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Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Posted by pipsydog Washington state (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 24, 08 at 15:02

Since the blog has been disabled this will be a discussion of my newly aquired little yardbug. A non running bug. I found it cheaper to find a little lawn tractor than a vintage car to mess with. Got mine for $150 and it is a solid neat little machine. An internet search on the bug revealed what many think is the worst lawn tractor of all time to my dismay...but a few praised the little beast so gave me new hope on fixing it up.

Mainly the belts were off my machine and one new belt purchased by the previous owner to put on. Guess he weighed the difficulty of putting it back together against the small lawn he had and decided it was not worth it. So Craiglist bound it found its way to me and only 80 miles away. This is the start of a journey and all comments are welcome.
Paul


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Paul, you bought an MTD yard bug for a project? So, if you had gone for a car, it would have been a Yugo?


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

According to this pic, they are used for towing Red tractors?


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

You Should Have lots of fun fixing up the Bug,,,, MTD parts are easy to come by and many components interchange between yard man and other MTD brands (even Cub cadet Parts) Matter of Fact, Some electrical MTD parts interchange with JOHN DEER! So don't let the lawn mower snobs bother you. Enjoy your Yard Bug for what it is... A Cute little Mower.


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Ha! The bug could probly pull that little red tractor, Bill.
Twelveguage I used to want one of those little cheap Yugo's to play around with. Never got one though. Did have a Hudson and Nash Metropolitan back in the 60's. Rebuilt the Nash in college. They were fun to take the kids out and sit one on my lap and let them steer around through the sagebrush in southern Cal. Ran over lots of bushes.

Thanks TractorTrader, the bug is designed so differently fron the standard tractor it just caught my eye. Looked like it would be fun to play around with.
I worked on it today for a while but still didn't get it running. Recharged my new battery and pulled the spark plug and cleaned and regapped it. It was wet with foul smelling old gas so tomorrow I guess I will remove all the gas out of the tank and refill it with fresh gas. Air cleaner is ok, and fuel filter has to be ok for the plug to be all wet with gas. Spent time cleaning grease from the frame where I could get to it for now. It cranks over very nicely but think the old gas is killing the spark at the plug. Gapped at .030 thousandths. I was worried mainly about burning out my little starter so kept the starting to short runs of 2 to 3 seconds at a time. Tried it full choke, less and mid but no go. Had the brake fully depressed. I noticed the cable on the break didn't move very much and when released looked kind of loose at its connecting point. Have to look in the book and see if that might have an effect on starting the engine.
Still looking for comments.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Uh......have you found a "Fisher-Price" decal anywhere on this "toy"? :^)


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Gosh was that a putdown?!!:-) I think the design of this little bug is far more creative than the standard tractor design. Sure it is probably a little harder to get to some parts for maintenance but that is the price you pay for uniqness. I could have found any number of the same monotoness style garden tractors but this little bug hit my creativity and interest right in the eye. I could care less if I ever cut a blade of grass or not though I am sure I will to save my wife from pushing the power mower around our yard. It is a full city size lot. So far I haven't found it to be any more difficult than crawling around a modern front wheel drive car. Talk about changing spark plugs in some of them! Just have to pull a little battery in my rig to change it. I will say I am a little jealous of the guy who bought the Cub Cadet off Craigslist for $200 and only had 125 hours on it. What a deal! But it isn't as cute as my bug I don't think..probably easier to repair though for those more interested in cutting grass.

Been thinking about dressing my bug up in a costume and running it in our big annual rodeo parade...maybe... Would be neat to get a bunch of garden tractor owners involved in that. But they would probably be to busy cutting grass on the south forty to worry about all that fun.

Oh well fire the jabs away...I still like my little bug and haven't even heard the engine run yet....but soon.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Nah, not a put down. Just don't see these that often and with the "swing set" in the background, I just thought of some of the big, green, plastic ride-on toys I've see in some folk's yards. Sometimes we kinda veer away from being completely serious and dour and go for a little good natured ribbing or jest on this forum. It's jest hard to tell sometimes. :^) By the way......welcome aboard.


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Thanks Mownie, no problem..I can take it. Ha. Been inside most of the day (fighting a cold and it is cold and windy outside right now) pondering why it won't start. First the fuel was old maybe a half quart in the tank and I added about one more quart. Cranked on it for a couple of days with no result. Didn't sound like it was even attempting to fire. Shift was in neutral and brake pedal down as far as it would go. When I pulled the plug it was wet but pretty clean otherwise. I wire brushed it and dried it out and regapped it to .030. The fuel smelled pretty varnishy but tank looked clean. Huh. Been thinking that maybe it isn't the gas but that maybe I'm not getting any spark. So I got safety switches to check out. The book mentioned four total that could keep the machine from starting. Well it does crank normal..brake pedal switch, blade engagement switch, shift lever switch and seat switch. Need to figure which one would kill the spark and not the starter circuit. Got a volt meter so wonder what test point I should go for first. The ignition is covered by a plate and the battery covers most access to that area. but input 12v to the ignition should maybe come off of the start relay? What terminal I wonder. Don't have but two wires to the battery. Can't find any test point in the op manual. Wonder if the wire would come from the ignition switch and if that would be the only access to test short of taking the cover plate off the ignition area? Anyone ever done a source voltage test to see if coil is getting voltage? If it is then of course would have to tear into the ignition circuit. Trying to keep the work down as simple as I can because I have bad arthritis in my hands and fingers are stiff. But can do the job if I have too. It is fifty fifty at this point whether it is fuel or spark problems. Any good coaching or pointers from anyone who has done this troubleshooting before?
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Ground the plug against the head and crank it over and see if you got spark. If the gas smelled old, drain it all out. You need to get the old gas out of the carb. If the gas smelled real bad you will need to clean the carb.

If you got spark you may try dumping a little gas into the carb. take the air cleaner off and dump it in there. Starting fluid works too. But check for spark first.

Do not crank and crank the engine you will ruin the starter.

I am not 100% sure but if it cranks over the safety switches are working and it should be getting spark.


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

"but input 12v to the ignition should maybe come off of the start relay?" NO, this B&S engine DOES NOT use "Battery and Coil" ignition. The ignition system you have is a "Magneto" type ignition system, powered solely by the magnet in the flywheel/fan assembly as it passes the ignition coil when the crankshaft is rotating. As this engine has "sat" unused for some time, you need to remove the fan shroud/flywheel cover and check for rust formation on the surfaces of the flywheel/fan assy. Crystals of rust on the surface of the flywheel can spoil the magnetic "flux" that is supposed to "generate a spark" out of the ignition coil. If you find rust, sand it all away with 150 grit (or finer grit) and then wipe away all the dust. Use a business card or matchbook cover to set the air gap between the flywheel magnet and the ignition coil. While you have the shroud off, inspect the spark plug cable coming out of the ignition coil to make sure it has not been chewed through by mice. Mice seem to find the rubber insulation a "delicacy". Also look down along the sides of the engine (between the sheet metal and engine) to make sure that the mice have not hauled in a bunch of grass etc. to build a nest. While inspecting the ignition coil, find the small (about 18 to 20 guage AWG) insulated wire. This is the wire that "kills" the spark (and thus, the engine stops). Beginning at the coil, you need to trace this wire to its other end. This wire could run to the throttle control linkage assembly (near the carburetor) where it attaches to a "grounding switch" built into the works of the control linkage components. This switch "closes" to ground the kill wire (and thus the ignition coil ceases to generate a spark) whenever the throttle control is moved to the stop position. Moving the throttle control away from the stop position "opens" the kill switch and permits the ignition coil to generate a spark. Alternatively, this wire might run to the IGNITION switch. If this "kill wire" does run to the ignition switch, don't mistakenly think that means there is a 12VDC connection involved. What actually goes on is this: The circuit in the ignition switch that works in conjuction with the kill wire, is completly separate from the 12VDC circuits controlled by the ignition switch. The ignition switch has a terminal that runs out to a connection on the chassis and/or engine "ground". When the ignition switch is in the RUN or the START position, the "kill wire" circuit contacts are "OPEN" (NO continuity to ground) and this permits the ignition coil to generate a spark. When the ignition switch is turned to the off position, the "kill wire" circuit contacts close and "ground" the ignition coil kill wire, killing the spark. If the insulation on this kill wire is cracked, chafed, or "eaten by mice" and touching a "grounded surface", the ignition coil cannot generate a spark. If the kill wire has come loose from the throttle control assembly (or ignition switch) and is touching a ground, you will not get a spark.


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.add on

OOPS, I got distracted by "domestic disturbance" from a couple of our pets and forgot to mention that the desciption I gave in the above post is "the simplest" example of grounding the "kill wire". In modern reality, there might be some additional safety switches present that would also ground the kill wire curcuit (and stop the engine) is some "operator error" is made (like "failing to set park brake" or "rising from the seat with blades engaged". But, you can interpret the more complex circuits a bit easier if you understand just how "killing the spark" is accomplished. Another way of describing this type of magneto ignition system is to say "You don't have to do something to get the ignition system to CREATE a spark. You have to do something to keep it from creating a spark".


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Wow! Mownie and Tractortrader you have given me some superb troubleshooting info. Thank you very much. I have worked push mower magneto systems before and wasn't aware B/S used only this system. I think I will take the shroud off first and inspect the system then take an ohmeter and check to see if the kill circuit is grounded killing the spark. Check the flywheel for rust and accurate gapping. Remove the air filtter ass'y and put a little raw gas down the carb throat (when I make sure I am getting spark) and then crank it over to see if it will start. I could probably short circuit the seat switch so that I could have the housing open while starting.
Thanks
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Most of these "Operator Presence Sensing" systems are designed so that the "presence" of a seated operator causes the kill circuit to open and vacating the seat causes the kill circuit to become grounded. Be sure to understand that SOME seat switch connectors are of the "short circuit when unplugged" type (meaning that if you try to simply "unplug" the connector from the seat switch, it automatically establishes a "short to ground" and still kills the engine. If you try to "jumper" the connector, you are still creating a grounded circuit for the kill wire, so that will not work either. SOME machines have a relay that kills the engine (the relay gets its input signal from the seat and other switches).


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Bill, I think the red tractor was PUSHING the Yardbug - with a chain.

Paul, you don't have to short-circuit the seat switch. I jump-start my Yardbug at times. All ya gotta do is 1) make sure the blade is not engaged, 2) put the transmission in neutral, and 3) lock the brake pedal (by depressing the brake and pulling up on the little black knob that sticks up from the floorboard.)

BTW, for jump-start purposes, I connected a short length of #8 wire to the positive battery terminal, and leave it sticking out from the shroud. I connect the red jump cable to that wire, and the black cable to a bolt on the engine. Saves taking the shroud off if you have to jump start.


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Mownie I think on my bug that if you get out of the seat with the brake off it makes the circuit to kill the spark, if controls are set with blade off and in neutral and parking brake set I gather that you can get off the seat without killing the engine. Still have to figure out how the switches are wired, parallel or serial or both.

Javert it is plain to see that (with the scalp marks in the lawn, a yardbug problem) that it is set up to tow the red tractor with engine driving only the blades (tranny broke in the red one) to cut his grass.:-) Good ole 'Merican knowhow!

I'll have to hook me up a charging wire like you described for charging and put a rubber tube over the bare wire for protection when not using it- but I wanted the hood up so I could see what was going on inside when I am cranking it and maybe putting a bit of gas down the carb to prime it to get the bad gas burning. Guess if I set all the controls right I can lift the hood and start it without jumping the seat switch.
Boy, I am getting lots of great information here that the book doesn't give.
My thanks to everyone. I'll let you know what I find out next week.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Just be sure to write down or mentally record things you discover about the switches and wiring (and other stuff) as you go along. Build your own data base and draw schematics if you want. I'm still chuckling about your "redneck trailmower" combo! Tell me this....does it require 2 people to operate? or have you rigged up something from "The Red Green Show" to steer the "trailing mower"?? :^)


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Mownie, Not my picture or rig but my surmise...would guess the wife would steer the red one while husband drives the bug. :-) Ha.
Yep I will make notes on wiring setup as I go.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

I just posted pictures of my YardBug on the Garden gallery under tractors & Lawn equipment. 'My sick bug' and 'Sick bug'...front and side views. Got to be out of town tuesday so it will be wednesday before I can check it out.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Heh heh heh! I was beginning to think I was the only person who had one of those Black & Decker battery charger/reconditioner "outfits". I received mine as a gift and am just now getting the chance to "see" what the durn thing can do. Like the kid on the TV ad (a few years back), "I'm "skeptable".


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Hi Mownie, just got back from about a 125 miles north of here. Live in central Wa. Had some work to do on wifes inheiritance place. Cut up some dried up small apple trees and haul some of it back down here for our woodstove my brother gave us. It is an airtight unlike the old parlor stove we had. With diesel for furnaces selling for upwards above $4 a gallon we will burn wood till prices come down.

The charger is my sons but I am pretty impressed by it. Seems to work very well. Just set the type of cell (wet or gel) and set amps for charging and let er go. I am anxious to work on the bug tomorrow.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

No sunshine for a few days will be sprinkling and raining for the next few days....SHUCKS!!! Maybe can get a patch of sunshine somewhere so I can do some troubleshooting. Wish I had a big well lighted and heated workshop...heck even 10 square feet would be great! May have to put up me a work shed or small metal building and insulate it. Gosh! Another project! :-)
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Have had a couple of these in the shop, A Pain to work on!! But they are kind of neat looking. Check the seat switrch if you have no spark, both units I have seen had the seat switches replaced. Pat


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Well tore into the little beastie today and boy what a mess. Pulled all the cowling from the top of the engine and saw what appeared to be the mag coil. A big blob of grease, grass and dirt! All the fins were loaded with the same material too. Spent two hours with a screwdriver, wd 40 and a water hose to clean it all out. Took my pocket knife and a brash brush and cleaned up the mag. Washed the whole thing down with a hose and hand dried the flywheel after brushing all rust off the edge where the spark is generated. Pulled the gas tank and will drain it. Laid the tank outlet hose down low and drained it as much as possible. First good weather I will reassemble it all. Got one area that I think may be a problem..don't know yet. It is the throttle cable style wire that ends at a little white plastic square on a metal plate beside the carb. It doesn't seem to move with the throttle control or the brake pedal or accelerator pedal...not sure just where it goes..haven't traced it out yet. One thing is for sure I should get all kinds of spark now that it is all cleaned up. Less'n a kill switch circuit is shorted to ground. Don't think the engine has been cleaned ever.
Hope most of my problems are finished. It was fun though. :-)
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Just ordered a 300 page B/S L head engine manual that covers my 9hp engine for less than $9. Thought that was a pretty good buy. It is a total repair manual for engines. Tried to find one locally but all I could find did not get above 5hp.
Hope it describes a few items on the engine that I don't understand. I found one part that I was interested in on the internet with part number but all it described was 'cable control' not a clue as to what the function of the cable and unit was for.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Darn!! Snow in the forcast this week....yuk!!
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Well it is monday morning and cool but sunny. Got bundled up (fighting a cold) cleaned what I had missed and reassembled the B/S. Poured some fresh gas in it and a bit down the carb throat. Hopped on and turned the key with full choke and brake pedal depressed. She fired up instantly and sounded good. No smoke. Ran for a short bit and tested the throttle and it functioned but began to cut ou when I dropped off of full choke and then died. I reprimed it and fired it up ok. Went through about four cycles like that and finally decided that I have a plugged fuel filter. Well that wasd enough for one day and it was getting colder. I think I may have to pull the back railing cowl to get at the filter..don't much like that..but maybe can get to it from underneath..wouldn't think you would have to go that far just to change a fuel filter. If it has to come off then I think I will cut a patch out of the cowl covering the filter so it will be easier to change in the future. Just screw a cover over it to hide it. I'll check into it.

The way it is going it doesn't look like I will get the belts on this year. I'll just settle on getting the engine running nicely.

Downloaded a training manual on the little beastie that gives point to point VOM readings for all the switches and solenoid, starter,etc. Plus a great many other work methods, such as tranny...hope I never have to use that section!
Well time to sit back and relax I have done my days work and it was kinda fun too.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Just picked up a fuel filter at NAPA auto parts. Not the same quite but I like it better as you can see the filter and in the old one you cannot. Might have to cut off a bit of hose but maybe not if I can just curve it smoothly so no kinks. Weather is still forboding and I better get cracking soon as I can clear this cold up.

They say you have to drop the engine pulley down (without losing the little shaft key in the process) to be able to put the upper belt on. I am wondering if this is totally necessary..will have to check this out. I may just put the engine drive belt to variable speed pulley and the belt from that pulley to the tranny pulley and just leave the deck belt off for now. Just need to drive it into the back yard and block it up for the winter. Wrap it up good too from the snow. Put stabilizer into the gas tank should save the fuel. What I ought to do is put a tee into the fuel line with a drain cock to drain the tank every season. Maybe next year. Should have lots of fun with this little bug next season.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Paul, I have encountered some drive belt pulleys where the design intent was just like yours is described. The intent is that after the PTO is "dropped" off the bottom end of crankshaft, you "slip the drive pulley off the crank". DO NOT believe that it will always work that easily. I have run into a few drive pulleys that were seized (rusted)solidly to the crank and would have likely resulted in me destroying the pulley if I had continued trying to get the drive pulley to "slip off". In these instances I had to "go the long way home" to replace the belt. I had to remove the engine mounting bolts (and on some I had to take the exhaust pipes loose at the cylinder head flange) and jack up, or otherwise raise the engine up off the frame so the drive pulley and the old drive belt go up through the crankshaft hole in the tractor frame. Once the belt is "above the frame", slip the belt off the pulley and then work it under the pulley, through the hole and down off the crankshaft. Work the new belt over the crankshaft and up through the hole in the frame so it comes out under the drive pulley. Now get enough slack in the belt to work it into the pulley groove. Now, lower the engine back down onto the frame making sure the belt stays in the pulley and does not hang or snag on the frame. The rest of the job should go just like the book says. If you are lucky, you may not need to use the "extreme" method, but it's an option if the doggone drive pulley is "stuck and won't move".


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Mownie thanks for another option. I may go another route if possible by altering the frame or cage around the engine pulley so that belts are easier to remove and install. Modification is the name of the game. Or re-engineering. Manufacturers design for ease in repair is always last on their minds. Speed of manufacture and cost is always first, huh? I may take a cutting grindert to it. Ha.. Looks like it may be a few days before I get back to it. Got a new fuel filter to install so will check my options then. If it is going to be too big a job then I will just block it up off the ground and cover it up for next years fun.
How long have you been working on these little machines? Sounds like you have covered some ground in your experience.

I just thought I would mention it..I got another thread on here titled 'The Straight (JDeere) Story' Don't know if you saw it or not but it is about a movie I got for my birthday that is really enjoyable. It is a true story about Alvin Straight who drove his little JD tractor and pulled a trailer across two states by necessity to visit his ill brother. From Iowa to /wisconsin if I remember right. It is really a beautiful movie visually and Richard Farnsworth starred in it. he was in the movie 'the Grey Fox' if you saw it. Just thought if you could find a copy you would enjoy it.
Thanks for all your great suggestions.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Hi Paul - been watching this thread and decided I chime in to assist you with your Yard Booger (sorry I couldn't help myself).

If you actually got the engine running AND it wont run off choke then your looking at a clogged main jet in the carb. (i happen to have run into this problem on a Yamaha motorcycle of mine this week).

Turns out when the main jet is clogged the engine wont run under normal "off choke" conditions - but when choked the engine will be getting its fuel from the choke enrichment circuit. Once you open the choke the vacuum drops and that circuit is no longer working - your motor dies.

With that said - I'd pull the carb and open the fuel bowl - from there I use guitar wire and compressed air to clean the main jet (and other areas since your in there), and the engine will pure like a kitten ... err sorry ... cricket or maybe even a cicada ...

Generally you dont need to replace any gaskets for this exercise - but any decent lawn mower shop should be able to hook you up - if you need one.

Good luck to you - Dave


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Paul, no matter how frustrated you get about the design shape of the crankshaft hole in the frame....DO NOT succumb to the temptation to enlarge the opening, or to remove the "lip" of metal that situates in front of the drive belt. The lip of metal formed in the stamping of the frame provides at least 2 essential benefits. It's primary function is to prevent the drive belt from "being thrown" off the pulley during the times that the drive belt is "slack". These longish belts exhibit a lot of bounce and irregular motion which can cause the belt to ride completely out of the small pulley on the crank if not for the "belt retention lip" formed into the frame bed. Another benefit provided by this lip is a significant "stiffening and strengthening" of the frame due to the shape of the hole imparted by this feature (think of it as "angle iron" versus "flat iron" in strength and stiffness).


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RE: Yardman Yardbug .

Paul, I'll have my wife look for the Straight Story. I have been working in the mechanic, welding, and electrical trades since I was 16 years old (57 YOA now). "Mechanic" has always been my primary field. I attended 15 months of auto, diesel, and welding trade school after graduating high school. I took an advanced course in pipe welding at a local Vo-Tech school in 1976 (evening classes, worked days). Class 8 trucks and forklifts under 6,000 Lb. capacity have made up maybe 85% of my career. Autos, motorcycles, small engines, transit refrigeration units fill in the other 15% or so. During my "early years" working on big trucks, I also worked in the frame & body department at the IH Trucks dealership where I was employed (this gave me a good deal of welding experience with Heli-arc). During periodic downturns of the economy (when lay-offs came), I would work for a local electrical contractor and do a lot of "mechanic work" at home. I can't match the specific experience of some other forum members in the OPE and small engine areas and will always defer to them and their impressive volume of knowledge. I still work my present job (of 29 years now) and still enjoy my work. One of the things I can say about my job is: The new trucks and forklifts aren't getting any LESS complex. If someone had predicted (in 1970) how computers would be integrated into vehicles, they would have been laughed out of town. Geez.......am I rambling.....again?


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Hi, njdpo, if I still have problems after installing my fuel filter next step would be pulling carb and going through it. Got plenty of guitar strings around to clean the jet with. Since I got arthritis in my hands I had to quit playing standard guitar and have rigged my electric up with a high riser nut to play as a slide guitar with a steel bar and I use a thumb pick..none of my other fingers will work for picking. I have done very well with the bar and have a lap steel and several guitars set up to play this way along with a Fender mandolin and banjo. My wife and I play in our church band. She plays bass guitar. We have even played for several farmers markets (for the last couple of years) in this area as a duo.

Mownie sounds like you got loads of experience. My experience has been in appliance repair and refrigeration. Sears was my last job and also worked on a few garden tractors there. Have done some electronics repair (went through a two year electronics program in Jr. college back in the 70's. Did take an auto repair class to where I rebuilt a 55 Metropolitan four banger. Have overhauled several cars 6's and v8's. (rings and rod bearings etc.) This darn arthritis has really cut down on my energy and agility anymore but I can still do things..it just takes me longer. I just turned 70 last September may be why I chose a little tractor for a project rather than a car.

I will hold myself back from enlarging the engine pulley area..but maybe just a little enlargement... I'll be real careful..:-) Got to look it over first. Maybe like the Doctors creed..'First do no harm!' Ha.

Hope I can get a warm day to get back to it..rainy and cold lately. My cold is getting much better though.

I am sure you will enjoy the movie.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Pull the fuel line at the carb, if the gas flows freely your fuel filter is good.... It does sound like the carb to me.... you can try spraying gumout into the carb via the air cleaner and pull any ajustment needles (if it has them) and spray gumout in there (watch your eyes) also spray it right into the fitting where the fuel line goes.

another thing to try is make a mixtuer of 50% gas and 50% injector cleaner a couple of cups worth will do and run that in it. close the choke and rev it up while doing this and it may solve your problem. When you do this it will blow some sparks out of this exhaust... this is good because it is burning the carbon out of the engine... I do this to a lot of old engines and it makes them run alot better.

If this doesn't work pull the carb and go through it.

so you play? I play bass in a Southern Rock band. We play the bars in my area. I also play Blues with some other guys (stevie Ray kind of stuff)


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Hi Tractortrader, I started playing in bands back when I was 18 and in the Air Force. I have played in a number of bands through the years in public shows, bars and clubs etc. I played lead guitar, rhythm guitar and did vocals and played bass in a couple of bands. Now I am stuck with just a steel bar since my fingers don't work anymore.

I'll try to disconnect at the carb if I can but I need to replace the filter anyway as I am sure it has never been changed before. I have a book coming that should give me the breakdown on the carb. Not sure when the weather is going to cooperate with me.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

In the bands I played country and country rock. Currently just play gospel and some contemporary christian music.

Boy I sure hate to see this long cold winter coming up. I think I wasted most of my last summer when I could have been working on my bug. Don't know why I didn't tear into it while the weather was so good. Still waiting for my engine manual, hope it comes soon so will have some winter reading and study. Got a few old engines up at our other place I might bring home and rebuild in the basement just for the fun of it. A couple of them are pretty old. Low hp and small. Don't know what make. Might find some project for them to go on. Got a pretty good little workshop in the basement but no way to get the bug down there. Would be a happy camper if I could don'tcha know! I am going to get an account at photo bucket or somewhere I can share some pix of some things.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Man, I have been flat on my back for the last 48 hours with stomach flu. Yuk! Nothing but sips of orange juice and water. Crazy dreams in the night.. one of a yardbug even, Ha! No food no tobaccy chew or arthritis medicine. Pray you don't get it. I have been taking my medicine but no food yet.
Still waiting for my B/S engine book, maybe will be here today. The Ebay seller is already asking me for good feedback. Sure hope it comes I can do some studying.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor. years made?

Just curious..anyone know how many years they manufactured the yardbug? I know the newer ones have been somewhat redesigned, at least for looks and it seems the bagger is on the back instead of under the seat.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Just occured to me that it is Veterans day and no mail delkivery...well maybe tomorrow. I have been reading this thread again and want to thank you all for some very accurate info (which I have verified for the mostpart in my reading of the manuals). Hope I can get a nice day to get back at it. Anybody ever pulled the carb on the bug before? How is the best way into it? Looks like I will have to pull the curved rail or cowling off the back to get into the filter and carb. Doesn't look like the air cleaner housing can be removed from the top. Only the cover and air cleaner. Things could sure have been easier if they would have run that curved cowling all the way across and made it simpler to remove. Well later maybe I will find out its secrets.
Did you see the Straight movie yet Mownie?
Anyone else see it?
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Gee Whiz ...

I dont know that you really need to wait for a manual to pop the carb and pull the bowl - its really not that complicated...

your probably looking at about 1.5 hours... Heck you could do it in - while your in bed ... your wife wont mind you spilling a little gas on the sheets - would she ?

70 Strat / 90 3 pickup Tele / 85 Yamaha 24 Fret electric / 12 string quild acoustic / flawless guild 6 string rockabilly / 70's crusty old banjo / baby strat / and 3 harmonica's

:)


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor. Guitar

njdpo, You skipped over that easy part about how to get at that little carb, what do I need to pull? Yep I am bannished to outside with my gas reeking equipment!

Mason 6 string lap steel, Aria Pro II six string solid body electric, Les Paul Jr. (remake) I owned a 1955 model but traded it off for two other guitars back in the fifties. A couple of Yamaha equiv. acoustics, Fender mandolin (acoustic) Rogue dobro 6 string (with riser nut), five string banjo (don't remember the name but inexpensive older model). Lee Oscar Bb harmonica and a dozen more of various makes. Have an old marine band from the 60's 1 big old echo harp (don't have the wind for that one any more. 1 china chromatic harmonica. 1 small bass guitar that I made up from my double neck Danelectro and a cheaper black matching guitar body and pickups with smooth wound strings on it.
Sounds like you got some expensive equipment. Our lead player used a 1970 Strat. I never liked most of the strats I picked up because the strings always set to high of action for me...not a problem anymore! But they had a unique rich sound that couldn't be found anywhere else. Wish I could still finger the guitar but my fingers have twisted out of plumb so far i am lucky to be playing anything.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

hmmm - thats too bad about the arthritis ...

Not being intimately familiar with the yard bug - I am assuming you will need to remove some shrouding from the bug - - as well as air cleaner covers / housing ...

Would you by chance have any photos of the carb area of this unit? If you can get near that float bowl - I would take a small screwdriver and tap on it a few times to see if you can loosen things up... or better yet - sometimes those float bowls have what i call a tickler button on them... Basically a small spring loaded brass button conveniently used for draining water from your fuel system at its lowest point (the carb bowl).

Carefully taking the bowl off is preferable as you can get an idea of how much junk is actually in the bowl...

Sorry to make general statements and suggestions - I dont remember the yard bug well enough to be specific.

Good luck to you.

I have my strat setup very nicely - as i work on guitars a bit as well. Comments from other people are they cant believe how close to the frets are strings are without any buzz ... Its it interesting to note that this strat is easily used with a glass / steel slide without any problems (i'm just lucky with this one)... Ive noticed while the new strats are straight and true - theyre in dire need of a good neck/string adjustment. I did the same adjustment to my tele and it also has a great action but not as nice as the strat ...

Good luck and happy mowing.


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Paul, my wife is looking for The Straight Story but so far nothing. Her next strategy will be to check some local, "used video" shops and/or pawn shops. As a "music related" note (pun?) I have a Les Paul Custom guitar and an Earl Scruggs Signature Edition banjo. I can't play either of them (but some day I want to learn, maybe). The Les Paul came to me as payment for some work I did for a friend back in the '80s. The banjo was my Dad's (and he could play it). I gave it to him for Christmas in 1990 and after he passed in '94, my Mom gave it to me.


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

njdpo, sounds like you got a great strat. My Aria ProII has the lowest string action I have ever seen on a guitar without any buzz. Everyone that played it just loved it for its fast action..well that was then it has a riser on it now so i can play it with a bar. Still sounds superb. It is a Japanese made model from the 80's.

I don't remember seeing a boiwl on the carb but am pretty sure it has one..it is just hard to see without removing some metal around it. I'll feel around to see if there is a drain button on the bottom but don't think there is.

Mownie sounds like you have two very beautiful instruments. If you want the easiest way to play the guitar you can get a nut riser at most music stores for less than $10 and they might even slip it on and tune it up to open E or G for you. The bar will range fom around $12 to 30. I like the stevens brand and it is the cheapest. To play a chord just lay the bar across all six strings and strum. Lots easier than using your fingers and thumb on the left hand. I use a thumb pick but with finger dexterity you could use any kind of pick. Most simpler songs only use three chords so there is only three straight across bar positions to play a song. If you need another chord you can play it the same way. When I set my guitar up at first I got some little white paper stick ons and placed one next to the fret to mark whether it was an A,B,C, D,E, F, or G chord and it just repeats on up the neck. Very easy to play this way. If you want to play standard guitar you will be a while learning that. You will be suprised how fast you can pick up rhythem playin and a few runs with the bar. And it sounds great!

The Straight movie is available used on Amazon or rental on NetFlix at $4.99 a month.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Got my B/S Engine manual today. Took a while to figure out how to read it and some I will need to compare to the machine itself. Ran across one item that has me puzzled. When I had it apart I didn't see any thing that looked like an alternator or diode to recharge the battery but the owners manual kind of implied that it kept the battery charged. Just wondering how it accomplished this miraculous feat? Is there some kind of tickle charging system for this..would still think you would need a diode or rectifier of some sort. Otherwise it would be a routine battery charging procedure and a regular dragging out of the battery charger.
Anyone got a clue about this?
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

The charging is not accomplished by a physical Alternator that your accustomed to seeing on a car.

While mechanically strong, Im electrically week... But your charge back to the battery is accomplished with the flywheel / magneto and associated circuitry... ( Electrical Gearheads - please chime in... )

I have a 10hp sears w elec start which is an approximate equivalent to what you have ... It is worth noting a situation i run into several times per year....

This Sears rider has no mower deck on it (im missing the piece that raises and drops the deck - when i find it ill be in business)... But I use the Sears to tow stone, Fire wood and trailers around...

I frequently start and use the Sears for short durations of time (sometimes several times per day) ... and because the charging system is not nearly equivalent to that of a cars - I will sometimes run my battery down. ... Starting a cold 10hp engine can really drain those little battery's pretty quick...

As I am not running my engine long enough to get a thorough charge back to the battery... I can sometimes end up with a dead battery... ( This is generally a problem that shows up more during the cold months than the warm months). If I were actually mowing the lawn I probably wouldn't have this problem as Id be running the motor for a decent amount of time - and secondly I wouldnt be mowing my Lawn in N.NJ in January...

If I go into the woods to fetch Firewood - I make sure that I have at least 10 minutes run time before I turn the motor off ... making sure I dont strand myself out there... that really sucks - trust me ...

Starting the Sears in the winter is a bit of a ritual... Full choke on ... and once its started run it above idle for about 30 seconds - otherwise it will stall... leave it run while loading the trailers with wood... ( Dont worry - it wont overheat in the fall and winter months... )

Oh another thing - I have lights connected to my little sears... I use the Red LED lights from WalFart... they are about $5 ... I use one in the front and one on the back... These lights are rigged to an On/Off switch and I use them in the dusk and evenings while I fetch firewood... Red works fantastic - I dont even bother with a flashlight anymore... It is important to note these LED lights have a very low draw on them ... So even with a wimpy charging system - the two LED lights will draw less than the charge - permitting my battery to get at least a small + charge... When Im done on a cold night - I make sure to turn my lights off and let my motor idle for a few minutes while I crack a beer, etc ... While the battery gets a few minutes worth of full wimpy juice to it...

The message here is that while you will get a charge - these engines dont really deliver high currents that you can do anything impressive with.

sorry for the long winded writing - I wanted to share some "lessons learned".


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Njdpo I enjoy a long post, sounds like you have fun with your little tractor. I just can't figure where the circuit is for recharging. There is a heavy magnetic square on the flywheel that spins past the mag coil causing a large field or flux and when the flywheel spins quickly past that point the field collapses inducing a good spark to the engine plug. I don't see anything else around the flywheel..unless it might be underneath somewhere..but didn't see any coil in the parts list for that and also it would need a diode to rectify the a/c pulse to dc and on to the battery. Think this is called a trickle charge type. I don't seem to find any wires except for the one kill wire (black) coming off the mag. maybe this lead is the charging lead during the non firing cycle of the 4 cycle. So the magnet would pass the magneto during the exhaust cycle building a flux in the mag which would be routed back through the circuitry to the battery somehow since it wouldn't be grounded at the time. Probably would go to the ignition switch somehow. I am just guessing about all of this. Wish the manuals would be more speciific. I'll have to dig a bit deeper into my B/S engine manual.
I appreciate your answers. And all the others too.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor. B/S book

Well I checked and it does not show any other method of charging while running other than by various alternators which my machine does not have. No alternator or diode that I can find as yet. Don't think it has this capacity and I noticed the manual sidestepped the issue very nicely. I may design a recharging system at least a trickle charger on the fly. Should be able to find an IC voltage or current regulator and a coil system to mesh up with the magnetic section of the flywheel as it turns. Maybe mount it along side the mag. I'll check into it. You would think the B/S Engine manual would cover that system but not anywhere that i can find. It just shows the higher charging systems and those with accessory circuits such as headlights and so on.
Anybody want to jump in here? :-)
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

If you have not yet removed the flywheel, you have not seen the alternator. The alternator, per se, is merely a "coil" or "set of windings" situated under the flywheel. The OEM of the tractor (or other application) chooses the desired output rate of the alternator when negotiating the sales contract with B&S for a particular production run. That is why you see a few different amp rates offered in the IPL. I think you can determine the size of an alternator from the "Type Code" number on the engine data plate.


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Thanks a bunch Mownie. I did look on the engine parts diagrams and list that I snagged off the internet and found the alternator and part number. I also found on the internet a trickle charge system used on some engines (don't know which ones) that have an extra coil and diodes and capacitor built into the magneto like what I was talking about earlier. I was about convinced that was the system used on the bug but you rescued me from faulty thinking. :-) I am certainly getting a small engine education here. I am suprised my B/S engine manual didn't include this system in its chapter on alternators..nope, not there. Looked several times. Man I wish this was spring coming and not winter. Well like I said I have about two or three old gas engines I intend to bring home from the other place to maybe rebuild this winter in my basement workshop. Don't know what I will do with them but maybe sell them. Didn't know there were so many old engine collectors around. I could kick myself for giving away two old very small 4-5hp riding mowers a few years back. They would have been fun to rebuild and were small enough I could drag them down to the basement. They were just a step above the powered wheel drive mowers, the walk behind type.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Let me add this to the info you have so you can mull it over also. As I said, the OEM of the machine that the engine will be in, determines the appropriate amperage needed for the intended application BEFORE deciding which engine/alternator combination they will put into the machine. They must calculate the load that the vehicle electrical system will impose (Demand Factor) on the battery and charging system. The calculation of the demand factor is a critical step for the OEM of the machine because MAXIMUM CHARGING OUTPUT of the very simple charging system afforded by this type of alternator (permanent magnet without voltage regulator) is determined by 3 things........the size and configuration of the alternator coils themselves, the strength of the permanent magnet field of flux, and the RPM of the engine (low RPM = low output, high RPM = max output). The OEM must select an output rate that will satisfy all the electrical needs of the vehicle (recharging the battery and keeping up with any other "normal loads" that are expected to be present when the machine is in use. The chosen engine/alternator combo must be able to keep the battery charged at average RPM ranges. If they pick a combo with too little output, the battery will not be charged adequately and the OEM's product will get a bad reputation. (note here that if the operator consistently operates the engine at too low RPM, the result will be same as a "too small" alternator) If they choose a combo with too much output, the battery will "boil dry" (along with other problems) and the OEM's product will get a bad rep. The alternator output is rectified to DC for charging the battery. Headlights are featured on many vehicles, but the load they impose CANNOT be factored into the calculations for the basic charging needs because they do not operate (usually) unless the machine operator "turns them on". If the headlights were connected to the basic charging system, and a demand factor calculated that included the headlight load, the output of the alternator chosen (by OEM) would be too high (except when headlights were ON). So you ask, "Why not just wire the headlights so they are on whenever the machine is running?" In this scenario, if a headlamp burns out or is otherwise removed from the electrical system......charging output becomes greater than the load and the battery boils dry. To address the issue of providing power for headlights, while still using a "permanent magnet alternator without voltage regulator", an additional, separate (electrically separate at least) alternator coil was incorporated into the charging system to power just the headlights. The output is not "rectified" and the headlights on this system operate using the "raw" AC. If a machine has headlights powered by this separate "headlight coil", the lights will be dim when engine is operating at low RPM and will brighten corresponding to increased RPM. You enjoy a long post? Glad to oblige. :^)


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Mownie that was great! I noticed in some of the systems that raw AC was used and wasn't sure why. Maybe with the new LED lights current drain wouldn't be so much of a factor on the simple coil /diode charger. I presume a capacitor is used with most of the systems to smooth out the peaks. Are most of the coils wound for three phase, do you know? Are the simple systems half wave rectified or bridge rectified? Seems like the systems at sears I ran acros used a little square four lead rectifier for full wave rectification. I would think the simple system on mine might just be half wave because it doesn't have any lights. I was thinking of hooking up 1 LED headlight because of its low current draw and probably will. So might have to put the battery charger on from time to time. I am putting a cig lighter hookup permanent mounted for accessory such as air pump or other 12 volt devices I might want to use occassionally. What might be of use would be a double system so initially both alternator coils would be putting out max amps for a short period and then electronic timer shuts off one coil dropping charging amps back to low charge...probly never get that because mine only has one coil. Guess I am just a dreamer, huh? But I got this little bug to play with so whatever I can come up with I may try, ha! I really think I may use it dressed up for our Rodeo Parade each year. That is if I can get it running reliably. The engine sounded reasonably tight on mechanical wear. I was pretty pleased with its overall sound.
Well hope I haven't asked about anything you have already covered. Thank you very much for your excellent posts.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Paul, I've been re-reading some of the posts (cause I have a bit more time today) and I want to point out a detail for you. You speculated, (Paul)"maybe this lead is the charging lead during the non firing cycle of the 4 cycle. So the magnet would pass the magneto during the exhaust cycle building a flux in the mag which would be routed back through the circuitry to the battery somehow since it wouldn't be grounded at the time. Probably would go to the ignition switch somehow. I am just guessing about all of this." (Mownie responds) As you have probably realized by now, the spark magneto plays no role at all in "charging the battery". What I really want to point out is this. The ignition coil actually fires the spark plug 2 times during the 2 crankshaft revolutions that make up "one 4 stroke cycle" (requires 720 degress of crankshaft rotation). The first spark occurs just prior to TDC on the COMPRESSION stroke. The second spark occurs just prior to TDC on the EXHAUST stroke (360 degrees after the first spark). The second spark is essentially a "wasted" spark and is often referred to by that name. This wasted spark causes no consequences or reaction because the combustion chamber contains only "exhaust gases" which are "inert" (in regard to "combustability". In response to some of your other "musings". I am reasonably certain that the rectification from AC to DC on these simple alternators is "half wave" (using only 1/2 of the AC sine wave "pulse"). There is not a reason to use a capacitor to "smooth out the peaks" because......so long as there is a "peak voltage" level high enough to actually "charge" the battery, it makes little or no difference whether the input current (into the battery) is constant.....or if it "undulates". Or in other words, the voltage must be higher than about 13.6 volts if the subject battery is "a 12 volt battery". Most automotive electrical systems are of the "voltage regulated" type, and the "typical" operating voltage will be about 14.2 VDC. On a simple magnet charging system, the voltage output from the alternator will usually exceed 14.2 volts by a lot (if running at high RPM and the battery has already attained a full recharge). This fact sort of reiterates why it is so critical that the OEM of the application be very careful when calculating the amp output requirements of a particular machine in the early stages of product development. As to "3-phase wound", I would guess this to be true, but don't know for sure. I would presume 3 phase as this type would develop less heat in each individual coil or winding (because in this scheme, any single coil or winding is only "active" during 120 degrees of rotation and would have the remaining 240 degrees of rotation in which to "shed heat". Perhaps Bill Kapaun will be able to give this information (if anyone would know, it would surely be Bill). The only "permanent magnet alternator with regulated output" systems I have experience with, are used on motorcycles. These were definitely "3-phase" AC generators. A regulator/rectifier was used to keep the electrical system voltage near the 14.2 VDC mark.


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Yes the mag. charging system was way out there, Mownie, and I can see that the plug would fire twice in the 4 cycles. Haven't spent much time until recently in studying small engines. Never knew much about two cycle, always preferred 4cycle.
I looked in the B/S book and could see there was no cap's used anywhere in any of the systems and it makes sense. I think I picked up on the cap being used from a guys blog on the internet about motorcycle charging systems and he was talking about designing a system that would use a cap. I do know some charging systems use full wave rectification but come to think of it I might have only seen it on portable power generator systems at Sears. They have a small square four terminal rectifier. Guess none of the tractors had them. I don't think I ever had any electrical problems much on the Craftsman mowers or tractors..mainly belt and tranny change outs. Funny Sears doesn't really do much repairs to parts, just change them. I worked on one of the early Electronic controlled refrigerators once and troubleshooted down to a low voltage power supply board and pinpointed the power transformer as open primary. So after looking for the part on the micro fische and not finding anything but a $100 replacement board I ran down to Radio Shack and bought a comparable voltage and load wise transformer for $6 and installed it and no more problems. That is until a supervisor called me in and explained I should have ordered the $100 board and installed it and lectured me that Sears tech's do not repair down at the component level in appliances. Only Television and audio electronics could go to the component level unless there was a whole board replacement offered.

I guess I could understand their viewpoint since they would have to guarantee the part and work. I came up learning to troubleshoot at the component level mostly at all my previous jobs. Man I have forgotten most of my knowledge in the last 25 years of retirement. it is fun to pick back up on it knowing that I am doing it for myself and don't have to worry about a company looking over my shoulder all the time. Ha! Thanks for more great info.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

This weekend I went to a local Flea Market in Dover, NJ. There is a vendor there who sells chinese junk LED aluminum flashlights with 7 White LEDs in them and they use 3 AAA batteries... I bought two of them for $2/piece!

Not being electrically inclined I am told by my brother that I could easily modify these little dudes to run off the electrical circuit from my sears (or just about anything else with a charging circuit...) since they are 4.5 volts.

I dont know what Id have to do to get the voltage down from 12 to 4.5 volts. Can anybody give me a hint here on this modification ?

If so - I may run back there next week and pick up a few and modify them. I like the 3 battery arrangement - I took a hard drive magnet and gorilla glued it onto the body of the aluminum flashlight and it works just great - but it might be nice to have one that gets hard wired into the system ...

I will say that the magnet works great as I can conveniently move the light around as I need it ... To the back of the mower while im loading wood / To the front when Im working my way out of the dark woods. (although my RED LEDs from WalFart work pretty well too for this) All the panels on my rear engine sears are steel - so I have no shortage of mounting points.

You can occasionally find these cheapo aluminum LED flashlights at your local dollar stores... So next time you take the old lady out - don't forget to take her to the dollar store... Shell be wondering what the heck is going on ! Ive got one in anodized Purple and two in a darkened aluminum finish - I'm sure you can paint them up to match your favorite ride !

Just some ideas for you...


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

What you want is a "DC to DC Voltage reducer". The link I have posted is only to give you an idea of how to power your 4.5 VDC LED lamps, not endorsing or recommending any particular website or product. I had one of these (or at least "similar") about 15 years ago. The particular one I had featured several power outlets of different voltage levels along the edge of the body. The power outlets required that you plug a "jack" into them to tap the power. The unit I bought came from J.C. Whitney. An array of jacks came with it so you could make up a cord or wire lead for your "appliance". It plugged into a 12VDC power receptacle (a.k.a. "cigarette lighter plug"). You might be able to locate a model that "hard wires" to a vehicle if you don't like the cigarette lighter plug type.

Here is a link that might be useful: DC to DC voltage reducer


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

njdpo take three of the led flashlights and bundle, and wire all three in series. 4.5v X3=13.5 volts. 12 volts should run them just fine and should withstand the 14.5 charging voltage too.This would be the cheapest way around it. If it worried you just hook four of them in series. You could put in a cigarettle lighter plug in wired permanent then use a lighter voltage adaptor plug to run power to the lights so you could could connect it just when you need the light. Could use the lighter socket for any other 12 volt appliances you might want to use. Right mownie? What do you think?
That is what I am going to do on my bug.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

WOWwwwww !

I'm seriously thinking about going back and grabbing a six more of those $2 dollar lights now! Man - having 4 of them on my mower 2 front and 2 rear (or 4 front) my little machine will look like one of those monster 4x4s with a bunch of those halogen lights on it !!!

Actually I have a Scotts 2046 where the two front lights are reasonably dim ... Even at medium RPM range their "ok" at best (i tend not to rev up my 20HP engine very high - dont require the high rpms).

But.... I'll bet two (or 4) of them LED babies on the Scotts (or the little sears) will be a big time mini mobile light show !

*** Could use the lighter socket for any other 12 volt appliances ***
Know I have to figure how to rig a blender up to the rig so I can make margaritas out there while im collecting firewood...

But seriously - what else other electrical do-dads might I consider hooking up ? perhaps one of those nice fan driven air fresheners you see in some cars - Any Ideas ?

thanks !


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

njdpo, if your engine has a vertical crankshaft, here's your plan. Browse some local yard sales or thrift stores. Find a used, electric blender and a cheap set of socket wrenches (China). Remove the rubber drive disc from the blender base. Discard remainder of base (you will not need further, unless you need a variable speed AC motor). Cut a hole in the fan cover of your engine and locate the nut that secures the fan to the crankshaft. Determine the nut size and select a socket from your socket set that fits. Using J.B.Weld (or other epoxy), "glue" the socket onto the crankshaft nut. The square drive in the socket will be the "PTO" for your blender. Now, select the shortest extension from your socket set and epoxy the drive disc (that you removed from the blender) onto the female square end of the extension. Pack your blender (and all vital ingredients) into a cooler. When you want to whip up some "refreshment" just fill the blender, pop the drive extension into the "PTO", start your engine and drop the blender pitcher assembly onto the rubber drive disc. Your drink will be ready in about 30 seconds. Disclaimer: Do not try this at home........this should only be done in the woods.


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Get a 12 volt LCD screen DVD player unit and plug it into the lighter and watch movies while you haul firewood. You could build a little dvd shelf for your favorite movies.
12 volt radar unit Fuzz Buster!
CB radio

12 volt boom box for favorite music or radio.

12 volt winch on the front end case you need to pull yourself out of a mudhole or clear a snag in the road.
Do they make 12 volt chain saws??
12 volt air pump to keep tires pumped up. (I got one of these.)
Boy howdy! Lots of things you can do.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Thats great - Im gonna make myself a 4 wheeled / electric start / 10 HP gas powered Margarita maker!

Actually the winch idea was pretty good too - I do frequently need a winch...

I guess a GPS to find my way back home from a drunken firewood collection - could be handy too.


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Sounds like you are in for some fun!
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Well the bug is wrapped up maybe for the winter. I brought a couple of small horsepower B/S engines down from the other place to play with this winter in my basement shop. They are horizontal output shaft with a small belt pulley. They have been laying around for years but all parts other than mufflers are all there. Will restore them if possible but not sure what I will do with them then. They are cute little pull to start engines. Any ideas short of boat anchors or door stops? :-)
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Hey njdpo I hear the Garmin is a good brand GPS..least on tv it seems so. :-) A guy could wander around in the woods for a long time on a Jim Beam or Old grandpa trip..nope that would probably be Marguerita's from your new 10 horse blender right? Don't get lost and don't forget the wood. Ha!
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Well the bug is all wrapped up and it has snowed all last night and is covered. Drat! Just remembered I didn't pull the new battery yet. It is charged up but I better get it out of there before the charge goes down too far. Wish the wife hadn't been so quick to cover it up and tie it down with ropes. Now got to untie it all and uncover it to get to the battery. Shucks!!
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Well battrey still in the bug and also 6 inches of snow all over the little beast, but it is well bundled up. First good weather I will have to yank it and rebundle it up. It had nearly a full charge in it a month ago so I better do it soon before the charge drains down and it freezes up.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Yippee! Spring is here. Had a nice 80 degree day yesterday so went out to check over the Yardbug. It had survived the cold and snow. I was worried about the battery so turned the key first time tio start it and it cranked over at full power so my battery stayed charged all winter with no ill effects.
I looked over pulling the rear cowling but it looked like it would be pretty difficult to do so focused instead on pulling the gas tank and removing the fuel line to put in a new fuel filter. Wow! I think I found my problem of why the carb wasn't getting any fuel. the gas tank had settled down on the hose and the screw clamp holding the tank had pinched of the fuel line. Don't know if it was that way last year or whether I might have done it inadvertantly. Don't think I did though as I think I just put everything back together the way I took it apart. Anyway I will have to buy a set of those extra long handled needlenose pliers with the 90 degree nose so I can reach the little line clamp that enters the carb. I don't have any tools that will reach it because of lack of space. The rubber tubing is disintegrating too so it was time to be changed and I think the engine will run great. Carb should be ok.

Now after fixing that I will just have the belts to install and the dual pulley. Need to adjust the camber on the front wheels they are further apart at the bottom than at the top. Air up the tires and go mow the lawn. Sounds easy but I'm willing to bet it won't all go that easy. My new hydraulic jack and jack stands work great at getting it up in the air to work on it.
Gonna probably be next week before I can get back on it though. well got to run by and pick up the pliars at best price I can find and the new tubing. Let you know how it goes.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

I enjoyed this thread !!!

But now that spring is hear Im *seriously* considering the feasibility of pimping my 10 HP Sears lawn tractor into an electric start, Red and White LED lit, 10hp 30 inch mulching / blender.

Folks - I honestly think we have a winner here. Now if GM and Chysler had this much innovation they wouldn't be in the hot chair right now.

Seriously now - Question:
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Do any of you guys with electrical backgrounds have any idea what the operational RPM range of a blender is ? I would think well over 1000RPM ? I would think a 900rpm-1500 rpm ( assuming roughly 4.5hp) gas engine would deliver plenty of power to crack a few ice cubes and smiles as well.

I dont really want to rev this thing up too high as I see this as potentially dangerous - particularly if you glue the components together is a "non square" configuration - and create an unbalanced FrankenBlender.

Just think how cool Ill be at my next bar-b-que, when I ask my quests if they'd like a margarita!!! BAD-@SS!!! With my yard cart full Ice, Tequila & Rum, Margarita and Strawberry Daiquiri mix. The women will be swarming over me as they stare in awe at my tool!

I perceive holding the glass portion over the PTO as "risky". (perhaps gut-out the base of the blender and JB-Weld it to the top of the shroud. Using it to steady the glass while the 10 HP engine TORQUES its way through the ice and Tequila !!! This is quality YouTube material !!!

Am I loosing my mind here - or does this sound like a good idea?

Hmmmm....
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Ive been thinking about buying a case 44x class machine - I wonder if anyone made a hydraulic Blender attachment for it?

Dave


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Dang if that don't sound like a winner. But split the power takeoff and use 1/2 to drive a small power generator with 120vac output. Hook upone of those small Ice cube maker cabinets for ready made ice. With the 120vac the lighting of whatever kind you have amind to use would be no problem. May I suggest for a real effect a large spinning disco ball on a pole for some incendiary results! With the other half of the output drive your monster margarita blender. Of course that drive shaft would have its own cluch mechanism...wouldn't want it to run but short periods of time. You would be a wild sight running around area 51 in Nevada with huge crowds of UFO lookees. Like the pied piper of hamlet you would slowly lead large crowds UFO'ers through the sage brush holding their glasses high and I don't mean binoculars or telescopes. Why I think there would be sightings all over the place with that big disco ball a flashing and the mean whir of the blender and the multitudinous clinking of glasses in the night. Great idea I think! Let me know when you plan on heading into the Nevada desert I'd like to be there. I know Art Bell would show up or George Noory with their glasses.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Well I found that the rubber fuel line was squished closed so I pulled it and the filter. Picked up some new fuel line today and a couple of extra long needlenose with one of them having a sharp turned tip and they work great. darn though it was too cold this afternoon to get back to work on the bug. I think everything should go smoothly now as far as the fuel line goes. Hope putting the belt drives back together are as smooth.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Well before I can get back to working on my Yardbug, I have to get my wifes mower running. It is a small power mower with a Tecumseh engine..4.5 hp I think. I pulled the plug and cleaned it but still wouldn't keep running. Pull the starter cord and it tries to run but dies. I can manipulate the little governor cam and make it run but not at maximum rpm, then release it and it dies. My wife took the little plastic tank loose and drained the gas out and refilled the tank with fresh gas but same thing..won't keep running. I am suspecting a partially clogged jet in the carb..what do you think? The rubber primer bulb is beginning to crack...could air leaking in there cause any problems? I know it needs replacing, but I'd like to solve the immediate problem first. Any ideas?
Thanks
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

I assume....

If the primer bulb is cracked that might be your problem - i dont have a ton of experience with them - but I assume that air coming into the carb from the bulb is leaning out your air/fuel mixture not allowing the engine to run...

Sounds like your going to have to work on the carb - get the bulb while your doing it ... If Im not mistaken I saw the local Lowes store even had them now.

Im sure others will comment with more carb/primer bulb experience than myself.

Good luck.


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Thanks njdpo I'll get on it tomorrow.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Well I pulled the carb apart and blew out every opening checked the float and needle valve and put it all back together but haven't been able to get it to start yet. May have to wait for my son to get a few minutes. I can't pull the rope and my wife barely manages it to get it started when evrything is normal. got arthritis in both arms and elbows. Hope it fires up. I looked at the rubber primer and it just looked like surface cracks and I can't see that it is doing any leaking of air into the carb. I searched through the B/S engine book looking at all the carbs till I remembered it was a Tecumseh 4.5 hp. Ha ha! So looked into another book that showed similar tecumseh but older engine models. Might prove to be a bit useful later.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

if you still have that carb apart take some guitar wire, a wire brush bristle or a welding tip cleaner and explore those fuel circuits (holes) trying to ensure that there is no debris in them. ( I try to do this under bright lights with a magnifying glass...)

For example a carb with a lot of water in it can corrode badly enough where it must be diligently opened up (with some wire, welding tips) b4 it will flow again.

I have a very old briggs motor which I swapped out the carb with a newer one (with a primer bulb) a few years ago. This old motor was always hard to start... With a newer carb on it (& primer bulb) I have no problems starting this motor now. (even the first start of the spring went swimmingly well.

By pressing the primer bulb at least a half dozen times you will feel the bulb start to fill itself up after the 3rd or 4th press. After the bulb starts to feel firm dont be shy about giving it another press or two which then starts to push raw gas into the carb throat.

As long as things are working properly - that motor should start without much work.

If you can - have a strong (young arm) around to see if its a matter of spinning the motor up faster. Some people just dont have enough strength to spin the motor fast enough to get spark to light things up and get the motor running.

While im putting things back together - I sometimes use common rubbing alcohol to test the carb (especially when im in my basement). I try to get the carb fuel pick-up circuit into a bowl of alcohol... and then use the primer bulb to see if its sucking up the alcohol...

If its all working I just give the carb a good jiggle and shake out the excess alcohol before I bolt things back up for the big test.

good luck


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Thanks njdpo. When I press the bulb to prime it feels like it just presses in easily like it had a hole in it. Can't see any hole but it is cracked. Think I will try to replace the bulb and see what happens. Meanwhile we went down to Lowes yesterday and bought a Bolens 5.5hp mower with a Brigs and stratton engine. Put it together last night very easily as it is mostly assembled. Put in the oil and pushed the primer bulb about 7 times and it fired right up. The hardest thing in putting it together was getting the bag onto the metal rod frame but it wasn't too bad. It mows great. Did cost $179+tax though but compared to other stores it was a good price. I will fix up the old machine (about 3 years old) and maybe sell it. It still looks pretty good. Guess Tecumseh is out of business from what I hear. Probly parts will be available for some time though.
I will let you know how my machines turn out as I get them repaired. Hope to have my Yardbug running very soon.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Yeah - whats the status with the yard-booger ? I seemed like you were pretty close to burning up the laps in the yard with that.

and then a brutal kick to the crotch - you go out and get a new pusher from Blowes.

Soooo close yet sooo far ... What the heck happened ?


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Wife said the grass was getting too high so she tried to get her power mower running and I didn't make it run so she decided we needed a new one. Got a new one. She can use it outside our fence and I will use the Yardbug inside the fence. That is where most of the grass is anyway. Hope it don't rain next week so I can get back to work on it.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Yeah - i have that same problem too ... the kill switch on my wife doesnt work anymore and Im still waiting for her to run out of fuel...

Anywho - back to your situation ... Where we were talking about carbonators...

A couple of hours ago a friend of mine gave me a small gas powered wood chipper (old sears 3hp). Happy me - i could really use one - even if its not working.

After about 5 minutes at home, I have the engine running but it will not run without the choke on... AND I see a lot of crap in the white plastic gas tank (smelled terrible - that horrible old varnish smell... cant seem to get it off my hands even after a shower).

With no fuel filter on it I assume that the carb itself is full of junk and it will require a minor tear down to clean it out... I will use my wire brush bristles, or welding tip cleaner to get in there and clean out the fuel circuits to get this baby to idle for me...

Because this unit is running in a very dusty/dirty environment - I will put a gas filter on it. Had it had one in the first place - I suspect the owner would try and sell it to me - and not give it to me...

The message im trying to relay to you is - in your carb rebuilding efforts (if it is possible) always use an inline fuel filter.

Depending on the carb your working on - that may not be an option for you.

Good luck - Dave


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Yep the little inline filter I took off the Yardbug would fit into the rubber gas line on the push mower very easily I think. It is perfectly good. I am wondering if I maybe should put one on our new Bolens power mower?? Maybe it has some kind of filter, I don't know. It is a 5.5hp B/S.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

I just came from the local small engine repair shop.

My wood chipper project was going reasonably well and I purchased a few filters for various projects im working on.

So with filters in hand - I pulled the carb and ... Wow it was *LOADED* with junk... A filter would have gone a long way to keeping this thing operational...

I was being *really* careful with the carb as the unit is rather old - and wouldn't you know ... while cleaning the internal shutoff valve (which has a spring on it) - the friggen tiny little spring goes *ROCKETING* across the friggen garage... doomed...

So here I am - carbless because some knucklehead who changed the fuel line was to friggen cheap to spend .60 cents (15 years ago) when he changed out the fuel line.

Thank you Mr. Knuckhead ...

It is worth noting - Ive seen some motors have a stainless steel or plastic mesh screen in the bottom of the tank ... So that can be a big help to keeping your carb internals clean...

Unfortunately - Ive also seen new and improved knuckleheads poke a hole through the screen - because their carbs didn't get any fuel because the screen was clogged... (people like that shouldn't be allowed to operate gas powered equipment or cars for that matter ...).

So have a look into the bottom of the gas tank with a flashlight and see if you can see a screen... If you cant - then I recommend getting a small inline filter... Also note that some carbs dont actually have a fuel line - so that might not be an option for you.

Oh - one more thing... Use a flashlight to look into the gas tank - not a match or a lighter... You dont want the nurse (or doctor) calling you a knuckle head...

Im crabby today (cant find that lost spring).

Good luck to you sir - Dave


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.-UPDATE!!

Yahoo!!! Yesterday I went out and got to workon the Bug. I had to buy a couple of the long handle needle nose pliers for $10, one straight and one curved nose to get the rubber gas line and spring clip loose where it connects to the carb because space is so tight there. I could barely get my hand in there to work with it. I hhad thought about removing the large metal curved cover off but it looked to be more trouble than it would be worth and looked like the body might just fall apart without that structure. After fussing with the last bit of fuel line for about 30 minutes I finally got it off and prepared the new line and fuel filter for installation which went smoothly. Found I had lost one screw that holds the air filter assembly down tight. Got to find a replacement for that. Well over the winter I noticed that one front tire had gone totally flat so that and the belts and pulley will have to be remedied. Well after getting the fuel system all fixed up I got on and turned the key on and began cranking. About the fourth crank the engine sputtered to life and with a bit of choking it settled down into rabbit mode. I let it clear its throat for a bit then tried to throttle down but found the turtle position stuck in the rabbit position so guess I will be doing some throttle cable adjustments soon as I study the manual for a bit. I got the jack stands out from under it before I fired it up. The engine runs nicely though. I can see why so many people would not like this machine because it is a bearcat to work on, especially for those of us with arthritis in our hands and fingers. But I like the design, at least the way it looks and intend to have some fun with it.
So the beast is finally running and now on to other repairs coming up soon.
Paul


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Now that your getting closer to dressing the bug up for the rodeo... I was thinking that you may want to get some of those old fashioned metal bug-eye lamps for the yard bug... Painted green or yellow, pop some red LED lights in them and your yard bug will look like its "possessed".

Another nice rodeo modification might be a setup like a horse blanket... Im thinking something along the lines of an elastic lined blanket which goes halfway up the side of the tractor. Covers the tires a bit, has some of those fuzzy dingle balls hanging off the bottom.

I know this may be a bit hard to imagine - so I have taken the liberty of pimping pipsydog's machine for him (you can thank me later) ... an arteeests rendition - so to speak...

Photos seen here as I can not remember how to pop them into the posting directly (my apologies).
http://s247.photobucket.com/albums/gg160/njdpo/yardbug/

Oh please - it was nothing...

NOTES:
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* Im thinking that the bug-eye lights wuld be mounted to a vintage 10-speed handle bar - painted yellow of course. (engineering is looking into the feasibility of this mod).
* the mock mouth is actually a red LED lamp.
* Development has started on the rodeo pimp version of my Ingersoll 444 - it will be ready shortly.
* I am currently reviewing rodeo pimp requests for other tractor models as well.

Have a great day...

- Dave


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RE: Yardman Yardbug Tractor.

Ha! Well that is cute. I'll think about it. Not sure if I'll get in this years parade yet..gotta do lots more work on the little beastie so I'll know he can go two or three miles without failure.
Paul


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