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  1. #1

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    Question 260lx motor for another performance use

    Youíve got a jet ski dummy here looking for motor information. Let me give you a little background on my proposed use. I pull 4 cylinder powered tractors. Picture a hot rod garden tractor. If it has 4 cylinders or less and can weigh in at 1350# or less with the driver on, itís legal. Tire size is 26x12x12. Donít start thinking there is a lot of prize money involved. If I win the event I donít have enough of a paycheck to put fuel in the truck. I do really enjoy it as a hobby.

    When I discovered the supercharged jet skis I thought they might be the hot power setup. I started watching the insurance salvage pool for a wrecked one. I found very few and they sold very high. My original search was for a Yamaha. Then I was told Sea Doo was better. Here I am a year later and I stumble on one for what may be a good buy. Itís a Kawasaki 260lx. The motor is really clean and may have very minimal time on it.

    Popular motors in the tractor class are the Suzuki Hayabusa, Kaw 1400, Ford 2300, and GM Iron Duke. There are many other combinations in use. Turbos and superchargers are legal. No nitrous or nitro. Only 2 of the bike motors I compete against are running turbos. There are quite a few Ford 2300 turbo motors. One guy runs a supercharged air cooled VW.

    I donít know how the 260lx motor will compare to the others. How much torque do they make? 7700 rpm sounds pretty low compared to the bike motors. Even the 4 cylinder car motors are turning that much.

    One big issue I see is coupling the output of the motor to a transmission or clutch. It would be a machining nightmare. There would be another gear reduction needed before going into a rear axle.

    How much of the electronic and ECU information is available? We modify the motorcycle motor wiring harness pretty much. I expect the same would be needed with the 260lx. Speed sensor, steering position sensor, and vehicle down sensor are just a few that would need some bypassing. The factory puts in power limiters and safety switches that we donít need on a pulling tractor.

    Any information or ideas would be appreciated.


  2. #2
    steve45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beck View Post
    One big issue I see is coupling the output of the motor to a transmission or clutch. It would be a machining nightmare.
    I don't think machining would be much of a problem. The crankshaft is threaded. These engines turn CCW when viewed from the rear.

    Sounds like a fun project!

  3. #3

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    You had me thinking about the motor rotation. CCW is the same as most all automotive engines. Only the Corvair and early Honda were clockwise when viewed from the rear.

  4. #4
    My Jet Ski drinks more than yours Glenozzy's Avatar
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    the 300 have better super charger, how are you going to handle the inter cooler? how will you calculate the size of the radiator?

  5. #5

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    I have been advised to stay away from the Kawasaki motor. I was told the Yamaha is stronger and has more aftermarket support. It's a shame because the price was right on this Kawasaki.

    I "crew" for a big pulling tractor. We use a big inter cooler on it. We supply the inter cooler from a large tank that we mix ice with the water. Big pumps circulate the water to the inter cooler. That tractor uses 5 sixteen pound bags of ice for each run. I would just drastically scale the sizes down.

    Honda Civic/Del Sol aluminum radiators with shroud and cooling fan are available online cheap. I just finished swapping to one on another of my tractors. I would put a temp switch in the coolant to cycle the fan.

    It looks like for now this project is on hold. I will continue to watch for a supercharged Yamaha.

  6. #6
    My name is Sean and I am addicted to STXs smokeysevin's Avatar
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    Not sure who told you that. The bottom end of the 260 is good for 400+ hp on stockrods and crank. Change the cams, valves, and pistons, add boost and run race fuel and you ahould be set.

    The old riva vortech v5 h trim setups used forged pistons on stock rods and cranks with 17psi of boost and vp ms109 fuel for 430hp

    Sean

  7. #7
    Let me out of here......I need to go on Greenhulk!
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    What kind of numbers are they getting out of the ford 2.3? You mean the newer 4 valve head yea? That seems like it would be hard to beat with a turbo on it.

  8. #8

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    Here is a link to one of our pulls. This track has poor traction so many of the guys were leaving the starting line pretty softly to control wheel spin. These are the 12 tractors that qualified to run the finals out of about 50 tractors. https://www.facebook.com/drew.anderson.501/videos/10216578894162934/UzpfSTEwMDAwMzUyNzg1NzUyMToxOTI5MjA1MTc3MjA3MDU5/?q=vidoe%20motorcycle%20powered%20tractor&epa

    The 2nd tractor is the only one with a turbo. It is on an older style bike motor. There are several 2.3 motors in the video. 2 of them are the tractors at 0.50 and the following one. Both are built/owned by the same guy. They are really tough and always place at or near the top. The tractor at the 1.20 is me. I left the start too soft. You can really hear the difference in rpm between my Suzuki Hayabusa and the auto type motors. The tractor after me is powered by twin 2 cylinder 2 stroke snowmobile motors. The purple one following that is a 3.7 liter Mercruiser. At the 2.26 there is a Pontiac which is followed by a billet V-twin Kohler that really thumps.

    I don't know any of the power numbers for the motors. The 2.3 guys use some Esslinger midget parts. I believe they are 2 valve heads. There is an iron Ford head that they look for but it is heavy. I hear rumors of 2 retired midget motors being built for pulling. I don't think they can be over bored as large as the guys are making the 2.3 blocks. The midget motors are aluminum blocks so there is a weight advantage and I believe they will turn higher rpm.

  9. #9
    Let me out of here......I need to go on Greenhulk!
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    Oh the ford 2.3 pony stock motor. That would be cheap to build an iron block one but if the weight is a concern then might not work for you. There was a version of that motor that used a stroked crank which made it 2,5l. The 2 valve head will work just take more boost to make numbers. I cant imagine not running a turbo just no replacement for that torque curve unless the lack of weight of the tractor/tire size wont allow you to use more than a certain amount of power. I could then see looking for rpm instead of sheer power.
    Last edited by TMiller; 10-18-2019 at 10:34 PM.

  10. #10

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    I know the 2.3 Ford can make big hp. There is a local drag racer that has made 1000 hp with one. Unfortunately the longevity at that power is short and there very hard on drive line. That motor was built with the best of parts. I think the rods were from Australia. The man behind it's build is no longer with us, but he was teaching Esslinger's a few things I'm told.

    We can't utilize that much power. The classes we run are at maximum weights of 1350 and 1400 lb. On pulling tractors the heavier they are the more they can pull so we add weight until we are at the maximum. At those weights you can’t get huge power to the ground. It just creates wheel speed without traction. The bigger tractors (5800# modifieds) really spin the tires, but we haven’t figured out how to make that tire speed work for us. They trim nearly the entire tire lug off. With big lugs there tires would stack dirt up in front of the weight sled making it harder to pull.

    I doubt anything above 300 hp would do us much good. That's why I thought the 260lx motor might work well.

    There is a lot I don't know about these 260lx motors. Water flow is a big part of that. Do they have water pumps or is water flow provided by motion through the water? I would need to circulate coolant to a radiator. In stock form the water is single pass. I would have to change the exhaust manifolds to steel tube and capture the water that was exiting the head there to plumb it to the radiator. With the intercooler, and the tank I would need to supply it with cool water, it would be a pretty large package and a plumbing nightmare.

    I have 3 of the 3.7 liter Mercruiser motors, like the purple tractor in the video. 1 is nearly done, the 2nd is a complete built short block, the 3rd hasn't been apart. They are very heavy. Just the crank is 60 lb. Without intake, exhaust, or flywheel they are 350 lb. The flywheel is about 30 lb. Add an automotive transmission and clutch and it gets real heavy quickly. A very light frame is needed along with no charging system, and no coolant. You need to run a dry block to make weight. It would help if I was a little guy, but I'm not.

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