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BigSix

Power Max Drive Train Design Question

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BigSix
Dear Powermax Experts: I have acquired a Landlord 2110 for my Dad to blow snow with, but he'd like something bigger (he used to have a construction co., and he wants something sized between a Garden Tractor and the Case 480 backhoe he moves his antique truck parts around with). Neither he nor I are thrilled with what I consider to be a "weak link" in our wonderful Simplicities, i.e., the system of 7 keys which hold things together in the transaxles of these tractors. My Powermax Question: Are those tractors built with splined axles, or are they too, put together with keys? Or some other way? Are these keys as wear prone, and as axle-shattering, as the keys in the Landlord? Another Powermax Question: How are the brakes designed? My buddy has a Cub 982, and it has inboard, but exposed, rear discs. I've heard that the Powermax brakes are a pain to replace. Are they expensive as well? Available? Are the Powermax brakes powerful enough to skid at will, on pavement? (His driveway could double as a bobsled run....) My Last (for now) Powermax Question: I was reading a post from about 13 pages ago, stating that the Cub 982 is "about 50% of the size and weight of the Powermax." Well, my buddy's wonderfully-restored, 24 hp. (repowered, brand new oversize engine) Cub 982 looks pretty darn big, in his shop. Like huge. I read someone said the Powermax weighs about 1,500 lbs., w/o attachments. Is this true? If so, there's no way this 982 weighs only 750 lbs. Our Landlord 2110 has a shipping weight of, I believe, 685 lbs. Even if some of that is accounted for by the shipping crate, there's no way that that 982 weighs anywhere near as little as the Landlord. So what's the deal? To me, the Cub 982 looks like it could be as big as a Powermax, but I've never seen one personally...just pictures. I'm just trying to get an accurate idea of how much tractor a Powermax really is. My Landlord Transaxle Key Question: I have bought the keys, as the Landlord has "the slop," and we do plan to replace the 5 of them that are outside the transaxle. How hard are the two keys inside the transaxle to replace? Will leaving them unreplaced be likely to accelerate wear of the 5 newly replaced keys? I would think so...but hope not. Thanks in advance.

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TBOLT
Im not the powermax expert but the service manual says 1300 lbs.1000lbs rear and 480 front with a 180lb. person. I've never weighed mine but I believe it won't be far from the truth. With me, plow, and tires full of water I have wrecked the 5x10 landscaping trailer ramp and it looks like the rear wheels of my sons z-71 are coming off the ground when driving on. The factory built landscape trailer tailgate/ramp is fairly sturdy made. As far as brakes, mine did'nt work when we bought it and the reason I've not fixed them is because with the hydrostatic 3-range tranny, I never use them. I have some steep hills, however it would be nice having the independent brakes working for plowing on a slope from time to time, especially cultivating. The axles are splined and have a drop housing with bull gears similar to the bigger farm tractors, I've replaced the axle bearings and all the stuff down there looks heavy duty for a tractor of that size,IMO. I'm 6'3" and in the picture weighed 260 # if you want to check out my photo gallery and see me spring cultivating. It's impressive to me how good the thing pulls for a 2wd. Will bury those cultivators in my "MOUNTAIN SOIL", not sand. Mine is the AC 616. My friend has a 16 hp YANMAR 4wd. it is smaller and not nearly as much metal.I've never ran the 19.5 hp powermax's or the 620 AC. but I bet they are powerful.

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BigSix
TBOLT: Thank you for the very specific information. (Sounds like you're ready for a beefier "tractor trailer"--LoL! It definitely helps me to feel better about my suggestion that my dad look for a Powermax. I've seen "bull gears" before, in the pumpkin of his "LJ" Mack (a '50's semi-tractor), and I'm glad the Powermax is not reliant on the key system. What is your Allis under in the Gallery? I didn't know what name to look for.... I would definitely like to see it in action. Thanks again, Peter

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TBOLT
BigSix, I am pleased to be of help but there are a lot of powermax experts in this club you may want to get advice from before relying on mine. I can only speak from my experience. To go to the pics. just clik on my name and it will take you to my profile, then clik on view photo gallery. TONY

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Woodydel
This will come a surprise BigSix but the 982 Hydro came with a 19.9 Onan and the shipping weight is 702 lbs. which is less than my 582 16hp tractors at 710 lbs with all gear trans. Don't let the low weight fool you, they are tough tractors. Powermax's are BiG.

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MikeES
BixSix - Landlord rebuild. I have opened up 5 transaxles for various reasons (tractor pulling) and have never found the inside drive gear/key/axle tube a problem. They have all been good. My experience shows the wear is on the outside differential hub keys. I would take a chance and not open up the transaxle. Maybe someone else has had other experiences. Good Luck! Mike S.

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powermax_paul
Peter, The powermax is bigger than you think. My owners manual says 1480# w/o attachments or operator, with turf tires. My 4041 with the loader and backhoe weighs 2960# based on the local CO-OP's scale. They have cast iron drop housings off the transmission case with bull and pinion gears in them. I've never broken an axle shaft or key. I think the shafts are splined. The brakes are difficult to service and none of mine would put the tractor into a skid. The brakes are actually not very good at all, except for steering (they have individual brakes). I'm actually looking for a bigger tandem axle landscape trailer to haul the 4041 cuz my single axle is only 3500# rated. Paul

Paul Kjorlie, The Norwegian

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BigSix
Tony: Your advice is appreciated, regardless of whether there are others with different (more?) experience. In fact, I already told my dad—he was relieved to know it’s splined, and he liked the “bull gears” part,—I knew he would! Btw, that’s a nice looking Allis! Looks like a “Big ‘un.” Woody: I am surprised, frankly. I double-checked—our Landlord ships at 685 lbs. You know, I read in that old post I referred to that somebody thought Cub made two different models of 982. Could that be it? Now, I believe my buddy’s is supposed to be some anniversary edition, circa 1981. Could this make a difference? (It’s red). Because I mean everything on it is significantly bigger than on our Landlord—the front tires look like “tundra” tires on a taildragging airplane, albeit shorter. I will see if I can get him to confirm the weight of his tractor, not that I doubt your stats for a minute! It’s just that he’s either got a different tractor (misbadged?) or I’m going to be even more shocked than I already am. :) Another of my friends has a Cub that also looks bigger than the Landlord, a 782, hydro, and hydro lift. Intriguing that even your 582 outweighs the 982…I guess that the gear transmission weighs more than a hydro system.... Mike: Yes! The hoped-for motivation not to tear it all down has come! I really didn’t want to do it, and given your experience, five times over, I’ll take a gamble and just do the external keys. Thank you so much for this info—it takes the worry out of taking the easy way out, and if it doesn’t work out, well, I think it’s worth the gamble, anyway. Thanks for the good luck wishes! I’ll let you know how we make out (won’t be for a couple months, ‘till I’m back in town.). Paul: Thanks for the weight info. That’s one nice lookin’ tractor there, and I believe I’ve seen your Powermax with backhoe and loader on it—very nice! Funny about the brakes, in that the Landlord we have will (quite easily) skid the rear wheels down hill, wide open in third gear, on pavement. (I know, that’s not helpin’ my keyslop, but I’m changing the keys soon and, well, boys and their toys I guess--I had to try it once….) I wonder if anyone has a Powermax that will “lock ‘em up?” You’d think that’d be a priority, as one could have a heavy trailer on behind, full of a Grady-White 24’ Offshore, for example (I’m dreaming again….). But I guess you hydro guys have all kinds of tricks up yours sleeves so that brakes aren’t an issue, huh? All—thanks again for the help. Peter

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CarlH
I am surprised that the PowerMax brakes are not quite effective. I have my 9020 apart because of a leaking oil seal (waiting on parts at the moment). The brake design is exactly like that on my full size Oliver 1650 farm tractor although scaled down a little. On the Oliver, you can lock up the wheels in high gear with little problem. On my PowerMax, the brakes were admittedly only adequate in my brief usage before teardown. After teardown, I discovered that all 4 brake disks were oil soaked which would certainly explain the marginal effectiveness. Perhaps the design issue is the seal design, not the brakes. I have been reluctant to invest in 4 new brake disks (big $) when my disks have a lot of wear left. Does anyone have a good method for cleaning the oil-soaked brake disks? Carl

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BigSix
Carl: That's interesting. Btw, roughly how much money are the discs? Re: cleaning, I don't have a method, assuming commerical, spray brake cleaner and some sandpaper are not enough, like if they're saturated all the way through. What about boiling them in water? Would the oil heat up, expand, leach out and rise to the top? Am I dreaming again? Re: the brake design, I thought I read in a Simp. brochure, on this site, that the 9020 had "disc brakes," which I took to mean automotive style, i.e., steel discs. That IS what the 982 my friend has has for brakes--thin, automotive-style steel discs. But from what you're saying, I get the idea you've got something akin to fiber clutch discs. Am I correct? Did some Powermaxes come with steel discs, or is Simplicity using the term "disc brakes" in a non-automotive context? Peter

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CarlH
Peter, The brake disks run to better than $60 each (times 4 gets spendy). The disk brakes are not the automotive type with rotors clamped by calipers holding disk pads. Instead, the disks are splined to the differential output shaft with an actuator assembly between the disks that spreads apart applying pressure when the brakes are applied. The disks are a fibre composite of some sort. There are pictures in the parts and service manuals available on the Simplicity web site. Carl

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BigSix
Woody: My friend with the 782 agrees with you...he says his 782 and our friend's 982 both weigh about 700 lbs. each When I told him the Landlord's shipping weight is listed at 685 lbs., he asked: "What's the shipping crate made out of--ironwood?" That made me chuckle. The 982 guy has a manual. Can't wait to see what it says, and really can't wait to see a Powermax in the flesh. Carl: Thanks for the info. This is kind of "spendy," but hopefully you'll degrease the discs you have? Good luck with that. Peter

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MPH
Peter, not sure by how much, but my 4040 will turn a lot tighter radius then my B-112 will. Using the rake on it a couple weeks ago I was impressed with how nice it moved around. That was the most I've used it so far and though big looking in size, Simplicity did a mighty fine job making it a very useable tractor..MPH

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