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Ford Pinto Powers Loader Tractor
Dan Knoblich needed a small loader tractor to clean out his barn and move snow, so he built one. His only idea was an image in his head from looking at full-size payloaders.
"I started with 5-in. channel iron for the frame," explains Knoblich. "I used 2 by 4-in. rectangular tubing for the loader arms and built the bucket out of old box car siding."
Working without a plan, he sized the frame to the axles from a GMC truck. The engine platform was designed to handle the engine and transmission from a Ford Pinto.
"I put the engine and transmission in backwards so the transmission faced forward," explains Knoblich. "That made it easier to add a 5 to 1 gear reduction, as it would reverse the direction of the drive with a shaft that went back to the rear end."
He designed the loader arms for 6 ft. so there would be no problem with them extending out beyond the front wheels. The 36-in. uprights for the arms sit just ahead of the driver's seat and midway between the two axles. The cross arm brace also serves as a mounting point for the GMC steering wheel and shaft.
The 24-in. hydraulic lift cylinders were also salvaged from the old GMC. To tip the bucket, Knoblich used a 36-in. cylinder that had been used for a wheelchair lift on an RV.
"The hydraulics are powered by a Ford power steering pump," he says. "I screwed a pipe fitting into the pump where its original reservoir had been mounted. Then I ran a pipe back to a 3-gal. reservoir behind my seat. It's real overkill. I never come close to using that much fluid."
One of the few things Knoblich bought new for the project was a set of valves. Nearly everything else was recycled.
"I had a blast building it," he says. "It took about a year, and I only have about $1,200 in it."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dan Knoblich, 2522 9th Ave. N., Grand Forks, N. Dak. 58203 (ph 701 772-3366).

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2009 - Volume #33, Issue #1