Jump to content

Nominations for Tractor of the Month
Garden Tractors and Parts on eBay



Photo
- - - - -

Ridemaster cart


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 jdcrawler OFFLINE  

jdcrawler

    tinkerer

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 1639
  • 3,173 Thanks
  • 1,724 posts
  • Location: Madison, Indiana

Posted April 23, 2011 - 04:57 PM

This is a project that I built last year before I became a member of this forum.
I'm going to post it here over the next few days for you guys.

.............................................................................................................................


This is my very first Bolens Ridemaster that I picked up a couple of years ago.
We had just loaded it up and were headed home ( proud new owners of a Ridemaster )

Posted Image


Once I got it home and unloaded, here is what I had.

Posted Image


The guy I bought it from said it was a 1947.
It turned out to be a 1953 ( as near as I can figure from what's there ).

We start with an inventory:
Missing the engine and the special drive pulley for the engine.
The driven pulley on the drive axle is wrong.
The front half of the engine guard frame is torched off ( he welded a caster wheel on so it could be moved around ).
A section of the engine mounting plate is torched off also.
The gas tank is missing.
The engine stop switch is missing.
The rear wheels are wrong.
The seat is wrong.
The steering wheel is shot.

The good news is, the frame is in good condition and the rear axles hubs are complete and the bearings are good.
The drive axle seams to be in good condition also.

As naive as I was back then, I thought I could just search the internet and ebay and go to tractor swapmeets to pick up the parts that I'll need to restore this.
Over a year later, and I haven't found any of the parts that I need ( I did pick up two more "complete" tractors though ).

Last fall I talked it over with my wife and decided it was time to make a decision on the 53.
Either I scrap it out or just let it sit in the barn ( for who knows how long ) or I go ahead and make something usable out of it.

I decided to make something out of it for my Sweetie so she has her own tractor at the tractor shows and we can use it to ride around and look at all the other tractors.

I started working on this early last fall and then broke off from it to restore the 1948 Ridemaster.
After the 48 was finished I went right on to the "R/T" tractor build.
Now that I'm once again waiting on parts for the "R/T" tractor, I've started back in on the 53 Ridemaster for a while.

This post will be from the work that was completed on it last fall. .............

I'm going to build a "cart" with two seats so we can both ride on it.
The "seats" are donated from old plastic kitchen chairs.
Luckily they are already yellow so I won't have to paint them.

Posted Image


By cutting the legs off, I was left with a nice steel base that the chair bolts to.
Here is one of the bases being welded to the rear cross frame on the Ridemaster.

Posted Image


Both seat bases are welded in place.

Posted Image


I want to put a little "pickup bed" on the back of this Ridemaster so I cut the axle mount and tongue off a garden tractor utility trailer.

Posted Image


I cut 12 inches off the back end of the "bed".

Posted Image


Turned the bed over and welded supports rails along both sides and up the center.
The square "C" brackets on the ends of the supports will be used to mount the front of the bed to the tool bar on the tractor.
The brackets on the sides of the bed will mount to the rear axles bars.

Posted Image


The bed is being fitted to the tractor. You can see how the "c" brackets fit on to the tool bar.

Posted Image


With the bed all bolted in place, I started mounting rear fenders off an old Sears tractor to the sides of the bed.

Posted Image


Rear view with the rear fenders mounted and the tail gate in place.

Posted Image


Using a section of diamond plate steel, I made a foot board between the front of the bed and the tool bar.

Posted Image


Here's how it looked so far with the seats in place.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image


The drive system on an the original Ridemasters looks like this.

Posted Image

The engine it mounted on a plate that can pivot up and down.
This engine movement is controlled by a cable from a lever under the steering wheel.
Moving the lever forward lets the engine drop down and tightens the belts so the tractor moves forward.
Pulling the lever all the way back, raises the engine until the tapered area on the outsides of the engine pulley rides up into the tapered flanges on the inside of the axle pulley.
The friction of these two pulleys rubbing together causes the tractor to go in reverse ( it also makes a nasty sound ).
With the lever held half way in-between, the tractor is in neutral.


I do not have either of the two special pulleys ( if I did, I would have tried to restore the tractor ).
I suppose I could make up something that would work the same way but I want this to be a little bit more user friendly.

So I'm going to use this Bolens hydrostatic unit for the forward and reverse transmission.

Posted Image


The first thing to do was to turn down the gear on the back of the hydro and weld a sprocket on it.

Posted Image

Then I made up a sprocket to fit in place of the pulley on the axle unit.

Posted Image

#2 jdcrawler OFFLINE  

jdcrawler

    tinkerer

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 1639
  • 3,173 Thanks
  • 1,724 posts
  • Location: Madison, Indiana

Posted April 23, 2011 - 04:58 PM

Here is the engine guard and mounting plate that someone had butchered up.
I trimmed the ends of the guard tubes so they are even.

Posted Image


Using pieces of an old Jeep seat frame. I formed up a new front section for the engine guard.

Posted Image


Then I cleaned up the engine mounting plate and bent the end at a sharper angle so the plate sits down about 1-1/2 inch lower.

Posted Image


Next I made up mounting brackets for the hydro unit.

Posted Image


Aligning the sprockets up so I can weld the brackets on the hydro unit to the engine mounting plate.

Posted Image


With the hydro mounting brackets tack welded in place, this is how it looks with the chain on.
The pivoting mounting plate allows me to adjust the tension on the chain.
There is a small plate welded to the top of the guard tube frame with two threaded rods that go down thru the end of the pivot mounting plate.
These threaded rods will be used to adjust the height of the pivot plate and then hold it in a solid position once the correct adjustment is reached.

Posted Image


I took the whole assembly off and finished welding the mounting brackets and the adjustment bracket.

Posted Image


I also formed up a curved support plate and welded it to the bottom of the mount and the front of the guard.

Posted Image


Here's how it looks bolted back on the tractor.

Posted Image


The Bolens hydro transmission is mounted and the chain tension is adjusted and then I mounted the fender on.

Posted Image

Posted Image


Using blocks of wood, I set the engine up where it needs to be.

Posted Image


The side rails for the engine mounts are made out of angle iron and the back ends of them bolt to brackets that are welded to the fender.
The fender is made out of 3/16 plate steel so it is strong enough to use for structural support.
There is a support bar welded under the engine from one frame rail to the other frame rail.

Posted Image


Four vertical steel tubes are then welded in to support the engine mounting rails.

Posted Image


One half of a flex coupling is welded to the front of the fan hub on the front of the transmission.

Posted Image


I made up a drive shaft with the other flex coupling end and the V-belt pulley.
The pillow block bearing will support the front of the drive shaft.

Posted Image


This steel plate holds the support bearing and has slotted mounting holes so it can be adjusted as the transmission is adjusted.

Posted Image


I found a 3/8 inch V-belt that fits good enough so I can use it to set up the rest of the drive.
I'll use 1/2 inch industrial "green" belt to drive the tractor.

Posted Image

#3 jdcrawler OFFLINE  

jdcrawler

    tinkerer

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 1639
  • 3,173 Thanks
  • 1,724 posts
  • Location: Madison, Indiana

Posted April 23, 2011 - 04:58 PM

The belt tension pulley is mounted to one engine mounting frame.
The tension spring and adjusting bolt is mounted to the other engine mounting frame.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image


I am intending to make sheet metal side and front panels that will go on the framework under the engine.
That way the transmission and drive components under the engine will be covered.
The engine will be sitting on a metal "box" and I think it will look a lot better than having everything under there exposed.

Here is a side view so you can get an idea of how it will look.

Posted Image


I'm posting what I have completed on the Ridemaster so far because the parts arrived today for the tractor and I'm going back to work on it.
.................................................................

Obviously, with the engine sitting higher than the original position, the gas tank isn't going to work in it's original position either.
So I cut the tank mounting bracket out and made up a bracket for the battery to set in this spot.
The starter solenoid is mounted down on the side of the mounting bracket for the transmission.

Posted Image


The starter is also mounted in place on the engine.

Posted Image


I have this nice round tank off a Wisconsin engine.

Posted Image


Normally this tank would mount on the side of the engine right over the starter.
If I mounted it there, then it would be sitting in-line with the tractor.
I want the tank to set crosswise like the original tank did so I made up a mounting plate for the tank to bolt to out of 1/4 inch thick steel.
The steel mounting plate is welded to the fender right behind the engine.

Posted Image


The mounting plate is drilled and threaded so the tank bracket can bolt to it with short 3/8 bolts.

Posted Image


Here's how she looks so far.

Posted Image

Posted Image

.........................................................

.... A point of design interest while figuring out how to build this tractor. ....
The stock 53 Ridemaster took a 5.50x16 front tire.
So the first thing I did when I got this frame was to go down to my local tire store to get a pair of tires.

The closes size that they could get were 6.00x16.
I figured just how much difference can there be between a 5.50 and a 6.00 tire so I went ahead a bought a pair.

Well again ( learning as I go ) there happens to be about 2-1/5 inch difference in the outside diameter between the two size tires.

This is a Ridemaster with the stock 5.50x16 tire.
Notice the clearance between the tire and the fender in front and the tire and the tool bar bracket in back.

Posted Image


This is a Ridemaster with the 6.00x16 tire.
The tire almost rubs the fender in front and it just clears the tool bar in back when the wheels are straight.
If you turn the wheels, the lugs on the tire will rub the tool bar as the wheel rotates around.

Posted Image


This one also has 6.00x16 tires but he solved the problem of the tires rubbing the tool bar by extending the frame tube.
You can see two bolts in the frame tube right behind the steering pivot.
These are holding a support sleeve used to extend the frame tube.

Posted Image

So right off I knew I was going to have to make some modifications for tire clearance.


The second consideration was the angle of the engine.
If you look back at the last three photos, you will see that the stock engine mount angles the engine back quite a bit.
In thinking about this, I realized that the angle of the engine is going to be magnified when I raise it up.

So, what I did was cut the steering mount in-between the two front tires and added a 2 inch section of steel to it.
This in effect raised the tractor frame up in the front and also raised the tool bar up and away from the tires for clearance.

That 2 inch riser is machined at a angle on the bottom so when it is bolted back onto the front axle, the axle is rotated forward.
This then allows the engine mount to be setting at a more level position.
Making this modification has raised the steering pulley so it is sitting up more even with the top of the engine and makes the tractor look more balanced with the engine sitting so high.
I also had to make a special bracket that bolts to the front of the steering pivot and extends down so the top of the fender can bolt to it.

Posted Image

#4 NUTNDUN OFFLINE  

NUTNDUN

    Lost in Cyber Space

  • Admin
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 3
  • 10,266 Thanks
  • 15,618 posts
  • Location: Pennsylvania

Posted April 23, 2011 - 06:28 PM

All I can say is wow. You have some awesome fab skills Ray :thumbs:

#5 daytime dave OFFLINE  

daytime dave

    Live long and prosper

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 531
  • 4,485 Thanks
  • 6,353 posts
  • Location: Upstate NY

Posted April 23, 2011 - 06:43 PM

That is amazing. Truly. Can't wait to see the finished project.
  • jdcrawler said thank you

#6 LPBolens OFFLINE  

LPBolens

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 874
  • 1,176 Thanks
  • 882 posts
  • Location: North Central Illinois

Posted April 23, 2011 - 06:46 PM

I saw this on the "other" forum, but I still cannot get enough of it. Fantastic job, Ray.
  • jdcrawler said thank you

#7 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

Bolens 1000

    DR. Bolens

  • Staff Admin
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 7
  • 12,696 Thanks
  • 17,206 posts
  • Location: Western NY

Posted April 23, 2011 - 07:08 PM

Great work Ray
  • jdcrawler said thank you

#8 DGS345 OFFLINE  

DGS345

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 513
  • 16 Thanks
  • 348 posts
  • Location: Bainbridge NY

Posted April 23, 2011 - 07:35 PM

That is a great little project!! cant wait to see the finished project.
  • jdcrawler said thank you

#9 Gtractor ONLINE  

Gtractor

    The Tractor Hoarder

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 782
  • 6,624 Thanks
  • 3,917 posts
  • Location: Chillicothe, MO

Posted April 23, 2011 - 09:24 PM

All I can say is .....
AWESOME!
:thumbs:
  • jdcrawler said thank you




Top