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  1. #1
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    1957 Ford 860

    Default Possible buyers remorse on Bush Hog SQ720

    So I bought the BH SQ720. I'm wondering now, at $1000, whether I didn't overpay given the denting on the deck caused, the seller tells me, by his brother hitting something big; it was big enough that he replaced the main axle (the one to which the blade is attached, I guess). And, beyond overpaying, do I have a structurally compromised unit? I don't know how to think about this; is it, "great, you have a unit with a brand new axle!" or is it, "bummer, you don't know what kind of secondary damage was caused by the accident so, even though you have a new axle, you might have a gear case that's damaged/weakened."?

    I've attached some pics. In the 2nd pic you can see a side view of the deck; the blade really wacked it; pushed it up a good 1/4 - 1/2". I wish I'd taken a far away pic from the same side as that close up but when not so close the dent on that side seems pretty similar to the one shown in pic #1. Disturbingly, though on the phone it was all "everything works great," after talking he told me that he hasn't used it since he replaced the axle. That worries me. That seems like a major repair caused by major damage and now I have a unit that, though "fixed," is untested.

    Seems to me the blades are in reasonable shape; some dents but I can get a hand grinder on that. The seller didn't say that he replaced the blades but they must be pretty tough as they don't seem to show the damage from hitting the deck.

    The seller ran it for me; I've never heard a bush hog running before so I have nothing to compare it to, but my first reaction was that, when on low speed, it sounded a little rough (it was noisier than I'd have thought). When he put it up to speed it sounded smooth, like a big (BIG) fan. Certainly turns without any obvious grinding.

    As another pic shows you can see that the PTO shaft doesn't reach. I'm assuming there's some extension that I can buy. I'll be calling a tractor shop today (Tractor Supply were out of stock).

    Anyway, I'm sure that once I run it and (hopefully) everything is fine, I'll feel a little relief. I might be over-thinking this and the answer is, "run it; if it cuts goods, it'll probably last for years without problems." I hope so ;-)

    Finally, does anyone have a link to a "Tutorial for new users of Rotary Cutters"? Something that gives the tricks of successfully using this attachment? I'll be greasing the 4 nipples that I know about (2 on the PTO shaft, one on the wheel, one up by the slip clutch, I think). He says he put in new gear oil after the axle repair (I guess I just open that plug and look in to confirm that?).

    Thanks for any feedback (and/or reassurance ;-)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -img_2490-jpg   -img_2493-jpg   -img_2494-jpg   -img_2498-jpg  

  2. #2
    Super Member Farmwithjunk's Avatar
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    Where do I begin.....

    Default Re: Possible buyers remorse on Bush Hog SQ720

    Quote Originally Posted by botemout View Post
    So I bought the BH SQ720. I'm wondering now, at $1000, whether I didn't overpay given the denting on the deck caused, the seller tells me, by his brother hitting something big; it was big enough that he replaced the main axle (the one to which the blade is attached, I guess). And, beyond overpaying, do I have a structurally compromised unit? I don't know how to think about this; is it, "great, you have a unit with a brand new axle!" or is it, "bummer, you don't know what kind of secondary damage was caused by the accident so, even though you have a new axle, you might have a gear case that's damaged/weakened."?

    I've attached some pics. In the 2nd pic you can see a side view of the deck; the blade really wacked it; pushed it up a good 1/4 - 1/2". I wish I'd taken a far away pic from the same side as that close up but when not so close the dent on that side seems pretty similar to the one shown in pic #1. Disturbingly, though on the phone it was all "everything works great," after talking he told me that he hasn't used it since he replaced the axle. That worries me. That seems like a major repair caused by major damage and now I have a unit that, though "fixed," is untested.

    Seems to me the blades are in reasonable shape; some dents but I can get a hand grinder on that. The seller didn't say that he replaced the blades but they must be pretty tough as they don't seem to show the damage from hitting the deck.

    The seller ran it for me; I've never heard a bush hog running before so I have nothing to compare it to, but my first reaction was that, when on low speed, it sounded a little rough (it was noisier than I'd have thought). When he put it up to speed it sounded smooth, like a big (BIG) fan. Certainly turns without any obvious grinding.

    As another pic shows you can see that the PTO shaft doesn't reach. I'm assuming there's some extension that I can buy. I'll be calling a tractor shop today (Tractor Supply were out of stock).

    Anyway, I'm sure that once I run it and (hopefully) everything is fine, I'll feel a little relief. I might be over-thinking this and the answer is, "run it; if it cuts goods, it'll probably last for years without problems." I hope so ;-)

    Finally, does anyone have a link to a "Tutorial for new users of Rotary Cutters"? Something that gives the tricks of successfully using this attachment? I'll be greasing the 4 nipples that I know about (2 on the PTO shaft, one on the wheel, one up by the slip clutch, I think). He says he put in new gear oil after the axle repair (I guess I just open that plug and look in to confirm that?).

    Thanks for any feedback (and/or reassurance ;-)

    So long as the output shaft (what you're referring to as the "axle") was installed CORRECTLY, you shouldn't have any issues there I'd think. I have a couple BH 286 mowers we use in my mowing business. One is hammered and dented far worse than that. (and has been for several years) No issues to report there. Bush Hogs can take a thrashing while doing their "thing".

    OK...Grease points. You covered all but one. There should be one to lube the telescoping portion of the shaft. If not, or if you can't find it, simply pull the two halves apart and slather grease all along the length of the inner shaft, then re-assemble. Also, oil the snapping lock collar where it attaches to the tractor if the mower will set outside. They'll tend to stick otherwise.

    On the pto shaft length. Looks to me as if there's PLENTY of overlap in the telescoping pto shaft, but I also see you have the mower on an "N" Ford. You'd be well served to get an over-running clutch. That'll serve as a pto shaft extention, probably long enough to take up most of the gap between tractor and pto shaft in your picture. If you choose not to use the ORC, pto shaft extentions are available through any GOOD farm equipment dealer, or TSC.

    $1000 for a pristine Bush Hog SQ series mower would be a bargain. That one ISN'T pristine, but it APPEARS to have quite a bit of life left in it. In a year or two of service, even a new one would start to look a little "worn". I wouldn't call it a bargain, but you didn't get hurt either.
    There are three kinds of men;
    1.) The ones that learn by reading
    2.) The few who learn by observation
    3.) The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

  3. #3
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Possible buyers remorse on Bush Hog SQ720

    I'm assuming by "axle" you mean the output shaft of the gear box. And yes, you can remove the plug to see if there is gear oil in the gear box. If he ran it and you see no signs of a leak, it's probably OK, but I'd check anyway. Go to Bushhog.com, click on "manuals", then go to the Squealer manuals and print out a manual for the mower.

    As for the PTO shaft not reaching . . . you do know it telescopes, don't you? Have you pulled it apart? When extended enough to hook up to the tractor, you still want 6" or so of overlap.
    Bird

  4. #4
    Bronze Member
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    1957 Ford 860

    Default Re: Possible buyers remorse on Bush Hog SQ720

    Quote Originally Posted by Bird View Post
    I'm assuming by "axle" you mean the output shaft of the gear box. And yes, you can remove the plug to see if there is gear oil in the gear box. If he ran it and you see no signs of a leak, it's probably OK, but I'd check anyway. Go to Bushhog.com, click on "manuals", then go to the Squealer manuals and print out a manual for the mower.

    As for the PTO shaft not reaching . . . you do know it telescopes, don't you? Have you pulled it apart? When extended enough to hook up to the tractor, you still want 6" or so of overlap.
    Good advice on the manuals. I'll go grab one now.

    Telescope? No, I wasn't aware of that ;-) I'll go out and fuss with it and see if I can get it to reach. Thanks

  5. #5
    Bronze Member
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    Default Re: Possible buyers remorse on Bush Hog SQ720

    Quote Originally Posted by Bird View Post
    As for the PTO shaft not reaching . . . you do know it telescopes, don't you? Have you pulled it apart? When extended enough to hook up to the tractor, you still want 6" or so of overlap.
    So I tried it and PRESTO! it just pulls right out. ;-) Attaches fine with plenty of overlap. So now I can add "knows how a PTO shaft works" to my farming resume! ;-)

  6. #6
    Bronze Member
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    Default Re: Possible buyers remorse on Bush Hog SQ720

    Quote Originally Posted by Bird View Post
    Go to Bushhog.com, click on "manuals", then go to the Squealer manuals and print out a manual for the mower.
    They don't seem to have older manuals for the SQ720 (just the 142, 148, 160, 172, 184, 84T). Anyone have a link to one? (I've asked Bush Hog via their comments page on their site). I'm reading through the current manual (probably pretty similiar) anyway.

  7. #7
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Possible buyers remorse on Bush Hog SQ720

    I don't know about any older manuals, but I'll bet that SQ172 is very close, if not exactly the same.
    Bird

  8. #8
    Bronze Member
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    1957 Ford 860

    Default Re: Possible buyers remorse on Bush Hog SQ720

    Quote Originally Posted by Bird View Post
    I don't know about any older manuals, but I'll bet that SQ172 is very close, if not exactly the same.
    Good news; thanks.

  9. #9
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    1957 Ford 860

    Default Re: Possible buyers remorse on Bush Hog SQ720

    Quote Originally Posted by Farmwithjunk View Post
    So long as the output shaft (what you're referring to as the "axle") was installed CORRECTLY, you shouldn't have any issues there I'd think.

    OK...Grease points. You covered all but one. There should be one to lube the telescoping portion of the shaft. If not, or if you can't find it, simply pull the two halves apart and slather grease all along the length of the inner shaft, then re-assemble. Also, oil the snapping lock collar where it attaches to the tractor if the mower will set outside. They'll tend to stick otherwise.

    On the pto shaft length. Looks to me as if there's PLENTY of overlap in the telescoping pto shaft, but I also see you have the mower on an "N" Ford. You'd be well served to get an over-running clutch. That'll serve as a pto shaft extention, probably long enough to take up most of the gap between tractor and pto shaft in your picture. If you choose not to use the ORC, pto shaft extentions are available through any GOOD farm equipment dealer, or TSC.

    $1000 for a pristine Bush Hog SQ series mower would be a bargain. That one ISN'T pristine, but it APPEARS to have quite a bit of life left in it. In a year or two of service, even a new one would start to look a little "worn". I wouldn't call it a bargain, but you didn't get hurt either.
    Thanks for the info, farmwithJunk (great name)!

    1) output shaft, not axle. Got it ;-)
    2) I'm going outside right now to grease it; I'll see if I can find the one for the PTO shaft you're talking about.
    3) I'm researching what an "over-running clutch" is. I know that my Ford 860 has a live PTO but I suspect that's not related to what you're talking about. I think it may not be an issue though because, as you can see from the other posts above, I didn't understand that a PTO shaft is telescoping and so was unaware that I could just pull it out to reach (give me another couple years; I'll get this stuff down ;-)
    4) As for price: I've got $1000 in it; for a $1000 I'm sure I could have gotten a very nice new KK or some similar model from TSC. Do you think that that would have been a smarter move? Or, are implements of the quality of a BH really that much better built that, if it works at all, it'll probably last longer than the, probably, more feature filled KK? It's academic at this point, of course, but the answer might help in the future.

    Thanks again, JR

  10. #10
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    Montgomery Co. Arkansas, 34.357183,-93.67085
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    2008 Massey Ferguson 1540

    Default Re: Possible buyers remorse on Bush Hog SQ720

    Quote Originally Posted by botemout View Post
    They don't seem to have older manuals for the SQ720 (just the 142, 148, 160, 172, 184, 84T). Anyone have a link to one? (I've asked Bush Hog via their comments page on their site). I'm reading through the current manual (probably pretty similiar) anyway.
    I have the SQ172 and I believe it is the same as your SQ720. I think 720 is an older version, of basically the same cutter. The deck reinforcements look slightly different and my 172 has a laminated tail wheel but other than that looks the same. Gear box, slip clutch, drive line, blades etc.

    Be sure and follow the advice of FWJ's and get an overrunning clutch an important safety feature that could save your life. Keep all PTO guards properly maintained and in place.

    You might want to "adjust" the slip clutch to make sure it is slips.

    I wonder if the clutch slipped when the seller's brother hit "something". I thought the slip clutch would have prevented major damage to the output shaft. Perhaps it depends on what you hit.

    You can expect the deck to become dented when you hit big rocks. Mine sure does.
    Last edited by datanull; 08-26-2009 at 07:59 AM. Reason: Can't spell FWJ

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