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Conversion of Oliver 1800 using Nissan LEAF components

4577 Views 30 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  darko
It's been a slow moving project, but making enough progress now to post an update. When I joined the forum I was looking for a tractor to convert using a salvage '15 leaf I bought (see my initial posting). Since then, I bought a 1964 Oliver 1800 with a seized engine to be the recipient.

I chose the Oliver because the engine is not part of the frame/structure, and the size is big enough to run my drum mower and hopefully have enough room for the LEAF batteries.

This tractor has a 2-speed "hydro power" between the engine and transmission that has a self contained hydraulically activated clutch pack that allows shifting on-the fly. I'm not sure if will try to use that device or leave it out. It is a lot of extra complexity and a power-sink. I'm trying to figure out a design for a clutch and perhaps that hydro-clutch might factor in.

Here are some photos of the tractor (being dissembled):
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Tractor Plant

Wheel Tire Sky Land vehicle Vehicle

Wheel Tire Green Automotive tire Motor vehicle
Wheel Tire Green Automotive tire Motor vehicle

And the hydro-power unit I mentioned:

Grass Plant Motor vehicle Gas Automotive wheel system

The live PTO shaft extends all the way through the hydro-power unit into the engine flywheel - which makes for a very long shaft to work with. The hydro-power connects to the transmission using a chain coupler - which is hard to see in the picture, but is right up against the transmission. I had to remove the steering column to get access to that coupler. Nothing on this tractor is light-weight, and the hoist had to be used for even that. The "grill" was solid cast iron and must have weighed 300lbs.

My plan is to use the LEAF motor and gearbox in-tact, weld the spider gear and use one side of the drive shaft to run a v-belt pulley (5 belts) to increase the speed to the typical ICE RPM range. I may tear into that hydro-power and see if removing the jack-shaft will allow it to be used as a fancy clutch such that it is either engaged for free-spinning.

I have yet to start pulling the LEAF apart - it only has side impact damage and is "driveable". Pains me to take it apart.

If you have any ideas for the clutch/pulley design let me know.
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I chose the Oliver because the engine is not part of the frame/structure
It looks to me by the way the ICE is solidly bolted to the frame, it contributes to the beam and torsional strength and rigidity of the frame. Without this contribution, the remaining frame structure may be stout enough to handle he forces applied to it. But, you should watch for excess flexing of the frame that might lead to cracks forming. In this case, an additional structure may need to be added to the frame to strengthen it and make it more rigid.

I'm currently thinking of of just direct coupling the leaf motor to the flywheel shaft with no gear reduction. I'm concerned that when running the PTO on the tractor I'll have to run the motor at a low 2000 RPM - not it's most efficient. If it turns out to be an issue then I'll peruse modifying the leaf gearbox. I gave up on the idea of using belts and pulleys to get the desired ratio - would require a lot of space for all that.
This is a bad idea with a motor designed to turn up to 10-12k RPM, at maximum power. I don't think there will be enough power reliably available at such a low RPM. Also, if you try stepping up the motor RPM to get more power, with this direct drive to the stock flywheel, you could run a serious risk of the flywheel coming apart.

A slow turning, large diameter DC brushed motor would be a much better fit for this kind of simple, direct drive set-up. The motor control is also much simpler. You should check the used forklift motor market.
but then someone had pointed out the torque curve of a leaf motor which is 187 ft-lb flat up to 3k RPM. Comparing that to the Oliver 1800 spec of ~133 ft-lb - I didn't see the need to gear it down, as long as I keep the RPM's in a safe range.
I think the short duration, peak output from the motor is being compared to an ICE continuous output rating. Also the torque output of the ICE, by my calcs, is 1.5-2X more than the figure quoted. Horsepower & Torque Calculator - Metaris Hydraulics

Just use some common sense here.

Another consideration is how the relatively short and small diameter motor output shaft will handle a load reversal from the heavy, large inertia, stock flywheel. This may be a problem when the tractor is shifted too quickly between going forward and reverse if you use electric motor reversing.
I guess I would need to build some sort of structural frame in the ICE's place... yuck.
You are going to use some kind of battery box. If designed, built, and attached properly, a box can also be an excellent torque and beam structure to strengthen your tractor frame, if needed.
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