Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

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DaveKamp
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Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by DaveKamp »

Hey All!

Just stepped in from the garage... and I'm not quite totally absolutely done with this revision, but for the most part, Loader-Mutt is operational again.

You MAY have seen some-time-ago, that I was amidst fitting a Vanguard V into my hodge-podge of WF/QL/hand-made parts loader-tractor. Revision 2.0 replaced the finally blown-up 12hp that I 'built' (a tad on the 'mean' side) when I first built this mongrel... well, the Vanguard didn't work out so well. Fitment was beautiful... and when it ran, it was great... until the carb overflowed... or ran dry. It frustrated me SO MUCH, that I just grabbed $1500 out of my barn-fund, walked into a somewhat local supply-house/dealer, and walked out with a Honda GX-630 25hp V-twin and muffler.

From there, well, it got pretty messy in the garage. I carved up the frame some more, excommunicated the QL 'vibration reduction' engine mount system, did a slight alteration to my flywheel-side coupler (retained that collapsible full double U-joint driveline, made a slight alteration to my hydraulic pump drive... and then decided to move the battery (yeah, full sized car battery) to a dedicated (and very, very, very armored) position directly under the grille.

But wait... that's not all...

For the last two decades, my counterweight has been a big chemical-pump piston... about 14" diameter and almost 10" thick, with a 3" piston-rod hole in the middle, hanging on a 2" receiver spar bolted to the rearend housing cover. Well, I finally decided that needed to change. Also decided that I wanted substantially more hydraulic capacity for the hydraulic system, so I made a 'weight-box' out of some 16" square 1/2" wall steel tubing, with a 1.5" plate welded to the bottom. It's big enough for that chemical piston, and a bunch of other scrap metal, to reside for now... but eventually it'll be home to about 6 gallons of hydraulic fluid.

Ah, and the rear fenders. With 26-12-12's, the stock fenders never cleared casual mud, so 20 years ago I added some 1" steel tubing to the top of the frame to act as a 'riser' to lift the seat and fenders. I like a more upright seating position, so it worked out fine, but there still wasn't sufficient clearance to ever run tire chains, which I really DID want for snow. I also had a rather tight clearance between parts of the loader frame and the big tires.

Well, I solved that problem too. I nix'd the whole seat/fender tinwork, in lieu of a bunch of frame reinforcement, altered the loader frame substantially, which opened up lots of space around the tires. For fenders, I found a 30" diameter piece of steel tube, 5/8" wall. I cut a pair of fenders to suit... lots of torchwork and grinding, made some brackets to hold them in place... and now it has a whole new look. It's also much, much heavier in the tail... meaning... free counterweight. Yep, if I bump into ANYTHING... whatever I bump into will be seriously damaged. I'm going to avoid national monuments and interstate highway bridges.

I also got tired of the front tires leaking, so I had 'em filled with foam. My local shop didn't have option of light vs. heavy foam, so I wound up with each tire assembly weighing 60lbs. No prob by me... The loader bucket was literally coming apart at the seams, so I gave it a good day's makeover so it'll last a few more years.

There's some more things I'll be doing... it'll need some artful work on the nosepiece and grille... as well as the side tin, for engine clearance... and I need to lower the hood profile to un-obstruct my working view of the bucket. Got some changes to the speed/direction control treadle (adding a centering spring and damper, probably a detent or lock), converting the brakes to independent left/right (for traction assistance), making a choke-lever control that I can operate with gloves on... and a totally LED lighting system that's well-protected... and perhaps an abbreviated ROPS so that in the event that it feels like turning turtle, it won't pin and crush the operator.

I expect that one of these days I'll twist off another axle-shaft, too, so I just might fab a new set of outer axles that use full-floater design and bigger axle shafts, but I'd also hafta come up with a differential, or at least bearings and bevel gears) to make that work... or a lunchbox locker...

Stand by for photos... :D
Yes, I'm a Mad Scientist... but I'm usually happy, even when things ain't goin right.

DaveKamp
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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by DaveKamp »

Here's what it looked like after the GX engine went in...
Notice the battery box...
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DaveKamp
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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by DaveKamp »

Here you see the frame has been augmented with some additional thickness, and I integrated enough rise to place the seat plate directly, so that fenders are mounted individually. To the rear, you'll see the tube steel 'weight box'. This will most likely eventually become a hydraulic tank, but if I do, it'll get a fair amount of steel added to it as well. Also notice that the rear connection point of my loader frame is being cut off. The back side of that frame is essentially a 'fork' that reaches around the axle's octagon shape... it slips on... well, I changed that- it now has a large flat tab that bolts (in this picture, you'll see two tack welds for fitment, it's got three bolts in it now.

The advantage for the prior arrangement is that the loader's reaction was transferred directly to the axle... and removal would-have-been easy (in original configuration anyway) by sliding the loader frame forward. In reality, I've never taken the frame off, and I built this machine specifically as a loader, so there's no reason that frame will ever come off... but also, since the front is rigidly connected to the frame in four places, any torque from yaw resulted in deflection right where the frame bolts to the transaxle in the front bolt area. I've shortened up that load zone and made it four times thicker, so this will simplify the loading of the three bolts (each side) holding the transaxle.
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DaveKamp
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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by DaveKamp »

And fenders test-fitted...
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DaveKamp
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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by DaveKamp »

And... FInally... wheel clearance for tire chains.
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DaveKamp
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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by DaveKamp »

And a whole lotta space under the seat now...
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DaveKamp
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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by DaveKamp »

Outdoor views this morning... notice the floodlights on rear fender, and two skinny floods on either side of the grille lower. Last night's test identifies that rear has plenty of illumination... but needs more light forward, particularly when bucket is down. This was totally expected... the skinny lights make it easy to see what's going on around the front tires, behind the bucket, and under the bucket when it's up... but when down, I'll get more light from an ROPS-mounted forward floodlamp. I'll also flood to the sides a bit while I'm at it.
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DaveKamp
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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by DaveKamp »

Here's the front view... note tread of rears is all covered, but not 'over covered'... if I get close to some yard-object, the wheel weights and sidewalls will still contact before steel snags stuff... and no hood on yet, as I'm still working out the details of re-shaping the steel to clear the GX.
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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by DaveKamp »

and from the back...
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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by DaveKamp »

Here's the HondaMonster in it's new home, with the battery shown...
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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by DaveKamp »

Yes, I DID have to do some substantial carving of the frame. I initially cut away a bit for the Vanguard twin, but after fighting with the QL iso-mount system, I decided that this Honda would be better off mounted up higher... after all, I'm using dual U-joints on a collapsing shaft, so my positioning is MUCH more flexible. I've got it up high enough so that the oil drain and filter, starter, etc., are all up where real human hands, fingers, and tools can reach it. The side-effect was that I could then tuck a full size automotive battery up front.

There's a whole lotta metal added to this front end, it's about 9x stronger than the original arrangement, and only about 3x heavier...
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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by dag1450 »

I'm speechless. Never have I seen a Cub.... let alone any garden tractor so.....well shall I say "Done up". Sure looks like it will work for you. Heavy duty is an understatement. That sure was a big step getting that Honda. Just wondering why you went that route....vs rebuild a 12,14,16 drop in Kohler?...or a yard Engine? Did you have those in the past and still needed more power?
Good job on getting it going. Man....tons of work.
Oh... LEDs look good too. I'm considering some too.
127, 1650, 1572, 1872, 2072 . A mower, blower and blade for each.

DaveKamp
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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by DaveKamp »

Gmornin, Dag...

Power? partly.... in general, the single I had did fine, but big single with lots of compression doesn't start well in cold, particularly against the drag of a cold hydraulic drive and the steering and loader, something with two smaller cylinders is better than one very large.

I had the K301 wound up pretty tight... ring hear starter would lunk it over in the cold as long as the compression release was playing well, but if it fired not quite hard enough to clear the next stroke, it was a real fight. The vanguard wasn't quite as muscular as I'd hoped, but the bigger Honda V matches the big singles's torquability, with much less drama.

and it's quiet...

And the carb doesn't give me fits.
Yes, I'm a Mad Scientist... but I'm usually happy, even when things ain't goin right.

DaveKamp
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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by DaveKamp »

And I also decided that after the original build with a Kohler 12, then rebuilding that one (broken rod), and running it another 12 years... and having it break a rod again, but having to fuss with the ignition points (which were buried in the frame, right) and having the air filter constantly rattling off... and the iso-mounts coming apart... and shaking the exhaust system loose regularly... that rather than run an engine extensively 'hopped up' just to get done what I wanted, and also... having to spin it fast... was not what I really wanted in the next revision. Weight didn't concern me, and frankly, I would'a stuffed in a 3 or 4-cyl liquid cooled if there was one to my fancy that would've fit, but the reality was that I just simply wanted the platform to be altered in such a way that it really didn't matter WHAT I put in, that it'd drop in, bolt down, connect the driveshaft, mount the belt pulley, and go, and know for-absolute-certain that i'd never be wishing I bought more horsepower. Obviously, since Honda doesn't make a horizontal-shaft V-twin in a larger displacement, this one was the biggest I could get. If I would've had faith in the 30+hp Briggs (Daihatsu) or Kohlers, I MIGHT have considered them too... but it was time for me to give Honda a shot at this application. And I'm not impartial to any brands really... but I know when to call a spade a spade. I have had many Briggs motors, and I'm downright impressed by the OHV 7hp (might be half a Vanguard twin for all I know) on my plate compactor (it's a little beast!)... I've had K-singles, K-twin boxers, and Command V's... Onans, Wisconsins, Subaru Robins... I guess if I wanted a really big, torquey single, I could'a mounted my Fairbanks-Morse ZC-118 in there, but it's almost 800lbs, and not by any measure 'fast turning' for the hydrostat's needs.

By the way... I realize that I didn't past pictures of the mounting method for the Honda, and probably left out some rather important views of the Vanguard installation...here's what the new driveline looks like... it worked fine for both:
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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by DaveKamp »

Here's what the Vanguard looked like in-situ, just before I took it out. yeah, the hydraulic pump and it's mounting plate have been removed, along with the grille... did that for visibility of the setup. I had it on the original Iso-Mount cradle... it fit in there nicely, but the cradle is such a PITA to get in and out...
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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by DaveKamp »

With the Vanguard out, and the cradle halfway out, you have a clear view of the amount of material I cut away from the frame to clear the V's shrouding, starter, and oil filter... as well as the steering valve, plumbing, and front axle... for those of you that don't remember, I fabricated that steel front axle, the knuckles, tie-rod, and cylinder assembly about oh... 2005 or so... and I haven't broken it yet.
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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by DaveKamp »

Here's the GX with my engine coupler (from the vanguard) moved to it. It was literally a bolt-on circumstance, aside from removing just ONE of the two locating pins in the coupler cup... it unbolted from the Vanguard (Daihatsu), remove the pin (Honda only has recess for one locating pin), and slap it in.
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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by DaveKamp »

I initially investigated mounting the GX on the iso, but realized there just wasn't the space to conveniently slip it in there, and if I did, I'd be cussing myself any time I needed to change the oil...
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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by DaveKamp »

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So instead, I welded a piece of angle-iron to each frame rail, and then cut a channel-iron plate to span the gap... and then
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Placed the plate in...
Yes, I'm a Mad Scientist... but I'm usually happy, even when things ain't goin right.

DaveKamp
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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by DaveKamp »

Then made some access for getting to the oil drain plugs...
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and it didn't look half-bad... aside from hood-height...
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and I figure I'll blow up that bridge when I get to it...
Yes, I'm a Mad Scientist... but I'm usually happy, even when things ain't goin right.

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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by DaveKamp »

And from there, I was GONNA start on wiring, when I decided that I really liked having the big automotive-sized battery, but I'd like even MORE having short battery cables, and a 'proper' battery box...
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Which meant firing up Lucifer's Toothpick to exorcise some rather flimsy ferrous feces fouling this frame's frontal facade:
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and with the willing and able assistance of two small chunks of channel iron and a block of wood, I determined an appropriate position:
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DaveKamp
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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by DaveKamp »

From there, I had to make it actually WORK... in a functional and aesthetic way.
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Let's try using some channel for the base...
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Yep... now some enclosure and protection...
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Yes, I'm a Mad Scientist... but I'm usually happy, even when things ain't goin right.

DaveKamp
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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by DaveKamp »

Time to apply some HOT GLUE...
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And for convenience, make the front plate removable... but invulnerable...
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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by DaveKamp »

Yeah, that'll work...
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I'll make it pretty and deal with the hood and grille later.
Yes, I'm a Mad Scientist... but I'm usually happy, even when things ain't goin right.

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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by DaveKamp »

Wanted the fuel tank to be up, and back further... so I recessed it into the pedestal a bit.
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Yeah, the fiberglass cover is not on it... again, i'll blow up that bridge when I get to it... or not...
Yes, I'm a Mad Scientist... but I'm usually happy, even when things ain't goin right.

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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by DaveKamp »

And since the pedestal was off... another unbashful display of full frontal nudity of my extendable, fully posable, rattle-can blue shaft:
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For those of you that are going to ask me where I got this... you can see the original 'versions' of this driveline go way back to uh... 2003 or so...
Originally I fitted one U-joint to the hydro end, and moved the rag-joint up to the engine side, which made a substantially more durable drive system from the original 'crosspin'.

This driveline features TWO U-joints, and instead of a solid shaft, is uses a collapsible PTO shaft, with two distinct advantages:
FIRST, is that there's no need to get the length of the driveline precise.
SECOND, is that when the frame flexes, or the engine bounces around on the ISO mounts, it's not bangin' hell out of the Sundstrand 15U hydrostat's input shaft.
THIRD (wait, Dave, you said there was only TWO advantages)... [I lied... there's like... ten, but I'll leave the rest for you to figure out...]
THIRD is that when you wanna make this driveline system, you can walk into any ordinary powertrain shop, tell 'em you want a PTO shaft setup, and spec both end yokes to have a 5/8" keyed shaft...

--- One end will (once you've made the pin with your cordless drill and bench grinder as I noted 17 years ago) just slip on and pin down.

--- The OTHER end, you'll take your lathe, cut off some excess metal, turn a land into the (non joint) end, then cut a round plate, with matching hole, into which you'll securely clamp the plate prior to welding it to the yoke... and then you'll have a 'flange yoke'. Drill four holes in the flange, bolt it to the cup, and go...

But wait... that's not all...

The 'standard' PTO shaft stuff comes in standard lengths. Rather than fuss with details, just lay the parts in the frame unconnected, get a basic idea of how long the shaft needs to be, and cut the halves so that there's about an inch and a half of 'collapse' in the shaft when you're totally installed... that'll leave enough room to unbolt the four flange bolts, drop the shaft out'a the way, for service. No hafta pull motor to get that done!
Yes, I'm a Mad Scientist... but I'm usually happy, even when things ain't goin right.

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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by DaveKamp »

Didn't that turn out pretty?
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Too bad the fitting and gasket in the bottom of this tank leaks like a seive.

I don't care what the Bible says... PLUMBING is the ROOT OF ALL EVIL.

Really. Consider ANY problem, ANYWHERE in the world.
Investigate it deep enough, and you will find that the absolute positive lowest level,
You will find that the problem is actually PLUMBING.
Yes, I'm a Mad Scientist... but I'm usually happy, even when things ain't goin right.

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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by DaveKamp »

And HERE is the start of the 'weight box'... which will probably eventually become a hydraulic reservoir...
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Started out life as a very large signpost...that top plate is stupid-thick. I welded all the bolt holes shut, but left the center hole (originally for wiring pass-thru) open... I'll probably weld a plate to the inside, but install a drain-plug in the recess, where it's defended against rocks and stuff...

And yes, that's a forklift... my 'small' one. Great for lifting cars, tractors, lawn mowers... think of it as a four-post lift that only has one post... and can DRIVE somewhere with a car on... and stack it...

And there's a cutting torch just outside the picture.
Did I mention that forklifts and cutting torches rely on PLUMBING?
When either of them leak, it's kinda bad...
Yes, I'm a Mad Scientist... but I'm usually happy, even when things ain't goin right.

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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by JMotuzick »

All I can say is wow! Keep up the good work, and keep sending us the pictures!

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Re: Loader-Mutt... Revision 3.1

Post by DaveKamp »

I guess it would help with general understanding... this machine used to be my only piece of 'heavy' equipment... back when we lived down on the river, and it was handy there. up here on the farm, even though we don't FARM, it's one of many machines on hand. I've got several Allis tractors.. two Bs, some WCs, Two WDs, and a D17, and amidst implements, I've got a backhoe attachment and a vice of lifting booms and the point forks. I've got a Kubota BX 1800, and the little IH 4130 in progress. between those, and the big and small forklifts, the Loader-Mutt development is the direct result of my learning experiences with all those other machines... their capabilities, weaknesses, and foibles.

Loader Mutt 's greatest strength is not in it's lifting capacity...the tractors' 3 points will out lift it, and even the small forklift will pick up and carry the mutt with a full bucket with ease. the big forklift will easily lift the small one, with mutt on small one's forks. Mutt doesn't have the best traction... the Kubota is 4wd, so it wins on greasy surfaces. Mutt doesn't have the biggest bucket... the WD's loader will swallow the mutt fairly easily.

Mutt, however, can maneuver, and it's fast. it can scoop and hustle a yard of dirt from one corner of the property to the other, between trees, around the garden, and into the shed unlike any other machine, and it can do it without tearing up the lawn, without collapsing the septic tank, and without drama. unlike a skid steer, I can see all directions. unlike the Kubota, I can move fast, rip hard, turn on a dime... I can sneak around tight quarters obstacles, get the bucket under things, and push stuff out onto solid ground where the forklift can take over.

A good tool is one that easily becomes an extension of the users body. that's what Loader-Mutt does... and that's what these modifications are all about.
Yes, I'm a Mad Scientist... but I'm usually happy, even when things ain't goin right.

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