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Lawn Mowing Car
"For less than $200, I built a lawn mower that's better than machines selling for $5,000 or more," says Ruel Dowlen, Pleasant View, Tenn., about the king-size lawn mower he made using parts from a junked 1960 Ford car.
Dowlen says his car mower is so maneuverable that he doesn't have to trim around trees or other obstacles, by hand the big mower gets close enough. And he says it's economical, too. "I can mow my 2 1/2 acre lawn on about 3 gal. of gasoline in 1 to 1 1/2 hrs. A garden tractor would use at least that much and probably more to mow the same area," he says.
Dowlen took the 6-cyl. engine, 3-speed transmission, rear end, and other miscellaneous parts from the car, and mounted them on a frame he built out of channel iron. He says the frame of the car would have been too heavy to be practical and re-building let him tailor the frame exactly to the purpose of mowing. The unit has a Vega steering gear and a 60-in. mowing deck off an, International Cub Cadet.
"There are 14-in. "mud grip" tires in back and standard 14-in. tires in front that are mounted on a solid axle front end that flexes over rough ground. To gear it down, I mounted a small spocket on the transmission output shaft and a large one on the differential and made it a chain drive. The mower runs at only 1,200 rpm's or less even in heavy grass," says Dowlen.
The brake and clutch are combined in the same pedal you push half way down for the clutch and all the way for the brake for quick shifting. The blades are powered off a pulley on the engine. An idler pulley acts as a clutch. Dowlen mounted one of the bucket seats on the 4-ft. wide frame, which rides just 1 ft. off the ground.
Dowlen says he used to mow with a tractor-mounted mower but there was always another piece of equipment on the tractor when he wanted to mow. His new car mower is always ready. He says at least one neighbor already has plans to build a car mower of his own.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ruel Dowlen, Rt. 1, Pleasant View, Tenn. 37146 (ph 615 746-5640).

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1982 - Volume #6, Issue #6