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SmilinSam

Craftsman bucket conversion under way-DONE

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SmilinSam

Heres the bucket I picked up last weekend..

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Pulled the DA917 in the shop and pulled the bucket up to it. This may work our real well. The bucket mount frame is 14" wide out side to outside. As it turns out, the front of a 917 frame is ALSO 14" widedOd:D

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There are two sets of mounting brackets supplied with these buckets to mount on craftsman lawn tractors or garden tractors. Bolted to the outside of the Deutz/Simplicity frame they will be just right width wise to fit the bucket to. Heighthwise I wont know till I get to do some test fitting this week.Heres the one set of brackets I will use if heighth is right.

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Would be nice if these work, as the rear hole lines up with the lower rear hole on the tractor frame to put the bucket out ahead just far enough to clear the tires. Will just have to weld a plate between the brakets and bolt that through the existing holes in the front of the tractor frame. If these brakets dont work heighth wise, the second set of brackets are taller and can be modified to hang lower. We will have to see what progress this weekend will bring.

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SmilinSam
quote:Originally posted by Kent

Unless I'm mistaken those buckets are made by Swisher, for sale by Sears.


id="quote">
id="quote">Could very well be, its the exact same bucket shape as the Swisher brand atv bucket I got from TSC , reworked to fit same green 917, then sold to Gwiseman a while back..heres a shot of that one..

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The nice thing about this craftsman one is most of the work I did on the swisher atv bucket is already done on this onedOd

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SmilinSam

I had to cut the teeth off the swisher one because I couldnt get it to dump right with the added lengthXX(

I do note that the craftsman bucket is 36" wide. I think the swisher one I had is wider. Maybe Gene can chime in and give us a measurement sooner or later;)

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SmilinSam

I bolted the side plates onto the frame with a bolt in the rear hole in the bracket, then pinned the bucket on and propped the whole thing on a car jack under the crossrod up till the bracket sat level..

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I then installed the factory control levers and operated the bucket multiple times both dumping and raising. Only one thing needed changed for smooth comfortable operation. The return stop on the left side needed trimmed to clear the dump control rod.

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Heres the lift lever with the bucket in the raised position..

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Here it is in the down position..You can also see the dump lever on the other side with the bucket in the locked position. When it gets dumped that lever ends up down near the tractor foot plate. lower than the lift lever gets when it is down low.

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Both levers are actually fairly comfortable to operate from the tractor seat. A bit unsightly, but comfortable and really functional.The way this is designed the trip lever really would need to stay. You could remove it and the bracket it rides on, along with the rod to the bucket, but you would have to also remove the cable to thye spring loaded pin and replace that with a rope/guide setup like the early johnny buckets had. Doing it that way you would have to drop the bucket while reversing to relatch it. I kinda like the idea of being able to control the speed and amount of angle the bucket is dumped by using the lever setup.The lift lever could also be easily removed along with the mechanism it rides on. The whole bracket/catch assembly is only held on by a roll pin and two bolts. Remove those and just slide the assmebly off the shaft.

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You could also just remove the spring loaded pin and make a bracket to bolt into the piece that holds the lever then hook a regualr spring loaded lift rodto that and the tractor lift bracket to operate the lifting of the bucket.I look at this setup with the factory levers and keep thinking that you could leave it this way and simply be done with the project by making a bracket to mount between the side brackets and bolt to the front of the tractor frame. If you leave it this way you could use it with a mounted tiller to till up dirt and move.The bucket is also adjustable for lift heighth and lowering depth with sliding brackets and a choise of 2 pin points on the bottom arms..

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Not sure whih way to go at the moment. Today I will finish building the mount bracket and think about it.The main detraction for leaving the arms is the bucket would take up an inordinate amount of space to store without unbolting those arms everytime you took it off the tractor to put it away.Which way do you guys think would be best?

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SmilinSam

Just now got my bracket tack welded together tonight. Kents comment on "quality seat time" got me to thinking...and derailed my schedule the other day. I ended up taking a detour to my tractor seats and mowed & tilled up the finished gardens:D

Good advice, and simplifiies the project at this point.

I also found that this bucket does nnot take up that much space if stood on the bucket edge with the control levers leaning against a wall. The dump rod can be unhooked easily if you replace the inner cotter with a hairpin , which when unhooked allows that lever to lean loose against the wall flat.

I'll get some more pics this coming weekend when I get done and try it out..

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SmilinSam

Finished up the other day ready for trial runs..perhaps scooping fallen applesHeres the bracket, the only part needing made or altered to fit this bucket system to the tractor.As said earlier, I used the two smaller brackets supplied to fit to a Craftsman garden tractor. The welded pins on them both face the same way, so one had to be ground loose flipped around in the plate hole and re-welded. Other than that I just added the angle iron brace , two tabs to reach the holes in tractor frame, and welded a rod brace between the pins at the bottom.

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You have to trim the inside horizontal part of the angle iron back on each side to that there is a notch for the bucket frame to fit into when you hang the bucket on the mount pins.If you dont the bucket frame will hit and not allow it to swing full up into position fr the long pin to slip into the holes to secure the bucket in place on the mount.

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Side/front shots, bucket raised

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Lift arm side shot, bucket lowered

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Trip arm side bucket raised and tripped to dump

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Like I said, arms seem to function real well, and there is adjustments to both lift pin points and lift connectors to increase or decrease travel and distance to ground.

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SmilinSam
quote:Originally posted by MPH

Nice retro Sam. Seems that lift arm would need to get power to it other then armstrong if it were mine though.


id="quote">
id="quote">After moving a tandem dump truck load of sand... I'm afraid you're right Marty.Armstrong lift has to go..:o)So here it is with tractor lift:

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Did a quicky here. Just unbolted the cable and locking pin, took off the arm, then used a solid 1" rod in place of the pipe arm. Then welded a plate with 3 holes already drilled in it for the lift rod to that. The 3 holes give me some more room for adjustments if I need them.

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Alot easier on the armdOd:D

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simplewrench

Sam, looks like you've done a nice job here. I had one like it but I didn't get the mounting brackets. I tried to make some but I wasn't very successful. I ended up selling mine. Glad to see you were able to get things figured out.

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gwiseman
quote:Originally posted by B10Dave

:D Nice job Sam. Craftsman decal has to disappear though.....Dave


id="quote">
id="quote"> I agree with Dave. 4iI use the Swisher bucket (your) retro to move everything that needs moved. With son-in-law in possession of the B210 hydrolift I either need to install a hydrolift on the Bumblebee 10 or steal back the B210. Manual lift doesn't fit my lifestyle...

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