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Old 04-08-2019, 05:39 PM
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Default Go gator go

Well now that we are moved in and settled, I can begin digging out the projects again. So many things to do, buti figured I'd start the Deconstruction phase on the Gator 4x2.

It's a basket case... Engine is blown, wiring is a hacked up disaster, squirrels found their way into it during the winter, it has served as a parts donor (mostly off the engine, wiring, plus seats and the rear tires that were on it) for a few years, and now it's found its way into my barn. Fortunately I have shop space, a heap of tools, the know-how, and a shelf full of engines.

I'm going to try to shoehorn the 18hp Briggs opposed twin in there.

I think my ultimate goal is to put a Willys Jeep-styled body onto it.
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Old 04-08-2019, 05:45 PM
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Good luck!
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Old 04-08-2019, 07:18 PM
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Interesting project for sure. I will be checking back.
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Old 04-08-2019, 08:11 PM
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Busted Kawasaki is out. The Beastly Briggs will fit if I can find a shorter belt for the torque converter. That will take some doing, as torque converter belts are usually sold by application, not dimension.

I like the opposed Briggs for this project because it's short, and will clear the underside of the dump box without modification, unlike some of the V-twin swaps I've seen.

I've been told the clutch is a variant of the Comet 94C made for John Deere. The driver has a 30mm 10:1 taper, and fortunately, adapters for a 1" shaft are plentiful and cheap.

Look at that beauty of a rear end. I am pleased to discover that it has a true neutral position. The stock shift linkage is an over-center mechanism that just goes from forward to Reverse (this is a turf gator model with a starter-generator setup like a golf cart). I'll be changing that. The gearbox shift arm has distinct "clicks" for all 3 positions. The turf model has a different rear end from the regular 4x2. It has a flyweight governor built in to regulate the actual speed of the vehicle, not just the max rpm (simple hill descent control). I'll be getting rid of that. It also lacks the locking diff, which I'm a little bummed about, but these things aren't cut out for off-roading anyway. The last difference is it has hub mounted brakes instead of a single gearbox mounted brake. Not sure why they did that.

Squirrel nuts. Little bastards. That's ok... The wiring they chewed on just saves me the trouble of cutting it out.
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Old 04-07-2020, 07:57 PM
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Just putting a foot in the door
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Old 04-07-2020, 08:09 PM
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Well I figure I'll try to keep my progress in one place.

Got the engine mount finished, exhaust put together, and everything dropped in its place. Engine mount is adjustable in both X and Y axis to allow for clutch alignment when my new (shorter) drive belt arrives later this week.

I still have to sort out the clutch weights and spring, but I'm optimistic, and worst case scenario, a Comet 780 driver will be a direct replacement.

After that, I still need to rewire the entire chassis. Since this engine has a flywheel PTO pulley on it, I'm thinking I will build a mount for a 65 amp one wire Delco alternator instead of using the engine's charging system. Plenty of room for it under the passenger seat with the battery. That will allow me a lot more leeway on electrical accessories such as a power dump actuator and maybe a winch. Definitely some better headlights. The OEM ones are plastic buckets, plastic lenses, and 10w bulbs. Some cheap rectangular flood lights will fit in the holes just perfectly.

Then will be seating... I'm thinking I'll just make a bench seat for it instead of buying new buckets. It will be economical and more practical for when the kids want to ride around with me.

After that, tires. OEM tire size is 25x13-9. There are only a handful of tires available in that size, for around $100-$110 apiece, which is not ideal. 25x12-9 is far more readily available and offers some more options in brand and tread. My other option is to source some 12" wheels for it, which would open up MANY options, including oversized tires. With the additional power, and the fact that I'm going to have to raise the bed by 2" to accommodate air cleaner, I'm thinking that might be the route I'll go. I hadn't initially planned on having to lift the bed, but in order for the belt to clear the rear frame crossmember at full shift, I had to mount the engine a little higher than I wanted to.

Still undecided on the front end. I plan to repaint the whole thing when it's complete, and I'm debating making sheet metal hood and front fenders to mimic a Willys Jeep. I've got the skills and tools, just deciding if it's worth the time.
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Old 04-08-2020, 12:27 AM
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Everything john deere is stupid expensive, but at least it has two front wheels.

Nice motor swap, once the clutch is dialed in, should be a solid workhorse.
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Old 04-08-2020, 01:01 AM
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Very nice!
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Old 04-08-2020, 10:01 AM
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Well I think I've got the spring and weights sorted... I have a yellow spring, need a white spring - 18 bucks from John Deere


As for weights, looking at the cam profiles in the service manual, it appears that the 6x4 used a rounder cam profile that would make it shift out faster. Not surprising since the 6x4 had a v twin. As far as the actual mass of the weights, no information is provided, so there may be more to it than just the cam profile. The cam weight kit is 85 bucks though, so I think I'll hold off on that for the time being and see how it behaves with the new spring.
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Old 04-10-2020, 11:26 AM
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Hopefully I can have this thing rolling around middle of next week. I ordered some tires for it... found some kind of grippy looking tires for it on Amazon for a reasonable price ($160 for the pair). Nothing too crazy, as this thing will mostly be for yard duty, but I wanted something beyond typical turf tires.

Belt should be arriving sometime today or tomorrow... USPS says it will be delivered yesterday though, so who knows.

Spring... again, who knows. Greenparts is running a little slow on shipping and again, USPS is running behind schedule.

Mounting the tires could be a challenge since I don't currently have access to the tire machine at work. I'll give it a try old school, but I don't want to risk damaging the beads.

Beyond that, I'm at a bit of a standstill... I suppose I could start on some seats.
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Old 04-11-2020, 02:11 PM
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Tires came 3 days ahead of schedule!

Now to change them without a tire machine...
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Old 04-11-2020, 02:55 PM
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I see now on the exhaust... meant to fit a tight space...


Get ready to break some screwdrivers.....
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Old 04-11-2020, 03:09 PM
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Get a lot of tire lube. Trust me, with and without a tire machine, a lot of lube will help get the tires on the wheels and will help seat the beads faster. If you have e the room and cash, see if your local HFT has the tire charger on hand to buy. You just need a solid surface to mount it on though. https://www.harborfreight.com/manual...ger-69686.html
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Old 04-11-2020, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Kartorbust View Post
Get a lot of tire lube. Trust me, with and without a tire machine, a lot of lube will help get the tires on the wheels and will help seat the beads faster. If you have e the room and cash, see if your local HFT has the tire charger on hand to buy. You just need a solid surface to mount it on though. https://www.harborfreight.com/manual...ger-69686.html
Buying a tire machine would be considered "non-essential", and subject me to a $1000 misdemeanor fine if stopped. And police are targeting people leaving stores where they might be buying "non-essentials" on governors orders because she believes it's the best way to make people comply. This crap is really getting out of hand in MI.

I'll give it a shot at home, otherwise they'll have to wait till I can use the tire machine at work.
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Old 04-11-2020, 03:19 PM
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What in the ??? Dude that! Stores are open, anything can be purchased I thought? I found out Michigan of all places put a ban on selling vegetable seeds.
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Old 04-11-2020, 03:34 PM
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What in the ??? Dude that! Stores are open, anything can be purchased I thought? I found out Michigan of all places put a ban on selling vegetable seeds.
Oh no. The governor has ordered that all "nonessential" departments in stores be emptied or roped off. Garden supply, flooring, paint, furniture, home decor, etc.

A lot of the stuff is still available through online order and pulled for in-store pickup, but you aren't allowed to "shop" in those departments.

Also not allowed to use powered watercraft at all. Kayak, yes. Jet ski, no. Can't travel up north to your cabin... kind of get that one. Hospitals up there are barely equipped to handle the permanent population during normal times.

But it's getting to the point of true insanity. She's really turning this into a Political "up yours" because the republican legislators wouldn't vote to give her an additional 70 days of unilateral emergency executive powers, so she's doing as much as she can to make life suck with the time they DID give her (through the end of April).

Meanwhile, the hospitals are actually LAYING NURSES OFF because of low census. University of Michigan hospital was prepared to convert the basketball stadium into an emergency 500 bed COVID treatment ward, and they have delayed that because the ACTUAL HOSPITAL is nowhere near at capaicty. I'm not suggesting that's a bad thing, but the fact is that the pandemic is effectively under control here, and clamping down tighter will only increase the length of time it takes to clear the population entirely.
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Old 04-11-2020, 04:53 PM
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Well... what ever route you choose... stay safe... Not a good time to get hurt.....
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Old 04-11-2020, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anickode View Post
Oh no. The governor has ordered that all "nonessential" departments in stores be emptied or roped off. Garden supply, flooring, paint, furniture, home decor, etc.

A lot of the stuff is still available through online order and pulled for in-store pickup, but you aren't allowed to "shop" in those departments.

Also not allowed to use powered watercraft at all. Kayak, yes. Jet ski, no. Can't travel up north to your cabin... kind of get that one. Hospitals up there are barely equipped to handle the permanent population during normal times.

But it's getting to the point of true insanity. She's really turning this into a Political "up yours" because the republican legislators wouldn't vote to give her an additional 70 days of unilateral emergency executive powers, so she's doing as much as she can to make life suck with the time they DID give her (through the end of April).

Meanwhile, the hospitals are actually LAYING NURSES OFF because of low census. University of Michigan hospital was prepared to convert the basketball stadium into an emergency 500 bed COVID treatment ward, and they have delayed that because the ACTUAL HOSPITAL is nowhere near at capaicty. I'm not suggesting that's a bad thing, but the fact is that the pandemic is effectively under control here, and clamping down tighter will only increase the length of time it takes to clear the population entirely.
Just remember all this later on.

Worse comes to worse a couple pry bars will do the job.
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Old 04-11-2020, 06:01 PM
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Just remember all this later on.

Worse comes to worse a couple pry bars will do the job.
She didn't get my vote last time, and she won't next time.

And yeah, I've got pry bars and a couple old tire irons.
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Old 04-12-2020, 01:50 PM
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Well both tires were still firmly seated to the rims, with gratuitous amounts of bead sealant. Took about 20 minutes each, but I got the suckers off.

The rims needed some love, between the chipped paint, surface rust, and minor pitting on the sealing surface, it's no wonder they used a ton of bead sealant. Cup wire wheel to remove the bulk, then several coarse scotch-brite roloc discs, and they were good as new. Quick shot of etching primer on there to protect, and hopefully I can get these suckers mounted later this evening.
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