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Northwest PA Bolens Fan!
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315 Posts
Discussion Starter #1


Howdy Group!

I decided to upgrade my 1973 Bolens by fabricating a hydraulic lift system for it. The force to lift the rototiller was a bit more than I wanted to contend with so I started watching Ebay for a factory setup but never had any luck there.

Here is a direct link to my web album. I still need to edit the pictures and add captions but I wanted to get the ball rolling by posting the pictures right away.

http://picasaweb.google.com/tedrmiller/BolensG14HydraulicUpgradeProject?feat=directlink

I'll post an update with more info as soon as I can. I still need to take more pictures, since I have now completed the plumbing and actually tested the system yesterday by spinning the pump with my drill.

I still need to finish fabricating the linkage to the control lever and then I have to finish reassembling the rest of the tractor.

More info soon!

Ted
 

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Northwest PA Bolens Fan!
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315 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I still have to figure out how to downsize the pictures! That is why the link to the Picasa web pictures is so convenient.

Ted
 

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Tractor Junkie
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547 Posts
If you have microsoft paint program on your PC start the program and under File at the top left choose open and from the window that opens browse for where you have your pics ,open a pic then click image at the top the choose attributes and there you can change the size just remember to click save when done or pic will return to original size

BTW Nice job on the hydro set up, is that a dodge steering pump you used?
 

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Northwest PA Bolens Fan!
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315 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Yes,

It is a Dodge pump. I found it on Ebay for 10 bucks. It was purported to be a rebuilt unit for a Dodge Magnum. I found a friendly local junk yard that let me snoop around until I found a pressure hose that had the correct bends in it. I found just what I needed on a Dakota.

The mount for the pump is completely fabricated by me, using basic math and some redneck engineering, if I may borrow that phrase from another MTF member. The cylinder is from a Bolens QT-16, and the valve is from another Bolens, an H14XL if I remember correctly. The materials for the pump mount are a pair of barn door hinges from Tractor Supply. No kidding! You can see it clearly in some of the pictures in the following album. The pump bracket was fabricated from 1/8" flat stock, approximately 3" wide.

Here is a second link to another album that shows some more of the development of the mount and brackets for the pump. I still need to edit my captions and consolidate the pics for this project into one folder.

http://picasaweb.google.com/tedrmiller/TedSTractors?feat=directlink

My only concern with this setup is that I had to take one of the two PTO belts to run the pump. That makes me wonder if I'm going to have issues driving my blower or tiller with one belt. I thought of running the belt around the PTO and the powersteering pump, but that would mean that the PTO would be running all the time that the engine is running. I was afraid that might cause premature wear / failure of the PTO bearings.

Time will tell! I figured that it would probably be ok, since I figure that there are plenty of tractors that use a single belt to drive everything...the mower deck, the transaxle, the snowblower, etc.

I took some more pictures today of the system all plumbed together. I still need to upload those to my album. More progress to come!

Ted
 

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Northwest PA Bolens Fan!
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315 Posts
Discussion Starter #5

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I love junk!!
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40 Posts
excellent idea.

I have a G14 that I have been wanting to do this too.. (**** snow blower is heavy)

I have been watching ebay and have found pictures (sketches) for the oriiginal kit.

will the oil capacity of the power steering pump be enough??

I have been investigating powering the pump from the front of the engine (if I can find a place to mount a pully)

you've done some clever things.. I will be following you closely..
 

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Northwest PA Bolens Fan!
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315 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Howdy biker,

The pump capacity seems to be plenty adequate. The cylinder in this application won't get that much use, compared to the work of a steering cylinder that is continuously moving.

One thing I noticed today though is that the power of the cylinder is far stronger than the lightweight linkage and pivot arm. I was spinning the pump with my drill and working the lever up and down to look for leaks and test the system.

I could see the linkage and arm flexing under the load of the cylinder when the cylinder reaches the stops. I will have to be very careful not to break anything. I am also concerned about the travel speed of the cylinder. It moves pretty quick even when I'm only using my drill to spin the pump. With the engine running, I'm afraid there might be some potential for a "hair trigger".

I'm going to research these pumps a little more to see if I can adjust the relief valve to kick in at a lower pressure. I may also need to put in some type of flow restrictor to limit the travel speed. That stage of R&D comes next (after I finish putting the engine back together!)

It did also occur to me that the speed of the pump can be reduced by using a larger pulley. If I have my physics straight, a 3" pulley on the engine turning a 6" pulley on the pump would cause the pump to turn at half the speed of the engine. Of course, this really isn't an option for me at this point, because I don't want to have to build a THIRD pump bracket.

I already built two because the first one didn't clear the engine. (You'll see in the pictures that I fabricated the pump mount and bracket using my 2x4"mock up" engine. OOPS!)

I posted another dozen or so pictures to my album today. You can see that it is coming together nicely.

http://picasaweb.google.com/tedrmiller/BolensG14HydraulicUpgradeProject?feat=directlink

I'll keep the updates coming.

Ted
 

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Northwest PA Bolens Fan!
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315 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Hello Biker,

I've been looking at my pictures and thinking about what you said about figuring out where to mount a pump. I think if I was going to do this again, I would seriously consider putting the pump further forward and running it off of a pulley mounted on the flywheel. The pump could even go on the left side if clearance from the muffler is an issue.

Here is a link to a picture that shows the front of the engine and the pump where I have it now:

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/7vYkEp8nfEwovw6xToB0mg?feat=directlink

This would eliminate my worries about running the implements on a single belt. Just food for thought.

Ted
 

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Northwest PA Bolens Fan!
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315 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Quick update! I've actually got the tractor out of the garage and I've lifted the snowblower with the hydraulic lift. Works like a champ! I've got a few more pictures in the album showing the tractor all back together.

http://picasaweb.google.com/tedrmiller/BolensG14HydraulicUpgradeProject?feat=directlink

I still need to take a couple pictures of my car battery installation and get some photos of the tractor with the snowblower and the rototiller installed.

More updates to come!

Ted
 

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I love junk!!
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40 Posts
snowman.

you do excellent work.

I am glad to hear its coming together.

Nice pics..

lets see some workin pics.. or better yet..

videos of it working..
 

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Northwest PA Bolens Fan!
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315 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the compliments. I've got the snowblower installed and I drove it around the driveway for about 5 minutes. The next day it wouldn't start!

No Spark! I haven't had a chance to get back to it yet...my two year old kicked a hole in the screen door so that just became the high priority!

As soon as I get the tractor running again, I'll take a video.

Ted
 

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Ted,
Great looking upgrade. I am doing research into how to use the on-board hydraulic system to power 2 cylinders. My hydraulic system consists of the self contained pump/reservoir powered from a belt off the main pulley. There is a built in valve that controls the flow located on top the reservoir.

Look closely at your main pulley and see if there is a groove in the middle between the 2 PTO belts and 2 input shaft belts. Most all the large main pulleys have this groove and it's easy to miss if you don't know the purpose. That one groove runs a small belt to operate the stock hydraulic pump originally a option for the G14. I looked at you pics and it appears that your pully dosen't have this belt groove. I'll try to get a part number for you and maybe someone else may have it readily available.
 

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an effin canadian
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549 Posts
I also wondered why you didn't use that groove. It is on Your pulley, I saw it. if you do that then you could use 2 belts to run your accessories. I had a snowcaster on my 1255, and it's only got a single pto belt, I'd get about 3 uses out of a single belt. that's the whole reason I'm building up my 1253, for the dual pto belts. I'm tempted to do something like this as well, we both know how much of a joy it is to lift that snowcaster and slam it into the ground, i mean lower it again. :ROF
 

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Northwest PA Bolens Fan!
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315 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Hey Guys!

Thanks for making me feel like a moron! :ROF

I can't believe that I NEVER noticed that groove in the pulley before! Talk about not being able to see the forest for the trees! I think I might be able to find an actual power steering pulley with the correct offset to line up with that groove. If not, I can move the whole pump back a little bit.

Thanks for your keen observations.

In other news, I just got my lack of spark situation figured out last night. I should have this tractor up and running in a couple more days.

Thanks again!

Ted
 

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Northwest PA Bolens Fan!
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315 Posts
Discussion Starter #15

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an effin canadian
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549 Posts
hey thanks, but for what shipping is worth with the weight of that thing, I think i could build a brand new system cheaper and easier. I already have a box full of valves and solenoids from some snowplow kits, have the power steering pump, just gotta get some hoses and the cylender. I'm thinking i may want to go all out on it though, and add power angle to my plow, and power lift for the front and rear attachments simultaneously, as i run with the plow on the back, and snowcaster on the front.

thank you though, surely someone could use it.
 

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Northwest PA Bolens Fan!
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315 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Wow! Thas sounds like an ambitious project! I'd like to see that! Be sure to document that well.

Ted
 

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Northwest PA Bolens Fan!
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315 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Quick update...I was able to build a new pulley for my pump in order to take advantage of the proper v-belt groove on the engine pulley. I needed to create an offset pulley or redesign the pump mount in order to get the pump to align.

I decided that modifying my pulley was the easiest way to go. I had an extra pulley, so I simply slipped both pulleys on a 3/4 inch dowel and tack welded them together in 8 places. Then I used my 1 1/4 inch hole saw to take the middle hub out of the inner pulley so that it would clear the snout on the pump.

End result...worked like a champ. The pump is running nicely and the PTO has both belts again! I hooked up the mower and it worked like a charm. I can't wait to put on the heavy attachments like the rototiller and the snowblower!

Ted
 

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nice work - really - and love the idea of the use of power steering pump -

curious to ask, and i'm trying to learn here - how much do you feel you oversized that cylinder?

only reason i ask, i have to share the only experience i have with hydraulics, was in designing / building a hydraulic brake system for an experimental aircraft.

loaded wgt of the plane was 1096 lbs - and not knowing hydraulics, i contacted Cleveland brakes for assist in selecting the master cylinder - they gave me a formula i've got somewhere, but the essence in that case was, keep the master cylinder bore a larger ID than the brake cylinder -

i went with a mst cylinder that had a 5/8" bore and about a 3" stroke max, with the brake cyl being 1/2" bore and extremely short stroke

i didn't believe the braking power of that setup when i tried it - could easy squeal the tires at 60mph and stop that plane in short order. That master cylinder was / is basically a cylinder, total body diameter maybe 1" (not counting the plumbing boss) and i'm actually thinking of using it for a similiar load as your's (to life a front mounted mowing deck). ie, as the actuating cylinder, not the power source or pump

makes me wonder if a much smaller cylinder would have handled your lifting load

again, i am one half hair above being the fred flintstone of hydaulics, so i'm curious on your assessment of your cylinder selection now that you've used it

TIA
 

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Northwest PA Bolens Fan!
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Discussion Starter #20
Hey Larry,

When I was researching this project, I ran across some of these formulas that you refer to. However, I really didn't look too deep into the theory or mathematics because I wasn't really designing a system from scratch.

The cylinder and control valve are actual Bolens parts (albeit from other Bolens models) so I knew they would handle the lifting task without any problem.

The only uncertainty I had was how well a power steering pump would handle the job. I reasoned that the pump would handle the load ok because my first car used a hydraulic cylinder type of power steering system. I also reasoned that a car's steering pump is working almost all the time, depending on road conditions and traffic. The pump on my tractor would only work for a few seconds out of each minute--like when raising the tiller or the blower.

Now that the system is complete and I've been using it for the past couple of months, I can tell you that it works great! The cylinder and the pump are very strong and they don't strain at all, even when lifting the snowblower. The mower deck itself is so light, its like it isn't even there.

One thing that I have to be careful about is that I have no idea how much pressure is required for the pump to go into bypass. I have run the cylinder to the limit of its extension a couple of times, and it actually flexes the original factory attachment lift brackets. I have the feeling that if I overloaded the system, the tractor itself would break before the hydraulic components would.

So, in short, I believe that the system is way stronger than it has to be, but that is ok with me as long as I'm careful about not running the cylinder to the stops. I am quite pleased with the outcome of the whole project and I really enjoyed doing it. I've been a mechanic for 25 years, but this was the first time that I've ever actually tried my hand at fabricating something.

Now I'm really looking forward to my next project...shoehorning a 24HP Honda into my other Bolens!

Ted
 
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