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  1. #21
    New Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    6
    Location
    Hartland, Mi
    Tractor
    NH TC33D and TC40DA

    Default Re: Ford 917 Flail Mower

    I live in the northeast corner of the state Leonz. Near Alpena on Hubbard Lake. I also live downstate near Brighton but its starting to suck paying for 2 houses! :-)

  2. #22
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    48
    Location
    Winchester, CT
    Tractor
    MF 1533

    Default Re: Ford 917 Flail Mower

    Quote Originally Posted by paulharvey View Post
    Is there any reason the gear box can't be filled with grease like is often done with a bushhog? Mine leaks 90w or AW68 from around the pto "spud". How difficult/expensive to pull pto stub and reseal? I gave $150 for a ?48" (53" wide) Ford-917 with the duck foot hammer-knives.

    Also is there a video or some sort of guide on how to sharpen the hamer-knives (angle and how sharp are the really suppost to be). I use mine to mow lawn, which is mostly coastal/pensacola bahia, and it leaves a lot if the seed stalks just beat up, till first rain when they stand back up.
    The manual for the 917A mower calls for "Ford 137 grease" in the gearbox. I haven't tried to buy any, I'm assuming its #00 grease.
    MF 1533, 1525 loader, loaded R4's

  3. #23
    Super Member greg_g's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    6,086
    Location
    Western Kentucky
    Tractor
    JD3720 Cab, 300X loader with 4-in-1 bucket

    Default Re: Ford 917 Flail Mower

    It's called a banded belt (http://www.vbeltsupply.com/bandedconvetionalbelts.htm), and should be used rather than two singles. I think mine is a B63-2 or perhaps B64-2. Given all the idler adjustment, either should work. Banded belt = less slippage. Also, not only should the knives swing on the hangers - the hangers should swing on the brackets. Is you don't have that double flex, premature knife damage can occur. And no, one that knife there should be a matching pair of beveled cutting edges. A flat edge will result in a more ragged cut

    //greg//
    Last edited by greg_g; 08-05-2013 at 06:58 PM.
    USN (Ret)
    Former Chinese tractor owner (x4)
    Current John Deere owner

  4. #24
    New Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    6
    Location
    Hartland, Mi
    Tractor
    NH TC33D and TC40DA

    Default Re: Ford 917 Flail Mower

    Quote Originally Posted by greg_g View Post
    It's called a banded belt (http://www.vbeltsupply.com/bandedconvetionalbelts.htm), and should be used rather than two singles. I think mine is a B63-2 or perhaps B64-2. Given all the idler adjustment, either should work. Banded belt = less slippage. Also, not only should the knives swing on the hangers - the hangers should swing on the brackets. Is you don't have that double flex, premature knife damage can occur. And no, one that knife there should be a matching pair of beveled cutting edges. A flat edge will result in a more ragged cut

    //greg//
    I didn't check the D-rings but I will now. I'm gonna guess this is something I would want to lube-up pretty good at the end of the season? How much bevel am I looking for on those blades Greg? Thanks.

  5. #25
    Super Member greg_g's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    6,086
    Location
    Western Kentucky
    Tractor
    JD3720 Cab, 300X loader with 4-in-1 bucket

    Default Re: Ford 917 Flail Mower

    Tossed my old blades, haven't had to sharpen new ones yet. So best guess is 25 degrees. Take note that these are heat treated (hardened) blades. Care must be taken not to overheat them, as that can make them brittle

    //greg//
    USN (Ret)
    Former Chinese tractor owner (x4)
    Current John Deere owner

  6. #26
    Super Member California's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,096
    Location
    Sonoma County
    Tractor
    Yanmar YM240, YM186D, and another YM186D

    Default Re: Ford 917 Flail Mower

    This old thread seems to be where the knowledgeable posters hang out -

    I see a 74" offset 917 flail mower for sale. Claimed good condition, ready to use. I've read through the maintenance/repair suggestions here.

    How much hp does it take to run this? I have a Yanmar rated for engine 24 hp / pto 20 hp that is roughly a 7/8 scale 8N in terms of what it can do. Also a 15/18 hp smaller Yanmar that is probably too small, its 3-point is rated to lift only 550 lbs. (both are shown in my sig file below).

    Any advice welcome! Thanks.

  7. #27
    Veteran Member
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    Nov 2012
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    1,279
    Location
    Hawthorne, FL
    Tractor
    Kubota L285

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by California View Post
    This old thread seems to be where the knowledgeable posters hang out -

    I see a 74" offset 917 flail mower for sale. Claimed good condition, ready to use. I've read through the maintenance/repair suggestions here.

    How much hp does it take to run this? I have a Yanmar rated for engine 24 hp / pto 20 hp that is roughly a 7/8 scale 8N in terms of what it can do. Also a 15/18 hp smaller Yanmar that is probably too small, its 3-point is rated to lift only 550 lbs. (both are shown in my sig file below).

    Any advice welcome! Thanks.
    I don't think there's anyway you'll be cutting thick 12" grass or weeds with a 74" @ 20 hp, let alone any brush. I have a kubota L285, 28 hp @ pto and a 48 or 50" ford 917. I don't bog down in thick grass, although I often takes a trip back the opposite way to cut it well; but I don't think mine would work well over 60".

    What are you wanting to cut?

  8. #28
    Super Member California's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    6,096
    Location
    Sonoma County
    Tractor
    Yanmar YM240, YM186D, and another YM186D

    Default Re: Ford 917 Flail Mower

    Quote Originally Posted by paulharvey View Post
    I don't think there's anyway you'll be cutting thick 12" grass or weeds with a 74" @ 20 hp, let alone any brush. I have a kubota L285, 28 hp @ pto and a 48 or 50" ford 917. I don't bog down in thick grass, although I often takes a trip back the opposite way to cut it well; but I don't think mine would work well over 60".

    What are you wanting to cut?
    Orchard grass occasionally up to 36". The reason I'm thinking of a flail mower is to better pulverize the orchard pruning debris (3/8", occasionally up to 2") that was overlooked gathering larger material for the burn pile. Also the offset will be valuable to mow closer to the trees without banging my head.

    This picture is a little more harsh than typical. That's the 15/18 hp Yanmar with a 4 ft rotary mower. In the photo it went downhill fine in the highest gear. I made it most of the way back uphill in range 2 but had to stop and shift to range 1, crawl, to get through this tall area.

    Here are more photos I posted along with that one:

    Mowing: Big twin (YM240) vs little 3-cyl/Powershift (YM186D)


  9. #29
    Super Member California's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    6,096
    Location
    Sonoma County
    Tractor
    Yanmar YM240, YM186D, and another YM186D

    Default Re: Ford 917 Flail Mower

    Quote Originally Posted by paulharvey View Post
    I don't think there's anyway you'll be cutting thick 12" grass or weeds with a 74" @ 20 hp, let alone any brush. I have a kubota L285, 28 hp @ pto and a 48 or 50" ford 917.... I don't think mine would work well over 60".
    The more I think about this - if a 50" needs 28 hp then a 60" is too big for my 15 or 20 hp Yanmars. Oh well... If anyone wants this, its on CL for $875. 2 hours north of San Francisco.

  10. #30
    Super Member greg_g's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
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    Western Kentucky
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    JD3720 Cab, 300X loader with 4-in-1 bucket

    Default Re: Ford 917 Flail Mower

    Insufficient PTO horsepower aside, you don't have enough lift capacity either. Never put it on the scale, but I'm thinking my 917 weighs something in the neighborhood of 660 pounds. My JD3720 has 35 PTO horsepower, and have already bogged it down when shredding through some of the thicker patches of crabgrass.

    //greg//
    USN (Ret)
    Former Chinese tractor owner (x4)
    Current John Deere owner

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