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My first Ridemaster ( finished )


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#1 jdcrawler OFFLINE  

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Posted December 11, 2010 - 02:50 PM

Links to the first two post.
1- http://gardentractortalk.com/forums/topic/2837-my-first-ridemaster-1/

2- http://gardentractor...t-ridemaster-2/
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The engine base is mounted down in front, along with the lift brackets and spring.
The engine lift cable pulley is mounted up on the front corner of the plate that holds the gas tank.
The lever for lifting the engine is mounted on it's boss on top of the frame ( behind the steering pulley ).

The plate for the throttle is bolted on top of the steering pulley along with two sets of cable pulleys.
The engine lift cable goes thru the bottom set of pulleys and the cable for front implements goes thru the top set of pulleys.

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The steering wheel that came on this still has good hand grip rubber on it but the metal arms and shaft are pitted from rust.
I tried to get a snap shot of the pitting but it doesn't show very well in a photo.

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Anyhow .. I purchased a new after market steering wheel off ebay that I want to use on this Ridemaster.
I'm going to use the steering shaft from another steering wheel that is shot.
As bad as this wheel is, the steering shaft is not pitted like the other one.
First I cut the steering shaft off of the steering wheel.

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The steering post was rusted in the steering shaft so I pressed it out.

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Then I cut most of the wheel hub off on the saw.

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Next I chucked it up in the lathe so I can cut off the weld that is holding the wheel hub to the shaft.

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Here the weld is machined off.

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Then I bolted the steering shaft to the new steering wheel with a 3/4 inch threaded rod to hold it in place for welding.

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And the welding is finished.

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Once the paint is dry, the new steering wheel will be ready to use.

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Here is the finished steering wheel.

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The new steering wheel is mounted to the frame and the chain is connected to the steering pulley.

I fastened the new data plate on the engine and mounted the engine on the frame.
The new drive belts are installed.
The engine lift cable is attached to the lift arm, run thru the guide pulleys and down to the engine mounting plate.

There are new rubber grips on the engine lift lever and on the tool bar lift lever.
I wrapped some electrical tape around the locking control rod on the tool bar lift lever and then put a piece
of black heat-shrink tubing over it to create a "rubber" handle on the control rod.

The shut-off wire is run from the mag up to the kill switch on the plate that's mounted on the steering pulley.
The throttle lever is also mounted on this plate.

The "A" frame and support bracket for the front implement lift is mounted to the frame in front of the engine.
The trailer hitch is fastened to the frame under the seat bracket and the wheel weights are bolted to the rear wheels.

The grader blade was taken all apart and sand blasted. Then it was primed and painted and mounted on the tool bar.


One of the options available for these was a lighting kit.
It had a small generator that was driving off the flywheel and a light that mounted up on the top of the steering sprocket above the front wheels.

I have never run across one of the lighting kits for sale so I decided the next best thing was to build one.
I have a copy of the original information sheet for the lighting kit but the photos didn't copy well.
They are very dark and I can't make out what the generator mounting bracket looks like.
This is the copy of the information sheet for the headlight kit. these were made by Bendix to go on several types of garden tractors.
The bottom left photo is of a kit on a Ridemaster. It shows both the generator and headlight mounted on the left side of the tractor.


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I found a small generator that was for the old Wizzer Motorbikes.
It ran off the flywheel on the Wizzer engine so I figure it will work good for this application.

So, I said to heck with it .. I'm just going to design my own mounting bracket.
Here are a couple of the pieces for the bracket.
The bracket on the right mounts to the two engine mounting bolts.
The bracket on the left will hold the generator.

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Here is the finished bracket.

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The mounting bracket for the headlight is a section of steel tube with one side flattened so it can be bolted on the steering sprocket.
This is the underside of the bracket and the small hole in the tube is to run the wires up thru.
This smell hole and the hole in the end of the tube will have a plastic grommet in them to protect the wire from chaffing.

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I made a lever that bolts to the generator and fits over a flange on the mounting bracket.
This lever will hold the generator away from the flywheel for when the light is off.

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Release the lever and the generator is held up against the flywheel by a spring for when the light is on.

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All finished. .. The engine is running at medium speed and the headlight is shinning brightly. ( it works really good )
I got a tractor light off a late 40's tractor so at least the headlight is "period" correct.

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Left side view with the headlight.

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Right side view with the headlight.

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Edited by jdcrawler, April 03, 2012 - 10:01 PM.


#2 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 11, 2010 - 03:32 PM

That Ridemaster came out just like it left the Factory!
Outstanding job Ray! :dancingbanana:
Its great that you have all the necessary tools to fab up parts. I wish I had a whole arsenal of tools to play with ...
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#3 caseguy OFFLINE  

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Posted December 11, 2010 - 03:34 PM

That thing looks awesome Ray! Great work!
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#4 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 11, 2010 - 03:38 PM

How about a Video of it driving around?......
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#5 daytime dave OFFLINE  

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Posted December 11, 2010 - 03:46 PM

Great job! It looks brand new.
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#6 jdcrawler OFFLINE  

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Posted December 11, 2010 - 03:47 PM

How about a Video of it driving around?......

Sorry .. I do not have any way to take a video.

#7 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 11, 2010 - 03:49 PM

Sorry .. I do not have any way to take a video.


Ah, that's Ok

Just wondering....Why is the seat painted a different yellow than the rest of the yellow?

Edited by Bolens 1000, December 11, 2010 - 04:10 PM.

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#8 Bud OFFLINE  

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Posted December 11, 2010 - 03:56 PM

Nice job! Looks great.
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#9 DH1 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 11, 2010 - 04:03 PM

Geez that's amazing, the tools, the part's you make, the finished tractor, good stuff.
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#10 jdcrawler OFFLINE  

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Posted December 11, 2010 - 04:37 PM

Just wondering....Why is the seat painted a different yellow than the rest of the yellow?

Well now, that is a good question and is one that I myself had asked of other Ridemaster owners that I had seen their restored Ridemasters painted this way.
The consensuses was that Bolens bought the seats from an outside vender and they were already painted this yellow ( John Deer yellow to be specific ) and the factory just used them as they were.

I have since decided that the "experts" are wrong on that assumption !
I recently picked up a 48 Ridemaster that still has a lot of the original factory paint and decals on it.
The seat is defiantly the same shade of yellow as the wheels.

Next spring, when I get this Ridemaster out of winter storage, I'm going to re-paint the seat to match the wheels.

Here is a photo of that Ridemaster so you can judge for your self.

Posted Image

#11 mjodrey OFFLINE  

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Posted December 11, 2010 - 04:37 PM

Man,that turned out really nice.
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#12 Rickski OFFLINE  

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Posted December 11, 2010 - 04:44 PM

Really nice job. Better than new.
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#13 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 11, 2010 - 08:39 PM

That's interesting info Ray.
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#14 NUTNDUN OFFLINE  

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Posted December 13, 2010 - 08:55 PM

Ray, you did a wonderful job on that Ridemaster.

I am going to put the three threads together and then see about merging your posts so it is one article and I can promote it to the front end of the site. I will work on it this week sometime, maybe even tomorrow.
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#15 Tinkerer OFFLINE  

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Posted December 13, 2010 - 09:23 PM

Nice job on the restoration. I also enjoy fabricating my own parts when I can. Thanks for the step by step details on the restoration.
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