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Tech Nerd Tractor Convert
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Discussion Starter #1
No.. it's not what you think. I do really like my new snowblower attachment, but I don't think my wife would approve of me "making it official".:Disgus:

This is about getting my new and recently purchased MTD 190-823 snowblower attachment "married up" to my Cub Cadet i1050 / ZTT50 "zero turn tractor".

According to MTD, this model is *supposed* to be compatible (among others like 19a-126 and 190-032). But like so many marriages, let's just say the first few times didn't work out (more like a dozen times...):duh:

But first, even just getting this attachment from 300 miles away was an adventure. That's covered in another thread.

Here we are just after arriving home:


Here I'm trying to keep my "heated" (by a small propane heater) garage somewhat warm while unloading:


As for lifting it out.. too late at night to bug a neighbor, but I want to get to work on this thing, so I put on my thinking cap.

I think I got the following idea from Maybar's avatar:



Look Ma, I unloaded it all by myself, and didn't die in the process!


Well, I sort of unloaded it. It's not on the ground yet. How to do that by myself.. hmm:







Time to crack open the manual. It covers both the 190-823 and the 190-823-101. Mine is the 190-823:


The attachment came with a separate box with a pulley system that reduces the belt speed between the PTO and the snowblower's pulley:



Problem #1 was that the back of the bracket interfered with the two hydros on the tractor. Here is the before and after for this modification:



The 2nd problem was that the pins on this bracket that go into the tractor frame weren't long enough. Where these pins go through, the frame actually has 2 layers of steel. So, I had to elongate the thru-holes in the pins.

Already frustrated with the amount of modification required, spending a lot of time on my back on the cold concrete shop floor, and having to work upside down, My socket set thought it was a great time to play "concentration" on me. Aw crap..


I love it when that happens.

So, that was pretty much evening 1...


On evening 2, I tackled the other half of this problem (which isn't actually supposed to be a problem), which is mounting the auger assembly (the rest of this thing) to the front of the tractor.

The manual says because of the weight, you need 2 people to get this thing lined up and lifted up onto the "fast attach" tractor mount hardware. 225 lbs is a lot to lift by one's self. But I'm stubborn. So I did it myself anyway. Good thing the garage door was closed because in order to get this lined up right I had to put myself in a pretty "compromising position" with the auger and do a lot of thrusting and grunting. Use your imagination.

The tractor's front grille was interfering and had to go. Of course the 4 bolts are in a crevice (great design) so I can only get at them with a tiny crescent wrench and get 1/6 of a turn at a time for like 30 threads. 180 wrenchings per bolt, times 4 bolts later, I get it removed.

In this photo it looks like it's attached. Heh.. not even close. This was "marriage" one of many yet to come..


Ok, next major problem -- the "fast attach" part of the snowblower has these tabs that interfere with the tractor's front axle yoke:



Sigh.. ok, time to get out the jigsaw:


Here's what it looks like after cutting. I widened the triangular notch by removing material above the notch on both sides:


That helped that clearance problem, but not enough. When I tried to attach the lower stabilizer bars from the auger assembly to the pulley tray I had installed earlier, the stabilizer bars didn't line up. They were short by about 3/4" and had absolutely no slack:


So, back to remove the auger again and do some more cutting. This time I have to actually cut the tractor's frame (gasp!) because it is interfering with part of the snowblower bracket that isn't easy to modify. Not to worry, the frame cut was just a small corner that didn't add to structural strength.

However, I can't remove the snowblower to do the cutting because now I'm seeing that the left side spring pin is hanging up on the exhaust pipe collar:


So, I take the spring pin apart to get it free for now, and cut the frame:


Now, to fix that muffler problem once and for all. I noodled over this one for a bit and then realized I could just reverse it. Worked great:


So, married things back up again and went back and checked the stabilizer bar alignment... closer, but no dice:


Checking back up front at the "fast attach" brackets (and my quotes here around "fast attach" are becoming increasingly sarcastic), I find that now the lower tab is interfering with the front axle yoke. So, grab that jigsaw... Here is the before shot:


And here is after:


Even after this, the stabilizer bars *still* didn't line up. Sigh. Long story short (too late), I had to do more trimming of the frame cuts (but not by much), and with some downward pressure on the auger assembly I got them just close enough to let me put the pins through the bars into the pulley housing:


Now to install the belt from the tractor's PTO to the adapter pulley from this pulley assembly:


... but there's a problem. The belt is totally slack. The kit comes with a tensioner pulley, but the manual says to only use it with a tractor that has a 54" deck. Mine has a 50" deck. Here's the manual page which is wrong in my case. What it needs to say at top is "Tractor Models Equipped with a 50 inch Deck or Greater". Oh well.



So I install the tensioner pulley anyway (which was quite difficult with the pulley assembly now in place under the tractor, but I refused to go through the whole reinstall of that thing).

On to installing the lower belt which runs from the adapter double-pulley back up front to the auger gearbox pulley. Pretty uneventful (the first uneventful step this whole job):


And... drumroll please... it was finally all assembled and attached:


The only issue now was it's too late at night to go out and make noise and run the thing. So I had to wait until morning.

Here's what my driveway looked like to start. I had to trample over the snow with the vehicles for a few days while trying to get this thing installed, so I had a good mix of some loose snow and some packed snow. The loose stuff is about 6" deep. Plus there was a pretty good barrier of dense road crud at the end from the city plows:


Here we go.. fire it up and watch it fly! :


And about 15 minutes later here's the finished product:





Here's hoping for another big snowfall..
 

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USMC
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Looks good and did a great job on the snow removal. slkpk
 

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Just Evil
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:fing32: glad to see you got the snowblower and got it hooked up to your tractor. Looks like its working good for you. I see what you mean about "fast attach".

As for more snow, hope there is enough for you to get some more seat time and have fun. As for me, I'm ready for spring. :biglaugh:
 

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That's quite the marriage I have to admit. Nice work as usual Toolin.
 

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Premium Member
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Nice job, I love reading about these "adventures".
 

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My kid @ W.H. gift shop:
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Yeesh. If it was supposed to be compatible, have you thought about letting MTD know your findings? Maybe they'd credit you some for your labor, that was a lot of modding for something they say fits, IMO.

How does a zero turn do steering on slick, snowy ground? Ever get away from you?
 

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Retired and Busy!
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Toolin:

Thanks for the great pictorial and man... sorry you had such a headache attaching the blower. Well, at least she does a great job for you. Looking good! :fing32:
 

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Nice job, I love reading about these "adventures".
Agreed!! Every day is just another adventure...:fing20:

Godd pic's and results!
 

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Professional Homeowner
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This will be an EXCELLENT reference page for anyone in the future that wants to put a blower on one of those cub ZTT's. Thank you for the detailed instructions (with full color pictures) on how to install one of these. This could also help someone in the future with whether or not they want to go through all the rigormoroll of trying to fab one of these thing to fit their tractor.

We need more threads like these!!!
 

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close enuff works for me
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Hey ,,,, nice set up , I found the way you lowered the blower to the ground ,with straps and 2x4 very interesting. You put some thought into that.l:fing32: :fing32:
 

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Retired Aug.31 2007
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Loved the pictures and writeup.
 

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The original designers and engineers of Cub Cadet would be rolling over in their graves if they could could see what MTD has done to their tractor, dig through that packaging are you sure it didn't come with its own sawsall? This is the least they could do. This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "some assembly required". :fing20: :fing20:

Don't forget come spring hit those areas you cut off with some sandpaper and touch them up to prevent any rust, I'm glad it all worked out for you.
 

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Thanks for the pics and the story. You did a great job. You must have the patience of Job. NOW you can enjoy the fruits of your labor ! :fing32:
 

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Tech Nerd Tractor Convert
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
In general, thanks all for the comments! Here are a few followups...


Yeesh. If it was supposed to be compatible, have you thought about letting MTD know your findings? Maybe they'd credit you some for your labor, that was a lot of modding for something they say fits, IMO.

How does a zero turn do steering on slick, snowy ground? Ever get away from you?
Well I should admit I didn't talk to a human at MTD and hear explicitly that the 190-823 would work with my specific tractor model. I was going by the product description: "Fits MTD fast-attach auto drive step thru frame lawn & garden tractors 1999 & after (except MTD/Yardman Revolution 2001 & after)."

I guess that's why there are jigsaws and angle grinders...

As for steering on slick ground, this tractor is not like your standard zero turn.. the front wheels are not casters.. they're connected via gearing and linkage to a steering wheel so they stay where you point them. The fronts can turn past 90 deg. and the rears can counter-rotate, giving an effective zero radius turn. That maneuverability is mostly useful for cutting but I've found myself "showing off" a bit with zero turns while plowing or, now, snowblowing.

That said, the front end does occasionally slide sideways a little if I'm pushing straight into something at an angle or it may continue straight when I want to turn if the attachment is firmly embedded in something. I don't have chains on the fronts nor are they bar tires (just standard turfs). Furthermore when the blade or blower is resting on the ground, the attachment weight isn't helping keep the front planted, and in some cases is actually lightening the front a little.

But it's not a big deal.. easily compensated for with technique, like putting downward pressure on the lift bar for the attachment so some of it's weight is transferred to the tractor front end.


This will be an EXCELLENT reference page for anyone in the future that wants to put a blower on one of those cub ZTT's. Thank you for the detailed instructions (with full color pictures) on how to install one of these. This could also help someone in the future with whether or not they want to go through all the rigormoroll of trying to fab one of these thing to fit their tractor.

We need more threads like these!!!
Thanks steddy.

As it turns out, MTF apparently has a limit of 10,000 characters when posting, so there were a few steps I left out. Just for completeness in case someone is following this thread as a reference:
  • I also had to deepen by about 1/8" the notches on the auger mounting bracket where it rests up against the "fast attach" shoulder bolts. This let the auger housing hang slightly lower so the support tubes would finally reach the pulley mounting bracket.
  • The spindle for the double-pulley in the pulley assembly has a Zerk but was completely dry (I'm guessing that's SOP for new parts). I pumped half a tube of grease into it before it burped.
  • I also lubed the auger shafts, bearings, and discharge chute and crank spline per instructions in the manual. WD-40, gotta love it. I know, that's a water displacer, not a lubricant. But I'm lazy.
... Isn't that why they put a can holder on most newer tractors? You mean that's not for a can of WD-40?


Hey ,,,, nice set up , I found the way you lowered the blower to the ground ,with straps and 2x4 very interesting. You put some thought into that.l:fing32: :fing32:
Thanks. They were 2x6 by the way, but hard to tell from the photo. It was a little touch-and-go though. Even with the safety straps I was still a little leery something would take off on me. I think some sort of winch is in my future, especially if I'm going to do stuff like this solo.

But I have to space these purchases out a bit or the wife will stop talking to me. My wish list now includes:
  • a winch (dual purpose - moveable from garage celing to tractor so I can use it to lift plowblade or SB attachment)
  • a cab (inevitable after getting a SB attachment)
  • suitcase weights and bracket (the rears still slip a bit on ice, even with chains, wheelweights and driver weight)
  • a trailer to be able to take this to a buddy's place to help out, or to the dealership if I break something badly enough that I can't fix it.
  • a Johnny Bucket Jr (maybe.. not sure I'd use that too much but it always gets lots of kudos from owners)
  • ... and I'm sure other stuff if I thought about it. So I should probably avoid thinking about it for a while.
Glad it all worked out. Looks good. :fing32:
Yes it did, and again, thanks a lot jesemd for tipping me off to this great deal.

For the others reading here, definite kudos to jesemd who PM'd me about this SB attachment in the first place. He saw it at a hardware store near him on clearance for $250, brand new. Normally this model sells for $1000 or more new and there are few to none used available. He could have bought it for himself or even just flipped it on eBay for a likely profit but instead he passed it along to me since he saw I was looking for one in my sig. A model MTF citizen.


The original designers and engineers of Cub Cadet would be rolling over in their graves if they could could see what MTD has done to their tractor, dig through that packaging are you sure it didn't come with its own sawsall? This is the least they could do. This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "some assembly required". :fing20: :fing20:

Don't forget come spring hit those areas you cut off with some sandpaper and touch them up to prevent any rust, I'm glad it all worked out for you.
LOL on the sawzall. I already have one of those too!

Thanks on the tip about rust. That occurred to me too and I almost took the time to paint the exposed parts before putting everything together. But I was too eager to reap the benefits of my labor and go a-blowing. I'll mark my calendar.


Thanks for the pics and the story. You did a great job. You must have the patience of Job. NOW you can enjoy the fruits of your labor ! :fing32:
Persistence maybe. Patience, I'm not so sure. There *was* quite a bit of cussing involved...:banghead3
 

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Excellent work, as is your custom Toolin'! I can't believe the trouble you went through, even on the unloading process!:fing20: Heck, I would have driven the hour to help a fellow MTF member out. Well... that and maybe watch you bust your knuckles!

Joel
 

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Hi

Sounds like something I would do. I really like the way you got the 225lb 2 man job blower out of your truck. You really know how to use your noggin to get things done.
I wonder how long it will take you to install it next fall?

Regards
Brian
 

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I noticed the kitchen cupboards in the back - terrrific idea.
Great job on the blower.
My suggestion- buy an engine hoist. I am leery about connecting a hoist to ceiling joists. My garage has an "I" beam which I put a trolly and chain hoist on, but if I didn't have that, it would be an engine hoist.
 

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3K & Yet So Little to Say
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Nice job. Those of us in WNY are sure getting our money's worth out our snowblowers this year!
 
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