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Building Small Tractor From Scratch


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#31 Ranger2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2014 - 08:30 PM

Al, I have almost always got a line on cheap or free materials when I start building anything. The only exception to that, that I can think about is I started building an Ultra-Light Airplane about six months before I fell the last time and there wouldn't have been very much of the materials in that which wasn't new, but that project stopped as fast I did when I hit the ground. Ouch on both counts! 

As you can see, I had several projects going and I am going to tell you one thing right now.

I am getting tired of getting projects stacked up on top of each other.

I started building a boiler to heat the house with last fall and never finished it before it got to cold to work on it.

I started a water powered air conditioner this spring, but I only got a jury rigged unit working that has kept me from paying an outrageous electric bill this summer, so it will be spring before I can finish the good one.

I started back on the boiler a couple months ago and my little sister calls, "Dennis, I need some help over here!" so I have built a set of iron handrails for her front porch, rewired an electric motor (Just rewired the 120 line to the motor. The wire had dissolved from 48 years of grease build up behind the face of the fan) for the oven fan, and several other odds and ins that ate up the biggest part of two weeks.

And then after telling me they were getting the caps for the corner post for the hand rails from some one, that fell through and the best she could find them were $11.75 each so I let my mouth almost over load my butt and said "Heck, I'll make them for that!" What can I say? 100 bucks sounded good at the time. It was worth it but I am another day closer to cold weather again and the boiler has a long ways to go. 

Well, It's 9:30 pm and my better half don't get off for another hour so I guess this break had best come to an end.

I have more to type but that better be latter too.

 

Godspeed

 

Dennis   

 


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#32 Ranger2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 30, 2014 - 09:38 AM

Well, I might have just been thrown a curve ball that changes everything about building a tractor.

I know where I can buy a wrecked foreign truck, I forget what the make is, but I had ridden in it a lot.

Actually I drove it a couple or three times and it ran like a top.  

Well Barry was rear ended last week or the week before and it's an old truck and the insurance totaled it but he can keep it for $285, and he offered it to me for that thinking I might want it for my tractor.

Well, I hadn't thought at all about building anything that large but he has me wondering about it now.

He also had a parts truck that he had bought just for the motor for the truck that he wreaked but he has sold the biggest part of the rest of that truck but he still has the transmission, and someone on here said something about some one building a small tractor with two transmissions so this has really got me to thinking about it. 

Both of the tranny's are 5 speeds so I figure one in 3rd. or 4th. gear should be about right and it has a diesel engine too.  

The only reason I'd even toy with the idea is because my land lord will let me plant one or probably even all of the fields he has if I wanted to, so I could easily grow all the sunflowers it would take to make not only all the diesel fuel I'd use for my own use in vehicles,  but I could even use it in by boiler for heat.

That is if I purchase a seed press and filter.  

Plus the leftovers from the seeds will be feed for goats, chickens, turkeys, and I'd guess that the deer would probably fatten up on them too.

 

Anyway, what do you guys think about that idea? I'm not sold on it yet but I am thinking about it anyway.

 

Godspeed

 

Ranger


Edited by Ranger2000, August 31, 2014 - 12:08 AM.

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#33 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted September 04, 2014 - 09:24 AM

It sounds that you are like me and have more projects than time. Especially since they forecast a very harsh winter this year, you need to finish your heating system. After the heating system and fuel is stockpiled, then think about your tractor options. It sounds to me like you should conserve your time and maybe buy an old tractor that will do what you want. My neighbor just bought a 1962 International 50 hp with 3 ph, PTO, and FEL for $2000. He was delighted and even stopped using his truck for getting firewood. The tractor is so much easier.

I'm still trying to prepare for winter. I have less than 1/2 cord of wood at the house. 4 cords are down in the woods. I planned to have them cut split and stacked near the house by Memorial Day but I'm 4 months behind. Good Luck to both of us, Rick

I believe the forecast because I'm seeing plants ripen a month early.

#34 Ranger2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 04, 2014 - 10:40 PM

Hi Rick, I feel for you if you have as many projects on the plate as I do and I too, am expecting a very harsh winter and trust me, getting the boiler built is the first project on my mind.

However, my body can't keep up with the work that lies ahead,but my brain can spend the time the body says set down and rest, for me to go ahead and design the next project I have in line, and I feel that this time of thinking about the next project is always very beneficial to getting the project done when time gets here to start it.

I have learned the longer from the time you start a project by thinking about it until you begin working on it, in the long run it saves you many mistakes you might have made when building it had you decided to build something and started on it a day or two later, even if you were to stop and draw the blueprints to it.

I have made drawings several times of whatever it was I wanted to build because just thinking about it, not even meaning to makes you come up with better ideas.

Some times, as right now, I have several projects in line that I was already to do!

The boiler is an  "I Have To Get It Done Or Pay Some More $588.40 utility bills this year too !",,,,,,, and I can't afford that this year.  

I think I said on here that my cousin has a mower/garden tractor I can drop the mower deck and use along with a small trailer to grab the fire wood during this heating season, so the tractor is trading places with the water powered air conditioning as for who gets the next spot.  

As for right now I have a jury rigged A/C with the 53* (* = degree) water coming from the three springs that join together just before they enter a small creek running through an automobile radiator with a squirrel cage fan blowing through it and while it isn't the best looking thing in the world by a long shot, my "Red Neck Air Conditioner" has only cost me for the electricity to spin the squirrel cage blower, so I think as soon as I get the boiler online, I will start on the tractor.

I'd like to have that hauling fire wood out of the woods well before spring and be building some implements to plow a garden early next spring. I am hoping to maybe start the garden a couple, three weeks early by putting a heat exchanger with a blower under some plastic to help the seeds start earlier than usual.

The next year I am hoping to have a green house built over a garden about 40' x 100' with pipe in the ground to heat the soil for a really earlier start.

Anyway, that is the plan and right now, the plan is to hit the shower and then the bed. The clock got too fast for me here, LOL.

 

Godspeed

 

Ranger    


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#35 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted September 05, 2014 - 05:20 AM

Hope to read about your other projects , maybe in a different thread . The greenhouse idea is interesting  .



#36 Ranger2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 05, 2014 - 09:38 PM

Well Al, it looks like I have this thread hopping all over the place already so I might as well be here, LOL.

Right now, as it stands, my plans are to finish the boiler first,,,, because last January my utility bill was $588.40  and I can't stand an entire winter of bills like that, and I expect this to be a very harsh winter to boot so total electric could be even worse than that. 

I am making good progress on it now but I still have a ways to go, but still yet, I think it will be finished by the middle of November. At least I am praying that it will be anyway.

The next thing I want to do after this is completed, is to build the tractor because I need it for so much, and as soon as it is built, I will be building several implements, and one of them is going to be a pan that scraps earth up like the big huge ones do when they build malls, parking lots, roads & Etc.,.  

This is where the green house and garden starts in.

The first thing will be a trailer but the pan will be next because I want to cut all the ground down about a foot deep where the garden is going to be and move it out of the way so I can lay pipe in there and then fill the dirt back in over top of it.

That is where I want to run some of the boiler heated water to heat the ground up to get the garden started maybe as much as a couple months earlier than usual.

I mean why heat the air if the ground is cold as heck?

I have built several green houses using regular 1" EMT electrical conduit and as long as it is anchored good it'll last a couple or three years given you buy the good green house plastic. I did loose one 10' x 10' green house to a storm because the stakes were some 12" ones that I made that pulled out the ground in high winds, but there was much more damage around the city than just my green house.  

Now this green house deal with running the water to heat the ground is just one of my ideas but I know WAY BACK when I was growing pot plants that I'd start the seeds on New Years day and let them get three feet tall and bushed out by the time I could put it out and, well, let's not speak about that part of my life, LOL.

I am taking pictures of the boiler as I build it so maybe if I ever learn how to post pictures I can show you me building the boiler from start to finish. I really pray I can anyway.

 

Godspeed

 

Ranger


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#37 Ranger2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 06, 2014 - 11:09 PM

Hi Again,

Well, I set down in the shop a few minutes ago and just set there for a while and went over what I have done on the boiler so far and to see what is left and I am quite a bit ahead of where I was thinking I was, and I have pushed my welder and both my grinders too hard this morning I have to give them all a cool down break, which sounds alright to me too. right now, LOL. 

I might as well go ahead and tell everyone, that one of the improvements that I was talking about making on the boiler is something that I have yet to find any outside wood boiler that any company in the industry has in their boilers, is that I have designed a grate in mine, but it isn't just a grate to lay the firewood on. 

It is built with 1" I.D. pipe and has 17 pipes on the bottom for the grate, and I also have added another 17 pipes up top where the outside boiler/furnace industry calls a secondary burn chamber.  

My design differs to start with, simply because I use a grate, plus the fact that it is pipes, plus the pipes that run through the secondary burn chamber is where the water coming back from the house, and after it has delivered the heat to the house, shop, greenhouse, or where ever, and has just been cooled by doing so just before it re-enters the storage tank, it runs through these pipes and I'd like to think that 8 gallons per of water running through 34 - 1" pipes, or more accurately, 30.2 ounces of water per minute running slowly through each one of the pipes, with 17 being the pipes that are engulfed with red hot coals from the fire and the other 17 at the very top of the firebox where I'd think would be the second hottest place in the firebox, the water would be right back up to 185* when it gets back to the storage tank.

That is 30 ounces of water taking 60 seconds to flow through 24" of 1" I.D. pipe and I can not understand for the life of me, that no one else in the entire industry, as far as I have found anyway, even has a grate for the wood to lay on, must less with water being heated from the coals. 

The second addition that no other company in the industry does is I am not using a draft door that opens and closes when the fire needs or doesn't need to burn.  

With my design, the firebox will be air tight so the fire will die down immediately when it reaches the desired temperature and when it needs to come back alive, there will be jets of air forced into the exact places it needs to be, including the secondary burn chamber, so all the gases that have built up during the down cycle will burn hot and clean, heating the pipes in the upper section of the manifold as it burns also.

I am sure that you are all used to hot steel, so you'll know that water that has only cooled down to maybe 170* will take a while at less than a quart per minute to draw the heat out of 24" of 190* or hotter steel pipe, so this boiler should be one of the most efficient outside wood fired boilers ever designed.  

I really can't believe that no company in the industry uses these designs in their boilers. To me it just makes no since not to.

I know that I used 1" id pipe in the first grate that I ever built to go in a fireplace and it sagged down really bad in the middle of it but that was only a grate to hold the wood off the hearth for air to get under it, but the next one I built I made a grate/blower unit where air was blown through the pipes and the air coming out was hot as all get out but the pipes didn't sag down after two years.

Maybe the entire industry thinks they will sag down but if the air flow kept them from doing so, I am quite sure that water running through them will stop that problem ASAP.

Anyway, after all that crap has been said, as I said to start with, I have gotten a long ways ahead of where I realized I was until earlier today. Well, I started typing this several hours ago and have done more since I started on writing this.

The pipes I talk about is what I am calling a manifold, which has a top half and a bottom half. The bottom half is already welded in completely and I have the firebox cut for the top half to go in tomorrow if I don't go to church. Not saying I do very often because I don't, but I might in the morning anyway.      

But the boiler is just about ready for me to pressure test her sand go ahead and stuff it in the storage tank and seal her up. But I still have about 200 gallons, give or take a few gallons of used motor oil to pump into some 55 gallon drums.

I didn't know it was in it when I bought it but I'm not fussing about it. I have a sprayer designed also that I can spray old kitchen oil, motor oil, or whatever to turn into it to heat also. But I am not counting on using that a lot. Just when some comes along.

So the biggest reason I told you all about this is because it looks as if I will be getting started on building the tractor a few weeks sooner than I thought that I would, and I thank the Good Lord for that.

So it seems as if I underestimated my timing and have gotten off to a slow start at getting a tractor designed.   

My little pick up truck I thought about getting is already gone so I am still with the 18 H.P. engine and looking for a rear end & tranny, and a gear box  for my tractor again.

I forget who it was, but one of you posted a picture of a tractor from behind that showed that baby blue rear end that I liked really good. It has the look of, "You Can't Break Me!"

That is what I want my little tractor to look like from one end to the other and I want it to be built that way too. 

I want the 18 H. P.,  B & S twin cylinder engine to be the weakest link in the entire tractor and I don't want anything in the entire tractor that the engine can break.

 

Well, it's time for the sack, so I'm gone for now.

 

Godspeed

 

Ranger


Edited by Ranger2000, September 08, 2014 - 07:12 AM.

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#38 twostep OFFLINE  

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Posted September 08, 2014 - 09:21 PM

That was a panzer. Research Panzer and Economy tractors.


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#39 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted September 09, 2014 - 05:47 AM

On your boiler will you be making your own manifold ends from steel stock or into another pipe ? Trying to figure what it might look like .  Do you think you'll need to insulate under the greenhouse pipes ?  



#40 Ranger2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 12, 2014 - 06:56 AM

Hi Alc, the manifold is two sections that are already in the firebox now. I still have a small bit of welding but it's coming together.

The bottom half and the top half both are exactly the same except the bottom will be down where the coals and wood will be setting on it and the top half is up where what company's in the industry call the secondary burn chamber among other things.

I forget for sure right now but I think the top has 16 and the bottom has 17 - 1" I.D., or it might be 15 and 16, but the pipes are welded to 1/4" x 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" box tubing on the incoming side and there is a 15 / 64th" hole in the center of the location where the pipe was welded at.  

All of the pipes are 24" long and the opposite end from the box tubing, they are welded to 2 1/2" angle iron which has 1/2" holes drilled in that.  

I talked with three different professors/engineers at the Danville Community College here and explained what I was doing and that I wanted to drill the holes so that the pump would build up a slight pressure in the manifold causing them to somewhat regulate the flow to all of them to allow approximately the same amount of water to flow through to each pipe and they all agreed with me in that all the 15/64" holes combined would have a slightly less square area than the 1" supply pipe from the pump and that it should raise the pressure in the manifold approximately 5 to 8 PSI., which should regulate the flow.  

Whether we are all four correct or not will not be known until I test it with the pump in place and water flowing and by then, it will be too late to change anything unless the holes are obviously too small, at which time I will go slap nuts, LOL.

Nah, if it doesn't run the pressure up so high I believe the pump would fail from it.

 

You said you are trying to figure out what it will look like and I am praying to get some pics on here by the end of the week but for now, look down and imagine a length of 2  1/2" box tubing.

Now there are 15 or 16 - 1" pipes coming off of that at 90* right angles and then a piece of angle iron welded to the opposite end, 24? apart from the box tubing.  

 

Now as far as the pipe for going under the green house, I don't really think that it will make a heck of a lot of difference there.

One thing I don't think that I have said anything about on this site yet, is that after I get caught up with some of this mess I have planned on doing, I am more than likely going to build two or three 4' x 8' solar heaters for the garden for the most of the heating.

I haven't done it yet, but I want to search for some type of a thermometer that has an end that I can bury say 18" deep in the center of the garden and read the temperature at a post standing right there in the middle too.

I'll need to check with someone a lot more experienced than I am about raising a garden about what the ground temps need to be, but I'd really love to be able to grow veggies year round if possible, even if it is just simple things like tomatoes and peppers.  

Well, let me get down to the shop and start welding on the boiler before the Old Man sneaks up and gives me a bite of cold air, LOL.

The reason I built the "manifold/grate" like this and using the pipe this way, is that the water will be drawn through from the boiler, through the pipe going to the house, then the heat exchangers and when it comes back to the boiler, it will be pumped through the manifold before it re-enters the boiler tank.

And when just about half of the water goes through the grate, it will be enclosed with red hot coals which I know from using a grate/blower in a fireplace that even after the fire has gone out the coals will still be hot enough to blow out heat for a couple of hours before the air gets cold coming out of it.

With the boiler that will get forced, preheated fresh air any time the water in the tank gets below 180 degrees not only will the grate pipes continue to add heat but when the blower does kick back on to add air to fuel the fire, the secondary burn chamber should with its added clean hot air blast those pipes as an extra hot area too. 

I could be wrong. It sure wouldn't be the first time but I have spent several years studying this and I don't think that I am.

Well I worked on a dog box for a truck for hunting dogs most of the day to pick up a few extra bucks and it's 7:40 now so I better get my buns back down to the shop and start welding a little more on the boiler so I can get on to the tractor sooner then later, LOL. 

 

Godspeed

 

Ranger.


Edited by Ranger2000, September 12, 2014 - 06:42 PM.

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#41 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted September 12, 2014 - 07:48 AM

Quite a project. My first concern is that in a few years the pipes in the firebox may be corroded and start to leak. In the 70s after gas and oil rationing there were alot of people building their own stoves with a few spectacular failures. You will need a pressure relief valve on your system, like on a hot water heater. Please be real carefull.

 

With a pumped water system, you should have a generator incase the power goes out. BTW in CT, my electric bill is almost $200 per month and I heat with passive solar and wood backup. I use no electricity in my heating system.

 

If you get a chance read some of the articles in The Mother Earth News Magazine. The articles from the 70s and 80s were very good about what you seem to be heading towards. 

 

If you change the design of a greenhouse to more like a passive solar house you can probably skip the ground heating. This would involve insulating the top, north, east, and west sides. Good Luck, Rick

 

One little bit of info: a cord of dry hardwood burned in a good wood stove will yield the same amount of heat as 200 gallons of heating oil.


Edited by boyscout862, September 12, 2014 - 07:50 AM.


#42 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted September 12, 2014 - 08:09 AM

Having a ground heated greenhouse I bet will give year round gardening :thumbs:   Just might want to have different zones so you can keep the soil temps low for plants like lettuce and spinach  . Maybe have where the warmest areas are for peppers and tomatoes . Climbing spinach would go good there too .



#43 Ranger2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 14, 2014 - 08:11 AM

Yea Al, I think it will work, and it sure would be nice to go out whenever and grab a fresh tomato, pepper, or whatever.

I'll have do check into it but I'd probably have to extend the duration of light with electric lights and that'll cost me, but it shouldn't be but maybe a couple hours a day.

 

Yea Boy Scout, it has been quite a project already, but thank God, I am just finishing the hardest part of it to do and it hasn't been nearly as hard to do as what I had expected it would be.

I had welded both halves of the manifold together and figured fitting them into the firebox and getting them welded was going to be something else, but it went pretty much like clock work.

I'm sure that the fire box won't last me very long but according to what last winters utility bill cost me, if she'll just make it through the winter I'll save at least $3,000 this heating season and that will be spent to build another firebox out of new stainless steel that will last 25 or more years.

I had no choice but to use what I could scrounge up cheap or free for this one, but what I do save will help out a lot this year.  

Plus it looks like that if I get her going and she works as I am sure she will, I am going to get two contracts to heat two other residences with it also for. One for a trailer for $200 a month and a large two story house for $400 a month. But it will take the first months payment from them to pay for the parts for the hook up. But they are both as easy to hook up to as mine is going to be. Just turn the electric off to the elements in one and cut the burner off in the other and set the water to air heat exchanger on top of the intake for both of them and run the pipes to and from them and they'll be ready to go.  

The firebox and the storage tank on the boiler that I am building is as large as the 250,000 to 300,000 BTU boilers they have on the market, and that is more than enough to heat everything I want to heat.

And you needn't worry about the pressure build up my friend. I am only going to run it from 160 to 175 degrees, and that won't be anywhere close to boiling.

I figure the tank, pipe, pump and all will do better the lower the temperature is and I always tried to run 165 degree thermostats in my small block Fords when I was racing them and they always had plenty of heat so I don't see any need in going up to any 180 to 190 degrees with the boiler.

Well, I guess I'd better get down to the shop and finish welding the manifold halves in the firebox and connect them and get ready to mount the pump to test her for leaks. I am 99.99% sure I won't have a leak but we all know how that .01 % can be sometimes.

 

Godspeed

 

Ranger


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#44 Ranger2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 15, 2014 - 09:39 AM

Might I suggest using a Panzer rear axle?  They've already done the work for you.  They took 50's Mopar axle assemblies from salvage yards and narrowed them for use in the Panzers.  Heck, a whole Panzer tube frame wouldn't be a bad starting point for a custom GT.  If I remember correctly, one of our members is in the middle of a custom build where he's using a small four speed in a Panzer as you are proposing to do.

 

attachicon.gif2013-6-8 (2).JPG

I was wondering what size tires these are? I am still wondering if mine are large enough for what I want to do. The more I look at different sites with pictures of some nice looking tractors the more it looks like the tires are simply larger than what mine are.  

Thanks for the help.

 

Godspeed

 

Ranger

 

Well I posted it and see that it didn't post the picture along with the quote. The picture was the one on the 18th post that I was wondering about the size of the tires.  

Thanks again.


Edited by Ranger2000, September 15, 2014 - 09:45 AM.


#45 Bmerf OFFLINE  

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Posted September 15, 2014 - 01:46 PM

...And you needn't worry about the pressure build up my friend. I am only going to run it from 160 to 175 degrees, and that won't be anywhere close to boiling.

 

Godspeed

 

Ranger

 

The reason you should incorporate pressure relief valve as a safety in your system is in case of an accidental over pressurization. Let's say its 12:00 am, you have built a nice bed of coals for the evening, you go to bed, and the pump for water circulation quits. The fire will continue to heat the water up to and including boiling. With no way to vent, the pressure will build and make its own vent path. Google boiler explosion and you will get the idea. There is a reason all boilers must be inspected annually. Now your system sounds as if it will work very well; heat water, move water to house, remove heat. But for safeties sake, install a safety.


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