Intro: Garden Tractor to Pickup Truck
I got into a new "hobby" almost by accident. Now I am hooked. Modifications to garden tractors!
This is my second modification. I still have some more little additions but basically this is done.
What I did was find an old but running garden tractor for about a hundred bucks online. Then tried to decide what to do with it. Since I just obtained three more lots next to my home I decided to make a water garden which would mean hauling stuff around. I have a "real" pickup truck but for my needs it would be way to big and would cause more damage than I wanted to fix. It hit me to make a mini-pickup truck out of this tractor.
This would require a longer wheel base of course.
I stripped the tractor down to the basics. It was pretty rough but mechanically sound. I discarded the mower deck as this would never again cut grass.
The first image was my "design" in Inkscape to see where I was going. Extending the wheelbase was straight forward and involved two lengths of 2x2x0.25 angle from local scrap metal yard. A cross piece at the end holds the new axle mounted in four pillow blocks. Four are needed because the new axle is actually two pieces. This is necessary due to the tractor's transmission having a differential. Two chains drive each half-axel to retain this function so each wheel rotates as before.
I used 3/4" keyed shafts with suitable sprockets with 1:1 ratio and #40 roller chain. ( I may later increase the size of the input sprocket to get more ground speed )
Once the frame was extended I build the pickup bed with plywood and mounted to the cross brace used to mount the axles using two pretty heavy gate hinges. This makes it a dump bed.
Step 1: Planned Upgrades
There are a few small things to complete. I have headlights and tail lights and two small blue LED strobes mounted. I have to finish the wiring for those.
The bed tilts to dump but I have started to convert a scissor jack to make a power dump function. The motor shown is for a power car seat. It will be coupled to the screw and used to raise and lower the dump bed electrically.
As you can see I cut away the levers from one half of the jack so when it is activated the remaining arm will push up to tilt the bed.