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Latest Project: Snowblower Counterweight


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#1 MacWorld OFFLINE  

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Posted December 23, 2012 - 10:11 PM

Getting rid of the snow last year was a PITA. I only had my John Deere 214 with it's 1stage 37" snowblower which I bought and restored. It was hard mainly because of 2 problems.

First the manual PTO clutch of the tractor is an poor design with a lot of moving parts and it requires to disassemble parts to change from mowing deck to snowblower. I had many problems with it but I managed to make it work good enough so I can do what I have to until I find a kit to install an electric PTO.

The other problem was the traction. At first without any counterweight with my skinny me on the tractor it wasn't going far with the snowblower. I managed to strap on the back of the tractor what I had on hand… A blown 5cyl 20v turbo block from an Audi S4 1993. At least it's made of iron but it's still to light. I didn't had time last year to do better than that but no way I will suffer this all this year.

Since my Massey Ferguson 1655 is working and I only have to find and adapt a 2stage snowblower I decided to build a counterweight that I could use on both tractors. The starting point was that the 1655 has the 3pt hitch so I build the counterweight for it and then made a "hitch" for the 214.

So here are a couple of pictures of the process, I hope it could give ideas if someone has a similar problem and like my solutions. I made my counterweight so that it can be filled with whatever I have on hand from sand to bricks.

Here is the frame. It's 1' deep, 2' high and 3' wide.

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This is how I installed the supports to adapt to the 3pt hitch.

BTW for my tractor the dimensions I measured from the 3pt hitch are:
- 20" between the lower arms
- I placed the lower points 6" from the ground (the 3pt can go a bit lower and it was what I wanted)
- the top link is 12" higher than the lower ones.
- all mounts are 5/8" holes (internal diameter), 1" wide and are 2" across (external diameter)

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Here is a simple trick, the category 0 3 points hitch has 5/8" pins, to align the mounts I used a copper 1/2" pipe, the external diameter is quite near 5/8".

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That will do the trick! Easy to install and remove and the anchor points are made so the 3pt can pick the counterweight from the ground

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Now that I had the frame made with the anchor points for the 3pt hitch I had to adapt this to the back of the 214. Motorcycle jack helps a lot to keep the frame while being able to move it easily.

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Those are the 3 anchor points that were to be used.

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Those are the angles I attached temporarily to the holes that exists in the frame.

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Once again the anchors from the other side. BTW the sleeves are 1/2" steel water pipe that I drilled to 5/8", the internal diameter is close.

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It starts to take form, I know it's quite a weird design but appearance is not a concern as long as it works.

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My design allows me to still pull a trailer with the hitch when the counterweight is not installed.

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I know, strange 3D thing.

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Side view. So far this design can hold the counterweight, the bricks I placed inside plus my own weight.

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With the wood "walls".

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The bottom is made of 2x6 to support the weight.

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This is close!!!

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So close that when building the "hitch" I had the wheels removed and forgot them… I could not install the wheels so I had to cut just enough so they would clear the hitch. This is REALLY close, one (and only one) chain link hits (barely) the hitch on the left side.

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Here is the counterweight half filled. I used it this way tonight and it was really better than the engine block.

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The next thing will be a hinged top to prevent snow from filling it since the tractors sleeps in my heated garage which I try to keep dry.
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#2 Cat385B ONLINE  

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Posted December 23, 2012 - 10:18 PM

I like it. Multi-purpose is always good.

As far as the dis-assembly goes for switching implements, go get some 1/4" by 1" thumbscrews for the side shield on the right side, and the bolt under the battery that holds on the chute rotator handle bracket. That way you don't have to break out the tools to switch out the belts.

#3 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 23, 2012 - 10:40 PM

I really like what you've done there. Do you think you should add some bracing running from Higher on the back of the tractor to down low on the hitch side of the brackets for your John Deere? Or maybe a gusset on the lower arms would work also? Just thinking for long term toughness.

Edited by HowardsMF155, December 23, 2012 - 10:42 PM.


#4 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted December 23, 2012 - 11:00 PM

Nice weight box. I think I'm needing to do something for the Sears 12. The Ags aren't cutting it on the ice and I don't have room with the bigger tires for chains.

Mind if I steal some ideas? :D

#5 chris m OFFLINE  

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Posted December 23, 2012 - 11:07 PM

Great idea. I will have to get around to something like this myself. :thumbs: I am sure ( like Alan) I will have problems on the ice with my AG's.

#6 MacWorld OFFLINE  

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Posted December 23, 2012 - 11:11 PM

Cat385B: the thumb screws are a good idea! The remaining will be the arm that has to be disconnected between the battery and the engine and the arm that has to be removed from the PTO sheeve. That's what is the most time consuming to do, I will have to see if the end in front of the PTO is too long (it had been soldered by the previous owner, he might have made them longer by mistake)

HowardsMF155: I will be keeping an eye on the hitch of the 214, I know it might not be rigid enough but since the 1655 will be my main tractor during winter and the 214 as a backup I am not too sure if I need to add braces. The braces would also probably remove more space and prevent me from towing a trailer, that's the main reason why I didn't added more so far. I might add a brace from the angle bolted on the tractor's frame to the lower arm to make a triangle, it would help a lot and might not be in the way for the trailers.

MH81: The main point of this post was to give ideas to others so yes feel free to copy my ideas and enhance them as you want! Notify me if you ever do something similar!

#7 Cat385B ONLINE  

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Posted December 24, 2012 - 01:02 AM

Arm between battery and engine? I need a pic of that, I have no idea whats up there.

On the belt keeper bar, you should have an oblong hole where it fits over the stud of the pulley. Then there is a thin metal tab that swings down and holds it in place. You shouldn't need any tools to swing that arm out of the way to remove the belt.

#8 MacWorld OFFLINE  

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Posted December 24, 2012 - 10:01 AM

In the illustration I must remove the presto pin #9 in order to be able of removing #13 from #10. Thats the only way to be able to remove the arm #25 from #20. My guess is that the #25 is too long to the right (front of tractor) so I cannot remove it without removing #13 from #10 before.

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