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Yard Truck Conversion Project

January Project of the Month [3]
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bcall2043

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#1
Not exactly a “classic car, plane train helicopter or rocket” but this seemed like the most likely forum to place a project like this. I found this Taylor Dunn “Burden Carrier” setting in the scrap yard and I saw it being handy around the home place so I adopted it.
TD Arrives Home.jpg
Made an arrangement with the scrap yard manager to weight it and return the unwanted pieces not needed for the home project I had in my head. This saved me the cost of 350 pounds of scrap I did not need or want.

My thoughts on the project were to get rid of the solid rubber covered cast iron wheels and electric motor drive. The vehicle still has the solid wheels in the photo above before any pneumatic tires and wheels could be located. My first thoughts were to place a hydrostatic lawn tractor engine and drive train under it. This would make the wife “want to help around the yard”. She loves to drive the zero turn mower!

I know the thing looks bad in the photo above but this photo from the Taylor Dunn site is my inspiration:
Taylor Dunn 1.JPG

I do not plan to use the safety yellow color shown in the photos when I get to the point of new paint. First goal is to get it moveable under its own power.

Has anyone done a project like this or have any ideas. My idea of the lawn tractor power train seems easy but I suspect getting the controls to the cab area may not be so simple!

More to come as parts and photos become available. There should be some machining and fabrication content before this is over with.

Benny
The Orphanage Never Closes

TD Arrives Home.jpg Taylor Dunn 1.JPG
 

Grumpy Gator

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#3
Benny, What kind of room you got in the engine compartment?
Looks like a fun project.
Gas motor from a golf cart should fit.
**********G*************
 

Marco Bernardini

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#6
If you keep the electric motor (those batteries must weight a ton) you can add a small forklift in front of it without the need of supplemental weight.
 

bcall2043

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#7
Benny, What kind of room you got in the engine compartment?
Looks like a fun project.
Gas motor from a golf cart should fit.
**********G*************
Good Question! I have just started to discover the answers to this. I downloaded a copy of the original dimensions from the Taylor Dunn site, copy below.
Taylor Dunn B Dimensions.JPG
As built the truck was fairly low to the ground with about 19 inch diameter solid wheels. Since I will be using it for work around the yard and live in a wooded and hilly area I probably need more ground clearance at the price of raising the center of gravity.

Here is a photo with the temporary pneumatic tires and wheels installed. The front has a 7.50 x 8 inch "trailer" tire and wheel which was a factory option according to the Taylor Dunn site. The rear has a 16 inch diameter tire from a lawn tractor.
TD Temp Pneumatic Tires.jpg

The next photo is a look down into the "future engine compartment" showing what I have to work with. Going to need some modification! The engine will set about where the two round tubular pieces are at the right.
TD Future Engine Compartment.jpg

First step is to make a final decision on what size tire I will use. I am kind of leaning toward using 23 inch diameter tires as I now have some but they just won't fit under the truck without a lift kit for the front axle and some sheet metal work for clearance. Below is a photo of one of the 23 inch wheel setting next to rear of the truck.
TD Tire Size Comparison.jpg

Going to be some structural changes needed! However one of the reasons I liked the truck is that it was manufactured using all standard structural steel shapes.

Here is a photo of the donor John Deere lawn tractor that I plan to use. It has been setting in a barn for about two years and I was told it works but I have not had it running yet. Just got it unloaded and stripped to this point so I can measure and test everything before I start cutting and fitting.
JD Donor Strip Started.jpg

Your last comment is also a good one also but the gas powered carts don't last long at the scrap yard here. Everyone is willing to adopt them and give them a new life.

Benny
The Orphanage Never Closes

- - - Updated - - -

Benny where do you find the time for all that ambition?


Master of unfinished projects
I am retired so time should not be a problem but ambition and unfinished projects is!:rofl: However I have the full support of the wife on this project as she likes to drive things around the place. She claims the garden tractor and zero turn mower as her personal tools.

Benny
The Orphanage Never Closes

- - - Updated - - -

If you keep the electric motor (those batteries must weight a ton) you can add a small forklift in front of it without the need of supplemental weight.
I don't plan to use battery power but the fork lift idea was also suggested by forum member Charley Davidson. I have filed it away but not ruled it out. Right now the focus is to get the thing moving under its own power. I can always find some junk around here to load on the back if weight is needed.:rofl:

Benny
The Orphanage Never Closes

Taylor Dunn B Dimensions.JPG TD Temp Pneumatic Tires.jpg TD Future Engine Compartment.jpg TD Tire Size Comparison.jpg JD Donor Strip Started.jpg
 
Last edited:

Dave Smith

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#8
Benny---it looks like a very good project--I'm using a John Deere LUC 2 cyl motor in my yard homemade machine---maybe you can locate one of those out there---they were used in combines and small tractors----Dave
 

12bolts

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#10
If you stuck with the smaller wheels there looks to be room behind the back axle for a bogey. Might help to carry the weight. I imagine that it would have a substantial chassis for the original design.

Cheers Phil
 

OlCatBob

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#11
Hey Benny,

just thinking about the tire issue you are having. when you consider that the radius of the larger tire is only an additional 2 inches, I'm thinking it's not as big a deal as the comparison pic you posted makes it out to be. Ground clearance will be increased at the same time. Great looking start on the project, hope the engine fires up for you, still thinking filing the points may make the difference in that. It could be that there was a little fuel in the carb as well, perhaps clogging something critical too starting.
Good luck, let me know how it's going. Maybe I can get by one evening to help you get her running.
Bob
 

bcall2043

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#12
Hey Benny,

just thinking about the tire issue you are having. when you consider that the radius of the larger tire is only an additional 2 inches, I'm thinking it's not as big a deal as the comparison pic you posted makes it out to be. Ground clearance will be increased at the same time...................
Bob
Bob,
Thanks again for parting with the donor JD.

I think you are right about the tire size increase. The overall height increase will be only half of the tire diameter increase if the tire still has enough clearance at the top. I think the next step for the truck chassis is to put together a riser kit (1/2 the tire diameter change) for the front and see where the truck sets level or with a little rise at the rear (for loading). Then set the differential/transmission to fit that.

Benny
The Orphanage Never Closes
 

newbydave

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#13
Looks to be a fun project. Will be following the progress.

Newbydave
 

bcall2043

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#14
Re: Yard Truck Conversion Project -Update

Time for a little update, however there’s not much progress to report. It seems like I take three steps forward and two backwards.

I put fuel in the donor JD and attempted to start it. The starter would not crank the engine over, too much compression. I did get it to fire a few times with hand assist to the flywheel but suspect the complete fuel system will have to be flushed and cleaned before it will run, more work. Bob had warned me that the compression release was not working correctly. Knowing nothing about how this worked, I got on line and found a service manual for the Kohler engine used on the JD. I learned that there were “flyweights” on the cam shaft with little tabs that, at crank speeds, would lift one of the valves a little to reduce the compression. The weights swung outward at run speeds clearing the valves. I never got to see if that part worked.:rofl: The manual also indicated that there was an early design with non-hardened tabs and a later design with hardened tabs. Both versions would probably require a new cam shaft to correct the problem. I decided to put off getting the engine running until I finalized final tire size and established the final ground clearance.

I figured that since I would be building a new sub-frame and suspension for the rear of the truck I should start with putting the final tire size under the front. First I moved the front axle from the top of the leaf spring to the bottom thinking it would make it easier to get the larger tires and wheels under the front end without major body modification. Big mistake as it raised the truck too much and did not really give the look I wanted. Photo below shows the truck with the front axle at the new 23 inch wheel center height and the larger wheel setting next to it.
Front Lift_0741.jpg

The larger wheel shown is a very wide one from the rear of a lawn tractor and I don’t think it will clear everything under the frame on turns. Moved the axle back to the original position and looked for a different tire and wheel.

I got a couple of 12x6 tires and wheels off Craigslist that I thought would fit under and look better on the front. The wheels had the correct bolt circle but the bolt holes were small. Did not have the correct size drill that could provide the bolt clearance so I drilled to the bolt size and using a taper reamer from each side achieved the needed bolt clearance. They almost fit and looked good (even with the agricultural tread pattern) but did almost hit the outside of the wheel well on turns, see photo below. A little trim should take care of this.
Front wt 12x6i Tire_0742.jpg

Took a break and when I returned one of the new (old) front tires had blown out.:headache: So much for being cheap, should have bought new tires. Now I need to find replacements.

Benny
The Orphanage Never Closes

Front Lift_0741.jpg Front wt 12x6i Tire_0742.jpg
 

OlCatBob

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#15
Hey Benny,

just wondering if you had gotten the old Kohler running yet? I spent the day mowing grass, and working on an air compressor project for my son's new (to him) shop. I made a little progress today, fabbing up a mount for the pump. The pump and motor sit perpendicular on this tank, and since the flywheel/pulley is so large, it was sitting tight on the tank with no room for a belt even.
Take care,
Bob
 
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