How to build a rope tow.

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Ethan Snow Ethan Snow
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How to build a rope tow.

Just thought I'd share a few pics of my recent rope tow build. This is by far the best and most powerful design I've had yet.

Over the last 7 seasons, I have been through 3 motors, and 4 gear boxes. Two of them fried. It's all a learning experience. It was time for something that would last a long long time that will continue to operate in my parents backyard trouble free.

It started with a 90's Craftsman lawnmower. well, what was left of it. This one was special because it appeared to have a fairly heavy duty transaxle with a horizontal driveline. Most of the newer ones have vertical drive shafts, and vertical engines which make it hard to use as anything other than a lawnmower.

 

Then I pulled the axle out, cracked open the bell housing and dumped everything in a tub of parts cleaner.



The drive pinion was shot. Searspartsdirect.com was the solution for that, and I had a new one in a week.



Then, the differential had to be welded to create a single, solid driveshaft rather than two independent driveshafts.
I preheated the thing a lot before TIG welding it. Having these welds strong and clean with good penetration was critical.


 
Cleaned the corrosion off the bell housing primed and painted it.



Then put it back together. I removed one of the shifting forks to make it a 3 speed rather than a 6 speed. Some of the gears are nothing but spacers now.  There was no gasket for the bell housing, so RTV silicone will have to make due.



filled it with 40W and done!



I had to make some mounting brackets to get it to fit on the previous rails.



I picked up a used Honda GX390 from a guy in Roxbury who is a small engine mechanic. It's a really solid engine, and it has an electric start! No more messing around trying to pull start this thing in cold temps!




My dad is hell bent on having some sort of safety stop, so today I built a stop gate. It shuts the engine off as soon as it is opened.



looking down the 750' lifeline.



Next year I will need to replace the rope that I've had for 5 years now.




At just about any point in my life, I can look back on where I was a year ago, and say to myself, "Shit, what was I thinking?"
MC2 5678F589 MC2 5678F589
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Re: How to build a rope tow.

Video!

(Nice build, btw)
JTG4eva! JTG4eva!
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Re: How to build a rope tow.

Wow, way cool.  Very impressive!  Nice work.
We REALLY need a proper roll eyes emoji!!
Scruffy Scruffy
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Re: How to build a rope tow.

In reply to this post by MC2 5678F589
Nice work!
warp daddy warp daddy
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Re: How to build a rope tow.

Excellent work young man !!
64ER 64ER
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Re: How to build a rope tow.

In reply to this post by MC2 5678F589
MC2 5678F589 wrote
Video!

(Nice build, btw)
MC2 5678F589 wrote
Video!

(Nice build, btw)
Ethan,

You have torpedoed all my one-liners to my high-school/college age kids that I rag on during lessons, (Not our own young coaches, they're awesome) about how back in the day...or when I was your age....walked uphill, both ways to school.

Your very informative post has restored my faith in "the yutes of Amerika".  There is still hope for the rest of us that all is good in our collective future.  Please thank your Mom and Dad for us.  Appears that they raised you right.

All the best, Ski You @ Gore.

64ER
Brownski Brownski
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Re: How to build a rope tow.

Great job Ethan! My only suggestion is that when you’re ready for the new rope, conside4 going for one with a bigger diameter.
"You want your skis? Go get 'em!" -W. Miller
Ethan Snow Ethan Snow
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Re: How to build a rope tow.

Brownski wrote
My only suggestion is that when you’re ready for the new rope, conside4 going for one with a bigger diameter.
That is the plan.
At just about any point in my life, I can look back on where I was a year ago, and say to myself, "Shit, what was I thinking?"
Ethan Snow Ethan Snow
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Re: How to build a rope tow.

Sorry, the video is not great. There's more where that came from. It sounds noisy in the video, but it's really not very loud at all. It will easily pull 5 people. could probably pull more, but I need to get that new rope first.

At just about any point in my life, I can look back on where I was a year ago, and say to myself, "Shit, what was I thinking?"
tBatt tBatt
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Re: How to build a rope tow.

Nice setup! Do you have anything to help you grip the rope? It seems like something that narrow would be a chore to hold on to all the way up.
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