Makes my all my other tractors look like “toys” Cause this is one SEROUS MACHINE !
Over half a year ago I noticed this Kubota mower tucked in a corner of the Repo compound In Vernon. We go there lots to pick up stored vehicles. I’ve been bugging them to sell it to me for a long time.. Finally they said ok .. I don’t know the history..or even how old it is… It does have a Surrey Parks sticker on it , but that means only that it belonged to them some time ago. Lets just presume somebody bought it at an auction.. or something and some how it was seized. I do know that it’s been there for a few years.. Un loved.. just some scrap metal covering the motor, cause the hood is missing. Weeds had grown up through & around it.. Two tires were flat. Sad indeed.. Especially since these are pricey mowers. I found out just how much $$ . Google a Kubota F2400 and you will see they are asking upwards of $8000 for a used one.
So… what a great winter project ! Here’s why. This is what we have here…
Kubota F-2400 , 4 wheel drive, 24 hp Diesel, 72 inch (6ft) three blade deck, Full hydro drive & lift, Cruise, Tilt, and it could have tunes !
What a score… I paid just a small amount of cash to buy it and to haul it away… But there is the risk .. what if the motor is hooped..Why was it left there ? Looks good , no water in the oil.. It’s in my shop now and Dave and I are checking it out carefully before we try the motor..
First thing… I did not have the key ! So I had the locksmith make me one.. But then the switch would not work.. I may have to use one from Princess Auto. Next we will clean the fuel tank and put fresh fuel in.. and clean all the filters. I would like to change the oil too. All the antifreeze seams dried up.. so that could be interesting.. could find a leak there ! So Dave says we will use water first. Yup..
Six control peddles to be exact.. And so we went online to find a operators manual.. could only find a french one ? I guess we are learning french. .. and figuring out the controls.. And the wiring diagram to check out the wires.. fortunately nobody messed with that.. but that question was asked when we noticed a cut wire. Turns out it was the power that went up the Rops to the roof for lights.. .. BTW that is a factory ROPS & roof.. My first thought was to remove it.. but it may be a good thing to keep. So we did take the fuel tank off.. drained it and put it back on.. And filled the rad up with water .. no leaks ! and there was still a bit of antifreeze in there. The motor turns over easily but won’t start.. so we have to test and test the electrical stuff.. There are safety switches and glow plugs and fuel cut off solenoids.. wow. Lots involved with a diesel. Good that the motor is not seized or broken ..
I’m thinking we have to go over every contact and connector in the electrical system, and clean them good. And hope that the control box (sealed) is still doing it’s thing. There are three safety switches on the mower but only two in the electrical diagram. Hmm. Oh well I’m going to remove the seat switch. Seams a bit redundant since there is a clutch switch.. and you need to sit in the seat to push the peddle down ? The other safety switch is the PTO one.. PTO must be in neutral . We also need to test the glow plugs and the fuel cut off solenoid. Once all that is done the motor should start.
My plans for tomorrow are to de-grease the chassis so that when I work I won’t get as grubby. That should help clean some of the electrical stuff too.. I removed the seat to allow the cover to open wider.. And cleaned and oiled the seat.. It’s a fancy suspension one and will be nice to keep. If this thing runs then I’ll need to make a new hood. I have photos of what it should look like.
This is the best shot of the hood , it’s simple. I’m going to try and get the pieces lazer cut. This one also has the same ROPS & roof..
Here it is after the bath… It will be easier to find leaks once we’ve got it running.. I’ve pulled up the gross rubber mat too. It’s all rusty under there..
All clean under the seat too .. so now it will be easier to clean and check the wiring. While cleaning I noticed that the second Hydraulic control lever has quick couplers on it .. For ? What ever you like.. Say angling a snow blade .. Hmm.
I wondered why there was two ? all you need is to lift and lower the deck. And that’s the one on the right. The one on the left is an extra one for another cylinder… And when I look at other F2400′s I see some have collection bins on the back that dump.. That’s what it would be for.. Cool.
It’s Alive !!!! Check out the video…
Here it is … It Runs ! Sounds like the Smart Car we have at work… Had to change the start switch, and by pass some fancy crap.. Throw away the control box.. And we found out the motor needs no power to the stop solenoid to run.. Opposite to what we had thought. Also since it was easy to start now.. I took the Kubota for a burn ! went out and tested the hi / low range , the 4×4 .. and did a few donuts out on the road.. It’s snowy so that’s easy.. WE HAVE A WINNER.. The value of the Kubota just went through the roof.. Now for the cosmetics !
And now for the part I like….
We know the motor is fine.. We know the drive is good too.. so tomorrow I’m going to tidy up the wiring, and make a To-Do list.
Got the wiring all fixed up.. And everything works great.. Without the stupid control box. Ha. Had to use the new Ignition switch.. And that meant I had to install a new switch for the glow plugs & to shutdown the motor.
Here you can see the switch between the key & the light switch. You pull it back for the glow plugs , which you can do while turning the key.. Cool. Push forward to shut down the motor.. All the gauges are working perfectly too. Also took the roof and Rops off. I would like to paint them before putting it back on.
The To-Do List:
Make a new hood for the motor.
Repaint the orange, and new decals
Repaint the roof ( RV white) and the ROPS frame ( Grey )
Repair the seat, Or a new seat..
Rebuild the mower deck, new blades , new orange paint, and make covers for the belt.
Install work lights & 4 way flashers on the roof, Tail lights on the hood,
Ambitious Yes… But here’s the chance to make it nice looking as well as functional.
Before this Kubota cuts any grass..it will be cleaning snow. Here’s the blade I have that will work.. with some help. I’ll get to that after I visit the metal shop for some pieces. I’m able to drive it around so I dropped the deck off out back ..to be worked on later..
For now I started to paint the roof.. And I took apart the steering wheel so I could fix up the cover that holds the headlight. I had a mess scraping the glue & foam off the roof. It was rotted and falling off. We don’t need a soft roof.. It’s just getting a coat of paint.
Above you see I’m getting the body ready for paint . I’ve removed all the decals and stickers.. I’ll make new ones.. I’m going to use a roller and brush to do the painting… When I spray it makes such a mess.. Oh and I sealed the rust on the floor.. And will be gluing a new rubber mat on..
Here’s the roof with it’s new paint. RV white is the color.. It’s an off-white. The same paint will be used on the wheels. I also banged most of the dents out, and straightened the edges up a bit.. Looks way better now..
January 1 st.. 2013..
Like I’m planing a roll over.. But I want it back on because it’s a great place for mounting lights. Also good for rain, snow and sun. There is power up to the top, a fuse box and switches too. I like my choice of the grey color instead of black or the orange that it was.
An interesting axle.. designed for the small 8″ wheels. But unlike a universal joint set-up ..this one can turn very sharp. And it looks good doing it with the new paint too!
What your looking at is the front axle and the attachment socket with it’s helper spring (BIG) and the adjustment for the weight of whatever you plug in. The mower deck is heavy.. so the nut goes all the way up to the other nut. Pulling tight the spring and helping lift whatever is out front.. The snow blade will weight a lot less .. So either the nut will be out where it is …or the spring is not used at all. This stuff was very rusty and I had to clean it up and paint the end of the rod.. You can spin the nut by hand now.. Maintenance is a wonderful thing ! I had to order the “Kubota” orange paint, should be here in the next few days. Then watch the transformation…
In the mean time I work on stuff like the lights on the roof frame. These might be nice if you just have to work at night. Also got all my metal pieces today.. So I’ve lots to do..
Now isn’t that slick & simple. It ended up being quite easy to make the mount. Very strong too.
Wow it’s impressive.. six feet wide, and 20 inches tall. That should move a lot of snow. Needs a bit of cleaning up..and a coat of the grey paint.
I’m not “IN the hood” .. I “MADE the hood”
I wanted to get all the welding done so I turned my expertise to making the hood. Remember there was no hood so I’ve had to make one from scratch. I’m able to cut the sheets with a scroll saw . And use some flattened mesh for venting. My small wire-feed welder works so good for this sorta stuff. I decided to keep the hood shorter than the factory one. It would have covered the fuel tank as well. I see no good reason to do that.. So my hood is more compact. I’m not trying for factory original .
Jan 13 2013:
Just a little note here..or more of a thought.. I’m really into this project.. I’m enjoying all my time out in the shop.. Way better than just watching the tube. Even better than being outside where it’s a chilly -17 c. So I’m warm..got my tunes. and I’m working on a worthwhile project.. That’s because this is no $500 lawn tractor. It’s real value is in the thousands.. , But I’m not so quick to flip this one.. If it works good at plowing snow.. and I get the mower deck going good , so it cuts the grass.. then we may want this to stay around.. The little 3 cyl diesel is very cheap to run. I’ll guess half the cost of my 26 hp Craftsman tractor. Peter could use a good snow clearing machine for his parking lot. So it could spend the winter there. We have the landscape trailer to move it around should we need to.. and the Kubota with the 72 ” mower deck would make short work of my acre of grass.. We’ll celebrate later !
Not the most stylish of hoods but it’s very close to the factory one. and it’s to protect the motor. Something this little guy hasn’t had for a while. It will look better with a nice orange paint job and some grafix..Speaking of….
Did anyone notice that I spelt Kubota with an A instead of a U.. I realized I had done just that when I was working on my decals ! I fixed all the mistakes.. Wow. anyway above you will see my plans for the decals that I will put back on. Ya Kubota has a weird logo.. Not sure I’ll do that yet..
It’s the only place on the tractor that has the logo… the headlight frame. And as you can see the bottom left of the letters is cropped. But not as much as I did ..so I’ll adjust things a bit..
I got the first coat of orange on today.. A perfect match.. It will have a day to cure while we go to Kelowna.. There I will get the hydraulic set up for the snow blade angling.
Jan 16 2013:
Got the perfect cylinder form Kelowna the other day.. with hoses and quick couplers.. so I’m set for the snow blade to work.
As I am finishing up the painting I’m putting things back together.. And this is where I’m at.. roof is on .. Wheels back on. I should get all the painting done over the next few evenings.. Then I’ll get to finishing the snow blade. And as I get things together …
Got the steering all back together, with an improved headlight. Still need the new rubber mat for the floor.. and hook up lights. Last night I got all the decals cut.
Here’s how I did the fender decals .. kept them simple.
On the hood I went with black on white.. and kept it a bit whimsical.
Jan 20 2013:
To day I got all the little details finished up.. So I can say … IT’S FINISHED ! with the exception of the blade & the mower deck.
Well today I got all the welding done on the blade.. That is the mounts for the angling cylinder. It’s a very nice sunny day outside So I thought I better take the Kubota out and see how the snow plow works.
Well there had to be a few glitches.. It plows snow ! lots of it.. So much that it comes right over the blade.. but it would do better if the 4×4 worked. I can’t get the 4×4 to engage. Even to get the diff lock to work would be great. I had the 4×4 working the first time I drove it.. But now it’s stuck. Also that darn “gen’ light is on..but that may just be a bad connection.. And as heavy as the blade is ..it’s just heavy enough to lower to the ground.. JUST ! It’s a bit slow.. but not bad.. Also with the skid shoes the blade will not dig in.. it rides along.. floats… no scraping. The jury’s out on whether that’s good or bad. One thing that’s great is ..you can see the blade while your driving, very good thing.
It’s now over at Peter’s doing it’s snow plowing job.. going to stay there a while.. He’s going to check out the Charging system.. In the mean time I’ll go and drag the mower deck into the shop and start work on it … Sunday. As far as the snow blade… it works why mess with a good thing.. Oh and the hydraulic angling works great !
And Now for something different… Um well it’s just a Mower Deck..
But it’s a big one.. Had to use my truck to drag it to the shop.. It stands up nice.. Cool.. Easy to work on this way. Found only a few issues…so far. There was no grease in the belt tension pulley.. so it needs some rebuilding.. One of the blade mandrels has the collar sheared off.. no biggy we fix. and of coarse the front wheels are flat..
Haven’t decided whether to replace the blades or fix the old ones… could grind them off and hammer them flat … I’ll think about it.. There’s a whole lot of wire brushing needed !
Fairly slow going here.. I decided to use a brush to paint the deck and all it’s pieces. That way I get two thick coats of paint on.. better for the rough treatment it will get. Dave and I did a bit of welding and repairing ..but for the most part things are good. After all it is a comercial duty deck.. and it has been reinforced over the years of use. Off to Kelowna to get some proper pins to replace the rusty bolts that were used. New wheels for the casters up front too. Still need to adress the blades and the one spindle.
Monday I’ll start putting things back together.. and take the spindle to the machine shop..
Feb 19 th 2013:
The work on the deck is all done now. The damaged spindle has been fixed , new belt guards are made, everything is cleaned lubricated and painted…
It’s mid February and the snow is melting fast.. Could it be that winter is over ? It’s maybe time to go fetch the Kubota from Peter’s and finish things up.. Re-install the deck and get the for sale sign up..
In the mean time I thought I’d post a few photos
I’ve brought the Kubota back to the shop.. There’s a few last things to do before it goes up for sale.. I would like to paint the blade.. The alternator needs repair. And the mower deck needs to be installed.
I got the deck mounted back.. very easy.. Rolls along nicely with it’s new wheels.. And powers up with only a little vibration. Took the Kubota out for a drive and Photo Op in the yard. Photos are for the ads. Looks good eh.
Here’s a few Before & After Photos….
Oh and about the 4×4 lever.. It was bugging me how it worked then didn’t.. Thought it was jammed inside…yikes.. the horror of taking that much stuff apart.. Put some lube on it..and it now moves freely ..fixed. Lesson should have been learned from working on other tractors..like the Yamaha that wouldn’t move.. cause the hydro static neutral was stuck in .. too funny.