Diesel Garden Tractors March 08, 2011 11:46AM
Where is a good place to start to find info on diesel powered garden tractors for pulling? There is a couple of classes that allow diesel tractors to pull with the gas and alcohol tractors. But no one in my area has a diesel garden pulling tractor, so Im on my own there.
Thanks in advance for any and all help.

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 08, 2011 12:35PM
Were do you live. I have a 4cyl. diesel here in western N.Y. that we run with the bigger 4cyl. gassers. what are you looking to do, and how big of a sled does yor local club have?

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 08, 2011 01:27PM
Im in VA. There is a 800cc or 48.8CI max. engine displacement class. And there is a 1500cc or 91.5CI max. engine displacement class. Both classes allow 2 turbos but the sheetmetal must maintain compact or garden tractor appearence. I was looking at either class. As far as the sled goes, it stops 360CI mini rods, so I guess its kindof big in a way.

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 09, 2011 01:14PM
Does anyone else have any info that would be helpful for me?

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 09, 2011 01:23PM
keystone nationals has a diesel class on the March 25 2011.
Pre entry is closed, but might call anyway.
would be close for east coast guys

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 09, 2011 03:26PM
Check out "Red Devil pulling" on U Tube

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 10, 2011 09:44AM
Sounds like they have you limited to the small 25hp 3cyl engine in the small class and larger 3cyl in bigger class. There sled sounds big enough for a 4 cyl 2.2 or 2.4 automotive diesel but club cubic in rule has you limited. Its going to be a little costly getting the special parts you'll need to get a 3cyl up and running with such modifications as billit flywheel, clutch, rear and gears etc. But thats motorsports...........and if your not real educated with the diesel be prepaired to shell out some money for machine work. Also remember heat is you enemy so start looking for spare parts like heads, blocks, the usual, because you'll distroy a few getting it all worked out.

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 10, 2011 10:16AM
I had a stock altered diesel puller since 2003. Sold it in 2009. Bandit is right. There are not very many machine shops that know any thing about the small diesels. The engine building was all my own ideas, I just told the machine shop what I wanted done and they did it. Heat was not a real problem, unless you had to pull two times in a row. The tranny and clutch was know problem, Mid West Super Cub has all the parts you need for a cub rear and tranny. I used a 3 cylinder Yanmar in a Cub chassis with John Deere tin work. I was the only one that had a diesel in the club. I did win my class a few time and was never last. The Spring Shoot Out held in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2008, I was 17th out of 43 tractors. It was a crowd pleaser. I had a lot of fun with it.

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 10, 2011 10:46AM
With the 6 years experience you had with that tractor, would you recommend starting off with a 3 cylinder Yanmar? Did you have 2 turbos or 1 turbo? Just trying to get an idea of where I may want to start.

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 10, 2011 10:53AM
It would be nice to run an automotive 4 cyl diesel. But like you said that the club rules limit me on the ci. Thank you for your help, I will keep these things in mind when I figure out what engine,tranny,tractor to start with.

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 10, 2011 11:10AM
I could get interested in building one like they pull in europe such as Brothers Toy, but I don't think the 3cyl class here in US is anything close theirs[Brothers Toy]

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 10, 2011 11:15AM
The foreign countries use mostly compact tractors, which may be easier. That too would be costly, but what a ride.

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 10, 2011 11:44AM
The euro diesels are built like our minis with aluminum wedge or custom built chassis on 31.5 rubber.with the automotive diesel, trans and rear. Mine is built the same way, the interest is slowly climbing where guys want to build them and are quickly shot down with the cost. Everywhere we go ,people have tons of interest,take lots of pics, and ask all kind of questions......but are shocked to find out it cost more than $500.00 to build one.

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 10, 2011 10:53AM
There is an online forum dedicated to diesel garden tractor pulling;

I have a bunch of videos on my youtube channel of diesels pulling;

A lot of us who have built or are building tractors are going by NQS rules since it is the closest thing to a national sanctioning body.
Most of us feel this is the best way to help the sport grow. If you build to NQS rules and start locally pulling in open and exhibition classes, you will then be ready and legal to pull at the big national or regional events and others can do the same. Hopefully you will stir up enough interest that others will follow and you can eventually have a local class.

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 10, 2011 10:58AM
Watching all your youtube videos is what actually got me interested in building a diesel garden tractor. I have watched several of our local club pulls but it just seems like it needs something interesting/different.

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 10, 2011 11:11AM
Tractor Pull Fan, I had NO turbo. The rules didn't allow it. Like I said, I was the only one, maybe in the state of Iowa, that was running a diesel. Hope the rules in your state are a little better than when I started. The 3 cylinder Yanmar is a indirect injection, which is hard to work with. That is all I could use at that time because of the cubic inch restriction. If you decide to go this way, and hope you do, be ready to reach to the bottom of your pockets. If you can, use a 4 cylinder with direct injection, makes things much easier.

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 10, 2011 01:55PM
Why does everyone keep scaring people by using the term "deep pockets"? Anytime you try to approach or exceed the 100 hp mark in GT pullers your gonna shell out some bucks!! For example, I have a 38 cube Kohler Command V-twin engine that is full roller cam and lifters, billet crank, billet rods, billet pistons, titanium valves, Sprint Cup valve springs, ported heads which have had the ports moved, and custom intake running on methanol. Talk about machine work!! HP? 85. Cost? $6000. And just spent another $1000 on upgrades. And this engine sits in a chassis which I have over $4000 in. And you never know how the finicky thing is gonna run on any given day. I know where there is a turbo diesel D1105 Kubota which is pretty stock internally which makes 100 hp in a tube chassis with Deere tin work that I can buy for $5000. And once dialed in that diesel will be a consistant runner all season long. The alky motors are a hand grenade with the pin pulled! The one I have has the rev limiter set a 10,000 rpm and could self destruct at any moment. In the long run, the diesels are more bang for the buck and twice as reliable as any gas or alky motor in the same class. If I wasn't buried in this alky tractor I have I would have that diesel in a heartbeat!! And don't ask where that diesel is at as I'm trying to p&&p the $$ for it. I pulled Pro Farm and Super Farm for years and NEVER had an engine failure. But I have trashed 3 GT alky motors in as many years.
Now let's address the 4 cyl auto motor class versus the 3 cyl class. For every "big" pulling tractor out there, there is 100 garden tractor pullers. Within a 50 mile radius of me there is maybe 6 big tractors. Within that same distance there is over 100 Gt pullers. The problem is that all these clubs have sleds that can handle the 3 cyl tractors and don't have the cash or incentive to build new sleds to handle a new class which due to cost won't have anybody in it! I think the compact 4cyls are awesome! But with no where to pull it, what good is it?
Now to the tech part. Any shade tree puller can put a diesel together. Their simple. More fuel. More air. Now I realize you can take this to the limit. But it's much easier to do so with a diesel than an alky engine. Any diesel builder can get you what you want or need. There is the yahoo group that helps guide people and many avenues of help out there.
And to the last poster, the 3 cyl Yanmars are direct injected and the Kubotas are indirect injected. The directs do have an advantage. But the Kubota can be converted.

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 11, 2011 12:13AM
You have to use the word deep pockets because thats why there 100 to 10 ratio of big verses garden. The garden tractor pullers start out small because they cant afford to compete on the big level. Most came in from the big pullers fan base, antique or lager class of some kind. Then the guys from the big level see some of these small ones as interesting and move on in and kill a low budget working class mans fun all to h*ll. Its like I said......... thats motorsports,but be prepared because the diesels are in the experiment stages and just because you spent the money does'nt mean its going to work. So just saying its the little guy with an old chassis out behind the neighbors garage he got for free trying to start cheap we need to enlighten. If it were so easy everyone would have one.

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 11, 2011 12:29AM
Well said bandit 14569

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 11, 2011 04:57AM
I'v been looking at getting into pulling myself, but here in canada garden pulling is a mess, the "cheapest" class to get into in the ASTTQ is the minimods... but with 20ish running in the class the competition is steep an i dont feel i would have a shot at it without have the "deep pockets".... that said, the european diesel class has very similar set up to the minimods and i beleive the sled could handle this class vs the garden pulling clubs. I wish i had the cash to run in the superstock class as its my favorite one to watch and i think the small 4 cly diesel class would make a great alternative for me. $100000 ssd + hauler for a 9000# tractor vs $20000 + car trailer .... seems like a good way to get newbies into pulling her in eastern Canada. I can assume the same in the states...

I think the euro class has great excitment value and that i hope i'm not alone on this one....

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 11, 2011 12:11PM
After reading all the posts(thank you for them all), where would be a good place to start? Motor-Kubota d-950? d-1105? Yanmar diesel? Something else? What rear end and tranny? I think I would take Farmallgrays advice and build one for the class that has the 75 ci. limit with one turbo.

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 12, 2011 12:12PM
If you can find a direct injected Yanmar (and can afford it when you do) that would be your best starting point. Otherwise a D-1105
Kubota would be a good second choice. There are a lot of them running and they are pretty easy and reasonable to find.

I'm running a D-1105 with a Cub Cadet transaxle and an 82 series frame.

As for a chassis I'm not sure what to say for starting from scratch. The NQS allows component chassis which may be cheaper in some respects. I don't necessesarily agree with that because I would like to see them stay with their garden tractor roots.

It would be fairly easy to find a car rearend that could be narrowed and would be plenty strong and cheap. The problem I see is with a transmission. A small car trans could be used but I don't know of anything that would give you the gear selection you can get using aftermarket gears in a Cub Cadet transaxle. With a CC transaxle you can have 4 forward gears (if you don't want reverse) plus you can change the front reduction gears for several more combinations. We may soon be reaching the limits of its strength though. But there are planetaries available for them that will take most of the stress off the Cub transaxle parts.

If you could find some kind of small gearbox with gears that could easily swapped out (like at the track) then I would go component chassis. I don't know what kind of setup mini-mods use. Maybe they use something that would work. You will have to keep an eye on weight. I weigh about 250 and I only have about 20# of movable weight on mine (I could stand to lose some weight I guess LOL).

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 12, 2011 02:01PM
Thank you for the input and advice! I will look into that setup.

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 14, 2011 01:24AM
If your going to custom build just use a winters sprint car quick change rear end. There the same as a bigger franklin or winters quick change only a little bit smaller in size and weight. Then it doesn't matter what transmition gear automotive you have, usually about 4:1 you can adapt very easily at any time with the quick change gears. There are about 100 combinations you have the work with using a quick change. With a little math you could determine what wheel speed the small 3 cyl on 26" rubber are turning with the cub transaxle then match gearing for quick change for speed to get a baseline to start from.

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 12, 2011 12:29PM
It would be cool to see the 4cyl diesels catch on over here on this side of the pond. But as I have said before and others here have aluded to, it takes a bigger sled to stop them than what is normally used for garden tractors. The only areas where the 4 cylinders are likely to catch on is where mini-mods already have a presence (and sleds).

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 12, 2011 11:52AM
The Yanmar 3TNE78 is direct injected but most of the smaller ones are indirect. That model is the one everyone is looking for because it is just under the 75 CI limit. I do agree that the DI engines probably have an advantage but I don't think it's a huge advantage. Dan Leffler won the light class at Columbus and he was running a smaller (50 to 55 CI) Yanmar that is indirect injected.

Do you know anyone who has converted a Kubota to direct injection? I have been trying to find out about this for a while but I haven't found anyone who has actually done it. I think the hardest part would be finding pistons with the bowl in them. I would like to eventually do it to mine if it's possible. The Kubotas are much easier to find so I think that if they could be converted to DI it would allow more people to build tractors and be competetive.

I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I don't exactly agree that any shade tree puller could build one. Sure anyone can take a diesel and plumb a turbo on to it. And I have seen some pretty cobbled up jobs. This would be ok for putting on a show locally. But to compete at an NQS pull or at Columbus it takes a lot more thought and work. It doesn't necessarily take deep pockets (which I sure as heck don't have). But if you don't have deep pockets you better have lots of skills and be smart enough and willing enough to learn a bunch of new ones. The engines are somewhat easier to build and don't require as much custom work and custom parts (yet).But fitting them to the chassis and all the extra wiring and plumbing takes a lot of good planning and attention to detail to do it right.

I do agree that the diesels are more bang for the buck. And I really like the fact that you can have one that starts on its own and can drive around the pits and up on the trailer without being towed or pushed everwhere. I never had much interest in building a pro stocker or an altered but I built a diesel because I thought they were really cool.

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 15, 2011 10:49AM
Single cylinder pro/supers used to be inexpensive, maybe still at local level.
The 3 cylinder diesels might be cheap at the moment.
If you pull locally it might stay that way.
NQS has allowed uniform rules throughout the Midwest and great competition.
If you pull NQS there will probably be a step up in performance and along with that comes more $.
Benefits of pulling in 10 or more states with the same rules is priceless if you love to travel.
Not everybody likes that but it's nice to make friends 2 states away. (wife says that's because nobody likes me at home)

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 20, 2011 12:41PM
Hello to everyone. Getting excited now that spring is almost here in the midwest! Been following this string and decided to put my two cents in. There seems two be two lines of thought being applied here. One side wants to keep everything in a garden tractor chassis and the other side wants to make everything from scratch. Obviously how someone wants to build is strongly influenced by what he or she is familier with in pulling. I pulled single cylinder garden tractors for over fifteen years (stocker,pro stocks). When I decided to go bigger I took the route of building from scratch. Here in west central Wisconsin we have several clubs that offer a class that is basically a midweight open class. It includes motorcycle, snowmobile, and up to 4 cyl. automotive motors. multi engines and tubos are allowed. Limitations are tire size of 26-12 x12 and overall weight of 1450# and 1600#. I have a wedge type chassis with a narrowed ford 9 inch reared with a GM 2.5 tech 4 motor naturally aspirated on alchol. It is close to 300hp on the dyno. Can't quit get over 300 yet but I'm not done yet. Everyone is saying BIG DEAL! right? Well, how about all that fun for a little over $3000.00 and built in a one car garage! What you may decide to build is influenced by what you have pulled in the past or what is being pulled in your area. Rick Gruber

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 30, 2011 10:21PM
What injectors our machine work is needed to convert say a 905?

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors March 31, 2011 12:50AM
I'm told Columbus Diesel can do the pump and injectors for around $1000 and get 80cc/min.

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors April 01, 2011 04:55AM
I had heard the same as you.

Re: Diesel Garden Tractors January 24, 2013 03:43PM
For 3 yrs now, I've been pulling a Simplicity 7790 twin cylinder Lombardini air cooled diesel in the 950 and 1050 lb class. I believe it's a 797 cc direct injection. Came with a hydro that I swapped out for a 3 spd. and now wishing I had stayed with the hydro. Allis sister is a 920. 18 1/2 hp all stock except for a straight pipe. Only mod I've done is to make a slide plate to regulate the cooling air supply to keep temps up over 170 degrees so she burns fuel well. I bought it for $800. The transaxle is heavy enough to not need MWSC strengthened parts. Some gassers run Kohlers at 35 hp on these transaxles with no problem. We have a strictly twin cylinder class and it took me 3 yrs to find a twin diesel with more than 12 or 14 hp. I run with the twin gassers. Cheap way to add to the show with a "coal-burner".


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