Archive for the ‘Gravely’ Category

Moar Upgradez

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

I hate to use the word “toys”, since some of the new stuff is not 100% safe.  I’ll start out with the safer stuff.

The one on the right is what I started out with.  A stock Gravely solid 16×4.5 8.  I decided to get a set of turf rubber, and wanted to try something a little larger than stock.  It took some finagling, but I finally got the new 18×8.5s mounted on the 4.5×8 rims.  See that Dewalt sawsall in the background?  I had to use that, a hatchet and a hammer just to get the old tires off the rims first.  Not too much cussing went on, but it wasn’t easy either.  They give the C a little more height, a little higher top speed, and don’t chew up my turf like the AGs.  However, with the higher center of gravity and narrower track (compared to the duals), I think I’ll stay off the back side of the dam when these shoes are on.  That’s not to say that slopes are out the question, I did use the next thing on some slightly less slope than the dam.

No, your eyes are not playing tricks.  That’s an OEM setup, not a hack.  Gravely made a chainsaw and 18″ circular saw for these things.  I now have two.  I did see a couple chainsaws on ebay, but I’m not sure I really want one just yet.  However, the circular saw is pretty handy for clearing brush and flushing up stumps (up to about 5 or 6 inch diameter).  I was a little worried at first about using this setup, but it’s not too bad.  You have to feed the saw into the work from the side, not strait in.  It’s a grunt, but it gets the job done.  I have it configured in chop mode in the pic, though I have not tried it out like that in the wild.  For brush clearing you set it up so the saw is parrallel to the alxes.  Never, ever, leave the PTO engaged when you’re not on the handelbars.  Period.  This will, without a doubt, cut a leg or two off and not even blink.  I’d have to say, this is probably the scarriest tool I currently have for the C.

So you say you got a rake?

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

Well, I bet it’s not as badass as mine.

So, remember when I ran out of gas after dark and decided to bush hog that scarry stretch of driveway?  Well, being as I’m on the east side of a freakin mountain, the sun sets a tad earlier than normal, so I added some halogen lights to the C.  They do a pretty good job of lighting things up.  The L’s and C’s used a magneto and not an alternator, so I mounted the battery tray (though I have yet to upgrade to electric starter) and did up a custom wiring harness and switch mount.  The mount is (try not to laugh) an old TV ariel clamp that held the antenna to the mounting pole.  I had to modify it a bit, and still need to paint it, but it fits right in on the left handlebar.  The mounts for the lights are flat bar welded to the tank straps from the parts tractor, sandblasted and painted AC orange.  For the most part they look almost stock.  Purists will probably bitch, but this isn’t their equipment, so fuck ’em.

The yard rake is something I drew up and fabricated this weekend.  I hate raking, and using the loader to clean up the bush hog leftovers kind of tears up the ground.  I got the idea from an ebay auction.  Some guy took the mount from the snow plow (essentially removed the bade from the swiveling mount) and bolted it to a commercial compact tractor rake.  I looked at Northern and Tractor Supply, but off-the-shelf rakes kind of got pricey, and it was looking like I’d have to take a torch to it right away.

Dad had all kinds of steel at the house, and I did see some haying teeth at TSC (great place for fabricating stuff).  Anyway, to make this a little shorter, I decided to make the swiveling yoke (unlike the auction guy), but still use the tractor side of the plow mount.  The haying teeth ended up being just the right size for the 1 1/2″ tube I had, and the correct length (mounted like I did it) so the tractor sits level.  3″ channel and a piece of 3″ square made the rake side of the mount.  As it turns out, the whole thing ended up weighing less than the 30″ rotary deck, and without the battery up front would have been ass heavy.  I found a barbell and a set of 4.5 lb weights in my old basement, so I hacked the tube and welded the halves where you see them.  That way I can weight one side or the other and still have it heavy on the nose.

I’m sure I probably over engineered the rake, but I’d rather have it that way than have it fail in the field.  The other nice thing is the haying teeth are easily replaceable, and readily available at TSC.  The black part just below the bar is rubber, so they flex.  I tried it out raking the back of the dam, and it sure does what I wanted it to do.  I also tried it on the cleared part of the driveway and it sure makes cleanup easier.  As a side benefit, it’s probably the tool I’ll use to rake in the grass seed, as it doesn’t tear up the soil.

Till next time…