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Electric tractor conversion tips needed.


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#1 whspioneer89 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 17, 2011 - 02:56 PM

Hello. I'm interested in converting one of my non running garden tractors to electric. I've read a lot of posts, viewed a lot of youtube videos and looked at a few websites where guys built their own garden tractors or small farm tractor electric conversion. Some questions I have are what are the best motor, battery and controller options available? A few of the tractors I have available to convert to electric would be a Wheel Horse with the 8 speed transmission, a Case 446, Sears SS12 and a lighter MTD vertical shaft engined rider. A few of the chores I'd like to be able to do is mow the yard which currently takes about 30-40 minutes with a gas powered rider and 38 inch deck. A loader or forklift attachment would be great for moving my attachments, small engines, parts mowers, etc... around. Some of the questions I have are what operational voltage works the best for power and longevity? What type and voltage batteries work the best for the space available on the rider? What types of controllers are needed? I've seen where guys adjust motor speed by adjusting voltage with selenoids to add more batteries to the motor and used a controller to adjust amps? I used to have a Wheel Horse Electric tractor but went and sold it before even doing anything with it. Still kicking myself for that. Thanks for any help or information.

                       

#2 DH1 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 17, 2011 - 03:06 PM

Hi and welcome the best place to start for info, ideas and to see what other people have done is this site here
>EVAlbum: Search Results

#3 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted April 17, 2011 - 09:28 PM

Well, having done a conversion before you are best off with a controller and running on 24, 36, or 48 volts. The higher the volts, the less amps you use therefore the longer it will last. The downside is the cost will go up due to additional batteries and bigger motors/controllers. The case 446 would be the worst choice as it hasnt a manual reverse. You will want mechanical reverse, cheaper and less involved than electronic reverse. Sky is the limit.

#4 whspioneer89 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 18, 2011 - 11:16 AM

Would this kit be a way to go? Too small, too big? Too pricey? Motor-Controller Combo w/ ME0709 & AXE4844 24, 36, 48V | eBay

How about this motor? DC Motor 12 24 48 Volt Etek MT/Pattern Permanent Magnet | eBay

And lastly how about using a golf cart electric motor?

#5 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted April 18, 2011 - 11:39 AM

Hi and welcome the best place to start for info, ideas and to see what other people have done is this site here
>EVAlbum: Search Results


Doug, Thanks for posting that site, it's very interesting!!!!

#6 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted April 18, 2011 - 04:28 PM

Would this kit be a way to go? Too small, too big? Too pricey? Motor-Controller Combo w/ ME0709 & AXE4844 24, 36, 48V | eBay

How about this motor? DC Motor 12 24 48 Volt Etek MT/Pattern Permanent Magnet | eBay

And lastly how about using a golf cart electric motor?


Both of those are great options if you have the cash and want to spend it. Personally the one with the controller is best. It will give lots of power and possibly even run the mower with all that power. Personally its all in what you want to spend as to the best option. Price wise its right between middle of the line and high end, so again, what you want to do it is up to you. As for using a golf cart motor, it can be done but thee motor when unbolted from the axle/differential has NO support bearing, face plate, and usually have an internal splined shafts. Basicly requires a lot of work, not to discourage you because some people have done it.

#7 DH1 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 18, 2011 - 05:42 PM

IMO the best electric motor to use if you are going to buy one is this
>Motor PowerTronX (Mars) PTX-1004 Permanent Magnet DC Pancake Brushed Double Magnet 200A cont
yhst-129399866319704_2143_442776.jpg

Reasons why.
1- has a 1" output shaft similar to what you find on gas engines that have a 1" shaft.
this means the pulley that is on the gas engine fits the Electric Motor.

2- can be mounted vert. or horiz.

3- does not need a controller, with a 48volt Battery pack the motor turns about 3600rpm, same as gas engine at full speed, motor will not over rev and as the load increases on it the amps increase as it trys to maintain rpms

4- motor has a 200amp continuous power rating which is 12.85hp.
It also has a maximum 400amp rating for 1 minute, 25.7hp max.
This is more than enough power to drive the tractor and mower deck.

5- this motor was made for lawn garden tractor conversions and is installed in place of the gas engine. You will need to make a mounting plate, if you put the electric motor so that the output shaft is in the same location as the gas engines crank shaft was everything lines up and works.
The transaxle, gear or hydro works the same as does the mower deck.

6- not having to buy a controller and pot box (hand or foot throttle) saves some expense. It would drive and behave the same as a gas tractor running full speed all the time, for cutting grass you run you engine wide open anyway.

To vary the ground speed on a gear drive you select different gears for different speeds, the clutch is retained and works the same. For a Hydro drive you it would work the same as a gas one, the down side of a Hydro is it's a little less efficient than a gear drive and would cut into run time, how much???. The newer hydros are pretty efficient. There are a few conversions that are Hydros and they work quite well.
Battery power rules here so when you select a tractor think about where you are going to put the batteries and the bigger the pack the better.

1 example
>Fred's 2006 John Deere 102

There are other ones that are done the same way with no controller using an earlier version of the motor above, these motors are less powerful and do not have a 1" shaft but basically the same idea.
>Carl Ervin's 1992 Sears Craftsman
>Al Latham's 2000 Sears Craftsman
>Gary Little's 1997 John Deere
>Sean Bingham's 1992 Sears Craftmans II

Edited by DH1, April 18, 2011 - 09:11 PM.
added content


#8 whspioneer89 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 18, 2011 - 07:54 PM

Thanks for the great info! I did see a guy on youtube that modified a hydrostatic drive tractor to a continuous running electric motor. He shortened the frame and built a loader for it. He had several videos showing how he uses the loader for chores. Fred's John Deere 102 looks like a nice conversion. Sean Bingham had a nice picture of all the parts laid out next to the mower.