Bill Bellis                        Pug Restoration
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After deciding I wanted an older PUG for my next “product machine” I called Richard at Route 6x6. These old workhorses are not easy to find but as usual Richard came through and located a worn out early 1970’s unit that had been used on a farm. A few of these machines were manufactured with hydraulic dump beds (vs. personnel carrier beds) which this one had making it an even better find.

Once back at the shop I cleaned the layers of “cement” hard manure and grime from the PUG and found it to be rust free under the protection of all that crust. The fiberglass body was broken up and missing sections, but repairable. The first thing I noticed after beginning the tear down was how well the PUG was built compared to some of the other machines of this era. The 3 speed transaxle and rear end are massive as are the frame sections, Pugs were defiantly designed with hard work in mind. The transaxle came apart easy enough and looked new once inside. After hot tanking all the parts it was reassembled using all new bearings and seals as a precaution. Most all the drive train parts are standard ag. components which were easy to locate. After learning that the brakes are from a 1964 Ford Fairlane a trip to NAPA provided me with all the necessary parts for a complete rebuild. The original engine was either a 10 or 16 HP Briggs. After some thought whether to rebuild the engine or replace it I decided to go the latter route. The modern air cooled engines of today are just too good. The 12 HP Kawasaki is incredibly smooth and provides plenty of power, especially in the ultra low 1st gear.
One issue that sometimes has to be dealt with when replacing an older engine with a modern one is the fact that the new engines idle faster. This is because the older engines were splash lubricated vs. the pressure lubricated modern engines. The faster idle supplies the needed oil but due to belt drag sometimes spins the transmission just enough to grind gears when shifting from neutral into gear. Shifting from a gear to neutral if the transmission is still spinning is not a problem. I addressed this by installing a small motorcycle brake disc on the output shaft of the transmission. A go-kart caliper on the disc and bicycle cable/lever attached to the shift lever actuate the brake for shifting and provide an additional machine brake that actually stops the PUG instantly.

The PUG is a fun machine to drive even though the speed sensitive driven clutch (vs. a torque sensitive clutch) and articulated steering take some getting used to. Besides the articulated steering both body halves also pivot independently on a front to rear horizontal axis. This feature allows the PUG to crawl over very difficult terrain while keeping the tires in contact with the ground. Even with open diffs it gets amazing traction.

With regular maintenance and inside storage this machine should easily last another 35 years.

Bill Bellis
Some of the work includes:

-Complete disassembly of entire machine
-Transaxle rebuilt, new bearings and seals
-Driveline completely rebuilt
-Installed disc brake on output shaft of transmission
-New Titan 6 ply tires
-Rebuilt master cylinder
-New brake cylinders and lines
-Al new brake hardware
-All bushings at body half pivot points replaced
-All steering parts replaced or rebuilt.
-Combination roll cage, bumper and winch mount fabricated.
-3000 lb winch installed
-Shortened dump bed for a better departure angle
-All new electrical
-Installed new seats that fold up for engine/trans access.
-Installed a larger steering wheel for easier steering
-Added mud flaps front and rear