If you click the link above the picture to the left there is a short video of Jim in a tractor pull in 1992 with his garden tractor puller called the Geo.  It had a 3 cylinder Geo engine in it.

Garden tractor pulling is not the same as garden tractor racing. Pulling is not about the speed of the tractor but about the power and traction it has. Over the years I have won and lost with quite an assortment of garden tractors of just about every brand. I lost most of my pullers in a fire a few years back but I have a few built up again. I am definitely not an expert about tractor pulling but I’ve done a lot of it. I started with pulling my dad’s farm tractor a few times in North Dakota. Later I tried my hand at pulling with my “classic” John Deere’s, a John Deere 830 and John Deere 820. I switched to garden tractor pulling in the 70′s. I have a garden tractor pulling page on our web site, you can check out some pictures there if you are interested. Check out our “Geo Story” page too, I put a 3 cylinder Chevy Geo engine in a John Deere 140 for tractor pulling, later I put the same engine in a John Deere 317. .The most common e-mailed question I get is:

Q: I would like to build my own garden tractor puller, I have a garden tractor, what do I do next?

My answer always is:

A: You need to check with the people or association that you are going to pull with, find out the different weight classes they will be having pulls in, and get their list of rules. That will tell you what kind of garden tractors, engines, tires, weights, and safety equipment you can use.

Q: My daughter has pulled lawn and garden tractors for the past two years in 1100 lb and 1400 lb stock classes with good success, but this year we are looking to step it up considerably. Our first year we used a Wheel Horse with a single cylinder 12HP – 8 speed and ran mid pack. Last year we used a Wheel Horse 416-8 with a twin 16HPp engine and finished in the money with every pull. This year I was looking to go with a Wheel Horse 520H, but a friend of mine who used to pull successfully in the past told me that the 520H was a great tractor, but would not pull as well as a gear driven because the hydro has no low range and just didn’t pull well. I then found a rare 520-8, but the same friend told me that this would be more power than I would need and would spin out. He suggested sticking to the 416-8. In my opinion, there is no such thing as too much power in pulling and that although they do weigh more, and you can’t put much weight on for the 1100lb class, a hydro might do well and the more horses the better, right?

A: Yes, your correct, the hydro will do better with more horses. I would say you need at least 2 extra horsepower to stay with the stick transmission. You are also correct in saying there is no such thing as too much horsepower, if it had too much power that meant you should have been in a higher gear.

Q: I have recently become interested in garden tractor pulling and have found a good buy on a John Deere 300. It will need a new engine, but my concern was more with the transmission and differential. Will the hydrostatic and rear end hold up good for a puller, or should I keep shopping?

A: Do not worry about that transmission and rear end. I have already put a Chevrolet engine ahead of that package and didn’t even hurt it at 6000 RPM’s.

http://www.jimsrepairjimstractors.com 1-800-618-8738

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