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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Your oil cooler fan draw is negligible. Even if you forgot it on for a day or 2, it isn't going to affect runtime. If you were basing runtime on mileage, you would need a tape measure to see the difference. LOL
I agree 100% however doesn’t change the fact that the cooling fan should only run when needed, power saving wherever I can in this project!
 

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This is awesome, wish we had an update.

The "14hp equivalent"... of course that was picked to substitute for the original engine. But this is a single-shaft motor, so you can't use the front PTO on it. Now Case gave us 14hp to both push it along and spin the blades, which are generally accepted to be the biggest power hog accessory, and (somebody can correct me on this) actually exceeds the ground drive on flat and nearly flat ground.

Where I'm going with this: It's another $200, but if somebody wants to do something like this I'd think about getting two 5kw motors, one for the tractor drive and one for the mower deck or (maybe and??) to drive a second hydraulic pump for the tiller. And although it's a bit more for the complete project, you can save about $400 initially and have something you can at least tool around your yard with a trailer and impress your sig other!

Other thought: As far as direct electric drive, actually that's a better "in general" idea but it won't fit and even if it did, you'd be way way better off getting a classic Cub/Bolens/Wheelhorse and doing a pure motor swap.

Final thought: The electric "neutral start" switch can be wired to another relay to invert it, and then it could shut off the motor in the center position.
 

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Ok. I can't help myself (Case and general garden tractor lover combined with being an EE). More thoughts -- from The Elec-Trak electric tractor

"I have and am currently using two different models. My main mower is a mid-mount New Idea. It has a 42" deck and will mow my two-acre yard using about a 25% of the battery storage capacity."

The New Idea is just a rebranded GE Elec-Trak. So WTH are people only getting well under an hour (the link to one "conversion" says 45min just tooling around) with modern batteries and motors? The Elec-Trak is a 50 year old beast at 800 lbs so don't talk about "heavy duty old-fashioned" tractors. Yeah hydraulic loss, but 8 acres of cutting ON A LEAD_ACID BATTERY (sorry for the shouting) down to 45 minutes of just driving with LiIon...c'mon.

What are we missing, here?
 

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Ok. I can't help myself (Case and general garden tractor lover combined with being an EE). More thoughts -- from The Elec-Trak electric tractor

"I have and am currently using two different models. My main mower is a mid-mount New Idea. It has a 42" deck and will mow my two-acre yard using about a 25% of the battery storage capacity."

The New Idea is just a rebranded GE Elec-Trak. So WTH are people only getting well under an hour (the link to one "conversion" says 45min just tooling around) with modern batteries and motors? The Elec-Trak is a 50 year old beast at 800 lbs so don't talk about "heavy duty old-fashioned" tractors. Yeah hydraulic loss, but 8 acres of cutting ON A LEAD_ACID BATTERY (sorry for the shouting) down to 45 minutes of just driving with LiIon...c'mon.

What are we missing, here?
I'm a ME and you're a EE so you tell me lol. I believe it's the same reason as to why they still use lead acid in cars and high amperage applications. Your typical Li-Ion or Li-Po battery is typically used for smaller electronics that don't pull a whole lot of amps (think a 18650 powering like a speaker or maybe a LED flashlight). You can get Li-Ion batteries for car applications but they're still extremely expensive and I'm not aware of their life under high amperage loads. Your lead acids seem to behave better under high amp loads but I am not sure as to why exactly. You'd think with everything pushing to EV they'd be moving modern cars to Li-Ion starter batteries but not yet apparently. If you take something like a Tesla car the motors run on very high voltage (300+) to keep the amperage draw down, I would assume the mowers and such would do the same. Lower amperage draw typically means better efficiency and better efficiency means less heat and overall loading on the batteries.
 

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Lithium batteries in cars used as a starting battery aside from cost would need a BMS that can compensate for temperature to recharge them. Lithiums don't take to being recharged when cold. I would gladly switch my cart to a lithium pack but it won't work in winter without an elaborate heating system that can work both on and off the charger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Hi all,

I do apologize for not updating this post over the past few months, too many outdoor projects in a geographic location where summer is far too short...

Now that fall seems to be setting in, should have more time and can’t wait to get back to this project. Some progress has been made throughout the summer, so I’ll start by documenting that over the next little while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
Can someone share the approx. RPM at both the “Slow” and “Fast” throttle positions? (Dundee222, I see that you have an RPM gauge on that awesome dash). I’d like to start by somewhat matching this range with the electric motor setup…
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Thanks dundee.

So, here’s a bit of an update of where things are at since the last post:

  • I was (and still am) trying to get things working and tested on a workbench in the shop rather than constantly making modifications on the tractor. I started by making a panel to mount the motor controls. This panel will (hopefully) fit in the side opening where the combustion engine protruded. It has a piano hinge on the bottom and my plan is to be able to lift the hood and then fold down the panel for better access to the wiring:
Circuit component Audio equipment Computer hardware Electronic engineering Electronic component


Wood Rectangle Audio equipment Flooring Gas


The frame is made from angle iron, the back plate is ¼” aluminum (stuff I had kicking around) and the front grill material I found on amazon. Also put in some cheap headlight LED’s I found online (lights up when the headlights are turned on):

Wood Electronic instrument Circuit component Computer hardware Audio equipment


  • I finally decided on controls I’ll be using for the dash. I’m going with a key switch for powering the unit, a lighted push button for starting the motor (and visual indication of the motor running), a toggle switch for the lights, an e-stop push button for shutting things down quick (if need be), and a joystick for raising / lowering the motor RPMs. I knocked out the holes on the tractor and made up the wiring harness, then made a temporary mounting plate so I could use the controls on my workbench:
Wood Gas Audio equipment Metal Pattern


Azure Electric blue Rectangle Audio equipment Space

  • The only other change is the extra device mounted beside the motor controller in the first picture, this is a plc that I temporarily added for testing / initial setup. It'll allow me to make software changes, rather than major re-wiring, when things inevitably don’t work as planned:
Motor vehicle Gas Cable Wire Kitchen appliance


I have been working on a schematic and harness layout that I will share but right now they are pretty inaccurate and probably the opposite of helpful…
 

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