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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone fitted a small car muffler to their tractor? My stock muffler is in excellent condition, but I'd like it to be quieter. There's ample room back there -- either below or behind the engine -- to fit a much larger can. Obviously it would need to be adapted down to fit the small diameter of the tractor header, but that would be easy.
 

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I have done it many times...you can make your tractor a "stealth" tractor by using a car muffler,I used a oval VW jetta one I had given to me on one tractor and it was so quiet you could hear the tappets clicking,and hardly any exhausrt noise..its easy to increase the 1/2",3/4",or 1" pipe threaded outlet to a larger size using a plumbing pipe adapter and a nipple that allows a 1-1/2" or larger muffler inlet to slide over it..you'll think your tractor has an electric motor compared to the stock muffler!..

I just dragged home a resonator from a Ford Escort from my friends scrap pile at his repair shop,he replaced a whole exhaust and the resonator is still in nice shape,it has the classic "cherry bomb" shape too,about a foot long and has a 1-3/4" pipe--and will probably have bit more "bark" than a regular muffler..might use it on a tractor or other summer fun machine I may build,if it ever stops raining here..

My brother has a nice brand new generator muffler I saw in his collection of "stuff" while touring his garage monday..too bad your not closer to MA,I'm sure he'd be glad to part with it for a reasonable fee,its one of the round ones about 16-18" long and maybe 5-6" round,like an Onan uses..
I'm sure you can come up with one though,there is a thousand choices at auto parts stores and junkyards to choose from..
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Holic!

"So quiet you could hear the tappets clicking": Now that's what I'm talkin' about!

How have you mounted yours in the past. Did you find a way that worked better or worse.

I've been casually looking around at cars, and noticed that Honda Civics and Geo Metros have unusually small exhaust pipes -- so thought maybe I'd start there.

If I find a match that fits well, I'll post back with a model and part #.
 

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I have what was a really loud 6500 watt generator. One of those god awful tecumseh noise boxes on it. I put a long tractor muffler on it from TSC. About $26 if I remember right. Like Robert said, you can hear the tappets.
 

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I just slid the muffler over the pipe adapter that increased the engine pipe size up to whatever size the car muffler inlet needed--(in my case with theVW Jetta muffler that had a 1-1/2" I.D..I used a plumbing adapter that went from 3/4" pipe thread my engine had,to 1-1/4" pipe,which had an outside diameter of 1-1/2" or so close,it fit right on with no leaks..)I've seen some guys slip a car muffler right over the stock muffler,but I would be leery of creating too much back pressure in a way,but I suppose a car muffler has such large inlet and capacity,it probably wouldn't be harmfull..


--I have driven my tractor out in the woods out back with that muffler and litterally "snuck up" on deer ,when usually they would scatter instantly when I started it up way back at the garage with the stock muffler..Even a glass pack cherry bomb is quieter on a single cylinder motor than the stock muffler,which if you ask me,doesn't do much "muffling" at all!..

One thing you'll need to be aware of though,is the weight of the larger muffler should be supported somehow by a sturdy bracket to the chassis or engine block,because if its left unsupported it can eventually hog out the threads in the engines exhaust port..in the case of a "stack",its needed to hold it upright as well,usually the threads loosen no matter how tight you screw in the pipe to the engine when it heats up and expands,so the supprt brace is an important "must have"..I learned the hard way when one "stack" muffler I made drooped over and landed on my LEG :)eek: )after the engine warmed up!--got some nasty burns from that episode of "what NOT to have happen while playing on your tractor"..

I also ruined the threads in the exhaust port on another engine be letting the pipe support the muffler with no brace too,luckily the engine also had bolt holes for a "bolt on" muffler,so I had to weld on a two bolt flange an use them instead of the pipe threads..
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was thinking I'd put it outback, and low mounted to the custom grill. If the muffler was mounted on its side to the grill, the inlet would be on the left (just about where the OEM muffler discharges) and discharge out the right.

I don't think that would obstruct air flow too badly.

Any thoughts?

EDIT: another option would be underneath, inside the trailer hitch. But that would have to be a very shallow-depth muffler, or it would seriously limit ground clearance.

Again, thoughts?
 

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Only thought I have is that you dont want one with too big of pipes on it. If the pipes are two big, there will just be not enough air flow through it to realy muffle it that much.

As for your mounting place... Should work OK. It will add a little heat to the engine, but I doupt enough... May want to add a little heat sheld/baffle to that grill, and space the muffler off just a bit from it. That would solve that issue.
 

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my concern would be the muffler getting smashed being outside of the cage. I can't tell you how many times I've had something hit my rear sheild. And with the muffler back there won't it render the hitch useless?

I guess none of it matters if all you do is mow. But to me that is a waste of a gravely. Any lt or gt can mow. A Gravely can do so much more.
 

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Kohler said their "new" plastic bolt on fan increased "air flow up to 20%, reducing metal temperatures up to 60" degrees on Magnum engines. They claimed "That ultimately means longer engine life." the axiom being that running cooler is better for an air cooled engine. IMO placing a big hot muffler directly in front of your fan is going to result in an opposite effect. This might be less of a concern in ME, but here in FL the last thing I'd want to do would be to draw in cooling air over a big hot surface, raising engine temp.

Placing a big muffler at rear, as you illustrated, looks like it could tend to increase the risk of collision when backing up damaging the shroud & flywheel. Do recall seeing a big muffler installed crosswise, above the motor, at rear, that required part of the hood to be cut away.

I wouldn't attempt placing a muffler underneath either. There's just not enough space, it would likely cause a rise oil temp & the risk of igniting a fire is serious.

If you'd "like it to be quieter" for your own comfort I'd suggest hearing protection. Many who run mowers daily wear 'head phone' type, or ear plugs, to deal w/the noise. For those mowing for UF & the city hearing protection appears to be mandatory.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
my concern would be the muffler getting smashed being outside of the cage. I can't tell you how many times I've had something hit my rear sheild. And with the muffler back there won't it render the hitch useless?

I guess none of it matters if all you do is mow. But to me that is a waste of a gravely. Any lt or gt can mow. A Gravely can do so much more.
Well, I just got my Gravely about a month ago. It will lead a very sheltered life: it will be garage-kept and will likely only be used for mowing and blowing snow. The snow blower is why I really bought the Gravely. I've never seen a snow blower built as rugged and powerful as a Gravely -- it looks like a smaller version of what airports use to clear runways! I've always plowed snow with a truck. I never liked the idea of a rinky-dink little snow blower -- but this ain't no rinky-dink blower! So now instead of a garden tractor (for mowing) and a Jeep CJ with a Fisher plow (for snow removal) taking up space in my garage, I have a machine that's less than half the size of the Jeep, and does a better job in both the summer and the winter.

And while it's true that any tractor can handle mowing, I've not seen one that handles it as well as the Gravely. (at least not one that I could afford) First of all, its 50" cut is mammoth! Plus, with this mowing deck, there is no need for a bagger or raking -- it somehow mulches the clippings so small that they seem to disappear. (which is great on two fronts: 1) it's less work 2) it redistributes the organic matter back to the lawn.)

My neighbor has a small Kabota diesel tractor. 4wd, hard cab, mower deck, tiller, snow blower, the works. I imagine he into it for over $15K, it's a sweet tractor (and yes, I am jealous). But my Gravely mows better than his Kabota. I have no windrows unless the grass is really tall -- then if I go over them once more, they're gone. We'll see how my snow blower compares with his this winter. Either way, I'll be envious of his cozy, warm hard cab though. :crybaby:
 

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If you'd "like it to be quieter" for your own comfort I'd suggest hearing protection. Many who run mowers daily wear 'head phone' type, or ear plugs, to deal w/the noise. For those mowing for UF & the city hearing protection appears to be mandatory.

yes, very good suggestion. My 42 year old guitar player blues/ rock ears may not notice the noise as much as others. Hearing protection is a great suggestion.

Either that or if you want it quiet, swap on a honda engine. Very quiet engines.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Kohler said their "new" plastic bolt on fan increased "air flow up to 20%, reducing metal temperatures up to 60" degrees on Magnum engines. They claimed "That ultimately means longer engine life." the axiom being that running cooler is better for an air cooled engine. IMO placing a big hot muffler directly in front of your fan is going to result in an opposite effect. This might be less of a concern in ME, but here in FL the last thing I'd want to do would be to draw in cooling air over a big hot surface, raising engine temp.

Placing a big muffler at rear, as you illustrated, looks like it could tend to increase the risk of collision when backing up damaging the shroud & flywheel. Do recall seeing a big muffler installed crosswise, above the motor, at rear, that required part of the hood to be cut away.

I wouldn't attempt placing a muffler underneath either. There's just not enough space, it would likely cause a rise oil temp & the risk of igniting a fire is serious.

If you'd "like it to be quieter" for your own comfort I'd suggest hearing protection. Many who run mowers daily wear 'head phone' type, or ear plugs, to deal w/the noise. For those mowing for UF & the city hearing protection appears to be mandatory.
80 degree summer temps are normal in Maine, so good point about air temp & flow. I'll re-think the placement.

Re: hearing protection... I need excellent hearing for my work... and I ride a motorcycle year round, so I'm religious about hearing protection, and already wear ear plugs whenever I use the tractor. It just seems needlessly loud. With a proper muffler, ear protection wouldn't even be necessary. Additionally, I appreciate peace and quite. I'd rather not contribute to the noise pollution around my home.
 

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Got another suggestion IF competition w/neighbor is such a concern.

My neighbor has a small Kabota diesel tractor...snow blower
I imagine he into it for over $15K, it's a sweet tractor (and yes, I am jealous)
We'll see how my snow blower compares with his this winter.
Forget the snowblower. For all but the deepest & most compacted snow your GRAVELY equipped w/48" snow/dozer blade & chains will probably beat comparable snowblowers hands down. Snowblowers are also famous for turning the operator into an abominable snowman, whereas using a snow plow puts virtually no snow in the air to fall in your face, greatly reducing the attractiveness a "hard cab" might have. My bet is that using a 48" plow instead would have you done so quickly you'd be able to watch your neighbor still blowning snow from inside your "cozy, warm" home.

I found a snowblower especially frustrating removing common modest snow falls. It took far too long & it was a PITA to switch back & forth between blower & plow. I also had a gravel drive that resulted in jams. So the plow rapidly won out & the blower got sold. For me the best combination was a GRAVELY 8163-G w/plow & a Comm 12 w/blower held in reserve, to be used whenever snow banks built up beyond where it was easy to push using the plow. I was also lucky to have had a GRAVELY w/optional independant steering brakes that greatly helped plowing.
 

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I agree with 3 banger about the blower. YES, very incredible machine. Your neighbors won't be happy with the snow you are throwing in their yard, and you will be a snowman. I have both a ma210 for my 2 wheelers and a blower for my 8123. Both will throw snow an easy 60 feet if you let them. You can throw it close, but swinging the chute always results in huge roostertails of snow flying on either you or something 60 feet away.

I use my blowers, but prefer my snowplows. My 8123 will push 18 inches of roadside packed in snow without thinking about it. It will also plow in 4th gear high range if there is only 6 to 8 inches of the wet stuff. My C12 is nearly as capable with the plowblade on it.

I also find my snowblade has me back in the house where it is warm quicker than snowblowing.


But like I said, and you said, the Gravely snowblower is one impressive machine. I just have found the snowblades to be faster and less messy.

Now for the muffler, how about a stack on the back with a flapper? An under $30 tractor muffler from TSC would fit the bill, be away from the blower housing lessening your heat issue. Pipe it out, and fab up a support bracket off of the engine gaurd to support the stack.
 

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Got to explore another possibility. I've been under the impression that GRAVELY's rear engine design tended to reduce noise for operators compared to the same motors used in common front engine tractors. Running a Cub Cadet, JD, Wheelhorse, etc w/the same Kohler 12HP always seemed louder. I'd presumed this was b/c the muffler was directly in front of the operator. In contrast the GRAVELY exhaust was behind the operator & below a big hood.

It just seems needlessly loud. With a proper muffler, ear protection wouldn't even be necessary. Additionally, I appreciate peace and quite. I'd rather not contribute to the noise pollution around my home.
I've also seen lots of variety in mufflers used on GRAVELY riders & considerable differences in noise levels. My 8163-G w/B&S single 16 is relatively quiet w/it's simple looking boxy muffler, 2" exhaust pipe & short tip. My 20-G w/Kohler twin 20 is quieter w/it's much larger single muffler & relatively long exhaust pipes. My 16-G w/Kohler twin 16 w/moderately long exhaust pipe & tips, to individual mufflers, each easily as large as the B&S, surprised me by being loudest by far.

I don't recall ever replacing any of these, or looking inside. This leads me to wonder if internal sound deadening components are subject to wear & blowing out? Usually a "car muffler" has fiber glass, steelwool, or some other fibrous material packed inside in order to reduce noise. Some small engine mufflers are merely expansion chambers/baffles like the common 'pipe thread' walk behind type.

A quick check revealed that my twin 16's mufflers sound like empty 'cans' when tapped on, while the 20's sounds 'dead' indicating to me that its packed w/fiber. I'm guessing that sound deadening material might've broken down & blown out of the 16's mufflers, leaving empty 'cans' that do not reduce noise as they should. However I don't know what they were like when new?

Does anyone know if these Kohler mufflers came as 'empty can' expansion chambers, OR as stuffed w/fiber miniature "car mufflers" when new? Can anyone confirm if sound deadening material blowing out is a common issue w/these mufflers?

If this is as common as I suspect it might help explain the "needlessly loud" complaint. Of course this leads to the Q of whether worn out & gutted mufflers pose risks to engine life, specifically exhaust valve life? Anybody bought any new mufflers lately to tap on? I shudder to ask the price.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I've plowed my yard with an '85 Jeep CJ most recently, and before that with a '53 Willys pickup. Both were great plow vehicles that could really push some snow. But in the last two years we've had unusually large snow totals. Two years ago, I literally ran out of space to put snow -- and I live on a country lot, not on a tiny in town lot. We tend to get a wet/heavy snow here by the coast, so I doubt the Gravely with a 4' plow is going to push snow better than a nearly 2 ton truck with a 6' plow, but we'll see.

I could see using the plow to clean up, but switching between it and the blower is a bit too cumbersome.

But I'm keeping an open mind. If you guys are right, maybe the plow will be my primary snow removal tool, and the Big-Bertha blower will be used to move banks back periodically.

I'll let you know.

Thanks.
 

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Had anyone suggested a GRAVELY 8000-Series "is going to push snow better than" a 4WD JEEP w/6' plow?

I doubt the Gravely with a 4' plow is going to push snow better than a nearly 2 ton truck with a 6' plow, but we'll see.
I'm more curious if your "needlessly loud" complaint might be related to an worn out/gutted muffler, a possibility I did suggest?

Can we presume that you already have a GRAVELY snow plow to try?

My last Winter in CT "had unusually large snow totals". However it came in an especially large number of snowstorms requiring frequent plowing. Partly b/c I was on a significant hill, it was essential to plow often, since small accumulations could make the road impassable. It proved unwise not to clear away even minor snowfalls b/c they'd add up, pack down & freeze, glazing over the gravel. I relied on the occasional thaw & the assist provided by an amount of gravel that was stirred up by plowing. If not maintained it could close the road. The speed of my 8163-G made plowing a few inches of snow a simple chore. This is something a snowblower could not do.

My 1st Winter there began just weeks after moving from FL & the landlady's SIL plowed w/"a nearly 2 ton truck with a 6' plow" & it was an unmitigated disaster. Fortunately snow wasn't bad that year, but it still required hiring somebody to salt/sand the hill to reopen the road after minor snow laid on the ground, partially thawed & refroze. That "6' plow" had skids & simply did not scrape the ground as clean as I was able to do w/GRAVELY plow. I certainly couldn't rely on Bob to plow as often as was needed either. He knew his plow was useless on niggling 2-3" snowshowers ever other day. So in a very real way even my very 1st CT Convertible 7.6 actually did "push snow better than" a fullsized 4X4 pickup. The next 12 Winters I kept the road open using a succession of GRAVELY tractors & never again paid somebody to salt/sand.

My neighbors who hired the typical "2 ton truck" to plow them out also benefited from GRAVELY's unique ability to "push snow". IMO when it comes to removing snow timing can be an essential element in determining what's "better". Neighbors would routinely pay to get plowed out, only to have the town come thru & plow them right back in. I was dubbed 'The Saint of Kimberly Road' b/c I'd go all the way down the hill to Westwoods Road & bust out the ends of all the driveways & scrape the steep town road clean on the way. I also went up the hill to help out 2 poor elderly neighbors who relied on their backs & shovels!

Nothing against snowblowers, they could certainly be fun to use, just seldom found them to be the best tool for most snow removal jobs. Snowblowers definitely had their place where I ran out of room to push snow. My situation was somewhat unique in that the hill provided loads of room to push snow over the edge. I'm sure your situation is unique too. If I was in snow country I'd have both.
 

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This is what you need to quite down you engine... Screw your muffler on the other end and it will sound like a car muffler...

 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Had anyone suggested a GRAVELY 8000-Series "is going to push snow better than" a 4WD JEEP w/6' plow?



I'm more curious if your "needlessly loud" complaint might be related to an worn out/gutted muffler, a possibility I did suggest?

Can we presume that you already have a GRAVELY snow plow to try?

My last Winter in CT "had unusually large snow totals". However it came in an especially large number of snowstorms requiring frequent plowing. Partly b/c I was on a significant hill, it was essential to plow often, since small accumulations could make the road impassable. It proved unwise not to clear away even minor snowfalls b/c they'd add up, pack down & freeze, glazing over the gravel. I relied on the occasional thaw & the assist provided by an amount of gravel that was stirred up by plowing. If not maintained it could close the road. The speed of my 8163-G made plowing a few inches of snow a simple chore. This is something a snowblower could not do.

My 1st Winter there began just weeks after moving from FL & the landlady's SIL plowed w/"a nearly 2 ton truck with a 6' plow" & it was an unmitigated disaster. Fortunately snow wasn't bad that year, but it still required hiring somebody to salt/sand the hill to reopen the road after minor snow laid on the ground, partially thawed & refroze. That "6' plow" had skids & simply did not scrape the ground as clean as I was able to do w/GRAVELY plow. I certainly couldn't rely on Bob to plow as often as was needed either. He knew his plow was useless on niggling 2-3" snowshowers ever other day. So in a very real way even my very 1st CT Convertible 7.6 actually did "push snow better than" a fullsized 4X4 pickup. The next 12 Winters I kept the road open using a succession of GRAVELY tractors & never again paid somebody to salt/sand.

My neighbors who hired the typical "2 ton truck" to plow them out also benefited from GRAVELY's unique ability to "push snow". IMO when it comes to removing snow timing can be an essential element in determining what's "better". Neighbors would routinely pay to get plowed out, only to have the town come thru & plow them right back in. I was dubbed 'The Saint of Kimberly Road' b/c I'd go all the way down the hill to Westwoods Road & bust out the ends of all the driveways & scrape the steep town road clean on the way. I also went up the hill to help out 2 poor elderly neighbors who relied on their backs & shovels!

Nothing against snowblowers, they could certainly be fun to use, just seldom found them to be the best tool for most snow removal jobs. Snowblowers definitely had their place where I ran out of room to push snow. My situation was somewhat unique in that the hill provided loads of room to push snow over the edge. I'm sure your situation is unique too. If I was in snow country I'd have both.
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Hi Banger.

My muffler looks brand new. There's not a spec of rust on the exterior of it -- who knows what's on the interior. This tractor is not any louder than my 12.5hp Briggs lawn tractor that it's replacing -- or any other mower I've owned or seen. It's just louder than I'd like it to be -- especially when I know I can do something about it.

Thanks for the insight re: snow removal. Yes I already have a plow -- the one in my signature... I should have referenced that.

Don't get me wrong, I'm in no way knocking the Gravely's ability to push snow. But I'm also no newbie to snow plowing -- I've done it all my life. The single most important factor in plowing snow is not HP or even torque... it's the weight of the vehicle -- everything else is trivial.

As I said, I'm keeping an open mind on this and am really appreciative of the insight you and others have provided on the subject.

As to your past landlord's SIL, (and with all due respect) he clearly didn't know what he was doing. The fact that he had the skids on is proof of that -- no one ever uses the skids that come with plows... they're completely useless in almost all situations. On a gravel drive, you plow the first event (maybe the second too) by back-dragging it. That builds a base without tearing up the drive, then from that point on, you plow it normally. There are a few other tricks like adding a steel pipe edge to your plow base, but that's a bit of a challenge if you don't have fabrication skills and tools.

Not trying to be confrontational, because this moving-snow-with-a-tactor thing is new to me. I'm trying to learn from the experience of others -- like you. I'm sure it will work out fine.

Again, thanks.
 
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