Building an Engine Cart, (trolley).

click on images for larger view

This is the local High School metal shop; the instructor is an
engine collector also, and has made many engine carts using
this basic design. In the past we used the 36" slip roll designed
for 18 gauge sheet metal, the " thick bands were a real strain
on the machine. Another engine friend gave us this roller that
was originally hand powered, and now is powered by a metal
lathe chuck in the back gears. Time and effort is drastically
We decided that the rear wheels should be 12" in diameter,
requiring bands of 37 5/8". These were cut and the ends smoothed.
The bands are fed through the rollers, and on each pass the top
roller is lowered a turn of the crank to increase the bend. Here
John Hughes is tailing off the bands. This cart is for his IH LA.
As the circle closes up the top roller is lowered turn on each
pass until the ends touch.
The first and last three inches do not get curved as much as the
rest of the band because of the gap between the two bottom
wheels, this part must be bent into shape with a hammer and a
suitable mandrel.
The ends were MIG welded together and ground smooth on both
The hubs had been previously made out of 2" cold rolled steel.
The hole is 1". Sometimes a cheap supply of " or 1" ID ball
bearings can be found, when pressed into a larger hub make a
smooth rolling cart.
The spokes are made from " black pipe. We decided to use five
spokes because the front wheels were eight inches in diameter
and six spokes wouldn't fit. The spacing for the spokes was
72 degrees.
This is a view down the line of lathes and mills. It is easy to do
good work when you have the correct machines. Here John is
cleaning the welding splatter off the wheels.
Here are the finished wheels, sand blasted and ready for paint.
The front wheels were made first out of eight inch pipe that John
had on hand.
These axles were made from 1" round bar material , the ends
were turned down to 1" to go in the hubs. Frequently we make axles from " cold rolled pressed inside " black pipe and plug welded in place. The pipe provides the shoulder for washers, then the wheels, and an outside washer and cotter key.
A hole is drilled in the center of the axle for a pivot bolt, the head is welded on the bottom. The reinforcing brace is 3/8" round stock. The round pivots are flame cut from flat stock, a hole is drilled in the center and mounted on a bolt mandrel in the lathe and turned round.
The frame of this cart is made from 2" channel iron (we usually
use 3"). The ends are fish mouthed and band iron is rolled to make the loop to secure the cart for transport.
Here the frame is set on the wheels and axles for a quick look.
The wheels are spaced up to allow correct measurements for the
rear axle supports, made from " band iron.
Tack welding the axle supports in place.
Starting to look like a cart.
Front axle cross brace tacked in place, made to have cart level.
Rear brace for the front axle tacked in place.
The tabs for the tongue welded in place. I prefer these to stick out further so when the tongue leans back it will stay in place and not fall down.
Close up of front bolster assembly. A little grease between the two discs and it should steer like a dream.
Tongue installed, give it a slight bend so it will lay flat on the ground.
Finished cart. Bad perspective, better shot to follow.

Questions, Comments? Contact Ron

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