The Mighty

Hoyt-Clagwell Model 54/75



Actually, this "butt-buggy" was named after the tractor featured on the old TV show "Green Acres" that starred Eddy Albert and Eva Gabor.  As it is, most folks don't get it.  When folks ask me where I got the tractor, I say, "Hugh Haney sold it to me".  They still don't get it.


The running gear is the remains of a formerly junked Sears Suburban garden tractor from about 1975 and is powered by a circa 1954 Fairbanks-Morse ZC-52 pump engine, hence the "54/75" designation.


The engine started off as a trunk load of rusty parts that a friend was getting ready to throw in the dump so I  guess you can say I cheated the junk man twice with this project!


In low-range low gear, the Hoyt-Clagwell will go at a very slow crawl.  In high range 3rd gear, it will run at about a fast walk.  I use it around the place to pull a utility trailer (sometimes with a half-ton of rock or dirt on it) and it has plenty of pulling power, especially in the lower range.


In order to mount the Fairbanks engine, I first welded two lengths of "I" beam to the frame.   Drive is via Vee belt from the right-hand flywheel rim (as seen sitting on the seat) to a pulley on an added jackshaft.  Inside the frame, a Vee belt pulley is mounted on the jackshaft which carries the belt that runs to the transaxle.


The clutch consists of the alternator from a junked Yanmar commercial mower.  It pivots to allow the belt to loosen when the clutch is depressed.  A secondary use for the alternator (since it actually works!) is to keep a small Gel Cell battery charged so I can blow my AH-OOO-GA horn.  Later on, I added a small 12 Volt siren so now, I can be really annoying.


I've also got an exhaust whistle.  The whistle toots melodiously every time the engine fires when I push the lever.



        Me with my classy hat (Evansville, IN 2001)                                                    It's a tough job but somebody's gotta do it! (Lanesville, IN 2002)


It's me again, terrorizing the folk at Zolfo Springs, Florida in 2006 (different hat!)

And, yes, I did paint the wheels and running boards white



Here's the business end showing the modified flutter choke.

In response to a numerous request, here's the whistle.  I  got it at a show several years ago and it was so cute I just couldn't pass it up.  The shiny part is what I bought and the dull part is what I made.  It blows using exhaust pressure.  In the black part (the whistle base), there's a poppet valve.  Also, at the top of the muffler is a butterfly valve.  I've got it rigged so when I open the poppet valve, the butterfly closes.  This makes enough pressure to blow the whistle "toot-sweet" as we say in Kaintuck.




Here's a short YouTube video of it at the Boonville Indiana Fall Show in around 1999.


And here's another video, taken in September, 2008.


Update - 21 July 2016:

Since my last posting, I have had some requests to show how the throttle linkage works.  I'll also include some more recent photos of the ignition.

Throttle rod, mixer end (shown at full throttle, engine stopped, speed control at maximum). 


Speed control, as modified.                                                      Magneto replacement.

All of the above photos are more or less self-explanatory.  If anyone wants more informastion on them, please email me.

I've modified the governor by grinding off a couple of turns from the internl governor spring that is located inside the governor flyball casting.  This gives about 500 RPM at full speed and down to as low as 120 RPM after retarding the timing to a little after TDC.

For better running at all speeds, I've modified the flutter choke as seen in one of the earlier photos.  What I did was, since the steel parts of the flutter choke on my engine were rusted out, I made a new choke "washer" out of brass.  I drilled out the original pin in the cover plate that held the original washer and the spring then drilled and tapped the plate to 1/4-28.  A new rod was made of 1/4" steel bar stock and threaded for 1/4-28 to thread into the cast iron cover.  The new rod was slotted so a screwdriver could be used to adjust the tension of a selected spring. The adjustment is kept secure by the use of a 1/4-28 nut.

Adjustment of the choke is as follows, remembering that the correct spring tension is important to get the adjustment to work right.  After assembly and fiddling to find the correct spring, the engine is started. With the flutter choke adjusted to about the middle of it's range, the engine is started and, at high speed, the fuel mixture is adjusted for best acceleration from idle (best power setting).  When this is set, the engine is idled and the flutter choke is adjusted for best running at idle. There will be a bunch of interaction between the power setting and the idle setting so some patience in adjusting the settings is required.

When the flutter choke is properly adjusted, the engine will run well at any speed between idle and full speed at any power setting.
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Visits Since 8 February 2010