Starting last June, I began working on a hybrid snowmobile. I never thought it would amount to a whole lot. I stripped the body off of a 1977 John Deere 210 lawn mower and put it on a 1980 John Deere Liquifire snowmobile.
I kept the snowmobile drivetrain intact and was able to utilize the lawn mower gas tank, grille, hood, seat, fenders, dash and other parts. It is powered by a 440cc liquid-cooled 2-stroke Kawasaki engine. It is pretty quick to get up and go for a 580-pound machine and it tops out at 45 mph.
I built a suspension that features John Deere vintage bogie wheels and new long, travel-type suspension that allows me to go through deep snow as well as drive on hard ground in the summer without needing snow to lubricate the suspension.
I used a 4- by 10-foot sheet of 19 gauge aluminum and made the side covers from scratch. I modeled them on the lawn mower’s side covers but ran into many obstacles (like going around clutches). The side covers can be removed in five minutes to access the engine area with two wing nuts and three screws.
I designed decals and had them made. The piece is powder-coated John Deere green except for the hood, which I painted. I added electric start during final assembly and also have the choice between a tractor muffler with a flapper or a straight muffler pipe.
This machine is called the John Deere Snow-Mower. It has logged 100 miles, six shows and four trophies. In winters to come I plan to show it some more but mostly I’ll use it for what it was intended: riding and fun! I’ve posted pictures and history of the entire build: http://www.vintagesledders.com/forums/index.php?topic=966.0