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blackfarms1

Building a pulling tractor

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blackfarms1
Hello, I would like to get into garden tractor pulling. I don't know the first thing about it but thought it would be good family fun. Would like to start in stock or stock altered class and maybe go up from there. I have several 7000 series simps and 700 series ac's also a few 7790 and 920 diesels. I am leaning toward the latter because they are different. They say the hydro's won't be competitive. They also say buy a cub cadet. Does anyone have suggestions or could you send me in the right direction? I would like to see for myself that the orange cannot compete. Thanks in advance. Sean

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HubbardRA
Simplicities make great pullers in the Stock and Stock Altered classes. The only reason to go to Cub Cadets for the high-powered classes is because of the availability of parts, especially in the tranny, differential, and clutch areas. Even in the stock and altered classes the Cubs need their clutch modified. The Simplicity belt drive will take it, if you use the green Gates commercial belts. Actually the most common stock tractors around here are the Sears Customs and Suburbans made by Roper. You want to run a basic 3-speed tranny. You will have enough problems keeping the belt from slipping that you don't need the headaches of a shuttle or variable. Yes, the hydros will waste a significant amount of power. If you want to pull with a hydro, then you have to change the pulleys so that after the tractor gets moving, the control valve is wide open, so that it isn't throttling the fluid flow and causing power loss. Also the Sunstrand trannys cannot be operated at more than 3600 rpm. Pick up a set of rules from the sanctioning organization who puts on the pulls. Every pulling group has rules that are a little different. Some let you do quite a bit with the tractors, some allow very little. Set up your tractor around the rules (weights, engine, safety shields, etc). Do not build the tractor first and then see where it fits. Guaranteed that it will not fit well into the class, unless it is put together to fit that class. I have seen this happen many times. If you want to read the rules that we pull to in this area, go to SVTPA.com and download a set. Pay particular attention to tractor weight, tire size and engine size. Make the tractor fit a class, then buy the allowable tires. Don't try to put a 250 lb person in a 900lb tractor class, that doesn't leave any weight to move around to balance the tractor. In other words know the rules and then configure your tractor(s) to the best class for that specific setup. First rule of pulling is that you want the biggest engine and biggest tires allowed in your class. Second rule is that you need to be able to balance the chassis. You want the front tires to stay on the ground (or rise slightly) with no pressure between the tires and the ground. This means that all of the weight is on the rear tires to create traction. If you have any specific questions, PM or email me and I will try to help. By the way, I pulled for nearly 20 years, so I know a little about it. Rod

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john-holcomb
Rod, Has given very good advice, and I totally agree with what he says. I have pulled my 3410 for a number of years with good results. I am almost always in the top 4 or 5 and have a couple of season championships in the 1150 and 1050 pound classes. Pure stock 10HP but very good in the upper weight classes all the way up to 1250#. My son has also had good luck in the 550# class with his 707. Good luck and have lots of fun.

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PeppyDan
I also agree with Rod & John. One other thing worth mentioning is not only the engine hp but also the type. Some clubs do not allow diesels or will have classes just for them. One ohio club is talking about not allowing overhead valve engines and they go by cubic inch displacement instead of the hp so again check the rules. Here is a link to a club in my area. http://www.geocities.com/wogtpa/ Dan

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Willy
I live a short ways from Antic Acres,about twice a year they have a show plowing etc. They also have garden tractor pulls. For years I had a sears super 7, and I had people that seen me use it stop and ask to buy it for a pulling tractor,it had a 2 speed rear end,and a 7 hp Tecumseh eng.All tho it had plenty of power I found it hard to Imagen it as a pulling tractor,but not being versed on pulling I must have been wrong.sm02
[img]/club2/attach/Willy/Watching.jpg[/img]

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Chris727
Check out this site: http://members.aol.com/pullingtractor He is in Columbia, I went by his place one day but he didn't answer the door. I think he is more into cubs but he builds the sleds and could probably give you some tips. If I find anything else I will post it. Chris

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HubbardRA
Elon, what was the reason for the vari-drive tranny? I thought they were just three-speeds with longer shafts to accommodate the vari-drive units. I knew they could be used, but didn't know they were any different from a 3-speed like I used.

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ehertzfeld
Rod I was told a few times that the internals were made stronger. Don't know if that is true, but seeing I had one doing nothing, I went with that.:D

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TimJr
The 3 speeds are pretty much all the same, regardless of the belt that is on it. To be different, use a shuttle trans - 4 speeds, but change the pulleys to regular ones for a single v-belt. That will give you a couple of better choices for gearing on different tracks or different weight classes. It does lose reverse for you, but these tractors can be pushed easy enough. When I built my tractor, and was deciding if I wanted to track down a shuttle trans, the ratios of 2nd and 3rd of the shuttle were just above and just below 2nd gear of a 3 speed. Check out old sales brochures for the rated ground speeds - ya figure tire size and engine speeds were the same, and even if pulley sizes aren't the same, it the percentage of change between gears we are concerned with. Use a 7000 series or later clutch set up - it pulls the belt into the pulleys, unlike the older clutch pictured above, which actually pulls the belt away from the drive pulleys. I could go on and on... Just ask! Hey John, is that 3410 the one you bought at the shop a few years ago? PM me with your email - I have a pic of that tractor pulling in Fremont in about 1989 or 1990!

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MikeES
Sean, my son and I have been pulling ACs for over 9 years. We have pulled in the Stock and Stock Altered classes. We pull a 917 with a 20hp Magnum engine and a 718 with a 18hp OHV engine. Both are 3-speeds with quick change pulleys. We almost always pull in 2nd gear and change pulleys for weight and conditions. We have many 1sts, championships and trophies. Rod has summed things up very well. If area clubs allow it pull the Diesel! Split the tractor and put a 3-speed behind the diesel. Go through the tube axle and differential to make sure all keyways are TIGHT or you will destroy them. If your tube axle components are in good shape you will have no problems. Also I recommend to take out the springs in the differential and put in the spacers (old style differential). We pulled with a close friend with a 7790 diesel and he was hard to beat (see picture). Also the clubs may require an air shut off for the diesel, but our experience is that the fuel pump shut off is aa quick as a gas engine ignition.




You can read the story that I wrote about pulling in SimpleTractos, maybe someone can attach the link. I can't get links to stick. There are many here that can help (and glad to) with you with your project. Let me know what other options you have for engines and transmissions. P.S. 10 years ago our friend Ivan with the diesel was the first to pull a AC or Simplicity (he pulled a B212 then). Then my son and I were the 2nd. Because of our success with ACs, now there can 12+ show up a most pulls (we may even out number the Cubs someday).

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blackfarms1
Thanks for all the quick responses guys. Between my Dad and I we have over 40 rbt's. Not a single 3 speed in the bunch. Will a 3 speed out of a 7100 or 7000 work just the same? Also will they bolt up to the diesel without much modification? I will probably put it back to mowing grass again. Is the weighting mostly trial and error until you get it right? Thanks again. Sean

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Chris727
Sean, 3 speeds were available on the landlord 3410, and 7010, I don't know if they made a plain 3 speed available on the 7100's or not, and I don't know if the 700 series AC offered a 3 speed.

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MikeES
Sean, you split the tractor in the middle and any of the rear ends will bolt up to the front end. The best bet is to find a later 3 speed or 6-speed with the steel welded hubs vs. the cast iron hubs. A tractor with the longer side irons (any RBT) to make your existing fender deck work. You can make a shuttle or vari-speed work also. As previouly state some clubs rules require the tractor to have a reverse, and shuttle will not give you a reverse. My tractors have a 3-speeds with shuttle side irons (rear framing) on one tractor and vari-speed side irons on the other. Also a vari-drive will work if you stay 12hp and lower. To weight the tractor it is trial and error. The main thing with the AC/Sim is having a center weight bar as close to the rear tires as possible. We carry 90% to 100% of the weight on the center bar. Usually a few weights on the front bar and rarely use rear bar.

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HubbardRA
Sean, Weighing the tractor is the most critical part of pulling. It is not too hard to get in the ballpark. Winning the pull usually depends on who can balance their tractor the best. The front/rear balance is different for every pull down the track. The track will be different every time, even if you only pull in one location. Track preparation, and moisture in the dirt can change the traction, which will cause you to need to re-balance the tractor. I always used the front and rear weight bars more than the middle one. Just a small weight moved from the rear to the front will make a large change in the balance of the tractor. I have even been known to run an uneven right/left balance to compensate for tracks that want to pull the tractor to one side. Some of these things, like Mike using the middle bar, and me using front and rear, are just personal preferences. The basics are the same. Another difference between Mike's setups and mine is that I Used either locked or very tight limited slip rears in my tractors. All of mine were set up for body steering, since the front wheels were not really in contact with the ground if the setup was right. You could steer my tractors by putting more of your body weight on one rear tire versus the other. As I said, we all do things differently, that is why we all can't win every time. Local rules affect the way you setup and run the tractor. I see that Mike has turfs on one tractor, and 26x12x12 tires on the other. We did not have a specific turf tire class, so nobody ran them. We also always ran in the lighter classes and so we were limited to 23x10.5x12 tires in those classes. As I said, you must set your tractor up according to the rules.

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ehertzfeld
The club up here in New England only allows up to 10.5 AGs or Turfs. If you put 26 inch tires, you go to the higher modified classes. Cutting tires is a huge no, no up here. Most of the guy's I talked to around here said that turfs are better than the Ag's. It depends on your tracks dirt and such. The best thing you can do is to talk to some one who pulls around you. They can tell you what tires pull better.

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TimJr
That is why pulling is still so cool - variety and homemade ingenuity. Not like big time cookie cutter stock car racing - which just continues to let me down more and more.... Anyway, pulling! Don't forget safety. Can't skimp there. Make sure wheelie bars and such are built tough. Drawbars need to be certain sizes for the chain hook. Make sure weight brackets can handle the weight. A solid seat - don't want to fall off the back when you are leaning back to get a little better bite. Run a kill switch, some clubs will require it anyway. If you get into a class where you can crank up the RPM's, put on side shields. Pulling accidents don't happen often, but remember that the people watching you are often your own family and friends. Tim

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MikeES
I have a set of turfs and lugs for both tractors. Up here in Wisconsin we have alot of blacktop pulls. Many events are right down main street of many small towns. Lug tires do not have enough surface area for pulling on asphalt or concrete. All clubs around here allow shaving/tapering the lugs. If they allow it, it makes a HUGE difference. Like Rod said it is all about getting what hp you have to the track. All hp in the world will not do much good if you are not balanced right and not getting the proper traction with your tires. BTW - tire pressure is improtant! Depending on the track and conditons we can run a low as 4psi with the Goodyear lugs to as high as 24psi in the Carisle turfs. It took us 2 years to get into consistant wins. We did that by taking lots of notes at each pull and using that as a reference so we made better and better setup decisions at each pull.

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