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Front-Mount Riding Mower Powered By Dutsun Engine
A few years ago Gordon Schmidt, Ohaton, Alberta, came across a junked-out riding mower that had a "good condition" 72 in. deck. He bought it and set out to build his own front-mount mower, using the deck and other salvaged parts.
He got a hydrostatic drive from an old Massey garden tractor, a 1,200 cc engine from a Datsun B210 car, a governor from a Massey Harris 27 combine, and the rack and pinion steering from a Honda Civic. The steering system connects through a jack shaft and a set of sprockets to the mower's single rear wheel. The deck's three 24-in. blades are belt-driven by a pto shaft that's belt-driven off the engine crankshaft. He used 3-in. channel iron to build the frame and 16-ga. sheet metal to make the hood.
It's easy to operate and does an excellent job. I spent only about $300 to build it. A new comparably-equipped commercial riding mower would sell for $8,000 to $10,000," says Schmidt, who built the mower three years ago. "The engine is compact and runs smooth. It has a lot of power and doesn't use much fuel. The zero turning radius makes it ideal for mowing around trees.
"I can't lift the deck but I never need to raise it anyway. The only thing I'd do different next time would be to lengthen the body slightly to provide better air flow for the radiator. It runs a little warm on hot days."
The mower's seat is off an old garden tractor, the front tires off an ATV, the air cleaner came from the Datsun, and the throttle off an Oliver 88 tractor.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Gordon Schmidt, Rt. 1, Ohaton, Alberta Canada TOB 3P0 (ph 780-373-2474).

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1994 - Volume #18, Issue #6