1992 - Volume #16, Issue #4, Page #06[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Engine Powered IH CycloSteven Fieser, mounted a 10 hp Tecumseh gas engine on his International Cyclo 400 air planter to belt-drive the blower after the pto-driven hydraulic pump that originally powered the planter failed.
"It saved the cost of an expensive part and lets us use a small tractor to pull the 6-row planter. Reduces soil compaction and also frees up our big tractors for tillage work," says Fieser, who farms with his father Bob.
He removed the hydraulic motor and bolted the electric start engine onto a frame that he made out of 5-in. channel iron, then bolted the frame onto the blower housing. He mounted a pair of pulleys on the engine's crankshaft and another pair of pulleys on the blower shaft. He mounted a panel next to the engine with an on-off switch, throttle, and amp gauge. He pulls the planter with his Farmall 400 tractor.
"The blower had been operated by a pto-driven hydraulic pump that powered the hydraulic motor, but the pump failed and I didn't want to spend the money for a new one," says Fieser. "I also wanted to pull the planter with a smaller tractor. Previously, we had to pull the planter with a big IH 1466 because the hydraulic pump required a tractor with 1,000 rpm pto. However, we need the big tractor for tillage work, and switching the tractor back and forth between the planter and tillage implements really slowed us down. We tried using the Farmall's hydraulic system to operate theblower, but it didn't have enough capacity.
"The 10 hp engine has enough power to run the planter while running at idle. It keeps constant air pressure on the blower drum so we can slow down in ditches or at the end of the field without any seed skips. In the past, the hydraulic system lost pressure when we throttled. I used double belts because I didn't think one belt would be strong enough for the 10 hp engine (salvaged from an old riding lawn mower). I converted the engine from rope pull to electric start so that my dad could start it. IH does offer a pto operated, belt-driven blower system for its air planters, but I didn't want to have complicated belts and shafts under the planter frame."
Fieser had to install a shaft that's 6 in. longer on the blower so that he could mount the pulleys. He used 6-in. dia. pulleys on the engine's crankshaft and 5in. dia. pulleys on the blower shaft. "A friend happened to know a retired IH engineer who told us the fan should run at 3,000 rpm's. We had to experiment with pulley sizes to get the right rpm's," says Fieser.
He mounted a truck battery on an angle iron frame next to the engine. The engine's 112-gal. gas tank will run the planter for 20 acres.
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