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Variable Drive


B-206

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How dependable were the variable speed drives? What I am asking is can they pull a plow? Do they push snow very good? Were there any problems with them? Thanks
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I had an Allis Chalmers 314D with a vari drive and it was and still is a strong work horse. I sold it to another club member and he is currently plowing snow with it. I think they are very strong and I am sure others will agree with me.
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The variable drives in the large framed tractors were just as heavy as the 3 speeds and hydros, all were built for use with "ground engaging implements." The only problem is that as the linkages often get worn, as the tolerances increase performance decreases. The drive belt is also pretty expensive. I have 2 variables, a B-210 and B-212 and after a proper readjustment they are working very well.
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midnightpumpkin
The main complaint I have with our Variable Speed B-210 is that the max ground speed is pretty low. I can't seem to get around this issue with adjustments. I believe most of the wear in the linkages has been removed by welding and redrilling holes, building up wear surfaces etc. I have a brand new Simplicity drive belt on it. John U
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John, sounds like you have something wrong. My B-210 is faster than most of my regular 3 speed tractors, though I have an older and more worn belt that will ride lower in the pulleys.
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midnightpumpkin
Chris727 Any chance you could post a picture or two of where the drive belt rides in the pulleys in the Hi Speed position? I have an old belt and a new belt, both have this issue. I agree something is not right, but I haven't been able to pinpoint the problem. Thanks, John U
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I just want to point out for newbies that this discussion is of the variable speed used on the large-frame tractors and the Allis 300/400 series. It is NOT relevant to the "variators" used on the 5200/6000 series Simplicity machines -- that is a totally different system, to my knowledge...
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Regan the variable speed "large frame" garden tractors are tough. The biggest complaints I've heard are usually cured by taking the time to read the adjustment procedure in the manual and then following that procedure precisely step by step. Shortcuts in adjusting the variable speed are garrenteed to cause problems! One of the things you do have to watch out for are bent linkages whee someone tried to force the lever when the tractor was sitting still. Only move the lever to change speeds when the tractor is moving. I've used my 3012V to till,plow snow,push brush up in piles,break sod ground with the 10" plow and numerous other heavy jobs. As for top speed,only my 17GTH hydro is faster than the 3012V. Larry
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In the past I have used my 3318 V for all the chores. I have had no problems with it form snow blowing to tilling work good for me. I'd take my V over an H or a S.
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Don't know if you have seen this online or not - this may help http://www.simplicitymfg.com/manuals/ then put 990494 for mfg # There's a process in there for belt adjustment. It's not exact because of wear, but it'll get you close enough to wing it.
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" Only move the lever to change speeds when the tractor is moving" Or with the tranny in neutral so the rear pulley can spin free. My belt rides to the top of the bgb pulley and bottomed out on the tranny pulley in high range. Biggest issue I had with mine is it was worn bad when I got the B-112, the 3 pin holes in the pullies were twice as big "front to back" as they were top to bottom. Don't remember the figure but getting replacements was spendy back then, wow, that'll be 9 years ago this spring. Now it mostly blows snow but I have used it hard with everything but a tiller on it and so far only did minor adjustments a couple times..
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midnightpumpkin
All this positive talk about the variable drive has renewed my interest in making ours work like it was intended. The 3 pins in the pulleys on both ends seem to be in good shape with no elongation of the holes. What I do see that is questionable is the linkage rod AH in the diagram below.
[img]http://pic15.picturetrail.com/VOL578/3246133/19205526/352391258.jpg[/img]
The hole where Bolt AF and spacer AG go through the linkage is oblong. It is about 3 times as long as the diameter of the bolt. This "slot" looks like it was punched that way at the factory, it is very uniform unlike an elongated hole would be. Is this hole supposed to be round? As I said in a previous post, we have welded up worn holes and replaced worn studs. This linkage issue would reduce the throw of the speed lever. I definetely dont see the belt bottom out on the tranny pulley and be at the top of the BGB pulley as Marty describes. Thanks for your responses. John U
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Yes, the hole where AF goes through is supposed to be slotted. Read the set directions carefully and you will see that this slot is a critical adjustment. My 712V (formerly a 3314V) adjusted to spec is just slightly slower than a hydro. But I have mine adjusted for tractor pulling and it is slightly faster than a hydro in 3rd gear. With vari lever all the way forward, the belt is just slightly sticking out beyond the edges of the drive pulley, and the belt is down against the transition (angled to straight area) of the driven pulley.
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As I recall (which often isn't very accurate -- Doh! :O) -- it is a round hole, and part number AG is not a spacer but rather a bushing that goes inside that hole. P is simply a washer. The bushing allows the bolt AF to be tightened (there's a flat washer and lock washer before the nut), yet the rod AH can pivot on the connection. AH pivots on the bushing AG... My 3112V has a snow cab on it now, so I can't easily check. Hope that makes sense.
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midnightpumpkin
MikeES and Kent, I am now thinking you may both be correct. The slot is in the pivot arm AB not in the linkage. I am going to go out and try to take some pictures of my setup. John U
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There are slots in both ends of AB, as I recall, and the slots run in opposite directions -- one end the slot it cross-ways, on the other end it is length-wise. These allows the distance between those connecting points to remain the same, when that AB linkage pivots.
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midnightpumpkin
I just came in from spending some time in the barn. I believe all is as it should be with the pivot arm. Slots in both ends in opposite directions. The issue looks to me to be one of not being able to tighten the belt enough when the clutch is released. This is a B-210, the belt is pn 164080. It looks as though a 1" shorter belt would solve the problem. This is the correct pn for this tractor. Interesting point, page 16 of the belt reference shows this to be a 54.0" belt, page 17 lists it as 53.1". Anybody have any insight here? John U
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John, The adjustment to take up slack in the belt is the other linkage rod from that pivot, that has threaded lock nut on it. It's like an eybolt, where turning the large nut makes the rod longer, and the locknut just holds that adjustment.
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midnightpumpkin
Kent, The problem is, the jamb nuts on the end of clutch rod are all the way to the end of the rod, and the belt is still not tight enough. To get the belt to tighten up, I have to squeeze the rear pulley together (increased diameter) with the turnbuckle adjustment . That's where I loose all the speed. John U
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midnightpumpkin
After reading the procedure again
[img]http://pic15.picturetrail.com/VOL578/3246133/19271602/352417074.jpg[/img]
Step 1 says to loosend the bolt through the pivot arm. My bolt had a jamb nut on it and was already loose. The bushing AG was frozen into the linkage arm. I removed the bushing freed it up and reinstalled with a little white grease around it. I then followed step 1 tightening the bolt down against the bushing. This solved 90% of the problem. It looks like the cross shaft in the BGB has excessive end play which is not allowing the front pulley to be pulled all the way together with the linkage. I temporarily shimmed the linkage with some washers, I now have the belt riding the top of the BGB pulley and deep in the Trans pulley in the Hi position. Ground speed is now what it should be. Looks like a BGB rebuild is in order. Thanks for all your help on this, it got me off my duff and out in the barn for a while. John U
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Glad you got it working, John. Once you understand the "theory" of how these variable speeds work, they're not all that complicated, but they do have a lot more moving parts and adjustments than a simple three speed. Plus, they're durable -- the old Allis Gleaner combines used a very similar variable drive system, just a LOT bigger...
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watch out for the belt riding to low in the rear pulley ,It just cost me a BGB fix on my b-112 the belt got wedged down deep in the rear pulley and stoped the tranny dead and ripped the gears all up in a perfect BGB Another one leared the hard way
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I had problems keeping my 3314v varable in adjustment.----after several years I found the bearing on the back outer half pulley was bad and did not allow the back pulley to move in and out the way it should ---- replaced the outer back pully half with the same part from a parts tractor ----- works great now. Jay
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