I have a 1974 John Deere 110 garden tractor that I mow, snow blow and haul wood with. It's leaky and stinky but it works well and usually starts. I'm toying with the idea of converting it to electric. I've found a few websites and videos on the topic but not too many that cover my style of tractor (non hydraulic and one constant speed engine to run everything).
Has anyone on here done something like this?
Is there a relatively common and cheapish motor that would have similar oomph to the 10hp Kohler that's in it now?
I believe I'd just need one motor to exchange for the engine, batteries and a way to turn it on and off. I'm not even sure that I'd need a speed control for the motor since this tractor has a "variator" that acts like a variable transmission AND the clutch pedal is intended to also adjust speed as needed.
I've got an unpowered Wheel Horse tractor that I was planning to make electric, as a hauling machine. I talked to a friend, Ted Dillard who has written for Home Power about EV cycles, and he had also done an electric lawn tractor conversion.
He hauled it out one day and showed me.
I think he had used an industrial DC motor, but had recommended finding an electric golf car as a donor, since there was also the chance of controls and charger to use as well.
I like your idea Kenneth.
Mike, I would be inclined to wait till your tractor was dead before making such a radical change.
I think of this as Conservation of Functionality , aka, ain't broke, don't fix.
A broken down tractor should be cheap compared to the cost of the DC motor and batteries, if you want to get started right away, and not wait for the John Deer to die.
Thanks for the input everyone! I'll keep an eye out for forklift motors or golf cart motors/batteries. Kenneth, did you mean that Ted suggested a golf cart for the motor as well? I didn't realize they were that powerful...
True William, I'm loath to change a working gas tractor into a halfass kinda working electric tractor. But if it did work flawlessly, I'll be happy I took the plunge.
I guess at this point I'm just trying to figure out what I'll need if/when I do it so that if I run across the right motor, I'll know to grab it.
Yes, for the motor, and the controls, charger. A pretty simple (pre-engineered) kit to marry to the tractor. Rather than sourcing all new parts ($$) or cobbling random finds together.
The golf cars are made to move two adults, two sets of clubs, beer?... seats, fenders, and a roof.
They're often 36V, so 3x12V or 6x6V.
There's all levels of used golf carts out there... rusted hulks, rolling chassis but no guts, charger/or not, good runners with bad batteries, and turn key ones.
I figured I would aim for a good runner with bad/missing batteries, and build a 4-wheel trailer out of the chassis to go with the E-lawn tractor.
I found, but did not have time to go get a free one on Craigslist a few years back.
There's even MORE broken down lawn tractors out there! Often with blown motors... aw shucks... what to do!?!?
Thanks Kenneth, I'm hoping that it would not only be able to move the tractor around but also either run the three blade mower deck or the 38" single stage snowblower. I'm guessing that those take more power than locomotion but I'm really not sure. And I've never ridden in a golf cart so I could be underestimating their snort. I have been around electric forklifts so I'm fairly certain they have the horsepower.
Fitting existing stuff that works together into the tractor would be much easier than piecing it all together. I'm more mechanical than electrical...
Thank Tj! I hadn't see that forum before. I'll dive into that for a few days and see what I find