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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Gang. Been mulling over what to tackle for my winter project. Came down to re-doing my Bungartz or doing a Gravely custom that I've been running through my head for about 3 years now. Chose doing the Gravely yesterday. Started digging in today and got a solid(well, for me) day in. Basically, I'm taking a running '80 8169, that I paid $200 for with a 60" deck, and attempting to build it to the picture I have in my head. I'm sure it will not appeal to the purists out there, so this is your last chance to turn away:Stop: OK, now for those of you that have chosen to stay, here is my mission goal. First, when done the tractors sole job will be to push/pull from both ends. It will also be a puller at the local club pulls. Second, when looked at there will be no mistake that it is a Gravely, not original, but still solidly Gravely. Third, some of the changes will reflect what I see as improvements to the Gravely design( I know, blasphemy!!! Off with the infidels head), both mechanically and esthetically. Some will pertain to it's job as my mule. And some will be there merely because to me they are just plain old cool and I want to see if I can do them and how/if they will work. I'm looking forward to the process and I'll keep you updated with my progress. I want to have it done for the summer pulls. Some pics so far.

This is what I'm starting with.









Time to tear it down.



Bye hydraulics, next stop eBay.



Off with the Briggs.



This is what was left at the end of the day. Stay tuned.





 

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Looks like a way fun project. Good day's work! Please keep those pix coming, always like to see what other folks are working on.
 

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and away we go! Really looking forward to seeing your progress!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Put a few more hours in on the custom. Some pics of the progress.

This 432 parter will donate to the cause.



The 432 down to the bare frame.



So now I have 2 frames, one from the 8169, the other from the 432. Some measuring and four cuts later with the sawzall.



Now I put the front of the 432 with the rear of the 8169. The result is a frame 9" longer than the 8169 was. Done for the night.





 

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There sure aint much to that frame but some sheet metal when you get down there... Vary nice.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
There sure aint much to that frame but some sheet metal when you get down there... Vary nice.
Yes, they do have that appearance, but they are very rigid and pretty darn heavy nonetheless.
 

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Discussion Starter #8

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Discussion Starter #10
Those look like some really square cuts for a sawzall. How did you do it?
I just marked them with a tri-square and free handed them with the sawzall. Had a good sharp bimetal blade.
 

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An immediate obstacle arises at this point. The steering. There was no steering on the 432 frame(I sold it to Kbeitz a while back). So I extracted the steering mechanism from the 8169 frame. As you can see it's in good shape, as is the pinion. It will be welded in the proper place in the 432 front.



Trouble being this location is now 9" forward from the steering shaft. Fortunately, I manufacture these at my company.

http://www.bfgmarine.com/products/universal_joints.html

We specialize in manual linkage systems. I plan on adding 2 u-joints with a short intermediate shaft. Each operates at up to 30 degrees. They are not 100% radially efficient, but close. And I figure I can make up the loss by closing the tolerances on the rest of the steering unit. Have to see if it works in the real world.
 

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I plan on adding 2 u-joints with a short intermediate shaft.
Cool. I wondered how you were going to approach that problem.

Does that mean that you'll be putting some kind of brace across the frame to locate the lower end of the steering column?
 

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looking pretty good cant wait to see the finished result
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Cool. I wondered how you were going to approach that problem.

Does that mean that you'll be putting some kind of brace across the frame to locate the lower end of the steering column?
Right now my plan is to support/locate the intermediate shaft with a weldment.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Are you fashioning steering brakes for this puller, and will you make an attempt to beef up the axle/hub connection?

I thought for a moment you were going to make it look like this



Nice work btw :fing32::fing32::fing32:
Thanks. No, on the steering brakes. Axle/hub still up in the air.

I've seen some stretched Gravely's in the past. I'm looking to maintain a little more scale. Which, to me, means going up, as well as out. Pure esthetics is driving me on some things.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I worked on setting up and tacking the frame last night. Took a little bit, but it came out nice and true. Tonight I wanted to mock it up to make sure I was achieving the look I was going for. Overall I was pleased. The rear tires will be pushed out another three inches to get the stance I want. Also the hood will be stretched 9 inches to match up with the frame lengthening. This will maintain the stock steering wheel/seat measurements. I got a chance to sit on it and it felt good. Nice and high. Took a few pics and included an original tractor pic for comparison. Feel free to give some feedback, good or bad, I know it's not for everybody.







 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks John. As it sits it has a 2" front rise, with 4-1/2" in the back. I might tweak it, but I want to bring out the rears a total of 6" before I decide. Going in I had kind of a "mudder rail" look in mind. Mocking it up was fun, but now I'm looking at some tedious time on the frame filling all those bolt holes:banghead3
 
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