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Gear drive to hydro conversion

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by accentlc, Jul 20, 2001.

  1. accentlc

    accentlc LawnSite Member
    from Utah
    Messages: 22

    Has anyone ever done one of these? I have a ten-year-old 16 hp toro 36" gear drive. It only has about 500 hrs on it. I'm starting to get some foot problems from walking so much, and I need to switch to a hydro with a sulky. So I would like to know how feesable it is to convert my gear drive.
  2. Highpoint

    Highpoint LawnSite Member
    Messages: 153

    As much as it may seem worth while, I just don't see the point. I'm sure it could be done but your looking at basically changing the handlebars completely. This would give you the needed controls. Removing the gearbox and installing 2 hydros. Removing the axle and installing 2 motors. Then you may have to buy new wheels. Doing the plumbing. Man you just need to trade in your gear drive and get a new Hydro unit. You're talking about backward engineering and trying to reinvent the wheel here. Not to mention hours of figuring and cussing. That time could be spent sipping magaritas at the local pub. Good luck on what ever you decide.:cool:
  3. Finecut

    Finecut LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Messages: 177


    If you have a ten year old walk behind with 500 hours of usage, it doesn't sound to me like your doing a whole lot of walking. Why wouldn't you put a sulky behind the belt drive mower, lots of folks do just that. The 16 hp engine has more than enough power. The cost of replacing belts once a year far out weigh the cost and feasiblity of trying to convert a ten year old mower to hydro.
  4. Finer points of using sulkys behind gear drive toros.

    1. Buy a two wheel sulky that are fixed so that your always right behind the t bar in the middle.

    2. Weld a bit of angle iron over the top of the back of the machine where the sulky mounting plate will attach.

    3. Convert the old slot and manual traction belt adjustment to the later style idler arm on a pully with a tension spring set up.

    4. Install a new traction belt ($10 aftermarket) every year or 300 hours.
  5. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 4,830

    That isn't many hours in 10 years, that is just 50 hours a year. A member here knows a guy that puts more than that on each of his mower in a week. I wouldn't go through all of that expense for that amount of mowing. Leave it belt drive and get a sulky or trade it for a hydro w/b or a small ZTR.
  6. accentlc

    accentlc LawnSite Member
    from Utah
    Messages: 22

    I have another wb that I use most of the time.
  7. EJK2352

    EJK2352 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,150

    Sounds like a big waste of time to convert to a hydro.By the time you buy the pumps, wheel motors, wheels, and fabricate control linkage, you'd be way ahead trading that gear drive off on a Z or a hydro walk behind. ED
  8. little green guy

    little green guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 955

    It's going to cost you arounf 800.00 just for two pumps then around another 500.00 for two wheel motors. Tires, wheels, hoses, pullies, belts and controls will probley cost about another 500.00, so your looking at about 1800.00 to convert a 10 year old mower, not worth it to me, sorry :(

    SCAPEASAURUSREX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 835

    Try just putting the sulky on back of the belt drive that you have. I have a 36" with a 12.5 kawi and have been using it for about 4 years with the Pro slide which actually has no wheels it's just a plate that you stand on and the machine drags you along. Make s excellent stripes. You can still whip around in 4th gear too. and it's solid so you are always behind the machine and not jack knifing when you turn. It does follow the terrain and when you have to back up you just get off the thing and it raises itself up and out of your way. It's great

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