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Lawn Tractor Snow Plow Electric Upgrade




Do you have a lawn tractor you use to plow snow? Ever wondered if you could make a manual snow plow attachment into a push button?

A friend of mine had a riding lawn mower and snow plow blade attachment. Every winter he used the riding lawn mower to plow the driveway. The plow was a kit that bolted on the front of the lawn tractor and it had a mechanicaly actuated adjustable snow plow blade. The issue and this project came about when the arm to adjust the snow plow blade broke.

I had just bought a mig welder. I had also watched linear actuators capable of handling 300lbs of force drop to $25 on ebay. 

Here's what I came up with for converting a riding lawn mower snow plow into an electricity adjusted lawn tractor plow.

Repair 

The lawn tractor snow plow kit had seen better days. The fork that attaches it had bent /deflected and spread. I used a map gas torch and a bench vise to squeeze the tongs back and then welded some L channel angle iron on the sides.

Less Play

I also tack welded some very thin steel on the inside of where the plow arm sits. This was to close the gap and took some play out where the arm meets the fork.

Extending the Arm 

After giving the plow arm U channel the same torch and vice treatment I extended the arm with some remaining l channel

Some of these welds we're done with flux core others with c25. We were more in a hurry than anything.

We first tried cutting a notch out of the muffler guard but later realized it was easier to remove it.

Actuator Bracket 

Next I needed a way to attach the 12v linear actuator to the frame of the lawn mower.

I fabricated the bracket you see bellow from square tube and plate steel

I know these welds are atrocious. We were having issues with a breaker flipping and ran out of shielding gas. It was ground down and improved I just don't happen to have a pic. 










The linear actuators pin hole was 90deg out of alignment with the mounting for the plow arm so I fabricated this  bracket to compensate.











Eventually this was all painted.




Some of the photos are from the word press site hosted on a server that ... It's a long story with sick parents and SWAT teams..

Here's my final product in action.






Electrical

If I did this again I would have used this switch to drive relays or mosfets rather than directly switching the actuator. It was by far the most underrated/weakest link in the project.

A thicker gage wire and more heavy duty switch would have likely eliminated the sluggish motor performance.








Something like this would have been way better.

I used what I had at the time but I would highly recommend looking into a Mosfet or relay driven h bridge.




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