The 600 Lawnmower Project - Fun For The Whole Trailer Park

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Fri, 01/31/2020 - 16:10
JMFR's picture
The 600 Lawnmower Project - Fun For The Whole Trailer Park

It seems a few people may be interested in hearing about a project of mine, specifically a redneck dream machine.
I am by no means a decent writer, but I intend to ram as much information and detail in as possible, so it will get messy at times. (I wrote this in Notepad++, upon pasting into Crash it looks pretty bad, unfortunate)

Where To Start?
If you get invited to do some light-hearted lawnmower racing, but have more of a penchant for tractor pulling and a GSX-R 600 in front of you, what would you do?
Starting last summer, the mating of my 98 GSX-R600 (a real beauty but unable to be ridden, gathering dust) and ~05 unbranded ride-on lawnmower, began.
Naturally the original V-twin, pulley systems, blades etc. were first to go, leaving a standard rolling chassis (term used loosely).For reference others appear to be going for tuned, original V's at about 12hp.
The 600 engine removal was more or less uneventful, aside from heavy losses to a main engine bolt. Allen head that was completely round, went through a couple of cheap drill bits getting it holed down the middle, enough to get a brutal milling bit hooked in and shear the bolt half way down. R.I.P bolt and bit.
Caveman you say? Perhaps. Engine out? Definitely.

The "Chassis"
As standard the lawnmower consists of a main pressed plate - the rudamentary 'chassis' (approx 2mm thickness, other dimensions unknown off the top of my head).
A simple pulley driven, bolt on rear axle.
A box section front 'axle' with pivots (quite meaty luckily). Worryingly the steering mechanism is incredibly lightweight and worn to boot, heavy reinforcement needed, probably non-lethal.
What I can only describe as 0.1mm sheet metal makes up 2 boxes, one that carries the seat, one that carries the steering column and a couple dials.

The first, and only so far, real work that has been completed is the dramatic overhaul of the main plate, rear box, and thick bracing plate/pulley mount that joins them, into a reasonable ladder.
Using 1"x1"x2.5mm box, stiff as you like, the main plate is now braced with a ladder, 3 rungs not including the large horizontal brace. Fully welded it feels amazing over standard, but the true test will be when the engine is calamitied on there.
The front and rear boxes have been reinforced from the corners with approx. 15mmx3mm flat bar, though the rear was/continues to be tricky. Steering column still not reinforced.
The rear problem is as follows. The box you sit on has needed a round of box section reinforcing the bottom face, the one parallel to the ground, attatched to the new ladder for support.
The problem arises when you necessarily have to attatch the rear axle to this face. Perhaps I should explain the rear axle and come back to this.

--Note-- This is as far as it got before winter really started to take the piss, starting up again soon!

Rear Axle
Arguably the most beautiful and least redneck part will be this. Natually it will be chain drive, with a single disc mounted on the axle for braking.
My brother (also driver) will be turning down a billet axle with collars to take the sprocket and disc, mounts etc. Simple but beautiful. Sprocket size to be determined.
The problem mentioned comes from the sprocket and disc 'intersecting' the rear of the box bracing, though the apparent solution would be to angle the rear portion of the box out around the problem and brace it externally.
Frankly im glad im not driving, as I don't fancy a homemade chainsaw spinning 1" away from my bollocks with a bit of tin foil in between.

The Engine
Is currently just strapped up hanging from the ceiling. The engine will be getting its own bolt-on/bolt-off, box section frame, built in a simple cube around it.
The front third of the ladder will be braced harder with a cross, with the 'engine frame' bolting through the main plate onto the cross.
Gear shift will be a simple stick clamped exactly as you'd expect, clutch on the handle due to space constraints/ease of use.
The engine itself is perfectly nice, last carb'd one they did. There was once a minor hydro-locking problem due to the fuel not cutting off, eventually filling open pots a bit. I fixed it but it's irrelevent anyway, as a different tank and pump will be used.
Retarded story short, I melted most connectors a while back, but again it's no problem as most of the loom and connectors will be cut out. Necessary units still fine.

I have tried to remember everything that would give a nice picture of the project, though i'm sure I have missed things. Might casually post bits I remember.
Updates will probably be rare, but I hope to do them.

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