Project C4 - blog

The story of converting a 1979 Wheel Horse C-101 into a Four Wheel drive Monster.

31st Aug 2010

Where it all began...

a 1979 C-101 built in the Amnor factory, Belgium.

22nd Apr 2011 Shiny

After a part restore and paint it was ready for the 2011 show season.


25th Jun 2013 Thinking...

Fast forward a few years, and my plans to make a four wheel drive conversion kit were underway. (I was at the serious thinking stage)

I was looking for a donor axle from a small tractor or mower. I had contemplated front diff housings from several quads - Kawasaki KLF400, Honda TRX350. They were all suitable but I needed to make the axle and carriers to support the standard quad hubs and wheels.

Luckily before things got too serious an almost perfect fit came up.


7th Jul 2013




Big Wheels!

I'd always wanted to put some wide wheels on, and a pair of 12" rims came to me for 6 ($10). The offset needed fixing, but not too hard, and I had a pair of Argocat tyres from an earlier deal I'd been saving for a rainy day :)

The kids think it looks a bit mad, but I like them... 


9th Aug  2013 More thinking...

I discovered an axle from an MTD Yardman AWS mower might just fit the bill.

Here's the first prototype sketch


22nd Sept 2013 The day arrives...

An opportunity to buy and axle from a mower that was being split came up, a bid was made and within days I had an axle and wheels.

Now I had to come up with a plan to pull it all together...


13th Oct 2013 Day one

One of the first things was to lose the giant pulley, it wouldn't be running at engine speed and I needed space to make the mounts and add some proper steering. The old pulley was split in order to get the splined hub from the centre. This was then turned down on the lathe until it fit inside a 1210 x1" taper lock bush.


14th Oct 2013 Steering

The old steering arms were extended in order to get the correct akerman angle. A new trackrod was made so that the two sides were nicely connected. I managed to reuse the old trackrod ends which was a bonus!


19th Oct 2013 Plans

During my time away at work, I managed to come up with a way of mounting the axle. Here's the first 3Dsketch.

Followed by lots of cutting... 3/8" RSJ is thick stuff to get through!

It was worth it

Here's the 'kit' required in order to mount the axle


20th Oct 2013 Does it fit?

Rather than strip the C-101 down I decided to use my old Raider 10 chassis in order to work out the steering. I just used a long pin to locate the axle in the usual location.


25th Oct 2013 Wheels!

The original rears of the yardman were old turf tyres and not really fitting for a 4WD tractor.

So I ordered these bad boys, and they came today

And together it looks like this, I can now visualise the size of things - the front end is approx 4 inch higher than standard.


27th Oct 2013 Steering part 2

I had to try to find a way to keep things simple and reuse as much of the existing tractor. The result was very simple and effective... just use the existing steering setup with an additional drag link to one side.


3rd Nov  2013 Gears and linkages

You may have noticed on the axle cradle that there was a small tab welded on the bottom (see pic above). This was for the 4WD selector - which will eventually be on the transmission tunnel.

Here's the first part of the linkage that has to get from the underside up to the chassis.


13th Nov 2013 Bits and bobs...

In order to reduce the angle of the drag link a small collar was turned down and welded onto the steering arm.

Tabs were also welded onto the bottom as well as some stops on the cradle. These are to reduce the steering travel and prevent the UJ's being damaged.


17th Nov 2013 Pins...

In order to complete the mounting of the axle a new heavy duty steel pin was made for the axle pivot.

Complete with grease point.


24th Nov 2013 Now you see it...

Now you don't

Now with axle

and wheels

And the landmark picture, on all fours for the first time


25th Nov 2013 Well it had to be done...

A few pics just to pose and see how it looks, check out the articulation!!!

and I made a small mod to the hood decal


4th Dec 2013

The race is on...

Now it's on all fours I need to get the transmission sorted. First step calculate the gear ratios between front and rear.

I know the rear brake drum runs at 12.28:1 compared to the rear axle, and the new front axle is 27:1. So by entering a few known numbers - tyre sizes and preferred pulley sizes the calculator works out the correct numbers for me!

next job... turning the inside of a brake drum to fit a 31 tooth 08B sprocket.

Next job, working out the intermediate tensioner...


11th Dec 2013 Slots...

In order to transfer drive I need an intermediate drive with at least two keyways cutting. So a bit of time with some 30mm bar, I came up with this.

In conjunction with a 3/32 slot drill I now get this

Which is perfect for 5/8 taper lock bushes.


13th Dec 2013 Nearly there...

First mock up of the intermediate arms, this was to set the belt length and ensure everything cleared.

Followed by cutting some side plates and turning some bushes down.

The lower carrier takes standard 5/8 bearings

Another dry run, but without the wood...


14th Dec 2013 D Day...

An early start this morning sees me put a tensioner together out of an old cutter deck.

Round the other side it's looking even better

Which can only mean one thing...

Test drive!!

How did it drive?  one word awesome!!!  Video footage to follow...


15th Dec 2013 Video...

Here's the first video footage, sorry about the quality... It was recorded HD 1920x1080p30 @ 48Mbps - which is a little high for most video editors to process.


21st Dec 2013  More video...

Slightly better quality video this time - my first time using Sony vegas pro. I had to finish off the testing ahead of stripping it down to finish the odds and sods!


22nd Dec 2013   Final fixes - taking it apart

Quite a few people have commented on the front end being high, and I thought I'd take the take to correct some of this by lifting the backend up 2 inches.

A small bracket was made to weld on the underside of the transmission mount.

Then welded in


23rd Dec 2013  Bug fixing

Quite a few downsides to dropping the rear, gear linkages won't work. The brake rod is too short, the belt will not route and the guard won't fit!

Here's another small issue:

The chain is now 1/2 link too short... no worry.. I have a 1/2 link in stock


28th Dec 2014


Knobs and linkages

I completed the rest of the 4WD selector and started putting things back together!


4th Jan 2014


More painting

Slow updates and boring, it's been quite a lazy xmas - but for stripping the front end and painting.

First Coat

4WD Selector added and painted.

Heavy duty pin painted and grease groove added as clearance was too small to get grease through...


11th Jan 2014



Back together...

All ready to play again




5th July 2014 Been a while

Long time since the last update, Project C4 has been to two shows so far this year. It was worked hard at the Bronte Vintage Gathering pulling a trailer in the mud for 3 days.





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