Another Homemade Mini-Tractor

| April/May 1991

1416 Ralapen Street, Roxboro, North Carolina 27573-4232.

For the past few years I've been involved in our great hobby. I have admired, been amused and impressed by the ingenuity and craftsmanship of different machines people ride around on at engine and tractor shows.

During that time I have only seen a few 'riders' powered by a Maytag engine and only one powered by the twin cylinder engine. The 6-12 Maytag tractor owned by Dale Lutwig of Emmett, Kansas (GEM Jan. 88) with six engines.

While reading the late Clayton Walker's article about his Maytag mini-tractor (GEM Feb. 89) I was inspired to build a mini-tractor powered by a single Maytag twin cylinder engine. And, like Clayton, I was told by several, that the twin was not powerful enough to pull a vehicle. (It powered the Maytag Racer serial #935 and higher.) Some say it is 5/8 HP, others say ? HP and even 1 HP, but whatever it is rated it's not as powerful as the ? HP single.

This mini-tractor is for my five year old daughter, Courtney, and is designed for safety and simple operation. The engine is a 1940 Maytag twin using the stock fuel induction system and runs at a constant speed eliminating the need for a throttle. The rear end is from a mid-1950's Craftsman tiller and is a worm drive type that doesn't coast when power isn't applied thus eliminating a brake. The right rear wheel and axle are drilled and the pin removed so the tractor can be rolled around when it's not being driven. No transmission is used and mobility is accomplished by two pedals, one for forward and the other for reverse. Either has to be depressed and held to keep the tractor in motion. The engine is coupled to a jackshaft on roller bearings by a V belt, and the jackshaft to the rear end by a 4'  friction cone clutch with a 40:1 final gear ratio. The tractor runs 3-4 mph and Courtney can drive it safely among pedestrians.

Reverse is through a V belt, pulleys and bell cranks. Depressing the left pedal tightens the belt between the clutch cover and the pulley on the rear end input shaft.