Back in 1990 Don Robinett, Randall, Kansas, built a riding mower powered by an all-aluminum Buick V-8 gas engine (Vol. 18, No. 3). He’s now 88 years old but still uses the machine regularly, and recently had it professionally repainted “Ford tractor blue”.
mower is equipped with 2 hydraulic pumps. One pump powers 3 hydraulic motors
mounted on the mower’s 6-ft. deck, and the other powers the machine’s 18-in.
front drive wheels.
“I built the entire machine by myself and have used it every year to keep 5 acres mowed. It has a lot of hours on it but still works as good as new,” says Robinett. “Last summer 2 of the motors on the deck started leaking oil. They weren’t real expensive so I replaced all 3 of them at the same time, which is the only major repair it has required. The deck is fitted with linkage similar to what can be found on back of a moldboard plow, so it can be tilted high enough to mow weeds up to 6 ft. tall.”
to Robinett, the aluminum Buick engine was made only for 3 years, from 1961 to
1963. “The shop foreman for our local Buick dealer was a friend of mine. When I
told him I needed an engine for a riding mower that I wanted to build, he knew
about a Buick Special car owned by a local woman who had recently died. I
bought the car with about 70,000 miles on it.”
used 3/16-in. sheet metal to fashion the deck and sides of the mower, and
lighter metal to make a flip-up engine hood. “I use a pair of levers in front
of the seat to control the drive wheels. By running one wheel forward and one
backward at the same time I can turn on a dime. The mower goes 8 mph on the
road,” he notes.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Don Robinett, 651 Hwy. 28, Randall, Kansas 66963 (cell ph 785 534-2282 or 785 739-2468; firstname.lastname@example.org).