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pwrstrokin

Adding a Vari-Drive

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pwrstrokin
I'm rebuilding my 3 spd trans now. If I want to add a Vari-Speed pulley system in the future will I have to go back inside the trans to do this install? Or is it done only on the pulleys outside the trans? Thanks for the replies. Jim

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Kent
Jim, It would be a heck of a job to install a varidrive, similar to my conversion of a varidrive to a hydrostat. Unless I'm mistaken, the varidrive uses longer, threaded shafts on both the bevel gear box (right side) and the transmission to mount the variable speed pulleys. The rear of the tractors frame (and wheelbase) is 4" longer than a standard 3-speed due to the room needed for the control linkage rods on the variable speed pulleys.... Bottom line -- you'd need to switch out the bevel gear box and everything behind it, then you'd have to figure out a way to mount the speed control arm on the side of the dash. I think you could probably convert a B-110 (2110) to a varidrive, but I'm not sure you could readily do it with any other early models like B-10s or Landlord 101s.... Where would you mount the controls? Kent

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MPH
Jim, I agree with Kent, it would be a major, but then Kent, you just put a hydro in one. The tranny shaft is longer as is the BGB shaft as are the plates that bolt the tranny to the bevel gear box. New shafts cost me around 60 bucks each, think If I was goning through the trouble I'd convert to a hydro..MPH

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BradW
Hydro's are nice, BUT when you need alot of torque/pulling power direct drive power of vari-drive is far surpasing, my B-112 pulled better than my 3415H with a motor out of a 3416, hydro's are great and vari drives can be too. Yes, you would need a complete rear end swap, but after time and money, you might be able to find a B-100/B-200 series with vari-drive at a reasonable price, but there is no reason not to try the swap, good luck with your decision,-BradW

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Kent
I agree with you too MPH... it could be done, at least on a B-110 or 2110, with likely no more effort than I went through. But, I'm not even sure if it could be done on a B-10 for example. You could cut and weld in the housing for the shaft that the varidrive control lever runs in (remember this one is through the side of the frame) but how would you mount the notched bracket that holds the lever in position.... I think putting a hydro in would actually be easier, since you could put the housing for the control levers shaft below the frame, like I did.... Brad, I don't really know about how low end torque and "grunt" compares on the varidrive versus hydro -- but even with brand new belts on my varidrive, the belt would slip when pushing up against something like a snowbank (chains + loaded tires + 120 lb rear weight) -- I didn't sense that with the Sundstrand with what little I've used it so far -- it would force the tires to spin. But, IMO neither compare to the old standard 3-speed for putting power to the ground for pulling...

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StinKy
My Landlord with rear wheel weights (90 lbs. per side) loaded ag tires and chains will readily spin the wheels when up against something too heavy to move. It's a standard 3 speed. The rear end in my 3210-V is a little ratty, it doesnt shift easily and the threaded stud end of the shaft for the brake drum is broken off so I checked on the rear in an Allis 312 (also vari drive) and found it had the exact same part/model # as the 3210-V and it's in great shape. I'm now a firm believer in parts tractors! Dick

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JimDk
Jim, Kent is right,unless you could find a vari-drive in good or excellent condition. Sadly,our B210 is nearing the condition of Kent's(before hydro transplant)and will be retired and replaced with a trusty B110 for mowing duty this spring. My B112 with vari-drive is in good condition and as Brad states,will really pull.It has had very few hours of use compared to the 210,and is easy to keep adjusted,not noisy and does not slip. I am not trying to discourage you from the project,just sharing some of my years of experience using vari-drives.When they are in good shape they do the job,after all those very expensive parts are worn out they are very frustrating to keep adjusted so there is no belt sliping and/or gear grinding while shifting gears. Good Luck,Jim D.

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BradW
Kent, maybe it is because of my Vickers tranny instead of a sunstrand?? I bought the 3415H in place of my grandfathers 912H and the sundstrand was a great tranny, but I am taking more of a liking to the vickers hydro. One thing, I bought the 3415H from clubmember Wally Becker and I know why he collects Simplicity and Case garden tractors, we went over the hill and behind his house is a Simplicity/Case dealer, talk about lucky! Maybe you can comment Wally!?,-BradW

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BigSix
I wasn't going to bother you guys w/ this, as I need to get my 700 running first, but since you're all on the topic, I'll expose my ignorance. I understand what hydrostatic drive is, and the three speed in my 700, but: 1) What is the difference b/w a Vari-drive and the two-pulley, 6-speed setup I've read about? 2) Did any of the 700/725's come w/ either Vari-drive or 6 speeds? 3) Since I get the idea the Vari-drive conversion is WAY too much work, for me anyway, what is involved to convert my 1960 (or so) 700 into a six-speed, and how hard would it be? Thanks in advance, Peter

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MPH
Peter, the vari drive is a pulley set up where the pulley on the BGB and the on the tranny vary in Dia by the outer sheve moving in or out. The six speed set-up is a planitary gear set up that mounts on the tranny where the pulley is now and changes gears inside. Been told they didn't hold up to good and are spendy to repair IF you can find one. If I have you totally confussed now I'm sure someone will correct me, hope so anyway..MPH

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Al
Hi, My thoughts on the Variable speed drive change would be negative. When I was commercial mowing, I had a 10 Wards Squire, repainted to Landlord. In 1970 I bought a new 3112 Variable Speed. That Spring I took both to a tractor pull, The 10 got 2 2nds and my friends Squire 9 got a 1st and 3rd. My 3212 got 2 dead lasts. It ran out of power. I believe that big thick belt soaks up a LOT of power. When we were mowing in the cemetary the kid I had working for me used to love to run up behind me in 3rd gear on the 10 [which we mowed in] and run his left front wheel up again the back of my right rear tire and push me and laugh at how fast he could make his left front spin backwards. That 12 couldn't begin to mow with the 10. In 71 I replaced the 10 with a 3212H which I still own, it looks like it was in Desert Storm now, on the Iraqi side, but it would out mow the V also. I always felt the big heavy belt sucked up a lot of horsepower. Later when I put 16s in both the difference was not so noticeable. We were mowing with fluid and 100 lb weights in the rear wheels on steep hills. If it were me I would look at using the plain 3 speed pulleys. The other thing I had to rig a brake on the rear pulley, to shift whit the engine wide open because of the flywheel effect of the rear pulley and grinding. We beat it for 7 or 8 years, but I never cared for it. It stood up well though otherwise. That is why when we started the business we have we did not take on a tractor line until we could get Simplicity, They were the first to come and would be the last we would let go. My .005 cents worth. Al Eden

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Kent
Peter, The old-style "six-speed" that you're talking about was accomplished by adding a two speed drive pulley to the transmission, working kind of like an underdrive, gearing its speed down to about 1/3 or normal. The varidrive is a totally different approach which used split pulleys front and rear, with the width of the pulley's groove being adjustable, making the belt move up and down in the groove. This varied the gear ratio. This "adjustment" worked in opposite directions -- as the front pulley spread (for example) allowing the belt to ride deeper in the pulley, the halves of the back pulley were simultaneously moving closer so the belt rose up in the back pulley. These pulleys were attached to a standard 3-speed transmission (with different shaft for the pulley), giving you adjustable speeds within each of the 3 normal geared speed ranges. Look at the B-112, B-210 or B-212 info on Simple trACtors, or at the 1969 Simplicity brochures for more info... 700/725s all came as 3-speeds. You could convert your 700/725 to a 6 speed, but the necessary two-speed pulley is VERY hard to find in usable condition.... You'd have to saw off about an inch of the transmission's drive shaft for it to fit. The field installation instructions for doing so are linked in below. Kent[A href='http://www.simpletractors.com/operation/high-low/high-low.htm']http://www.simpletractors.com/operation/high-low/high-low.htm[/a]

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BigSix
All: Thanks for the info! If I understand, the Hi-Lo option was never available on 700/725's, but would work, IF one had the pulleys/bracket/shift lever setup depicted in the link? (I could only see the cover pic...I couldn't find anything to read...). Does anyone know of someone successfully adding the Hi-Lo option to a 700/725? Sorry to be stuck on this, but I like "big gears," i.e., massive torque, even if it's s-l-o-w. Peter

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BigSix
Kent: Thanks for the clarification, and help finding the pages--I did read them. It doesn't look too bad to retrofit. So if anyone has or comes across a hi-low setup and wants to sell it, please let me know. I would also like to hear from someone who's made the conversion. Thanks again! Peter

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Kent
Peter, Theres a Page 2 and Page 3 link in the right navigation bar on the page I linked in above. You may want to try again... Yes, they were added to 700/725 vintage machines. People used them when plowing or tilling instead of putting the other alternative -- either 9" or 10" drive pulleys on the tranny. Here's about all you'll find, if you go looking through the B-10/Big Ten AC or 1963-67 Simplicty stuff -- though there are some pictures there: >> High-Low Range Speed Kit: (Mfg. No. 348) Doubles or reduces tractor speeds and makes all speeds instantly available. 10” Pulley Kit: (Mfg. No. 238). Less expensive than 2-speed transmission pulley, hut reduces all speeds to permanent levels when attached. Kits especially useful under difficult conditions for snow blower, tiller or mower. << Kent

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Sandy
Peter, Why not take the easy way out and install a 9", 10", or even larger pulley to get "massive torque" permanently on your 700. You could wind up with something like Bigfoot. Then you'll have an excuse to get another tractor and start a fleet. That's how many of us got started.

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yeoman
This does increase torque but is slow. As far as putting a hydro in place of a gear trans is ludicris. You lose all of your power and don't get near the power to the ground. Also hydros are more expensive to fix than buying a variable belt.

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Kent
Yeoman, that may be true, but with a varidrive as worn as mine, I spent more on belts and used pulleys in the 3+ years that I ran it than it cost me to convert it to a Sundstrand -- I still would have had a worn out bevel gear box.... I'm happy!

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MikeES
This is what we do for our "pulling" tractors. We have a set of different driven pulleys and different length belts that we change (on a standard 3-speed transaxle) to get the best ratio. I think the standard pulley on the 3-speed is just fine except for rototilling. I would just change to a 8" or 10" with a longer belt when tilling. We change pulleys and belts in 30 sec. or less. This would be the "simple" and lest costly solution. Good Luck! Mike S.

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pwrstrokin
Thanks for all the replies. I just finished my trans rebuild and I'll forget the vari-drive! I have a B110 and maybe someday I might find a hi-lo setup. If not, I still love this tractor :>) Jim

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