The COOT ATV

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The COOT ATV

Postby DSUZU » Thu Aug 06, 2020 8:17 pm

Way back in November of 2012 while doing coverage of my Spacecab build, I posted a picture of my Coot ATV that I planned to get back to work on someday (the Spacecab, and life in general pushed the Coot project to the cold back burner). After the wife started turning up the heat to "get rid" of the Coot, I decided to blow the dust off (literally) and clear out the collection of stuff that had gotten piled on and in it.
I'll start with a repost of the picture from 2012, then add a little history of COOTs and THIS COOT.
100_3219.JPG

Coots kind of made their debut in a Popular Mechanics article back in the mid sixties. As a kid, it inspired dreams. The Coot idea originated with it's inventor cobbling a vehicle together from an air cooled "lawnmower" engine, and a bunch of off the shelf agricultural gear boxes and components. When actual production started, they supposedly made about 1,000 per year and production ran from the mid sixties to the early 80s. The highest serial number seems to be about mid 8,000.
This Coot came into my life about 1982 when a friend returned from a trip and said "You have to see the strange vehicle we found at a golf cart shop". A week later he takes me up there and when I see it i say "That's a Coot". it was for sale, not running, for 500.00. I didn't have the money (or a trailer) at the time, but my best friend, Will, was always looking for new toys. 2 weeks later, he owned it. FWIW, the design criteria was that they would fit in the bed of a standard full size pickup.
Because of complications, it took about a year for me to get it running. We used to use it here and there, but never really got it to "completely functional" (it had electric start, but we always started it using a rope wrapped around the flywheel pulley, It, like most Coots, ws originally equipped with a cast iron, 12HP 1 cylinder Tecumseh air cooled engine. This drove through a snow mobile type pulley system, to a 2 speed forward, and one reverse Apex transmission. The tranny had a chain drive to the 14:1 worm gear axles. The front and rear axles are coupled by an automotive type driveshaft that runs down the center of the inside of the vehicle. There are NO differentials, so it is a true full time all 4 wheel drive. The body / hull is split and the front pivots independently from the back (They were also called "Articulated Coot". Each half can rotate about 45 degrees from the other.
DSCN1685.JPG

After about a year of use and abuse, we managed to break a drive gear. we had 4, maybe 5 of us in it, and were driving across a series of dirt mounds where dump trucks had dumped their loads. We probably had never bothered to check the fluid levels in the axles, but we stripped the teeth off the rear drive gear. I had to disassemble the input shaft to get us out of the mounds and back to the trailer. My friend Steve, who first told me about this Coot, said "you won't believe this, there's ANOTHER one of those about a mile down the road from where that one was. It's in real bad shape though". There was our parts supply (125.00) The 1984 picture is right after I finished the axle install (tool box is in the back ground) This is all for the first installment. Dennis
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1991 LS Trooper 2.8 V6 5 speed conversion (Sold)
1989 LS Spacecab 2.6 5 speed 4x4 manual hubs, Rodeo torsion bars, extended shackles, 2" lift, K&N air filter (drop in), dump bed conversion, burgundy interior change, warn brush bar. Engine is bored .020 oversize and upgraded to 1994 pistons, head and EFI system.
Previously owned: 1987 Trooper II LS, 1989 Trooper (parts only), 1994 Trooper 3.2 Auto, 1997 Rodeo 2.6 5 speed, 1993 shortbed pickup 2.3 (project - sold) 1992 Rodeo 4x4 LS (parts car, devoured by Spacecab needs) plus some 70 plus other non Isuzu vehicles over the years. 1994 Amigo devoured to provide head and EFI system.
Heavily damaged by engine compartment fire while driving on March 24th 2018, condemned by insurance company and taken on March 30th 2018 :cry:.

https://forum.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=64060
City of St Petersburg (Fl) Fleet Maintenance 8/23/83 - 12/4/2018 (Retired). Started new job 6/4/2019. Was retired, now just tired.

If your wife has 5.00, and you have 20.00, your wife has...25.00

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Re: The COOT ATV

Postby gruff54 » Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:06 pm

I remember reading about them way back when, never seen one though. Subscribed!


Mike
'88 Trooper 2.6L 5 spd
'89 Trooper 2.6L 5 spd
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Re: The COOT ATV

Postby DSUZU » Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:55 pm

So the Coot had a few good years and a few good adventures. Around 1986-1987, Will decides to paint it. He takes the engine out to clean everything up. So begins the hibernation. Life went on, the Coot went into storage. The first several years were inside storage. That got expensive, and a friend offered free storage under a roof at this shop - but it was still outdoors. Around early 2006, my friend Will tells me it's time for the Coot to go on the block. I had just finished rebuilding a golf cart, so the golf cart went away, and the Coot "stayed in the family". I hadn't seen it in a few years. Someone at the storage place had backed into it. Florida moisture had done a number on the bearings in the gearboxes. It came home behind my 1994 Trooper, but it didn't want to roll off the trailer. When it finally broke free, it was a wild ride down the ramps with me standing over the gearbox.
DSCN1686.JPG
DSCN1687.JPG

I had my work cut out for me. First, all the drive train had to be removed and disassembled to check for damage. Second, after trying to straighten out he front end, I decided to cut the whole thing out and replace it. As long as I was this deep into it, I decided to convert it into a 4 wheel steer. FWIW, a 2 wheel steer Coot, with NO differentials, gives meaning to that old country song "Give me 40 acres, and I'll turn this rig around". We already had the steering assemblies (although they had been laying in the weather the whole time. There were some tricky linkages to figure out, but this had become a factory option, and several had already updated theirs with 4WS.
100_3103.JPG

Notice in the last picture the neat round hole down the center. This is the pivot for the body articulation. The drive shaft runs down the center of this hole. for 4 wheel steering, a series of bell cranks is used and a shaft runs just above the drive shaft to push -pull from the front bell crank to the rear bell crank. The body of the Coot is made of 16 gauge steel. There is a 1/8 channel down the center of each tub to add rigidity, and strengthen where the torque transmitters (what we would call differentials) mount. You can see the channel in the cut away picture. You can also make out where someone cut a square hole under the engine. These were also made to be amphibious (more about that later :D), but that made engine work such as access to the mount bolts and even oil changing difficult. There was an engine cradle, that is not shown in the picture (more about that later too)
Note: sorry about the 3 grainy "pictures of pictures". These were "pre digital"
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
1991 LS Trooper 2.8 V6 5 speed conversion (Sold)
1989 LS Spacecab 2.6 5 speed 4x4 manual hubs, Rodeo torsion bars, extended shackles, 2" lift, K&N air filter (drop in), dump bed conversion, burgundy interior change, warn brush bar. Engine is bored .020 oversize and upgraded to 1994 pistons, head and EFI system.
Previously owned: 1987 Trooper II LS, 1989 Trooper (parts only), 1994 Trooper 3.2 Auto, 1997 Rodeo 2.6 5 speed, 1993 shortbed pickup 2.3 (project - sold) 1992 Rodeo 4x4 LS (parts car, devoured by Spacecab needs) plus some 70 plus other non Isuzu vehicles over the years. 1994 Amigo devoured to provide head and EFI system.
Heavily damaged by engine compartment fire while driving on March 24th 2018, condemned by insurance company and taken on March 30th 2018 :cry:.

https://forum.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=64060
City of St Petersburg (Fl) Fleet Maintenance 8/23/83 - 12/4/2018 (Retired). Started new job 6/4/2019. Was retired, now just tired.

If your wife has 5.00, and you have 20.00, your wife has...25.00

"Water is one of the greatest essentials of life. Without water, you can't make coffee."

Forget the "free education". Why waste time. Just give me the "FREE INCOME".
DSUZU
I am the Stig
 
Posts: 9552
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:28 pm
Location: St Pete Florida
Has thanked: 284 times
Have thanks: 977 times


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