags around.

    We have used this thing to actually do work and to play. The boys love to "help". This is from a while ago: camsm.JPG
  25. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    if you paint it green, and paint some kind of 4 legged, antlered animal on it....I might be able to sell you're super sweet idea to some outdoor equipment company....like Mitsubishi Corp. (who also make canned fruit, and tuna)

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