Since you didn’t see the posts (jem’s and mine) you likely did not try any of those things we suggested. Not a big deal unless it might have uncovered an easy fix.
Sounds like jem is familiar with these hydrostatic systems, and that a possible cause might be that the linkage from the engagement lever might have come off or out of adjustment. Might be worth passing along that suggestion to the guy who picked up the tractor as something to check first (easy and quick to check).
If you don’t get your tractor back in time, are there any neighbors or plowing services who could prep your garden?
Good luck getting the tractor working again, and let us know what it was.
@jem@Steve333 Hey guys. So I just now got the big call from the repair guy on my tractor. I only got a voice mail so I can’t give you any details…but he said he had to completely brake down the tractor into 3 parts and what he found was that 2 gears were completely destroyed. He said it would be just about 1/2 labor and 1/2 parts and the total would be $2,300. Holy freaking cow!!! I have no idea what to do now except just bite the bullet and let him fix it. But good grief. In my wildest dreams I never expected a $2,300 bill. I don’t know how much that tractor is worth but at that level you really start to wonder if it is worth putting that kind of money into it. I’ll try to find out more later, but is there any planet where you guys can imagine a $2,300 repair bill on a little compact tractor like mine?
Ouch! That price seems high, but not totally out of line for repairing new cars or mechanical stuff when they have to rip into the guts of things.
If it were me, I’d drive up there and take a look at the innards and the worn parts (unless you have a bunch of trust in this guy). Even if you don’t go there, might be good to ask for the worn parts back.
In any case, I’d want to talk with him to see if he knows why this happened, so that you can keep it from re-occurring. If he can’t find the cause, I’d be a bit leery of throwing that much $$$ at it if we don’t know how to avoid it in the future.
Being a mechanic/millwright by trade, my concern would be how much metal from the failed gears made it through the gear boxes and pumps. If it was a slow on-going failure of the gears you may have had metal fillings be transferred throughout causing wear elsewhere for some time now. Pumps especially do not like metal shavings, although they should be protected to some degree by a filter or a strainer. I would make sure that you mechanic thoroughly cleans every thing out and changes all the associated fluids, screens and filters. If it where mine, I’d run about 10 hours or so after the repair, then change the fluid and filters a second time to be sure that it is clean. Food for thought.
The father of one of my very close friends was “that” John Deere mobile mechanic. He retired a year or so ago with 50 years service. He is always the go to for me when I don’t know how something works. This time of year, most tractor people are “up to their eyeballs” in work keeping the larger farms going, and a little guy getting pushed back time wise doesn’t seem unusual to me.
It’s a big job splitting a tractor (even a small one) and the price doesn’t seem out of line to me. Sometimes it’s better to buy a new one, but only you can answer that. I would heed J.D’s advice.
Usually internal sheared gears in the pto driveline are a result of improper shear protection caused by using too hard of a sheer bolt.
Let us know how you make out with your tractor and good luck. I know I would hate to be without mine for even a few days.
That is really neat about your dad being one of those John Deere mobile mechanics and a go to guy for repairs. My dad is also a remarkable repair man who spent 42 years replying appliances for Sears and Roebuck. That makes me feel even worse about having almost no mechanical skills myself. I also appreciate you confirming that the price is at least somewhat in line with what you’d expect. I guess I was just thinking that my car i worth maybe $20k and even if the motor blew up or transmission went out it wouldn’t likely cost as much as I’m being charged to repair a tractor worth half as much. But if that is the reality and is just how it is, then at least I know I’m not just being robbed, so thanks.
I actually have been thinking about just buying a new tractor, but if my thinking is correct it just won’t make sense. My repair guy has already came and got my tractor from an hour away, broken it all down, diagnosed problem, checked parts prices, etc. If I told him to not fix it and just put it back together and return it to me so I could sell it, I suspect I’d still owe him several hundred to $1,000. And if I sold it like it is I’m sure having it broken down would lower the price by more than what it would cost to finish the repairs. Even if I tried to use it as a trade in while it is torn up I’d think it would be worth less than the cost of repairs would increase its value. SO maybe I need a new tractor and maybe not, but I suspect that either way it would be a better value to get this tractor fixed and go from there.
I am curious what caused this to happen. I’m 99.9% certain this tractor has never been worked on at all by anyone, So Im almost positive it had whatever sheer pin came with it.
Let me ask you something. One thing I am often guilty of is mowing really TALL grass in my back field after letting it go for a few weeks. When I do that, I know its very hard on my mower because it can barely get through it and bogs down and so on. I always felt it might end up damaging my mower (I have had to replace belts more than I should) but I didn’t know I was damaging my tractor. Do you think that was a factor here? Also, I think I tend to run my tractor at a higher RPM than I probably should. It helps mow that tall grass when I have to mow it. I probably should get a bush hog instead of the Woods mower I use.
I needed to hear that because I know I use my finishing mower in cases where I should use a bush hog. I’ve worried that my little compact tractor couldn’t handle a bush hog, though.
But what I’d love to hear from you (or anyone) is how a bush hog does at just mowing grass? I have no doubt it wouldn’t be a nice clean cut and I absolutely can live with my yard not looking like a manicured, super nice stand of grass. As long as it will cut it fairly short and not just completely butcher it, I’d be ok with it. But I would really hate to have to change out my finishing mower to a bush hog and then back every time I mow my whole property… that is why I have put off buying a bush hog so far (that and fears of whether my tiny tractor can handle a bush hog- even a 4-5 foot one)?
Hey Kevin, Good Morning! My PTO output for my little John Deere 750 is only an 18 (I am sure yours is the same if not greater) and does great with my 4 foot bush hog. I haven’t even sharpened the blades in 3 years (my understanding is Bush Hogs do more ripping of the grass than cutting) and still get the same good results for my 20 acres. Of course a finishing mower will look nicer after cutting but for me its not so much better to make it worth it too me. But that’s just me we all a bit different. Below is a pic of my Grizzly I bought locally here in Clarksville a few years back. Another is a portion of my 20 acres cut with the bushhog last week or so and looks aesthetically pleasing enough for me
Just an update on my bush hog saga. I have been busy with other things on the farm, so I haven’t been able to get to mowing with the bush hog. But, today, I thought I ought to try to replace the busted bolt with a the new ones I got.
I put in a new 1/2" zinc, grade 3 bolt with a nyloc nut on it and took it out for a spin. I engaged the PTO (at low rpm’s) and no problems. I did a bit of mowing around one of the garden plots and behind the back orchard and it did just fine. I took it around the perimeter of the pasture and it did alright there too. I had to stop as i was worried about running out of diesel, so will fill it up tomorrow and finish the job.
Thanks for all the help. I know a busted bolt isn’t a big a deal as some other issues, but it’s nice to get it going again.
I had a grader blade hooked up to the tractor recently as I was smoothing out some creek gravel on our eroded driveway. I had to unhook it today so I could do the mowing. Well, in the process of unhooking it, a #$@ wasp stung me on the shin. Good Lord that hurt! The pain’s pretty much gone, just hope it don’t swell up like my hands did a couple years ago when I got a double wasp stung then. My hand looked like the Michelin man for a few days after that.
So close. We expect to close at end of July and house will start getting built in August. We are very excited. We expect to move in Jan/Feb. No rush to be in for Christmas or anything like that. More concerned with getting it built right.
This is a little obscene… we had our local tractor service come to the house to service the tractors today, a lot easier than hauling them to the shop one at a time, and our trailer won’t haul the heaviest two. Nice not to have to dispose of all of those fluids. I think we have a sickness, and we keep looking at something “with a little more power”. The twins: Ford model 641; Massey Ferguson 1420V (a rebadged Iseki); New Holland TC35DA; and the latest addition, 1968 Ford 5000.
Wow, I bet that was an expensive endeavor to service all those rigs. I assume they had oil, oil filter, hydraulic fluid, and air filters changed? I have to do that to mine, especially the air filters (mine has two, an inner cylindrical one and a larger one on the outside of it), not cheap.
Do you have a barn go put all those in? Do they each have their particular chores to perform, or are you just collecting them? Looks like your a Ford man! That 5000 ought to be plenty powerful enough. I looked at a lot of tractors before I got my JD, but I was close to getting a Ford 3600.
That wasp sting on my shin has gotten a bit uncomfortable today. It’s swollen below the sting, and hurts a bit to walk on it, feels like a bad bruise. I’ve put some Benadryl cream on it, so it doesn’t itch much now, but now it aches. I haven’t had any other reactions to it, which is good.
Guess i just got to give it some time, it took my hand about 3 days before the swelling went back down when I got two stings in it a couple years ago.
I had completely forgotten that you said you were going to build a house. Now what does that mean for the trees you have already been planting? Are you going to have to be like @bleedingdirt and sell all your trees with your current house, or have you been planting them on other land you own or where you are going to build your house. I apologize if you already explained this but I missed it or forgot.
@AndySmith You know what I thought about when I saw all those tractors? I was thinking how nice it would be to have one with a bush hog, one with grader blade, finishing mower, etc. I’m sure no one but me thinks it is a big deal, but I really find myself dreading when I have to unhook my tiller and hook up my mower or make other changes. I always struggle to get things lined up, end up kicking the implement to get it over that extra 1/2 inch to line up with the hitches, etc. I can’t exactly justify buying a whole tractor just to save the 15 minutes of switching impliments, but if I had a few tractors like you I sure would take advantage and I bet you do too! haha ??? I think @subdood_ky_z6b was thinking the same thing when he asked if each one has its own function/chore. ha
Bob - I got stung by one of those big red, really mean looking wasps last year- my first wasp sting in years. HOLY COW!!! I had forgotten how bad they heard. After keeping honey bees a few years I thought I was used to stings, but wasps are a whole other level of pain!!! Like you, mine swelled up and hurt for almost 2 days. I feel your pain!
I don’t enjoy switching implements either. Some tractors (like an 8N) have a fixed lower arm, which means you have to have things perfectly lined up to push the lower arm on the pin of the implement. At some point tractor makers figured out that they could make the lower arms “extendable” so you didn’t have to line things up perfectly to get the lower arms hooked up. You just have to be within about 3" of the implement pins, with the extendable lower arms.
They make a crow’s foot extension for older tractors. I’ve not used one of the bolt on types in the vid below, but I used to have a couple old Oliver tractors and they used a crows foot hookup out of the factory. I liked that system a lot and could hook up the lower arms without getting off the tractor.
One thing I don’t like about the crow’s foot hookup in the “Pat’s Easy Change” vid is that there is not way to move the lower arms back and forth from the tractor seat. Pat’s Easy Change looks like they use some adjustable bar to set the lower arm spacing, but the problem I see is that if your different implements have different width spacing between the pins where the lower lift arm engages (likely) then you have to adjust that bar spacing each time you switch implements, on Pat’s system.
The system Oliver used had small ropes fastened on each crow’s foot which would engage the spring loaded clasp from the tractor seat. You could also use those ropes to pull the lower arm horizontally from the tractor seat, which made hookups pretty easy.
The vid shows a guy installing Pat’s system on a tractor which already has the extendable lower arms which seems pretty pointless to me, unless you have just one implement to attach and remove. But I can see an advantage of Pat’s system if the tractor doesn’t have extendable arms and one can put index marks on the different bar spacing of the lower arms, for each implement. Or perhaps one could drill index holes in the bar for the different implement pin spacing.
Haven’t got the bill yet . One of the twins goes in the garage and the other goes under the deck. The Ferguson has a 5’ snow blower so that goes in the tractor shed (to the right in the picture) and the New Holland and Ford 5000 stay out. The twins have family history, otherwise “Ford” was just happenstance. They all get used, everything runs.