Mule Hour Meter Gear Drive

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JDToumanian

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Hi Group,

I'm in the process of changing out engines on my mule, the parts from the junk engine are going on a brand-new 1994 model Teledyne engine for a genset.

This engine has a gear drive on the timing cover above the magneto, for the purpose of driving an hour meter. The mule timing cover has the provision for this gear but it is plugged, presumably because my mule never had an hour meter. The timing covers will be swapped out because the genset cover has the oil filter mount on it and it can't go there on a mule, but I could put the hour meter drive on the mule cover if I want or should...

My question is, should I transfer this gear drive to the new engine or leave it off? Usually mule hour meters are electric.... I've never seen a mechanical hour meter for a mule, though I know they exist. I have no intention of adding an electrical system to my mule, so I assume an hour meter would need to be mechanical?

Regards,
Jon
 

doghead

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The electric hour meter on the mule is simply wired to the magneto.

I don't recall ever seeing a mechanical meter on the magneto(on anything).

I like that idea, my electric meter has never worked.
 

clinto

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As Doghead said, the Mule uses an electric hour meter that pulls it's power off the mag.

I have read in multiple places that the power the hour gauge pulls from the mag can sometimes affect driveability. This is why you see so many mules with the meter unhooked. I have no idea if this is true. YMMV.
 

JDToumanian

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Thanks guys.... I had talked to Bill Watson about it, and he only had used electric hour meters available. He didn't have very nice things to say about them either.

I see that I can install the gear in the timing cover without removing it, and that was one of my concerns... I'd hate to take all this stuff apart again. So I'll just keep the parts in case I ever find a good mechanical hour meter.

Jon
 

ldj1002

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In my opinion a mechanical hour meter would be as useless as tits on a boar hog. A mechanical hour meter works like a speedometer odometer but calibrated to count hours where the speedometer odometer counts miles. When on a gen set it is running at a constant operating rpm, and that would be at the be set governed speed, it will count hours right. On a mule you will be most of the time running much lower rpm and the hour meter would count less hours.
 

asgtoolman

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In my opinion a mechanical hour meter would be as useless as tits on a boar hog. A mechanical hour meter works like a speedometer odometer but calibrated to count hours where the speedometer odometer counts miles. When on a gen set it is running at a constant operating rpm, and that would be at the be set governed speed, it will count hours right. On a mule you will be most of the time running much lower rpm and the hour meter would count less hours.
I would think that ldj1002 would have to be right; a mechanical drive would have to be related to RPM and therefore a varying RPM [from idle to full throttle while driving] would give you varying results. It would give you an APPROXIMATION of hours run, but that would be all.
I can't believe a mechanical hour meter could ever be TOO accurate.
My original electric hour meter that runs off the magneto is still operating perfectly; Bill had me scared about it also, but NO PROBLEMS.
 
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MuleMac01

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I only put the hour meter on my mule when i did the engine rebuild. I think i'm going to take it off but i havent had a problem of it saping power to cause a issue of driving
 

doghead

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Did you guys consider that the hour meter in a Deuce is mechanical?(in the tach).
 

ldj1002

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doghead, I didn't know about the Deuce hour meter being mechanical. With it being mechanical, it could not have been accurate. An electric hour meter runs at the same speed all the time. The electric hour meter is counting at the same speed where the vehicle is at idle or at top rpm. A mechanical tech is counting slow at idle and fast at high rpm. If a mechanical tach/hour meter is calibrated to count hours @ 2000 rpm then at idle @ 500 rpm it will have counted 15 minutes in one hour. I have never saw personally a mechanical hour meter on any vehicle except an airplane. Airplans run at the same rpm most of the time which makes them more accurate. Even then a lot and most all airplanes rented have electric hour meter because all the time taxiing and waiting for clearance is slow. Some unscrupulous places charged you buy the electric hour meter but did their maintenance my the mechanical tach/hour meter.
 
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nickd

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All 3 of my mules have the Hobbs hour meter wired to the magneto. They were all installed new to track the running time for service intervals on the rebuilt engines. I have not had any problems with them yet. Since the hour meter is wired from the magneto and is also grounded, an internal short in the meter will ground out the magneto. Since the mule engine needs air, fuel and, spark to run, if there is an hour meter and the absence of spark, either the magneto needs a rebuild or the hour meter is shorted to ground. If the magneto produces a spark with the hour meter disconnected its time for a new hour meter. If not rebuild the magneto and retain the hour meter.
 

nickd

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JT, just a note, do not forget to remove the copper rings from the old heads and install them in the new heads before you reassemble the engine. The new heads do not come with new copper sealing rings.
 

JDToumanian

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Thanks for the tip Nick.... Luckily for me I got a brand new crate engine for a genset, it only needs all the mule specific stuff -- Bell housing, timing cover, sheet metal, carburetor, oil pan, windage tray, governor, magneto, blower, and some brackets and pipes transferred over from the old mule engine, but I've bought NOS parts for most of it..... There's no need to open up the new 'long block'.

Here's some pics of the progress...

1 - The new engine
2 - Old original engine that was full of water
3 - Another dead engine that is donating some parts
4 - View of the mule in the garage
5 - Mule parts taking their turn baking in the oven
6 - Cleaned up and painted mule engine parts relaxing in my living room until it's their time to be installed
7 - It may not look it, but there's about $2000 in new parts on that Rubbermaid cart...


Regards,
Jon
 

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asgtoolman

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Jon; out of curiosity, are you single or just have a VERY understanding wife. [I usually have to sneak my "baked goods" thru the oven when my wife is out of town]
 

JDToumanian

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Single! rofl

My girlfriend served in the army and loves the trucks, but she doesn't think she will be able to handle it if we were to get married and/or move in together.... I told her that we'd better make sure and get a place with a nice big shop, with a utility sink and my own oven for baking paint. Then there will be no reason to bring the truck parts and military surplus into the house! (I wire brush and solvent degrease parts in the kitchen sink, too...)

8)

Jon
 

JDToumanian

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No, I've got two mules, the first was a A2 junker I bought three years ago. I found a better A5 about two years ago, and that's the one I'm restoring.... But it's still missing a lot of parts and I decided I didn't want to cannibalize the A2. I knew the project would take time and money and I had neither in abundance at the time but I've been slowly accumulating parts. I got the new engine about two years ago, and I got most of the rest of what I need in a huge order from Bill Watson last month.

I'm fired up to have it all done and running for Tower Park in April.....

Jon
 

asgtoolman

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I hope part of your huge order from Bill Watson included the parts to convert to 4 wheel steer; I wouldn't have a mule without it!
I'm lucky enough that Bill is just an overnite shipping situation for me; call him by 4:30 and it's at my house mid-afternoon next day. My "huge" order I drove up and picked up; HE IS ONE NICE GUY!!!! Of course my order got a lot bigger when I saw everything he had available. I was the kid in the candy store!!
 
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