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Downsized Farmall B Makes Perfect Lawn Mower
David Bengtson, Pelican Rapids, Minn., mows his own 3-acre lawn and takes care of a neighbor's big lawn as well. To speed up the job he considered using his Farmall "B" and a big 60-in. mower deck, but the tractor was too big to get around the numerous trees and shrubs in the yards. He solved the problem by rebuilding the tractor so it's shorter and narrower and building brackets to belly-mount the big mower deck.
"It has more power and a cuts a wider swath than most conventional riding mowers and turns almost as short," says Bengtson.
The original tractor frame was built from cast iron tubing so it couldn't be shortened by using a cutting torch. Bengtson used angle iron to build a new frame that's 5 1/ 2 in. shorter. He unbolted a 22-in. length of axle from each side of the rear axle, then moved the wheel and hub assemblies in and bolted them back on. He replaced the original rear tires with 33-in. high, 12 1/2-in. wide tires off a pickup. He also reversed the wheels to make the tractor as wide as possible for maximum stability. Total width from wheel to wheel is 59 in. He shortened the front steering column 5 1/2 in. and mounted new 14-in. car spare tires on it.
The tractor pto belt-drives the mower deck which floats on four caster wheels. "It's almost the perfect mowing machine," says Bengtson. "The tractor's original 113 cu. in. engine had a lot of hours on it so I replaced it with a 4-cyl., 22 hp engine off an old swather. The new engine runs faster with more power than the original one. The tractor's small rear tires slow down the trans-mission gear ratio so that I can do most of my mowing in second gear and use first gear for rough spots. The mower deck rides in-dependent of the tractor on four caster wheels so it won't gouge the grass. The caster wheels are mounted in pairs on steel brackets that bolt to each side of the deck. "I spent only about $650 to modify the tractor. A new Yanmar or Deere riding mower of comparable size sells for at least $8,000. Farmall B's in general sell for $150 to $2,000 depending on their condition. A new 60-in. mower deck sells for about an-other $1,000."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, David Bengtson, Rt. 1, Box 37, Pelican Rapids, Minn. 56572 (ph 218 863-7631).

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1996 - Volume #20, Issue #2