Hi all, it's been a long time since I've posted anything up here but I thought you might like to see my new build knowing how much you like something different..
My original plan was to build a Zero turn mowing machine out of this Wheel Horse raider 10 I had just bought.. It came with no engine (the green engine was a spare and I needed somewhere to put it!), no bonnet, no seat..
And plenty of rust!
Then one day after buying a new bonnet and rust free-ish fender pan for it I thought just out of interest I would turn the chassis upside down just to see how much extra space it created under the bonnet.. Loads of space which got me thinking about engines
A couple of days later I was offered something which would change the whole direction of the build.. Any ideas of a zero turn mower went out the window at this point..
Here's a couple of clues..
And an even bigger clue
It didn't take long to get the engine out, a nice compact all in one sort of unit, 500cc and 48hp with a 9500rpm re line..
It looks like the engine was made to fit
When I read the words "High Speed" on one of the front tyres, it was almost like the Wheel Horse was telling me I'm doing the right thing
The plan was to use the original Wheel Horse trans and have a "best of both worlds" sort of machine.. Low ratio for normal garden tractor kinda stuff and high ratio for a bit of "side ways, hold on" sort of action.. But once the numbers were worked out it came up with a top speed of only 10mph!! I could of got that using an original 10hp engine and a change of pulleys!
Plan B.. A 400cc quad axle from Fleabay No idea which model quad it was from as this was nearly a year ago and the long term..er... thingy isn't what it once was
It even came with a diff lock which could be handy..
Top speed was now a tad under 70mph but the axle did have a problem the seller forgot to mention.. I very worn diff with loads of play! I just didn't feel it would handle the abuse it would get without self destructing!
Plan C involved more online shopping and this time Fleabay came up trumps with a good condition Reliant Rialto 2 rear end.
It may need a bit of narrowing me thinks
Grafting the end of the Reliant prop to the Honda one shouldn't prove too much of a problem.. But it will be the very last engineering job done to stop me from taking it out for a drive until it's ready
To work out the rest of the chassis I needed to know where the rear wheels and axle would be, and how narrow the axle would be so I could work out where it's mountings would go.
So with the distance between the rear wheels measured..
And the chassis firmly fixed to the bench..
I dug the Reliant axle out.. Each side is painted a different colour so I don't get confused when I put it back together again
The standard width Reliant axle is 1288mm hub to hub.. I need one that's 780mm in width.. So I need to narrow it by 508mm or 254mm each side
Chopped and inner sleeves made from turned down scaffold pipe..
Welded back together..
Yep, that's a very narrow Reliant axle
To get the axle back in the right position in relation to the chassis I needed to take measurements from the center of the axles which were no back in the axle casing.. So here's a handy tip on finding the center of axle casings..
Bolt a thin bit of steel to the end of the axle case and tap it lightly with a small hammer until you can see the edges of the axle hole..
When you unbolt the thin plate you have a perfect hole outline on the inside.. Measure the axle hole diameter, divide it by 2, set your compass to the measurement and then mark the inside of the thin plate like so.. Where the lines overlap is the center.. Just give it a gentle tap with a center punch so you can see the center form the outside surface..
A pair of stands keep the axle in the right place and right angle..
Axle mounts tacked on.
Lower frame rails going in..
Top frame rails going in.. No chassis jig here, just lot's of careful measuring, cutting and clamping..
Getting the top and bottom rails to have the same "kick out" at the back was interesting
That looks a bit stronger now the top and bottom rails are linked together..
Then work had to stop for a while for yet another house move, so a trailer rear axle..
Was carefully fixed to the frame to aid moving it into my new workshop
Jumping back a week or so while playing with the wheel hub fitment I happened to have a Qwackersaki Gpz 305 brake caliper to hand... This got me thinking
With the new wheel centers done I had a more serious think about fitting front brakes.. I knew space would be rather tight! I made a fake brake disc from a bit of scrap ally to see how big a disc I could fit in.. 5 inch diameter discs as it happened which may sound small, but as the front tyres only have a small contact area on the tarmac too much braking power would only cause the front wheels to lock up! You may notice the trailer hub has been on a diet and only the hub and spindle bit remain. The ruler is me thinking about steering geometry..
After lot's of research it soon became clear that I could not just "buy" brake discs to the dimensions I needed which left me with only one option.. Make my own
But first a few scribblings.
Which helped turn a lump of this..
In to one of these hub extension thingys..
Machine the back of the wheel hub a little..
And the extension thingy fits.
This 5mm thick flat plate has an anti rust coating but more importantly the steel is very hard stuff, good for making brake discs from but a right pain to machine!
That looks a bit more disc like
It all fits inside the wheel Now I will admit this making my own brake discs lark is a real step into the unknown.. I hope the steel is hard enough to do the job.. It may work, it may not.. Only one way to find out
By this point I was sick of lathe work, it felt like I had been constantly turning metal for months on end.. So the brake parts were carefully stored away while I turned my attention to a different part of the build.
There's nothing like a good bit of bodywork to make it feel like your making real progress, so I turned my attention to the rear bodywork or fender pan as it's otherwise known..
As the seat bolt's through the fender pan I needed to know where the seat was going.. As low as possible to keep he center of gravity lower.. Only one way to work that out
As you can see then fender pan needed a lot of work to make it fit.. It needs to be wider, higher above the wheels, but a lot lower in the middle..
This frame was added to the chassis to give me a starting point at the right height. It was later cut off and replaced with a bigger frame..
The only parts of the original fender pan which were not rotten was the wheel arch sections.. These came in handy for extending the er.. Wheel arch's being careful to keep the curves flowing and lining up as they should..
The rear bit of the arch extensions didn't quite line up, but I have a plan
That's looking a bit wider, but how to sort out the drop in the middle?
With some metal shelves pulled off the scrap heap of course
With a couple of bit of scrap steel tacked to the arches to keep them in the right place I could work out how to tie the arches and base together. Cardboard came in handy..
As did these scrap pile finds
Bending a curve..
Nigel's bead roller came in handy for putting a swage line in, in the original Wheel Horse style.
A view of the patchwork of plates from above..
The fronts of the arches went from this..
To this...... Shame I now need to change the shape of it as you will see later on in the build.
The finished fender pan. Ok, it still needs a little more work but that can wait until I'm at the paint prep stage.