CASE 448 Garden Tractor - Continued - Page 5!

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One final project I wanted to finish before winter. "Custom Wheel Spacers" that widen the rear, add some weight, and offer a method for future dual wheels or wheel weights without bolting directly to the painted wheels. After stretching the frame, and having an even longer hood now, the tractor looked a little wimpy in the back. With these, it looks a lot better.

Ideally, I wish some company would have made 9.5 x 16 rear tires that were not taller than the 8 x 16's. I could have used a more meaty look back there. or, maybe i could have used the 9.5's and then ran a motor from a 220...... Oh well.

 

In any event, my wheel spacers accomplish exactly what I wanted them to.

 

These rascals add about 23 lbs per side. They are made with a 7.75"diameter 3/4" plate and around 7.5" of 3" solid shaft. The shafts when mounted run just about flush with the outer edge of the tires. The plate was plasma cut around the outside and a 2.75" hole inside. I cleaned up the inside hole on the lathe, then turned the shaft down on the end to "drop into" the plate 1/4" for easy alignment. From the backside, the shaft was welded to the plate, and then I had to machine clearance in the backside to clear the 1-1/8" actual tractor axles because they protrude from the original hubs.

I cut the keyways on my old milling machine, and they will provide some means of indexing or holding whatever I end up putting on them. Weights or dual wheels would need something more than a friction clamp, and the keyway is the ticket. I do have some wheel weights, supposedly 90 lbs each, sitting in Upland, Indiana. When I get them, I hope I can create a "quick mount" option to get them on and off, but that depends on what is in the middle of them for a whole now and how much machining I will have to make them fit.

did drill and tap a 1/2" hole in the middle of the shafting.... Not sure what I will do with it...... maybe I can put "spinners" on there someday ?<G>

In the above picture, you will see that my 3" wheel studs are going to be completely used up because I only screwed them in from the backside. The serrated part you are supposed to pound in is still sticking out the back. I do not think I want to drill out the stock holes and press them in like they are supposed to be, but that will all come under review along with the future disc brakes. The other set of holes in the spacers will fit chevy 6 hole rims, effectively turning the spacers into adapters if necessary. I would have to do some more machine work to use them, but the intent is for when/if this tractor goes from working class to show class, I will be able to find some spun aluminum wheels that have a chevy pattern easily - not so easily for the 6 on 6 pattern.

When mounting these, one thing I noted was that a person could really add a lot of weight this way without having wheel weights on the outside. The 3/4" plate could be a much larger diameter to start with, right up to the inner rim diameter if necessary (cut out for the tire valve), and then an additional heavy ring (like a donut shape) could be located and welded inside of that. I bet you could easily add 150 lbs per side, INSIDE the wheel. Right now, I have the 12 gallons of WindWash fluid in each tire, so I am near the 125lb per side mark.

They sure look nice even in black primer ! I think they will get painted Orange though. I liked the way the orange hub shown inside of the white rim. If I start mounting things on them, I am going to wish I made them out of stainless so paint would not have to be scratched off.

Do you think 3" may have been a little too big in diameter ? Maybe I went a little overboard for the size of the tractor.

I think if I was going to do it again (and you know I just might !), I would try it with 2.5" shaft.

Above: Here is a shot with the spacers installed. I like the extra room between the fenders and rims. This will help when I get to putting on the dual disc brakes. I will make them so they will work without the spacers though, just in case. The sticker used to say "Experimental", but I cut a square hole in the back panel for the dunce caps of my rear travel valve to stick thru. If you can get by with a smaller fuel tank, a travel valve bolts up pretty nice on the fender.

Oh, and my wife probably would think the sticker should just say "Mental"....... <G>

Regarding the smaller tank, I need to find a "dip type" electronic fuel gauge. I have run out of fuel twice already, not watching my hour meter.... I have run about 2 hours on 1-1/2 gallons so far, but that was not with a continuous load like the snowblower or mower would provide.

This winter, I will be working on building that 3 point hitch, and then I will be able to make sure that valve will not interfere with anything. Then I might cap that opening with a removable, square protruding box. I want to be able to remove it, so one can easily maintain the float mechanisms down the road.

So, thats it for this year. The machine is ready for winter. They are talking about snow in just a few days. I quickly added a few extra lights, one on the chute, one on each side under the CASE sticker.... Thats the best I can do until I build my Cab. I might work on my cab this winter, and I already have most of it cut out of tubing. But, I dont think it will go on this year. After reviewing where I am at with this project, it just might be two years before I can finally rip it down for a decent body and paint job. I still have the 3 point, the rear hydraulic valve connections, the dual brakes,...... And, any repairs I might have to do from a hard winters service !

If you look at my rear rim, you will see some scratches already...... I hooked into a piece of steel when I was landscaping somewhere. The steel did not stop scratching there...... the tire has a big digger in it too ! Sure glad I went with the 6 ply tires !

 

Thanks to all the helpful enthusiasts over in the Yahoo Case group for all my questions.

I THOUGHT I was done messing around this year, but here is Page 6..!!!!!!!