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Repowered 1970's Bobcat Skid Steer Loader
Ray Jensen, Dell Rapids, S. Dak.: "I obtained a low-cost skid steer loader by repowering an early 1970's Bobcat 500 which I bought for $1,100. The original Kohler 22 hp, 2-cyl. gas engine was worn out, so I replaced it with another Kohler engine that I took off a riding mower I already had. The replacement engine is also a 22 hp, 2-cyl. model but it runs at 3,600 rpm's compared to only 2,100 rpm's for the original engine. As a result it'll last a lot longer.
  "The original engine was used to direct-drive a hydraulic pump on the right side of the machine, and to belt-drive a variable speed pulley on the left side. The variable speed pulley was used to mechanically adjust the machine's speed. The engine was equipped with a tapered roller bearing which took pressure from the belt pulley off the engine crankshaft. However, the new engine had a roller bearing instead of a thrust bearing which resulted in a ruined crankshaft.
  "To solve the problem, I installed a jackshaft that's belt-driven off the engine and runs both the hydraulic pump and variable speed pulley. One end of the jackshaft runs the hydraulic pump and the other end runs the variable speed pulley.
  "The jackshaft mounts on a bracket that bolts to another bracket that bolts onto the skid loader's frame. A threaded bolt that connects both brackets is used to adjust belt tension. The replacement engine mounts on a frame above the jackshaft.
  "I would have had to spend $2,500 for a new engine like the original one. I didn't want to spend that much money because this engine has a bad reputation. My Bobcat 500 was in almost perfect shape because the engine didn't have enough power to wear it out. A new engine like the one I used can be bought for about $1,200."

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2002 - Volume #26, Issue #3