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Our PG Ultra X upgrade

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by shovelracer, May 3, 2010.

  1. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    So last year we popped the motor on our Ultra. Long story short in a heated fit I took a BFH to the Briggs so rebuilding was not an option even though the broken rod ripped up the inside pretty good anyways. So I have been casually exploring options and even tried to get a way with a mower replacement, but the idle issue proved to be too much. So dropping $ on a new ride was out of the question even though i really would like a Z. In addition a motorless PG is not worth a thing, and a new rebuild is worth more than the price of the kit. So in the end I decided to purchase the ultra X upgrade in hopes of getting a few more seasons out of it. Here are my findings as I install and test the new system.

    Package arrived well packed and relatively fast. I do feel that PG needs to do a better job of explaining this thing if they want to sell it. The salesman was helpful, but did not wow me with information. My first impression was that $1500 is a heck of a lot for a non commercial grade engine. Well after opening the kit I see that there is much more than just an engine and the price seems slightly more justified. Actually the invoice came with 2 line items. The first was the engine at about 400 and the other was the kit at about 1200. By the time you prep the machine all that's left is the frame, hopper, tank, trans, and throttle cable. This works since a few of the parts I removed where pretty worn anyways. Installation so far has been easy, but the instructions are vague and assume a good bit of mechanical and problem solving knowledge. So far the parts are fairly well designed, but I do not want to be around for when they need repair in a few seasons. You need to cut off the spinner gearbox mount and also notch the hopper control lever in this kit. I expect the install to run about 3 hrs before testing and adjustments.

    In the end I want to utilize the full ability of the pump and hope to add saddle tanks with the ability to carry 2 different mixes and spray at close to 1 gal per thousand on 1 nozzle set and standard 1/3rd on the other set. I am not clear on this, but it appears it will only pump while moving so I will be bummed if I can not wedge into corners for a quick squirt.

    More to come as I get time to deal with this. Stay tuned.
  2. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    First Round


  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,708

    Will the pump--pump if the tranny is in neutral? What do you mean "wedge into corners for a quick squirt"?
    Must the pump run continuously?
    Why do you want to use one gallon per thousand sqft?

    Thanks for showing us what your experience was and will be. Bravo! Good luck!
  4. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    I do not know if the pump will run if the tranny is in neutral. It runs off the PTO on the side of the box. Either way it is off the tranny so it will not produce the same volume at lower rpm.

    By the corner comment I mean lets say you have something you need to hit at a foundation or fence inside corner. With the electric system you could get into the corner and get what you needed, back out and continue. If it only sprays at throttle and in gear than you have no option for this other than getting off the machine or going balls out and hoping you stop in time. We will see soon.

    I would like to get higher volumes for whatever I need, be it Bifenthrin, Drive, heck even liquid ferts arent out of the question. I would need to run at least 30 gallon saddles. This is still on the drawing board, but I could get about .5 gal per K with a H nozzle and L speed prior, so with proper tips and the 2.2 GPM pump I do not see why it isnt possible. Suggestions?
  5. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    Yes the pump runs continuous with respect to however it gets power. The flow control is a Left side brake lever with a cable that opens a valve out of the pump.
  6. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    Day/Hour 2. Got all the brackets and hoses hooked up. All that is missing is the motor, belts and adjustment. So far the instructions are still vague, some steps more so than others. I came across a few things that did not impress me, one may vary from machine to machine based on fabrication tolerances.

    First the pump bracket is rather flimsy for the size of the pump, I will look into adding additional bracing. Second the pulleys are held on with allen screws, but if there is one thing I have learned over the years it is that a screw does not grab well to a hardened rod. I flipped the pump pulley and it should just grabbed the flat spot, the tranny pulley might be OK with the teeth to grab. The spinner box pulley shaft is totally round. I will remove it after I dial in the location and grind a flat spot. Last the spinner box is a little low in the unit. Even after I adjusted it all the way up the agitation offset on the spinner just barely contacted the appropriate piece. I cut a small spacer from the old couplers and it raised it up to a more acceptable position.

    So far 2 hours into it, but I started with a torn down machine also.





  7. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    OK it is done, well at least as they intended it. Total installation time was 4 hours, but an hour was spent solving problems. The motor mounting plate had a problem. One of the holes was drilled off mark by about 1/2". The mounting bolts had a major issue. The pitch on the threads did not match the nuts. Only found this out as they went on about 6 turns only to bind. They needed to be cut off and it cost me a trip to the store and a few bucks. Instructions got even more vague as the installation progressed. I suspect that whoever wrote them started on a monday and finished on a friday. I previously mentioned the throttle cable stayed, it was actually included with the kit.

    My biggest issue at this point is the motor. The oil fill is at the back and there is no drain plug. Not sure what the best approach will be to get the oil out, but it will either require taking the engine out or vacuuming the oil out. Either way a major disappointment since the homeowner grade engine will require more attention to keep a reasonable service life. Other items I'm not huge on are the very small pump belt, the kind of flimsy pump mount, and the fact that you can not flush the pump unless you put it on blocks as the pumps runs off the trans.

    Things I like are the fact that it now works considering it was previously a pile of scrap metal. I like the idea of removing the electric system although I never had any real issues other than the battery. I like the lever type pump control.

    In the instructions it mentioned something about a Kawi engine upgrade, but I have never heard of this as an option??? Also the engine was modified for their use. The exhaust was turned and it appears the recoil was modified.

    Overall that fact that it works made the kit worth the money as I should be able to get some use out of it and still sell it for something reasonable. I feel that the kit should have come with a spare pump belt as I think this will be the first thing to go. I also think that the oil issue should have been addressed. The pump bracket should have been a little beefier. In the end I got what I expected, something that works, but not without some minor adjustments. The same is usual for any modification from a small company. I will post updates as things work out.



    Last edited: May 9, 2010
  8. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    I would like to clarify that there is some adjustment on the receiving end of the coupler, but mine where total seized up. The position still appears to be off from stock, but with adjustment a spacer would not be needed.
  9. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,708

    Sweet--thanks Shovel,
    So the motor is rotated with the spark plug at the left instead of the right? Does muffler send hot exhaust onto the intake hose? Can you add a pipe elbow or aim it elsewhere? (like straight down for instance?) Does this mean that you no longer use the hood covers? Does the pump actually put out 2.2 gallons per minute? How do you like the spraying ability?
  10. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    I have not measured the pump, only the nozzles so far. I will put the covers back on when I get some quick pins. The exhaust does blow in the direction of the tube, but it did not really get hot enough to create a concern. I will look into the rotation. The pump really flows hard, but since it is speed driven I would guess anything other than full speed creates less volume than advertised, but still enough to maintain the nozzle rates. Spraying ability is the same as it was with electric other than the actual control. It does shut down faster though since it is a valve and not a pump shutting down. I may reinstall the electric setup I had for second tank spraying. So far I have only treated my 30K lawn and ran a few water tests. Needs to be debugged before going to work.

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