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TracVac mods

4838 Views 15 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  sploke
In the spring, I picked up a leaf vac trailer that is a bit of a mess. The system was originally a Trac-Vac system that was a fixed mount setup on the hitch plate. I have the original mounting frame and the collection bin, which was pretty small. Somewhere along the way a trailer was added to the system, the bin was removed, but the blower and motor were left on the hitch plate mounting frame, which made it somewhat lopsided.

The leaves are falling, so I figured it was about (past) time I started working on this thing. The first thing I did was decide to change the blower motor to a 3ph mount. I cut off the plate from the original mount and welded on some rod and flat stock to convert it.

Here's the original framework. The stub on the bottom is where I cut off the engine mounting plate:

Wood Plywood

I got the 3ph part hooked up, but ran into problems attaching the blower housing. The system was repowered with a Predator engine, and the muffler interferes with the housing. Here was my first (admittedly poor) attempt at fixing that:

Machine tool Machine

I figured if I raised the muffler up a bit it would clear the blower housing. Well, it clears the housing but now interferes with the outlet hose that runs to the trailer. It also points right at the back of the tractor seat, so that's not going to work. I need to pick up some iron pipe and work something else out.

Here are the rest of the blower parts:

Machine Metal

This thing was held together with quite the random assortment of nuts, bolts, screws, metric and SAE, nylok nuts, lockwashers, who knows. I'm going to pick up some new hardware to standardize everything. Attempt two tonight after some more welding. I did get it mounted on the back of the tractor last night but didn't get a pic, I'll grab one tonight. More to come.
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I don't know if it's factory or not however I have a trac vac three point mount at home, I could post a picture if you would like to see it.
Hopefully around 3 pm
here they are


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Interesting, what category hitch is that set up for? Thanks for posting the pics!
Just cat zero
Got a little more work done last night. I bought some iron pipe and redid the exhaust pipe for the muffler. It looks pretty goofy, but it keeps the muffler away from the exhaust hose from the blower, the gas tank and the tractor. My concerns were a) not melting the vacuum hose, b) not impeding access to the air cleaner, and c) not blowing myself up if I need to fill up the gas tank after the engine's been running. I need to add a support strut on the opposite side of the engine since the long pipe and muffler act like such a lever on the exhaust flange. I know it's crooked, but it was on purpose to provide as much clearance as possible from the blower.
Vehicle Automotive tire Car Tire Automotive wheel system

Here it is from a better angle to see the orientation to the mower deck
Motor vehicle Vehicle Auto part Machine Car

How it hangs on the 3ph
Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive tire Mode of transport Tire

I need to get a longer hose to go from the deck to the blower:
Machine Bumper Metal

In any case, I got it all running last night. Man that thing moves some air! The only problem is that predator engine has a really back knocking going on with it. I checked the valve clearance and its good, cylinder face looks good, and the motor runs strong. I'm wondering if something in the recoil starter is catching and making noise. It's a loud knock or tap once every revolution, at idle all the way up through WOT and doesn't seem to change whether the engine is warm or cold. It happened with and without the blower mounted to the engine PTO shaft.
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From your description of the knock I think you'll be looking for another predator.
Run it till it blows up then get another one. SS/16 looks good Matt :fing32: how's the new tractor?
From your description of the knock I think you'll be looking for another predator.
Mike least I have another one on the shelf that was intended for a tiller repower. Maybe I'll swap that one on and see if I can tear into this one.

Run it till it blows up then get another one. SS/16 looks good Matt :fing32: how's the new tractor?
Haha good advice, thanks. The new beast hasn't been run much, we're remodeling a bathroom right now so that's taken priority over landscaping. That will most likely get put off until spring, but I have to get the fluids changed in preparation for snow duty at least.
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but I have to get the fluids changed in preparation for snow duty at least.
Yeah, that 10' driveway better watch out!! :sidelaugh :hide: :fing32:
Hey come on its at least 25. :p The biggest problem last winter was the snowbanks got too high and my little blower couldn't throw the wet stuff high enough to get it out of the driveway. At least now I'll be able to clear them.
Well I figured out the issue with the predator last usual, caused by my rushing things and inattentiveness to cleanliness. See thread here.
Problem solved!
Moving forward!
Darn straight. I had a second predator on the shelf, brand new, so I swapped the two out. I got the hose straightened out from the deck to the blower. This weekend I need to do some work on the trailer and get that hose straightened out, and then I'm just waiting on a new deck drive belt which is en route. I have a brand new set of hi-lift gator blades I'll sharpen up and put in there as well. None too soon, as the leaves are beginning to fall.
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