With the engines in the workshop, all you need are two of these big wheels for the rear, something for the front and you can go pulling. Well, not exactly 😉
The process of deciding what parts we want, locating and collecting these took us 18 months so far. Working on a limited budget you also look to get a good deal on the parts. Ordering straight out of the next online shop is just not affordable, and would only be half the fun.
During our engine search we were able to locate a used wedge chassis with a set of aluminum fenders. This should do the job to build our first pulling tractor. We decided to go with a wedge chassis, giving us the possibility to change and optimize the different components of the tractor independently, without the need to cut everything apart.
How hard can it be to locate a rear axle? With deeper thoughts into this, you come to the point, where you accept, that on one hand it is hard to find usable data on different axles and the vehicles they come with, and that on the other hand you better build a combination out of two different axles. The main problem starts with the rear wheels for pulling and their huge circumference, which means that bolting the wheels to a standard truck axle will just give you excessive wheel speed. Axles of wheel loaders give you acceptable values in terms of overall gear reduction, but are not build with weight saving in mind. With the goal to make big horsepower 😛 , we want a maximum of front weight .. so, back to truck axles … Truck axles get their overall reduction either over the ring/pinion or in combination with a set of planetaries in the wheel hubs. Combining a non-planetary center section (differential carrier) with a set of planetaries brings you in the right range for a good overall rear axle gear reduction. We made the choice to do it right (from our point of view) the first time, an decided to go with an Rockwell/Meritor aluminium center section and MAN/Mercedes planetaries. We got the possibility to acquire a Rockwell differential directly from the US. A deal which is probably just feasible trough the great pulling family. I don’t know the exact number of people involved. But it was possible to get an axle over the pont, without personally knowing anybody involved or being charging any extra money. Meeting some of the people in the future, we due them some beers 😉
Some other goodies you just find by coincidence on well known online marketplaces. I always wanted one of these high rev inertia aircraft starters. Found one in an auction, which was sitting on someones shelve for decades … I love that thing, being impatient to turn one of the Fiats around with it.
Back to the big wheels for the rear. They are the most recognized item on a pulling tractor and a childs dream. Their disadvantage, when you are not actually pulling, is, that they need lots of space. So, no need to organize these in a hurry. About 10 month ago we were offered a well proven set of light Puller 2000 tires with Midwest rims … we got a good deal … now they help to fill the workshop 😉