He Built A 4-Engine Garden Tractor Puller

“I like to build things that are different, so I recently built a garden tractor puller powered by four 8 hp. Harbor Freight Predator V-twin engines. It runs really well and has a lot of power,” says Earl Overbeek, Allegan, Mich.

            Overbeek, who belongs to a local garden tractor pulling club, started building the tractor 3 years ago. “I built it to compete in the 1,200-lb. class and am happy with how it has performed so far,” says Overbeek.  “The rules say a tractor in this class can have up to 32 hp. but no more than 4 cylinders, so I built mine with four 8 hp., 4-cycle, single cylinder engines just to be unique. I paid $235 apiece for them. Getting all 4 engines hooked together and synchronized was the hardest part of the job. Each engine belt-drives a center-mounted driveshaft that runs through the transmission.”

            The tractor’s 4 straight pipe mufflers are made from 1 1/4-in. dia. kitchen sink drain pipe and attached to the engines with home-built, L-shaped steel brackets. “The pipes are lightweight, which is good, but they’re also very loud so I have to wear ear protection,” says Overbeek.

            The tractor sports a 6-ft. tall roll cage, made just for looks out of 1-in. dia. electrician’s pipe by Overbeek’s nephew. “The roll cage isn’t required, but I thought that if I’m going to build a garden tractor with 4 engines it might as well have a big roll cage on it,” says Overbeek.

            He started with a Cub Cadet 1100 garden tractor, keeping only the frame, rear end and axles. He lengthened the frame by 18- in. to extend the wheelbase to 56-in., and installed a used 3-speed, gear-drive transmission off another Cub Cadet tractor.

The electric-start engines are attached in sets of 2 to pairs of 1-in. sq. tubing that run across the tractor’s frame.

            The tractor’s starter and ring gear are off an old Farmall. “The engines aren’t electric start, so I mounted a balanced ring on the main driveshaft and added the starter off a Farmall M. The starter meshes with the ring gear in such a way that I can start all 4 engines at the same time,” says Overbeek.

            Two of the engines’ air cleaners are mounted on one side of the tractor, and  the others are located under the hood.  “The 4 engines up front make the tractor a little nose heavy, so I plan to lighten up the front end so I can add more weight on back. The tractor has an aluminum hood that saves about 15 lbs.”

            The tractor rides on 26-in. tall, 12-in. wide rear tires with 6-in. high ribbed tires on front. The rear axle is original, but Overbeek used 1 by 2-in. sq. tubing to build the front axle.

  He bought the tractor’s heavy-duty clutch and wheelie bar from Midwest Super Cub (ph 563 659-5276; www.mwsc.com) and the wheels and axles from Miller Tire Co. (ph 419 335-7010; www.millertire.com).

            Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Earl Overbeek, 3246  Lakeview Dr., Allegan, Mich. 49010 (ph 269 673-8548 or cell ph 616 836-1585).