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#1 jdcrawler OFFLINE  

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Posted January 04, 2011 - 07:25 PM

The front tires on the tractor were 6.00-12 "rear tires" off an old Sears garden tractor.
They are really weather checked bad and have some chunks of rubber missing from the side walls.

I want to put new tires on the front so I called around to get some prices and also looked on ebay.
I ended up going to Richman Trailer Supply and bought a pair of 5.30-12 tires and spoke wheels
So now I have new tires front and rear and the all the wheels match.

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Originally, I was going to make some wheel weights to fit inside the rear wheels.
Then I found those nice slotted front wheels that are the same as the pattern on the rear wheels.
With all 4 wheels matching now, I don't want to hide the rear wheels behind a set of weights.

So I'm going to make some weights to mount underneath the rear axle.
These are 3 x 4 inch box steel tube that are cut to about 13 inch long.
I'm going to fill them with lead for my weights.

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This is the frame that I built to hold the weights.

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This is the underside of the frame. I welded angle iron to the bottom of both sides to add strength.

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This shows how the weights will slide into the frame.

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The weight frame is welded to the underside of the tractor frame.

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The rear of the tractor with the weight tubes slid into place.
A plate will bolt onto the back of this to hold the weights in and the 3-point hitch will be mounted on the plate.

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This is what they will look like from the side except that they will be filled with lead.
For the most part, you won't be able to see much of this as it will be hidden by the rear wheels.

The ground clearance on the tractor is controlled by the front axle which is the lowest point on the tractor.
The underside of these weights is still about 3 inch above the lowest point of the front axle.

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Now it's time to make the weights.
First off, I recommend a spray mask with good filters ( something like this ).
You should also have safety glasses and a pair of thick leather gloves.

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This is my setup for making the lead weights for the tractor.
Make sure you do this in a well ventilated area.
I had the garage windows open on one side and the overhead door open on the other side so there was a nice cross breeze.

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Start with a 5-gallon bucket of old wheel weights
A lot of tire places will let you have these for just hauling them off.
However, I live in an area where people make lead weights for fishing the great lakes.
There are also a lot of black powder enthusiast that make their own ammunition, so old wheel weights have a value around here.
These cost me $30 for a 5-gallon bucket ( roughly 180 pounds when full ).

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I cut 5-sections of 3x4 inch steel tube, 12-3/4 inch long.
You don't have to weld one end closed. Just clamp a steel plate on one end.
When you make the first pour, that will harden right away and seal the end so you can then fill the rest of the tube ( these took 4 to 5 pours each ).

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I don't have a lead smelting pot so I looked on ebay to see if I could get one.
They must be gold plated because they sure wanted a lot for them.
I bought this cheep cast iron ( propane ) camp stove and cast iron tea kettle instead ( about $25 total ).
It isn't as fast as a regular lead smelter but it worked just fine.

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I started out with about a dozen weights in the kettle.
Once they melted to a puddle, I then added a couple of hand fulls of weights and stirred them into the puddle with a piece of wood.
I kept doing this until the kettle was about half full. Any more that that and it gets too heavy to pour easily.

As the weights are stirred, the steel "clips" will float to the top.
I used a magnet on an extension handle to pick the "clips" out of the kettle.

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Here are a bunch of the "clips".

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For these weights, I bent up a piece of coat hanger.
On the first pour, I put one end down into the melted lead so it stuck up in the center of the tube.
This wire will lock the rest of the pours together to make sure they don't separate.

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Some of the wheel weights were made out of something else and did not melt in the kettle.
When they were picked up by the magnet, I just tossed then into the tube and poured the next batch of lead over them.

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A finished weight. They weight 56 pounds each so that will give me over 280 pounds on the back.
It took me about 2-1/2 hours to pour up two of these weights with my setup.

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#2 jdcrawler OFFLINE  

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Posted January 04, 2011 - 07:26 PM

The next thing to build is the 3-point hitch.
First, I welded six 1/2-13 long nuts to the back of the frame.

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I then screwed thread center punches into the long nuts.

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Then I clamped the backing plate for the 3-point onto the back of the tractor.
I hit each area where a bolt will go with a hammer so the center punch would leave a mark.
Using the marks left by the center punches, I drilled out the mounting holes in the backing plate.
Here is the plate bolted onto the back of the tractor.

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I had bought a set of category-0 lower tool arms off ebay and I made up mounting brackets for these arms.
The center of the pivots are set at 11 inch off the ground.
Because of the size of the rear tires, that makes them about 6 inches below the center of the axle.
Here the mounting brackets are clamped to the backing plate so I can weld them in place.

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I'm going to use a solid sway bar brace instead of the cross chains.
A piece of round steel was drilled for the pivot and mounted in line with the arm on the left side.
The length of flat steel is then welded to that pivot and bolted to the arm on the right side to form the angle brace.

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I welded a section of angle iron to the brace to give it strength so it won't bend.

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With the brace in place, I fastened a 17 inch long piece of wood between the ends of the arms to keep them at the correct distance apart.
Then I welded two pieces of angle iron to the backing plate for the mounting brackets for the upper lift arms.
They hold a 3/4 inch diameter rod that the lift arms will pivot on.

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The lift rod on the left arm will be a solid rod and the lift rod on the right arm will be adjustable.
I screwed a long nut onto a section of 5/8-11 threaded rod and welded it on the end.
I turned part of this long nut down on the lathe to form a smooth area for bushings to ride on.

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Here is the finished lift rod for the right side.The bottom bracket has two bushings in it so the threaded rod can rotate.
A nut is screwed down against the bottom bracket and is pinned in place so it can't turn.
This locks the threaded rod into the bottom bracket.
A long nut is used for the upper bracket and has as steel tube welded to it for a pivot mount. This will allow the lift rod to swing in and out.
A 4-prong handle is screwed onto the top of the threaded rod and pinned in place.

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Two "U" brackets are welded to 3/4 inch bolts. These will be the upper brackets that the lift rods fasten into.

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These two upper brackets will screw into long nuts that are welded on the upper lift arms.
This will allow the lift rods to be able to swing sideways.
Here is one upper lift arm ready to weld the long nut in place.

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Both upper lift arms and lifting rods are finished.

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The lower mounting bracket for the hydraulic lifting cylinder.

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The upper bracket for the hydraulic cylinder is welded to the upper lifting arm.

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The cylinder will allow the lower tool arms to go from 6 inch off the ground to 20 inch off the ground.
the lower arms will spread from 15 inch to 19 inch wide.

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Reaming out the holes in the bracket plates for the upper tool arm.

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The two upper tool arm bracket plates are welded to a section of 1x1-1/2 solid steel bar.
This is then welded to the back side of the backing plate.

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Here is the finished 3-point hitch.

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How it looks with the arm for the rear blade attached to it.

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#3 mjodrey OFFLINE  

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Posted January 04, 2011 - 07:50 PM

Nice weight fabrication process.:thumbs:

#4 powerking56 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 04, 2011 - 08:10 PM

More great stuff Ray, thanks for posting this for us!!!
Peter

#5 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted January 04, 2011 - 08:26 PM

:love: the 3 pt hitch too!

#6 DH1 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 04, 2011 - 09:46 PM

Ive seen all 5 of your R/T tractor threads and all I can say is outstanding, I would love to work side by side with you on 1 project, I would learn a lot that's for sure.

Thanks for sharing.

#7 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted January 05, 2011 - 05:19 AM

Great Work again Ray!

#8 tractormike OFFLINE  

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Posted January 05, 2011 - 06:56 AM

:thumbs:Nice work Ray.

#9 caseguy OFFLINE  

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Posted January 05, 2011 - 09:24 PM

I want to know where one finds threaded center punches! THAT's a handy little tool! You do fantastic work Ray!

#10 jdcrawler OFFLINE  

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Posted January 05, 2011 - 10:17 PM

I want to know where one finds threaded center punches!

Those can be found at an industrial supply that sells machinist tools.
  • caseguy said thank you

#11 caseguy OFFLINE  

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Posted January 06, 2011 - 05:08 PM

Thanks Ray! Now I just need to find an industrial supply that sell machinist tools! I've been looking for one anyhow, now there's just one more reason to look harder! LOL!




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