Using my dad’s mini-dozer as a launching point, I evaluated the weak points and started thinking about better options. After riding my snowmobiles in the snow, I realized that the entire suspension and track would be a great option. The rubber track would be low impact on the asphalt, and would be plenty durable, now to begin the search for some tracks. I began searching eBay, Craigslist and other search forums for some used snowmobiles, preferably with junk engines, but with decent tracks. I eventually found some, a pair of snowmobiles that the kid had trashed both engines. One was a 1991 Arctic Cat, and the other was a 1993 Arctic Cat. Both sets of tracks were virtually identical, and one of them was brand new! An agreement on price was quickly made, and the track solution was solved! The guys selling them were probably thinking they got a good deal, as I barely looked at the engines… I later found a hole clear through the block on one of the engines. I didn’t care as that wasn’t my interest. The guys included a bunch of new parts for the engines, as they had intended to rebuild the engines, so I made some of my money back by selling the new parts on eBay. Score!
Next was the engine, which as quickly resolved as I already had a Kohler 17-hp 2-cylinder engine that was brand new, but had a small spot on its casting that needed fixing. It also needed some exhaust manifold and stacks made. Some quick work with some plate steel, the mill and some tubing, and I had the stacks fabricated.
Next was the powertrain…. I didn’t want the belt system, I just didn’t think it would take the power, and I really wanted it to be hydrostatic. I went searching on eBay, and eventually found a brand new pair of left and right hydrostatic transaxles that were replacements for a zero-turn lawnmower. A few clicks of the mouse button, and some shipping time, and I had the final main piece of my drivetrain.