Notice: I've recently completely turned this mower into a new build. If you've read this before, proceed to step 12 for the latest updates. Otherwise, start reading below for the original build.Thanks to everyone who has commented before. As always, feel free to ask questions and I'll do my best to answer.Click Here to proceed to step 12.
In this demo, you'll get some ideas of how you can make a real racing riding mower used in national events. Have fun turning what used to be the family lawn mower into a fire-breathing high speed racing machine. Also- I'm constantly making changes and modifications to the final machine so check back to see what I've done. The next plans I have include steering upgrades.Please read the following paragraph before proceeding.
Before we start, there's a bit of safety to discuss.Yes, racing lawn mowers from an outward perspective is sort of funny ( which it is!)But its important to realize that racing mowers such as these are heavily modified to handle much greater speeds than the original mower was designed for. Many of these mowers go 50MPH or more.Making a race mower isn't as simple as taking a stock tractor and making it go fast without any alterations. So its important that the frame, brakes, steering, engine, and wheels are modified or altered to handle this additional speed.So to make this point doubly clear, it is NOT a good idea to take a bone stock mower and make it go fast.
You can, and will get hurt if you do so, and trust me- I've seen enough people wreck due to this very reason. So play it safe. Secondly, if you do plan on racing, make sure and check out the rules for your chapter and wear appropriate safety gear such as a helmet ( motorbike), gloves, boots, and long pants.My mower is built using ARMA ( American Racing Mower Association) rules and regulations. Lastly, your mower must have an approved jet ski/snowmobile style safety tether switch. If you fall off ( which we often do) the mower must automatically shut down or it'll keep right on going! Racing mowers might seem silly, which it sort of is, but you can get hurt if you're not careful. So be safe!
Ready, let's get started! The 'victim' I chose for this build is a late 60's Grants mower. Tiny little mowers like these were produced back when riding mowers were still deemed a luxury. They're little more than a seat sitting on top of a mower deck. Most used smaller engines. The advantage of using such a little mower is that you can reduce the weight dramatically by simply having a 'legit' riding mower complimented with a larger engine, hence a higher power/weight ratio. Don't get attached to it. When its done, there won't be much left of the original.
The first step is to strip the mower down to the frame. Modern mowers usually have a single stamped piece of steel. Older mowers like this one have frames made of square tubing or slabs of steel. This will give you an idea of how much of the mower is actually usable and how you can lay out the drive, steering, and brake components. Besides the hood, what's leftover to use isn't much. The rest are worthless such as the stock wheels, steering wheel, and transmission.