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Old 06-22-2011, 02:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Lawn tractor DIY front end loader tech?

I've got a real bad itch to find an old sturdy lawn tractor with a rusted out mower deck on Craigslist then build my own small front end loader for it, has anyone here done this?

This is basically what I'm talking about, they used an 18HP craftsmen mower and built their own loader.

YouTube - ‪Craftsman 18hp with home made loader.‬‏

YouTube - ‪Craftsman digging‬‏

I know it's just a lawn tractor but I don't need a $9000 Kubota tractor on my 2 acre lot. I've seen a few places where you can buy CAD drawings of the loader for about $55.

This is from some company that sells aftermarket loaders but I'd rather build something than buy that thing.

YouTube - ‪John Deere Loader for 140 318‬‏

Here's another good example of what I'd like to end up with minus all the white shit.

YouTube - ‪John Deere 140 H3 with Johnson Loader in snow‬‏

I'm mainly wanting to move mulch, sand and gravel around the yard while also keeping my eyes out for a rear tiller I could use in the garden we're getting together. The loader plans I've seen so far call for a $1200 budget once you get all the hydraulics together, I'm sure I could cut some out of there with some of the steel I have laying around.
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Is the front end of that thing gonna handle the stress of even the extra weight of the steel?
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Mom has an old John Deere LX172 mower that runs good, but the hood (plastic) is gone and the deck is shot. $100 and it's yours. It's not 4WD though, but it has a spin on oil filter, and we changed the oil, oil filter, air filters, fuel filter and spark plug every season. It think it's a 14 or 15 HP engine.
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Mom has an old John Deere LX172 mower that runs good, but the hood (plastic) is gone and the deck is shot. $100 and it's yours. It's not 4WD though, but it has a spin on oil filter, and we changed the oil, oil filter, air filters, fuel filter and spark plug every season. It think it's a 14 or 15 HP engine.
Find out what motor it's got on it, I'm very interested. Hopefully it's a B&S right?
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Find out what motor it's got on it, I'm very interested. Hopefully it's a B&S right?
I don't know. I'll check tonight. My Sister is down from Indiana with her 3 boys, so I'll be going over there pretty much every day after work to play and teach them bad habits.
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I don't know. I'll check tonight. My Sister is down from Indiana with her 3 boys, so I'll be going over there pretty much every day after work to play and teach them bad habits.
Looks like it would have a manual tranny and a 14HP Kawasaki engine, that sound right?

http://www.tractordata.com/lawn-trac...ere-lx172.html
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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We have a JD L110 with an 18hp motor, hydrostatic trans. I was thinking about something like that, but these tractors have no real traction. I use ours to mow and to try and scrape the weeds in the back 40(those that live in the dez know about this) and it is pretty useless. my wife's quad has lots more forward power.

maybe with enough weight and bigger tires you can get what you are trying to achieve, but it would be cheaper and easier to just pick up an old ford 9n off craigs list or some other compact tractor
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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you are trying to out-piggy piggy
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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i have an old (1966) sear suburban 12 that i had a bucket for. im planning on building another bucket for it eventually. i run 28x10.5" swampfox tires on the rear and made a set of wheel weights for the inside of the rim out of 3/4" plate. fill the tires and you shouldnt have alot of problems with traction. the front tires do squat pretty bad with a heavier load (guesstimating 250-350ish) but the frame and rear end seem to take it fine. it was a bitch to steer moving heavy loads around too. it just ran off a powersteering pump and a 2 gal reservoir which on mine fit perfectly under the operators seat and into the rear tire area.
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Is the front end of that thing gonna handle the stress of even the extra weight of the steel?
There's some info on that here somewhere, I remember seeing it somewhere.

http://www.p.f.engineering.50megs.com/index.html

These guys sell pretty nice looking plans and show upgrade kits for the front axle assemblies. They replace the front wheel spindles with trailer axle spindles with real bearings and 4 lug wheels.

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Old 06-22-2011, 03:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
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you are trying to out-piggy piggy
I'm all about redneck shit, look where I moved.
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
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This is badass, I don't care who ya are!

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Old 06-22-2011, 03:47 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I wonder how hard that is on the drive belt?
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:49 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I wonder how hard that is on the drive belt?
cant be any worse than pulling a 3pt hitch plow or pushing wet heavy snow.
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:49 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I wonder how hard that is on the drive belt?
On the JD 400 above they're using the stock hydraulics on the tractor so it should be fine. They sold an OEM loader for those but they were $$$$.
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:51 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Just get one of these,



I have one with a bucket, forks, and a grapple bucket. A lot handier more powerful than a garden tractor with a loader on it.
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:53 PM   #17 (permalink)
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cant be any worse than pulling a 3pt hitch plow or pushing wet heavy snow.
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On the JD 400 above they're using the stock hydraulics on the tractor so it should be fine. They sold an OEM loader for those but they were $$$$.
I guess I'm picturing my POS Murray trying to do that. It barely pulls my big ass around
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:54 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Just get one of these,



I have one with a bucket, forks, and a grapple bucket. A lot handier more powerful than a garden tractor with a loader on it.
Yeah but how much did you pay for that? I'd also have to hide it to make sure none of my buddies knew I owned it otherwise they'd all want to borrow it.
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:55 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I guess I'm picturing my POS Murray trying to do that. It barely pulls my big ass around
You're thinking about a modern lawn mower, these guys are using older 70s and 80s model lawn tractors back when they were built like real tractors and didn't have thin stamped frames. That JD above has a real 3 pt hitch with a PTO and aux hydraulics.
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:56 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Yeah but how much did you pay for that? I'd also have to hide it to make sure none of my buddies knew I owned it otherwise they'd all want to borrow it.
I got mine for $800 but I had to fix one of the hydrostatic drives, fix a cylinder, and a few other things. I see them for sale on craiglist for 2000-2500
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Old 06-22-2011, 05:00 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I was looking into doing this as well. There are a bunch of different tractors that already have hydraulic hook ups that could be modified to run the bucket.

this forum is pretty good for info on different models
http://www.mytractorforum.com/
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Old 06-22-2011, 05:21 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Ok that JD 400 is pretty bad-ass....

makes me want to get my grandfathers Cockshutt from my uncle even more now. It's got a blade for snow, I'd just need to find a loader for it.
A bit bigger than a garden tractor, I know....but when you fire up that 6 cylinder Waukesha....
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Old 06-22-2011, 05:27 PM   #23 (permalink)
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This is badass, I don't care who ya are!

I have a JD 400 just like that one in the pic. When I bought it it had a JD model 20 FEL with it. They dont run off the tractor hydrostat pump they have a dedicated pump that mounts on the front of the tractor that runs off the PTO. They are pretty damn fun to have but you need quite a bit of rear ballast weight to pick up very much. I finally got tired of the loader and sold it on CL for $2000 and bought my car trailer that I haul my rig on.

There are some pics on my photobucket acct you can look at when I had it.

http://s495.photobucket.com/albums/r...an74/jd%20400/

If you decide you want one of these get on www.weekendfreedommachines.com it is the Pirate of JD garden tractors and they have a lot of guys buying/selling these.
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Old 06-22-2011, 05:39 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I made one a few years ago using an older Wheel Horse. When choosing your tractor I would look for something that is horizontal shaft so you can run your pump easily. My Wheel Horse already had the pulley in place, all I had to do was add the pump.

Mine was removable, I made a frame for it and bolted it to the the tractor frame and had two braces going to the front bumper I also made. Six bolts and it came off. I'll see if I can find some photos, I sold it last year for $1200.
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Old 06-22-2011, 05:59 PM   #25 (permalink)
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you can also look on tractorbynet.com and check out the forums. there are quite a few that have done it already. there were a couple of lawn tractors on there that had buckets and backhoes with outriggers on them
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