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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I bought a Husqvarna WHF 5218 ETS last year, to strip for parts to make a small standon or walkbehind skid steer (and it may eventually become that), but in the meantime, given how well the plow attachment for my Snapper 52" Hydro walkbehind works for me, I decided to make a brush attachment for the Husqvarna. I tracked down a used Bercomac 48" brush that wasn't used much, with mounting hardware for a JD tractor.

The motor runs ok, but it has a leak somewhere on the bottom

It also had a problem with moving when the controls were in the 'locked' position. I could adjust the control rods to make it stop, but immediately after using it a little, it would creep again. It turned out to be that the levers on the hydro controllers just used a set screw to hold them to the shaft, and that set screw had worn the shaft a bit, so the shaft would rotate a bit relative to the lever, and the machine would creep a bit. Tightened down the set screws, and the creeping has largely stopped. It still does a small amount, but that is likely due to wear in the overall mechanism, as I can stop it just by pushing or pulling the handle in the right direction when it's locked, and the creeping will stop.

Overall, the to-do list is:
-make the adapter front-end, that bolts to the Husvarna frame instead of the mowing deck, with either a winch or a remote handle to raise/lower the brush as needed
-fix the engine's oil leak
-fab up a mount for a new, larger battery & battery cables (old battery is barely working, cables are corroded, and it needs to start in the dead of winter, so it gets upgraded to a small-car battery).
-fab up a handle to change the brush angle
-switch the direction the throttle handle is facing (it needed a new throttle cable when i bought it, and I installed it so the handle works the opposite of the sticker).
-make an extension for the oil drain plug, so it doesn't just run all over the frame, but instead goes just past the edge of the frame so it can be funneled into a bucket

And, depending on how the brush works when I'm done, I may swap the two drive units, as this Husqvarna has just an 18hp Kawasaki, while the Snapper has a 22hp engine, as the brush may need that extra horsepower.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I've just begun this, by removing and disassembling the deck for storage. I have no idea what the P.O. did to the top of the pins for the front wheels. They are 1" round solid steel, and they would have been machined flat new, but there are chunks of steel missing from the top of both of them (as in, it would probably take 5 minutes with an angle grinder to make a gouge that big).

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Discussion Starter #3
Made the first couple parts, the mounting plates that bolt to the drive unit in place of the mower. Also got some bushings, cut them in half, then welded some washers to them to make flanged bushings for the front wheels (for a total parts cost of $10, oem ones are about $10 each and take a couple weeks to come in). I made turn them down on the lathe so the flange is the same diameter as the tube they are installed in.

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I would have bought some flanged bushings from Laser Sales Inc. (they sell knock-off and some oem parts for mowers/snowblowers/chainsaws), but when I phoned them, they only had 1 of the bushings I wanted in stock, they couldn't order more, and they have no idea when they would get more in. And, I remember getting the same answer last year, when I wanted the same bushings for my plow attachment. Stupid.

Looks like we'll get snow for a bit, so it looks like progress will continue sometime next week.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Made some progress over the last couple of days. Made the frame of the "adapter", and the mount for the jackshaft that reduces the speed of the brush a bit relative to engine-speed.

IMG_1364.jpg

I may have to move the mount for the jackshaft behind the motor instead (or just move it further back a couple of inches), as the belt diagram for the brush shows the belt is twisted, and I don't think the jackshaft pulley will line up particularly well with the brushes, and everything is closer together now than it would be on a JD L110).

Belt diagram.png

But we'll see. I'll work on getting the brush attached to this frame first, and then see how the belts work out.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Made the main attachment point for the broom attachment. Still have to mount some extra weight up front (as the Husqvarna drive module has it's center of gravity behind the drive wheels, and there's not a lot of weight right now on the front of it [the brush doesn't put any weight on the front end]), and add a lever or electric actuator to raise/lower the broom.

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I cut out the bar that was going to hold the jackshaft used to drive the brush, as it was just too close to the pulley on the broom to support the twist in the belt needed to drive the broom in the correct direction. Tomorrow I'll work on making a bracket to mount the jackshaft on, that bolts to the drive unit behind the engine. Mounted there, it will need a longer belt, so it should have no problem with the twist over that distance.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Made the mount for the jackshaft that reduces the speed of the engine to drive the broom attachment so it mounts behind the engine, so the belt to the broom is long enough to have the twist in it needed to run the brush in the correct direction.

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Hopefully this is rigid enough for the pulleys, as both belts will be pulling it forward, and the bottom one has a very strong idler spring on it, but it should be ok. The bar the pulley is mounted to is 2x3/8", and the primary pieces preventing that from twisting are the 2 2x1x1/8" rectangular tubes, notched and welded all around the bar.

I almost nailed the top pulleys location right off the bat using measurements, but once it was welded together and installed, the top pulley was 1/8" out of alignment with the pulley on the engine, so I made a spacer to drop it down to get it right in alignment. Once I get a belt for it, I can figure out how/where to mount the spring for the idler to keep the belt under proper tension.

And while I was under there, I noticed the belt driving the wheel hydraulic system was missing chunks, so I'll get a replacement for that as well.

So, tomorrow, some shopping for belts and nuts/bolts for this mount, then I spend some time figuring out how long the belt to the brush should be. It's a bit more difficult to figure out, as it has to support lifting the broom as well
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Today was a one step forward, two steps back day.

I went out and bought bolts for the bracket I made yesterday, and a new belt for running the hydraulic system (old belt was worn out), and a belt to go from the engine to the jackshaft on that bracket, which went ok, and then bolted on the front end I made earlier, and was mounting the broom to measure how long a belt I would need for that, and saw the sticker that indicates what model the "adapter" I bought with the broom is (the broom head has a model&serial number, and then you buy a tractor-specific adapter to mate it to the tractor).

I had bought the setup used, with minimal info about it, and so found several adapter manuals that looked correct for the parts I had. Those manuals showed that the belt from the jackshaft to the broom needed to be twisted/reversed to get the right broom rotation. But, I went and downloaded the manual with that model number I found, and it doesn't need the belt twisted/reversed. And then I double-checked both the engine rotation and rotating the broom pulley to verify broom rotation, and it definitely doesn't need to be reversed.

Finally, the distance from the jackshaft on the rear-mounted bracket I made, to the pulley on the broom, indicates I would need a belt around 112" or so, which are more difficult to get in high-power belts (vs fraction hp belts).

Unfortunately, I cut out the front mount for the jackshaft to use it as part of the rear mount (circled in red in the pic below), so I cut another length of bar, drilled the hole in the middle, and welded it in place. It was a little easier than the first time, as I could line it up with the stubs from the previous piece, and the jackshaft installed on the new mount lines up properly with the pulley on the engine.
IMG_1364 mod.jpg

Tomorrow, I have to buy some more belts that should be readily available (46" and 63" or so), and then work on making a lever for raising/lowering the brush. Then I need to figure out how much force needs to be put on that lever to raise the broom, so I can then calculate how strong of an actuator I would need to buy to do it.

Once I can raise/lower the broom, I can test how the brush works, and see if I need to modify the jackshaft pulleys, as the one to the broom doesn't line up too well with the broom's pulley.

Oh, I also noticed that the corners of the bracket that the broom mounts to (circled in red in the pic below, which also shows the mount for the jackshaft was cut out), interferes with the rotation of the caster wheels. I'll probably cut off the corners, then add some more braces to the middle, as the broom both weights a decent amount (about 200-250 lbs or so) and all that weight is carried by that bracket when the broom is lifted, as well as handling the forces from shoving that weight around while using the broom.
IMG_1369 mod.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Got the belts, and I think I nailed both lengths. Got everything together, with the belts, cut off the corners interfering with the caster wheels, started it up, and the broom brooms in the correct direction. Yay. Then it kind of folded in half around the pivot point between the broom and the drive unit because the original broom lifting mechanism also has a stop to prevent this from happening. So, I've begun making a similar lifting mechanism, but didn't get it done.

Bercomac did something annoying as part of their broom, in that they used washers as a spacer between the gearbox and it's mount. Normally, it's NBD, but in this case, they are vertical, there's no way to hold them in place during assembly (they are at the back of a box holding the gearbox), so they don't readily stay in place. After trying and failing a couple of times, I finally decided to glue the washers in place with RTV. Makes a bit of a mess, but it's not visible at all, and it should hold them in place if I need to disassemble it again. And if I ever remove the gearbox entirely, I'll probably weld the washers in place.

Here of some pics of 2 of the 3 washers (you can just see them at the end of the bolt holes):
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Discussion Starter #9
Well, it took a lot longer than I planned to make the lifting mechanism, there was a lot of thinking, then fabbing, then doh, cutting bits off, and more thinking and more fabbing, and finally late tonight, I got about 80% done [I can lift/lower the broom using a handle, but it's not bent to be more convenient to use from the operators position, it needs proper limit posts for the range it's supposed to have, and I need to figure out how to make another handle (or put an electric actuator somewhere else), as now the lifting handle interferes with one of the caster wheels when the broom is lowered. Sorry no pics, as I did a short test of the broom in my garage, and that gave me a wicked headache from the carbon monoxide...

And I need to add some weight to the rear of the drive unit, as, in particular with the broom raised, the drive wheels didn't have a lot of traction.

It's done enough that I hope to test it out tomorrow, as we are supposed to get about 1/2 to 1 inch of snow.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It's a larger walk-behind power broom. I've got a Ariens 36" brush, but I've got some larger area's to do snow removal on now, and the Ariens doesn't do a great job. So, I'll see how this works.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, we got too much snow (about 3") to use the broom, but I did get a chance to try it out on a driveway that was mostly cleared (I had done it with my plow, but it had been driven on, so it was a little uneven, so there was still some snow to clear). The broom itself worked very well, didn't leave any streaks behind (the Ariens Power Brush will leave some down the middle because it's got a gearbox in the middle of the brush), the engine didn't bog down at all and the belts didn't seem to slip at all.

So, as a incomplete prototype, it worked ok. I would say the main negative thing is that it is a little longer than I would like, as it will be tricky to get both it and my plow unit onto the trailer at the same time, and be able to load and unload them reasonably quickly.

Some pics of it:
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Now to begin the long list of stuff to make it work right/better:
-hydro controllers need to be rebuilt/fixed (unit will drive forward or backward sometimes when "parked")
-engine leaks oil
-engine surges, likely doesn't start well when it's chilly out (ie, -25C)
-fab up an angling mechanism that can be worked from the operators position
-raise the operators controls about 5-6 inches (I'm 6'5", and they are just way to low for me)
-change the pto switch to an rocker-style switch, that can be operated without needing to "park" the controls
-make an electrically-operated (either via an actuator or a winch) method for raising/lowing the broom, that doesn't interfere with the caster wheels, that can be operated without needing to "park" the controls
-add about 100 lbs to the rear of the drive unit, for traction when the broom is raised
-replace tubes and bearings in front wheels
-get a second set of rear wheels with snow tires on them, and replace existing tires (they are pretty cracked from sitting in the sun, and one tire went flat in just a couple days, I had to fill the tire up to try it out today, after I had checked/filled the tires on Thursday)
-add some tie-down points for transport

Easy peasy.
 

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Mr Fix It
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Looks cool. Would work nice on paver drive . Make sure that the brush is supported. Too much down pressure will wear it down quickly. My 3 cents


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It's mounted the same way (or rather, very similar to) it would be on a lawn tractor. The "Y" you see on the broom, the lower part of it is threaded rod, which adjusts the pressure of the broom, and between the drive unit holding the mount at a certain height, and the caster wheels on the broom head itself, the broom is supported fine.

The only info I couldn't find out is how high to put the main connecting pin, so I had to guess at it to make the belt pulleys roughly level. It's pretty close.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Bearings in the front wheels are, uh, I believe "shot" is the correct technical term:
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And this is the good bearing. The other one, the roller bearings fell out via the through-hole when I tilted the wheel on it's side.

I also got the one wheel with it's valve stem partially sheered off by the front fork fixed by having a new tube installed with only a short valve stem on it.
Unfortunately, I didn't take the other front wheel, as I noticed the wheels have two slightly different tire sizes on them (11x4.0-5 vs 4.10x3.50-5), which are visibly different in diameter, so I'll make them both 11x4.0-5 [primarily because the store has this size, and doesn't have a slick of the other size]. And I need to get longer spacer-bushings, as they gave me 4" long ones, while the original ones are 4 1/4" long. I expect they'll only have 5" ones, which I can cut down to the right length.

Also replaced both rear tires with 18x6.50-8 Carlisle Snow Hogs, as that tire pattern works decently on my plow, and the one tire is going flat right away now (no idea why, it was holding air fine all winter, and in the last couple days, it was going flat overnight).
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And, I'll end with a shout out to CasterLand, here in Edmonton, AB for their good prices and awesome service. I had asked for Snow Hogs when I came in, but the guy couldn't find that size in their system (18x6.5-8 or 18.7.5-8, only 16x....), so he suggested some knobby tires instead (18x9-8 I think), I said ok and they installed them and were working on the front tire, when I double-checked the Snow Hog tire size on their web site, and found the 18x6.5-8 size snow hog there, and then he found it in their system via the part number I read to him, and they had 2 in stock, so they swapped those two on my rims for no additional charge (and the tires were each $20 more expensive...). And I found the place totally by accident, as I was looking for caster wheels, and regularly drove by a shop called CasterTown, and googling for their web site, I misremembered the name and came up with CasterLand, and their web site listed a gajillion caster wheels, but also a bunch of tires and wheels for tractors/atvs/trailers.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Went back to CasterLand yesterday, to get the front tires matched (should have taken both tires in the day before). One was 4.10x3.50-5, and the other was 11x4.00-5 (visually different tire diameters), and they didn't have 4.10-x3.50-5 (this tire looked better, so I would have preferred to keep it), so I had it changed to a new 11x4.00x5 4ply slick, and then comparing the new tire with the used 11x4.00-5, the used one was visibly larger and rounded from age and wear, so I had it changed to a new tire as well.

They didn't have longer wheel spacers in stock, so I made new spacers for the front wheels from some tubing I had. I cannot believe how bad the old bearings and spacer were.
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New boots installed:
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Today, I fabbed up some 7" extensions for the handlebars. Still have to extend the hydro control rods to match, and also lengthen the wiring harness.
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Discussion Starter #17
Bought a waterproof rocker switch and then fabbed up a mount for it, so I can toggle it without having to lock the controls. I was going to wiring it in place of the existing push/pull switch, but it's got the logic for killing the engine if the pto is enabled and the operator presence switches are open, so instead, I'll keep the existing button and just wire my toggle switch inline, so all the safety features are retained.

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Discussion Starter #18
Lengthened the wiring harness, and spliced in the new rocker switch inline with the existing pto button, bolted/wrapped everything down, and tested the switch out and it works fine.

Also lengthened the 2 hydro control rods just under 8" so they will work with the newly raised handlebars. I butt-welded them, then put some short pieces of tubing over the welded portions for additional support, as the way Husqvarna has configured their system, these rods are always under compression, so they want to bend:
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Discussion Starter #19
Made some new "swivels" for the control rods, as the old ones were ovalled. And when I rebuild the hydro controllers, I'll fix the arms on them that these go into, as they are ovalled as well.

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Installed the control rods, and then worked on removing the height-adjustment lever, as it's stuck (evidently, the P.O. never noticed the grease nipple).
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Today I got the deck height-adjustment lever off, it's been stuck since I bought it. I had to make a prying tool to help get it off, as it was really stuck on the bushings it's supposed to rotate in. I had to pry off a flat bushing, then break off the flange off a flanged bushing, before being able to pound it out of tube it rides in. Then I had to cut off one of the bushings from the inside shaft (the one with that I busted the flange off), but was able to salvage the other bushing by alternating between brake cleaning fluid and penetrating oil to get it off. Now, I need to replace the inside shaft attached to the lever, as when I pounded on the end of it, it got mushroomed a bit (easy to fix with an angle grinder), but the groove for the retaining clip also got mashed together.

I also removed the engine from the frame, in order to fix the crankshaft seal.
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