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Refurb and Modification of 1430 Lawn Tractor

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mtarsus

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Mike Terrizzi
Hey Guys,

At the behest of a couple members of the forum, I've made a new thread to detail the ongoing saga of my 1430 snowblower conversion...

My neighbor sold me his mom's old 1430 last year. It had an issue with backfiring and stalling, which I later found to be a broken fuel pump, but not before I naively bought a whole new engine and installed it (the new engine had a bad fuel pump, too, so I wound up needing to get more parts anyway. Talk about irony). After getting my hands on a better lawnmower, I wasn't sure what to do with the 1430. Then, I impulsively got the idea to use it as a dedicated snowblower, because my driveway is pretty big, and using a tractor is way better when you have the room and the volume of snow that I deal with every year.

I bought a used craftsman 38", single stage, complete with chains and wheel weights, for less than $300. In order to install it, I will have to remove a bunch of the parts under the mower, and also fabricate a few parts to use as screw mounts.


Now, I will start at the beginning. At this time, I have done the following things:

1) Replaced Kohler MV16S with Kohler MV20S (19.5HP off of a GT6000). This was a ~2 day project. Nothing really challenging about swapping out a motor, just a lot of cleaning, wrenching, and tedious digging for nuts/bolts. One of the engine mounts had a seized bolt in it with a snapped head, and I spent the better part of an hour drilling it, starting with a 1/8" bit and progressively building up until it finally chunked and fell out. The Makita was pretty relieved to have a rest after the whole endeavor; I could tell from the unsettling smell of burnt electricity that was starting to work its way through the shed.

3) fixed/started engine (First Light! as we call it at IBM litho). Tuned the carb to run a little rich, call it cheap insurance.

4) Repaired and setup the choke/throttle... the choke cable was extremely gritty, so I straightened the end, pulled it out of the jacket, and blasted it with liquid wrench. It worked splendidly and the choke cable is great - saved me a few bucks, too.... which I wound up needing, to buy a third ignition coil
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because apparently something is just not right with the wiring setup on this engine. I would blame the other guy who was working on it, but he doesn't exist.

5) Finished installing drive/PTO belts. Mower runs and drives well

6) repaired/lubed deck and reinstalled for testing -- cuts great, but I don't need or want it so I took it off after 1 day. BTW it's for sale -- 38" deck, asking $100.

7) Removed Tranny, changed fluid, and readjusted the lever assembly for the hydro, to yield higher top speed. This was easily the least enjoyable project; the tranny was absolutely filthy, to the point where I wound up having to change into a "cleaner" pair of dirty work pants after I finished.

8) Removed lift linkage/assembly for mower deck. Removed belt tensioner for PTO. Also removed the foot rests to aid in the installation of the snowblower utility.

9) Replaced stator with working part from original engine. Wired everything up for the rectifier and magneto... then, blew up my last good ignition coil, and considered myself dead in the water for a week or two.

10) Decided to install push button and toggle switch to circumvent the troublesome grounding/current issue that keeps killing the ignition coils. I started to investigate the wiring system for the tractor, got fed up with the whole mess of filthy, sticky wires (peeling electrical tape), and finally went through with a pair of wire cutters and completely removed every wire that wasn't related to the starter and battery.

So yeah, now I am looking at wiring diagrams and trying to figure out what the hell I did to myself, and wondering why I got into this project in the first place, although I am still thoroughly enjoying it.

I've decided to remove the seat switch, and also to eliminate the safety interlocks for everything except for the PTO/Brake relay that lets you start the engine. Once the engine is running there will be no other safety features, especially not the obnoxious click switch that kills the PTO when you try to reverse.

Photos coming tomorrow, I hope... I'm not good at taking photos, I just keep working and never get around to it.
 

jchamberlin

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Jeremiah Chamberlin
Wow, Mark, you have certainly been busy! I'm assuming the snow blower will be attached to the rear of the tractor, i.e., to the axle or differential housing (or to the frame near those members) and that the existing mower controls will be used to manipulate the snow blower. Am I correct in my assumptions?
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mtarsus

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Mike Terrizzi
Yes, Jeremiah, you are correct. The plan is to hang the rear mount from somewhere just in front of the transmission. I've looked at it for a good long while, and I'm pretty sure it shouldn't interfere with any of the linkages, because the mounting bracket for the blower utility will hang about 6" lower than the linkage for the tranny.

Also, the lever to raise/lower the deck will hopefully be used to raise/lower the snowblower. My idea at this time is to simply clamp a cable onto the lever which will be attached to the front of the blower... however, I think it will be too heavy for me to lift it like that. I may wind up having to do something else.
 

nbextermueller

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Nic Bextermueller
If it gets too heavy to lift with the lift handle how you would like, you can always add some springs and rig up a bit of a "spring assist". That's what IH did anyways to help with heavy implements.
 

mtarsus

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Mike Terrizzi
OK, so I've taken a bunch of photos. It is raining here today, so everything is wet, except for the tractor, because I leave it in my shed along with a pile of miscellaneous clutter.

You will see that I've removed all the electronics. I am regretting this, because I just don't get it. I've read diagrams for this setup a couple of times, but it's just not sinking in. I feel pretty clueless, I will probably just wire it to run without safety interlocks and remind myself to be extra careful....

Also, the hood has a chunk of fiberglass torn off of it. I still have the piece that broke off. I plan to sand it and use a little bondo to hold it together.

The snowblower assembly with hardware is shown below. Fitting this thing into place is not going to be easy. Once it's on there, it's staying forever. The pulley assembly has a bolt tensioner that you can screw/unscrew and lock with a second bolt. Hopefully that will buy enough room to change belts.

Finally, you will see one of the 2 spotlights I bought to replace the stock headlights. I think I will install them into the same place when I replace the grill. I tested one of them against the battery terminals, and it is intensely bright. It is that bright blue that most LED's produce. They are super cheap, too. Cost $17 for both of them to ship from Amazon, and they are pretty well put together... not sure if they will last very long, though; we'll have to wait and see.



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mtarsus

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Mike Terrizzi
I have found that the stubs for the deck linkage can probably be used to hold a couple of heavy springs. I can attach the springs to the metal bar that traverses the area behind the gas tank (I believe it is related to the steering system, but it is bolted in place). Hopefully it will hold up against the tension, and hopefully I can find springs strong enough to make a different while lifting the plow.

I have been rewiring the tractor. All is going well. However, I did make one mistake; I wired the ammeter incorrectly. I thought that it was supposed to be wired hot on one side, and the other side was supposed to be grounded to the frame. I wasn't using a fuse when I tested everything either (Romex wire loop), so the short melted the fuse holder and more than likely destroyed the ammeter, too.

Oh well, I never really liked or used the ammeter anyway. Hopefully I can find some other utility that will fit in its place... like an hour counter.
 

mtarsus

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Mike Terrizzi
I have been looking online...

I have found a few websites that sell extension springs which will probably to help with the plow.

I am considering two 7" springs, they are 1-1/8" diameter, maximum weight is 180lbs a piece.

Do you think that is overkill? I get the impression that the linkage assembly will not transfer much energy from the springs, as the way I intend to set it up does not take advantage of much leverage. The cable will be lifting it from the nose of the blower...

Come to think of it, I can probably attach the cables to the frame of the snowblower, immediately behind the shroud, or I can arrange some kind of rudimentary linkage to lift it without using a cable.

Maybe this is all too much.
 

nbextermueller

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Nic Bextermueller
I would say try to get it mounted and working before you really need to think about springs. Cause you don't need springs if it doesn't work.

You've got alot to think about with all the wiring issues and S/B belt issues. If you can get it attached, safely turning the blower on the ground. Then take alook at what you might need to help lift it.

Secondly your going to need to think about rear tire chains and where to put about 200 or more pounds of weight on that thing. Our full size Garden tractors with wheel weights probably weight 900+ pounds with a grown man on it, and they have trouble finding enough traction in big wet snow...

I don't want to rain on your parade. I think you have a great project on your hands and a great mower to learn on. Just keep it in mind when your looking drive into an 18" drift with that thing.
 

mtarsus

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Mike Terrizzi
It came with 33lb weights and a set of chains. It also has a metal attachment on the back which used to hold a bagger, as well as the hitch. If it needs it, I can hang more weights from that. I can probably hang a milk crate from it and fill it with rocks
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Or maybe I can fill the tires with concrete.
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Also, once I removed the wiring for the ammeter, and sorted out the 5-pin relay, the wiring for startup works, and even has the PTO properly interlocked for the push button to start.

The new ignition coil came in the mail today. It will never be grounded to anything but a toggle switch that has a dedicated bolt to the frame. Not losing another one!
 

mtarsus

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Mike Terrizzi
I've found info on filling the tires with concrete. Seems like a very hot debate. Some people say it's the stupidest thing on earth, others seem to think it is a useful tactic in certain circumstances. I have another set of tires from another mover that are flat and have cracks from sitting. Same size. If I can find a way to get the seized rims off of the 1430, then I will entertain the idea of filling those old tires with concrete. I don't want to do it to the tires that are on there, because they are in good shape.

I think the concrete + wheel weights + chains + me (160lbs) will add a significant amount of weight. I'll try it with the weights and chains this year. If it seems like it needs more weight, then I'll fill those useless tires and put them on next season.... this year, I just want to get the thing working.

As for the lift/spring topic, I see now that the blower is lifted from the ground using an axle that rotates a lobe under the arm, and forces it up off the ground. That mechanism has more force than simply raising it with a cable. For that reason, I think it should be fairly easy to make it work using the lift lever.
 

mtarsus

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Mike Terrizzi
OK,

WITHOUT the help of a wiring diagram (I found that the diagram was only complicating things), I have rewired the mower as such:

1) Toggle switch acts as basic on/off for electronic system, isolates the battery from everything under the hood. Switch is located below the dash.
2) Brake and PTO interlock are installed as normal
3),Red panel bulb indicates the push button is live and ready to start the engine (this also doubles as proof of battery life and correct interlock wiring).

I also removed the cluster of idiot lights in the middle of the dash. Then, I cut, sanded and sprayed a piece of sheet metal and screwed it over the hole. I used it to hold the toggle switches for the headlights and the shutoff for the engine.

It looks pretty cool.

Now, at 12:30am, I feel satisfied enough to call it quits. However, a skunk welcomed himself into my shed, and I chose not to confront him, lest I spend my days slathering my tractor and tools with tomato paste.

Hope he'll leave soon so I can put my tools away...
 

mtarsus

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Mike Terrizzi
I put everything back together and the engine still won't start! I sprayed ether into the carb and it did nothing. The ignition coil is brand new. I did not connect the ground wire at all. It is wrapped in electrical tape to protect it. It has not been exposed to any electrical current whatsoever. What the hell is going on with this thing?
 

jchamberlin

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Mark: I'm sorry to hear you're having difficulty. First thing I would do, if I were you, is take a break from the project and come back to it fresh. Then examine the essentials. Ask yourself (and determine) the following:

1. Is the motor reasonably healthy mechanically? That is, are you getting good compression in all cylinders (I'm not sure if you have 1 or 2 cylinders.) Do a compression test if you haven't already. There are minimum compression levels that must be met before ignition can begin; see if you have them. I'm thinking at least 80 psi, but the value may be higher for your engine. One engine I had specified 90 psi. If you don't have a compression gauge now is a good time to buy one.

2. Are you getting a spark?
Note: This question is more difficult to answer than might first appear because the ignition has both a primary and secondary circuit. The only spark that matters is at the tip of the spark plug --in the cylinder. Although the magneto is somewhat self-contained, it still has a primary and secondary circuit. In troubleshooting, start at the spark plug end. I would invest in a relatively cheap spark tester such as found at your typical auto parts stores. One type features a clip to ground what is essentially a spark plug. Another type of tester is marketed by Briggs & Stratton and features a "window" in which to view the quality of the spark. Whatever test method you use, even a screw driver stuck into the sparkplug boot and held 1/8" to 1/4" away from the cylinder head-- you want to verify that your ignition system can generate a decent spark. Then comes the diagnostic fork: If your test reveals a spark, then you work toward the cylinder and make sure that the spark plug(s) you have are working; if you can't get a spark at the tester, then you start to work backwards toward the primary, testing the spark plug connection, the cable, etc. There may well be component tests for the magneto that will determine if the semiconductors are functional, but I'm not aware of any. Perhaps you can educate us.

3. The final component needed for ignition is fuel. If you're shooting ether into the carb then this base is covered. The engine should at least start up and run for a minute or two before dying out. Except for the possible damage to the cylinder walls, this would seem an excellent way to test a motor with magneto ignition; you don't have to find a way to stop it, it will run out of fuel on its own (provided the gas tank is disconnected).

Good luck. I would hate to see a project in which you've invested so much time and energy come to such a bad end. Remember, it is darkest before the dawn. Some new, overlooked fact may yet appear and you will learn why it won't start. You should gain knowledge from this experience even if it doesn't turn out as you hoped.
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mtarsus

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Mike Terrizzi
Jeremiah,

Thanks for your input. It turned out that the coil was gapped improperly. It was the first time I have had an issue with a poor gap causing no spark. But yeah, I was pretty ticked off for a while there!

I've zip-tied and organized all of the wires. Everything electronic is new and clean. The mower runs and drives as before, and I've installed a push button (functions as for a door bell) to shut off the engine.

One problem -- can't figure out the charging system. Something is wrong. The stator is producing 40v AC, but the rectifier/bridge is not putting out anything. I verified current by hooking it to a lightbulb. The stator is definitely working, but nothing I've tried so far will create any DC current...
I've tested it with 2 EOM rectifiers, and also with a one-way diode that came from a Briggs. For some reason it just won't produce any DC.

Also, I have begun to fit the snowblower. That is a description best left for photographs. I will upload some tomorrow.
 

mtarsus

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Mike Terrizzi
Hanging the snow blower from this thing is proving to be a challenge. Fool that I am, I just eyeballed everything roughly and then jumped in. Turns out the PTO needs to be hung higher. I will also have to hang the frame-mounted utility about 1/4" lower. As it is now, the unevenness in height between the pullies is too great, it causes the PTO to seize.

I have spent the past 2 days with either an angle grinder, hammer drill, or metal file in my hand. The snowblower frame needed extensive modification. I probably cut 5lbs of metal off of it, shortened it by 5", removed the spring assembly for the older PTO system, and also adjusted the height of the pullies respective to their housing.

Despite the frustration of this task, I find it enjoyable. For me, half of the fun is not knowing, and having to figure things out.

I still haven't figured out the issue with the stator. It's making 40v AC, but I can't get any diode or rectifier to produce an ounce of electricity from it. It's bugging me.
 

jchamberlin

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Mark: I think the Service Manual instructs you to "pull back the leads" but leave them connected as you test for the AC input & DC output of the rectifier / voltage regulator. It may be that the rectifier requires a load on it before becoming "active." The key is that the DC voltage reading should be higher than the reading at the battery when the engine is not running. Typically the rectifier puts out something in the range of 13.4 to 14.6 VDC (or perhaps it is 13.6 to 14.4 VDC, I can never remember).

Just a thought.
 

aschumacher

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Allen Schumacher
Slight correction, 13-14 volts when engine IS running. A fully charged battery will show about 12.5 volts with engine off.
 

mtarsus

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Mike Terrizzi
I was fortunate to find the answer online: the rectifier needs juice fed into it in order to activate it, much like a basic transistor which requires active current before it can transfer energy. I attached the battery lead to the DC cable, and now it's charging at 13.5v.
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I also got the PTO to run the main pulley for the blower!

I made adjustments to the drive pulley and PTO: used the angle grinder to shorten the bushings on either side of them, so that the PTO pulley sits 1/4" higher. I also used a metal file to elongate the holes I drilled in the frame, so that the pulley housing sits 1/4" lower. I used the slots which I drilled as levelers so that I could adjust the height of the frame to make the blower pulley nice and even, then cinched them down with a ratchet. Once it was it place, I drilled new holes and fit more bolts through them to make sure that it won't slide over time.

It runs pretty well, the PTO doesn't complain when it is switched on.

All in all, it was a good weekend. I was able to devote three whole days to the project, due to my work schedule, and also because my girlfriend is out of town. Funny, I picture most guys my age using a weekend like this to have a party or play poker with their friends. I just turn on the radio and work with my hands, in solitude, savoring the opportunity for quiet reflection.
 

jchamberlin

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Mark: Glad to hear you made progress on the project. Sounds like you're about ready for the snow to fly (in August yet!) Although I've tried to follow your descriptions, a few pictures would certainly help me understand what you've been up against and how you resolved the issue.
 

mtarsus

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Mike Terrizzi
OK, I will take a couple photos tomorrow, and make sure to upload them. I have descriptive videos, too, but my phone is lame and imposes crazy data limits for uploads (I am planning to root the phone to work around that).
 

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