A while back I picked up a new piece of machinery to help with many of our projects. It is not what I was originally looking for. I had been looking for a backhoe attachment for my Kubota tractor. The Kubota B20 was designed to be a TLB (Tractor / Loader / Backhoe) and has a frame integrated quick attach system designed for the matching BT650 backhoe unit. This is more solid and preferable to 3 point mounted units. The added weight due to this frame design makes them surprisingly capable and the backhoe units for them rarely come up for sale.Continue reading Bringing Home a CASE 360 Trencher Backhoe
Loading your tractor tires with windshield washer fluid is an easy upgrade giving more traction, better hill stability, and additional weight / ballast. This is also helps with using a front end loader. I decided to use windshield washer fluid since it is inexpensive, easy to obtain, will not freeze, and will not corrode the wheels like calcium and some of the other wheel ballast options.
I have posted an update to the Kubota B20 restoration thread in the forum. This update includes details on the broken steering column and the front axle oil leak, both of which I discovered during the first run / engine break in. More photos and details in the forum post!
Next up is finishing up the wiring and then finally painting the hood & front loader.
The finished large solar generator featured in our DIY How To Build a Solar Generator series. If you are getting ready to follow our video tutorial and build your own solar generator, make sure you watch this video first so you know about the design updates!
In the video below we go over the solar generator features, solar panel kit specs, and our DIY battery bank expansion units. In addition, we show how to upgrade / improve several aspects of the original design including a higher power AC power inverter (3,000 watt continuous, 6,000 watt peak), fully waterproof external switches, mounting improvements, and a better way to store accessories inside the solar generator main case.
Video progress update!
First startup after initial 30-minute run-in and head bolts re-torqued. Now starting to apply load to break in the engine and seat the piston rings.
This is the first time the tractor has moved under its own power in many years! Entire chassis has been split, separated, cleaned up, restored and painted.
Our DIY solar generator how to series has been really successful with lots of great feedback! I have had at least 20 – 30 subscribers mention in the comments or emails that they have built one of these units and are very happy with it. Even several people that initially were not sure they would be able to build it, have later told me they successfully built one. Thanks for the great feedback, I always love hearing from the people that have built them!
I just posted another video to YouTube with some additional updates based on my own usage of the solar generator, as well as a couple changes due to parts availability. We needed to switch to the 3,000 watt inverter, as the 2,000 watt version we originally used in the how to videos is no longer available. I also will be upgrading the external switches to a water proof version. Finally we will be reinforcing some of the higher stress mounted components, such as the high current quick connector with epoxy instead of hot melt glue.
We purchased an ’86 Travel Villa 29′ fifth wheel camper as an inexpensive means to travel out west with our dogs. The camper is an older model, but it has served us well. After building the solar generator, I have found that I always want to bring it with us when we travel as we typically boon-dock without hookups.
I have decided I would like to add a dedicated solar power system to the camper. This way the camper will always be ready to go, and the dedicated solar panels will also keep the camper’s existing deep-cycle battery topped off when not in use.
This is an update to our DIY How To series on How to Build a Large Solar Generator. In this follow up post, I will show you how we can use the quick connects designed into our solar generator to expand both the solar charging capacity, as well as the battery bank for increased run times.
A lot of the feedback was asking how to expand the solar generator to an even bigger capacity system. When I designed the base unit, I wanted it to be very easily expandable using quick connects. There are two areas where we can easily do that with our system:
I just posted several updates to the Kubota B20 project thread in the forum. I had hoped the next update was going to be of a running engine, but instead it’s more tear down pics and photos of cracks in the cylinder head that I missed the first time around.
I developed a new engine noise after a high speed run on my 2004 Yamaha Grizzly 660.
In the video I will take you step by step through my process of troubleshooting and how to isolate the cause of the noise, and then assess the damage. I also demonstrate how to use a mechanics stethoscope, check for loose valves, check spark plug color for ignition issues, how to check valve timing, and several other common issues while we looked for the issue.