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Tool Talk Discussion Board

Ever made a homemade tractor?

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Posted by Lanse on December 21, 2012 at 10:16:32 from (

I'm giving serious thought to it...

I've been tractorless by choice for a few years, and I honestly don't think I want to "restore" another one for a variety of reasons, but a "doodlebug" build could be a blast, it'd be a sweet winter project, and I'm sure my viewers would love to see it...

$500 gets you your pick of beater S10 or Ranger trucks with manual transmissions off the local craigslist, all run and drive. Probably not too well for $500, but thats beside the point. I bet I could make most of that back by selling the leftovers...

I could use the rear end, and transmission from that, and possibly the engine. My main concern would be wiring... Most of the homemade tractors I've seen use old gravity fed, carborated engines from a model T or something, I'm not sure how complicated it would be to wire up a fuel injection engine. I've looked at much older (60s and 70s) pickups, but they're either totally destroyed or sold as "restoration projects" with insane asking prices. I bet we could do away with 90+% of the wiring, pretty much would just need it to start, and run. Maybe power a couple of lights...

How hard would it be to "do away" with the power-steering system on a creation like this? I'm no mechanic, but I do have a couple of very mechanically inclined buddies I could call up if/when I get in majorly over my head.

My next concern is gearing it down low... Say, no faster than maybe 15 miles an hour...

I know on some of the homemade tractors I've seen, they have a belt or chain system to reduce RPMS, for instance, a small pulley on the back of the engine, which leads to a large one on the transmission. Out the back of the transmission is another small pulley, which goes to a large one on the rear end...

I could also just buy a $100 lawnmower, like a 1990's MTD special with an 18 horsepower engine or something like that, and sell the truck engine... Sure would be easier to rig up, LOL.

I'm just looking for thoughts on how I'd make this work. No, I don't expect this thing to pull a 4 bottom plow or accomplish other major feats, it'd just be something I'd love to build...

Thanks in advance!! And thanks for entertaining my crazy ideas...


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