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converting tracked ATV to hydro drive

lapeer20m

lapeer20m

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Many of you have seen the photos or video's of my wood hauler, the beloved honey badger. About a week ago she she suffered a catastrophic failure....ok maybe not quite to that level, but she broke the primary clutch, a $300 part.

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I've never been satisfied with the drivetrane. In spite of my constant fiddling and repairing it just doesn't steer quite right. Ever since i bought this thing i toyed with the idea of converting to hydraulic drive. NOW IS THE TIME.

Apparently purchasing a honey badger also requires one to own a front end loader....or in this case a backhoe.

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Some photos while she is up off the ground:

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lapeer20m

lapeer20m

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I thought it would take a couple hours to remove the "cradle" that contains the entire powertrane. Turned out to be more like 7 hours.

Engine removal was quick and easy.
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Here is the hour meter:
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Finally removed the cradle:
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lapeer20m

lapeer20m

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The hydraulics are being stolen from a commercial walk behind mower. I don't really know if they are robust enough for this application, but from the data i've gleaned so far it looks promising. The honey badger will be slower with hydro's, but far more manuverable. I don't need to go fast, i just need to go places where most machines are unable to trek.

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I removed the wheel,
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Then the hydro motor
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and mocked it up. The hydro motor will drive a chain turning the honey badger sprocket. This is advantageous as i can change the gear ratio to make sure the hydraulic motor is able to provide the necessary torque.
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My plan is to cut a hole in this 1/4" piece of aluminum in order to mount the hydraulic motor.

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Up until this point, everything was "free," meaning that i already owned it. Some stuff was actually free. Other things, like the mower, i bought brand new about 20 years ago when i had a commercial lawn mowing company. It paid for itself many times over.

Now i need to go out and buy chain/sprockets and a few other goodies. Hopefully within the next week i will be out test driving the new setup.
 

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beerman6

beerman6

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I wondered why Argo (etc) never went to Hydro. I read a article once were they stated they were worried about speed,heat and cost.

Very interested to see how this turns out.
 
7sleeper

7sleeper

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Cool project!!! Don't know how the rest looks like but I would invest a little bit of renovation work into the rest while you have it apart.

7
 
ttyR2

ttyR2

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In response to the question about Argo never going with hydrostatic drive, a hydro setup would be heavier than a simple belt drive, and more expensive. That being said, hydro gives you a lot of options though.
 
lapeer20m

lapeer20m

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In response to the question about Argo never going with hydrostatic drive, a hydro setup would be heavier than a simple belt drive, and more expensive. That being said, hydro gives you a lot of options though.
While i'm sure it's more expensive, i'm not convinced that hydro is necessarily heavier. The argo drive requires a snowmobile type clutch, plus a gear box, three brakes, and 2 clutches plus sprockets and chain. While a hydro setup could avoid all of those components.
 
lapeer20m

lapeer20m

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Cool project!!! Don't know how the rest looks like but I would invest a little bit of renovation work into the rest while you have it apart.

7
A renovation is an excellent idea! However, this is my primary wood hauling machine and it's a bit embarrassing, but i am nearly out of wood. I cannot afford the time to referb the machine right now. There is feet of snow on the ground making it difficult or impossible for most machines to venture into the woods.

I would like to tear the machine down sometime and do a complete renovation. There are some rust issues that need to be addressed. I would also like to paint the beast and replace the seat(s) Almost all of the mechanical parts are easy to find. The bogie wheels are available at tractor supply, the track is simply conveyor belt, lots of 1" shafts and heavy duty greasable bearings. Oddly enough, there are tons of bolts with fine threads.
 
7sleeper

7sleeper

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A renovation is an excellent idea! However, this is my primary wood hauling machine and it's a bit embarrassing, but i am nearly out of wood. I cannot afford the time to referb the machine right now. There is feet of snow on the ground making it difficult or impossible for most machines to venture into the woods.

I would like to tear the machine down sometime and do a complete renovation. There are some rust issues that need to be addressed. I would also like to paint the beast and replace the seat(s) Almost all of the mechanical parts are easy to find. The bogie wheels are available at tractor supply, the track is simply conveyor belt, lots of 1" shafts and heavy duty greasable bearings. Oddly enough, there are tons of bolts with fine threads.
That's what I was worried about that there seems to be some rust and thought that maybe some welding needed to reinforce.

7
 
Jim Timber

Jim Timber

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I hope this has enough power to make it worthwhile. Even if it doesn't, you'll just need to upgrade your pump/motors/engine (some combination there of) once done, so it's not like you're risking much since you have all the current components.

Looks fun! :D
 
ttyR2

ttyR2

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All the plumbing, valving, hydraulic tank w/fluid, etc will be somewhat heavy. I still don't think you'll save much on weight (I think it'll be heavier).
 
lapeer20m

lapeer20m

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Been too busy to work on the machine until today.

I made great progress! The pumps are mounted, sprockets welded, and chains connected.

I crudely mounted the engine/pumps so I could connect the hydro lines and take her out for a test drive.

I wouldn't call it a failure, but the test drive left a lot to be desired. The mounts for the hydraulic motors are simply too flimsy. They flex enough to allow the chains to slip and eventually pop off the sprockets.

I will reinforce the mounts and install idler sprockets for the chain.
She seemed to have plenty of power, but we will learn more after the motor mounts are fixed...
 
firebrick43

firebrick43

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What exactly is the model of this contraption. By reading I was assuming Argo honey badger but that didn't get me any where on Google except for the interesting facts about what the real honey badgers are and how the will fight full grown lions and literally neuter the and have lion oysters for breakfast!
 
Hddnis

Hddnis

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I learned young that trans mounts had to be beefy or they would twist like a pretzel, my very first riding mower that I built out of two junk mowers I wound up the trans mount like it was cooked spaghetti.

This repower is a cool project, it has me sort of keeping an eye out for small tracked atv.



Mr. HE:cool:
 
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