Sunday, May 24, 2009

Murr-E's Transaxle Exposed...

My machine conscience got the best of me and I decided I better go into the transaxle while I had it out installing new brake pads.  I am glad I did.  Some of the needle bearings were seriously dry and there was some water in the case.  A couple of days of cleanup and it is ready to go back together.  It uses a special bentonite base grease and all that is commonly available is lithium soap grease and the two are NOT compatible.  So I ordered 3 pounds of the stuff from McMaster Carr that will be here next week.

See the attached pic, this is MOST of the parts and I can probably find the rest....Haha

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Murr-E moves under its own power...

After arriving home from the SMARTT Challenge EV Autocross event, I was feeling motivated. The excellent team from McMichael High School won 1st place in their category with their 96V Mustang. It was great to put faces with the names and I learned some things that will come in very handy when I start on Frankenstang such as the issue of clearance from the motor to the steering rack.

I strapped a battery on Murr-E, rolled it out of the shop, hooked up some jumper cables and off we went. I rode it on my knees since I do not have the fenders and seat mounted yet. I cruised to the front yard slowly and set up for a short video which can be found here. I learned during this test that Murr-E on 12V will barely climb a hill even in lower gears. The original plan to use 36V is still in effect.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Murr- gets a wheel!

Last night I installed the freshly painted console, steering shaft bearing, and steering wheel. The tractor seems much smaller now.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Introducing Murr-E

Murr-E is my electric tractor conversion project. It is a 1975 Murray riding mower that I received from a neighbor in very sad shape. Most of the work so far has been to put the tractor back in useable shape. Murr-E is listed on the Electric Vehicle Album.

I applied power to the rolling chassis tonight for the first time. See the video here.

Introducing ROBOTRUCK

This is ROBOTRUCK, a '90s vintage Fischer-Price Powerwheels Big Foot truck with modifications. It is 4 wheel drive with skid steering like a tank. It has a motor and double-lobed cam to open and close the hood at my command. The Robot head pivots left and right and has ultra-bright red LED eyes. It is equipped with 105Db air horns for self defense from over-eager children bent on destruction (sad, but true). ROBOTRUCK has participated in over a dozen parades including 4 Dragon Con events in downtown Atlanta and always gets a great reception. It has web pages at

Introducing Micro

Micro is my 18 pound tabby cat/backup alarm. She got her name as a tiny kitten when we rescued her at the pound and they injected a microchip between her shoulders for ID. She is one fat cat!


I suppose an introduction is in order since this is the first post in my first blog.  I am a mechanical engineer in my 50s, enjoying life, and employed for the moment.  I am an avid tinkerer and enjoy creating things with my mind that I eventually craft with my hands.  I plan to use this blog to chronical some of my projects.  I used to race a Mustang that I am currently planning to convert to an electric vehicle.  I am in the process of converting an ancient Murray riding mower into an electric yard tractor.  I attend sci-fi conventions sometimes dressed as the 3rd Hokage from Naruto, with plans for dressing in steampunk fashion with weapons of my own design.  I drive a remotely controlled Powerwheels vehicle in parades.  These things and more will show up in this blog.  Thanks for stopping by!