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I have recently bought 3 more Kawasaki powered 3000 series Cubs. I decided I'm going to use one of my 3205's for a FEL project. I have a full size farm utility tractor with a front end loader, but have realized in my old age and disability that having hydraulic power in a smaller package has some real benefits. My brother has a Little Bull loader on one of his John Deere's, and that showed me the possible uses. But at over $3000 for the loader, I can do much better. So this is the beginning. I constantly have to monitor myself as I am looking at steel and parts - to not over build this. Lifting 500 or 600 pounds is all I want it to do. Today I painted a 8.5" Cub stock wheel Yellow and will mount my 26x12.00-12 AG tires on these. The foot print of these tires is awesome, but sitting unmounted they are 9.5" bead to bead. All the custom wheels are only 7", so to get the maximum ground contact I need wide wheels. These are stock off white rims that I attacked with a1.125" hole saw to give them a little different look. I will tube them and load them with windshield washer fluid, which should yield about 100# per wheel.

Bill

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I have recently bought 3 more Kawasaki powered 3000 series Cubs. I decided I'm going to use one of my 3205's for a FEL project. I have a full size farm utility tractor with a front end loader, but have realized in my old age and disability that having hydraulic power in a smaller package has some real benefits. My brother has a Little Bull loader on one of his John Deere's, and that showed me the possible uses. But at over $3000 for the loader, I can do much better. So this is the beginning. I constantly have to monitor myself as I am looking at steel and parts - to not over build this. Lifting 500 or 600 pounds is all I want it to do. Today I painted a 8.5" Cub stock wheel Yellow and will mount my 26x12.00-12 AG tires on these. The foot print of these tires is awesome, but sitting unmounted they are 9.5" bead to bead. All the custom wheels are only 7", so to get the maximum ground contact I need wide wheels. These are stock off white rims that I attacked with a1.125" hole saw to give them a little different look. I will tube them and load them with windshield washer fluid, which should yield about 100# per wheel.

Bill

View attachment 2514619

View attachment 2514622
Ha! Liked the look of my yellow wheels did we?

Bill do you intend to add a hydraulic pump or use electric actuators?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes Randy, I did like the look of your wheels. Also as a FEL tractor I figured the extra strength of steel wheels would be a benefit. My plan is build a completely separate hydraulic system with the pump run off the PTO. I already have a new 3 spool valve, I'll just cap one for possible future use, it was only $16 more than a 2 spool.

Bill
 

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Those are the coolest looking tractor wheels I've seen. 🤠
 

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Awesome, I can't wait to see more, as this project progresses! It sounds great.

I hope you kept the 1.25" steel pieces you cut out, you can tape them to the wheels for ballast, if you're also also loading them with fluid for weight :)

If you just got 3 more 3xxx Cubs, you must have quite a collection! I'm jealous. "Even" 1 sounds awfully nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
RO, of the 3 I recently bought only one is truly "ready to use" the others are more examples of PO abuse and stupidity. I will post pictures of these as I get at them. Many pictures will be of what you should NOT do, and how I fix them. The one RTU tractor is a 3208 with just over 400 hours on it, it runs great and has pretty straight sheet metal and a 60" deck. This one is going to be my mowing tractor, it will get 4 bolt hubs, custom wheels and of course custom paint. The 3205 that I am currently mowing with will be FEL mule, it has nearly 800 hours, so I will open it up and replace the plastic gears in the crankcase (water pump gear, oil pump gear, and governor). Then it should be good for the rest of my life, and as a FEL tractor will probably never see full throttle again, because if I can't get it done at half throttle then I should be using the "big" tractor.

Bill

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey all, looking for a little insight and opinions into the overall design of a FEL for a 3000 series tractor. I have saved many different front end loader pictures and would like to know what you think about how a front end loader should look on our 3000's?
Without doubt, the shorter the overall design is the better for maneuverability, and best use of the hydraulic power. While it is not my favorite design, the sloped arms of a Mahindra and Kubota FEL's would fit in well with the sloped nose design of our 3000's. Please feel free to add your opinion to the discussion as to what you would think would look good and work well.

Bill

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Going along with my constant self-monitoring of not over building this - I plan on 2x3-.125 rectangular tubing for the main arms. I'm not sure I have the capability of smoothly bending that size stock, but I can make multiple kerf cuts and bend and then weld the arms back solid.

Bill
 

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Going along with my constant self-monitoring of not over building this - I plan on 2x3-.125 rectangular tubing for the main arms. I'm not sure I have the capability of smoothly bending that size stock, but I can make multiple kerf cuts and bend and then weld the arms back solid.

Bill
There are times when over building is sound engineering. Depending on the pressure and ballast available, lifting forces with GT loaders can be as high as (or higher than) 2000 lb at the bucket cutting edge. For instance, jam the cutting edge into the bottom of a 4' high snow bank and try to lift the bucket, or pull fence posts with a ball of concrete on the buried end. Note that these are purely lifting scenarios with no travel involved, and there are several other similar scenarios which will be encountered at some point in the service life of the loader.

A quick look at the two loaders of which you posted pics, the Mahindra appears to have a consistent arm depth of about 4", and the Kubota has a tapered arm from about 2.5" at the ends to something like 6" or 7" at the (nominal) break before the gussets are applied. The arms for my GT loader, as well as the loader on my SCUT, are the tapered style from 2" to 5.5" at the break of the two straight pieces. I would not suggest less than 2x4x1/8" structural tubing for the arms. with appropriately shaped 3/16" or 1/4" gussets to tie the cylinder pin holes to the break in the two arm pieces.

I used my GT/FEL more as a construction tool than as an agricultural tool for 22 years. As such, it has been called on to perform various tasks that are not normally considered, such as using the more or less horizontal part of the arms as a support for a working platform rather than haul a step ladder around on ground which is not suitable for stability. Aesthetically, the curved arms are more complementary to the aerodynamically designed shape of the modern tractors. Practically,,especially for those fabricating their own loaders, they leave more than a little to be desired. Personally, I don't like the curved arms. Loader design is based on triangles that use the pin holes as the apexes. Get too far away from the straight lines between the pinholes without good engineering reasons and more metal is required which decreases payload.

Loaders have very well defined lifting capabilities. When working at the limit of pressure available, the difference between making and not making a lift is one pound.
 
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True, but curved arms still require gussets to distribute the force of the cylinder over a broader area. Even though the geometry limits the percentage of cylinder force that can be applied to lift does not negate the fact that the full force of the cylinder will be applied to the arm at the pin connection..
 
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Yes, true. I was not so much referring to lifting load but the forces coming to the arm when hitting an obstacle when driving forward with bucket on the ground. Happens easily in winter when removing snow with the bucket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Thanks for your input guys, I asked for opinions and am glad to read what you think. Please keep them coming.

In my own defense, I want a tool that gives me hydraulic capability in a small, maneuverable package. I have enjoyed having the hydraulic front hitch on my helper tractor and did use it this last winter with a 54" blade to push a "little" snow. Because the tractor is small it let me plow a path around the yard for walking the dog, and getting in tighter spots than my big tractor with a 7' wide bucket. The reason I have bridled my building, is I have seen too many examples of people building FEL's out of 1/4" material and they have to weigh 500+ pounds and move the center of gravity into dangerous areas. And all of this to barely be able to move 400 pounds of material.

Bill
 

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You might consider modeling it after the Kwik-Way. Very maneuverable, and I leave it on for mowing the back 40. I will say it was borderline worthless until I loaded up the back tires.
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
One other factor in this build will be to not hinder the ability to do routine maintenance on the machine. So a little extra width on the spread of the upright arms, so the engine side panels are removable and opening the hood are all doable with the loader on the tractor.

Bill
 

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One other factor in this build will be to not hinder the ability to do routine maintenance on the machine. So a little extra width on the spread of the upright arms, so the engine side panels are removable and opening the hood are all doable with the loader on the tractor.

Bill
That was a big factor in how I built mine.
 
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